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Old July 4th, 2012, 09:08 AM   #1
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Looking for Feedback on the Aviator MX

I'm shopping for a new rig and I'm really leaning towards the Varizoom Aviator MX. It seems like a good bang for the buck and fits with my weight of camera and price point, but I can't seem to find any reviews for it. Anyone here have any experience with them? I have looked at the Steadycam Pilot as well, but I'm over the weight limit on that rig and the next step up on a Steadycam rigs is a HUGE one.

VariZoom AviatorMX Stabilizer System with Anton VZAVIATORMX-AB
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Old July 4th, 2012, 10:33 AM   #2
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Re: Looking for Feedback on the Aviator MX

The Varizoom rigs are OK but you won't find the same arm performance in any of the small-rig manufacturers outside of the Tiffen Steadicams, as they have the isoelastic design patented. Much smoother and more "invisible" ride. Not to say you can't get steady shots out of the Aviator, but it will be harder to hide footsteps in slow moving shots.

The next model up from the Pilot is the Scout, which is $3000 more. Whether that is a HUGE difference is a personal distinction. Seeing as that has the capacity to fly a camera capable of shooting very high end work (F3, C300, Epic), I think that's still a reasonable amount. If you plan to hang on to the rig, it will serve you through multiple generations of cameras...if you think you will sell in a few years, you'll likely get better resale out of the Steadicam brand.
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Old July 4th, 2012, 01:56 PM   #3
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Re: Looking for Feedback on the Aviator MX

Thanks Charles,
Yea another $3,000 is almost double the cost of the Aviator and it will support the same weight of the Scout on paper. This is one of those things that I don't think is going to make me a lot of money, it's mostly something that I just want to improve on some of the things I'm trying to pull off. I'm pretty good with my 7D Black Bird combo, I want to Fly my EX3 a little better and a LOT longer.
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Old July 4th, 2012, 02:33 PM   #4
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Re: Looking for Feedback on the Aviator MX

as another option try to find used flyer - very good design, but you'll need to do some mods to support HD signal, i have never tried to fly Aviator, but i know that you always get what you are paying for;
from the other hand I'm sure if Charles will fly iPhone on it - it'll look better than me flying Epic on any pro system :)
Professional steadicam operators will correct me, but I'd say rig is only about 25% of steady, if not less than that :)
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Old July 4th, 2012, 02:53 PM   #5
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Re: Looking for Feedback on the Aviator MX

Thank you Buba (iPhone is about the only camera I handle these days though!)

Yes, a good operator can do decent work on a lesser rig--but he wouldn't want to. It's like asking a concert violinist to use a student instrument. Frustrating.

There comes a point for all new operators where they will "bang up against the stops" of the limitations of a particular system, and then it's time to move up to something with more performance (same analogy with student musicians and instruments). Someone who hasn't operated much may not appreciate the nuance of an isoelastic arm vs the competition, but after even a few months of use, they would have a very different response.
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Old July 4th, 2012, 04:42 PM   #6
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Re: Looking for Feedback on the Aviator MX

I went to NAB a few years ago ahead of my first stabilizer purchase and tried on every single rig I could find. None of them had the feel of the Pilot (in its price range).

I ran the Pilot for a few years and sold it to Duke Hospital in Durham last fall. They are using it to fly a EX3.

I would recommend getting some hands-on time with the rigs before investing. It made my decision a lot easier.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 03:59 PM   #7
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Re: Looking for Feedback on the Aviator MX

Well after after himing and hawing (we do that some here in NC) for what seemed like eternity I found a used Pilot with the AB mount on B&H today rated at 9 for just under 3K. I finally jumped and it should be here on Friday. Chris you wouldn't have any basic starting point for set up that you could share with me for the EX3 setup? Also, Chris I mentioned in the past if you wanted some assistance on some of your festival projects to please hit me up. That offer still stands. Thanks guys for steering me in the right direction.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 05:36 PM   #8
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Re: Looking for Feedback on the Aviator MX

Drop me a note Jerry when you get the rig. Be happy to help you set it up.
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 12:02 PM   #9
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Re: Looking for Feedback on the Aviator MX

Thanks and will do!!
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