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Old August 18th, 2003, 03:43 PM   #1
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Handheld Stabilizers

I have been looking around at possibly purchasing a handheld stabilizer. The one problem I see with the units I have seen so far are held by one hand. It seems like this would limit how long you could use them without getting a cramp in your arm.

Does anyone know of one of these that has a handle long enough to use both hands on? Or preferably one that would have handles at an angle somewhat like bicycle handles close together. It just seems like that would make it easier to use for extended time periods.

Just as a clarification, I am talking in terms of gimballed stabilizers rather than weighted sticks.

I really don't want to have to wear one of those vests that make you look like something from a Sci-Fi movie to a wedding.
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Old August 18th, 2003, 06:05 PM   #2
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There was an old Glidecam product that used handles like a bicycle, and required TWO operators--that one seems to have disappeared!

All gimballed handheld stabilizers require one hand to support the weight and another (or a few fingers of the other) to operate the post. The two actions have very different requirements, brute force vs minute finesse. If both hands were used to support the weight, you wouldn't have the freedom to operate the camera.

Understandable about the inconvenience of a vest and arm type system, although I think it more likely that the annoyance at a wedding of having to put it on/take it off multiple times as well as dealing with all that additional hardware etc. would be more off-putting than the way it looks when worn. I'm not a wedding shooter so I probably shouldn't say. However, the comfort factor is a massive improvement in these type of systems, you can shoot with the rig much longer, and focus your attention more on the operating than the shlepping.
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Old August 18th, 2003, 07:07 PM   #3
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Charles...the "Dual-G" as it was called disappeared with good reason...i'll leave it at that. =)
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Old August 19th, 2003, 06:15 AM   #4
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<<<-- Originally posted by Charles Papert : There was an old Glidecam product that used handles like a bicycle, and required TWO operators--that one seems to have disappeared!

All gimballed handheld stabilizers require one hand to support the weight and another (or a few fingers of the other) to operate the post. The two actions have very different requirements, brute force vs minute finesse. If both hands were used to support the weight, you wouldn't have the freedom to operate the camera.

-->>>

Thanks for the information Charles. All of the pictures I have seen so far basically just show someone holding the device with one hand and the other not touching it at all so I didn't realize you were supposed to do something with the other hand.

Do you know of any kind of link that discusses the actual use of these things? I would hate to order one and find out it just doesn't work for me and be stuck with it. None of the places I have found locally carry any of these handheld stabilizers.
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Old August 19th, 2003, 01:41 PM   #5
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Hmm...not sure if there is a handheld stabilizer message board anywhere--Charles King? Thoughts?

What camera are you intending to fly?

I myself have a Steadicam JR that I don't really use any more, but that being the original and still offering one of the best designs and gimbal technology, you can't really go wrong there. Other brands that I know are out there working for people are Glidecam, Hollywood Lite, Sachtler...

I don't really do much endorsing of this specific end of the product line because I've never had the opportunity to put all of them to the test in a scientific fashion.

Two things to know about handheld stabilizers: balance is absolutely crucial, be prepared to spend some time dialing it in. And hours of practice with the unit is required before one can deliver truly smooth shots of varying types--it's not an instant solution.

Regarding the two hand thing, my guess is the reason why they are shown in one hand is because the other hand would cover up the works for the picture. While it is possible to operate with one hand by splitting up the tasks of the fingers, two hands makes the job a lot easier. Check out the Steadicam JR manual, especially the section on hand positions for more info.
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Old August 19th, 2003, 04:00 PM   #6
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Thanks Charles

Thanks again Charles for the information.

My current intentions are to use a VX2000 on a stabilizer to capture some images at weddings. However; from what I have been hearing about the balance and such I may consider just getting a TVR-950 to keep on the rig. Would be nice to have the third camera anyhow.
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Old August 19th, 2003, 06:10 PM   #7
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That camera should work out well.
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Old December 24th, 2003, 04:26 AM   #8
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"Hmm...not sure if there is a handheld stabilizer message board anywhere--Charles King? Thoughts?"

Sorry for the late feedback Charles P. . I know, it's really late but eh, I just stumbled on this while doing a search.

Darrell, we at the HBS forum can assist you with any handheld or full question you have. Of course any advice from the Charles Papert is gold and should be heed. If you still what to know more indepth info just pop on in the HBS forum and we'll be glad to help you out.
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