Best XL-1 Steadicam for less than $3000 at DVinfo.net

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Old February 3rd, 2006, 08:36 PM   #1
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Best XL-1 Steadicam for less than $3000

Friends,
I know you've heard this one before, and I have searched this forum, but with new models and manufacturers out, what should I buy? I'm using an old XL-1 with the stock 16X lens, a NebtekTC-7, and a couple of the big Lenmar batteries - total about 7lbs. I have exactly $3,000 in this year's budget, and I just want to make good, acceptable, pretty tracking shots. Help me, please?
- Jim
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Old February 3rd, 2006, 10:17 PM   #2
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The best rig you'd get for that money would be a Glidecam Smooth Shooter ($1500) plus a Glidecam 4000 Pro ($500). That'd do nicely, though obviously it's quite lacking in comparison to a rig like the Flyer.

It's a good starting rig though, and it'll definetly create good shots.

http://glidecam.com
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Old February 3rd, 2006, 10:28 PM   #3
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Thanks, Tom. Would I be better off rolling this $3K into next year's budget (July 1) and asking for another $500 to have enough for the V-16? Or, where would I begin to look for a better, used rig?
Thanks!
- Jim
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Old February 3rd, 2006, 10:44 PM   #4
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The V-16, although a step up, still isn't exactly a prime rig. It's practically bulletproof though, and really, you'd have a much harder time breaking it than the Smooth Shooter setup. (Not that it's exactly fragile either.) The big advantage of the V-16 would be weight capacity though. A Smooth Shooter setup will fly quite light cameras, but the V-16 could easily fly a nice big shoulder-mount broadcast camera.

If you're willing to wait, and think you could use the extra capacity, go for the V-16. The Smooth Shooter is a quite nice rig though, and for the money, it's a good deal. Plus, having that extra money around ($1000) can buy you plenty of accessories. You'll need a good sled monitor, a good battery system, and whatever other accessories you choose to add on.

If you think you'll be sticking with your XL series camera for a while, go with the Smooth Shooter though, it'll save you money, and if you do upgrade your camera later on, you can always upgrade your rig too.
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Old February 4th, 2006, 04:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Wills
That'd do nicely, though obviously it's quite lacking in comparison to a rig like the Flyer.
http://glidecam.com
Tom, could you please elaborate on that? I'm shopping for a stabilizer for my HD100 and am looking at the Smooth Shooter/4000 Pro set up.
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Old February 4th, 2006, 08:04 AM   #6
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The Flyer is an incredible rig for the money, and if you have the money, it'll serve you well, and is truly a great rig. The Smooth Shooter is a consumer level rig. It'll get you started and fly some light cameras. For the HD-100, I'd go with the Flyer if you can afford it. It's just a huge upgrade from the Smooth Shooter.
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Old February 4th, 2006, 09:52 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Tom Wills
For the HD-100, I'd go with the Flyer if you can afford it. It's just a huge upgrade from the Smooth Shooter.
The HD100 is roughly the same size of a XL2 so the Smooth Shooter should fly it too I'm guessing. I checked the Flyer and it cost a lot more than the Smoother. Besides construction is there anything else to the Flier's advantage like in usability and movement, adjusments?
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Old February 4th, 2006, 10:46 AM   #8
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Yes, although the Smooth Shooter will fly the HD100, the Flyer is in a class way above the Smooth Shooter.

Here are some advantages:
-A smoother arm (Booms easier)
-More boom range
-More shock absorbtion (double arms)
-Includes a monitor that is viewable in sunlight
-Uses professional batteries (Industry standard)
-Is designed to carry much more weight (15 pounds)
-A socket block (Arm won't be trying to fly the sled away from you)
-Adjustable gimbal (No more having to add weights or remove them to adjust drop time)
-Video and Power wiring down the post (Power cameras off of the sled's battery)
-Includes a balancing stand

Those are just some of the upgrades. If you can spring for the Flyer, it's entirely worthwhile. The Smooth Shooter is a consumer level device, whereas the Flyer is low-end Professional. The Smooth Shooter is fine for a beginner, and will produce decent shots, but if you want a powerful rig that will last you plenty of cameras, and can be used for shooting professional jobs, go for the Flyer.

This is all about how much money you're willing to spend though, so it is your call. If it's having the Smooth Shooter or nothing, go off and get the Smooth Shooter, you'll be perfectly fine with it. But, if you can afford it, the Flyer is an incredible piece of technology.
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Old February 4th, 2006, 12:30 PM   #9
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Good posts Tom.

I'll echo in here with a few more advantages of the Flyer.

Tool free adjustment of the arm.
A knob-adjustable topstage for the camera. (the Glidecam just uses sliding plates with 4 nuts you have to open and re-tighten every time you adjust.
A monitor is INCLUDED. - You'll have to pay extra to put one on a glidecam.

As Tom said, they are a totally differnet class of rig. Which you get will depend on your budget.

- Mikko
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Old February 5th, 2006, 09:47 AM   #10
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Guys, if anyone is thinking of spending the amount of money for a flyer then look at the new glidecam V25, it is better value for money than the flyer, I just wish the steadicam groupies would suggest it once in a while :-) It's a great rig, will fly a lot more weight than the flyer, has a better sled, an equally good dual section arm, overall a much better decision if you're looking at spending that amount of money.

http://www.glidecam.com/product-v-25-system.php

John.
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Old February 5th, 2006, 10:03 AM   #11
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Yes the V25 is another option.
It is (notably) more expensive than the Flyer, but it also has a different feature set.

- Mikko
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Old February 5th, 2006, 10:13 AM   #12
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At the moment the V25 is $1000 more expensive which isn't (notably) when you consider the extra you get for the money.

John.
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Old February 5th, 2006, 10:46 PM   #13
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I'm using the HD100 with the Glidecam Smooth Shooter and the 4000 Pro. It handles the weight fine, and I even have the camera loaded up with matte box, rails, larger battery, etc.

If you want to stay under your 3K budget then this might be a good rig for you, especially if it's your first one. It doesn't boom up high because it's lacking that double spring arm, but it does a good job for the price tag.

There are definately better products but not for the money.
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Old February 21st, 2006, 07:21 PM   #14
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I agree with Mikko and Tom and I personnally love the Flyer, however, I would go with the GC V25 if I were to make a choice between the two. It is newer and the quality rivals some of the top dollar rigs. It looks a lot more professional than the Flyer which is good when you're trying to impress your clients.
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Old February 22nd, 2006, 02:34 AM   #15
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Thanks to Charles and everyone for their advice. After a scary brush with an eBay scammer, I went ahead and bought a new GC Smooth Shooter/4000 Pro, and plan to spend time this week setting it up. Thanks again to all the members of this forum - you are all very generous.
- Jim
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