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      04-20-2011, 09:56 PM   #1
UdubBadger
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Stedicams

Who uses one? They are hella expensive if you buy a legit one. Are shoulder mounts essentially the same thing (found a few for $100 or less)? I know some people make their own too, advised for or against?

I'm doing a lot more video than I ever thought I would so I want to pick one up.


Thanks
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      04-20-2011, 10:29 PM   #2
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We just picked up a Glidecam Hd-2000 and are really happy with it. What kind of camera are you shooting with? I would really recommend a glidecam, we are using pole only no vest.
Here is a test video we did with the glidecam hd-2000
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      04-20-2011, 10:57 PM   #3
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duh... shoulda mentioned I shoot with a DSLR (Canon 5DmkII). Thats why its harder to find one cuz of the weight. I got a manfrotto one from Amazon for $100 but it was for like smaller flip style HD cams under 2lbs. My 5D is easily 6-7lbs with lens attached.
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      04-20-2011, 10:59 PM   #4
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that glidecam is exactly what I'm looking for. just not so damn expensive (the one I would need is at least $300)

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      04-20-2011, 11:07 PM   #5
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the glidecam is not bad, but it's no steadicam. there really is no substitute. the glidecam will take a LOT of work and practice to get really good shots. just practice with it whenever you can, and make sure it's balanced perfectly. in the test video above, you have to really work hard to not get those unwanted yaw and tilt errors. if you're just using really short 2 second clips, you'll be okay. if you want really long 30 second perfect shots, you'll need the real thing. and that costs the big bucks.

i use the glidecam mentioned here, but only because i'm saving for a steadicam. my Zephyr savings fund is almost complete and i'm totally stoked. the glidecam is decent, and i've gotten pretty damn good at it, but i'm definitely not satisfied. i learned on a steadicam merlin before it and i like the glidecam better because you can balance it to be used upside down for really low shots.

and if you need any tips or help balancing the 5D, let me know.
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      04-20-2011, 11:09 PM   #6
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thanks rodi
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      04-20-2011, 11:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UdubBadger View Post
Who uses one? They are hella expensive if you buy a legit one. Are shoulder mounts essentially the same thing (found a few for $100 or less)? I know some people make their own too, advised for or against?

I'm doing a lot more video than I ever thought I would so I want to pick one up.


Thanks
Steadicams and shoulder mounts are two very different tools used to achieve two very different things.

Personally, I find a lot of value in paying the premium for video equipment. If you're going with a steadicam, BUY a steadicam. The whole DIY thing is BS and you'll never achieve the same results. I've tried a Glidecam (original version, I can't speak for the newer HD version) before, and it was an absolute nightmare to balance. I've also used a Blackbird, which was a MUCH more pleasant experience in terms of finding proper balance. And I've also sampled the Merlin at B&H, so I don't have field experience with it, but it's very compact and seems well constructed (though it has a steep price for just a base steadicam).

If you're shooting bare DSLR + lens (i.e. no external monitor, cage, etc), you don't need any extra support from a vest.

Keep in mind, you'll spend a few hours learning how to properly balance a steadicam, as well as properly using it to steady your shots.

On the other hand, a shoulder mount will only give you SOME stabilization for stationary shots, but you'll still get shakiness since it's resting on your shoulder. You CAN find cheap alternatives for good shoulder mounts -- a VERY popular mount in the DSLR cinematography community is the "Gini Rig," which is like $500-600 (people receive different prices for some reason) on eBay from Korea. Google it and you'll find a load of positive reviews. My gripe about it is that the shoulder pad seems to suck, and there's no reliable counter-balance that will fit behind the shoulder pad. I'm personally a fan of Redrock rigs, but that will set you back $1000+ just for a few rods and a shoulder pad.

Do some more shooting and find out what kind of style you're leaning towards before making an investment on more equipment. Personally, I get like 90% of all my work done with a Manfrotto 562B and 701HDV because I like very stable shots (for professional applications), while still having a lot of freedom for mobility.

cheesycam.com is a great resource for the on-the-budget DSLR cinematographer -- check it out.

Hit me up if you want to see a sample vid of me getting in some practice with the Blackbird before going on a shoot.
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      04-20-2011, 11:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Activ View Post
We just picked up a Glidecam Hd-2000 and are really happy with it. What kind of camera are you shooting with? I would really recommend a glidecam, we are using pole only no vest.
Here is a test video we did with the glidecam hd-2000
No offense, but you need some major practice and you need to balance that thing properly!! Look at those extreme tilts!
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      04-20-2011, 11:17 PM   #9
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BTW, excuse my use of the term "steadicam." I'm not referring to the brand "Steadicam," but instead I meant it as "image stabilizer." As rodi mentioned, there's no comparison to the real thing, but with practice and effort, the cheaper sub-$1000 alternatives work VERY well.
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      04-20-2011, 11:22 PM   #10
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Man I tried shooting with my friends steadicam.. that thing is so hard to keep straight. He balanced it perfectly and i was still having trouble keeping it from tilting and stuff.

And ya shoulder mounts will not stabilize your shot like a steadicam
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      04-20-2011, 11:35 PM   #11
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thanks for the info guys.

Still being a student I don't want to break the bank on this stuff but I do like doing movies along with photography, lots of fun. I just really wish I could find some mediocre gear to play with for cheap now while I'm in school is all. Any money spent on this stuff is money taken away from putting into the car
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      04-20-2011, 11:38 PM   #12
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wondering if this would be a good start...

http://cgi.ebay.com/New-DSLR-flycam-...item4158dccb20
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      04-20-2011, 11:53 PM   #13
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i think all the knockoff below the glidecam will give you the same results. the question is, do you spend $150 or $350. Or $9000. hahaha.
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      04-21-2011, 12:00 AM   #14
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$150 plz
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      04-21-2011, 12:09 AM   #15
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or you could tie a string to the hotshoe mount and do it that way.
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      04-21-2011, 01:50 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UdubBadger View Post
thanks for the info guys.

Still being a student I don't want to break the bank on this stuff but I do like doing movies along with photography, lots of fun. I just really wish I could find some mediocre gear to play with for cheap now while I'm in school is all. Any money spent on this stuff is money taken away from putting into the car
Buy yourself a monopod, pair it with a good head, and call it a day. It's an extremely versatile stabilization tool for DSLR video and works in just about every shooting situation.
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      04-21-2011, 02:12 AM   #17
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No offense, but you need some major practice and you need to balance that thing properly!! Look at those extreme tilts!
This is shot right after taking it out of the box/not spending much time balancing I'm also used to shooting a steadicam with a vest for short films with a ex1/3 attached so a glidecam with a fx1000 is a bit different.
But thanks for the tips.
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      04-21-2011, 07:41 AM   #18
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Why not make your own, similar to one of Vincent Laforet's economy-priced rigs?
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      04-21-2011, 09:02 AM   #19
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Why not make your own, similar to one of Vincent Laforet's economy-priced rigs?
thats what my teacher said to do... however my handiness stays under the hood of a car, i don't know shit outside of that.

http://littlegreatideas.com/stabilizer/diy/
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      04-21-2011, 09:18 AM   #20
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I can almost see Badger walking around creepily like this

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      04-21-2011, 09:43 AM   #21
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rodi, that Zephyr Steadicam is SICK...

beta-testing the steadicam zephyr // first flight + bts


remember to watch it in HD.
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      04-21-2011, 11:00 AM   #22
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I can almost see Badger walking around creepily like this

uhhhhh... that is me bro.
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