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Old March 27th, 2008, 03:25 AM   #1
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Is Glidecam right for me?

I have another thread posted regarding what the best cameras is for my application. I am making a documentary during my deployment in Afghanistan with the US Army. Putting politics aside I was looking into a steady cam system. I was really interested into the Glidecam systems; 4000 pro, Smoothshooer, V-8??? What might be the right systems for me? This will be used for shooting on the base only and conducting interviews and reenactments and such. I want a system that has the ability to secure to a vest. What might someone suggest? Under $1,500.00 new or used with a vest and arm.

How does that compare to systems like Varizoom, Flycam 6000 etc?

I want something that is built to handle semi professional use. The only thing I donít like about the small systems like the Steadicam jr is it looks like the gimble can break real easily. If this is too much for the thread you can email me at Christopherfeder@yahoo.com
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Old March 29th, 2008, 03:44 PM   #2
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hey me again,

Glidecam smooth shooter is pretty good. Plus it can be upgraded to the x-10.
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Old March 29th, 2008, 08:17 PM   #3
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I'm sure you've been looking at a lot of threads here already, just have to throw out my vote for Indicam. Customer service alone has been worth the purchase for me. As far as durability, I'd have to creatively find a way to break anything on it, and it has a linear gimbal compared to the Glidecam's non-linear.
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Old March 29th, 2008, 08:23 PM   #4
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I'm gonna bet he doesn't have $2k to drop on a stabilizer...

-P

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Originally Posted by Aaron Winters View Post
I'm sure you've been looking at a lot of threads here already, just have to throw out my vote for Indicam. Customer service alone has been worth the purchase for me. As far as durability, I'd have to creatively find a way to break anything on it, and it has a linear gimbal compared to the Glidecam's non-linear.
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Old March 29th, 2008, 10:55 PM   #5
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Perrone your right, $2k is out of my budget for that. I have actually looked into Indicam but it's a bit pricy. The glidecams are also but I can get a decent one on ebay with a vest and arm for under $1,500.00. I am keeping an eye out on ebay for an Indicam but I have not read as many positive things about indi as I have Glidecam. What do you mean about linear gimbal vs. non linear gimbal?
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Old March 30th, 2008, 02:26 PM   #6
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Linearity refers to the intersection of the three axes at the same point in the center of the gimbal. However, at the price point you are looking at Christopher, things like gimbal linearity are not really going to be as much of a concern as getting something that won't fall apart or simply not work very well. It's really a case of "beggars can't be choosers" at that point.

The Indicam is a good rig. It's not as well known nor has it been around as long as the Glidecam, which is why you might not have seen as much press on it.

Your concern about the gimbals used on the Steadicam products like the JR and its successor the Merlin being robust enough for "semi-professional" use are not founded--appearances to the contrary, they are pretty robust, especially the newer metal gimbals. They are indeed much smaller but that is due to a more sophisticated design. The Merlin is something that I have in fact brought along for running shots on a high-end commercial, something I wouldn't do with some of the other rigs mentioned here.
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Old March 30th, 2008, 10:15 PM   #7
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I am gona say go with smoothshooter It is deffinately leagues ahead of the indicam. It's design is based on modern steadicams.

I have used the smoothershooter and would be willing to wager that it's gimble is much smoother.
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Old March 31st, 2008, 12:21 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Andrew McMillan View Post
I am gona say go with smoothshooter It is deffinately leagues ahead of the indicam. It's design is based on modern steadicams.

I have used the smoothershooter and would be willing to wager that it's gimble is much smoother.
Smooth Shooter is the name Glidecam uses to refer to the armn and vest assembly; the sleds used with the Smoothshooter are the 2000 and 4000 Pro.
Both of these sleds are virtually unchanged from the original Glidecam design many years ago, and the Indicam is in fact a later design than those. To describe these sleds as being based on modern Steadicams is at best incorrect. One needs only to take a look at the Steadicam Pilot to see that illustrated.

The arm is pretty sleek looking but functionally it is not different than their previous arms, or the Indicam arm; a single set of springs attached to a fixed point in each section. This design is economical but it only creates the appropriate tension at the center point of its travel; once you boom up and down it "wants" to return to the center point, adding a certain amount of bounciness to the shot. This can be overcome by the operator but it is a whole different animal than the iso-elastic principles applied to the geometry of the Tiffen Steadicam spring arms, or the spring canister system used by GPI, which demonstrate the same lift characteristic throughout their range.

I have used both the Glidecams and the Indicam and would say that for their users, both will perform smoothly. The aforementioned issue of linearity has nothing to do with smoothness but will affect the performance and framing, and it is a noted issue with a certain percentage of Glidecam 2000/4000 rigs.
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Old March 31st, 2008, 12:56 AM   #9
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Andrew,

You must have Indicam mixed up with some other manufacturer as our arm system (dual instead of single) and sled are silky smooth, very robust, and just work. Our system was in pre-production before the Smooth Shooter came out but we didn't release it for sale for a couple of years to make sure it was the way we wanted it to be. We know and respect (and like) the guys at Glidecam and feel their products are very good. Still, we feel we have some designs that make our system a great value. We have a new gimbal which is made by a different machinist and it is real nice. Attached is a picture of the new gimbal. Hope to show Charles at NAB.

If you come to NAB this year we'll let you try out a system so you can make a comparison based on actual use.

Charles, FYI...our 214 arm uses either one or two sets of springs which can be changed within a matter of seconds. I know you want to keep current. Say Hi to Amy.

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Old March 31st, 2008, 08:59 AM   #10
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Hi Terry:

I will be at NAB for a quick fly-through on Monday only, but I do look forward to seeing your latest. The distinction I was making with the arms was not about the total number of springs, more about the geometry and application. Please tell me if I have it wrong but I recall that your arm and the Smooth Shooter (and most in this price group) have the springs attached at a fixed and non-volatile point, as opposed to the 3A arm design that uses cables and pulleys to create the artificial tension or the later iso-elastic design that has a traveling attachment point.

I have used the single-section Smooth Shooter and found that the amount of force required to hold it in place at the bottom of its range and likewise the amount of lift for the top end was significant. Last year I saw someone with a dual section version at a small trade show and asked them to run in place for a bit. Once they stopped, the arm kept bouncing for several more seconds. That told me all I needed to know.

Once again, these are not deal-killers for most users at this price point. There are many satisfied Glidecam and Indicam owners making good shots.
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Old March 31st, 2008, 12:33 PM   #11
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Oh I'm sorry I was under the impression that ther smoothshooter arm had a 3 spring and pully asembly, similar to the V-25.
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Old March 31st, 2008, 01:59 PM   #12
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Arm Demo video

Hello,

Here is a link to my Arm Demo video that shows the difference in how the two types of arms work. Hope this clears up any questions.

Dave

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/attachmen...7&d=1205691047
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 01:55 AM   #13
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could you explain the difference?

Thanks for the video. Neither Glidecam X-10 nor Indicam advertise the "iso-elastic" arm even though both have dual articulated arms.

The X-10 does advertise the "Dyna-Elastic" Arm and the "Light-Force" Technology. Is this basically the same as Steadicam's Iso Elastic arm? Can one assume that Indicam uses only the Spring arm.

Has anyone compared the X-10 with the Indicam? I'm trying to decide which one to buy.

Thanks!

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Hello,

Here is a link to my Arm Demo video that shows the difference in how the two types of arms work. Hope this clears up any questions.

Dave

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/attachmen...7&d=1205691047
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 08:25 AM   #14
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Is this basically the same as Steadicam's Iso Elastic arm?
not so much.
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 05:19 PM   #15
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stability in static shots

Charles,
I love the sample clips on your website! Something that I have not been able to recreate with my handheld Glidecam 2000 is rock steady static shots (or very solid slow tracking shots) What I saw on many of your clips where tracking shots that were zoomed in but came to a gentle but very stable static frame.

Perhaps I just need more practice (in not trying to control the shaft so much), and perhaps it will be easier with a vest/arm (?) but also the bigger rigs are much heavier and maybe easier to get that kind of stability.

I'm tempted to just get the Steadicam Merlin for my DVX100 but I already have the Glidecam 2000 and that is not compatible with Merlin's arm/vest. But if the Merlin produces better results than the Glidecam, that maybe a good reason to get it. My main concern is that with the mic, possible wide angle lens, light etc) the DVX 100 will exceed Merlin's max load of 5 pounds.

For me the solidity of slow tracking shots (zoomed all the way in) and static shots is more important than whether the rig bounces after running up a flight of stairs. Would you suggest I add weights to the top and bottom of whatever rig I have? How much importance does the arm play in slow tracking shots? Do you think the Merlin can produce results like on your webpage?

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not so much.
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