Glidecam 4000 pro w/forearm brace at DVinfo.net

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Old April 9th, 2005, 10:57 AM   #1
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Glidecam 4000 pro w/forearm brace

Thinking very seriously of investing in these for my DVX100A, as I've not been happy with the results of my handheld work.

Any thoughts or tips from your experience would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old April 9th, 2005, 12:33 PM   #2
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Dunno about the DVX100, Zareh, but I tried that combination with the XL1 and found it to be a kludge at best. The forearm brace is designed as a splint; it transfers much of the stress of holding the rig from your hand/wrist up your arm. Thus your elbow and shoulder (which have more strength) bear the load.

That's logical, but insufficient, in my experience. If you're shooting lots of handheld---esp. extended takes---I predict your DVX will wear you out and you'll see unacceptable shakes in the frame.

The only real solution, I think, is a body-mounted rig of some kind, though Glidecam's own Body-Pod seems useless to me, as it does little to reduce visible vibrations. It's mainly useful as a camera-rest for when the operator's not moving.

If your budget allows, search these boards for opinions on more sophisticated body-mount rigs; there are plenty of Steadicam knockoffs to choose from. I bought a used Magiqcam from a DVInfo member for $1400 and it was worth every penny.
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Old April 9th, 2005, 01:37 PM   #3
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The combo should be fine for a DVX100, just depends how strong an upper body you have. The brace is a definite improvement over just holding the stabilizer, it will allow you to work for longer.
If you were looking at something XL camera size, then I would go for a body mounted stabilizer.
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Old April 9th, 2005, 08:57 PM   #4
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Thank you both for weighing in.

I guess, like just about anything else, you really get what you pay for in stabilizing systems.

Very interesting point about the body-pod vs. the forearm brace - I'm sold on the latter.

The Magiqcam sounds great but is to expensive for me at this point. For now, I'm looking for a price-effective compromise, and the glidecam seemed to be it.

From what you are saying it is still possible to get a shaky shot with the glidecam. Are there any other systems, under a grand, that you would recommend as better alternatives?
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Old April 9th, 2005, 10:37 PM   #5
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No. If they don't anchor to your body and exploit (via at least rudimentary counterbalancing-&-tensioning doodads) that larger muscle-mass, you're a victim of sheer physics. I've seen powerful men start to quiver after hanging too much weight from their crooked arms for too long.

As you'll learn, though, from browsing the threads on these boards (& elsewhere): if you can contrive to keep your takes relatively short and build sufficient rest into your shooting schedule, you can get away with perfectly good "gliding" shots using the most primitive technology.

Bottom line: do what it takes to get the shot and feed & water your cam op like a horse!
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Old April 10th, 2005, 04:54 PM   #6
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I get some excellent shots from my 2000 (which were mistaken for shots on a ProVid by my tutor) its all down to the operator. If you want stable shots, then you need to get lots of practice in. You are not going to find a system that will immediately do what you need it to "out of the box"
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Old April 11th, 2005, 10:09 AM   #7
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A cinematographer friend of mine, Kris Malkeiwicz (he wrote "Cinematography" and "Film Lighting") could get steadicam like shots hand held! I asked him how we did it, and he said that tai chi was the secret. And it works! Especially for steadicam work. You might want to go get a tai chi video and learn at least the basics. It will give you the perfect stance and movement for operating with a hand held rig. Endurance can be easily gained if you just practice with the rig ten minutes a day, and add to the time as you gain strength. And if you do ever "upgrade" to a full steadicam rig, you'll be all the better an operator.

Dan
www.dvcamerarigs.com
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