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Old April 21st, 2005, 12:43 PM   #31
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Hi Ed,
I tested out the rig after shimming up the post and it was better. It eliminated about 80 percent of the vibration I was seeing and made balancing the rig easier. It's not perfect and, unforntunately, the lower you place the gimbal on the post, the harder it gets, so the sliding gimbal becomes sort of worthless until that play is taken out.

I bought this for some of the same reasons that Kevin discussed, mainly, I only need it for a portion of a certain project I;m doing and thought it was better to buy than rent because I would need a lot of practice and so renting wasn't practical. I did my research and thought that the Magiqcam was the best choice. Other than your horrible experience, I had only heard pretty good things. I think the analogy of learning an instrument that someone mentioned in another thread is very accurate. A great musician can play a lower quality instrument and still make good music,(they still play great music on am radio) though if the instrument buzzes or won't stay in tune, it will buzz or be out of tune for them too.

So yeah, I do know that you get what you pay for, but I think this gimbal issue is a pretty serious flaw. That being said, I do see the potential in the rig and I can already see some improvement in my technique, (thanks to Charles Papert's Suggestions) giving me hope that if the gimbal problem can be resolved (and I do think it can without great trouble) the Magiqcam will still be a pretty good rig and hopefully help me do what I need it too. But I can see that it takes a lot of practice .

Speaking of which, is it a better technique to walk backward or Don Juan? Or is it just situation dependent? If so, can anyone explain to me the benefits of one versus the other.
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Old April 21st, 2005, 02:29 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Wilson
Speaking of which, is it a better technique to walk backward or Don Juan? Or is it just situation dependent? If so, can anyone explain to me the benefits of one versus the other.
Hi Matthew,

I tried both methods and feel quite comfortable to do Don Juan as I can see everything.

For walk backward, I can't get the view of my back, so it is very hard for me to get confidence to walk smoothly which greatly effect the shot.

Regards
Leigh
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Old April 21st, 2005, 02:52 PM   #33
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Hi Leigh,
I sort of feel the same, a little leary of walking backwards. I keep having this vision that I'm going to trip and crash to the ground and watch the camera come crashing down in slo-mo. But I think for the types of shots I need, I am going to have to practice that and get the condfidence. that an dhope tha there is someone there to say "watchout!"
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Old April 21st, 2005, 04:21 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Matthew Wilson
that an dhope tha there is someone there to say "watchout!"
They called it assistant and they are hired to guide you while you walk backward iirc.

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Old April 21st, 2005, 10:33 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Ed Liew
hi kevin,
thought was the same when i place an order for the magiqcam. but in my case, when my order arrived late, i have to rent a efp setup for two of my project. when the set did arrive, my expectation was, you really get what you pay. the feel were totally not the same. what i'm trying to say is, if you can't afford to buy the best, renting is definately a better option. and with no after sale support, even the best support system will not last, in my case again, after every test with my magiqcam, something bad will pop out. at the moment, i don't think magiqcam is up to par yet with rig like glidecam or even some home made rig. here is a link to a video i saw two week ago just to proof a point - http://www.ninehost.com/steadicam/ with some further improvement, in a year or so, maybe john can really say he has a commercial unit out for sale. not now.

ed
Hi ed,

I watched the video http://www.ninehost.com/steadicam/Steadione_5.MOV. It seems shaking, what do you think?

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Leigh
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Old April 21st, 2005, 10:53 PM   #36
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hi leigh,
well, its not perfect but my point is, with my magiqcam i can't get shot like that. i can't shot in a circle around the subject. i just can't get the balance as the gimbal is out of alignment. and its very difficult to notice any pogoing effect from those shot. a little more practice by the operator will definately improve the shot as with all rig. as always, i could be bias.

ed
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Old April 21st, 2005, 11:07 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Ed Liew
hi leigh,
well, its not perfect but my point is, with my magiqcam i can't get shot like that. i can't shot in a circle around the subject. i just can't get the balance as the gimbal is out of alignment. and its very difficult to notice any pogoing effect from those shot. a little more practice by the operator will definately improve the shot as with all rig. as always, i could be bias.

ed
Hi ed,

I see your point now.

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Leigh
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Old April 22nd, 2005, 12:40 AM   #38
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<<Originally Posted by Matthew Wilson

that an dhope tha there is someone there to say "watchout!"




They called it assistant and they are hired to guide you while you walk backward iirc.

Regards
Leigh>>

Not really. No-one is specifically hired to guide the operator, it will always be someone on set; and it is very rarely a camera assistant, more likely the dolly grip or key grip. The usual term is "spotter".

I will usually use a spotter for most backing-up shots, unless there isn't enough room to fit everyone else in there (focus puller, boom guy etc). Without question I will insist on one for running shots or stairs, which present an obvious danger.

I and nearly all of my colleagues prefer to work primarily in Missionary rather than Don Juan. Being able to see the actors and the monitor face-on is a great advantage. I resort to Don Juan when forced to, usually when preceding actors up or down stairs, but I know many operators who will still back up or down stairs (amazingly!) to avoid Don Juan.
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Old April 22nd, 2005, 01:17 AM   #39
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Thanks Charles. What exactly do you mean by missionary? Is that a specific configuration of walking backwards? BTW, I don't know if you saw my earlier post, there's been a lot of other chat going on here, but by chance do you have any idea of anyone renting a flyer in the LA area? I saw Charles King's video and was very impressed. I know I have practically no experience flying these things yet, but I'd really like to see how much of a difference the equipment makes in contrast to what skills I lack.
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Old April 22nd, 2005, 01:39 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Wilson
Thanks Charles. What exactly do you mean by missionary? Is that a specific configuration of walking backwards?
Hi Matthew,

Don Juan and Missionary are the two main positions for the steadicam opterator. Don Juan position allows the operator to walk holding the rig facing in front of him. Missionary position allows the operator to walk forward shooting with the rig facing behind him.

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Leigh
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Old April 22nd, 2005, 04:42 AM   #41
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Leigh,
Close, but you got them backwards...

'Missionary' is the "normal" operating position (hence the name) there you shoot in front of you with the rig. (though normally a little to your side, not directly in front where you'll kick the battery)

'Don Juan' (DJ) is the reverse position, this is wher eyou pan the rig 180' from normal so that you are shootign backwards, over/past your shoulder at somethign behind you.

On my website http://mikko.n3.net in the Photo Album i have pics of me operating in the section "Mikko Wilson: Steadicam Operator"
In most of the pictures, including the first one, i'm in the Missionary position.
But there's also a picture "don_juan_low-mode" which shows the DJ position - though in this case, also in low mode so i'm shooting past my ancle, not my shoulder.

The shot wher eyou circle aroudn a subject (shooting off to the side, not forward or back) is half way between the two.

So the positions refer teh othe placement of the camera, not yoru direction of movement. Shooting DJ and walking forwards i teh same as shooting Missionary and walking backwards.
(just as you *could* shoot DJ and walk backwards to achive a forwards shot.. though i don't know why you would...)

- Mikko.
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Old April 22nd, 2005, 10:03 AM   #42
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Matthew:

I'm not sure who has Flyers for rent in the LA area, but you can go to the Tiffen facility in Burbank and test-fly one there, I believe. The number is 818 843 4600, ask for Frank Rush.
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Old April 22nd, 2005, 12:19 PM   #43
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Thanks for the explanation Mikko. Cool Website. From what I've read, you are really impressed with the flyer also.

Thanks for the info Charles, I think I'll try to get over to Tiffen and try one out.

much appreciated
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Old April 22nd, 2005, 10:58 PM   #44
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Hey all, I heard from John at Animagique this morning. He just got back from NAB last night so I appreciated the quick response. He saw the video of the gimbal problem I am having and said that something was definitely wrong, it should not be that way. He asked me to send the gimbal back to him and he would get it fixed ASAP. Everything sounded very positive and hopefully will get worked out quickly. If it does, I suspect that the rig will be a good investment.

Here's a little sample of some stuff I shot for a friend yesterday (sorry it's so big (24Mb, I'm having a little trouble getting smaller file sizes). This was just for fun and there's plenty of operator error, but, for less than 3 weeks of flying and the mechanical trouble I've had, I see that there is potential for it being quite useful.

http://www.jewsfortruth.org/test-vid...all-sample.mov

I would have to say that if John comes through, I think Kevin may still have made the right choice.

Ed, I will let you know how this gets resolved. I think that if yours is the same as mine, John will fix it. I'm sure it will fix your balancing problems. One thing I have learned quickly is that the better it's balanced, the easier it is it to fly.
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Old April 22nd, 2005, 11:30 PM   #45
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hi matthew,
certainly is good news. appreciate if you could update us with the out come. thanks again.

ed
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