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Old April 21st, 2008, 02:04 AM   #16
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Hi everybody!
I bought a Flycam Pro 5000 (without any accesories) from a local dealer in my country (Romania). Well... at a first glance I'd say that everything it's working as Indian manufacturer of this unit says: nice and smooth. But there is a problem: after I balance the unit with my camcorder mounted ( XM2 + high capacity battery + wide angle converter - pretty heavy :-) ), I pick up the flycam with (let's say) my right hand and everything is fine. But if I grab the unit (by it's handle) with the other hand - let's say left hand - and the handle is oriented now to the left side of the main pole, the balance is broken. And so, I can't perfectly rotate the camcorder around the main pole axis, it's moving like a pendulum.
I rather say that the Flycam 5000 "precision manufactured" gimble is not so precise. I mean the line between the 2 screws is not the same with the ball bearing diameter.
My question is if other people met the same problem with similar stabilisation units? I mean could it be an accident and only my flycam has this problem? Maybe during transportation something occured...
I guess these days I'll go back to the dealer and try another unit. If it has the same issue well... that's right "you get what you pay for".
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Old April 21st, 2008, 05:12 AM   #17
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I can't remember if it was with my 4000 pro or with the Smooth Shooter but one of them did come with a bracket to hang the sled from that fits onto your average mic stand. Having said that it is designed to rest the gimbal on the bracket while at rest so it may not be the best situation. I do the wrong thing myself generally and hang the sled from a mic stand inserted through the handle, I don't use the bracket.

Quick release plates helps immensly btw. Generally I can be pretty confident that if I have set up static balance on the rig and then remover the camera, putting it back on with the quick release plate is pretty close to always back in balance.

Thumbscrews on the top stage.....they blow. Someday I'll see about DIYing some sort of threaded adjustment.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 07:20 AM   #18
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That is a sign the unit wasn't machined precise enough. My glidecam has the same problem. Turned one way its in balance, turn it the other way (or change hands) and the static balance is off. It makes panning shots more difficult.

Chris

Quote:
Originally Posted by Florin Berechet View Post
Hi everybody!
I bought a Flycam Pro 5000 (without any accesories) from a local dealer in my country (Romania). Well... at a first glance I'd say that everything it's working as Indian manufacturer of this unit says: nice and smooth. But there is a problem: after I balance the unit with my camcorder mounted ( XM2 + high capacity battery + wide angle converter - pretty heavy :-) ), I pick up the flycam with (let's say) my right hand and everything is fine. But if I grab the unit (by it's handle) with the other hand - let's say left hand - and the handle is oriented now to the left side of the main pole, the balance is broken. And so, I can't perfectly rotate the camcorder around the main pole axis, it's moving like a pendulum.
I rather say that the Flycam 5000 "precision manufactured" gimble is not so precise. I mean the line between the 2 screws is not the same with the ball bearing diameter.
My question is if other people met the same problem with similar stabilisation units? I mean could it be an accident and only my flycam has this problem? Maybe during transportation something occured...
I guess these days I'll go back to the dealer and try another unit. If it has the same issue well... that's right "you get what you pay for".
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Old April 21st, 2008, 08:04 AM   #19
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sigh...the ONLY real moving part on a stabilizer is the gimbal (plus the arm if applicable), and if that is built incorrectly, ya got problems.

Perhaps this can serve as a counterpoint to those who dismiss the Steadicam brand products as too expensive as they feel they are "paying for the name". On the less expensive side, Indicam takes pains to make sure their gimbals are as linear as possible also.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 10:51 AM   #20
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I have the Merlin myself and it is a seriously precise little unit.
When i first took it out of the box I couldn't believe I had forked out 900 (yes 900) for a small piece of metal but the more I read on this forum and experience using this device the more it feels worth the money.
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 06:31 PM   #21
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So am i correct then in the belief that the heavier the sled and the overall unit is the steadier the shots become?
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 07:24 PM   #22
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I believe that is the case, as the more weight you have on the sled, the more force it takes to overcome the inertia of the system to start it in motion. Of course, once it's moving, it's going to take more effort to stop it!
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 10:58 AM   #23
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Yes and yes and yes. However, as the weight of the system increases, the need for good design increases also, as a ill-fitting vest with poor weight distribution will contribute to operator fatigue very quickly, likewise the arm components are prone to much more torque and stress and binding. I've tried some inexpensive larger rigs that are just frustratingly terrible and I would be a little afraid to put a pricey camera on them.
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Old April 24th, 2008, 06:36 PM   #24
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Charles -

Have you ever operated the Smooth Shooter rig? If so how does it substantially differ from the steadicam experience?

I can appreciate the knobs for adjusting COG and that sounds wonderful to be honest. I own a Smooth Shooter and have accepted it's difficulties in many ways and perhaps I have just learned to "live without plumbing" so to speak. I have tried and tried to eliminate the floating feeling as I film, but it always feels like my skills only give a POV type shot from a fighter plane or something! Whats wrong?

Also I have tried to LIGHTEN the load - not increase it. Am I going about this the wrong way? ARE THE TWO ISSUES RELATED?

Thanks,
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Old April 25th, 2008, 07:53 AM   #25
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Yes, I have used the Smooth Shooter on an actual shoot and played with it at other times. Have not flown the current dual arm version but did a "reach-around" (no chuckles please) while a gent was demoing it at a trade show to check out the spring action.

There is a definitive difference between that and the current Steadicam brand arms. Even a novice would be able to detect that the action of the Steadicam arm is much more fluid and responsive. I'm not a shill for the Steadicam brand--my high-end rig is from different manufacturers--but in this end of the market, they are producing gear that is unequaled in performance.

The more weight you load onto your system (up to its limits), the more stable and inert it will be, which will make it easier to achieve smoother results. The arm will also be more responsive.

The skill of operating a stabilizer cannot be underestimated. Without proper guidance, some people will have a very hard time getting the rig to "settle down" and respond properly. Steadicam (Tiffen) is now selling their classic "EFP Training Video" which covers a lot of operating ground; even though the rigs are quite different, the technique is the same.
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Old April 25th, 2008, 11:22 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
Steadicam (Tiffen) is now selling their classic "EFP Training Video" which covers a lot of operating ground; even though the rigs are quite different, the technique is the same.
Charles,

Would you please post a link for this video? I cannot find any mention of it on the Tiffen website. Do you have any other suggestions for operating training videos for stabalizers?
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Old April 26th, 2008, 06:39 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by James Hooey View Post
Charles,

Would you please post a link for this video? I cannot find any mention of it on the Tiffen website. Do you have any other suggestions for operating training videos for stabalizers?
James,

The part number for the DVD is DVD-200504.

You have to call Tiffen to order. It is listed on the website but its on one of the PDF documents for accessories. You can't search for it and there is no product page for it.

You can read a bit of discussion about it here - http://www.steadicamforum.com/forums...showtopic=7100

Chris
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Old May 6th, 2008, 02:08 AM   #28
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"Good news everyone! In fact, I have bad news..." quote from Futurama 3000 :)
Yes, bad news for my Active Industries flycam. I went to my local dealer (finally) and I tried (the) other unit available. I balanced my camcorder but it happend the same thing: when I changed hands on handle, the balance is broken, even worse than first flycam unit. The dealer motivated that it might have be some "secret recipe" to correctly balance a flycam and he is not a specialist and he can't help me. Anyway, he admitted my demonstration that the unit shouldn't get into pendulum motion when spinning around ballbearing's axis and returned my money back.
At the and of this month he will bring Glidecam 2000 from US. I'll try one of these too. The dealer told me that I won't obtain a better result with Glidecam 2000 or 4000. I'll see...
Chris, you said that you experienced the same pendulum effect when change hands on handle. What brand of unit was it? You may send a private message if you don't want to make bad advertising to some certain brand.
On the other hand I'm interested to purchase directly from US an genuine Glidecam 2000.... is there anybody who use such unit with XM2 camcorder + large battery + wide angle lense? Is it functioning right?
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Old May 6th, 2008, 06:46 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Florin Berechet View Post
"Good news everyone! In fact, I have bad news..." quote from Futurama 3000 :)

Chris, you said that you experienced the same pendulum effect when change hands on handle. What brand of unit was it? You may send a private message if you don't want to make bad advertising to some certain brand.
On the other hand I'm interested to purchase directly from US an genuine Glidecam 2000.... is there anybody who use such unit with XM2 camcorder + large battery + wide angle lense? Is it functioning right?
Hi Florin,

The model I have that changes balance between left and right hands is the Glidecam 2000. The newer ones I've seen have a different gimbal design than mine. I would try one and balance it before purchase if possible.

I set mine for about a 2.5 sec drop time so any balance problems will show up as a strong tilt. When I change hands it throws the static balance out quite a bit. I'll put it on the balance stand and take a couple of pictures to demonstrate.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 08:21 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Florin Berechet View Post
"At the and of this month he will bring Glidecam 2000 from US. I'll try one of these too. The dealer told me that I won't obtain a better result with Glidecam 2000 or 4000. I'll see...
Hi Florin, I have tried the Glidecam, Flycam, Steadicam, Indicam, etc I like u to note that u need achieve dynamic plus static balance for good control. Dyn balance means when u spin the sled (with the handle mounting on say.. a mic stand), the sled should rotate quite well along the sled axis. One of the impt parameters to achieve balance,is to shift the CG to be slightly below the gimbal. The drop time to be 2-3sec.You may wish to note that some of the brands does not have the option to adjust the gimbal position. So that is a disadvantage alr. The next thing is u need to understand that the stage adjustments needs to be very precise to get tit right. If u have a budget issue, the Indicam is a fine product for all the adjustments it can do plus the quality. If u have the $$, u can go for the Steadicam Pilot. Below is a video which will help u understand the balancing. Hope this helps!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3PgqKF6ugY
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