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Old April 14th, 2015, 08:01 AM   #1
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x900 and a Glidecam hd1000

I have never ever, use a camera stabilizer at any of my weddings before and see so many of you guys do.
I think its time a joined you and try moving towards these type of shots I see so many of you experts can achieve :)
I have a TM900 & an X900 as well as my PMW320.
I was wondering what to look for so I could use one of my Panasonic's
Was thinking of a Glidecam HD1000.
I know you guys would know best what to buy, so that's why I'm asking nicely :)

Blackbird stabilizer, what you think?

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by Anthony McErlean; April 14th, 2015 at 01:02 PM.
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Old April 15th, 2015, 05:03 AM   #2
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Re: x900 and a Glidecam hd1000

I see Blackbird has a Camera Motion Research Blackbird Full Kit and a Camera Motion Research Blackbird Basic.
Apart from the price, what's the difference in the two?

Thanks.
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Old April 15th, 2015, 08:09 AM   #3
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Re: x900 and a Glidecam hd1000

Like it says on the website "The full kit has a custom soft case, resting stand, universal docking bracket with table clamp and tripod adaptor." which are not included in the basic kit.

If you would plan to only get the basic version buy the resting stand as well, it's a must have accessory.
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Old April 15th, 2015, 08:28 AM   #4
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Re: x900 and a Glidecam hd1000

Thank you Noa, its just I wasn't sure.
Thank you for your help.
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Old April 15th, 2015, 07:59 PM   #5
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Re: x900 and a Glidecam hd1000

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony McErlean View Post
Was thinking of a Glidecam HD1000. I know you guys would know best what to buy, so that's why I'm asking nicely :)
Everyone here uses different devices! I guess your choice breaks down like this:

-- Gimbal vs steadicam: gimbal is pricier, often harder to transport, in some ways more fiddly (because you're faffing about with wires and batteries), and often can't be used for as long periods, but is potentially much smoother, a lot easier to learn, faster to setup, and enables some moves you can't do with steadicam

-- Vested or unvested steadicam -- vested is smoother and can be used for longer periods, but pricier, takes longer to set up, more junk to carry, tricky in confined spaces, not capable of some moves (like lifting above a crowd)

-- Hybrid device (like Steddiepod or Solo) vs steadicam -- steadicam/glidecam is smoother, but hybrid device more flexible

-- Blackbird or Merlin design vs Glidecam design -- Blackbird/Merlin can be used for longer periods, are more portable, are capable of more subtle moves and more variety of moves, but require more skill, and are much more sensitive/fiddly to set up; Glidecam is easier to use, often more steady, especially in wind, and can also be used in inverted mode for shots of feet walking, but will murder your wrist after a few minutes (whereas a Blackbird could be used for 30-60 minutes if you really had to). Glidecam is a lot more popular; the sensitivity of balance on a Merlin drives a lot of people nuts.
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Old April 16th, 2015, 06:50 AM   #6
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Re: x900 and a Glidecam hd1000

Thank you Adrian, for that info.
As I have said, I have never used a stabilizer of any sort before, so your reply was very informative.
I have the two Panasonic's, TM900 and X900 and was hoping to use one of them on a Blackbird or Glidecam.

I want to keep in mind, if I down size from my PMW320 at some stage and buy something smaller/lighter, I would like to think the stabilizer I might buy, will still suite.
I was then thinking of the Glidecam HD4000, this might work with my pany at present and still use it for a camera I might buy in the future...perhaps I'm thinking to far ahead :)
Thanks.
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Old April 20th, 2015, 12:36 PM   #7
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Re: x900 and a Glidecam hd1000

Had a look at some Merlin 2 clips on youtube.
What I liked about the Merlin is that the gimbal is under the weight of the camera.
That to me, makes a lot of sense and easy on the arm.
Any thoughts please.
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Old April 20th, 2015, 02:21 PM   #8
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Re: x900 and a Glidecam hd1000

Well, I know in another thread I had posted about getting a jib/crane.

However, this morning I nixed that idea and bought a Glidecam HD2000 from B&H.

It will be here Thursday. We'll see how it goes.

I'll be flying a Nikon D750, 24-120 F4, and Sennheiser ME66/K6 combo on a shock mount.
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Old April 20th, 2015, 02:36 PM   #9
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Re: x900 and a Glidecam hd1000

OK Kyle, let us know how you get on, thanks.
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Old April 20th, 2015, 03:10 PM   #10
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Re: x900 and a Glidecam hd1000

I will.

There are a lot of knock offs on Amazon for around $100.

They got mostly good reviews... but many of the bad ones were centered around the shaft like failing, and becoming loose, along with being very difficult to balance.

So I figured, I'd just go with the real deal and maybe save some problems down the road. I hope the Glidecam is built well and such like that.

As I've noted, normally I hire this out to my friend who has the full vest rig... but sometimes, I don't need all that. For instance, I'm shooting a promo this week and next, and I'm hoping to be able to use it on next weeks set of shots.
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Old April 20th, 2015, 04:48 PM   #11
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Re: x900 and a Glidecam hd1000

Kyle - Here's a little editorial comment:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle Root View Post
Well, I know in another thread I had posted about getting a jib/crane.
However, this morning I nixed that idea and bought a Glidecam HD2000 from B&H.
It will be here Thursday. We'll see how it goes.
I'll be flying a Nikon D750, 24-120 F4, and Sennheiser ME66/K6 combo on a shock mount.
If there is a cable from the mic to the camera and it moves, depending on how far and how much it weighs, it can put the balance off. A short cable, or maybe using something like masking tape to hold it down could be helpful to keep the balance from being thrown off.

While there are a lot of resources available about how to balance and use a stabilizer, one more resource is "Stabilizer Basics" by Tery Thompson, Bret Allen, and Cody Deegan c 2007. There is a lot more stuff on-line now than when I picked this up.

Once the cam is all set up and balanced, one suggestion is to make notes of the positioning, how it is set up, and maybe even put some tape marking for the camera position so the next time it'll be easier to set up.


While everybody's situation is different, I think your choice of going the Glidecam route was a good one.
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Old April 20th, 2015, 05:48 PM   #12
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Re: x900 and a Glidecam hd1000

Good advice and info John.
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Old April 21st, 2015, 08:55 AM   #13
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Re: x900 and a Glidecam hd1000

Thanks for the info!

Regarding the mic cable - it's a short one <12" and is pretty rigid as far as cables go. It's actually wrapped around and through the shockmount it doesn't seem to move at all, but I'll check on that for sure.

I'm looking forward to playing around with it!
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