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Old December 6th, 2003, 05:42 PM   #1
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Hollywood Lite Ultra-Lite

Anyone tried this or have any thoughts on it? Isn't it better to have a wide base like their VS-1 has? Could
anyone explain how a wider base is advantageous?

At the link, click on the green/yellow button for more info.

http://hollywoodlite.com/_The_UltraLitx.html

http://hollywoodlite.com/VS1_Hand_Heldx.html
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Old December 10th, 2003, 04:35 PM   #2
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This will put a lot of strain on your arm. Which camera do you
want to use with this?
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Old December 10th, 2003, 05:53 PM   #3
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Is there something about the Ultra-Lite that would
cause more strain than any of the others? I'm using
a VX.
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Old December 10th, 2003, 05:56 PM   #4
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No, but I pointed it out because it will be more straing then
a fullblown steadicam. Just so you know.
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Old December 10th, 2003, 09:39 PM   #5
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Dave:

With a Steadicam-type of stabilizer, the more spread out from the center the components are, the more inert the system (exponentially!) and thus the more stable the unit. It makes a big difference when you are talking about such a light system.

FYI: I played with the Flowpod for a while today at the DV Expo. The gimbal is much improved from the version I tried at NAB this spring, but I'm still not convinced about the weight distribution and slender footprint. It's a real arm-cracker.
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Old December 11th, 2003, 08:32 AM   #6
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Charles, I saw the posts about your work on West Wing and Scrubbs, very impressive, and you certainly known stabilizers.

I am very interested in a stabilizer (Glidecam, Steadican, HollywoodLite, etc.) to use with a DVX100/DVC80 class camera. These are 4-6 pounds with battery, etc. I know the chest mount is more comfortable and less fatiquing, but it sure seems like a handhled would be OK for a short sequence.

In you opinion, would brand and model stabilizer would perform best? Is the MarzPak as serious contender?

Thank you.
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Old December 11th, 2003, 11:10 AM   #7
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Hi Dan:

I don't ally myself specifically with one brand of stabilizer, but all of the manufacturers you mentioned make products that will do the job.

The Marzpak is not really a stabilizer, more a weight relief system. I think of it as assisted handheld.

Whichever stabilizer you choose, be aware that plenty of practice is needed before you'll be able to make shots that look nice and smooth and controlled. I wouldn't wait to order it until the day before your first important project, for instance.
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Old December 11th, 2003, 11:55 AM   #8
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Appreciate the reply Charles.
Just so I have it right, as a generality with the handheld stabilizers, would you say the lighter in weight the better, the wider the base is spread out from the center the better, and the shorter the better?
There are things I like about the Flowpod (such as it's
dual-use monopod capability) but it seems to be the opposite of the ideal *for a stabilizer*: heavy, narrow at the base, and long.
Regarding the weight issue, is the only advantage to
being light in weight that it saves your arm? Or is
there some other advantage also in controling
the stabilizer?
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Old December 11th, 2003, 09:21 PM   #9
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<<as a generality with the handheld stabilizers, would you say the lighter in weight the better,>>

Yes

<< the wider the base is spread out from the center the better>>

Yes, obviously within reason.

<< and the shorter the better?>>

Generally speaking, yes. A long system may be prone to vibration for violent running-type shots. Also, being as the system is the most inert vertically (tilt) already, increasing the inertia in tilt makes it that much harder to make a composite move such as a diagonal pan/tilt combo (think about performing such a move on a tripod, with the resistance cranked off in pan and all the way up in tilt). In an ideal world, all three axes have equal inertia, yet such a rig is impractical. It's a good plan to minimize the footprint vertically.

For a handheld system, it is key to keep the weight down for simple reasons of fatigue. If your arm is tired, your operating will suffer. Ironically, it's easier to operate a more massive rig, because it has more inertia and thus is not as "twitchy" or prone to wind, but that's where the arm and vest come in handy.

Most of my colleagues, if asked to shoot with a DVX-100 on their full size rig, will opt to add up to 20lbs of lead up top so that the weight feels more like we are used to. There's always the option to strip down the rig and go lighter, but unless a marathon shot is called for, the operating looks better with more mass behind it.
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