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Old March 3rd, 2009, 08:37 PM   #1
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Pilot Vs Flyer question

Is the only or primary difference between the two products the weight capacity? I have the option of buying an older flyer about 3 years old but my only camera currently is the canon XHA1 and i'm not sure about upgrading anytime soon.

Should i pay a little bit more for a used flyer or just get the pilot and be happy with a new one?
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 10:12 PM   #2
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I would go for the Pilot. The Pilot has the screw-on weights, which work really well, making it surprisingly stable for such a light rig. For light cameras like the XH-A1, you'll probably want to order extra weights.

The Flyer is more difficult to balance since you can only swivel the battery on the bottom. The Pilot lets you move the battery, monitor, or the whole bottom cross-bar.

The older Flyer will have a metal post. The Pilot and Flyer LE both have carbon fiber posts. The CF post is really light, so that more of the weight is at the ends, which increases inertia, which helps increase stability.

The Flyer can handle some RED One configurations, but once you account for the lens, RED battery, follow-focus, video down converter, rails, brackets, etc. - most RED One configurations will be too heavy for the Flyer. If you plan to shoot a lot of RED One stuff, you'll probably end up wanting something bigger than the Flyer.

The Flyer is good if you're using a lens adapter, but note that the combination of a lens adapter and a steadicam gets complicated real fast. You'll need to spend $5K on a good wireless follow-focus system, and get an experienced assistant cameraman to run it. From what I've heard, a cheap wireless follow focus system won't cut it, since the steadicam is moving around so much. For these reasons, many people are using lens adapters on sticks and then leaving the lens adapter off on the steadicam. If the steadicam shots are designed and lit to show depth, they should inter cut fine with the lens adapter footage.

For the XH-A1, HVX-200, EX1, EX3, and similar sized cameras without a lens adapter, the Pilot is the way to go.

Hope this helps.
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 10:40 PM   #3
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I agree with Dave, if you decide to go for the Flyer though, you will need to make up a custom metal weight for the stage to add more weight to the system. These smaller rigs handle much better when Flying at or near the spec capacity. I have a Pilot and have used a Flyer, you will be happy with either one.
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 10:50 PM   #4
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Depending on what you're shooting you even might go hand held, I really miss handheld merlin, but I mostly shoot weddings, and when I was using A1, merlin was a perfect solution for very quick setup and tiny spaces, now I'm using pilot with EX1 and it's really good combo, but it's not as quick and convenient and I'm really hoping that soon, maybe with the scarlet, I'll go back to hand held stabilizers.
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 10:53 PM   #5
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This answered it for me off to BH I go :) I will do way too much walking around for the Merlin this i know. I do have the RedRock adapter kit but not planning on using it with the pilot. Thanks again I was leaning this way but all of you tipped me over :)

cheers,
Brian
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