Balancing the NEX-FS100 on the Blackbird, Steadicam and Glidecam at DVinfo.net

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Old July 7th, 2012, 03:21 PM   #1
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Balancing the NEX-FS100 on the Blackbird, Steadicam and Glidecam

Hi,

I don't know if there are any Sony FS100 users at this part of the forum, but I've gathered my balancing setups for the NEX-FS100 on the Blackbird stabilizer, Steadicam Merlin and Glidecam HD-2000 for anyone that likes to give it a try: DerranNL: Flying the NEX-FS100 I've used these settings for all my flying videos with this camera.

Even if you don't have a FS100, but do own a similar size (and weight) camera, it might give you a good starting point. Good luck!
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Old September 18th, 2012, 03:36 PM   #2
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Re: Balancing the NEX-FS100 on the Blackbird, Steadicam and Glidecam

Derran - that was a good web page you put together. I've got the Glidecam 2000 (earlier model) and noted your detail photos with the tape measure. It sure makes a difference in setup time when all the nuances of how the rig is put together so it can be repeated for quick and easy balancing.

Here is a thought. Weight of the completed rig is all important and counterweights add to the rig weight. (I get a kick out of the cute model Glidecam uses to hold their display rig) In your rig setup I noticed that the mic is located above the camera and I was thinking that maybe, just maybe, if the mic could be somehow mounted UNDER the camera, that the weights could be reduced a tad. What do you think?
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Old September 18th, 2012, 05:44 PM   #3
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Re: Balancing the NEX-FS100 on the Blackbird, Steadicam and Glidecam

Thanks John!
Yes, even the smallest changes can throw the balance completely off, so I use the tape measure to make sure I can replicate the balance settings perfectly, over and over again.

I like your idea about mounting the microphone below the camera. However the standard microphone of the FS100 is too light to really make a difference. Perhaps with a heavier microphone this could help a bit in the overall weight department, but only when you place the microphone below the gimbal to act like a counterweight balance for the camera. You will also need to have a cable running between camera and microphone and this can cause problems with gimbal operation. But you can definitely reduce overall rig weight by placing some of the camera accessories on the bottom of a stabilizer so they act like counterweights. You only need to be careful that cables won't cause any problems.
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Old September 24th, 2012, 06:21 AM   #4
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Re: Balancing the NEX-FS100 on the Blackbird, Steadicam and Glidecam

That's interesting. Thanks for posting. Now that you have flown the FS100 on all three rigs which one do you prefer? I fly a 5D2 or 5D3 on a Glidecam 2000 Pro but I also have a C300 that is too heavy to use on the 2000. I can fly the C300 on my Steadicam Pilot but when shooting weddings I don't often get the chance use the Pilot as you must be pretty much dedicated to that as the vest gets in the way of doing anything else e.g. setting up lights, putting a mic on the groom & 101 other things that need to be done. I would like to get a handheld Steadicam to use with the C300. The Merlin doesn't have the capacity as the C300 with lens & battery weighs nearly 3.5kg (7+lbs) so my only choices are either the Glidecam HD-4000 or the Blackbird so am interested to hear from someone who has used both.
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Old September 26th, 2012, 05:43 AM   #5
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Re: Balancing the NEX-FS100 on the Blackbird, Steadicam and Glidecam

The Blackbird is my favorite out of all three stabilizers. It can fly anything between a lightweight NEX-5N and a nicely dressed up FS100. I can fly it handheld or even on the Steadicam arm and vest. Balancing is fast and easy and I always get the best flying results from it. To be honest, I haven't been using the other stabilizers anymore. Last week I used it handheld on a shoot inside a store and it was compact enough to walk through the crowd and the footage turned out great.

I understand your problem about not being able to use the Pilot on such a hectic day. The 3.5kg of your C300 (great camera!) stays within the weight limits of both the Blackbird and the Glidecam HD4000, but I wouldn't recommend flying such a heavy payload handheld on the HD4000. Since the handle is on the side, this will cause a lot of stress on your arm and wrist. The Blackbird has the handle below the camera which really helps to carry the weight more easily. Please let me know how it goes!
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