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Old June 26th, 2004, 05:27 PM   #46
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Yeah, thatís what I thought.

Please let me know as soon as yours arrives. Fill me in on all the details. It's important to know your reaction as soon as it arrives and you try to use it as I'll probably feel the same.

Iíll look forward to seeing you on the Jib side when you done.

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Old June 27th, 2004, 05:36 AM   #47
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I've had my magiqcam for a couple of weeks now. So far I haven't had much time with it mostly due to other work. However it seems to be a very well built and good rig. For the price I think it's a great deal.
I'm not unfamiliar with steadicams, but I would definetely call myself newbee as operator. I have tried bigger "real" rigs a couple of times and the big thing with them is how tired you get after just about 15 minutes with them. They really hit your back if you are not used to them. I find the magiqcam very back friendly though, and I have no problem running around with it shooting for an hour or so. It is so much easier on your body. The downside with such a light rig is that it's not as stable in the air as the bigger ones. When shooting outside, wind certainly can be an issue.

I'll write a few words on each of the parts of the rig based on my experience with it so far.

The vest:
Comfortable, pretty lightweight and easy to adjust. Haven't played with the adjustable socket block yet, but it seems to be a nice adjustment to have.

The arm:
Double articulated, feels very smooth and nice, yet small and lightweight. You feel that it's very well made. The springs are covered with some kind of black "dirt protector", pretty much like stockings pulled over the springs, which is a good thing, since the springs will easily collect dust and dirt otherwise.

The sled:
The sled uses a pretty simple construction, with telescopic parts which you can adjust to desired lenght and get it properly balanced. There are two small "arms" at the bottom of it with plates that you can mount your monitor and battery pack onto. There are also a set of weights (metal bricks) included, complete with mounting screws that will screw into holes located at the front and back of the lower sled. This will help you compensate when the monitor or battery is more heavy than the other.
The plate for mounting the battery could in my opinion have been fixed in position rather than being able to rotate and then locked with a knob. I find it quite hard to get it locked tight enough to stay completely in position.

The camera stage uses a Manfrotto/Bogen quick release plate, which unfortunately was of a bigger size than the one on my 503 head. Since the rig is made for lightweight cameras I thing the 503 plate would have been a better choice since many people use the 501/503 head for such cameras.

The stage is adjustable in both axis, but it's not as convenient as on the bigger rigs where you can really really fine tune it as shooting goes on. Of course this can be done with the magiqcam as well, it's just not as easy and precise. This is something I would like to see improved in newer versions, since it is an adjustment that you will change all the time during a day.

Worth to mention although you already heard it a dozen times before is that this is not something you just put together and it will give you great pictures. Using any type of steadicam systems requires alot (and I mean alot!) of practice and patience. If you are up for it though, you will get better every time you use it, and have a great time in the meanwhile.

All in all,
The magiqcam is a very well made rig that is pretty easy on your body and feels smooth in operation. There is no doubt that John made a great work. For the price it's unbeatable!


This was meant to be some short words on the magiqcam, but turned out a little more well covered than that. =)
Anyway, I will work out a real review of this system, complete with pictures and demo footage as soon as I get some more time with it.


Good luck with your purchase!

Regards.
Johan Lundberg
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Old June 27th, 2004, 06:50 AM   #48
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Thanks for the review but can you take a pic of the new adjustable socket block?
I would love to see how they accomplished thier version that Charles P. encourage them to add. Thanks.
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Old June 27th, 2004, 07:03 AM   #49
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Hi there Charles!

I sure will as soon as I get back home. Won't be until in a few days though. By the way, how did the music video project turn out?
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Old June 27th, 2004, 07:32 AM   #50
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It has been postpone. Actually that's great because I can finish building my stabilizer. The last part is being machined now.
BTW, I'm finishing up on my second and third book now.

The second book is how to modify the Glidecam V16/V20 models base to get a more module-like design for easier dynamic balance. The methods could also be used for any low-end models but I chose the Glidecam because it was more popular and more easy for me to modify.

The third book will just be a collection of past and present rigs with all their different variations. Basically it's just a collection of galleries.

I'm doing both books at the same time.
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Old June 30th, 2004, 04:57 AM   #51
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That sounds great Charles.

Here are the pics as promised:

www.techcrew.se/magiqcam/vest.jpg
www.techcrew.se/magiqcam/block.jpg

Hope this helps, and good luck with your books!
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Old June 30th, 2004, 05:05 AM   #52
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Thanks johan. What I see though is the side-to-side adjustment. Is there one for the fore and aft? I think it is the most important of the two.
BTW, that side-to-side adjustment that they've made is a pretty smart design. Very simple. Is the screw size for the side-to-side adjustments a 5mm or 6mm? Looks pretty small to me.
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Old June 30th, 2004, 05:27 AM   #53
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If I haven't completely missed something that is the adjustment that is. I can't see anything else, and that is the one they mention in the instructions. I understand now what you were refering to.

I quote the instructions:

"The adjustable Socket Block is where the arm pin attaches to the vest. By adjusting the bearing piece towards the rear and to the right, you can minimize the arm's natural tendency to move away and to the left of the operator. Simply loosen the screws located at the top and bottom of the socket block, position the bearing where you want it, and tighten the screws back. This will take a little experimentation to get the setting where the arm will stay in one place when the sled and camera is mounted to the arm."
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Old June 30th, 2004, 05:42 AM   #54
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That's what I suspected. They have only included the sided-to-side and not the fore and aft adjustments.

The fore and aft adjustments adjusts the rig from pulling away from you or towards you. With this type of adjustment one can determine whe neutral placement of the arm and sled. That is, making the sled hoover in front of you instead of wanting to pull forward.
As Charles P. mentioned once, it is one of the reason for fatigue and I totally agree with him. I only made the fore and aft adjustment on my vest because, as I mentioned ealier, it is the one I deem the most important of the two adjustments. It has made a huge difference. I'm just need to fine tune it a little.

Either way, the adjustment on the magiqcam is a good improvement over some of the low end models. Big plus for the Magiqcam
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Old June 30th, 2004, 09:34 AM   #55
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Mine will be here tomorrow. I will take some detailed pics of all of it for those interested.
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Old June 30th, 2004, 10:27 AM   #56
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I would think the fore and aft adjustments would be critical in making the adjustments needed to "center" the rig on yourself so your not pulling or pushing it. It's all about balance. I couldn't imagine trying to run a jib with only one axis to balance on.
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Old June 30th, 2004, 11:41 AM   #57
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Indeed. I had suggested the two axis adjustment to John at Magiqcam, and he had decided to just incorporate the one axis of right to left. I agree that fore and aft is probably the more influential of the two. The rig usually has a tendency to pull away forward and to the opposite side that it is attached, so the adjustments must be made in tandem.

The new Tiffen Flyer has a two axis socket adjustment, and best of all the whole assembly uses the same mounting screws as the full-size socket block that is standard on all front-mounted vests.
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Old June 30th, 2004, 12:13 PM   #58
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I'm looking at the Tiffn Flyer but it is 6K and everytime I look, it seems I'm pushing my budget up too.

I don't know but, the Flyer is looking really good to me. I'm afraid of the final costs after all the little things you need to have are purchased too though.

If magiqcam had more than a single adjustment, I would consider it, but (to me) its better to spend a little more and have both rather than fighting the rig for years. It's just really hard to pass up Magiqcam's price!

I don't know much at all about the Flyer but it seems to be "professional" and add-ons are available and is well supported...just dang expensive.

Someone once told me , "buy the best and cry once." Gads, $6000 is a little more than I would like to spend (I can if I really feel I need to though) and just like most, I'm just not sure yet which one to buy.

Most of the work will be television and other Betacam & HD stuff, so triax adaptors, program feeds, routing of cables, connectors etc are important.

Any other options in the >6K price range?
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Old June 30th, 2004, 12:33 PM   #59
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Hej Johan. Next time, if you're going to post anything for me or Charles P. just indicate it with the first letter in the last time. Otherwise we will get confuse to whom you're referring to.

I knew you were reffering to me but Charles P. wouldn't. He and I have talked about coming up with a solution to this. I havn't found one yet.

Aah well. the fight continues. :)

BTW, share some pics with us later as well as with anyone else.
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Old June 30th, 2004, 04:19 PM   #60
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Steven wrote:
"Any other options in the >6K price range?"

Yeah, the Basson looks very interesting, but it's hard to get any comments on it. http://www.bassonsteady.com

How about it, guys?

Wayne
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