Steadicam flyer about to be replaced by new model..? at DVinfo.net

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Old November 11th, 2006, 11:05 AM   #1
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Steadicam flyer about to be replaced by new model..?

I notice that Steadicam is providing a voucher to get $350 money back from dealers selling the Flyer models until the end of January. I'm about to place an order for one of these, but I'm worried that since the Flyer is an old model (2004?) it's about to be replaced by a more updated (and smaller) kit. Anyone have any inside info on this?
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Old November 11th, 2006, 11:59 AM   #2
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If so they are keeping it EXTREMELY mum...I was at the factory a few weeks ago and heard nothing about this. Traditionally Steadicam models have a life expectancy of far longer than 2 years (not like cameras for instance) before being significantly updated. There were some small updates that I saw like beefier pivots at the monitor and battery mounts but those would just be incorporated into the production run.
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Old November 11th, 2006, 12:20 PM   #3
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Thanks, this makes me easier about order one of these. It's going to be used to fly one of the new Sony HVR-V1U, which is probably overkill, but all the threads I've read indicate that it's the best low-end pro setup.
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Old November 11th, 2006, 12:27 PM   #4
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Good choice Greg. Chances are that you will be using it for a long time and with different cameras, so spending the money on the best now is a good investment!
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Old November 11th, 2006, 12:50 PM   #5
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Tiffen are curently very busy getting their now top of the line rig, The "Ultra 2" into production. Now of course this doesn't mean that they forget everythign else, but I'm sure they arn't busy trying to discontinue a product that is brand new.

The flyer is a fantastic rig, with very little that could be improved (Though we can always come up with new wishlists...) I guess the stage could be better, but that's about it.

The Flyer is only a couple of years old, and they are still developing it, having released even more versions this year.

I see absoloutly no reason why they would discontinue the Flyer for a newer rig. In fact they never discontinue a rig. I'm sure they'd be happy to sell you a model II if they could find the parts. :-D

Not to mention, as Charles P. often says; A Steadicam won't stop working or become obsolete just because there is a newer one available. The current range or rigs is fanstastic - every range always has been - and the next one will be too, even more so. Any of these rigs will (with some care) produce just as smooth shots in 10 years time, when we are all turning our noses up at HD resolutions.

Why the rebate? I dunno, call Frank Rush and ask him why the best just got a little more affordable.

The best time to buy any peice of gear is when you need it. If you wait for the latest thing, you will always be waiting.

- Mikko

Last edited by Mikko Wilson; November 12th, 2006 at 08:04 AM.
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Old November 11th, 2006, 02:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikko Wilson
The best time to buy any peice of gear is when you need it. If you wait for the latest thing, you will always be waiting.
- Mikko
Absolutely Mikko, I agree 100%. In my case, we're semi-literally betting the farm on this, and if for (worst circumstances) reasons we need top resell the rig, the announcement of a newer version would drop the resale value by between $1k-$2k. But sounds like it's worth getting now, since I need to spend time learning to use one of these rigs, which sounds like it isn't an overnight thing.

Thanks again for everyone's comments.
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Old November 11th, 2006, 06:52 PM   #7
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If you're looking to buy the rig, I would suggest (and perhaps Mikko would agree) to do the workshop first. One thing I learned at the first workshop I did was how little I actually knew about steadicam. I had researched everything possible, read anything and everything, watched as many shots as I could get my hands on... but there is really nothing like experience, especially experience when surrounded by friendly competition and fantastic coaching.

The workshop is very expensive, but once you're there, you realize how much goes into pulling it off and creating the opportunities and pool of talent. They claim it's equal to about a year of practice. A few guys came into it with a couple years of operating experience (and no training), and were quickly passed in skill by just about everyone else. It's very hard to un-learn bad habits, including the most deadly of all bad steadicam habits - lack of creativity.

Steadicam isn't a rig that you can step into and do magical things. Beyond the practice and obvious technical challenges, steadicam operators are first and foremost camera operators. A person who is able to make pleasing aesthetic choices in locked-off, handheld, or dolly operation will naturally carry that same creativity to steadicam. A lot of people see shots and immediately ask "wow, what rig does that guy have?" And to be honest, it's about the least important question. Every op has their rig for whatever reason, be it cost, features, convenience, weight, etc... Buying a Steadicam Ultra 2 won't make you a better operator than buying a glidecam, or used model II. Absolutely loving what you do, challenging every visual possibility WILL. And I think the quickest and cheapest way to test the waters is to take the workshop.

In a week you'll find out if its your calling in life, or if it's just not for you. You'll meet great people, and even if you choose not to buy into Steadicam, you'll understand exactly what it's REALLY capable of doing. The majority of dp's at the DV (<15lb) level have no clue how much you can do with it, from subtle to seemingly impossible.
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Old November 11th, 2006, 08:06 PM   #8
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I totally agree with every word Jaron said. A workshop is always recomended for anyone starting out in Steadicam.

And the great thing is that there are cheaper (and shorter) workshops geared specifically to the Flyer. (As opposed to the big workshops for the big rigs.)

And the even better news for Greg is that there is one coming up in LA next month! (How's that for location & timing?).
It's $500 for 2 days, and it's 120% worth it.
Info & signup here: www.thesteadicamworkshops.com


- Mikko

Last edited by Mikko Wilson; November 12th, 2006 at 09:03 AM.
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Old November 12th, 2006, 12:20 AM   #9
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Jaron and Mikko; thanks very much for the advice about the workshop - it looks well worth attending.
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Old November 12th, 2006, 01:26 PM   #10
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For what it's worth, as a workshop attendee as a young sprout in the mid-80's as well as workshop instructor at various points since...I'll "third" Jaron's advice.

Good habits with the rig are important to learn early. You'll get better shots and maybe even avoid injury, or at least discomfort. When I hear about people suffering fatigue or pain from wearing this "little" rigs, I wonder which way up they have them mounted.
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