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Old July 26th, 2002, 02:53 PM   #1
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Camera Stabilizer

Camera Stabilizer

OK I have been looking for a great steadicam/glidecam. As always I check out in this community to see what some good ideas would be. I have not seen much talk about the Marzetec (http://www.marztech.com/) Anybody have any experience with this thing. I have read the reviews and even ordered the demo take which I should be getting soon. I just want to here how this thing really compares to the Glidecam and Stedican aside from the price.

Should I hold out until I am ready to pay for the Glidecam or Steadicam (with full vest and monitor etc.) set up?
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Old July 26th, 2002, 05:15 PM   #2
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Thanks for the link.

I think it would be great for a fishing video.
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Old July 26th, 2002, 07:05 PM   #3
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Marcus

I use a glidecam v-8, and knowing what it does and how it does it, I don't see how this bungee-cam is really anything more than a support...not really a stabilizer in the same sense as a steadi or glide-cam. If you read through the testimonials (surprisingly honest -I might add) you'll see that the main selling point is the anti-fatigue nature of this funny looking machine. But if you are trying to get that steadicam smooth motion shot...I think you should look more in the direction of the original.

Now, the traditional steadicam type devices are not to be taken lightly. They do take a lot of practice to master, and wearing one for a few minutes will have you huffing and puffing and sweating like it's football hell week. The glidecam instruction manual issues several warnings to those with back injuries to find another hobby. When I first got mine I did a little 4 minute short...sort of a "run lola run" about a girl trying to find a cup of coffee. We shot for about an hour. I spent the next 4 days needing assistance getting off of the sofa.

Do the glidecam/steadycam devices work? Amazingly well. Right out of the box I was floored with how smooth the shots were. With a little practice, you can pull off stuff that's impossible with out a crew of 10. Occasionally, glidecam offers some pretty good packages so check their site often.

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Old July 26th, 2002, 07:58 PM   #4
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Marcus...

It's hard to beat the stabilization system provided by Steadicam and Glidecam. The gimbal mount is the key, minimizing or eliminating unwanted pitch, yaw and roll.

I work with a Glidecam on occasion, with vest and support arm. With the XL1 fully balanced out I believe the weight comes to about 30 pounds. The last time I shot with it I was wearing it for nearly an hour with almost no breaks.

I'm not a big person at 5'7" and 150 pounds. So I had to learn how to stand and balance myself. Plus it takes some practice to know what muscles to use and which ones to relax. The first instinct is to tense up everything in response to the eccentric weight but that only makes matters worse. Relaxing everything except for the essential muscles really helps make things much easier and tolerable.

Of course by the end of the day I'm walking with a backward lean like some character out of Mad Magazine!
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Old July 26th, 2002, 09:22 PM   #5
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What the other folks said.

The Marzpak is really a weight distribution system for handheld work. The better your handheld operating, the smoother the shot. With a good camera stabilizer, you can run in place as hard as you like and the camera will float impervious to your efforts.
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Old July 29th, 2002, 10:43 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies

I guess there is no easy way around it. I was thinking I could get out of the heavy bulky Glidecam/Steadicam gear. We are planning a shoot in Kenya mid August and I really do not think I want to have to carry that thing around for two weeks. And price is always an issue but as we all know you get what you pay for. On the other hand this will be my biggest production and the time to leave is comming rapidly.

These replies really help
thaks again
Marcus
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Old July 29th, 2002, 01:20 PM   #7
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Marcus:

To reiterate a recent point made in another thread: once you are comfortable with a decent vest/arm stabilization system, it becomes a less fatiguing way to carry the camera than having it on your shoulder, due to the weight distribution. I would not characterize the Marzpak as being less bulky than a Steadicam type stabilizer (less parts perhaps).

Good luck with your shoot!
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Old July 29th, 2002, 01:22 PM   #8
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MarzPak inventor Jacques Mersereau is a community member here; I'm sure he'll weigh in with his viewpoint.
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Old July 29th, 2002, 01:33 PM   #9
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Uh oh, now I'm in trouble.

Chris, you at the LA DV show?
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Old July 29th, 2002, 08:27 PM   #10
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Thanks all

Just to add, has anyone heard of this stablelizer http://www.magiqcam.com/.

The prices sure beat the Glidecam/Steadicam.

Charles, you seem to always have the scoop, or professinal opinon. Whats your take on this one. I do not want to buy something that is no good. I would rather wait until I am ready to put the money into the more expensive models if it is worth.

I wonder if the inventor of the MarzPak would have anything to add. It would seem things are covered well. From what I am reading the Glidcam/Steadicam and the MarzPak are kind of used for two different things.
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Old July 30th, 2002, 12:27 AM   #11
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Charles -- I'll be at the Pro-Tape booth for the L.A. DV Show on Tuesday, July 30 from 1:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m and Wednesday, July 31 from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. It would be great to see you again as usual! See you there.

Marcus -- yes, the MarzPak is a completely different application. It does not pretend to be a Stedicam. Will try to get Jacques in here to post about it but I'm out of town with limited access.
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Old July 30th, 2002, 02:11 AM   #12
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Marcus, I took a look at the Magiqcam site. It's sort of dazzling just how many variations on the Steadicam are out there these days. This one appears to have been reverse engineered from various of the Tiffen systems including the SK, Provid and Mini, with some design elements of the Ultra/Master series in the vest design. From the pictures, it seems sound but it would be impossible to tell how well it works from that. It's all about how smooth the gimbal and the arm work. It's certainly cheap enough, almost amazingly so. Of course, you would have to add a monitor so you should assume $300 for that. It's unclear to me why so many companies don't seem to offer a monitor as an option. Varizoom and Nebtek both offer decent LCD's.

If by any chance they are at the LA DV show I will check the unit out for you tomorrow.
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Old July 30th, 2002, 06:31 AM   #13
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Thanks again Charles & Chris

You would think the magiqcam group would be at the LA DV show. They are located in Paradise CA. That would be cool to get some expert advice on that unit. I want to save some money if I can but not at the cost of quality.

thanks again
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Old August 4th, 2002, 09:58 PM   #14
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Click here for XL-1 Steadicam Demo

Hello. This demo was shot with a rig by Hollywood Lite. Its engineers are from Steadicam (Cinema Products) and that's why it looks so close to the Mini Steadicam for these DV systems. This GTX system was right at $3500.00 with everything, including low mode. They have recently introduced a dual stage arm for more vertical travel. Hollywood's service is NOT the best but for the money the rig works well. Take a look for yourself. Best viewed with a high speed connection.

Steadicam Demo

(high speed)
http://198.65.158.133/steadicam/STEADICAM300K.asx

(dial up)
http://198.65.158.133/steadicam/STEADICAM56K.asx
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Old August 4th, 2002, 11:46 PM   #15
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Marcus:

No Magiqcam at the DV show. Did see the Hollywood Lite, but I was already familiar with their products.

Good luck,

Chas
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