Steadicam Pilot / Flyer VS. Glidecam V16/20 comparisons? - Page 2 at

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Stabilizers (Steadicam etc.)

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old August 1st, 2008, 06:42 PM   #16
Major Player
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 447
Programming an FF is pretty simple usually. You just focus, hit a button to memorise, focus again, hit button to memorise, and so on. Then it's just a matter of hitting another button to step through the sequence. Some systems might only have one step, others can remember speeds, and even ramp speeds up and down through multiple steps. In the end though you can't beat a dedicated operator.
A whip is not really practical on a steadicam. The point at which it attaches to the camera is a long way from the centre of gravity, which should be near your gimbal, so even the lightest touch will set the camera moving. Every time you try to move the camera it would also pivot on the whip holders arm, it would be a nightmare for anything but static shots, and you may as well be on a tripod.
With a 35mm adapter using a wide angle lens with a lot of light so you can stop down some, you can get enough depth to forego a follow focus on controlled shots. Sort of defeats the purpose of using 35mm though, and limits your range of shots considerably.
There are quite a few wireless systems either just out or coming soon, Redrock, Cinevate and Viewfactor all have them coming, and Foveas has one out now. The Foveas looks solid, but simple, Viewfactor is the one I have on my list. Not much info on the other two yet.
David C. Williams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 1st, 2008, 09:08 PM   #17
Major Player
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Riverdale, NJ
Posts: 468
Originally Posted by David C. Williams View Post
... As you can see, the cost bump going from a Pilot with a DV camera on it, to a Flyer with a 35mm setup will be a large cost jump!
Right. Not only large in terms of cost, but large in terms of complexity as well. You will need another person to pull focus, and the cheaper wireless follow focus systems aren't really good enough to use with a shallow DOF.

Here's the way I look at it:

Option #1: use the $6500 EX1 or $5200 HVX with a $2500 lens adapter, $4000 wireless follow focus, $8000 Flyer LE, $1500 matte box, and thousands more for 35mm primes lenses. Also, depending on who you can get to pull focus, you may need an expensive wireless HD video system and 17" reference monitor.

Option #2: use the $6500 EX1 or $5200 HVX with a $3800 Pilot-AA, and leave the lens adapter off for Steadicam shots.

Option #3: Use the Red1 with either the ActionCam rig or a future (TBA) Steadicam rig that handles the Red1 plus a reasonable amount of accessories (25-30 pounds). Note that this has all of the focus issues with Option #1.

My approach: Use Option #2 for now and save up for Option #3.
Dave Gish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 31st, 2008, 05:36 PM   #18
New Boot
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: London/NYC
Posts: 7
yes.. but

Unfortunately I have a Canon XL H1 and I dont want to ditch a 5000 camera to use a particular steadicam!! (Well at least I couldnt afford that) :-)
Dom Foulsham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4th, 2010, 10:50 PM   #19
Regular Crew
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Rowlett, TX
Posts: 74
Originally Posted by Paul Kellett View Post
What about INDICAM pilot compared to the glidecam 2000/4000 ?
I'm on the verge of buying the indicam pilot (sled only for now).
Any opinions would be much appreciated.

Thanks, Paul.
I've used the Steadicam Pilot, Steadicam Flyer, Varizoom Aviator, Proaim 7000, Glidecam x10, and the Indicam systems. All of them had the dual articulated arms and vest.

I now happily own the Indicam. This thing isn't as nice as the Steadicam brand products, but it kicks the he** out of the rest of these products. I simply couldn't afford a Pilot so I went Indicam. It hold twice the weight than that of the Pilot too. Terry doesn't advertise nor market Indicam like Glidecam or Varizoom do their products, but I rarely give a damn about labels and get the best product around.

In terms of rank, 1-10 (1=best, 10=worst):

1. Steadicam Flyer
2. Steadicam Pilot
3. Indicam
5. Varizoom Aviator
7. Proaim 7000
9. Glidecam

I know I'll get some flack for putting Glidecam so low, but I had nothing but problems with these...and they just never seem to fly the cameras good enough, no matter what you do. The Proaim from India was the cheapest quality parts out of all of them...but it did suprisingly well and can hold a friggin tank of a camera (up to 22 pounds or something like that). The Aviator just about got the right idea but something about the gimbal and the thin post made for vibrating steps.

Just my opinion...but the simplicity in the design and the amazing gimbal of the Indicam made just the right formula for an affordable and professional rig.

Other people might have had awesome experiences with the Glidecam...but I was very disappointed with it, expecially for the cost.
Richard Crook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 5th, 2010, 05:48 AM   #20
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Bristol UK
Posts: 1,205
He he, i just read this thread and realised i'd posted on it quite a long time ago, well after that long ago post i got myself a Glidecam 4000 with arm and vest.
I used it for a few months and enjoyed using it, however i soon realised how massively important an adjustable socket block would be, then i looked at the Pilot and realised that it had an adjustable socket block. Then i started reading more about "proper" rigs, and realised there's a lot more to these devices than i first thought, (isn't learning great), so i sold my Glidecam and bought a Pilot.
The difference is huge, they may look the same to the untrained eye, (my eye all that time ago), but the Glidecam isn't even in the same league as the Pilot.

EX1, Steadicam Pilot, Vegas.

Last edited by Paul Kellett; April 5th, 2010 at 10:54 AM.
Paul Kellett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 5th, 2010, 09:03 AM   #21
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,750
Couldn't have said it better myself Paul (except that I have, probably 2 dozen times!)

Glidecam is an established brand, have been around a long time and for some people the stocky beefiness of their handheld rigs is a plus (the unicycling operator comes to mind). But operating a stabilizer is a game of finesse, and the Pilot is far more refined and capable when it comes to finesse.
Charles Papert
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 6th, 2010, 04:27 AM   #22
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Malvern UK
Posts: 1,931
The Pilot is definitely a really nice rig. But I really do think that Glidecam has come on leaps and bounds, even in the last year.

The new version of the X-22 arm doesn't suffer from any of the springiness of the 1st version, so it is now possible to run with the rig and the arm will not flap up and down, or continue to bounce after stopping. The smoothness is still there too.

I am going to modify my 22 for connectivity reasons, but I would have those same issues had I bought the Flyer. The difference though is that I have since found out that the X-22 arm can in fact cope with nearly 38lbs, and that the rig capacity is that 38lbs minus the basic sled weight. I found that my sled weighed 12lbs with a single Dionic 90, the monitor and a VCT14 plate. That leaves me around 26lbs of capacity solely for camera equipment, and it is all within the spec of the system.

So even with my mods I will have spent less than a Flyer, have better connectivity, and can put a Red One system on it with a few accessories without worrying if I am stressing the rig.

My actual operating skill on the other hand is a completely separate issue! ;-)
Simon Wyndham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 6th, 2010, 09:08 AM   #23
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,750
I hadn't heard that the X22 arm had been revised. I'll check it out at NAB. I do feel, however, that the gimbals on the smaller GC's have always left a lot to be desired.
Charles Papert
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 6th, 2010, 10:00 AM   #24
Major Player
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 554
Hi Folks,

This is why I love this forum!

I am nowhere near purchasing a steadicam rig, but thanks to Simon's review of the X-22, and Charles's knowledgeable expertise, my dream may someday become a reality (but will still need to save up :)

@Charles--I thought I read somewhere on here about your opinion on the Indicam? How does it rate versus the Pilot, Glidecam, et al?

@Simon--Nice review of the X-22! You compared it to learning martial arts, which in most cases requires finesse and technique (and years of practice!). Great comparison :)

Jeff Anselmo is offline   Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

Omega Broadcast
(512) 251-7778
Austin, TX

(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

(800) 238-8480
Glendale, CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Stabilizers (Steadicam etc.)

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:34 AM.

DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2015 The Digital Video Information Network