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Old February 6th, 2012, 03:03 PM   #1
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steadicam Pilot vs Sachtler Artemis

i wonder if anybody has flown both and can compare two units,
first I need a bit more weight capacity and thought to go flyer or zephyr, but then I saw Artemis, and back based mount option seems like a good idea, my rig is about 16-18Lb and after 2 - 3 hrs non stop i really feel my lower back:), wonder if back based mounted system will make any difference,
unfortunately I couldn't find any rental in Toronto area, so as always hoping to get help from you guys,
thanks!
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Old February 6th, 2012, 03:11 PM   #2
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Re: steadicam Pilot vs Sachtler Artemis

I just stepped up from the Pilot to the Zephyr. I am very happy with that decision.

I wish I could give an insight to compare the two. What I can say is the Zephyr is really nice and solid. It will handle your weight range very well.
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Old February 7th, 2012, 03:28 AM   #3
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Re: steadicam Pilot vs Sachtler Artemis

Sachtler is making a good product these days. However you'll find the performance of the Tiffen arms likely smoother.

Back mounted vests are good in theory but they are pretty critical in terms of body fit and design, more so than front mount. I used a back mount vest almost exclusively for the final 8 years in the rig or so and liked it for the load bearing properties, but it was much better designed than many of the cheaper ones that emerged subsequently (and also custom-built to one's personal measurements, which helps).

My recommendation would be that unless you have an absolute need to before the spring, try to get to NAB to fly as many rigs as possible to solidify your decision. It's a lot of money to spend without doing hands-on tests.
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Old February 7th, 2012, 05:10 PM   #4
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Re: steadicam Pilot vs Sachtler Artemis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buba Kastorski View Post
i wonder if anybody has flown both and can compare two units,
first I need a bit more weight capacity and thought to go flyer or zephyr, but then I saw Artemis, and back based mount option seems like a good idea, my rig is about 16-18Lb and after 2 - 3 hrs non stop i really feel my lower back:), wonder if back based mounted system will make any difference,
unfortunately I couldn't find any rental in Toronto area, so as always hoping to get help from you guys,
thanks!
Buba,

If you're free tomorrow from between 12 and 7 PM, there's a show going on from Cinequip White, the February Freeze. Tiffen's going to be there, showing off Steadicam rigs. Come fly the Zephyr and get a feel for it. The vest is really amazing, especially if you're coming from the Pilot vest.

I also fly with a back mounted harness, (Walter Klassen, just like Charles used), but I think for rigs in this weight range, a really good front mount vest should be fine, especially if the back mount vest isn't custom made for you, or fitting the exact right way. Even with my custom-made vest, I found that it took me a bit of operating to find exactly how I needed to wear it to get the most comfort out of it. I'd worry that without the custom sizing of the vest, it'd take even longer to get comfortable.

So, try on the Zephyr. See if you like it. I think it's a pretty great rig for its weight range.
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Old February 9th, 2012, 07:55 AM   #5
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Re: steadicam Pilot vs Sachtler Artemis

Many thanks for replies, it is a really great idea to go NAB and try em all, plus i've never been in Las Vegas,
Tom, many thanks for the offer, but my main interest is in the artemis area, I know Zephir is a great rig,
but i really want to try back mounted system;
so NAB it is,
thanks again!
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Old May 7th, 2012, 12:01 AM   #6
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Re: steadicam Pilot vs Sachtler Artemis

I have worked with the Artemis DV, maybe it is not too late to help, if you want to know just let me know
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Old May 7th, 2012, 07:40 AM   #7
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Re: steadicam Pilot vs Sachtler Artemis

Hey Rodrigo,
thanks for the offer, it's never too late to give a good advise:)
I didn't go with zephyr, but got flyer le instead, great rig, but getting heavier setup makes me think about back mounted vest system again and again; after working a few days with larger rig, flying my old pilot is such a joy!
:)
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Old May 7th, 2012, 07:45 AM   #8
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Re: steadicam Pilot vs Sachtler Artemis

Hi Bubba,

I know this is a bit OT from the original post.

How hard was it to choose which rig to get?
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Old May 7th, 2012, 08:20 AM   #9
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Re: steadicam Pilot vs Sachtler Artemis

Very easy,
you look at the specs, and then you look in your pocket, (or other way around), then you look for available options :) I just got lucky and got almost brand new Flyer LE for the half price of Zephyr, I hope I will stay under 20lb bracket, so it should work fine for me,
I don't know Chris if you have any experience with full rigs, but if you planning to get into flying you have to try it first, i have a few friends that wanted to start steadicaming, but after I put my loaded rig on them for 10-15 min they just call me when they need stadicam shots;
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Old May 7th, 2012, 09:50 AM   #10
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Re: steadicam Pilot vs Sachtler Artemis

"Full" rigs have a far greater payload (and subsequent body-load) than any of the systems discussed here!
A full-size stabilizer with average weight camera weighs around 75lbs all-in; start adding specialty accessories, zooms/anamorphics etc and it can creep towards 90. 3D rigs start around there and go upwards...

But really, the point is that it's very much a "thing" that an uber-light rig like the Pilot will allow the operator to work for extended periods with less than ideal form and not have it become an issue. When that same form is applied to a rig that is heavier, fatigue becomes more of a factor. Anyone who learns on a full-size rig gets the notion pretty quickly that the further the rig flies from the body, the more strain it puts on the operator, and instinctively one learns to negotiate it around oneself mere inches away. With a small rig, the penalty of holding it away from the body or especially in front is far less, so bad habits can develop. Buba, if you haven't taken the 2 day workshop, or even if you had, I wonder if maybe you would find it beneficial to get some eyeballs on your form to see if you are expending more energy than necessary (and putting more torque on your back). Even if your form is dead-on, it's possible that you got used to wearing the rig more than you "need" to (i.e. not docking whenever you have the chance)? Again, habits that develop from a super-light rig don't translate well to bigger rigs.

Even outside of all that, it's simply a fact that Steadicams with front-mounted vests work those lower back muscles. Over time, they strengthen and become used to the load, but it can take a while. The important thing is to note that what is being experienced is typical muscle exhaustion and not spinal issues. The back-mounted vests will generally alleviate the sense of "working the back", but there's no such thing as a free ride and the weight still has to go somewhere. After years with a front mount vest I switched to a back mount as noted above, and when worked to the point of fatigue it no longer started in the back, but it does go to the legs and that can be problematic in a different way. My knees started talking to me and they had never been an issue before.

It's my assertion that with a system that weighs under 30 lbs, there's no specific need to go back-mounted vs front unless one has a bad back to begin with (meaning issues related to the spine, not just weak muscles). Front mount vests work your back, which is often confused with hurting your back. Most people who put it on for the first time feel the pull in their backs and then assume that it must be doing something bad, because we all associate sore backs with a negative experience. Those muscles respond to exercise just like any other, and the reality is that most working Steadicam operators are in far better condition to deal with the slings and arrows of everyday life that cause people to "throw out their backs" etc. Knock on wood, I have never had back issues and I ran around with that 75+lb rig for 25 years, which I clearly believe is WHY I didn't have issues.
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Old May 7th, 2012, 12:07 PM   #11
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Re: steadicam Pilot vs Sachtler Artemis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buba Kastorski View Post
Very easy,
you look at the specs, and then you look in your pocket, (or other way around), then you look for available options :) I just got lucky and got almost brand new Flyer LE for the half price of Zephyr, I hope I will stay under 20lb bracket, so it should work fine for me,
I don't know Chris if you have any experience with full rigs, but if you planning to get into flying you have to try it first, i have a few friends that wanted to start steadicaming, but after I put my loaded rig on them for 10-15 min they just call me when they need stadicam shots;
I owned a Pilot for a few years. I moved up to a Zephyr at the first of this year. I now have the capacity to fly the F3 in more than a basic configuration. That meets my needs for now. I don't picture myself ever reaching Chucks level.

I was curious about your decision since I was presented with the same choices to work through. Always interested in how different people figure it out.
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Old May 8th, 2012, 08:51 PM   #12
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Re: steadicam Pilot vs Sachtler Artemis

I can not tell about technique more than some dudes here, im not an expert i have used steadycams several times and i can say that i can get some nice shots, just a basic-mid level. I have the artemis pro MD.

The Artemis is a well done equipment, it has a rugged arm and a strong vest not much suitable for thin people. It comes with a plate to use with a Cstand which is not part of the kit. I bought a regular sized Cstand but i had to move to a bigger one because it was not so stable. Ive used with EX3 and NX5 camcorders. To use with a DSLR will have to buy extra weight and be sure to select the right dampers (2) i have both the light and heavy weight dampers. It gave some trouble when i used a big Anton bauer batt. The Hytron is a god option to use with a cam like the EX3. The downward rig to hold the screen is not very strong and one could damage it if apply too much force in the effort to secure it. It could be easily bent, thats my only complaint. Sometimes i would like to extend a little further the vertical rod of the rig because is not really long.

The overall quality is very high, i lost the screw to hold the quick release plate altought. It can be complete unscewed from the head. A regular screw would fit well.

not difficult to balance because the mechanism in the head, of course light years away from a system like glidecam or similars. Internally cabled you will just need a small bnc cable from camcorder to head because the screen is already connected to the rig.

I just Needed to get an apart bag to carry in order not to scratch it and protect from impact. Solid, sturdy, trusted.

regards
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Old May 9th, 2012, 09:12 AM   #13
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Re: steadicam Pilot vs Sachtler Artemis

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I don't picture myself ever reaching Chucks level.
Who's this Chuck, now?!!?
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Old May 9th, 2012, 09:15 AM   #14
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Re: steadicam Pilot vs Sachtler Artemis

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Who's this Chuck, now?!!?
:) Uh. the one named Charles??
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Old May 9th, 2012, 09:40 AM   #15
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Re: steadicam Pilot vs Sachtler Artemis

"Obi-Wan Kenobi. Obi-Wan... Now, that's a name I've not heard in a long time. A long time."
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