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Old July 14th, 2008, 12:02 PM   #31
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The use of manual focus makes it possible with Sony EX1 which hunts a lot as well. I'm trying to figure out what is the COMBINED weight of the sled+batt+monitor+cam+extra weights that the arms can handle. I attempted a few weights previously on the EX1 but I didnt record the settings. Dave had informed me about the total weight but I have not had the chance to try out the unit again.
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Old July 14th, 2008, 05:26 PM   #32
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I'm trying to figure out what is the COMBINED weight of the sled+batt+monitor+cam+extra weights that the arms can handle.
The Pilot systrm will support 10 pounds of stuff you add. In other words, the sled, battery, and monitor are not part of the 10 pounds. The 10 pounds includes the camera, camera accessories (e.g. camera battery, wireless equiptment, on-camera shotgun microphone, hard disk recorder, tripod adaptor, etc.), and all screw-on weights.

You can buy a nice accurate scale from the post office to weigh this stuff for $40:
http://shop.usps.com/webapp/wcs/stor...1049&langId=-1
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Old July 14th, 2008, 08:58 PM   #33
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Hey Dave, I have found out from Tiffen tech support that the Steadicam battery is part of the 10 pounds. To quote: "The reason we have to include battery powering Steadicam in the total load is because there are so many different types of batteries that can be used for powering Steadicam. With all these different batteries, it’s almost impossible to set an absolute figure for battery weight. Since it varies so much, battery for powering Steadicam is part of total load."
So it looks like for those wanting to use more accessories it would be best investing in the lightest possible battery...
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Old July 14th, 2008, 09:59 PM   #34
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Hey Dave, I have found out from Tiffen tech support that the Steadicam battery is part of the 10 pounds. To quote: "The reason we have to include battery powering Steadicam in the total load is because there are so many different types of batteries that can be used for powering Steadicam. With all these different batteries, it’s almost impossible to set an absolute figure for battery weight. Since it varies so much, battery for powering Steadicam is part of total load."
So it looks like for those wanting to use more accessories it would be best investing in the lightest possible battery...
Yeah, that makes sense.

With my current setup, the arm is level with a little thread room to spare. Not counting the battery, my stuff weighs exactly 9.9 pounds. If you count the 10xAA battery pack, the weight comes to 10.6 pounds. So I guess there's a little extra margin with the 10 pounds.

For those who haven't seen the AA packs, I've attached a picture.
Attached Thumbnails
Steadicam Pilot Review-batt1.jpg  
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Old July 14th, 2008, 10:10 PM   #35
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I had a stock Canon XL2 (no microphone - stock or otherwise) with an IDX battery and a quick release plate (which I find is an absolute necessity). Total weight 13.8 lbs (The whole assembly, battery, cam, monitor, etc.) That was about the absolute limit as the front arm screw was cranked to the max. At that weight the arms are barely level and if I just tap on the camera, it would boom down. The additional mass was great but you can feel that it was at it's upper limits.

I believe the EX1 is lighter than the XL2 and it should work, but if you plan to add a quick release plate, microphone, or wireless receiver(s), you will be getting close to the limit.

I normally shoot with a Canon A1 and if I were shooting with the heavier XL2 on a regular basis, I would be concerned about running the rig at maximum load with the springs cranked all the way up. The springs will wear down and I suspect the XL2 configuration would eventually sag.
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Old July 14th, 2008, 10:17 PM   #36
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Dave,

What equipment do you have loaded on your Pilot?

I'm thinking of getting the Pilot VLB so I can run a Firestore FS-C from the IDX battery in addition to the monitor. The IDX battery weighs 1.25lbs, the FS-C about 1lb, and the XH-A1 weighs 4.5lbs, for a total of about 6.75lbs. I'll have to use the weights supplied with the Pilot, so I'm sure that'll bring it up close to the 10lb limit. With your set up, how many pounds in weights do you use (I know you have extras on there)?
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Old July 15th, 2008, 03:09 AM   #37
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Charles, great work! Thank You.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 04:56 AM   #38
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Very nice, and informative review Charles. Thankyou for taking the time to do it.

And an equally nice house and wife. You are a fortunate man :)
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Old July 15th, 2008, 05:34 AM   #39
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Dave,

What equipment do you have loaded on your Pilot?
Configuration #1
Middle Weights (4.0 oz each) Qty=6 (2 high, 4 low) 1.5 pounds
End Weights (2.0 oz each) Qty=4 (2 high, 2 low) 0.5 pounds
Panasonic HVX200 + Mic Muff MM3 + Tripod plate (no battery) 5.9 pounds
Tripod Adaptor, Manfrotto 577 0.4 pounds
Wireless Video Transmitter, Supercircuits AVX900T4 + cables 0.2 pounds
HXV200 battery 0.6 pounds
Shotgun Mic, Rode NTG-1 + SM3 + Deadcat 0.5 pounds
Shotgun Microphone Cable 0.2 pounds
Total Steadicam Camera & Accessories Weight 9.8 pounds

Configuration #2
Middle Weights (4.0 oz each) Qty=8 (4 high, 4 low) 2.0 pounds
End Weights (2.0 oz each) Qty=2 (0 high, 2 low) 0.3 pounds
Panasonic HVX200 + Mic Muff MM3 + Tripod plate (no battery) 5.9 pounds
Tripod Adaptor, Manfrotto 577 0.4 pounds
Wireless Video Transmitter Supercircuits AVX900T4 + cables 0.2 pounds
HXV200 battery 0.6 pounds
Wireless Audio Receiver, Sennheiser EK-100-G2 + Cable 0.6 pounds
Total Steadicam Camera & Accessories Weight 9.9 pounds
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Old July 15th, 2008, 06:19 AM   #40
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I'm presuming that you get four ends weights with the pilot but how many middle weights come with it?
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Old July 15th, 2008, 06:31 AM   #41
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I'm presuming that you get four ends weights with the pilot but how many middle weights come with it?
Only 4.

You can order additional screw-on middle weights directly from Tiffen - Part # 801-7920-05, $6.25 each.

It would be nice if the Pilot came with more than 4 middle weights.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 07:37 AM   #42
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Very nice, and informative review Charles. Thankyou for taking the time to do it.

And an equally nice house and wife. You are a fortunate man :)
He has a cool job too: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0660435/

You can see from his IMDB pedigree that Chas has many features and TV shows under his belt, but around here I think he'll always be most fondly known as the guy who shot "Office Space."
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Old July 15th, 2008, 09:23 AM   #43
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He has a cool job too: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0660435/

You can see from his IMDB pedigree that Chas has many features and TV shows under his belt, but around here I think he'll always be most fondly known as the guy who shot "Office Space."
And not forgetting his comedy acting skills on "Scrubs"

Clip still makes me laugh..

Ok, enough of the Charles Papert love-in...back to the subject :)

What I like most about the demo is how smooth and professional the test film looks. It shows that its more about technique and practice than the equipment you have. It looks great. Plus gives other steadicam operators here a high a bar to work towards.

Last edited by Niall Chadwick; July 15th, 2008 at 09:24 AM. Reason: Cleaned up the spelling, grammar and language. Hard to believe english is my first and only language /sigh
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Old July 15th, 2008, 03:04 PM   #44
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Thanks Dave for the equipment breakdown. It looks like I'll have a couple or three pounds left after adding all the weights (and a couple of extra middle weights) and the FS-C. If I eventually get a wireless lav, the receiver will put me close to the maximum weight, I think.
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Old July 20th, 2008, 11:46 PM   #45
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Very important not to forget that the battery powering the Pilot must be included in the 10 pound limit.
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