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Old December 14th, 2003, 08:37 PM   #1
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Steadicam JR Instructional Video

I was wondering, how is the instructional video
that comes with the JR? Is it pretty helpful?
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Old December 14th, 2003, 09:05 PM   #2
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Yes. Many goodies in there, plus it's hosted by none other than Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown, who after all knows a few things about the subject!

There will be a new video on the subject coming out by Spring '04--keep watching this space for details...
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Old December 14th, 2003, 09:13 PM   #3
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...and when will we see your instructional video Charles? :)
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Old December 14th, 2003, 09:23 PM   #4
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Spring '04, I bet.
One thing that is not mentioned very often regarding
the handheld stabilizers is the placement of the handle.
Some, like the Glidecam 2000, are offset. It appears
that the Hollywood Lite VS-1 handle is also offset.
I would think this could contribute to wrist fatigue
as it seems you'd always be trying to keep the whole
shabang from going nose down. Anyone know if the
JR has the hand grip positioned directly under center?
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Old December 15th, 2003, 12:23 AM   #5
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Originally posted by Dave Largent :
Quote:
Anyone know if the
JR has the hand grip positioned directly under center?

I guess the answer would be: sort of.

It is in the center of the rig, but it's just in front of where you screw the camera onto the Steadicam. So it would be just in front of the center of gravity of the camera.
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Old December 15th, 2003, 01:47 AM   #6
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I am fairly convinced that the offset handle does contribute a bit to fatigue, which is why I like the JR design. There are some other stabilizers now with a similar design, Hollywood Lite makes one for instance.
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Old December 15th, 2003, 12:56 PM   #7
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I had a couple of questions regarding the practical use of the JR.
If I want to go quickly from tripod to JR, can I set the
stabilizer up ahead of time (i.e. balance and so forth)
so that I can just put the cam on and not have to
re-balance? Would some type of quick release plate
be good in this situation?
Also, between flying shots, how does a person set the
cam and JR down?
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Old December 17th, 2003, 11:07 AM   #8
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"Anyone know if the JR has the hand grip positioned directly under center?"
It is directly under the CG, as far as I know. The camcorder is set back a litle but because of the lean V shape of the JR, you have some weight in front of the stabilizer that balances the camcorder. When the JR is properly balanced, the CG of the system is just over the hand grip...
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Old December 17th, 2003, 11:13 AM   #9
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Always weird how I post sometimes and it doesn't show up. Hmmm...

Some use the Bogen quick release, but you are adding weight, shifting the vertical CG and possibly adding vibration to the system as a flex point.

To rest, you simply fold the hinge on the JR and it sits flat on its base. Very easy.
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Old December 17th, 2003, 11:39 AM   #10
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I'd like to try the JR, but with a wide on my VX2000,
and bigger battery, it's probably pushing the
specified weight limit of the unit. Anyone have info
on how the JR works out with the heavier cams
such as is my situation, or with a DVX100.
I'd like to go without the wide but due to the
close distance I'm shooting from, I don't think
I'd be able to get away with it.
I've also read that the JR is easy to tripod mount,
and also to shoulder mount. Does this mean
I can set it up on a tripod, and for a quick release
remove it from the tripod and "fly" off? Any one
else have experience using the JR tripod mounted?
Any VX2000/PD150 JR users?
I see at the Steadicam site that it's listed that
there is an "optional weight kit" available for use
with the PD. Must the PD be stripped down to
the bone? Anyone used this optional kit?
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Old December 17th, 2003, 09:00 PM   #11
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Hi Dave, I can only answer a few of your questions so please, anyone who can address the issues specific to these cameras, chime in. I haven't flown my JR since my old Hi-8 camera died about 5 years ago!

People have overloaded the JR for a while, and it will work, but you have to add weight to the bottom if you are overweight on the top. Make sure you have the "heavy" stop block in and the weights you add are as low as possible (I would even tape them underneath the battery housing rather than on top, if that doesn't interfere with your other activities).

You can attach your quick release to the bottom of the JR for tripod mounting and be off and flying in seconds. Sorry, I should have mentioned this in an earlier post--again, I haven't flown the thing in a while! Thanks for reminding me.

Other units out there advertise higher weight capacities. Just be aware that the more weight one piles on, the shorter shooting time you will have until fatigue takes you out. If you are seriously considering doing a lot of stabilized shooting with this class of camera, perhaps saving up your pennies for a body-mounted rig would be a worthwhile investment.
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Old December 17th, 2003, 09:18 PM   #12
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I have the quick release plate that comes with the Bogen 503 head. So, instead of attaching the plate to the bottom of my VX, I attach the JR to the bottom of my cam and I attach the plate to the bottom of
the JR? And it'll come off the tripod balanced
(assuming it was balanced when I put it on the tripod)?
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Old December 17th, 2003, 09:46 PM   #13
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That's right! In fact, that quick release will help add a bit of needed bottom weight right there...
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Old December 18th, 2003, 12:48 PM   #14
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Is there some type of counterbalance on the unit
to account for the LCD screen being open, or
isn't this required?
I know of someone who uses the Steadytracker
and he said it has helped, but it has no gimbal
and I seem to recall you saying that non-gimbaled
is okay for walking with but for the standing-still
shots gimbaled gives better results.
Isn't it true that the Steadicam gimbal itself is
one of the best in the stabilizer industry and
this is one thing that sets the Steadicam apart?
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Old December 18th, 2003, 11:10 PM   #15
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To compensate for the open LCD you would rack the camera the opposite direction on the top stage. Most stabilizers allow for this, including the JR.

Using a camera's flip-out LCD vs a stabilizer with an integrated LCD is not ideal for a couple of reasons. One is that if you need to pan hard right, you will lose sight of the image unless you are able to make a body pan, which isn't always physically possible. When you are following someone through a doorway and they turn right, you will want to start panning the camera to the right well before your body is able to get through the doorway, so there is a second or two of blindsiding going on. With the monitor mounted centrally on the spar, you get a better view at most times, plus you can peripherally see where your feet are going (it's a big help!)

Another reason is that the screen is like a little sail, making the system a bit more likely to wander in gusts of wind. Not nearly as big a deal as the previous issue.
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