Steadicam Pilot vs Glidecam X-22 at DVinfo.net

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Old February 25th, 2010, 02:47 PM   #1
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Steadicam Pilot vs Glidecam X-22

I currently own the Glidecam Smooth Shooter and considering an upgrade. Which stabilizer would be better? A Steadicam Pilot or Glidecam X-22? I won't fly anything bigger than an EX1/HDSLR so weight is not my primary concern. I want a rig that's smooth and allows for better control than my Smooth Shooter. The X-22 looks like a good product however I'm scared of the Glidecam brand because my Smooth Shooter sucks so much, I do like the solid feel of the Glidecam vest compared to the light weight Steadicam. Should I rather go the Steadicam Pilot route, does the Steadicam offer better value when compared to the X-22? Considering that the X-22 and Pilot is so closely priced it's a tough decision.

Does the monitors on these stabilizers support HDMI inputs? How would I connect a 5DII/7D to the monitor? I would welcome any advice.
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Old February 25th, 2010, 03:16 PM   #2
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Hi Nicholas:

If you are definitely not planning on flying cameras that will take you over the Pilot's weight limit, you are better off with the Pilot, in my opinion. The X22 is not a bad rig but the Pilot is a great one. The arm and gimbal are the critical elements of any rig, and the Pilot is the hands-down winner here.

There is now an upgrade with the vest that includes buckles which you will likely want. The vest is certainly lighterweight than the GC version but it provides all the support you'll need with that little rig. I wore it for a couple of hours and didn't find it lacking in that regard.

You can use the composite output of the 5D/7D/1D to feed into your rig. Naturally this will be a standard-def image. Down the road if you are so inclined you can replace the monitor with an HD one but you will likely have to use a cable running outside the post (not the end of the world, I've been working that way for a while).
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Old February 26th, 2010, 01:07 AM   #3
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Charles thank you for your input.
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Old February 26th, 2010, 02:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
Hi Nicholas:

There is now an upgrade with the vest that includes buckles which you will likely want. The vest is certainly lighterweight than the GC version but it provides all the support you'll need with that little rig. I wore it for a couple of hours and didn't find it lacking in that regard.
Charles, I've a Merlin with the arm/vest and I'm currently waiting for a Pilot to arrive. I'm interested in upgrading the vest from velcro to buckles but I did not find anything onto the Steadicam web site/Pilot's price list; even on BH web site I cannot find it. Have you some on-line resource or article code to look at?
I'm also interested to an upgrade regarding the tiltable top stage: do you think Steadicam will supply something?

Thanks in advance.

Ciao,

Emanuele
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Old February 26th, 2010, 03:03 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Emanuele Chiocchio View Post
Charles, I've a Merlin with the arm/vest and I'm currently waiting for a Pilot to arrive. I'm interested in upgrading the vest from velcro to buckles but I did not find anything onto the Steadicam web site/Pilot's price list; even on BH web site I cannot find it. Have you some on-line resource or article code to look at?
I'm also interested to an upgrade regarding the tiltable top stage: do you think Steadicam will supply something?

Thanks in advance.

Ciao,

Emanuele
To regards to the tilt stage, I do not think there is one for the Pilot. Heck, there isn't one for the slightly bigger rig, like the flyer either so I really doubt if there is one for the Pilot. Unless, CP knows something that I don't. ;)
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Old February 26th, 2010, 03:32 AM   #6
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Reading an old post from Mikko Wilson (Tiffen announces new low cost Steadicams at NAB 07 - *** Now Shipping! *** - Page 5 - DVXuser.com -- The online community for filmmaking) when Steadicam introduced the Pilot, it seemed that this option was considered by Tiffen. I was wondering if, three years after, the tilt stage would be available at some point. :)

Ciao,

Emanuele
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Old February 26th, 2010, 04:40 AM   #7
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Who knows what NAB will bring (well, I do know one thing, but it doesn't affect these rigs...). Don't think we'll see a mod to the existing Pilot with tilt head but there has been hope to integrate that through the product line.

I've asked the folks at the factory to send me pix of the buckle mod, hasn't happened yet.
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Old February 26th, 2010, 04:42 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Emanuele Chiocchio View Post
I'm also interested to an upgrade regarding the tiltable top stage: do you think Steadicam will supply something?
No tilting stage on the Pilot or Flyer.

Note that you can tilt the whole sled in a few seconds by trimming the stage balance knob. I use this all the time. Normal panning and framing seems to work fine with this.

The only down-side with this approach is that you can't do a precise whip-pan when the whole sled is balanced on a tilt. But this has never been a problem for me, since whip-pans are fairly uncommon.

The one time a director/DP asked for a fast whip ending in a really precise frame, we ended up doing it backwards. In other words, I framed the thing, let it sit still for a while, then just panned away really fast. In post, they reversed the footage, so it looked like a super-fast whip coming into a nice solid frame. That reminds me, I need a copy of that footage.

Anyway, hope this helps.
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Old February 26th, 2010, 05:44 AM   #9
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Dave
Thanks for the tip! I'm a completely video/steadicam newbie so all the suggestions from the experts are valuable for me and really appreciated. The Merlin setup arrived last week and I've had no difficulties to balance it with various camera/lenses configurations: I've put also a Zacuto mini base plate with no excessive worries. Anyway the arm+vest are a must-have with heavier camera/lens combos.

Charles
Searched the internet and found the product code (Tiffen part no. 801-7816) along some images of the upgraded vest here:
Steadicam Pilot - new buckles available - DVXuser.com -- The online community for filmmaking
As you can see, it seems that only one side receives the buckles while the other one still relies on velcro: it should be fine, probably, because one will never use again the velcro straps to dress/undress the vest.

Ciao,

Emanuele
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Old February 26th, 2010, 11:22 AM   #10
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The reverse footage trick is often helpful. Say you film somebody sitting down and later standing up. If the standing up footage has a problem, reversing the sitting down footage and editing at just the right points can save a re-shoot.
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