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Old October 7th, 2003, 04:49 PM   #1
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Magiqcam

thinking of buying this set-up or a slightly used Glidecam V-8. anybody have an educated opinion on which way I should go? prices are comparable and neither has a monitor so I would have to buy it. I have to make up my mind soon, shooting starts in 5 weeks! thanks
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Old October 8th, 2003, 10:56 PM   #2
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I'd go with the Magiqcam as being as good or better. But it takes about 4 weeks to get one as they only build 'em after you order. You'd have to contact the company to find out if it would work out with your shooting schedule. Can you postpone shooting? Keep in mind, too, that you'll probably need some time to learn how to operate the rig to get the shots you want.
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Old October 9th, 2003, 12:10 PM   #3
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Very solid advice from Dave, and seconded. Buying the gear is the "easy" part. Plan to set aside a good 20 hours of practice time to get the feel of the system, so that you aren't having to learn on the job, which has resulted in more than a few of these type of units going up for sale not long after purchase.
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Old October 9th, 2003, 11:01 PM   #4
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thanks guys. I will be ordering it tomorrow. Wish me luck!
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Old October 10th, 2003, 03:05 AM   #5
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Just curious Dave and Charles, why you would choose the Magiqcam over the Glidecam V-8?
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Old October 27th, 2003, 12:04 AM   #6
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hi patric,
any comment on how the magiqcam system works? i'm considering buying one too but just need some words of encoragement.
thanks.

ed
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Old October 27th, 2003, 12:23 PM   #7
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In that the Magiqcam is somewhat reverse engineered from a Glidecam, they are similar units; but the Magiqcam is less expensive, and that is a major factor for most of the readers of this forum.
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Old October 27th, 2003, 03:37 PM   #8
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Well, I don't know if these are words of encouragement or not: I just ordered my Magiqcam IIa. I looked at the various options and it just seems the best bang for the buck, under $2k. After reading through all of Charles Papert's posts I also took his opinion of it to heart.

The emails I have sent back and fourth between John Gardner have been very informative. I am waiting until I get the unit before deciding on monitor. I might be able to get a Varizoom 5" LCD from a friend, but I am also looking at some 7" 16:9 TFT LCDs for right at $200. I will probably have to hood them well for shooting outside, but you can't have everything for a Steadicam under $2k.

Charles, I am getting the Magiqcam to use in shooting a film next spring. Are there any good books or videos on technique that you would recommend? I know I will need to work with it all winter to be in the shape I want to be for long shooting days next spring. I figure that the $1650 a Magiqcam is just like buying a high class piece of exercise equipment, that happens to help with video. :)
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Old October 27th, 2003, 03:53 PM   #9
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still waiting...

the turnaround time for a Magiqcam is 3 - 4 weeks. They are made to order. So I am still waiting on mine. I did get to play around with a Steadicam last week and one thing is for certain. SIT-UPS!!!! LOTS AND LOTS OF SIT-UPS! If I am going to use this I have got to have a strong back. A strong stomach is needed to support the back. .. So fellas, GIVE ME 25!!!!
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Old October 27th, 2003, 04:50 PM   #10
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Keep at it, E.! Another great exercise if you guys are gym-goers is the Roman chair. It really targets those lower back muscles that are worked hard by Steadicam. The back extension machine is good.

Joe, there aren't any real instructional materials out there...yet. I'm prepping just that thing, hopefully it will be released in time for you to make use of it before your shoot.

If you can find (on eBay or somewhere) the "EFP Instructional Video" that was done by Jerry Holway about 10 years ago, that would give you some good pointers.
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Old October 27th, 2003, 06:36 PM   #11
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Thanks Charles, I'll keep an eye out for it. I think I have been reading some of his stuff recently. Yeah, that was the guy. He has a good primer on dynamic balance:
http://www.holwayfilms.com/manuals.shtml

Those Ultra docs are making me drool, though.
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Old October 29th, 2003, 04:23 AM   #12
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Joe. the name of the guy is Jerry Holway. He's done many instructional videos and is a brilliant steadicam operator, like Charles Papert himself.
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Old October 29th, 2003, 07:59 AM   #13
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Yeah, I didn't restate Jerry Holway's name from the post right above me, from Charles. :)
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Old November 1st, 2003, 10:17 PM   #14
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Balancing Magiqcam

I've been trying to use mine for a few months, and have had some setbacks, but I'm curious, since there is not a plethora of information.

How are people balancing their Magiqcam riggs, Batteries, Monitors, the heaviest anyone has been able to balance their rig, and has anybody got a hard mount solution?

S_
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Old November 5th, 2003, 01:22 AM   #15
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I just got mine today. I balanced it, but ended up taking everything off but the MA 100 and a wireless receiver. I fooled with it for a couple of hours and took a few minutes walking up and down stairs and around the house, etc. taking videos of my kids as I followed them. It looked not to shabby for a newbie. I did notice that I needed a slight bit more experience using the Magiqcam (underestimation), but most of all, I'll need to go to the gym to keep my lower back in shape as it got noticeably stressed after just 10 minutes. Good thing I didn't buy some stabilizer stick thing. I used a mike stand where I removed the top half and placed the sled into that where I could make the fine adjustments. I then took a small bubble level and got the Magiqcam fairly well balanced by adding just about all the weight on the back and taping the retainer to that. I put the camera smack dab in the middle of the mount, but I think I'm going to try another spot and try adding the light and maybe the system isolator. To get the 2-3 second drop time, you need to extend sled a bit as well. Once you get the thing balanced, it works fairly nicely, but the problem is when you try to put it away - it won't fit and you end up screwing up your settings. Once I get this thing tweaked, I'll score the paint with a knife to line up the parts where I had them so when I put it back in the box, I can find my settings quickly.
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