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Old August 9th, 2005, 07:03 PM   #1
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Glidecam really better than cheap knock-offs?

Hello everybody. I'm trying to start up a business right now, which requires me to be able to move freely with my Xl1s without any camera shake. However, I'm going through the tight budget problems that most starting companies experience, and my stabilizer needs to be as cheap as possible. This means I need something like a Glidecam 4000. But, on Ebay, there are some "knock-off" versions of the Glidecam, at a much lower price. They all can support the XL's weight, and all of them are exactly like the Glidecam in appearance/design. My question is, (since I KNOW in film making that you get what you pay for...) will there be any difference in quality/performance between a Glidecam 4000, or this "homecast" style?

Thanks a lot, everybody,

~Clint Grant~

Last edited by Clint Grant; August 9th, 2005 at 07:35 PM. Reason: mispelled :"glidecam"
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Old August 9th, 2005, 07:10 PM   #2
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Rather than worrying about the quality I'd be more worried about using a handheld stabilizer with the XL1s. I have a Glidecam 2000, and the build quality seems fine. So far I've only used it with my PDX-10 which is a little 2lb camera. What kind of shape are you in? Maybe you're a lot better than me (which wouldn't be hard ;-) but after a lot of practice I was only able to film for a couple minutes at a time before my arm became completely exhausted.

Unless you've already worked with one of these little stabilizers I'd urge you to beg/borrow/rent one - even for a few hours - and see whether you think you'll ever be able to acheive your goal with one.
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Old August 9th, 2005, 07:23 PM   #3
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Thanks

Yeah, I know...I'm really going to need a vest or something. I hate to say this, but I'm REALLY tight on money, and simply couldn't afford a V-16. V-8 could be a possibility, but can't seem to find one. Does that "Body Pod" from Glidecam work at all?
Thanks,
~Clint Grant~

P.S. yeah, I'm not in the shape to hold that thing.......
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Old August 9th, 2005, 07:35 PM   #4
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You say your startup business requires you to not have camera shake. What sort of business is it?

Anyway some people may turn up their noses but what's working really well for me is to hold the camera very steady and then clean up with VirtualDub and Deshaker.
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Old August 9th, 2005, 08:40 PM   #5
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I just have to chime in here.. but Glidecam *IS* a cheap nockoff.
It's a ok one, but it's still a knockoff a real Steadicam.

What sort of stuff wil you be shooting? That will have a big effect on yoru need for a stabilizer.

- Mikko


P.S. I doubt it was intentional, but I really like "Glidecan" as a name... ;-)
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Old August 10th, 2005, 01:30 AM   #6
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Many times you can get a lot more for the money in stabilizers if you know what you're looking for and what you actually need.

As Boyd has intimated-the weight of a XL1 using just a hand held system is going to show you just how mush you do need a vest and arm. And, as Mikko said, any stabilizer is a "knock off" but I don't think the term "cheap" should necessarily be included in the description as it implies not good. Some of the "knock-offs" work very well and can take stabile pictures without costing an arm and a leg (a leg anyway).

The Magiqcam is a fairly well built system as is the Hollywood GT series. There are others as well. Most aren't the same super quality as the Flyer but they also don't cost even a third as much.

As you will hear from other qualified stabilizer users, the most important thing you can do after getting a decent stabilizing system is to practise...practise...practise. Look up Leigh Wansteads threads and see what I mean. His first videos were...well...let's just say in need of some real help. His latest clips show that he has come a l o n g way in his skills. If you watched his first clips you would think he owned a crummy stabilizer. After watching the later clips you would think he bought a much better system but I think it's the same one as he is manufacturing it for sale soon I think.

The bottom line is...you don't have to own an actual "Steadicam" to create good video but good equipment does help. If it is an actual Steadicam you can bet it is well made though.

Tery
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Old August 10th, 2005, 10:13 AM   #7
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Thanks again, everybody. I'm doing this as a "on-the-side" thing (to make some cash), but I'm doing "virtual" home tours/showings. I have a great connection to the Real estate business, (my dad), which can get me started. It's really basic, and won't really develop my film making skills, but it will be great practice at using the camera, stabilizer, etc. and a great way to learn dramatic angles, lighting, etc. This is why I need a fairly good stabilizer - these houses are going to look absolutely unappealing if there's any shake.

I'm going to be different from the other "virtual" tour companies because they only stand in the middle of one room and continually rotate 360 degrees. I, on the other hand, am going to literally show the house - walk through it, show intricate detail.....kinda more of a presentation than just in the middle of one room going in boring circles....

~Clint Grant~

P.S. I understand what you mean by "glidecam IS a knock-off.". Does that "body pod" do any good?
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Old August 10th, 2005, 12:45 PM   #8
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It sounds like you're going to need a wide angle lens, and that should help quite a bit anyhow.
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Old August 10th, 2005, 01:27 PM   #9
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yep, I know. I've been looking around for one, but I think I'm gonna need this stabilizer first. I've been planning on getting the XL 3x wide all along, but I had to prioritize my purchases. Although, I have heard that the wide lens helps minimize shake; however it doesn't eliminate it. (But it doesn't have OIS, either.)

I really wish I could just afford a glidecam V-8, or Smooth Shooter, and just end it. Oh well, just another money-driven thing (what isn't) - the more you pay, the more you get.....

~Clint Grant~
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Old August 10th, 2005, 02:04 PM   #10
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In response to your "What isn't?" question, Deshaker isn't. You seriously should try it in either VirtualDub or in your editing program (there's software you can find that will let you operate it through Vegas or Premiere, etc). Is there a reason you haven't? I may have just saved you a ton of money on your car insurance.

(Geico joke)
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Old August 10th, 2005, 02:37 PM   #11
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Hi Clint,

Don't worry too much about money. You can always do static tripod shot. Good framing from tripod shot is really powerful. If your business goes well, you can always buy your dream stuff. I am dreaming to buy a Steinway grand piano in a beach house for the moment. ;-) I own a 100 years old Haake German made upright piano and live on top of the hill now. Good things takes time. ;-)

You can view my germany piano from here. File size around 30mb.

Click here

Regards
Leigh

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clint Grant
I really wish I could just afford a glidecam V-8, or Smooth Shooter, and just end it. Oh well, just another money-driven thing (what isn't) - the more you pay, the more you get.....

~Clint Grant~
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Old August 10th, 2005, 06:09 PM   #12
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Thanks a lot!

Thanks for the advice. Yeah, I think I will just start off doing static tripod, and save up for the better stuff. I won't have to stand in the middle of a room - just do a lot of takes from many different angles on a tripod.....yeah.....that could work...........I'm gonna do that!

Great piano work - did you play that?

I see what you mean. If you have an idea, or dream, just find a way to do it- even if your first method isn't what you WANTED. Later, you can get the stuff you wanted, and everything's good.

by the way, I didn't intentionally write "glidecan"; I meant it to be glidecam......but I guess it seems kinda funny.

Thanks a whole lot;

~Clint Grant~
Feeling particularly inspired tonight
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Old August 10th, 2005, 06:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clint Grant
Great piano work - did you play that?
No, I was the person behind the camera. ;-) That was my dad.
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Old August 10th, 2005, 07:08 PM   #14
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I see. Still, very nicely played; and filmed!

~Clint Grant~
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Old August 10th, 2005, 08:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clint Grant
I see. Still, very nicely played; and filmed!

~Clint Grant~
Thanks

Regards
Leigh
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