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Old September 21st, 2002, 04:00 AM   #1
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Glidecam 2000 or other

I am an extremely low-budgeted film maker. I will soon have a Canon GL2, a Sennheiser ME66, and the MA-300 XLR adapter from canon. This many not seem like much to anyone who has even a semi-large Film Co, but I am now basically broke in the area of spending cash. So, as my final purchase, I was looking into buying a Camera Stabilizer of some kind. I do film shots, documentary shots, wedding shots, live theater shots, running and moving shots. Pretty much every kind of shot you could think of. A tripod won’t work because I need to move a lot with different angles and positions. Because of my limited cash I was looking at a Glidecam 2000. What I would really like is a V8 system from Glidecam, but that is waaaaay too much. Would you all say the Glidecam 2000 works well after some practice and is worth the $200 - $300 I would put into it? Or is there some better system or alternative for about the same price? Thank you so much. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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Old September 21st, 2002, 06:10 AM   #2
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Well Scott,

I was in pretty much the same situation a while back and even built myself a semi-working (hehe) stabilizer myself. But then i got a little break and managed to afford a Glidecam 2000 Pro, and its a wonderful tool. Of course the V8 is easier on your arms & shoulders since it has an additional set of stabilizing but the 2000 Pro will let you do a lot of things that you just can't do without a stabilizer. It requires practise however (just as the V8) so be prepared to have some muscleaches for a few weeks :)

But the positive side is that you get a workout AND great pics :D

Bottom line, you wont be disappointed with the Glidecam 2000.

/Henrik
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Old September 21st, 2002, 11:19 AM   #3
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Hi Scott,

I freelance as an editor and shooter with a V8. The key here is practice, practice, practice. Roll tape and keep reviewing what you shoot. Don't get discouraged after a few days and it all isn't working perfectly. This type of work really takes time and did I mention that you have to practice? I've used the 2000 when the client didn't want to pay my rates for the V8. I notice the strain in my shoulder and forearm after a few minutes. At my age (45) the V8 is just easier on me. I spend at least an hour a week just practicing with the V8. Early Saturday or Sunday morning I'll get up amd parctice around the house, up and down stairs etc. I feel it is a good value.

I see you are considering a MA-300 also. I've heard both good and bad about it. You may want to search for opinions on it as well or post on the GL2 forum.

Jeff
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Old September 21st, 2002, 02:49 PM   #4
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Ok thank you guys for the advice. You have confirmed my decision to buy the glidecam 2000. It sounds like a good investment. I am willing to practice a lot with it and dont usually give up on something eaisly (espesically when I have spent $300 dollars on it!). Also thanks for the MA-300 warning. I will look into it more before purchase. Thanks a ton!!
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Old September 21st, 2002, 10:21 PM   #5
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Scott, you say you don't need a tripod.
Not buying a tripod is A MISTAKE!!!
Forget the Glidecam, go buy a good tripod! You may think that you don't need it, until your first tape full of wobbly footage.

"Film shots, documentary shots, wedding shots, live theater shots, running and moving shots"

You don't need a Glidecam for any of these shots. You need a tripod for every one (except the running). You can't shoot more than a few scenes of a wedding with a Glidecam. The bride won't be too happy with the footage of her vows bobbing up and down because your arm has turned into a noodle from trying to hold a Glidecam for 10 minutes straight.

Go spend your Glidecam budget on a good tripod and then go make a home-Glidecam out of a monopod and some weights if you are out of budget.
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Old September 22nd, 2002, 12:49 AM   #6
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When I said I dont need a tripod, I didn't mean that I dont ever need a tripod. I have a tripod that will work for now. I first wanted to buy a Glidecam, and then look at a really nice tripod, such as the 3221WN Wilderness Tripod with 3433 Pro Video Head (Quick Release) - Supports 13.20 lb from bogen. Most of the time am doing run and gun shooting. Like at a party or on the street where I need to really move to get the kind of shots that I like. Occasionaly I do things like recording a live show. This May I will be taping a musical and buring it onto DVDs to sell. I hope that by then I will have my nice tripod, because I know I will need one. With the tripod I own, for the amount I use it and the amount that I could could be using a Glidecam the ratio is probably 5:1 (the 1 being the tripod). Thanks for the advice but I know what I need, and right now its a Glidecam. In 5 months it may be a tripod. By the way, what do you think of the 3221WN Wilderness Tripod with 3433 Pro Video Head (Quick Release) - Supports 13.20 lb tripod kit for my (hopefully soon to be) GL2? Thanks for your input!
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Old September 22nd, 2002, 07:34 AM   #7
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Lower end tripods present a mixed bag of problems and well implamented features. Yes, the combination you suggest is low end by video standards. The head you suggest will certainly hold the GL2 and do fairly smooth moves (pan, tilt). If the funds are available I would sugges thte model up, #3460. The price almost doubles but the moves are much smoother. It will also give you better friction control, which is a big help with a lighter camera. The legs are a little more problematic. They are really designed for still photography (head locked down, no panning. Panning with these legs subject them to torsional loading, flexing and stress. In other words pans that may not be the smoothest. The #3033 and #3046 both offer center bracing, which helps a lot (heavier and more expensive, too). The #3021 series can be used. I've seen many a video camera mounted atop them. Just pay a lot of attention adjusting the pan control and practice smooth moves.

Jeff
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Old September 22nd, 2002, 10:41 AM   #8
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Scott
Phew!
I thought you'd have to be crazy to not need a tripod. Glad you aren't planning that.
Anyway, Jeff pretty much covered the tripod issue.
Good luck in your projects!
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Old September 22nd, 2002, 02:16 PM   #9
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If I was to upgrade one thing on the tripod I was going to get (the 3221WN Wilderness Tripod with 3433 Pro Video Head) what would you suggest I upgrade, the 3433 video head, or the 3221WN tripod? I can't afford to do both, but I might be able to do one. So which one is more important to upgrade? Thanks, you guys have all been of a great help to me.
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Old September 22nd, 2002, 05:00 PM   #10
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I would upgrade the head. If you do that, you'll get a more variable pan adjustment. A more variable pan will help over come the twisting you'll subject the legs to. The 3221 will also hold its value very well. When you're ready to upgrade they will sell for almost new on ebay if they are not all nicked up. Of course you may want to keep them for a still camera or a second video camera, you never know.

Jeff
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