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Flyer Vs Archer 2


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#1 Adam Eden

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 04:33 AM

Hi I am trying to buy a new steadicam and I need some advice on what model to buy.

I own a PDW-700 XDCAM HD, PDW-F800 XDCAM HD and 5d MII with Rec rock micro deluxe kit (Marshall monitor on top) all cameras run focus from a HOCUS focus remote kit.

The PDW-F800 with a Fujinon 4.5x10 HA series lens, no viewfinder with the cheap sony plastic tripod plate weighs 7.2 kilos. The Hocus kit weighs 300 grams so in total 7.5 kilos.

The new flyer is rated to 8.6 kilos.

Any reason why the flyer isnt a recommended system and the Archer 2 is? There is a $20K difference in price and the Archer is overkill for the 5d

Thoughts????

Adam
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#2 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 11:00 AM

Welcome to the Forum Adam!

You should buy a rig suited to the biggest camera you'll ever potentially fly; you may not always fly just the two cameras you mentioned AND you may add additional accessories.

The advantage you'll have with an Archer / Clipper series rig as just one example will be the input / output connectivity for power, video signal, accessories which all add up quickly. Weight requirements add up quickly as well as people add transmitters, audio receivers, eye-lights, focus motors, program monitors and the list goes on and on.

You may deem the 5D as a small camera but wait until you build it out with all the AKS, motors, audio, lights, filters, matte boxes etc. and you need power outlets to make all that happen. I went to an HVX job last year and brought a weight plate to give it a better feel. HAH! By the time they were done adding, 35mm converter, motors and a 24" ring light the whole rig weighed 54 pounds including sled... just about 1/2 turn from being at the limit of my G50 arm. I think there's a photo of that here on the forum, plus I had to fly it low-mode.

Take it from a guy who bought a new Flyer, and less than two months later bought a new 12v Clipper and then seven months after that bought a new 12/24 volt Clipper 24 that has now been further upgraded to an Ultra level sled. Like money... you can never have enough! Don't under buy.

Also, you should consider some of the used rigs out there since there are great deals to be had where you can get a lightly used rig, PLUS all the accessories and save yourself many thousands of dollars.

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#3 Kevin Andrews SOC

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 11:15 AM

Like Robert said, buy for cameras that you will be flying in the future.

Buy it right, and buy it once.
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#4 Mike Germond SOC

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 12:43 PM

I think I can weigh in on this topic because I'm the guy that settled for the Flyer LE because of cost. At the time, I didn't know enough to find the right people to help me finance a bigger rig, so I went with what I could pay in cash (my grandpa fronted the $10k for me to buy the Flyer). After 2 years, I'm still in the Flyer LE outfit. And like Robert suggests, the limitations of input/output video/power connectors is a crutch!

One thing I wouldn't do is upgrade to an Archer2. For the cost, it doesn't support much more weight than my Flyer LE can carry now. I couldn't justify an extra $20k only to gain 10lbs of lee-way (even less depending on what options/monitors/batteries you opt for). Granted, if you buy at the right time, you might find a discounted demo rig from Tiffen. Yes you can get the gadgets of the Clipper and Ultra, but it's subtracting from the bottom line which is what cameras you can fly.

Now just like the Flyer and any other rig, you can usually push it past its recommended capacity. You could ask myself or Brian Freesh about our escapades with the Flyer, or Chris Fawcett about his A2. Today, I'd skip the A2 and go straight for a Clipper. It's a better investment IMO. I wish I could have started out with the A2, but I couldn't justify the cost against the bottom line. To accentuate Kevin's point, buy it right and buy it once!

Edited by Mike Germond, 23 March 2010 - 12:45 PM.

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#5 Adam Eden

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 04:55 PM

I have been using an Easyrig for the "Floating look" or as I call it my Faux Steadicam for a number of years now.

I would never use anything bigger than a Sony XDCAM PDW-F800 as I edit everything I shoot and I don't freelance and shoot for other people.

The biggest hurdle for me is that the difference in price between the Flyer and the Archer 2 is about $20K and I wouldn't be shooting every day with it.

My problem is that I don't know anyone with the new model Flyer that has used an XDCAM with it! And with technology being what it is... every time a new camera is released its becoming smaller
and lighter.

So hopefully someone knows of someone with a flyer that has tried using a PDW-700 or PDW-800 totally stripped down with out a viewfinder and with a Hocus focus or something similar attached.

NAB is only a couple of weeks away and I have just been paid for a big job i have been working on and I can afford a flyer now, but an archer is a real stretch and If i did buy one i could only barely
afford the cheapest Archer model with the G40 arm


Cheers

Adam
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#6 Adam Eden

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 04:59 PM

I think I can weigh in on this topic because I'm the guy that settled for the Flyer LE because of cost. At the time, I didn't know enough to find the right people to help me finance a bigger rig, so I went with what I could pay in cash (my grandpa fronted the $10k for me to buy the Flyer). After 2 years, I'm still in the Flyer LE outfit. And like Robert suggests, the limitations of input/output video/power connectors is a crutch!

One thing I wouldn't do is upgrade to an Archer2. For the cost, it doesn't support much more weight than my Flyer LE can carry now. I couldn't justify an extra $20k only to gain 10lbs of lee-way (even less depending on what options/monitors/batteries you opt for). Granted, if you buy at the right time, you might find a discounted demo rig from Tiffen. Yes you can get the gadgets of the Clipper and Ultra, but it's subtracting from the bottom line which is what cameras you can fly.

Now just like the Flyer and any other rig, you can usually push it past its recommended capacity. You could ask myself or Brian Freesh about our escapades with the Flyer, or Chris Fawcett about his A2. Today, I'd skip the A2 and go straight for a Clipper. It's a better investment IMO. I wish I could have started out with the A2, but I couldn't justify the cost against the bottom line. To accentuate Kevin's point, buy it right and buy it once!



I think you are convincing me Mike as Phil Balston ( Steadicam trainer in Sydney, Australia) is saying the same thing! I need to hear from someone with a larger camera that uses the flyer. Have you tried putting a full size XDCAM camera on your rig?

Adam
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#7 Mike Germond SOC

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 09:23 PM

Optical Fiber Sony HDC-1500 and Canon 11x4.7 HDTV lens w/ ring light and 2 monitors:

Posted Image

That camera/lens with dovetail and no viewfinder clocks in at 18lbs. With the extra monitor and ringlight, I'd estimate the final payload is around 24lbs. You'll also notice how I had to deal with that lack of power/video jacks that Robert hinted at. Granted it's not an XDCAM, but we have a few of those sitting around TGC and it certainly doesn't outweigh that package.
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#8 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 10:18 PM

Optical Fiber Sony HDC-1500 and Canon 11x4.7 HDTV lens w/ ring light and 2 monitors:

Posted Image

That camera/lens with dovetail and no viewfinder clocks in at 18lbs. With the extra monitor and ringlight, I'd estimate the final payload is around 24lbs. You'll also notice how I had to deal with that lack of power/video jacks that Robert hinted at. Granted it's not an XDCAM, but we have a few of those sitting around TGC and it certainly doesn't outweigh that package.



That ringlight and monitor do not weigh 6lbs more like 2-2.5lbs.
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#9 Erik Brul

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 04:22 AM

Hi Adam,

2 years ago i tried for the first time a XDCAM on the 'old' 15 lbs Flyer. It flew like a dream.
The camera used was the XDCAM PDW530 SD camera. No viewfinder and no battery, it was approx 14 lbs..

Just go for the Flyer LE and score some extra power/video in/outputs via custommade jbox.

Cheers, Erik

Attached Files


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#10 JobScholtze

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 10:16 AM

Dont see a foucs and iris control on that pic erik. Now the ask you to carry a pro 35 and some primes ( wich happends more and more these days ) Video transmitter, perhaps a camwave or boxx or transvideo, some extra's and better the new pdw 700/800 ( wich i have and let me tell you, its more heavy and likes more battery power )
There are you limits. I would stay away from limits, to many options these days.
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#11 Brian Freesh

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 03:36 PM

NAB is only a couple of weeks away and I have just been paid for a big job i have been working on and I can afford a flyer now, but an archer is a real stretch and If i did buy one i could only barely
afford the cheapest Archer model with the G40 arm


Hi Adam, welcome to the forum!

Is your intention as of right now to not make a decision until NAB or later?
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#12 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 04:56 PM

You're right, Archer is overkill for the 5D. Flyer should be fine (you'll benefit from a weight plate on the Flyer).

But the bigger question is: what is your goal? Expectations? Market niche? Business plan? Is Steadicam a skill you want to add part-time, or do you aspire to a fulltime Steadicam op career on the big rigs? Is your plan to only fly your cameras, or will you be hoping to be hired on shows that will require you to fly bigger cameras?

The counterpoint to the argument of buying the biggest rig you can afford (or finance one you can't afford) is this:

-if you're sure you want a rig, you can buy a Flyer LE for under $10k or a used original Flyer for $5k or so, and have it to learn on with your existing cameras, then get most of that money back out of it by reselling it when/if you upgrade. Some folks are hoping that Tiffen updates the Flyer at this year's NAB, so waiting might be smart.

-if you decide the Flyer is just fine for you, then you've saved $15-$20k. If you later decide to "go big", you've had a great starter rig to learn on and hopefully start making a living with, while you save for an Archer, Clipper, U2 or one of the fine offerings of PRO, XCS, etc.

Hi I am trying to buy a new steadicam and I need some advice on what model to buy.

I own a PDW-700 XDCAM HD, PDW-F800 XDCAM HD and 5d MII with Rec rock micro deluxe kit (Marshall monitor on top) all cameras run focus from a HOCUS focus remote kit.

The PDW-F800 with a Fujinon 4.5x10 HA series lens, no viewfinder with the cheap sony plastic tripod plate weighs 7.2 kilos. The Hocus kit weighs 300 grams so in total 7.5 kilos.

The new flyer is rated to 8.6 kilos.

Any reason why the flyer isnt a recommended system and the Archer 2 is? There is a $20K difference in price and the Archer is overkill for the 5d

Thoughts????

Adam


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#13 Brian Freesh

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 05:13 PM

Haha, thanks Mark! I was too lazy to type all that. Figured if Adam was gonna be at NAB pre-decision, I'd just discuss it with him there.
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#14 Adam Eden

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 08:07 PM

NAB is only a couple of weeks away and I have just been paid for a big job i have been working on and I can afford a flyer now, but an archer is a real stretch and If i did buy one i could only barely
afford the cheapest Archer model with the G40 arm


Hi Adam, welcome to the forum!

Is your intention as of right now to not make a decision until NAB or later?


Im looking at waiting to see if Steadicam are going to release anything new and if not. Purchase and ARCHER2 or Flyer right away


Adam
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#15 Adam Eden

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 08:10 PM

Haha, thanks Mark! I was too lazy to type all that. Figured if Adam was gonna be at NAB pre-decision, I'd just discuss it with him there.



I should point out that Im from Sydney, Australia so my sales rep Scott Backhouse from LEMAC will be over there having a look.

Ideally I would LOVE to buy an Archer 2 with a G50 arm and basic kit, (Maybe exdemo) that scott from lemac can buy for me and bring back to Australia for a REALLY GOOD PRICE!

Adam
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