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-   -   Sportster Alternative? (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/stabilizers-steadicam-etc/96501-sportster-alternative.html)

Dana Salsbury June 13th, 2007 11:23 PM

Sportster Alternative?
I have an Ultralight and am about to buy a Sportster, and am wondering if there are alternatives, or if this is another area where you have to buy the name brand. I also am wondering if another company's vest would have the same fittings and general design.

Mikko Wilson June 14th, 2007 11:56 AM

What camera(s) are you flying? What is your budget? And what type of shooting are you dooing?

- Mikko

Dana Salsbury June 14th, 2007 12:39 PM

...an FX1. I already have a Ultralite, so I just need the vest and pivot thing. I don't mind dropping $800 or so, it just seems like a simple enough design that there would be others making them for less.

Dana Salsbury June 14th, 2007 12:51 PM

I shoot weddings and am launching into Real Estate walk-thrus.

I like your demo vid BTW

Mikko Wilson June 14th, 2007 07:24 PM

By "pivot thing", are you refering to the arm?

They are much more complicated than they look - especially to get right. You won't find a good quality stabilizer arm & vest for 800.

Is the Ultralite getting too heavy for you to carry?

- Mikko

Terry Thompson June 15th, 2007 12:32 AM


It's the real estate walkthroughs that will get you. There is a lot of shooting to do in order to get the whole house on video. It will get really tuff on your arm.

As Mikko said, there is a lot more to the "pivot thing" than meets the eye. Those who build know about that. We just adapted our arm to fly the Steadicam JR and Merlin. I wonder if it can be done with the Ultralite.


Dana Salsbury June 15th, 2007 01:38 PM

They're going to do a review of the Sportster. My Ultralite has a bad gimble, so I'm waiting for the replacement (they replaced the gimble on the new model.) It's also by Varizoom, and is designed for the Ultralite. (No money-back guarantee on the Ultralite).

I wish I could get an Archer and look cool like Mikko. If I knew I could pay for it from home walk-thrus, I would go that direction, but it looks like walk-thrus are a roll of the dice.

Right now I do weddings exclusively, but just went FT and need another market. Real Estate and Legal Video seem to be the two biggest viable markets. If you know of other money-makers with a high-end vest system let me know. ;o)

Jaron Berman June 15th, 2007 05:46 PM

"High-End" is all relative. The originally mentioned budget of $800 will buy almost 2 "high end" batteries, definitely not a rig. Mikko's archer is a great rig, but for the size of camera you're looking to fly, it's overkill. The Flyer is "the" high-end rig for that weight of camera, all the way up to 15lb. At approx. 1/4 the price of an archer, you could even call it a bargain! (It's all relative). But in the end, it's not so much about paying it off, it's about making a profit. Spending 5 years working to pay off a rig is poor business.

Find what works for you, and as hard as it may be, try and avoid gear lust. We've all suffered from it at some point...but more important than having the best gear is having the setup that works for your needs. That's not to say you shouldn't look down the road a bit. But, if you see yourself using the same weight-class of camera for the next 10 years, there's no reason to get a rig that's built for 8 x that weight. You end up fighting it, and digging a nice hole of debt.

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