Steadicam JR vs. Glidecam 2000 (opinions please!) at DVinfo.net

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Old August 18th, 2005, 09:32 PM   #1
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Steadicam JR vs. Glidecam 2000 (opinions please!)

Greetings all:

I need a stabilizer for my wedding video business (GL2, of course). The best two options in my price range seem to be the Glidecam 2000 and Steadicam JR (w/o monitor). Could any of you give me a (detailed) opinion on this decision?

I'm looking to hear from highly satisfied customers in both camps, and especially anyone who's tried both.

Also anyone who's had very good results from another product in the same price range (sub-$400).

I'd like to buy in the next few days (no later than Aug 22nd).

My forum search has not turned up a lot on the subject, though I did learn that using the JR without a monitor (in other words, with the LCD screen flipped out as your monitor) can cause problems due to the rudder-like effect of the opened panel.

What do you guys think?

Thanks for reading

LD
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Old August 19th, 2005, 12:25 AM   #2
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hey man, don't move my post. It's a GL-2 question more than anything else, considering how these small stabilizers react to slight differences in camera style, weight, etc. Maybe I should've been explicit on that point. Well, I hope GL-2 users don't write me off as a "support" issue while support people ignore me as too narrowly GL-2 related. I'd still like an answer or two.
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Old August 19th, 2005, 12:58 AM   #3
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Luke,

I have used both the JR and the Glidecam 1000, 2000, and 4000 as well as many other stabilizers.

If you are planning on doing very long shots and are only considering handheld vs body supported units then I would go with the JR as the weight is held directly over the hand whereas with the Glidecam the weight is concentrated more on the wrist.

I just did a wedding where I was using a unit similar to a Glidecam 4000. After a few songs (groom and mother, and bride and groom) I was really straining which translates to instability. Not a good thing. I normally use a vest and dual arm but since I was the bride's father I didn't have that option. My son did the bride and father dance and he was dead at the end of the song (about 3 minutes). I believe the JR would have been easier to handle for this length of time.

The JR has a real frictionless gimbal whereas the Glidecam will have more weight making it more resistant to "footsteps" etc. I really depends on the user and his or her ability to handle the stabilizer.

Each unit has it's own +'s and -'s.

Good luck,

Tery
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Old August 19th, 2005, 10:50 AM   #4
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thanks for the info, Terry.

Would it be fair to say that you would prefer the Glidecam over the JR if you had the optional forearm brace?
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Old August 19th, 2005, 10:53 AM   #5
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A couple of things..

The "LCD screen as a Sail" issue applies to all rigs, not just the JR. - Allthough the JR with the monitor of course eliminates this.

Terry is right what he say's about the weight, the JR has the CG over your hand so you are holding it, not out to the side where it is twisting your wrist the whole time.

I'd definatly go for the JR.. not the copycat. - The JR was designed form scratch to work handheld, the Glidecam was just copied from full rigs and scaled down.. but it works in the wrong way for handheld.

And yes, this is deffinatly a support issue, and we don't care too much which camera you are supporting.. the same information is for everyone. Thoguh yes cameras do vary, so that's why we tailour our answers to your paticular situation.


- Mikko
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Old August 19th, 2005, 11:09 AM   #6
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Alright Mikko, no need to get sassy. :) I should've known it was a support issue, but I didn't even know this forum existed. My bad. Thanks for your input. It sounds as though you need more skill to operate the JR, but the Glidecam will wear you out faster.

Now I'm wondering if anyone knows where I can find some sample videos shot by a Steadicam JR. Glidecam has some on their site, and I've seen some shot by a wedding videographer with GL-2's (the footage simply amazing), but I can't seem to locate those JR samples.

Any idears?
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Old August 19th, 2005, 11:36 PM   #7
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Steadicam JR

I went through the same pain and ended up buying a Steadicam JR (with monitor) for my PD150 with W/A lens and large battery. Balancing was a challenge (I needed the optional weight kit) but once done, it only needs fine adjustment. The plus for me is that the PD150 is dedicated to the Steadicam and with the optional case, the whole lot is set up and ready to go. I now take it on every shoot as a backup to my main cameras, and it's available whenever I need a "steadicam" type shot. I also added a spare tripod plate which not only helped balance, but also means it can be quickly mounted on a tripod if necessary. The comments about usage above are right - you wouldn't want to use it all day!

I've not tried the Glidecam, but for me, I think as it's more cumbersome, I probably wouldn't use it and it would gather dust somewhere!

The only concern I have is that the Steadicam JR is plastic, so I'm not sure how robust it's going to be... that said, so far, so good!

Graham
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Old August 20th, 2005, 02:45 AM   #8
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D'you hear that guys? I'm sassy! :-)

Luke,
As you mention it.. I do happen to have a couple of shots from the JR...on my website: http://mikko.n3.net in the 'Video Gallery', there is a clip called "Grand Prix Soundtrack" - It's a 1min peice I put together of my (definatly newbie) exceution of the final test shot at a Steadicam workshop last fall.
The shots in 16:9 are shot with a big rig by me, but the 4:3 shots are shot with a JR. - They arn't very long, but they are rock solid and smooth as glass.

...And for 10 extra points and a chance to advance to the bonus round, who can identify the JR operator?

- Mikko
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Old August 20th, 2005, 02:05 PM   #9
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Hi Miikko
Unless I'm mistaken, it looks like the great Garrett Brown on the JR at about 30 seconds into the clip. That's pressure using a full Steadicam with the master on a JR watching you!!
Have you got any more of the JR footage?
Graham
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Old August 20th, 2005, 05:11 PM   #10
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Definetly Garrett. I recognize his voice.
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Old August 20th, 2005, 11:35 PM   #11
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Hey Mikko,
Stand up straight, will ya? Thanks for the clip. Good stuff.

Now what exercises (and how to do them) do you guys recommend for strenthening that stabilizing arm (besides curls, of course)?
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Old August 21st, 2005, 12:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham Risdon
That's pressure using a full Steadicam with the master on a JR watching you!!
Graham
Oh that's just the Fun of the workshop! - Though the real fun is reviewing it all together later!
..Though I must admit, there was definatly adrenaline flowing for some reason or other :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham Risdon
Have you got any more of the JR footage?
Graham
Not really anything worth sharing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke Duncan
Now what exercises (and how to do them) do you guys recommend for strenthening that stabilizing arm (besides curls, of course)?
Practicing using the rig of course! :-)


- Mikko
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Old August 21st, 2005, 05:56 AM   #13
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Hi Mikko

Took a closer look - was the wobble at about 54s shot by GB as well - if so, it's great he has the odd wayward moment - I've been trying hard to eliminate this sort of movement...(!)

Many thanks for the insight into the Steadicam course!

Graham
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Old August 21st, 2005, 01:55 PM   #14
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Garrett has always been amazing with the JR, which is its own special skill outside of the big rigs. He is somehow able to operate and perform a comedy act at the same time, wielding the JR like a mute, high tech ventriloquist puppet. It's lots of fun to watch.

In defense of GB, teaching workshops involves a mind-numbing amount of repitition (his momentary wobble with the JR may well have come while he was simultaneously receiving a cell phone call or mentally balancing his checkbook) --Mikko's soundtrack is actually quite apt. You got tired of hearing "stand up straight"? Imaging having to be the one to adominsh it to virtually every operator all through the workshop--and then multiply by how ever many years one has been teaching (in GB's case, over 25 years). I only taught for about 5 years and I'll admit to not having nearly as much patience as the Big Guy!

By the way, do I get extra credit for ID'ing Jerry Holway's voice at the start of the Grand Prix?

Looks like you had fun at the workshop Mikko, keep on flyin'!
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Old August 21st, 2005, 03:13 PM   #15
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Oh I had a blast...
Hell, I'd do the workshop again, even if I wasn't going to become and operator!

5 more points to CP for ID:ing Jerry, who's voice actually apeard a lot throught the video.. He was my grip during the shot (See the end)

Yes the 'wobble' at the end was GB... He was actually making space for another 'voice' to come in with more (of the same) adivce.
- Another 5 points up for grabs here: Who's the female voice at the end?


Hmm, another thread off on a tangent...

- Mikko
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