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-   Monopods (incl. FlowPod) (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/monopods-incl-flowpod/)
-   -   Varizoom Flowpod (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/monopods-incl-flowpod/12413-varizoom-flowpod.html)

Rob Lohman November 24th, 2003 01:47 PM

Anyone?

Rob Easler November 25th, 2003 04:30 PM

The plate does not swivel. You would tilt the monopod up or down. If the quick release plate has a female screwhole on the bottom, possibly. The plate for the pod attaches with a standard screw.

Thomas McKay March 27th, 2004 09:31 PM

VariZoom FlowPod Footage online
 
This is Tom McKay from VariZoom. We made a very quick demo with some FlowPod footage Friday and we have it online now. For some reason there is no audio on the clip but we will have that fixed before long too. It was a bit windy but we managed to get some shots.

I know we have some FlowPod users in the dvinfo forums and we would like to post your footage if you will share it.

Tom

You can see it here:

FlowPod Page

http://www.varizoom.com/pages/flowpod.php

Videos

http://www.varizoom.com/movies/Varizoom768.wmv

another clip courtesy of our German dealer.

http://www.varizoom.com/movies/flowpod02.wmv

Rob Easler March 27th, 2004 10:37 PM

I can offer some. Tell me how. I don't have a server to post it on. By the way what's up with the longer aluminum shaft I see that extends to the first leg extension. Must be an upgrade. Mine is about half that length. I do like "the pod". I use it all the time.

Thomas McKay March 27th, 2004 11:02 PM

FlowPod footage
 
Hi Rob,

Yes the longer shaft is an improvement over the earliest model. It is not a big difference other than it allows you to counter balance the camera with a little less weight.

If it is important to you I can swap you for the piece you have. You may want a case now too as it was not offered before.

If you can send over a few clips by email that would be great. I have a seperate email I use for large files I will send to you.

Tom

Thomas McKay March 28th, 2004 10:47 PM

Rob's Footage
 
Rob,

Thanks for sending over the clips, you did a great job.. I will link them from the same FlowPod page as the others. Should be online in a day or two.




<<<-- Originally posted by Rob Easler : I can offer some. Tell me how. I don't have a server to post it on. By the way what's up with the longer aluminum shaft I see that extends to the first leg extension. Must be an upgrade. Mine is about half that length. I do like "the pod". I use it all the time. -->>>

Michael Best July 26th, 2004 06:07 AM

Flowpod
 
Anyone know where I might find an attachment I can use
on the bottom of a flowpod (actually a monopod) with a plate
so I can mount the camera?

Rob Easler July 27th, 2004 07:27 AM

Well...uh yeah at flowpod.com

Billy Dalrymple July 27th, 2004 02:26 PM

Does the flowpod work well? Dont your hands/arms get tired if shooting for any length of time? Will it stabilize running shots?

Rob Easler July 27th, 2004 03:06 PM

Using the flowpod is actually EASIER on the Arms
 
It works well and works for running shots although the Steadicam Jr probably performs just a bit better in general for flying shots. The flowpod is kind of heavy, however, since it's also a monopod I find it much EASIER on the arms because I only use the flowing shots once in a while and the rest of the time I can support the weight of the cam on the monopod instead of having to use the stabilizer all the time with something like a Glidecam or Steadicam Jr. I also get a nice steady shot using the monopod. It will get tricky though if you use it or any mini steady type device lights attached.

Billy Dalrymple July 29th, 2004 10:41 AM

How difficult is the flowpod to learn? I've never used a mechanical stabilizer so I'm a newbie to it. Are we talking a day, week, or year?

:^)

Rob Easler July 30th, 2004 12:35 AM

Probably a day or less to learn but it will depend on you and the camera setup you are trying to use. As you use the flowpod or any mini stabilizer more you will develop methodology that makes you better with time and use. The flowpod fits my uses because I do weddings and am on the go a lot during the shooting day so the monopod get heavy use and the flow usage is light. I don't know what your use is or if the monopod concept is
advantageous to you.

Jos Svendsen July 17th, 2005 11:35 AM

Good description of the Flowpod. However there is one bit of information I miss.

What is the hight of the Flowpod when used as a fully extended monopod?

I have not been able to find it in the Varizoom documentation. It would be most appriciated if you could find the time to measure the Flowpod.

Thanks in advance

Chris Davis July 18th, 2005 06:57 AM

I don't have my Flowpod with me right now, but I can tell you that with the monopod fully extended, the eyecup of my Canon GL2 is somewhat close to my eye level, and I'm 6'0". I believe Varizoom revised the Flowpod to be a bit taller since this original review was written. If memory serves, it is 62" tall when fully extended.

Jos Svendsen July 19th, 2005 03:25 AM

Thanks for your answer. Could you tell me something about the set-up. Is it very difficult to set up?

I've had a Hollywood Lite and you had to sit at a table fiddling with some quite small screws in order to set it up.
After some practice I could do it in 15 min. I sold the thing because of this, as I wanted to be able to do the set up at location.

And how steady is it as a monopod?

Chris Davis July 20th, 2005 01:52 PM

If I had more time to use it, I could answer your questions... I just picked it up a couple weeks ago and have not had much time to play with it. It is a very solid piece of equipment - built like a tank. There are five thumb screws to control the position of the camera. There are (up to) three weights to slide up and down (which require the included hex key to adjust.)

Sean Seah May 17th, 2006 09:53 AM

Hooked up the FX1 with a Rode Videomic and the counterweights totalled 1.1Kg!! Holy smokes the entire setup is prob 4kg on my arm alone! The 3 weights that came didnt work for the FX1 which is stated as a 5Ibs and below cam. Anyway, its really expensive to get the additional weights here in Singapore so I used an ankle weight at 1/3 of the price to solve the prob..

Beth Dill August 5th, 2006 12:16 AM

Bump...

Anybody have any more info to share? Thanks

Sean Seah August 6th, 2006 07:31 AM

Wat else would u like to know?

Beth Dill August 10th, 2006 04:46 AM

Fogive the delay - I hadn't been following this post.

How difficult is it to set up, how long does it take to set up, does the footage really turn out as well as their demo footage? How long can you use it at one time?

Thank you -- I appreciate it. I'm very close to buying one :-)

Beth

Raj Kay August 14th, 2006 04:44 PM

I've recently started practicing using my Flowpod. So far, I've achieved some interesting footage with its use. The movement is fluid, however I get an unexpected lateral motion. I'm still learning its proper use.

It takes me some time to properly balance the device as it's quite sensitive. I've never used any other stabilization device, unfortunately, so I wouldn't know how it compares. The balance is thrown off if I make any changes to the setup, including opening my lcd monitor. One thing I've done to simplify the process is to mark my balanced points with a sharpie.

I've just practiced shooting with my headset monitor plugged into the cam. The balance was thrown off, so I'll need to experiment some more.

-rk

Sean Seah August 16th, 2006 08:27 AM

It takes me 2min to set up. B4 I leave home for the shoot, I will balance it on the plate. U gotta get this quiock release adapter that will allow u to remove the cam. Once I reach the location, I pop up the cam and ta da.. its balanced.

I could use it for 2 min or so. I use it on an FX1 with 3hr battery and Rode Videomic. Plus the fact I'm Asian.. I get really tired after a night out. The thing I do not like is the catch of the monopod section. I rather it was the "turn screw" type then the current latching type. Its too slow to set up the monopod mode. Balancing is easy as long as the counterweight is sufficent. Only problem is the long end of the pole tends to strike against my legs if I'm not careful. Therefore I have to hold it to my right. Its tough but still, it works for now.

Beth Dill August 18th, 2006 02:18 PM

Sean, what quick release adapter do you use?

Steve Sobodos February 3rd, 2008 02:01 PM

I just purchased the Flowpod off Ebay (unknown what vintage) and after using it at one wedding with my Canon XH A1 I have the following comments:

1. If your camera, light and wireless are heavy it is only useable for 30 second type shots. The guy I shot with (Alec Moreno) has been using his for a while and he can go much longer because his right arm is stronger now.

2. On a relatively heavy camera/accessory setup you need to add even more counter-weights making the rig even heavier. The ring weights from VariZoom clamp on the silver part between the handle section and the monopod sections on the bottom. I needed six counter weights at the lowest point to balance the rig (2 Lbs., 5 oz.) The solution I learned from Alec is to mount weight on the lowest monopod section. You need less weight as it is has more mechanical advantage and it makes lowering the monopod easier because it pulls the sections out. I pulled off the rubber foot and used big washers from the hardware store.

3. I use the Bogen 577 quick release plate which uses the same camera attachment as both of my tripod heads (Bogen 519 and 501). It allows for quick balancing adjustments fore and aft.

In summary, don't think you will be using it a lot as a stablilzer on a gig unless you get real strong. Having a monopod built in makes it work as a tool.

BJ Elliott September 15th, 2008 04:08 PM

I've been really torn between getting a Flowpod or a Levelpod. I'm leaning towards the Levelpod because: (1) Easier on the back, shoulders, and arms with leverage and the shoulder strap so it can be used on longer shots, (2) you can change your hand holding point at will to balance the product on the fly instead of having a fixed hand position and needing to rebalance the whole rig if I make a change, and (3) the levelpod has a quickrelease, so I don't need a screwdriver to remove the camera for tape changes (bottom loading camcorder, unfortunately).

Any thoughts?

Dave Blackhurst September 15th, 2008 10:50 PM

BJ - since you've asked in a couple different spots, thought I'd give you some feedback.

True steadicams typically use a gimbal type arrangement that requires you to balance everything out, and when done right, and with some practice, it should keep a camera level and pointed in the direction you want it with minimal sway... Flowpod uses a swivel joint to achieve a similar effect. The penalty is that you have to add quite a lot of weight for this sort of mechanical solution, thus why most serious steadi operators eventually go to a vest...

The Levelcam/levelpod takes a different approach entirely (as he notes on his site). It spreads the center of gravity of the camera, putting a second grip further out so it really helps keep tilt (the thing that makes handheld the most offensive and seasick inducing) to a bare minimum. Fig Rig uses a similar principle, I myself use a flash bracket, or a pair of them, to achieve the same effect, as do many others. I find it's a cheap effective way to "fly" a camera, as you have good control in most axis, and your arms absorb a lot of the bounce inherent in handheld. Once you get used to the idea of "steering" a camera through a shot, it comes quite naturally!

I also use a monopod with a belt clip, though I have decided that using it as a monopod set on the ground is just too wobbly. I'm happy with the versatility, it's very similar to a device I keep coming back to, the Tiffen Steady Stick... it's overkill for the lighter cams I use now, but the monopod and a neck strap work quite well to achieve the same effect. I can use it with the brackets too... it's a little bumpy when you move, but you're highly mobile and quite stable when you stop. I see the Levelpod uses a counterweight system, so it should be a bit more refined than a monopod alone.

You can add a QR to virtually any rig, and if you're doing event video where you're on and off a tripod, this is probably mandatory. Just add in the cost of a couple sets of the QR of your choice.

Hope that helps clarify things a bit. I've come to the conclusion that there is no "perfect" rig for all purposes, but the levelcam/levelpod is pretty similar to what I've cobbled up and use myself from off the shelf components... and it's "close enough" for what I want...

Steve Sobodos December 2nd, 2008 10:50 PM

Update: I switched to using my HV30 to lower the weight (and therefore counterweight). The camera is too light even with no counterweights so I mounted a Anton Bauer EgripZ to the bottom of the camera. It adds just the right amount of weight and the arms add mass to keep it more stable rotationally. If I need a light, I use washers on the bottom of the monopod so less weight is required to balance and I can get more leverage by lowering the monopod section instead of more weight.



Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve Sobodos (Post 819477)
I just purchased the Flowpod off Ebay (unknown what vintage) and after using it at one wedding with my Canon XH A1 I have the following comments:

1. If your camera, light and wireless are heavy it is only useable for 30 second type shots. The guy I shot with (Alec Moreno) has been using his for a while and he can go much longer because his right arm is stronger now.

2. On a relatively heavy camera/accessory setup you need to add even more counter-weights making the rig even heavier. The ring weights from VariZoom clamp on the silver part between the handle section and the monopod sections on the bottom. I needed six counter weights at the lowest point to balance the rig (2 Lbs., 5 oz.) The solution I learned from Alec is to mount weight on the lowest monopod section. You need less weight as it is has more mechanical advantage and it makes lowering the monopod easier because it pulls the sections out. I pulled off the rubber foot and used big washers from the hardware store.

3. I use the Bogen 577 quick release plate which uses the same camera attachment as both of my tripod heads (Bogen 519 and 501). It allows for quick balancing adjustments fore and aft.

In summary, don't think you will be using it a lot as a stablilzer on a gig unless you get real strong. Having a monopod built in makes it work as a tool.



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