Best stabilizer for EX1?? at DVinfo.net

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Old November 11th, 2009, 10:59 AM   #1
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Best stabilizer for EX1??

Hello,
my name is Giannis and i am from Athens, Greece.
I am a professional wedding shooter and i am looking for a good stabilizer for Sony EX1.
I am thinking for Glidecam's Smooth Shooter with 4000 Pro and for Varizoom's Flowpod.
What is your opinion?
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Old November 11th, 2009, 12:28 PM   #2
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Try avoiding the Merlin. I bought the Merlin when I purchased my SONY EX1 and it was not big enough for the EX1 over all.
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Old November 11th, 2009, 04:43 PM   #3
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Steadicam Pilot. I've used it with the EX1, EX3, HVX200, V1U, and Z1U.

Hands down the best stabilizer for this camera weight. I've worn it for over 8-hours at a time, no problem.
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Old November 11th, 2009, 07:28 PM   #4
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Varizoom Flowpod - It could not handle the FX1 without a lot of weights. Too heavy for heldheld let alone with the EX1

Glidecam Smooth Shooter - Single Arm is not as stable, and it may be an overload for the HD4000 + EX1 combo. We have done it with the x-10 and it is ok. But the whole suit is a little heavy and fatigue sets in pretty fast

Glidecam HD-4000 - A little hard to control the off axis handle but it works. Same comment, too heavy for handheld with the EX1.

Steadicam Merlin - Its not able to handle the weight of there EX1

Steadicam Pilot - Excellent. Thatz what I'm flying the EX1 with now. Only cons is the price.

CMR Blackbird - Works ok but the EX1 is too heavy for handheld ops
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Old November 12th, 2009, 04:43 PM   #5
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YouTube - Steadicam Pilot with Garrett Brown
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Old November 13th, 2009, 12:15 PM   #6
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Floatcam FC12
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Old November 13th, 2009, 03:37 PM   #7
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The EX1 on a Pilot is an EXCELLENT combination. The absolute favorite setup I run on my Pilot.
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Old November 13th, 2009, 06:20 PM   #8
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Giannis:

As you can see, the Pilot has a lot of fans. It can be a little daunting for some because of its price tag, but be assured that you are paying for a lot more than the Steadicam brand name. It's the only one in its class that flies with the elegance of the full-size (and exponentially more expensive) stabilizers. It is also an investment that will likely last you through many generations of cameras, seeing as the under 10lb form factor is here to stay even with large sensors (i.e., the DSLR's). I have yet to have heard from anyone who bought one and doesn't like it, whereas I have seen some who buy "on the cheap" decide a year or two down the line that they might have made a mistake. You simply can't go wrong with the Pilot.
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Old November 20th, 2009, 12:49 PM   #9
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So I've got a question for you "Pilot" users. I've only used a Steadicam once and that was for 10 minutes at NAB this year (in the Steadicam booth). I found it to be very "fidgety" to setup and use, but once it was dialed in it was a fantastic way to add motion to otherwise static shots.

If budget allowed, would an ideal and setup be having two camera rigs on a shoot? A Sony EX3 with 35mm adaptor (Letus Ultimate) on a tripod and a Sony EX1 (maybe with wide angle adaptor) on a Pilot.

The reason I ask is that on most of my shoots (corporate video, local tv commercials, etc...) I don't feel like I would have the time to move the EX3 from tripod to Steadicam. I'd loose 15-30 minutes setting up the Steadicam just to get a couple of additional shots.

So with a single camera, maybe a jib and dolly would be more practical?

I would appreciate any advice. Thanks! :)
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Old November 20th, 2009, 01:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchell Lewis View Post
So I've got a question for you "Pilot" users. I've only used a Steadicam once and that was for 10 minutes at NAB this year (in the Steadicam booth). I found it to be very "fidgety" to setup and use, but once it was dialed in it was a fantastic way to add motion to otherwise static shots.
Just be aware that it takes a lot of time and practice to use a steadicam effectively. There are many people that can buy a new camera or jib and start using it the next day. With a steadicam, it usually takes months to get to the point where you want to show your work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchell Lewis View Post
If budget allowed, would an ideal and setup be having two camera rigs on a shoot? A Sony EX3 with 35mm adapter (Letus Ultimate) on a tripod and a Sony EX1 (maybe with wide angle adapter) on a Pilot.

The reason I ask is that on most of my shoots (corporate video, local tv commercials, etc...) I don't feel like I would have the time to move the EX3 from tripod to Steadicam. I'd loose 15-30 minutes setting up the Steadicam just to get a couple of additional shots.
Changing from sticks to steadicam can be done in 5 minutes or less, if you use the same plate for both. In other words, you'll want to buy a tripod adapter for the steadicam.

But for the setup you describe above, the big issue is the lens adapter. With a steadicam, any shallow DOF camera will require a wireless follow-focus system and a really good AC to run it. Also, with the weight of the rails, follow focus, etc, you need the Steadicam Flyer LE, which is $3000 more than the Pilot. So many people do exactly what you describe above: use 1 camera with a lens adapter on sticks, and another camera without a lens adapter on steadicam.

But if you are shooting without a lens adapter, moving from sticks to steadicam is no big deal, if you have a tripod adapter on the steadicam.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchell Lewis View Post
So with a single camera, maybe a jib and dolly would be more practical?
If you use a lens adapter, you'll always have to worry about focus on a moving shot, but a jib/dolly would allow you to use a wired focus system, and the total weight of the camera, rails, etc, is less of an issue than with Steadicam. It also takes much less time to learn how to use a jib. Not that learning the finesse of a jib is easy, but more that learning the finesse of steadicam is hard.
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Originally Posted by Mitchell Lewis View Post
I would appreciate any advice. Thanks! :)
Hope this helps.
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Old November 20th, 2009, 02:09 PM   #11
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That helps a lot Dave. But only 5 minutes to go from tripod to Steadicam? Wow! That's good to know.

Plan-B is to buy a EX3 and a Canon 5DM2. Use the EX3 on the Pilot and the Canon 5DM2 on the tripod, but that just seems really weird to me. (still getting used to the idea of using a DSLR as a video camera)

Thanks again.
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Old November 20th, 2009, 03:02 PM   #12
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If you're planning on using the EX3 on the Pilot, be sure to get the Pilot VLB option, with the IDX pro batteries and charger. This way, if you add accessories to the EX3, you can use the use the pilot battery to power the EX3 and still stay within the weight limit for the Pilot.

In other words, The VLB battery option is nice to have to other cameras, but for the EX3, weight issues make it necessary.
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Old November 20th, 2009, 03:06 PM   #13
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More good advice. Any reason why you chose the IDX battery over the Anton Bauer configuration? (I have no experience with either battery)
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Old November 20th, 2009, 05:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchell Lewis View Post
More good advice. Any reason why you chose the IDX battery over the Anton Bauer configuration? (I have no experience with either battery)
AB batteries are expensive.

There are now 5 versions of the Pilot with the 5.8" monitor and backpack carry-case:
Pilot-AA (AA battery mount, no batteries or charger), $3750
Pilot-VL (Vlock battery mount, no batteries or charger), $3750
Pilot-AB (AB battery mount, no batteries or charger), $3750
Pilot-VLB (VL battery mount, 2 batteries and charger), $4400
Pilot-ABB (AB battery mount, 2 batteries and charger), $5030

For the AA version you'll probably want to buy 30 NiMH AA rechargable batteries, and enough AA charger slots to do at least 10 at once. Figure around $250 more for that. So although Steadicam doesn't sell a Pilot-AAB package, figure $4000 for comparison.

When powering just the Pilot monitor, the AA batteries last around 4 hours, the IDX batteries last around 8 hours, and the AB batteries last even longer.

If you also use the Pilot battery to power accessories (video transmitter, on-camera light, etc) it will obviously last less time. If you use it to power the EX3, it will probably cut the time in half.
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 04:18 PM   #15
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price?

Hello,
all this prices are including and the vest and the arm?
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