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Clive McLaughlin April 16th, 2013 02:29 AM

An idea to improve my steady-cam
Thinking of putting one of these on top of my steadycam to make fine adjustments easier.

Macro Rail Slider - Macro Focusing Rail Slider - 4-Way Macro Focusing Rail Slider for D-SLR Camera

Good idea / bad idea?

Steve Slattery April 16th, 2013 03:13 AM

Re: An idea to improve my steady-cam
Personally I wouldnt use it, it should be pretty much a case of balance once and then if your using a quick release plate just remount your camera. I very rarely need to rebalance and quite often once in the field dont have time to rebalance. Is it an actual steadicam rig your using?


Clive McLaughlin April 16th, 2013 03:54 AM

Re: An idea to improve my steady-cam
Na, its a flycam nano and so doesn't have any fine adjustment. When I unmount and remount the camera, the balance will inevitably be slightly off again! The nano cost me 120 and is a great for the price, but the step up to fine adjustment options is like an extra 200 at least. to me, this add on would achieve the same result. If all the threads were tight and solid.

Chris Medico April 16th, 2013 07:53 AM

Re: An idea to improve my steady-cam
I have a similar hand held rig and I added a Manfroto quick release plate to make getting things going quicker. With the QR plate on I don't have to remove the top plate to mount the camera. Just slide it on. To make it faster I have some white gaffers tape with marks on it showing where everything balances out.

From there I can use the adjustment on the QR plate to get he horizon where I want it. Since I keep the camera rigged the same way I don't have any issues with left/right balance that can't be handled quickly with the adjustments on the bottom of the sled. I can go from a tripod shot to a roaming shot in less than 30 seconds.

Chris Harding April 16th, 2013 08:39 AM

Re: An idea to improve my steady-cam
Hi Clive

As long as your camera has nothing added to it the balance should be darn close and stay that way..I have a totally re-built flycam 5500 and on the sled the first thing I did was adjust the balance and then replace the plastic knobs with a decent allen head bolt and washer and tighten it super tight and your worries are over as long as you have (as mentioned a QR on top..my QR can slide back and forth so I have scored mine so when I slip the camera in, I have a mark to lock it to...Don't think I have touched my sled balance at all this year...just toss out the thumbscrews that come with the sled and buy allen bolts and washers and it will never move again!!


Clive McLaughlin April 17th, 2013 02:21 AM

Re: An idea to improve my steady-cam
Good tips Chris. How do you transport your flycam when not in use? For me, i need to rebalance every time I put it in my bag and take it back out.

It is a case of millimetres though. Tiniest adjustments throw it completely! Also, the QR plat only adjusts in one direction. I find that other common areas where mine doesn't remain exact are the plate twisting on the base of the camera, and the shaft of the flycam itself.

I love what it does, but i would dearly love to have something i could just lift and know was perfect.

This is why I'm quite interested in the new mini Steadicam made fror gopro. No moving parts, every time you lift it, it will be exact.

I just wish I could see someone give a proper demo with it! I'm not completely sold just yet.

Noa Put April 17th, 2013 02:54 AM

Re: An idea to improve my steady-cam

Originally Posted by Chris Harding (Post 1790762)
Don't think I have touched my sled balance at all this year...

And it doesn't loose balance? I find myself finetuning the balance of my blackbird every time I use it throughout the day, it's often just small micro adjustments and if I read the comments from the big boys that use large professional steadicams it's a common procedure.
Do you have any footage to show made with your flycam?

Chris Harding April 17th, 2013 09:49 AM

Re: An idea to improve my steady-cam
Hi Noa

Nope!! My sled however is around 3.5kg with the camera and the dynamic balance has been adjusted too..If I mistakenly slide the QR plate a little too forward or backward it will of course tiltand I'll have to correct the tilt with my left hand ....then again if you follow the tiffen DVD you should be able to correct any sled position in free space just by adjusting your body angle so as long as the sled is dynamically balanced and your camera weight doesn't change there is no reason why the balance should change.

Correct me if I'm wrong but the Blackbird has a gimbal handle directly under the camera?? With that arrangement, yes I would say that balance would be a bit tougher to maintain cos your centre of balance is much higher compared to a full sled with a big camera on it. Do drop times also apply to the Blackbird ..I run my sled with a drop time of about 3 seconds (horizontal to vertical arc) so it's nicely dampened but not too sensitive.

I would think that a handheld under-gimbal rig would be more prone maybe to balance changes than a full vest and dual arm and conventional sled.

Here is some 5500 footage done last year when I wasn't as good as I am now (I still suck though!!!)


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