Darksides of MagiqCam Series IIa at DVinfo.net

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Old May 2nd, 2005, 02:20 PM   #1
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Darksides of MagiqCam Series IIa

Hi,

so I finally almost decided to go Animagique way. Still I am confused about lots of dark sides of this low-cost rig, so I would like to ask you, dear members of DVINFO.NET community, if you could write down to this single thread all darksides that you found and were not satisfied when setting up and flying this rig.

I checked lots of previous threads about MagiqCam here, found lots of bad things that make MagiqCam semi-pro rig (hope that they are already fixed), but I guess that there will be more bugs. I don't want to spend money on a rig until I know all positive and in this case negative sides, regarding this stabilization system.

I would more likely buy Steadicam Flyer of course, but still it is kinda expensive for me. So I decided to buy this cheaper system, get some experience using it, and then in two or three years go for something more expensive. But, if MagiqCam isn't worth it, I would more likely wait one or two years till I make money and buy some professional rig.

Thanks for your time, hope this thread will be useful for more users!

Martin
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 03:41 PM   #2
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Hello
I have a Series IIa and I love it I know there was a problem with the gimbal, but that has been fixed. I personally didn't have any problem. It is easy to set up and I had my flying in no time. I had never used a stabilizer before and I thought that it would take me a while to learn but it didn't.
It does take at least 5 weeks to get your rig but its worth the weight. These are not homemade by any stretch of the imagination.
I hope this helped a little.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 05:38 PM   #3
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No offence Sarah, but I think you are a bit closer to MagiqCam than a normal customer. Every post you have submitted has been suspiciously supportive or defensive of them, you even were the first to inform us that he would be at NAB.
Lets stop trying to help flog his rigs and let a "real" customer give their opinions.
Like Ed Liew who looks like he has been pretty much deserted my MagiqCam in recent times.

I would have a look at a range of rigs before you decide "to take the plunge"
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 06:25 PM   #4
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Just because I am for the little guy, I am acused of being a plant or more than a normal customer? Okay.
I was asked to post about NAB because doesn't post on most of the boards, because he is too busy. I didn't know it would put me in the plant category. I have become friends with the guy, so sue me.

is a good guy and has a good product. He does try to help all his customers. He doesn't turn his back as you have assumed by one person's testimony. Its funny that in all the rigs that has sent out, one person says that something went wrong, so now his product is a piece of junk.

Thanks Richard for you warm welcome for the newbie.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 06:41 PM   #5
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So you are closer to MagiqCam than a normal customer, thanks for clarifying that.
Therefore you are going to convey a biased opinion about the product. Iím suggesting that Martin investigates other systems available to him.


"Thanks Richard for you warm welcome for the newbie." Wouldn't mind if you contributed to the forum, but you are only ever here to defend and promote MagiqCam.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 06:48 PM   #6
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Martin,
You have probably the thread regarding my gimbal problem and that it appears to have been resolved. As far as performance of the Magiqcam IIa goes, I have not flown any other rigs, but, now that my gimbal is fixed, this one seems to work pretty well. Before I bought one, I compared all of the other rigs that I could possibly afford and there just didn't seem to be much of a difference. The Magiqcam seems to be built as well as the other sub-$4000 rigs and it clearly is the least expensive. Of course, durability could always be a problem, but it comes with a 2-year warranty and, as you probably know, they took great care of me in a very short time. That being said, it did take 9 weeks to receive the rig. I guess that they are a small company trying to keep up with all the orders.

Bottom line, from what I can tell, the Magiqcam IIa is a great value. Does it require more or less practice than any other comparable rig? I don't know, but for what I'm doing, I think it is only going to get better the more I use it.

I think Charles Papert got a look at one and said that he felt that it was comparable to any of the other rigs in the same few thousand dollar range and of course he's a pro.

Hey,maybe Charles P. would like to take mine for a demo and write a review one day? Maybe incorporate some of it into his training video? Since it seems that many of us buying these are new to the stabilizer world, it would be really great to see what a pro could do with one.


Matt
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 09:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Wilson
I think Charles Papert got a look at one and said that he felt that it was comparable to any of the other rigs in the same few thousand dollar range and of course he's a pro.

Hey,maybe Charles P. would like to take mine for a demo and write a review one day? Maybe incorporate some of it into his training video? Since it seems that many of us buying these are new to the stabilizer world, it would be really great to see what a pro could do with one.

Matt
Hi Matt,

I have suggested multiple times regarding to this issue. I doubt if Charles P. has the energy to cover all stablizers on sell? I don't know if any legal issues if Charles P. put bad comments relating to the device in his training video.

People spent thousands of dollars to buy that device. It is lot of money. The manufacture should do their best and put a full resolution 720x480 29.97fps demo video on their website or DVD to showcase the performance of their device. The manufacture know their device well enough to operate it than anyone else. It is their job as the money in the end go to their pocket. I found it is useless just got some picture to show how nice the device looks like with some pretty woman carrying the device. Can you bring the woman with you home if you pay the price they listed? ;-)

I found some demo video try to make it 320x200 15fps, even inside that small screen, some try to fuzzy the corner of the video screen, or make that small screen display four different video same time, or just show the operator to operate the device with little video about using the device take a shot. Some don't even put a demo about the device on the net. Some demo shaking video, but praise that same video how stable is and I can't believe that happens.

Regards
Leigh
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 11:47 PM   #8
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Leigh,
I'm sure Charles is quite a busy guy and he wouldn't want to be seen endorsing one product over another. I was just thinking that it would be great if someone like him could show us newbie's what the potential of a lower end rig is.

I agree with you about the demo video. Frankly, it's not a very good business strategy to not show the potential of your product, or worse, show it off poorly.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 01:09 AM   #9
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As you guys have guessed, yes, I'm not all that interested in becoming the stabilizer reviewer guy. When I see a product that I think is head-and-shoulders above the competition, such as the Flyer arm, I might give it a nod.

My upcoming video will have multiple manufacturers and types of rigs represented as I think it will help viewers understand that there are skills that are common to any of these rigs. I do feel that unless there is a specific limitation to one of them, or a specific advantage, the resulting footage from any of them should be virtually identical. I agree that it is strange that some of them don't have any footage on their websites, or questionably operated footage; but I wouldn't recommend buying a particular rig just because they seem to have the best demo footage. A great operator can make a better shot with a mediocre rig than a mediocre operator with a great rig.

Finally, I do feel that 30 fps (i.e. full motion video) is important to make Steadicam shots not appear jerky, but I personally feel like I can easily judge the steadiness of an image at 320x240. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I've been composing Steadicam shots for a long time on a 5" monitor (ten years ago it was a 4" screen--and prior to that, 3"!!)
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Old May 4th, 2005, 02:39 AM   #10
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hi all,
the magiqcam i'm having is pretty good in term of workmanship as compare to some others which i have seen. performance, i guess it take a lot more practice. certain part of the design is not very practical but i think john will have it improve one day as he has been doing.

as most of my posting here is problem with their after sales service. if john were to have settle to my problem very much earlier, i think, you will not even notice any bad comment on magiqcam here in this forum. just my luck for geting all the not so well made parts.

i would not make an recommendation here as i don't think i qualify to do so. i would be bias.

ed

Last edited by Ed Liew; May 4th, 2005 at 10:42 AM.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 04:09 PM   #11
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Charles,
I understand what you saying and I really appreciate all the time you spend to help folks like me in this forum. Thanks very much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert
A great operator can make a better shot with a mediocre rig than a mediocre operator with a great rig.
After only a few hours of stabilizer operation, I can say that I truly can appreciate what your comment. I am anxious to see your training video to see what the potential is, even for the lower eschelon rigs.

Matt
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Old May 5th, 2005, 01:35 AM   #12
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I met with John from Magiqcam as well as Charles P. at NAB. Gee I can't believe how many people Charles knows and who know him as well.

I was able to see John's new arm for heavier cameras. It looks like it's built well and has a dual adjustable socket block which is very helpfull - especially for use with the heavier cameras.

I was interested in the new single articulated arm from Verizoom. Priced fairly low as well.

The Smooth Shooter was a good addition to the Glidecam line. They needed it for their handheld rigs (that's why we built the Indicam originally).

The "Steering Wheel" from Bogen-Manfrotto was very interesting but I have my doubts that it does any real stabilizing though.

The flyer was very nice and light enough to not drive me crazy. I threw a tape in, hit record, then walked around a bit. The shots look real good.

I still like Hollywood Lite's dual arm unit.

MK-V had the neatest new product for big rig guys. It stays level no matter how you tilt the sled from side to side. It can be locked for dutch shots though. Howard and Walter have some great stabilizers and vests.

Our Indicam rig performed well with the DVX-100a. I was able to walk around for five hours in the rig in spite of just getting over a serious lower back pinched nerve thing. I felt fine after the five hours for which I am very greatful.

Back to Magiqcam...John is very accomodating and helpful and his rig is well made. I think he has the gimbal linearity problem fixed so I don't think there is any reason to not order one. Coming from somone who will be selling a stabilizer as well, I don't think I'm biased.

Tery
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Old May 5th, 2005, 03:29 PM   #13
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Hey Tery. Sorry it took so long for me to reply...2 months lol.

Thanks for that clip, its very smooth, horizon is nearly always level A+ :D

Keep safe, talk to you soon.
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Old May 7th, 2005, 09:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Thompson
I met with John from Magiqcam as well as Charles P. at NAB. Gee I can't believe how many people Charles knows and who know him as well.

I was able to see John's new arm for heavier cameras. It looks like it's built well and has a dual adjustable socket block which is very helpfull - especially for use with the heavier cameras.Tery
Terry, can you tell me if this is a replacement for the IIa or an upper level version (I've heard the model IIIp mentioned somewhere)? What is the working weight range?

I'm all set on buying the IIa but I'd be kind of upset if I could have waited a few months more to get an improved version for a few hundreds more. Not like I'm in a hurry anyway.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 10:55 AM   #15
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Indeed the IIIp sounds very interesting. I'm still trying to make my mind up about which rig to get.

It would be great if the Magiqcam was made modular so it could gradually be upgraded with MK-V or Steadicam parts. Thats one thing that puts me off the current system. For example if I found a good price on a genuine used Steadicam arm, or on a Steadicam vest (there's one on Ebay right now), it would be nice to be able to swap out the existing Magiqcam arm for the Steadicam one.

Surely such a thing can't be too difficult? Shouldn't it just be a case of making the mounting points compatible?

Same goes for a gimbal.

Making the Magiqcam modular and upgradable with Steadicam and MK-V standard parts would make it the definitive starter system.
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