Looking for suggestions/answers 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 November 2nd, 2006, 10:03 AM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: stuart, florida
Posts: 71
Looking for suggestions/answers

Hello,
I have a Sony FX-1, and am looking to get a stabilizer. I have 1K to spend, so I have narrowed it down to the Merlin and Glide 4000 with vest.

Here's some questions, thanks for any answers:
1. For that price range, any other models out there, or any on the horizon (I can wait until early next year)?
2. I have read where the fx-1 is close to being maxed out as far as weight. What are some users of the fx-1 opinions?
3. I have done many a photo 360 virtual tour in my life, and have been asked to start doing Video Virtual Tours, which is why I am buying a stabilizer. Anyone have suggestions on prices to charge? Or any tips on if real estate agents really want this type of service? Any reral-world experiences to relay would be appreciated.
4. When flying thru a home, how does one handle the tremendous shifts in light caused by windows? It looks like you can't really adjust on the fly with a stabilizer. Same with focus?
5. Reading another post mentioned a possible vest for the merlin, but I couldn't find anything on the net. Is ther one?
6. Finally, another post mentioned attachements to use for wireless transmitter. Anyone use one on the fx-1? Can you use an on-camera light? Where to buy?

I know, a lot of questions, but been thinking about buying one for a while, and wanna make sure I cover all the bases, thanks.
Rick Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 4th, 2006, 06:09 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Juneau, Alaska, USA
Posts: 624
The FX1 flies beautifully on the Merlin at least - and it's a much lighter combination than the GC, which really matters in handheld mode. But the GCs suck in Handheld anyway, they are designed to be caried on a vest&arm.

Run a search or this site for some good discussion and reviews on both rigs.

However to answer your questions, at least from the Merlin's point of view (I haven't flown an FX1 on a Glidecam)...

1. There are other Steadicam knockoffs in adition to glidecam, there's even some glidecam knockoffs about too. But no fortcoming serious contenders that I know of. Of course it's always worth buying the gear when you need to, not sooner or later. - But remeber that any Stabilizer will take a lto of practice to master, so sooner might be better after all!

2. FX1 works Great on the Merlin. It will get heavy on any handheld rig after some minutes. How long shots are you (really) planning on dooing?

3. I have no expreiecen in the Real estate business world, so I can't sugest about prices there. A Steadicam oprator with a Merlin coudl probably charge up to around $500 - $800 a day, not counting camera rental, if they where very good and in the right market.

4. Unfortunaly to manually control the camera takes profesionsal level (expensive) gear to do on Steadicam. Onfortunaly the only options at the "DV" level is either lcoekd manual settings, or letting the camera's automatic adjustments do the job - normally they do just fine for this type of stuff provided you know how to work within their limitations.

5. Last I heard there is a lightweight vest for the Merlin in the works, but it's not ready yet. That's all I know. I don't have a clue about when or how much.

6. I think you are refering to the Merlin Accessory Plate ( www.jimfarrell.com/merlin ). Yes it can be used to attch a light video transmitter (& it's power supply) if you so wish. It's also great for radio mics, etc. And yes you can use a LIGHTWEIGHT on-camera light on the FX1 on the Merlin. But the Sony VDV Video light for example is too heavy. I'd recomend the Steadicam Obie light. It's tiny, very light, and very bright. Designed for just what you are talking about.


Hope this is of some help!

- Mikko
Mikko Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 5th, 2006, 12:54 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 318
Rick, the Merlin works great with the FX1, I use it every week. Be prepared to put in many hours of practice to become proficient with it.

Mikko, the Obie light operates off the Steadycam Jr's internal batteries.
How would you power it with the Merlin?
__________________
Nick

Last edited by Nick Tsamandanis; November 5th, 2006 at 02:02 AM.
Nick Tsamandanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 5th, 2006, 06:36 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Juneau, Alaska, USA
Posts: 624
Nick,
There is a new stand alone (self [battery] powered) Obie light that works with the Merlin.

"Obie Light 2" Steadicam part number FFR-000030. MSRP $24.95

- Mikko
Mikko Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 5th, 2006, 07:30 AM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 318
That's great news. Thanks!
__________________
Nick
Nick Tsamandanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 5th, 2006, 05:36 PM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: NZ
Posts: 1,276
Hi Rick,

If you want to know how is feeling with handheld device, just handheld your fx1 for whatever time you plan to shoot with one hand and you will know if you can cope with that.

Regards
Leigh
Leigh Wanstead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 8th, 2006, 11:09 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Auburn, CA
Posts: 578
Rick,

If you're walking through a house you will find the stress on your arm will be too much for that length of shooting. We believe you will need some kind of support system as you have intimated.

Question 1...There is only one vest and arm support system out there that we know of that is in the $1000 range. That is the Varizoom DV Sportster. http://www.varizoom.com/products/sta...vzdvsport.html. It has some flaws that we won't go into but it is meant for moving shots. The Body Pod by Glidecam is not meant to handle moving shoots. Our own system could be adapted easily but it isn't under $1000.

Question 2...The FX1 is fairly heavy (we use the Z1U so we know) and you would probably want the 4000 Pro if you went the Glidecam route.

Question 3...Pricing would depend on the market. Would your video be for web viewing?

Question 4...The FX1 will handle the changes in light and focus quite well as Mikko has said. It has a good auto focus and automatic white balance system. Some of the cameras we have used don't do so well. The problem is the mixing of different light sources-inside (hallways etc.) and outside (rooms with windows).

Question 5...Don't know. Mikko is the resident expert there.

Question 6...The wireless mic system is fairy easy to find but can be quite expensive. The onboard light could be a bit harder as it would need a power supply and that would add some more weigh. Maybe the Obie. A moving light on a stabilizer...hum...that might be strange in a house tour. It would need to have a very wide angle of dispersion.

Good luck in your venture Rick!

Terry
Indicam
__________________
He's only mostly sDEADy.

sort of from "The Princess Bride"

www.indicam.com
Terry Thompson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 29th, 2006, 06:36 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 318
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikko Wilson
Nick,
There is a new stand alone (self [battery] powered) Obie light that works with the Merlin.

"Obie Light 2" Steadicam part number FFR-000030. MSRP $24.95

- Mikko
Mikko, the new Obie Light requires 2 AAA batteries. Would this now take the the Fx1 over the weight limit with the large Sony camera battery?
__________________
Nick

Last edited by Nick Tsamandanis; November 29th, 2006 at 09:57 PM.
Nick Tsamandanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 30th, 2006, 10:56 AM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Juneau, Alaska, USA
Posts: 624
To be honest, I don't know.

A good solution though would be to use a lighter battery!

- Mikko
Mikko Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 6th, 2006, 12:44 PM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: stuart, florida
Posts: 71
Thanks for all the responses. Just went ahead and ordered the merlin from B&H. They have it for $799, and includes the case. Sounds like I will need to practice some in order to master, so I am ready to have tons of patience!

I plan on mostly using this for the real estate video tours I mentioned earlier in my post. I tried the FX-1 just handheld around a house with windows and sunlight, and the camera did okay in auto-mode. I see this being the biggest issue I would run into since I cannot adjust manually. But I'm a perfectonist, and I would venture a guess that most realtors and their potential clients won't notice it too much.

The nice thing about doing a tour like this is that I can rest between rooms, since I will be editing the final product. So when I get tired, I can rest, then go on to another part of the home.

I envision offering the Tours to the more expensive homes, say above $750,000. I've done a little reserach, and it seems that most agree the length should be under 5 minutes. I will also offer the product as a Package (shooting the Tour, editing, and hosting the Streaming Video). Just haven't figured out the price yet.

Any suggestions or tips would be great!
Rick Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 6th, 2006, 05:15 PM   #11
Trustee
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: NZ
Posts: 1,276
Hi Rick,

May I ask who pay for your service? The house owner or real estate agent or the potentail buyer?

TIA

Regards
Leigh

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Miller
I envision offering the Tours to the more expensive homes, say above $750,000. I've done a little reserach, and it seems that most agree the length should be under 5 minutes. I will also offer the product as a Package (shooting the Tour, editing, and hosting the Streaming Video). Just haven't figured out the price yet.

Any suggestions or tips would be great!
Leigh Wanstead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 6th, 2006, 05:57 PM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: stuart, florida
Posts: 71
The realtor selling the house pays me, unless the owner is selling the house by themselves. Currently, I just do the 360 degree virtual tours, and charge $300 for up to five rooms, which includes everything - shooting the photos, editing the photos and developing the tour, and hosting.
Rick Miller 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 07:02 PM.


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