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Old June 23rd, 2009, 09:24 AM   #1
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Minidv Steadycam by Balvanz Enterprises

Hey guys! have you ever come across this steadycam before?

http://www.balvanzenterprises.com/DemoVideos.ht

i'm really considering it but wanted to hear from professionals of what they think.

Thanks for your time! Cheers!
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 12:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Santiago View Post
Hey guys! have you ever come across this steadycam before?

http://www.balvanzenterprises.com/DemoVideos.ht

i'm really considering it but wanted to hear from professionals of what they think.

Thanks for your time! Cheers!
This is the correct link:

Balvanz Enterprises - Demo Videos
Paul Tauger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2009, 12:29 PM   #3
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Hello Paul, welcome to DVinfo.net.

There's nothing new there, just a cheaper version of a cheap version of a Steadicam (pretty ballsy only changing one letter from the original rather than coming up with a new name though)

The weak link on any inexpensive stabilizer is generally the gimbal; with so little mass to help cover up design flaws, you are at the mercy of the bearings, so to speak. In the setup video at around 4:50, you can see that the pan bearing has plenty of friction; after being revved up quite fast it slows to a stop rather quickly. Not the best sign. As many Glidecam users have learned, linearity is also important (centering of the three axes through the gimbal).

That all said, $100 isn't much to risk. It's not going to best the top handheld stabilizers but it's 1/6 the price, so I'm sure they will sell some. That market is getting pretty saturated though.
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 01:52 PM   #4
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One thing that is very true in this world "You get what you pay for".

I love my glidecam, it has served me well but it does suffer from bad dynamic balance so pans often go to cock.

So I have my shiney new Pilot arriving tomorrow and pleanty of additional weights to get the weight up.

How much you want to spend depends on the application. Im pretty sure the studios wouldnt be too happy with Charles turning up to a scrubs shoot and his latest ebay purchase.

What camera are you hoping to put on top?

For cheap, the glidecam I think is a good option. Next up would be the Steadicam merlin.
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Old June 24th, 2009, 11:16 PM   #5
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All I can think about this piece of....stuff is that there would $100 less to put towards a stabilizer that stabilizes.

I mean, if this this thing could deliver the goods, then maybe. But in the very first shot of the demo you can really see each footfall of the cameraman. Then again at 4:57 when they're beginning to "teach" how to use it, the horizon pendulums in the roll axis, and again you can see the cameraman's footfalls.

If this is as good as the results get, just learn to handhold! If you want a real stabilizer, resist the temptation for instant gratification, and get a Glidecam at the least or look for a Steadicam JR on ebay. You can often find them for around $100 - $200. That's what I started with.

Danny --

You're going to love your Pilot!
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Old June 25th, 2009, 10:05 AM   #6
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Frank, I do. Batteries were charging yesterday, need to edit today but during the render I plan to start modding my vest. Have a shoot this weekend but after that I plan to tear the quick release from my glidecam and get it on the Pilot so I can start balancing, making a composite cable and get used to it. Just cant get over how big the 'back pack' is.

When I read Charles' review saying he would need a Sherpa I thought he meant it was heavy. Its the opposite, really light but as big as the suitcase I took on my 3 week USA trip.

I think the glidecam is the absolute minimum you should aim for. Knowing what I know now I would have saved the cash to buy a pilot, or a merlin. But saying that, the glidecam got me bookings and cash which funded the pilot.
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Old June 25th, 2009, 11:28 PM   #7
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actually right now i am seriously considering two stabilizers, the varizoom flowpod and the glidecam pro 2000. both same price (when you include bodypod for the glidecam) but i don't really know which to get especially if i shoot weddings. i realized that stabilizers are serious investments and when you use it for work, you need to get the one that will fit your requirements. that's why i am really going to need help deciding on which to get. thanks again!
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Old June 26th, 2009, 03:35 AM   #8
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I really wouldnt bother with the bodypod. It does nothing to isolate your bodys movements (like the all important breathing) from the camera. The bodypod is to take the weight while your static, if you plan on moving it will just cause you problems as it transfers every step into the sled. If you have a heavy sled this wont be so much of a problem but if its light then it could well show up. The last thing you want is to spend a load of money and wish you had bought something else.

They are both great as a step up from handheld. Giving you more stable handheld footage but as you try going upto moving and doing flybys they quickly become more fiddley. All the footage on our website was shot with a Glidecam 2000 with a Smoothshooter vest. Moments after getting the handheld rig it was clear we couldnt use it handheld for more than a few minutes so got the smoothshooter. At the time that was a huge investment, we had taken bookings and had some deposits but the business was just starting so hadnt actually taken any real big money. But it paid off.

Got my Pilot this week and instantly you can see how much better it is, more stable, the larger pole made for much more precise operating.

A glidecam will serve you well (what camera are you using as the Fx1 with battery was at the top of the usable weight limit). No real experience of the flowpod but it looks like it will give you a bit of weight to increase stability.
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