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Old May 12th, 2007, 10:00 AM   #1
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Canon A1 - Glidecam 2000 enough?

I had bought a glidecam 2000 over a year ago for my small consumer cam (ended up being too much frustration since the camera was too light) Now I`m on the verge of getting a Canon A1 and still have the 2000. Its weight range is up to 6 pounds and Canon's website says that camera is 5.2 lb fully loaded. Is this true? I will also not be using a tape, i`ll have a firestore on my belt, so it should keep the weight acceptable right?
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Old May 13th, 2007, 06:23 PM   #2
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Nathan,

There is one real big problem with anything connected to the sled (camera) as well as to the operator (firestore on the belt). Any cable between the two will tend to throw your carefully balanced rig out of balance because it changes with where the sled is held and the direction the camera is pointing.

We tried a small cable connected to the camera and to a belt receiver for a heads-up-display for our system. We had to return it because we couldn't keep a good balance on our sled.

You can get it to work somewhat if you have to use a firestore and that's to balance the sled with a quick drop time (bottom heavy). The problem with this scenario is that you loose much of the purpose of the stabilizer that way.

Maybe Charles P. will jump in with his view of this situation.

Tery
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Old May 13th, 2007, 07:06 PM   #3
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well the firestore is exactly 1 lb, so I`m curious to how 'strict' the weight limit of the Glidecam is. Is it just because of the weights that come with it? Or is it that too much weight would affect the bearing system? I was on a shoot where I was wrangling wires for my camera guy and he had the monitor wires running from his Glidecam 4000 mounted Xl2, and it still seemed to work failry well, is it because its a heavier load/capacity?
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Old May 13th, 2007, 08:18 PM   #4
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The weight limit on the GC 2000 is more a factor of how much you can comfortably hold than the gimbal. I believe (and this is CERTAINLY NOT gospel) the gimbal can take quite a bit more than you could ever balance or carry. Definitely try to operate without cables coming from the rig whenever possible though. This setup is so light that ANY outside forces can drastically alter the dynamics of the sled. If you absolutely MUST use a tether to the sled, try to have the cable run with your control arm (the one that holds the post). When the cable gets to your hand, slip it down your palm, over your middle finger and back then back into your palm before going to the camera. You should have a little slack after your hand before it connects to the camera. Not the most comfortable situation, but the best way to not interfere with your rig. Again, this rig is so light that even with this method, it'll still alter your abilities.

Best option? Don't use the firestore. The camera is able to record on tape, so with a handheld rig like this you want things to be as light as possible - use the tape and streamline the whole setup.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 12:26 AM   #5
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I agree with Jaron.

There are many configurations that don't work well with a lightweight stabilizer and having your camera tethered to an outside area is only one of them. Another it using a 35mm adaptor to shoot the great footage that it is famous for. Unfortunately, the depth of field is so shallow that you would need a real good camera operator who could keep the subject in focus by staying in the focus range or you would need a follow focus system with all that it entails.

Some great hardware is just very hard to implement on a lightweight system. Jaron's idea of just using the tape for recording is excellent even though it's not as exotic. But we're after smooth shots right?...

Go ahead and experiment and see how it goes. Many great new ideas have come from necessity.

Tery
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Old May 14th, 2007, 12:03 PM   #6
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Why not mount the Firestore on the base of the GC in lieu of the weights? Velcro it to the underside so you can mount it centrally (make sure to use a safety so it can't fall off).
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Old May 14th, 2007, 02:05 PM   #7
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Charles,

Figures you'd come up with a real good solution.

Tery
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Old May 14th, 2007, 02:36 PM   #8
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Terry:

It's only from that desperation of wanting to avoid cables coming off the rig (bad enough with full-size, but as you know virtually a deal-breaker with a lightweight rig). I was recently thrown a curve by having a DP ask me to fly a Mini-Kino on the mattebox at the last second. It would have been a "simple" task to tape them on and run the AC cable off the rig but because of the shot I really wanted to keep the rig cable-free, which meant mounting the invertor ballast box and a big hunk of cable on top of the rig, then a series of adaptor cables (Kino inverter to cigarette lighter, cigarette lighter to 4 pin XLR, 4 pin XLR to rig). The rig looked like it was wearing a turban up top with all of the tape, but it worked, and no cables!

HD of course is where this all crashes and burns...HD-SDI trailing off the rig is no fun.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 03:59 PM   #9
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Charles,

Sure glad I don't have to deal much with DPs. That sounds like a whole lot of fun.

Best to Amy.

Tery
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Old May 14th, 2007, 04:05 PM   #10
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Usually not a problem. It's part of the deal. And being one myself, I understand the need for certain things to be done a certain way. However like all aspects of the film industry, there are those in that profession who operate from a "smoke and mirrors" philosophy and will insist on things that don't really improve the shot, but just make them look all fancy and impressive. I tend to avoid those gents like the plague.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 04:07 PM   #11
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Charles,

Sounds like someone who discovers new editing effects and overuses them just because they can.

Back to the topic...I guess if you can fit it on the sled you can also balance it somehow.

Missed you at NAB.

Tery
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Old May 14th, 2007, 07:32 PM   #12
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The era of the remoted hard drive is coming at us--I'm designing a running/video sled at the moment with an eye to incorporating hard drives on the base. I should be clear--I'm not having components built, just taking stock used parts from different manufacturers to make a lighter rig than my full-size for use with DV up to HD cameras (RED etc), with HD-SDI down the barrel.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 08:38 PM   #13
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Charles,

I've toyed with that thought myself but need to find some good 12v LiIon batteries for power supplies.

So much to do...so little time.

Tery
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Old May 14th, 2007, 09:46 PM   #14
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Charles,
Out of curiosity, what sled are you starting with? Pro?
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Old May 15th, 2007, 04:42 PM   #15
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Like I said, bits and pieces...PRO post and upper junction box, Flyer monitor, MK-V Evolution lower junction box, custom battery rails which I'm having built, Provid gimbal and probably a D-box 2 for the stage--that's the last piece of the puzzle. Everything's used, bunch of stuff I got via barter etc.

My main sled is D-box 2, PRO junction box, XCS 2" post and gimbal, modified PRO1 lower j-box and Steadyrig Battery Hanger.
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