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Old March 26th, 2006, 05:46 AM   #1
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Anyone care to offer advice on this choice of stabilizer?

Has anyone used or had experience with the Varizoom Navigator stabilizer. I am really interested in purchasing this (or something very similar in price and functionality) for events I do.

http://www.varizoom.com/...ers/vznavigator.html

B&H has got this with a Glidecam 4000 as a bundle price. What I like here is that you get the Glidecam AND a stabilizer, its just the functionality of the stabilizer that worries me a bit. None of the local folk have these things so I can't test and feel:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/...e=categoryNavigation

Any comments would be appreciated

Thanks

Jeremy
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Old March 26th, 2006, 06:06 AM   #2
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What is your budget?
What Camera(s) do you want to fly?
And what sort of shooting do you want to do?

These are crucial questions to answer before we can give much usefull advice.

- Mikko
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Old March 26th, 2006, 07:05 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikko Wilson
What is your budget?
What Camera(s) do you want to fly?
And what sort of shooting do you want to do?

These are crucial questions to answer before we can give much usefull advice.

- Mikko
I should have been a bit clearer.

I use a Z1 and 2 x FX1's. Budget, yeah well, with our exchange rate, I would like to keep to the $2000 max - hence my vying for this option.

As to shooting - mostly events (documentaries -run and gun, fashion shoots, music videos, corporate training and the odd wedding).

Hope this sheds some light on the subject. I am not into the film world (hopefully in the future but not foreseeable)

Thanks

Jeremy
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Old April 4th, 2006, 11:53 PM   #4
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Jeremy,

Did you make the decision on your stabilizer?

Where are you located?

Here's a picture of a friend flying his Z1. Great camera!

www.indicam.com

It's the picture at the bottom of the page.

Tery
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Old April 5th, 2006, 03:46 AM   #5
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oops, sorry I missed your response.

If you are dooing mostly some short shots, breaks, miscallanious R&G then the Merlin would work great for you.

If you plan on spending extended amounts of time in the rig, longer than say 15mins at a time, then you are goign to went a vest system. If your budget can sretch to a Flyer (which you'd recoup the price of if you are dooing this for money.) then definatly go for that, if not then your, and Terry's options are all good too. I dont' see any that are a definate "no-no" here.
Note: I haven't flown the Ind!cam yet, so I have no proper impresion of it yet.

- Mikko
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Old April 5th, 2006, 05:41 AM   #6
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...another choiceis the Glidecam shooter but as Mikko said if you can stretch it get the flyer. Assuming that you can't afford it right now, try out Terry's rig or the shooter. If I were just starting out I would go for a full rig from the get go.
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Old April 5th, 2006, 03:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Thompson
Jeremy,

Did you make the decision on your stabilizer?

Where are you located?

Tery
Indicam
Decision - short answer - No!! and this is my quandry. I have read so much over the pst few days its making my head spin.

One thing I do realise is the fact that for true damping - a dual arm is required. Having read many, many posts by a lot of very experienced users, it would seem that price and construction plays a key role in your choice.

Mikko - although Steadicam makes great equipment, its just pure out of the price range of many users, albeit rated the best out there. And no, I'm not into a handheld - at my age, the arms tend to get a bit weak :). I am after a vest system and it is in this where my quandry lies.

The Indicam, Glidecam, Varizoom etc products all have good offerings in varied price ranges - I'm just stuck for advice on which one!!!

Charles - you have nailed it BUT - its the price thats got me worried as to which system.

Anybody willing to throw some direction into this pot would aid me tremendously

Many thanks
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Old April 5th, 2006, 04:11 PM   #8
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I'm going to chime in here and say:

Get the Steadicam Merlin.

It's lightweight and will support the FX-1 and is well within your budget.

You already rule out handheld stabilizers---but I think you should see if you can find someone with a Merlin to test it out on. You just might change your mind.

That is the main problem with buying a Steadicam Merlin/JR or any other stabilizer--you need to find a place that you can actually try and test one out[preferably one that is set up correctly already] or another owner.

It's not as bad as you think--and I think you will like the freedom of movement the Merlin will give you. I have the Steadicam JR--and like the JR, the Merlin has all kinds of other operating modes too--like shoulder mode, which will give your body a break.

Take a look at myself operating the JR[I'm still learning...] by clicking here:

http://mysite.verizon.net/vze1rt5v/jr.mov

Last edited by John C. Chu; April 5th, 2006 at 05:34 PM.
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Old April 5th, 2006, 04:58 PM   #9
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Hi Jeremy,

I also offer SmoothArm for your choice. I have tested sony z1 camera at www.dvt.co.nz Z1 camera weighs around 2.2kg. The footage projected on the screen using SmoothArm offers 3d experience. ;-)

Regards
Leigh
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Old April 5th, 2006, 07:14 PM   #10
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I agree that the Mini is a good option too...

Tiffen has a couple listed as used going cheap on their site right now, and I'll bet you could negotiate the price down a bit too, they've been on the list for a while.

http://www.steadicam.com/steadiUsed.html

- mikko
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Old April 7th, 2006, 03:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leigh Wanstead
Hi Jeremy,

I also offer SmoothArm for your choice. I have tested sony z1 camera at www.dvt.co.nz Z1 camera weighs around 2.2kg. The footage projected on the screen using SmoothArm offers 3d experience. ;-)

Regards
Leigh
Leigh, I'm going to be brutally honest here so please don't shoot me for straight talk.

I've been watching the progress of your system with Terry and Charles for along time and the one main thing (the most important in my mind) is that there are no pictures anywhere of your arm design! And its the main reason I have not put your system into the consideration pot. I like to see what I am buying, especially when buying "blind".

Terry has a well laid out website with good pictures of his system which does add to the 'comfort factor' when purchasing "blind" like I am (without physically viewing the item).

Just my .02

Cheers Jeremy
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Old April 7th, 2006, 03:52 PM   #12
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Hi Jeremy,

Sorry about that. I forgot to tell everyone that I have uploaded three photos on my website photo section three days ago.

I have some trouble to upload high resolution photos to my photo gallery.
Here are some photos.

http://www.smootharm.com/demo/?www.s...2006_4_5_1.jpg
http://www.smootharm.com/demo/?www.s...2006_4_5_2.jpg
http://www.smootharm.com/demo/?www.s...2006_4_5_3.jpg
http://www.smootharm.com/demo/?www.s...2006_4_5_4.jpg
http://www.smootharm.com/demo/?www.s...2006_4_5_5.jpg
http://www.smootharm.com/demo/?www.s...2006_4_5_6.jpg
http://www.smootharm.com/demo/?www.s...2006_4_5_7.jpg
http://www.smootharm.com/demo/?www.s...2006_4_5_8.jpg
http://www.smootharm.com/demo/?www.s...2006_4_5_9.jpg

If you have any questions regarding to SmoothArm, please feel free to contact me.

I will shoot some running footage and doorways shot this weekend if weather permits.

Please do tell me anything you are unhappy about, I look forward to hearing from you. Someone told me that they don't like my dad to be an actor, so I talked to my collegue's uncle who is a kiwi race horse training expert to talk about some interesting stuff about horse in my demo video last night. He and his wife are very kind to accept my offer to host in the video. He is training 14 horses in his farms. He used to train 20 horses. I was thinking to shoot this today. Unfortunately the weather is bad, so the shooting hopefully will happen next Saturday. My dad will use my panasonic gs400 to get some behind scene footage. What kind of shot you like to see in that horse video? I am thinking of some running shot if I am lucky not to be hurt by the horse. To make the video interesting, I will get lots of wide close shot which will be using my SmoothArm mixed some 20x zoom shot which will be on the tripod to show the gentleman riding the horse and the horse and the feet of the horse based on suggestion from PDX_DVX on dvxuser forum.

Regards
Leigh

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy Rochefort
Leigh, I'm going to be brutally honest here so please don't shoot me for straight talk.

I've been watching the progress of your system with Terry and Charles for along time and the one main thing (the most important in my mind) is that there are no pictures anywhere of your arm design! And its the main reason I have not put your system into the consideration pot. I like to see what I am buying, especially when buying "blind".

Terry has a well laid out website with good pictures of his system which does add to the 'comfort factor' when purchasing "blind" like I am (without physically viewing the item).

Just my .02

Cheers Jeremy
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Old April 8th, 2006, 02:25 AM   #13
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Hi Leigh. Is it possible to reduce the size of your pics? It is too large. It doesn't have to be that way. When I mean large I mean both size and quality. You don't really need that large a size. Again, I have always said to take a look at the other sites around to see how they have set up their websites. This will give you an idea.

Remember I told you that first impression is all it takes for customers to become interested or simply be turned away. They don't even have to wait to get a view of the system. If they feel the website is a cumbersome array of unneccessay difficuties then they won't even bother to look at the pics.
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Old April 8th, 2006, 02:32 AM   #14
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Hi Charles,

Sorry about that. My misunderstanding.

Regards
Leigh

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles King
Hi Leigh. Is it possible to reduce the size of your pics? It is too large. It doesn't have to be that way. When I mean large I mean both size and quality. You don't really need that large a size. Again, I have always said to take a look at the other sites around to see how they have set up their websites. This will give you an idea.

Remember I told you that first impression is all it takes for customers to become interested or simply be turned away. They don't even have to wait to get a view of the system. If they feel the website is a cumbersome array of unneccessay difficuties then they won't even bother to look at the pics.
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Old April 9th, 2006, 02:28 PM   #15
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Re: VariZoom

Jeremy,

This is Tom from VariZoom. One thing that may not be apparent when you look at the Navigator is that the Navigator arm is actually the same as the FlowCam GT arm. What is nice about this is that you can later upgrade to a GT sled, or an Aviator sled and utilize it with the Navigator arm.

The arm and the sled each make up about half each of the cost of the total Flowcam GT system.

If you can make it out to NAB in Vegas you can test all the different manufacturers systems. If not you can call our office and possibly we can find a user or rental house near you that has the system.

Tom McKay

www.varizoom.com


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy Rochefort
Has anyone used or had experience with the Varizoom Navigator stabilizer. I am really interested in purchasing this (or something very similar in price and functionality) for events I do.

http://www.varizoom.com/...ers/vznavigator.html

B&H has got this with a Glidecam 4000 as a bundle price. What I like here is that you get the Glidecam AND a stabilizer, its just the functionality of the stabilizer that worries me a bit. None of the local folk have these things so I can't test and feel:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/...e=categoryNavigation

Any comments would be appreciated

Thanks

Jeremy
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