Getting a stabilization system for XL2 (more info on ABC- Handyman DV) at DVinfo.net

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Old February 27th, 2006, 10:49 AM   #1
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Getting a stabilization system for XL2 (more info on ABC- Handyman DV)

Long time reader on this great forum, but new poster.
I'm getting a 2nd (but main) camera for my wedding business and it will 99% be XL2. I'm aware of all HD debate, but here in Croatia we are at least 2 years behind with the technology.

My question is: a body held stabilization-system for a XL2 not exceding 3000$
Here in Croatia, an average price for a wedding coverage is around 700$ and the best guys can get 1300$ max. So getting the money to buy accesories is hard cause they cost even more with the taxes and customs.

But to get back on track, reading alot on this forum I thought the Glidecam4000 with the Smoothshooter would be the choice. But my major concern is paying shipping and customs on it.
So I found the only local shop that has something similar- ABC products.

The handymanDV- http://www.abc-products.de/english/HM_DV_e.htm
Is it something anybody has tried or got some experience on it?

Any advice more than welcome.
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Last edited by Marko Urbic; February 27th, 2006 at 03:55 PM.
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Old February 27th, 2006, 12:48 PM   #2
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They suck.

Notice how in every picture on their website the operator is never standing properly, but off at some funny angle?

I tried one on for a few mins at IBC last year and discovered why.
Picture here: http://mikko.n3.net/files/ABCHandyman.jpg

As you can see, my hands arn't on the rig. Notice what position my back is in (leaning waaay forward) to keep it floating in place. OUCH!
I actually couldn't hold the position long enough to set-up the picture, it was that bad. There is no adjustment on the vest or arm to compensate for this.

Other serious problems:
Notice how high the base has to be up the post to balance? As the gimble doesn't move you have to bring the battery and monitor up for a light camera (like the XL1!) - so far that they hit the arm when you pan. (again, look at the picture)

What the picture doesn't show, but their website does, is the one central spar of the vest is round, meaning that the vest twists as you move and is not ridged. Not good.

Harsh review I know, but this one sucks prety damn bad.

- Mikko
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Old February 27th, 2006, 04:38 PM   #3
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I sure am glad that I asked that question here, because I was tempted to get it cause of no shipping costs and customs.
And here in Croatia, you have no place to try or even see equipment like that.

Now my question would be: is the glidecam 4000 with the smoothshooter vest the best option under 3000$ (with a monitor of course) for a XL2?
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 12:14 AM   #4
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Marko,

Do you know the difference in weight is between the XL1 and the XL2? Also, are the custom charges less for a used item when compare to a new one or does it just go by the sales price?

I've seen the Smoother Shooter and tried it out and it has some nice features. There are a few things I would change, actually I did change. In spite of those things it would make a solid performer.

Good luck in the wedding video business.

Tery
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 05:17 AM   #5
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Hey Terry,

the customs charge me on a price bases. It gets my price around 30-40% up, without shipping costs. Ouch!
So I'm evaluating all the options, because with this one I can't afford to make a mistake.

Indicam, haven't seen this one, will take a look.

Marko
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 11:35 AM   #6
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Marko,

My purpose wasn't to have you look at Indicam but to find out more about how exporting to countries outside of the US and Canada affects the price. I can see why you need to be so careful.

Have you looked at the Magiqcam? I just called them (left message) to see what their present situation is but I know they cater to cameras like the XL2 and they make a good stabilizer. They are under $3000 US.

By the way, are you looking for under $3000 with your import taxes and shipping included?

Tery

We have flown an XL1 without an external monitor with some minor adjustments.
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 03:27 PM   #7
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I read lots of good stuff about Magiqcam, but also read lots of posts here about not reciving their already paid stabilizers after 6 or so months.
So I figured I should avoid it.

I'm looking for a stabilizer to be 3000$ MAX, with a monitor. (without my shiping+tax stuff)

I'm also thinking of buying in a nearby country and get it thru customs unseen. (cause this tax and shipping is gonna kill me)

I'll just take the time to find what's best for me and XL2.
Of course, I'm limited to only reading what others say, because I can't try anything in Croatia.

Marko
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 04:04 PM   #8
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Marko,

I just talked with the new owner of Magiqcam. Here is what's happening there. There is a new owner who is working hard to fill all the backorders. He's not taking any future orders until the back orders are filled. He said he would consider taking an order as long as the person could wait 8 weeks to receive their stabilizer.

Since I receive inquiries concerning cameras that are heavier than our PILOT can fly I am going to meet with Magiqcam's new owner and try out their rigs. That way I can see how well they work as well as make informed recommendations to customers.

So Marko, if you are in a hurry then the only other choice that I know about which will fly an XL2 is the Smooth Shooter.

As Zig Ziglar has said, "You can get everything in life by helping enough other people get what they want."

Tery

P.S. Anyone out there close to the Sacramento area who has an XL2 that we can try out on the PILOT?
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 06:13 PM   #9
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Terry, thanks a lot for the information your giving me.
I'm not in a hurry, well I will be shortly, but won't make this (for me) crucial choice without thinking twice or should I say a hundred times. (already done 50 :)
Will continue spending nights on forum reading and brainstorming.

Marko
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Old March 21st, 2006, 02:04 PM   #10
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Im in the Sacramento Area

Hi Terry,

I have a couple of XL2s if you want to try it....

One is a standard XL2 and the other is rigged with a RedRock Micro35\M2 adapter if you really want to compete with the big boys...

I am near Auburn about 15 minutes down the hill... In Loomis, California

However, remember for the standard XL2 an external monitor is a must for the stablizer so you will be easy over the 12 lb limit (including the sled)...

Regards, Juan
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Old March 29th, 2006, 05:54 AM   #11
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dobar dan Marko, kako si?

Did you make any decision on what stabiliser to buy?...
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Old March 29th, 2006, 10:39 AM   #12
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Juan,

Email me at indicam50-sales@yahoo.com so we can schedule a get together and try out your XL2 with the PILOT.

Thanks,

Tery
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Old April 2nd, 2006, 06:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Darren
dobar dan Marko, kako si?

Did you make any decision on what stabiliser to buy?...
Hej James, korijeni iz hrvatske predpostavljam?

I postponed my decision, because other things got put infront.
My last choice was the Smooth Shooter with a Gl4000.
But we'll see...
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Old April 4th, 2006, 01:28 AM   #14
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Moj hrvatski jezik nije bas najbolje! Samo znam par rijeci! Lakse mene pisat na engleski...

My mum and dad are both born in Croatia, they left when they were teenagers. They're both from near Makarska, (small towns named Drasnice & Dubrava) I went there for a holiday in 2001 and loved it! I still have lots of family there...

I too was thinking of buing the Smoothshooter vest & Glidecam 4000 combination. But for now I think i'll buy just the Glidecam 4000 or Steadicam Merlin only & buy a vest later on. Most people say you can get great steady shots with the Glidecam 4000 on its own, its just that your arms get tired very quickly!
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