Glidecam 2000 or 4000? at DVinfo.net

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Old June 1st, 2008, 01:53 PM   #1
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Glidecam 2000 or 4000?

Sorry if this has been discussed before, but I did a bit of research and got some mixed opinions, so here I am asking you personally.

I'm planning to shoot weddings in the near future in HD with an XHA1 as my main camera and an HV20 as my secondary camera. I've been looking into getting a Glidecam.

- Is the Glidecam 2000 not enough for the XHA1? and...

- Is the Glidecam 4000 too much for the HV20?

Which am I safer to get to support both cameras? At this time, I only have the budget to spend for one of them (the XHA1 just burned a hole in my wallet, haha).

Thanks in advance for your responses.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 12:57 PM   #2
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Maybe I can relate a parallel experience.

I have cameras in the same size range. I have a Sony HC3 with a Wide Angle adapter and a Sony V1U that I've used on a Glidecam 2000. The HC3 works very well on the 2000 but the V1U is much to heavy to use handheld for more than a couple of minutes. Once you get it weighted down and balanced the whole setup will weigh at least 1.75x the weight of the camera. I would say using the A1 handheld on a any stabilizer for any length of time is unrealistic. I know it weighs less than the V1U does BUT its not nearly as light as the HC3 or the HV20. My V1U on the 2000 comes in at almost 10lbs to the ounce. No wireless or any extra lenses. Just camera, hard drive, and batteries weighted for a 2 sec drop.

The 4000 will likely be too bottom heavy for a basic HV20. If it is you can easily solve the problem by adding some extra weight to the top stage and getting it work out. Running the setup on the light side does make it "twichy" and harder to operate smoothly.

I'm sure I'm overstating the obvious here but the more weight you add the less time you can hold it. This is much different than holding the camera directly where you can bring it very close to your body and make it easier to hold. Try holding a 10lb weight at about 1/2 arms length for a few minutes and you'll see what I mean.

Personally I would lean towards the 4000 over the 2000. While I'm not exactly unhappy with the 2000 I'm not totally thrilled with it either. The precision of the gimbal on mine isn't that great. AND while we are talking about decisions, for the small difference in price I would also consider the sled from Terry Thompson at http://www.indicam.com/. It is about the size of the 4000 and based on the posts here and on the home built steadicam forum is a very nice setup.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 05:31 PM   #3
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I've been reading more on Steadicams and the Merlin seems to support both the HV20 and XHA1! It's about twice as expensive though, but more people seem happier with the Merlin after having upgraded from the Glidecam. Looks like it's easier to set up too.

Any thoughts on that?
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 06:00 PM   #4
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I have the 4000 with the smooth shooter. You won't be disappointed with this combo.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 06:47 PM   #5
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I have the glidecam 2000 and just switched over to HD. I assumed I would have to go to the merlin or 4000 but once I put it on, rebalanced it, everything was perfect. I'm using the xh-a1 and I have a an external mic and lcd hood on the cameras also and I was still able to get it evened out. You almost max out on washers to counterbalance but it can be done. Throw in a lot of practice and maybe a little weight lifting here and there and it works.

4000 may be alittle better and maybe a little lighter because you have a longer stick, but I'm not sure on that.

good luck!

Matt
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