Can't decide between a stabilizer or a slider.... at DVinfo.net

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Old April 16th, 2011, 10:23 PM   #1
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Can't decide between a stabilizer or a slider....

Just curious what your guys personal preference would be if you could only buy one. I know both are specialized tools.

I have $500 sitting here.... can go with one or the other and I've been agonizing for the past 3 days over which one I want to pick.... uggghhh..... So many cool things to do with both....

For the stabilizer I was going to go with the blackbird. Still deciding between the options on sliders
Michael Solomon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 17th, 2011, 05:56 PM   #2
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Re: Can't decide between a stabilizer or a slider....

First let me tell you that I know that "antsy" feeling of having extra bucks burning a hole in your pocket!

Now, how to decide? You need to decide, first and foremost.

Let's look at the pros and cons of each:

Stabilizer (Blackbird):

Pro - You aren't locked down to a location. You can fly it all over.
Pro - after setup, pretty good for "run and gun" shots.
Pro - Stabilizers give an "immediacy" to the shot that a slider doesn't.
Con - You need to practice to get good
Con - You can only fly for a short period before muscle burn in your arm makes it unbearable. (It's the nature of hand-held stabilizers.)
Con - It takes time to balance your camera before you fly it.

Slider:

Pro - You can get consistent sliding shots with less practice than a handheld stabilizer.
Pro - The cost of the slider is less than the stabilizer.
Pro - The slider can handle a bit more weight.
Pro - you can get the lighting and sound perfect for a properly prepped slider shot.
Con - The slider requires a tripod (or two) to mount it in the right area.
Con - The slider is stationary and must be moved and re-setup for each new location.
Con - Not for "run and gun" situations
Con - Slider shots look staged (Can be a "pro" if you like that for your shoot)

Other thoughts?
Bob Krieger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 18th, 2011, 08:05 AM   #3
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Re: Can't decide between a stabilizer or a slider....

depends on what you shoot, for example I can't remember steadicam shots in nature films, but there is a lot of 'dolly' shots, if you planning to shoot narrative, or music videos then steadicam shots can be very useful, but you know it'll take quite a lot of practice to get to the level;
but if I had to choose I'd pick slider, I think as a tool in cinematography it's being used more often than steadicam, and it doesn't take special skills, so you can get decent shots right away, just watch your speed and go sloоооwly :)
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Old April 19th, 2011, 09:52 PM   #4
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Re: Can't decide between a stabilizer or a slider....

I have a Merlin and frankly don't use it much, certainly not as much as I thought I would. It's a pain to use in more ways than one.

I'd think putting your money into lights or an external monitor would be better use it. Both items you mentioned have a cool factor, but their practicality depends a lot on what you shoot.
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