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A good budget for an amatuer's first buy


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#1 Vip Insyxiengmay

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 05:11 AM

Hi everyone. I'm looking at doing a Steadicam course in January 2011 and was wondering whether I should get the
gear before I start the course or after?
That being said, would the Merlin steadicam with arm and vest be too much to start off with?
I feel as if that's a pro starter kit and wasn't keen on forking out $3000 for it.
I was looking at a cheaper option with the Glidecam. What do you guys think?

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.
:rolleyes:
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#2 Sydney Seeber

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 05:41 AM

If it were me, I'd wait a bit and start off with the Pilot. I think the Merlin's a great little setup for really small cameras and a fantastic tool when one's traveling really, really light - A valid reason, I do it myself here and there - But I don't like how it acts when attached to an arm. I think the Pilot's sled is a much better way to go. What's that, like a grand more or something? I think the only difference between the two is the sled, which has a gimbal. That gimbal makes a world of difference when attached to an arm.

Just my .007 Dinar
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#3 James Davis

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 08:31 AM

In addition to what Sidney said I would also think about the weight and type of camera you are going to fly in the near future, as getting a pilot will severely limit the type of payload you can carry, I wouldn't even bother with a merlin, but I would strongly consider the flyer, as once the zephyr comes out I think secondhand flyers will probably be going quite cheaply.
Then you can carry a much bigger payload, bigger cameras, more accessories etc etc, i'd finish the course first before you do anything though, you might hate it, find it too tiring etc etc etc.... I did a few courses and operated on hired gear a few times before I ended up making a purchase, and I think thats the best way to do it in my opinion, that way you know if it's really for you or not.

My two pence :)
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#4 Kristy Dyson

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 10:57 AM

I would recommend waiting to make the purchase until after the course. While taking a course with your own rig can be incredibly beneficial, it seems like you're not sure of what exactly to buy based on money issues and not based on shooting issues. You're also likely to meet a few pro's that can help you choose the best rig or hook you up with something used that is more in your price range but better for what you're to be shooting. Good luck!
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#5 Rob Vuona SOC

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 12:28 AM

Hi everyone. I'm looking at doing a Steadicam course in January 2011 and was wondering whether I should get the
gear before I start the course or after?
That being said, would the Merlin steadicam with arm and vest be too much to start off with?
I feel as if that's a pro starter kit and wasn't keen on forking out $3000 for it.
I was looking at a cheaper option with the Glidecam. What do you guys think?

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.
:rolleyes:


There's loads of info answering this question on the forum but in my experience and by experience I mean, what other people have told me and what others asked me regarding getting rid of gear they had purchased.

Why spend the money on a piece of gear your going to want to get rid of in under a year and on top of that not have work to support that gear. I am talking about the basic beginner glidecam, in my opinion not a chunk of gear your going to be happy with 6 months down the road. Buying a used Pilot or Flyer after you take the class will be much more beneficial in the long run and will allow you to grow with your gear and prep you for bigger rigs in the future.

Just my two cents . . .
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