Question on getting Glidecam 2000 or 4000 at DVinfo.net

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Old October 13th, 2008, 10:40 AM   #1
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Question on getting Glidecam 2000 or 4000

Hi, I have a Sony VIU. According to BH it weighs 3.4 lbs. My biggest battery is 12.3 ounces.

My wide angle lens is 11.3 ounces. That is my heaviest configuration. Which is about 5lbs 11 ounces.

My lightest would be camera 3.4 lbs battery 5.5 ounces. which is under 4 lbs.

In reading alot about the various stabilizers the difficulty is in the balancing.


So my problem becomes if I got the 4000 would it work correctly with under 4 lbs of load or not.

If I got the 2000 is there any downside to approaching the upper weight limits of the 2000.

Also is there any real difference between the two except for the load capacity.

Thanks, Bill Carboni
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Old October 13th, 2008, 11:05 AM   #2
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Hi Bill.
I'm using a glidecam pro 4000.
My EX1 with big battery, sennheiser receiver and balanced glidecam sled weighs about 14 pounds.
To get my glidecam arm set up properly, ie, arm level/horizontal requires me to have the springs tensioned to number 2, number 1 being the weakest/slackest, so on that basis i'd go for the 2000.

Paul.
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Old October 14th, 2008, 02:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Kellett View Post
Hi Bill.
I'm using a glidecam pro 4000.
My EX1 with big battery, sennheiser receiver and balanced glidecam sled weighs about 14 pounds.
To get my glidecam arm set up properly, ie, arm level/horizontal requires me to have the springs tensioned to number 2, number 1 being the weakest/slackest, so on that basis i'd go for the 2000.

Paul.
But... like in my case, what if you have a V1U now but plan on getting an EX3 ... would the Glidecam 4000 be the only choice?

--Ralph
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Old October 14th, 2008, 02:59 PM   #4
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Here's my two cents....

I bought the glidecam 4000 (sled only) back when I purchased my XHA1. Since that time I have added the wide angle adapter, wireless and wired mics, Zylight Z90, a cheap no-name LCD monitor (for framing only with Glidecam) and even a Letus Extreme with Nikon Lenses.

I quickly found that even the bare camera alone with the 4000 sled was a lot to heft around for anything other than very short periods of time. So I also added a Smooth Shooter arm/vest.

My favorite configuration when shooting is typically the XHA1/wide angle adapter and a wired mic. Mainly because the wide angle requires less critical focus when zoomed fully out and it lets you get real close to subjects wether it be at weddings or in certain indie film shots.

Why do I even mention all this??? Well, when I was first considering between the 2000 and 4000 sleds I knew the 2000 would support the camera but may limit me down the road when I started added accesories hence weight. I'm glad I went with the 4000 because now I have had occasions where I have fully maxed out the sled and arm weight limits.

Something to consider is certainly what you can foresee down the road in your needs be it camera, lenses, mics, monitors etc... and give yourself room to expand your tools while still having equipment that is flexible enough to accomodate your gear.

With the 4000 it comes with extra weight plates to attach to the camera plate to help add weight to the system and work with a range of cameras and equipment. This is in addition to the round weights that counter the camera load on the sled. A benefit of adding weight is that it also creates a higher inertia giving more stabil results to your footage. One of the drawbacks of lighter stabilizers is that they are touchier and more sensitive to control forces as well as mother natures wonderful forces of wind. While a 4000 is not nearly as fully equipped and heavy as a pro model Stedicam it still benefits from weight counteracting all these forces, equalling more stabil footage.

So having said all that, of course the choice is yours but if I were in your shoes I would opt for the 4000 sled knowing it could have greater flexibility for future equipment and even have better results right off the bat by carrying more weight (using extra weight plates) to increase it's inertia.

Finally while you may not want to even consider it...a arm and vest system is almost a necessity for any long shoots and helps even more with control allowing for fine control of the sled without worrying about hefting the weight. If I was considering a strictly handheld stabilzer option I would probably go with the Merlin due to it's lighter weight and generally good reviews.

Hope that helps and all the best,
James Hooey
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Old October 14th, 2008, 08:51 PM   #5
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Thanks for the Help.

James, Ralph, and Paul.

Thanks for taking the time to help. I really appreciate it. I agree that the 4000 would probably be the better bet. It''s amazing how difficult these decisions are. I live in Houston, Texas (not a small town) and there are no stores that carry stabilizers.

I was also looking at the Merlin, but am afraid the 5 lbs load is just too small.

B+H are closed for the holidays. But should be open tomorrow.

Stay tuned for my whining about balancing the 4000. ( Just kidding. I hope.)

Again thanks,

Bill
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Old October 14th, 2008, 09:33 PM   #6
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three tips I can give you for balancing....

1) there is a static/dynamic balance primer link somewhere here on DVinfo...find it and give it a read to understand the concepts and principles of balancing a rig.

2) use a mic stand or some method of holding the stabalizer while tweaking balance adjustments....too hard to do by tweaking then lifting, then tweaking and lifting etc....with something holding the sled (I use a mic stand vertically stuck in the handle end) adjustments and balance are much easier to achieve.

3) buy a bullseye replacement level from a hardware store and mount it with double sided tape on the weight stack plate at the bottom of the sled. This helps again to check level during adjusting as well as a way to check level while operating. 4 bucks and a big help.

this thread shows my basic setup (note the bullseye levels near the bottom of the post...
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/stabilize...er-wd-h72.html
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 06:31 AM   #7
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You might want to take a look at the Indicam Pilot. I believe the sled can support from 0.5 - 15 pounds. The price is very comparable to the Glidecam 4000 and it also has an adjustable gimbal.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 09:43 AM   #8
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We got the 2000 for our FX1 but wish we had gone for the 4000 as it is now at capacity. The 4000 should suite you fine and give you the capacity to expand.

2000 or 4000 the rule is the heavier the entire rig the more stable ti will be, dont expect to be able to use them handheld for anything more than a minute, an investment in the smoothshooter is a must I think.

Would love to upgrade to the 4000 but cannot justify the cost.
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