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Old October 22nd, 2004, 03:28 PM   #1
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Yet more steadicam ramblings

Just wondering if it was worth compiling a sticky thread with the general specs of each of the stabilisation systems out there? I've been thinking about a new system for months now and I still can't make up my mind what I want to go for.

I'm not made of money, yet I am put off some of the cheaper systems due to what Charles describes as the rig trying to pull itself away from the operator.

Does the Steadicam Provid2 suffer from this phenomenon? That looks like a nice rig, and doesn't actually seem to cost the earth (not be comparison to their bigger rigs anyway). But I notice that the website states that the vest has no tilt adjustment on it, hence my wondering.

I looked through the Basson website, but the operator in those photos seems to be leaning back a fair bit, and where the arm fits to the vest seems to be 'pulling'. I think Charles described this in another thread, and even to my untrained eye this seems to be the case. I've also heard that the Basson rig is quite heavy to begin with.

Magiqcam. Hmm. This rig does really interest me. But I can't find any threads that confirm the usefulness of the new adjustment. Does this stop the camera from wanting to move away from the operator?

MK-V. This is another system that looks very good indeed due to it's modularity, as well as it's Steadicam component compatibility. But I suspect that the total cost of a system may be more than it seems. Although I will be talking to Howard about the price seeing as I'm on a budget. One thing I would love to know would be whether a Magiqcam arm would be compatible with the MK-V components, or the MK-V sleds being compatible with the Magiqcam arm and vest? Obviously with a mind to building the system up once finances permit it.

Flycam. Interesting, but I can't find any prices for these. Anyone know anything about them? The sleds look like works of art, but I've never heard anyone's experience of them.

I need a system that will cope with around 13-14lbs of camera, but preferably upgradable.

Lastly, those who have endured my posts will know that I have used the Glidecam 2000 Pro (hehe!) for a few years now. Charles, would the ability to use one of these devices and get fairly good shots out of them translate well to moving up to a full sized rig, or will it be a case of learning from scratch?
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 04:01 PM   #2
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I'll just answer one of those questions about the mk-v and magiqcam inter-change and let Charles P. answer the rest. Just forget it. They are not compatible in any way. You can't use either without actually modifying both systems dramatically. Even if you could the money spent on the mk-v does not justify using it with the magiqcam.

If you can afford to buy 1/3 of the mk-v system, then you might as well go for the whole cheese.

Don't get me wrong. The magiqcam is a good low budget system but not together with the mk-v system. These are totally different system that work on a whole different level. So you can cancel out that thought ;)
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 04:05 PM   #3
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Thanks for clearing that up. I just wanted to clear every option available to me.

The market place seems so crowded at the moment. MK-V and Steadicam seem to be the front runners at the moment. It's just the $$ that's bugging me. Though I'd rather spend the money on a system that will last me, or can grow.
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Old October 23rd, 2004, 06:57 AM   #4
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"...the rig trying to pull itself away from the operator.

Does the Steadicam Provid2 suffer from this phenomenon? "

An arm to vest connector that has front to back adjustment solves this problem. Side to side adjustment is another "must", as this is used to correct the tendency of the arm to pull on a side.
So, look for a system that has this kinds of adjustments...

"I would love to know would be whether a Magiqcam arm would be compatible with the MK-V components"

There's no reason to do that (even if its possible)

"I have used the Glidecam 2000 Pro .... would the ability to use one of these devices and get fairly good shots out of them translate well to moving up to a full sized rig..?"

It is very good for you! If you got good shots with a handheld system, you'll find it easyer to get better shots with a full sized rig!
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Old October 24th, 2004, 09:32 PM   #5
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if i may add in, buy the best that you can afford. there is a whole lot different in term of use between the cheaper one and the real thing.

ed
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Old October 28th, 2004, 12:52 AM   #6
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different steadycam systems

I have tried out the MK-V and it's for the real serious operator who will learn how to use it and use it enough to pay for it's purchase. Howard is a fine person to deal with from my contacts with him and his system is top notch.

I haven't used or seen a Magiqcam in person but I do believe John has suceeded in making a very good system for a great price. I know he is continually working on making it better. I'd like to try one out some day to see how well it works. There are a few threads here about the Magiqcam and the owners like them from what I've read. It now has a new gimbal assembly and I believe is adjustable where the arm connects to the vest. You should be able to contact John from his website www.magiqcam.com or email: animagique@sbcglobal.net. I hope he doesn't mind the plug. John is a good guy as well.

I have created a vest/arm system (hasn't everyone) and it's for the Glidecam handheld systems (2000, 4000). It's weight range is from 3 to 11 pounds total (sled with all gear) so it's short of the weight you want to fly. It does however work with most of the newer digital cameras i.e. VX2100, DVX100a etc.

You might check out the Varizoom web site as they have different systems. This one is in you weight range I think.

http://www.varizoom.com/flowcam/gtseries1.php

I did try out the lighter system at NAB and liked it.

I hope this was some kind of help. If not the two Charles will be!

Terry

P.S. This is a hard question to answer without knowing your budget. Maybe a Steadicam is in your range as well.
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Old October 28th, 2004, 09:01 AM   #7
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Most people tend to agree that the new steadicam Flyer is THE best low cost stabilizer system available, about 6500$.

Please, let us know what your budget limits are, it will be easier to help you.
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Old October 28th, 2004, 09:48 AM   #8
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13+ lbs is on the heavy side for the Flyer, but it is still doable. The problem is "upgrade path"--the Flyer does have an industry-standard compatible arm socket mount connector, but all that means is that you can attach the arm socket to a standard size vest.
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Old October 28th, 2004, 10:45 AM   #9
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The flyer wouldn't really meet my needs. I think I've narrowed it down to making a custom MKV system or getting one of the Steadicam video series.
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