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Old September 5th, 2013, 12:19 PM   #1
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First attempt tomorrow with steadycam at wedding

Having seen some of the footage on this forum from steadycam exponents such as Noa, I decided recently to get an entry level 'steady cam' to experiment with. After a few hours of playing abou with it, tomorrow is my first attempt at a client wedding, both with the steadycam and my new Lumix FZ200 which I will test for stills and video.

My whole wedding approach is lightweight equipment, and discrete filming, so everything needs to be light and quick to set up as I am usually solo. I bought the cheap Glide Gear SYL 3000 to play around with and the first thing that I found was that the plastic gimbal mount was very poor and kept sticking. A bit of research came up with the fact that it is basically a gas strut ball joint as used on cars, so I managed to order a stainless steel one from a bearing supplier for 12 which was an exact fit, so just unscrewed the plastic one and replaced it with the stainless steel joint. The transformation was impressive, the only minor downside being that the max angle of tilt is less, but I don't see tha being a problem.

I have balanced it for the Lumix, using the off centre mount that came with the stabiliser and after marking all the settings, can set it up in about 3 mins out of the case. I use a twin camera plate on my tripod and found that I can slide the balanced camera and stabiliser over the end of the plate, with one standard thread screw holding it in place. It takes about 5 seconds to attach or remove and can be used on the tripod next to the small Panasonic video cam for narrow and wide angle views, or slipped off the tripod to leave the Panasonic capturing a wide angle while I follow the action with the steadycam.

If the two pics from the iPad upload, they show the glide gear stabiliser with the Lumix and the SD700 both on the tripod and a close up of the new gimbal and the simple mount.

It will be interesting to see how it works tomorrow and if successful, I have a very upmarket wedding on Sunday.

Roger
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Last edited by Roger Gunkel; September 5th, 2013 at 12:21 PM. Reason: Extra pic
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Old September 5th, 2013, 12:23 PM   #2
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Re: First attempt tomorrow with steadycam at wedding

Can't seem to attach the second pic in the first post so here it is

Roger
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Old September 6th, 2013, 06:26 AM   #3
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Re: First attempt tomorrow with steadycam at wedding

Hi Roger

That looks rather interesting! You must definitely post your comments early in the week.

I always found I struggled with the horseshoe style stab with the ball joint underneath so I eventually opted to a more traditional sled with the camera on, bottom stage with balance weights and LCD and a centre post with the gimbal about 1/3rd from the top. Trouble is that you need a vest and arm with a big camera to get a decent smooth action.

With the little Lumix on top that's basically all you need and should get some interesting shots I think

We look forward to some stunning footage

Chris
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Old September 6th, 2013, 04:48 PM   #4
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Re: First attempt tomorrow with steadycam at wedding

Roger that seems a beast to handle, to heavy surely? I just use similar to the nano for a couple of shots. Some people on here use the steadipod, some the merlin, the nano, but this is the best I have had in 7 years, dead simple and glides lovely...
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Old September 6th, 2013, 08:29 PM   #5
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Re: First attempt tomorrow with steadycam at wedding

I wish you luck with the wedding. I have previously had a Steadicam JR which was great. It did however put me off this style of steadicam with the gimbal underneath as Chris said. This was because the Steadicams use a gimbal that has a really nice ball bearing but the rest is in plastic around it. I broke one and had someone else break the next.

You seem to have wisely got around that with the stainless replacement. Have you lubricated the joint?

I bought a second hand Modosteady for my holiday camera, as I hate shaky footage while out walking in the bush etc. It has a metal arrangement quite similar to this, but I find it a little sticky at times. Ski wax comes to mind...

I found with the steadicam that a good couple of hours practice before I tried to film anything with it was worthwhile.
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Old September 7th, 2013, 01:58 AM   #6
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Re: First attempt tomorrow with steadycam at wedding

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Originally Posted by Steve Bleasdale View Post
Roger that seems a beast to handle, to heavy surely? I just use similar to the nano for a couple of shots. Some people on here use the steadipod, some the merlin, the nano, but this is the best I have had in 7 years, dead simple and glides lovely...
Glide Gear DNA 5050 Professional Video Camera Stabilizer
That looks like an almost exact copy of a Glidecam HD-2000 which is indeed the best hand held stabiliser that I have used. The Glidecam (& presumably this copy) is very forgiving in terms of balance & can still be used even when it's not bang on. The Merlin is lovely but too lightweight & 'twitchy'.
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Old September 7th, 2013, 05:32 PM   #7
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Re: First attempt tomorrow with steadycam at wedding

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Originally Posted by Steve Bleasdale View Post
Roger that seems a beast to handle, to heavy surely? I just use similar to the nano for a couple of shots. Some people on here use the steadipod, some the merlin, the nano, but this is the best I have had in 7 years, dead simple and glides lovely...
Glide Gear DNA 5050 Professional Video Camera Stabilizer
Steve - it's actually extremely light, as is the Lumix, but I wondered if you missed my point that the stabiliser is actually attached to my double camera tripod mount in the picture. The curved bit, handle and camera are just attached with one screw thread for quick release and the rest is the tripod and other small Panasonic video camera.

Chris - the wedding yesterday was washed out, so everything was inside in low light, with very cramped filming space. I found the stabiliser a bit twitchy, but that is probably also down to my complete lack of experience with it. I also found a bit of pressure trying to get the Right settings on the Lumix as it was also the first time I had used it at a wedding. Tomorrow the weather forecast is good and I have a great venue to film at, so hope to put into practice some of the lessons learned yesterday. Getting out of my comfort zone with my normal cameras by adding in the Lumix and stabiliser is a bit nerve racking, but good weather and a familiar venue will help.

Steve and Nigel- the Glidegear 5050 may well be something I will look at later, but for 1/3 of the price, the syl 3000 will get me some experience of flying around for some shots and also show me it's limitations. Nigel you will know tomorrow's venue, it is Hengrave Hall.

Tim- the SS replacement for the ball and socket is a big improvement, and I lubricated it with a silicone lubricant to reduce friction. Being stainless though, I may try an oil based lubricant to see how that compares. The ball is easily removed for access as it has a removeable clip.

Rpger
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Old September 8th, 2013, 07:01 AM   #8
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Re: First attempt tomorrow with steadycam at wedding

Ha no worries Nigel good luck...Hope it goes well but try look at the one I have , used it Friday Saturday and very good, sometimes you don't need to hold it with your left finger and thumb by the gimble for more stability sometimes it just floats lovely for smooth action.
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Old September 8th, 2013, 07:03 AM   #9
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Re: First attempt tomorrow with steadycam at wedding

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Originally Posted by Nigel Barker View Post
That looks like an almost exact copy of a Glidecam HD-2000 which is indeed the best hand held stabiliser that I have used. The Glidecam (& presumably this copy) is very forgiving in terms of balance & can still be used even when it's not bang on. The Merlin is lovely but too lightweight & 'twitchy'.
Nigel I have had them all and this is my best, dslr or hfg10s or most camcorders I have had works well,
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Old September 8th, 2013, 05:56 PM   #10
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Re: First attempt tomorrow with steadycam at wedding

How do you balance left to right? Can the camera be offset or do you use that weight on the bottomside to direct it to the left or right get the camera level?
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Old September 9th, 2013, 05:51 PM   #11
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Re: First attempt tomorrow with steadycam at wedding

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
How do you balance left to right? Can the camera be offset or do you use that weight on the bottomside to direct it to the left or right get the camera level?
There is an offset bracket supplied with the kit for mounting the camera if needed, and there is a pivoted bracket for the weights at the bottom, which can be pivoted left or right for balance. I've marked the adjustment and mounting points so that I can balance very quickly. Once balanced, the steadycam is either handheld or tripod mounted for quick release.

One thing I have found on my two live wedding trials so far, is that I need a lot more practice to get the movement right. Some shots are stable enough to use, but I made sure that I doubled up the shots where practical with tripod mounted shots, and played safe with the glide gear ones.

Roger
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