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Old July 16th, 2006, 09:21 PM   #1
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XL2 Camera stablizer

I donít know where to post this question so I am posting it here knowing it will most likely be moved. I have an XL2 and I want to get a good camera stabilizer system for it. A Steadicam, Glidecam, Varizoom, etc. I want to know some peoples opinions of different rigs and which is the best for the XL2. This is a pretty open ended question so feel free to respond with any advice you can give. Thanx.
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Old July 17th, 2006, 01:11 AM   #2
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Moved from XL2 forum to Stabilizers forum.
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Old July 17th, 2006, 02:25 AM   #3
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Alan,
This section to where Chris moved your post is full of loads of the information you are looking for!
Have fun reading through, you will find a lot of good info. :)

One very important factor that you didn't announce was your budget. How much are you looking to spend?

The prety much undesputed hands down 'best' stabilizer for XL2 sized cameras is the Steadicam Flyer.
However it costs too much for many people, and there are many knock-off rigs of various qualities that perform with various success at a lower price that have been discused to great depth in this section of the forum.

- Mikko
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Old August 16th, 2006, 11:28 PM   #4
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Mikko, have you actually used the Flyer with an XL2 personally? The reason I ask is, I was planning to get the Glidecam Smooth Shooter, but the more I look at this Flyer, the more pursuaded I have become to just get it. The Steadicam name and the semi-affordable price are pushing me more and more towards the Flyer.

I'm selling my XL1s an purchasing an XL2, and I may throw in the Flyer as a "gift to myself"

A couple of questions I have...

1) I'm sure there is some degree of fatigue using any of these stabilizers, but is this improved any with a "true" Steadicam?

2) About what can I expect for the lens height of the Flyer with an XL2? Any chance getting above eye level? I'm 6'2" and being able to raise the camera above most people heads would be a plus for me.

3) About how much does the Flyer setup weight (without the cam or batteries)?

4) Being a dual-arm, I assume this performs very well on stairs and running/jogging, could you confirm that?

Any info you can provide would be the greatest of help. Thanks
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Old August 17th, 2006, 06:45 PM   #5
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Nick,
I have not flown a XL2 on a Flyer. - In fact, I've never shot with an XL2!
I do however have many hours in a Flyer with an XL1 (with a myriad of accesories, includeding the XLR adapter which makes it very similar to the XL2) Along with an assortment of other cmaeras in the same range.

I have absoloutly not reservation as to whether the Flyer is the best rig for the XL2.

1).
All stabilisers do take a little bit of getting used to. But if you operate properly, once you've used the new muscles a little they are fine. I've operated the Flyer for a 19 hour day fo shootign with no pain what at all. I was in and out of the rig all day. I've also done multiple hours non stop with it.
The smooth shooter doesn't have a socket block, or any way to trim the arm to you. So there is no garuntee that you will be able ot stnad properly and not fight the rig. Depending on your body and vest fit, the Smooth shooter may in deed be painfull to wear.
The Flyer can be adjusted to you.

2).
The Flyer arm has a boom range of 30" (trumping the 1 section arm of the SS)
I can put a XL1 a few inches above my head. Total max camera height depends on how tall you are plus the hight of the socket block on the vest plus arm hight plus how you have the camera balanced on the sled.
You can't get a super high shots like you can with the big rigs, but the Flyer will get you high enough for most normal shots, well up to and above eye level.

3).
The stock Flyer weighs about 8kg (18lb) without batteries or camera.

4).
Yes the dual arms greatly improves performance in more demanding situations like running and stairs. In fact double arms is almost an requirement for running shots.

- Mikko
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Old August 31st, 2006, 02:48 PM   #6
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I've tried both the Steadicam Flyer and the Glide Cam with an XL2 several times. The Steadicam is the way to go if you can afford it. Very well made. The biggest difference I noticed is that with the Glidecam, if you raise or lower the camera, you have to physically hold it in place as the springs on the arm are always trying to force it back to "neutral". The Steadicam will stay in the position you put it, until you physically reposition it, which takes very little effort. Keep in mind that "steady cam" work with any rig takes practice, so I'm sure you could learn to compensate with the Glidecam rig if money was really a factor.
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Old August 31st, 2006, 02:56 PM   #7
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Hi Nick,

SmoothArm will help you great. It can put your camera lense around 30cm above ground and help you raise the camera above most people heads. SmoothArm's sled is a three section sled which offers great flexibility. You can get a super high shots.

I am the maker of SmoothArm.

Regards
Leigh

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Weeks
2) About what can I expect for the lens height of the Flyer with an XL2? Any chance getting above eye level? I'm 6'2" and being able to raise the camera above most people heads would be a plus for me.
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Old September 1st, 2006, 06:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leigh Wanstead
SmoothArm will help you great. It can put your camera lense around 30cm above ground and help you raise the camera above most people heads. SmoothArm's sled is a three section sled which offers great flexibility. You can get a super high shots.
Can you do this in your next demo video Leigh? I think many of us would be interested to see how far you can boom in a shot.

- Mikko
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Old September 1st, 2006, 10:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikko Wilson
Can you do this in your next demo video Leigh? I think many of us would be interested to see how far you can boom in a shot.

- Mikko

I second this, I was about to request the same thing
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Old September 1st, 2006, 10:40 PM   #10
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Hi Mikko,

I don't have a crane with me, so I can't do that demo. Can you boom in one meters without a crane or ar?

Regards
Leigh

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikko Wilson
Can you do this in your next demo video Leigh? I think many of us would be interested to see how far you can boom in a shot.

- Mikko
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Old September 2nd, 2006, 08:21 AM   #11
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We're looking for how high you can lift the cam using your stabilizer... like on the Steadicam Flyer, it has a 30" boom, and on the glidecam a 14", etc (I believe those numbers are right...)

You said your SmoothArm goes down to 30cm from the ground, but how high up will it go (above people's heads)?
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Old September 2nd, 2006, 12:18 PM   #12
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As nick said..
We are all looking for the maximum bom range in one shot.

Many systems can be configured to moave that boom range.

My G-50 can boom 32" (81cm).

If I'm in low mode I can in an extreme circumstance put the camera on the ground and boom up from there to 32" off the ground.
Or I can start at hip level and go up 32" from there.
And of course I can sit or stand . or even ride somehtign like a crane. But that's not what we are after.

The furthest camera boom in one shot is the AR, which can go from high to low mode during a shot, which nothing else can.


The question here is mearly; how far can your rig's arm boom? We'd love to see that in a video.


- Mikko
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Old September 2nd, 2006, 12:46 PM   #13
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Using a longer arm post (from the gimbal to the arm) will help shift the boom range higher to achieve above-the-eyeline lens heights, or conversely, offset posts to lower it for children's eyeline etc.

Sometimes it is possible to make use of natural geography or apple boxes to help cheat the apparent boom range.

The stabilizer arm is a fantastic gift to the operator in aiding to get the lens exactly where you want it. Being able to boom freely during a shot can add many nuances. I find myself making far more height adjustments when operating Steadicam than I do on the dolly simply because I can easily control it myself rather than having to communicate the idea to the dolly grip, discuss timing and speed etc. Plus, it's nice to be able to make quick adjustments to headroom via booming the rig rather than tilting.
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Old September 2nd, 2006, 03:51 PM   #14
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Hi Mikko,

If I understand correctly, SmoothArm's price is US$1,999 and AR's price is around US$60,000 and your rig's price around US$20,000. Buying an ar and you still needs some sorts of rig to support it which means pay more.

By reading these figures, obviously SmoothArm won't want to compete with AR for going from high to low mode during a shot.

What my goal is help cameraman/camerawoman to shoot smooth footage. If you want big boom range, just get an ar and pay the right price and you will be happy.

Regards
Leigh

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikko Wilson
The furthest camera boom in one shot is the AR, which can go from high to low mode during a shot, which nothing else can.

- Mikko
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Old September 2nd, 2006, 03:59 PM   #15
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Hi Nick,

The real answer is it depends.

There are several factors needs to be considered.

1 Your camera with accessory weight
2 Your balance weight
3 Your height

I will meter my camera jvc gy-dv5000 and report back to you today.

Regards
Leigh

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Weeks
You said your SmoothArm goes down to 30cm from the ground, but how high up will it go (above people's heads)?
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