Bit the Bullet and Bought the Glidecam2000 at DVinfo.net

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Old March 1st, 2005, 08:29 AM   #1
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Bit the Bullet and Bought the Glidecam2000

Wow, unlike me to ever make a decision! I think it was definitely the low buy in price for a piece of kit that I can expand (via the Steady Shooter) to a fullsize rig, and the fact that GC have lots of units out there (so obviously some support!) that finally persuaded me.

Ended up paying £156 including Paypal fees, for a second hand one from eBay. Thats about $300, but the retail over here for a GC is closed to $550-600 so I'm pretty pleased with the price.

Now, I've got a few days to prepare myself.. I better fish out my weights from under the bed I think! Need lots to read if anyone knows any links, any exercise I'll be able to train with when I get it, any tips on balancing it (I'm a first time stabiliser user remember!) and what I can expect to be able to do and what is WAAAY out of my league with this kind of gear :)

What accessories will I be able to plonk on it ? I'm interested in getting an LCD monitor at some point (widescreen and bigger than the on cam one, plus more like a real rig then.. gotta get used to it!) and was thinking of a lanc controller.. would that work on this kinda setup ok?

I know there's an arm brace and body pod available.. I know a few people thought the body pod was marketed to make it sound like it would be more stable, but I've read its actually less stable (sacrifices for comfort?) Still worth a buy ? Or is the arm brace a better option for fatigue killing. Both are just under £150 new here.

Gulp, about to enter the realm of looking like a complete burk in public now :D But I can't wait!
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Old March 1st, 2005, 10:36 AM   #2
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Hey James, congrats on your purchase.

The Bodypod is definitely not going to help keep those shots stable, its designed to be a portable dock that you can stick the GC on when your doing a static shot.
The arm brace is definitely worth the money, and it will allow you to shoot for longer.

Some of the batches of GC have a problem with gimbal misalignment, which unfortunately mine does, but you can work around it if your clever.
DO read the manual, if youíve got one. It has some good ideas on techniques as well as how to set up the sled and everything correctly.
The thing to get right is the balance, and drop time. If done incorrectly, as with all stabilizers, your shots will be (to quote the EFP instructional tape) ďmarginal at best.Ē

The thing to do, is master your finger technique. Iíve seen lots of people holding the base of the sled :S or tightly gripping under the gimbal.
Remember to keep a feather weight touch just under the gimbal (even lighter than feather weight) only touch the post to re align or guide your shot if it is drifting.
After a few months of practice, youíll be getting the shots youíve wanted.

On the side of the LCD screen. Remember if you add more weight to the bottom, you need more weight on the top. Also with an LCD, youíll find the sled becoming more front heavy, and to counteract that, youíll need more on the back. Then it all becomes very heavy for a hand held stabilizer.

On the side of the LANC. Itís difficult to use them on sleds of this weight, as the wire will interfere with the isolation achieved by he gimbal, the best way to do it, if you have to, is to make sure you leave a loop of wire that gives the gimbal "room to breathe"

Again congrats on your purchase and good luck.

P.S make sure you got to Creative Video for any Glidecam accessories, as they are a bit cheaper than CKE.

All the best,
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Old March 1st, 2005, 03:03 PM   #3
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Thanks for the post Richard :)

Cheers for the advice re: the arm brace. I'd love to have a proper look at one then work out if its possible to make one instead :D The other rig I was looking at before had one included, but this was cheaper and in better condition too (had all the bits ;) )

Yep, it comes with the manual, something I'll definitely be studying! I've been told that with the sellers PD170 and his wireless/adapter etc it needs lots of weight down the bottom anyway.. I run a PD150 (+8 hour battery) with usually a 0.7x WA (altho whether this'll be on it when its mounted, pass!) and I intend to add a mattebox (I imagine these are generally quite lightweight?) so I'm imaginging the top will be pretty heavy anyway.

Looking forward to learning the technique, I have a feeling I'm gonna have a night of frustration ahead of me with lots of shouts of "Stupid thing don't work. Hmph!". Going to download all the vids from the GC website and stick em on my XBOX to watch on the tv now... much nicer than viewing on a monitor!

And yup, CreativeVideo is a website I check on FAR too often. Got my eye on the Century Mattebox and 16x9 lens (altho no money anymore!) whilst the XDCAM on the frontpage keeps making me look at those credit card offers on my floor. Must resist!

Thanks again :)
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Old March 1st, 2005, 03:46 PM   #4
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James, I would advise using the wide adaptor, as it will help you with the steadiness of the picture.

Thatís a lot of kit to fit on a 2000, I recon youíll be pushing the max weight limit.

Anyway, I lurve CreativeVideo, I tend to get all my bits n pieces there, including my fabulous new GC200 crane yay.

The XDCAM does look very pretty, Iíd buy a few, but I have no where to keep em ;)

All the best,
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Old March 1st, 2005, 05:18 PM   #5
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Heh yeah, sounds like I'll be upgrading to the 4k before I even receive this ;) I only have 8hour batts but I can always strip the camera to bare minimum without a prob. My mic is light at least!

The crane looks awfully good fun, gonna post any of the results you get with it?
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Old March 1st, 2005, 09:28 PM   #6
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Take a look at indicam.com--arm and vest solution for the GC 2000.
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 03:39 AM   #7
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Ah yes, I'd forgotten about the indicam... sounds heavy to get it sent across to Europe mind. Will have to be a reseller to get my postage money back :)

Just another quick Q, I also have a TRV950 prosumer cam.. much lighter than the PD.. when I get the GC, should I practise mounting the TRV first , or does the weight not make any difference to the ease of balancing it?

Also, as I'll be using the LCD, should this be open when balancing? I'm guessing the camera should be 100% exactly how it should be shot with.

Loved the stabilising video on GC, the way he was throwing the XM/GL2 around was quite insane, I don't think I'd have the guts to do that with my pride and joy! But great fun to watch.
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 05:32 AM   #8
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Hey James, I would suggest balancing the camera that you feel you wish to use the most, as by the time youíve got the balance correctly and got the technique right...

Also, the 150 is a heavier camera, so it should be easier to stabilize. And you were correct in assuming that you should have the LCD and everything else in the state that it will be in when filming (including tape)

Yeah, I love the crane. I get to use it properly for the first time on Friday.
I will get around to finding a web host sooner or later to post videos; I just havenít needed to before. So for the moment, youíll just have to imagine Iím afraid :D

Any more questions, feel free to ask.

All the best,
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 05:39 AM   #9
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Just balance it with the PD-150, no sense at all in practicing unless you are planning to switch cameras. But opening the LCD does change the balance, as would a mic or anything else you do to the camera.

Also, I got a Bogen 577 Quick Release kit and mounted the bottom on my GC, so that once it is balanced I don't have to rebalance every time I take the camera off. It also makes it quicker to take off or put on. Any QR kit should work, but the 577 works together with the 503 head.

Until your 2000 arrives, fill up a glass of water to the top and practice walking around without spilling any of it. Start stop up down stairs turn dance. Then do the same with the water glass balanced on top of a heavy weight like your dumbell. Use your"guide" hand to balance the water glass.
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 06:46 AM   #10
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Heh sounds interesting, I'll have to give that a go. I'll probably suck at it for a long time!

I more than often use the PD150 for most things, but having two cameras that match up nicely in the right conditions means I can always have the choice which to use. The guy I'm buying it off drilled a hole into the plate for use with his 170 and his plate, so hopefully I'll be able to make use of that in the future.

The ebay link is here you can clearly see the modification.

Richard: I have tons of free space/transfer on my server (1tb a month, plenty unused, for 8months i've been using less than 100gb! That'll soon change tho...) so you're more than welcome to bung up a few vids on there if you want.

When I can get all the control panel stuff on there, I might do a bit of reselling basic accounts for people to host video files on, cos lots of people seem to need that kind of thing. Won't be expensive either cos I get a good deal on the server.
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 10:36 AM   #11
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Cheers James, I may take you up on that offer. I shall email you when the time comes.

Looks like your buying the older series of the GC2000, as on the newer ones, that mounting holes are continuous across the whole plate, and not on just half of it.

Definitely worth getting a quick release plate it will save time and effort.

Good luck,
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 12:30 PM   #12
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Ah didn't know that, cheers for that. Worth replacing that plate with the £25 one he mentioned then?

My PD150 is second hand but has some sort of plate that fits onto it, I don't know much about it because i've never used it.. maybe it woudl work with that? it screws to the bottom and it has a sort of clip below.. dunno if its standard Sony or if they left it on by accident :)
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 12:38 PM   #13
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James, think you have got the wrong idea, it looks like that guy has drilled a 3/8th hole in his plate to allow him to attach a quick release mechanism. This would consist of two sections, the plate and the receiver, which you would attach to the plate that is currently with the GC. You would need to buy this plate/ receiver separately.
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Old March 24th, 2006, 06:55 AM   #14
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Steady Cam

I thought that perhpas one of you might know a resource for a make-it-yourself steady cam. I've heard it's possible and can't find a guide. any suggestions? (besides don't do it :) Thanks.
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Old March 24th, 2006, 11:07 AM   #15
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homebuiltstabilizers.com
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