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Old October 21st, 2007, 04:58 AM   #31
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My own personal ha'penny

It's only a 1/2 penny because I am truly a newbie in this particular world. After 15 years in live stage production I have started my own production studio, based off two GY-hd110's. I have used and abused my friends and co-workers in this industry, and spent on average 4 hours a night for over a year now studying and researching all the different components.
Purchasing a steadi-cam rig was a major quandry of mine. I have considerable fabrication skills in metals, and have used "frankenstein" rigs that others in town have. I thought the 4,000 tag on the Steadicam Pilot was a bit rough on my budget, when I could get one far cheaper. I went back and forth over this a BUNCH. However, the fact that I am so new to the vid industry actually leaned me towards the more tried an true, so I shelled out and purchased the pilot.
Today was the first true shoot it was on (other than balancing time and quick non-recording walkthroughs of the office), and it was a stunning thing to behold. I am a big fan of saving a buck when its not necessary, but here I am SO VERY happy i did not skimp. Far sturdier than other systems I've seen/worn, its still light enough to dance around the subjects. after only 5 or 6 fittings, I can get into an unasembled rig in minutes, and changing around for the other op (240 pounds to my 170) is a cinch. Smooth movements, wonderful pans and rotation, Im in love. (this may change when I loose my first finger to the springs) Oh, and being able to walk the scene with the dir without tracks and cords in the way is really nice.
Long story short, there are times to go with the costly name. Im looking into the matte box setup, but am overjoyed I stuck with the name for the large of a purchase.
Quick note: Right now Im running w/out battery power as Im waiting for the JVC A/B promotional trimpack battery to come in the mail, but DID purchase the A/B mount on the steadicam. In an earlier reply, some one (cant find the reply) commented the having the two battery on back of cam was overkill, and a 12v supply running from the bottom of the post was fine. Do I take that to mean I can set the steadicam battery up to power the camera as well? therefor the cam wouldnt need the extra weight of mount and battery?
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Old October 21st, 2007, 12:18 PM   #32
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You have a Pilot already? Lucky!

Well, about the power system, the Pilot should have a DC output on its stage, which you should then be able to feed into your camera. That'd sure make a big camera like the JVC easier to fly. Having two batteries back there for any type of Steadicam work is overkill, at least on a rig this lightweight. You could use that weight in other places. As the Pilot manual isn't out, I'm not exactly sure if it comes with a DC cable to connect to the stage, and also, I'm not sure what power inputs your camera has, but maybe someone else can give you a better step-by-step description of how to power your camera directly from the sled.
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Old October 21st, 2007, 05:54 PM   #33
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Damon,
Congratulations on your new rig! You are the first person we've heard of to actually have recived a Pilot, that means that they are truly offcially shipping.

Yes the sled has a 12v power output at the stage that you can use to power your camera.

I'm pretty sure the HD110 doesn't have a 12v power input (proprietery 7.2v I think), but that battery plate of course accepts 14.4v from the AB battery.
You could use one of these to get the power from the sled into the camera: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...R_Snap_On.html
I think the Pilot comes with a Power cable from that DC connector to an XLR-4 connector. (coudl you confirm?) - if it doens't, those cables can be bought or made cheaply.

You'd still need the battery mount on the camera, but the battery itself wouldn't be necesarry as the battery at the base of the sled would provide the power.

- Mikko
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 04:11 PM   #34
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Wow, I knew the Pilot was new, but didnt know just HOW new. Ordered through B&H inearly sept I believe, and then the order actually placed on 17th (I had to send a check and then verify) The Pilot claimed a 4-8 weeks ship time, and arrived within the 4th week i think. fast and prompt. The instruction maual is a wee-bit lacking, it seems to leave out JUST a bit of info or diagram to make it doable, but with a bit of trial and error. Sorry i dont have the power specifics, my techie is out for the day, butit came with a dc ended power cord, free wires at other end, and what looks like an rca to pin adapter. again, when the rig comes back in I will take a closer look and get better info up, and maybe a pic or two.
Thanks for the help guys!
Q2; see if anybody has Ideas.... I NEED a focus control for the th16x5.5brmu fuji lens on the hd110, and would LIKE a zoom as well. The electronic pre-set focal point models seem like they are worth their costs when compared to cable driven manuals, am I correct? And for zoom controlls, I need to find the slowest, smoothest...cheapest one available. zoom is secondary to focus though, darn long lens.
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 05:01 PM   #35
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Nothing mechanical will work - you need isolation from the rig. If you can, go for a wireless follow focus, but those can get very pricey very fast. The BFD (Bartech Focus Device), which is considered pretty "industry standard" as a low cost remote FF will run you around $4000. If you can find something wired, you should be just able to make it happen, but focus pulling on the Steadicam is certainly an art form in itself! I'd look to just shooting wide most of the time, at least until you can figure out a focus device.
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 06:08 PM   #36
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Or you can just hire someone to pull focus for you.
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 08:31 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damon Mentzer View Post
[...]it came with a dc ended power cord, free wires at other end,[...]
Great, then you just need to put a Female 4-pin XLRconnector on the other end.

Pin 1 of the XLR should go to the shield of the DC connector (ground)
Pin 4 of the XLR should go to the center of the DC connector (+12v)

..of course that's presuming that you get one of those AB "Dummy" plates I mentiond in my previous post.



Regarding focus: Your lens does not have a built in focus motor, so whatever your solution for focus control, it's going to involve an external focus motor (which will then need some sort of controller).

- Mikko
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 01:12 PM   #38
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There are a number of folk working on low-cost follow focus systems (like [ulr=http://www.redrockmicro.com/microRemote.html]this[/url]) but they have yet to be unleashed. This does require a focus puller as CK mentioned. There have been a number of gimbal-mounted systems out there in use by live event operators, often adapted from Stanton Jimmy Jib components.

Generally with a small-chip camera you don't need to pull focus on Steadicam too often, however if you intend to be doing a lot of stuff from the long end of the lens it may be more of a priority.
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Old November 30th, 2007, 03:52 AM   #39
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Sorry bout the wait....

ok, Im back, thanks for the responses and i'm sorry bout not replying. lemme backtrack.
After posting I got called away from town for a few days, when I got back the Anton Bauer trimpack's were in. A day and 1/2 later (after allowing for a full charge) I slapped a battery on, no go. something was wrong (in the ab mount i think) and had to send it back. took me 2 weeks to send off, and 2 to get it back. Now it is powered and OMG is it waaay easier to focus off the pilots screen.
Got a Varicam EFC electronic focus control. 4 presets (a-b-c-d-c-b-a, kinda bites, but i can work with it), fair manual control, LOTS of extra cord with the package. fumbled with it before attempting to attach, trying to figure how to do it for about 1 hour. The screw on to the lens seemed way to close to allow the gear. then I realized i was looking at zoom not focus, and now it goes on and off camera in about 1 minute.
Once again, thanks allot for all support. I will try to become a more active member of this forum as I grow my studio
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