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Old October 15th, 2010, 12:26 PM   #1
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Steadicam and fx1

I have an Fx1 which weighs 4.4 lbs. I was playing around with my friends steadicam and his Canon which weighs about half of my camera. The Steadicam says it can support cameras up to 8lbs. Has anyone used a steadicam with this big of a camera. Is there anything out there that would be better to get with the same smooooooooooooth effect of the steadicam for about the same price?
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Old October 16th, 2010, 12:15 AM   #2
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which model of Steadicam? Also is it actually a Steadicam or one of the others out there that are called Steadicam but aren't made by Tiffen?
If it's a real Tiffen Steadicam product, I think even the Merlin would handle the camera although you might find the Pilot to work better. Of course if you don't want a vest then the Merlin is the one but if you want a vested unit then Pilot.
See the problem is a Steadicam is like Kleenex. Kleenex is a brand name but is also a name given to all tissues, Steadicam is the pretty much the same. Not all "steadicams" are Steadicams although they all work in the same manner. So we go back to the first couple of questions. Vested or not, Tiffen Steadicam or...?

Also be advised that a 4 pound camera isn't all that heavy so pretty much any unit would carry it.
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Old October 16th, 2010, 07:51 AM   #3
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Merlin

Thanks Don. I am looking into the REAL Merlin Steadicam. Have read some reviews about it that the Gimbal breaks with a heavier camera. I looked into a GlidecamHD Series and also the Blackbird Camera Stabilizer. They are all around the same price with the Steadicam a little more, but that is what I can afford. The Pilot JUMPS way up in price. I just want to make the best choice. Of course I will add extra pounds with lights and mic....so the real question is "are these other options that handle more weight good options". There are a lot of reviews but I thought I would ask here.
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Old October 16th, 2010, 08:48 AM   #4
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Heyv Kat, I forgot about the gimbal on the Merlin. The metal gimbal is good but by the time you load up a light and wireless the Merlin is really stretching it. I've heard good stuff about the Blackbird but don't know a lot about it. Yeah the Pilot kicks it up a notch price wise but also keep in mind that the Merlin style (Blackbird) stabilizers (handheld-non-vested) can be quite tiring after a short time depending on how you dress up the rig.
I'm pretty sure there are some reviews/posts about the Blackbird here see what you might be able to find, as I recall most of what I read was pretty positive.
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Old October 16th, 2010, 01:15 PM   #5
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I just got the Blackbird a couple of weeks back, and have started testing with my Canon DSLRs. I also have an HV20 that I have been shooting tests with. Today, looking at this post, I got my FX1 out, and mounted it on the Blackbird, primarily to test to see if it would be workable. I am pleasantly surprised that the camera will adjust well-- albeit a heavier camera rig in general.

I set the Blackbird up for it by taking the light camera gimbal extension off, then adding weights on the bottom to give 3 big weights and one small on each side. I have mounted a Manfrotto quick release on my Blackbird, that gives me extra adjustment capability, but it also adds a bit to weight, so your experience will vary.

I have no doubt after this brief experience, that the Blackbird will accomodate the FX1 after I dial it in.

To shoot HDV, I would probably still opt for the lighter HV20, but this will work fine too, especially if you are young and strong.
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Old October 16th, 2010, 04:54 PM   #6
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GlideCam HD 4000

Thanks guys...good stuff! Anyone have an opinion on the Glidecam HD 4000? Seems it is really designed for a bigger camera?????
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