XCS or PRO
Posted 17 December 2016 - 08:33 AM
Posted 20 December 2016 - 01:08 PM
Just beware when you ask this question, everyone defends their purchase and will usually tell you to buy the same thing they have. So thats what I'll do!
For sure buy the XCS sled. So many advantages to talk about. I would give Greg Bubb a call/email and ask " why should I buy your rig". Then you will know.
Its one of those things I don't have to worry about. I show up on set and the thing always works.
Best of all, and something to really consider, XCS rigs by design eliminate vibration to the camera ! Many "other" rigs can transfer vibration (especially when running) which are clearly visible onscreen.
For sure get the PRO arm with 4 blue and 4 black.
Just my .02
Posted 20 December 2016 - 08:38 PM
Both Rigs the PRO and the XCS are excellent, in terms of quality and customer service, you can't go wrong.
I have owned both the PRO and the XCS sleds. I'm currently on my second XCS (Ultimate 2 HD) sled, and I could not be happier. I like what Jordan states, very rigid, maybe the most rigid sled on the market, power delivery for any camera and fully HD compatible and customizable in terms of additional outputs.
It comes down to being a personal choice.
LOVE my PRO arm and Vest though....
Posted 22 December 2016 - 12:05 PM
What Jordan and Jens said is good advice, Greg Bubb is top notch, as is the XCS and his design does reduce vibration by design. It's a non conventional design and takes some getting used to adjusting the for and aft and side to side on the bottom. The Pro is also a great rig, solid construction and like you said classic design. You never mentioned the Tiffen Steadicam sled, may I ask why?
The M-1 or the Shadow-V incorporate all the best features from all of the sleds on the market with more options.
I think you cant go wrong with any of the three as far as a professional rig that is going to last you, but what features are you going to have to do without or modify for the kind of flying that you are doing becomes the question.
Posted 22 December 2016 - 08:01 PM
Ive flown the XCS and own many of Greg's top notch gear. But I've owned a PRO since 1998. The simplicity of the rig is what gets me. You could throw it into a brick wall (and I have) and it would still fly perfectly. I've soaked mine in salt water (more than once) and had it up and running in short order. Additionally I like things simple. Looking at the two rigs, the XCS is a brilliant machine full of amazing features. If however for some reason I needed to 'fix' anything I wouldn't even begin to try on an xcs, it would just get shipped back to Greg. The PRO however can be re-built with a soldering iron and some wire, even by a totally technically lacking operator like me.
Short answer is they both rock, you just need to figure out what works best for you.
And yes, obviously PRO arm and vest.
Posted 22 December 2016 - 08:23 PM
You mentioned this being the first and last for 25 years. What has been great about using a Pro is the availability of parts owned by other operators and its upgradabilty. At times these machines fail (it certainly couldnt be operator error...!) and knowing that there is someone nearby that can trade a part quickly is great insurance and has happened to countless operators. I know an operator in town who is considering shedding their XCS for a Pro because of this reason.
What has been cool about Pro is the ability to modulate the components of the rig. You can change out the donkey boxes per you needs, upgrade to an XCS post and gimbal, different battery racks, etc. I love having two lines of HD in the CineLive electronics. Until recently, regulating power was not an important part of my operating, but it has come up recently, making me consider the power options on the XCS, which might be important to you now.
Available ptap power on the Pro-I use it o 75% of my shoots.
This all being said, my next major purchase for my Pro will be the XCS post and gimbal. I used one recently and was very pleased with the feel.
XCS may be as versatile, I just dont know about every feature. But the features for Pro fit for me.
I also second what Rob has said. I love the Shadow V. Its an awesome rig and Rob can really tell you all about the great features. I think its got a great weight, the battery rack system is intelligent, even more HD lines, the tilt head! And Tiffen is a world-recognized name with operators and resources all over the world. I think that you should strongly consider that rig is you have not already.
Posted 22 December 2016 - 08:34 PM
Try before you buy. You ask 10 operators what the best rig is and you'll get 20 different answers. What features do YOU care about?
Tiffen is very good at all in one rigs with lots of power and lines down the post. The built in super posts, tilt heads, and motorized stages are handy on some jobs as well.
PRO is drop dead simple as others have said. You can clean their arms with a garden hose if you need to and you can build a sled in parts.
XCS is rigid and can be just as reliable as Pro, but more features can mean more problems.
There's no best overall, there's best for you. Steadicams all work on the same principle and physics. Everything else is just gravy.
Posted 22 December 2016 - 08:41 PM
I believe one of the most important considerations is "after sale customer service", Both XCS and PRO have a history of bending over backwards to help operators in emergency situations.
Plus the PRO and XCS are both backwards compatible and have great resale values.