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New to steadicam, searching for the first set up


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#1 wilkie chiu

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 06:52 AM

Hi everyone,

 

I'm Wilkie, I'm a total beginner for steadicam, I knew I always like steadicam, until now I've made up my mind, that I'll start my first small step, I looked up workshops, but they don't have it in Finland, and there's only the gold workshop left which I honestly don't think I should take on. But I'll take it as soon as they're available.

 

For now, I'm wondering if anyone would be able to give me some advice. I've done some research and with my very limited budget, I have a few options now, either go for a used Solo kit or Aero 15 kit or a used Pilot kit.

The used solo and Pilot are pretty much in the same price range, since I've never played with any sort of steadicam, I figured its best to start with the very basic, however, I do not understand if there's any massive differences in the "sled" comparing the Solo with Pilot at least. Also, operating with the monitor or without the monitor (which is Pilot / Aero and Solo), will that totally change the way how I operate?

 

Will anyone suggest me to get the Solo kit for now?

May I please ask any experts here to drop some knowledge and help me out please? I'll be using it with my Sony A7S II and the Sony 28-135 F4 lens maybe with the Letus 1 axis gimbal altogether, it should be within the weight limit. This is going to be my practice set up for a while until I'll be at a better position to upgrade.

 

Thank you very much

Wil


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#2 Kevin Kisling

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 11:08 AM

Hi Wilkie! Welcome to steadicam! I am also quite new, and I am positive others can chime in with more knowledge and expertise, but I'll talk about my experiences so far getting my first rig.

 

I bought the Aero 30 rig, my practice camera is a GH4 with tokina 11-16 and various Nikon primes, hdmi to sdi converter for my monitor. At the time I thought the aero 30 was going to be more than enough, but I'm already bumping up against the weight limit of 20lbs when I go out on gigs. Once you add follow focus, wireless video, matte box, the weight really adds up.  

 

Like everyone said when I was buying my first rig, if you can, get the biggest rig you can afford. Its amazing how fast you progress and want to go out on gigs. I already want to upgrade lol. I hope this was helpful! Can't wait to see what you get!!!


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#3 wilkie chiu

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 03:20 AM

Hi Kevin, thank you for sharing your experience with me, I'm wondering when you said going for the biggest rig you can afford, does it apply even I have never played with any steadicam rigs at all? I mean I'm 100% sure this is my biggest focus from this point onward, but its rather my budget is limiting me.

 

I'm still considering if I should buy a new steadimate A30 and then go for a used "solo" to start with, to practice as for now, Aero 30 brand new is a bit too expensive for me, considering I still have to buy batteries, storage box converter and cables.

 

This way I won't need to worry about reselling the vest and arm too soon I guess? and I can just step up to the Aero sled when I'm ready. 

 

But can I ask which model of the HDMI to SDI did you get?

 

Or should I get the used Zephyr kit?

 

all these questions filled up my head for a while already. Will be glad if anyone can also drop some thoughts as well.

 

Thank you so much

Wil


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#4 Kevin Kisling

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 01:59 PM

Hey Wil!

 

You know what, I don't know if it applies, since you haven't been able to get hands on experience. I took a couple of one on one lessons and then the steadicam 2 day bronze class before I knew I wanted to buy. If you can, meet up with local ops and see if you can test our their rigs or see if steadicam is putting on any classes in your area, that way you can get some experience before paying alot of money! I think this is really important, so that you know how the gear works and how to use it. 

 

Yeah the aero 30 new is quite a bit of money and all the batteries, cables, cases really add up. Loans can sometimes be an option, but not always. Also I got gear insurance, which is also smart, but costs money as well. 

 

Getting a used Zephyr vest, used arm and used solo sled could be a decent start. and then getting the zephyr sled later on would make a nice rig!

 

but also just getting a used solo rig might be nice to start. and after a while doing a full upgrade once you feel you are ready. Looks like you could get a solo system on ebay used for under $1,000 usd. 

 

And if you are just starting, getting 2x batters and a charger, 2x sdi cables, won't cost too much, (but I realize they do still cost.)

 

I got the black magic HDMI to SDI converter and paired it with a micro HDMI to HDMI. to power the converter I bought a p tap to micro usb, that way I can power the converter via the sled. 

 

I kinda wish I had been able to get the a Zephyr rig, but it was a bit out of my budget, the additional 3 lbs would be nice. 

 

I hope I answered your questions!

 

Kevin 


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#5 wilkie chiu

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 05:25 PM

Hey Kevin,

 

Thanks a lot man, I'm in luck that I found a very good deal with the steadimate 30 kit, so my plan is to pair it with the Solo, practice and practice tip I feel like I'm ready I'll look for a Zephyr sled, as I understood the Zephyr kit is using the same vest and arm as A 30. This way I don't have to deal with so many factors and more cost. But seriously appreciate your sharing man.

 

I'll try to connect with some OP in Hong Kong, I think Finland for foreigner is a bit tough.

 

Cheers

Wil


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#6 Kevin Kisling

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Posted 21 September 2018 - 11:12 AM

Sounds good man! Glad you found a nice deal. Yes I believe the new Zephyr kits comes with the A30 arm, so you should be able to pair the zephyr sled with the steadimate 30 rig. But once you do, listen and feel out the arm, I'm sure you'll be fine, just don't want to go over the payload. Best of luck! Be sure to be on the lookout for classes in your area, they make such a big difference and will help with your Oping. Have fun!


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#7 wilkie chiu

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Posted 21 September 2018 - 07:07 PM

Cheers man, when I get my whole set up, I'll do some test footage and I'll post here and ask for guidance.

 

Happy shooting


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#8 Kevin Kisling

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Posted 23 September 2018 - 01:32 PM

Great dude! Be sure to watch how to videos online and importantly, don't get discouraged if you don't get it down right away. You just have to put in your time and practice, practice, practice! I'm working on this all the time, I'm still so green.

 

Another tip, take care of yourself physically, stretch and work out. I don't know how active you are, but take care of your lower back, core, legs, glutes. I've been trying to be better about this myself.

 

Best of luck!!!!!


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