Scout vs Zephyr at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Stabilizers (Steadicam etc.)


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old September 16th, 2012, 07:45 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Gatwick, UK
Posts: 185
Scout vs Zephyr

Hi folks,

I'm looking to buy a Pilot, Scout or Zephyr very shortly. I think I've been sold on going for the Scout over the Pilot, purely because of the vest quality for a start.

However, having looked at pricing, I've found I can pick up a Zephyr for only 1000 more than the Scout. Can anyone tell me if it's really worth paying the extra 1K for a Zephyr if the Scout will more than suit my needs?

I will be flying a 5D mark III on it mostly.

Thanks for any help!!
__________________
http://kriskoster.com
Kris Koster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 17th, 2012, 06:33 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
Re: Scout vs Zephyr

IMO if you're flying the 5D a Pilot will do you nicely. The Scout may have a nicer vest but is it worth the extra money? The Zephyr IMO would be total overkill for your setup unless you plan on flying heavier rigs in the future. Dollor value for dollar spent. Which serves the purpose for you and allows future growth? Probably the Scout but for immediate use the Pilot. You might not even be able to properly balance the current setup on the Zephyr.
You'r money, your choice.
__________________
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
Don
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 17th, 2012, 09:49 AM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Gatwick, UK
Posts: 185
Re: Scout vs Zephyr

Thank you Don, for your advice.

I guess I am weighing up options for being hired to do other work as a Steadicam operator. If I have a setup able to take a heavier rig, then I would be more employable in that regard. I limit myself if I go for a Pilot I think.

Also, I need to think about the 'extras' that I will load the 5D3 with. Follow focus system, perhaps? Receiver for the radio mic if I'm recording on-camera audio... etc.

These are the reasons why I have been thinking twice from my earlier thoughts about the Pilot.

Thanks again Don,

Kris
__________________
http://kriskoster.com
Kris Koster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 17th, 2012, 12:11 PM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
Re: Scout vs Zephyr

With the extras on the 5D I think you'd be OK with the Pilot however since you're thinking of future ues with heavier rigs then the Scout of Zephyr would be the rig of choice. Which one? Hmmmm, depends on how heavy a rig you might need to work with. The only thing I'm thinking is that even with all the extras on the 5D the Zephyr might be overkill.
Take all of the gear you think you'll be flying, 5D, rails, matte box, wireless, whatever and throw it on a scale, see how much it weighs. Also weigh each individual piece so if you decide on say the Scout, if you add or remove a piece of gear you have a starting point of what you might need to do to get the rig balanced. Take a look at the minimum and maximum loads each rig can carry and that should help point you in the right direction. It does sound like the Pilot might not work for you so money aside, concentrate on the Scout and Zephyr.
Good luck
__________________
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
Don
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 17th, 2012, 12:30 PM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Efland NC, USA
Posts: 2,315
Re: Scout vs Zephyr

We struggled to get the weight of a 5d rig to the 9lb minimum for a Zephyr. To really make it fly well you need to get it towards the middle of its capacity -14-16lbs of payload. That will mean adding dead weight. Nothing wrong with that but understand it will need more physical conditioning on your part to do it. I could run around all day with the pilot at max weight but a Zephyr with 15-16lbs of payload will get your (my) attention after about 20 minutes.

I suspect the Scout is the best fit for a 5d + accessories and it will have some room to grow as well.

Don't forget that Steadicam products hold their value well. I sold my Pilot for more than 85% of what I had paid for it new. Granted it was very well taken care of and was in perfect condition but I consider it a bargain to have owned and used a pro class steadicam for 3 years for less than $600.
__________________
http://www.LandYachtMedia.com
Chris Medico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 26th, 2012, 04:02 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 418
Re: Scout vs Zephyr

I'd suggest the Zephyr. Getting a weight plate made for the 5D is not hard. The Zephyr will give you the most room to move. You can easily fly a Red MX or Epic with it. It'll fly all broadcast sized cameras stripped down. I've even seen a stripped down Alexa on a Zephyr.. although its not adviseable.

If the extra 1k isnt an issue. Buy right buy once.

I regularaly fly 5Ds on my Flyer LE with the arm maxed out at 19lbs. The cameras live with either a 3kg or 5kg weight plate under them when on the sled.

Either way, both the Zephyr and Scout are great rigs, i'd stay away from the Pilot however. Its a toy.
Joe Lawry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 27th, 2012, 11:24 AM   #7
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
Re: Scout vs Zephyr

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Lawry View Post
Either way, both the Zephyr and Scout are great rigs, i'd stay away from the Pilot however. Its a toy.
Joe, do you have issues with the Pilot design or are you just suggesting this because of the decreased payload (which hinders its practical usage)?

For me, the only part of the Pilot that I found hinky was the vest--I got the idea behind it (can easily be worn under a jacket, so good for wedding shooters etc) but I couldn't wrap my head around the velcro straps (which make noise, so bad for wedding shooters). The rest of it I found to be a good performer.

Otherwise, I agree with your suggestion. More payload means more options. It's a bad feeling to be up against the maximum of one's rig with nowhere to go (or worse, beyond it).
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 28th, 2012, 08:58 AM   #8
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,414
Re: Scout vs Zephyr

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Lawry View Post
i'd stay away from the Pilot however. Its a toy.
:)
It's not a toy, it is a very well (except for the vest) designed system, and at the price of Zephyr's vest alone it makes a perfect entry level steadicam rig, absolutely capable of the most glorious Hollywood style steadicam shots, if operator is experienced enough.
Kris,
if Zephyr fits your budget get it, price difference between Scout and Zephyr totally worth it, you'll get much better vest, more power and video connectors and dynamic balance on Zephyr is a piece o'cake :)
My personal experience - I am mostly a wedding shooter, so often i have to wear the rig for long hours, and if it's DSLR, or any other light camera I choose Pilot, loaded close to it's max, it lets me stay fresh and does not effect quality of my shots even after couple hours of continues shooting. i also have Flyer, but i put it on only when the setup is off the Pilot's weight limits.
__________________
I love this place!
Buba Kastorski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 28th, 2012, 04:05 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 418
Re: Scout vs Zephyr

Sorry, my comment wasn't quite finished now that I look at it again.

Compared to the Zephyr and Scout the Pilot is a toy.

In its own right its a great little rig. I loved mine to bits, had it for 2 years. But i believe there is a huge jump in quality between the Pilot and Scout.
Joe Lawry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 29th, 2012, 04:25 PM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Gatwick, UK
Posts: 185
Re: Scout vs Zephyr

In the end I went with the Scout. Thanks, everyone. Your input was crucial.

On balance and having taken every one's opinion into account, I felt the Zephyr might be overkill for what I will primarily use the unit for. I also felt the better vest for the Scout over the Pilot was probably worth it.

I can consider what I *might* use the Steadicam for in other situations, ie. broadcast cameras like the Alexa - But at the end of the day, the likelihood is very low at the moment, so why burden myself flying a heavier weight with a camera that makes up 90% of my work? It defeats the object of buying equipment suitable for my purpose!

Should my fortunes change and I improve to the extent I'm being asked to work on productions with bigger rigs, I'd be happy to review my options at that point.

For now, I'm happy learning how to fly this awesome rig... If only I could find a charger for my Swit v-mount battery!
__________________
http://kriskoster.com
Kris Koster is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Stabilizers (Steadicam etc.)

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:18 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network