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OK, I get it now. I'm going to need to spend more


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#1 jmf

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Posted 08 April 2005 - 08:04 PM

My $1,000-2,000 range was unrealistic.

Some of you mentioned the Flyer, yet when I go to the Steadicam website, I find no mention of it. I do see it at B&H photo.

The Steadicam site mentions the mini, which might suit my needs just fine - Canon XL1, part-time professional shooter - does anyone here have anything to say about that?

Why is the Flyer so hard to find, don't they make it anymore? Did the Mini replace it?

Thanks again.

J.
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#2 LeighWanstead

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Posted 08 April 2005 - 10:51 PM

Hi J.

Here is a video demo by Charles King.

Click here

It seems that you are very easy to be persuaded to pocket out around US$6,000. :D Someone will tell you that you need a workshop first which will cost around US$3,000. :P I am an engineer and my camera skill has not gotten to the level even thinking about the workshop. :(

Regards
Leigh
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#3 Mikko Wilson

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Posted 09 April 2005 - 03:44 AM

Since you asked...

the Flyer isn't very well advertised on the Steadicam website (Yo hoo.. webmaster!)
But there is some information there, there is a link to a PDF about it at the top of the front page at: www.steadicam.com

I dont' knwo if the Flyer officially replaced the mini, or even if then are still making the mini or not. But the flyer si the newer of the bunch.
They both use a similar sled, but he Flyer has a better gimble and monitor. The vest is the same. However the arm is where it's at. The mini's arm really is no more than a spring lamp arm. The Flyer's is a whole new arm that rivals the Master/Ultra arm in performance.

There's the main differences, though it would be nice ot see a litte more info on the steadicam website about it!


Oh! and I almost fergot.. if you are serious then a workshop is definatly in your future. But if for a "Canon XL1, part-time professional shooter " you probably shouldn't worry too much about it. But you will want to take one if you want to get good at it. ;)

- Mikko
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#4 jmf

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Posted 09 April 2005 - 10:43 AM

Hi J.

Here is a video demo by Charles King.

Click here

It seems that you are very easy to be persuaded to pocket out around US$6,000. :D Someone will tell you that you need a workshop first which will cost around US$3,000. :P I am an engineer and my camera skill has not gotten to the level even thinking about the workshop. :( 

Regards
Leigh

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Thank you, Leigh.
Actually I'm not so easily persuaded. It isn't only here that I am doing my research. I've spent hours online with Steadicam, Glidecam, Varizoom, Ebay and many other sites.
And at that, I'm still not ready to open my wallet. But I have resigned myself to the fact that $1000 will buy me disappointment and frustration.

As I compare the Flyer to Glidecam's 4000P and Smooth Shooter, I'm wondering how much better, if at all, the Flyer is. A setup from Glidecam is half of the $6000 of the Flyer.
I'm wondering if it's only half as good. If it's half as expensive, but works 90% as well as the Flyer, I'd have a hard time justifying the additional expense of the Flyer.

Charles King's video is very useful to see the Flyer in action, though the sound was usually not working on my cable modem connection - I'll try it again. Also, it would have been nice if he could have interspersed some of the footage he was shooting, so that you would see back and forth between what his camrera is recording, along with shots of him with the camera.

Has anyone here done a workshop? It seems to me, from my naive, inexperienced newbie point of view, that the most important thing to do with one of these is practice. How much more can you get out of a workshop than just learning the basics and then practicing them?

Thank you kindly.
J.
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#5 AndySchwartz

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Posted 09 April 2005 - 01:48 PM

hey j.

i had a mini for about 8 months, mostly doing documentaries for broadcast. it was a pretty nice little system. i upgraded the monitor to a marshall 7inch lcd and i was using it with a DVX100a almost exclusively, but I did do some work with an Xl-1 a bunch of times. It rode fine on it. I would say having a better arm on that thing would be ideal. And that is the flyer, a mini with a better arm, and i think maybe the diameter of the center post is a little larger. I have not seen the flyer up close, but have heard and read nothing but great things about it. If you are not going to max out the 15lb range, I think the steadicam over a glidecam is worth the money. I tried a V-8 and had used some of the handhelds a few times. I think they are a bit more cumbersome to get balanced and did not give me the same stability as the mini. I moved to an sk2 in Nov04 because i was putting a SDX900/DSR500 on it and the mini won't handle that.

For the money, you probably won't find a better system to start on than the Flyer or the Mini.

I have not taken a workshop yet, but I am in the upcoming SOA workshop this May. I have spent a year just practicing and shooting stuff with the Mini and the SK2, as well as reading the forums everyday almost, reading Serena Ferraras book, etc... I would say if it is something you want to do, that is, get a rig, and you have the cash, get one and practice. But I think eventually you, like I will hit a point where you know you need a workshop to acquire more skills, techniques, and ideas. And you get that from the best of the best in the industry.

I have found in TV at least, you get what you pay for almost every time.
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#6 LeighWanstead

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Posted 09 April 2005 - 03:18 PM

It isn't only here that I am doing my research. I've spent hours online with Steadicam, Glidecam, Varizoom, Ebay and many other sites.

As I compare the Flyer to Glidecam's 4000P and Smooth Shooter, I'm wondering how much better, if at all, the Flyer is. A setup from Glidecam is half of the $6000 of the Flyer.
I'm wondering if it's only half as good. If it's half as expensive, but works 90% as well as the Flyer, I'd have a hard time justifying the additional expense of the Flyer.


Hi J,

I am interested to know how you do research and compare. Do you compare the demo video on the manufacture website? Or you visit the shop in person and experience the rig?

TIA
Leigh
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#7 jmf

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Posted 09 April 2005 - 03:59 PM

It isn't only here that I am doing my research. I've spent hours online with Steadicam, Glidecam, Varizoom, Ebay and many other sites.

As I compare the Flyer to Glidecam's 4000P and Smooth Shooter, I'm wondering how much better, if at all, the Flyer is. A setup from Glidecam is half of the $6000 of the Flyer.
I'm wondering if it's only half as good. If it's half as expensive, but works 90% as well as the Flyer, I'd have a hard time justifying the additional expense of the Flyer.


Hi J,

I am interested to know how you do research and compare. Do you compare the demo video on the manufacture website? Or you visit the shop in person and experience the rig?

TIA
Leigh

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Leigh,

So far, I have not seen any of these up close.

Everything I've learned so far has just been from the web.
While, of course I have visited the manufacturer's websites, I give a lot more credibility to what I hear from you and other "real world" users of the equipment.

I am anxious to get my hands on a few of these to see what they feel like and compare them.
I suspect that that will be the real test and it may put this all in perspective.

My plan is to rent a Steadicam for a day this week and play with it. I'm also hoping to visit the Glidecam manufacturing facility this week and get a demo of some of what they have.

If you have any other thoughts or comments, I'd love to hear them.

If you or anyone here has done any side by side comparisons of Steadicam to Glidecam, and you have any tips on what to look for as I compare them, I'd like to hear your thoughts.

Thanks again.

J.
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#8 LeighWanstead

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Posted 09 April 2005 - 07:30 PM

Leigh,

So far, I have not seen any of these up close.

Everything I've learned so far has just been from the web.
While, of course I have visited the manufacturer's websites, I give a lot more credibility to what I hear from you and other "real world" users of the equipment.


Hi J,

I manufacture stablizer, so my view is biased. Of course my own one is best :P.

Anyway I have no interest to get into US$65,000+ stablizer business, so relax guys, don't worry about my small business adventure. :D

Regards
Leigh
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#9 Charles Papert

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 12:35 AM

The Flyer arm is a revolution--everything before it, including all of Tiffen's lower end arms including the SK and Provid, were just approximations of the "Steadicam" effect. The Flyer arm performs as well as the highest end arms available, and that alone is worth the additional $3000 you refer to. Remember that with a stabilizer, once you have assured that the rig is structurally sound and free of vibration, the gimbal and arm are the only two things that inform the actual photography--the rest is operator convenience/comfort/interface.

Regarding the workshop, from my venerable perch of 20 years (less two months) since the one I took, plus having helped teach a number of them ten years ago; it will give you the tools you need to practice, rather than get into bad habits. Steadicam operating is far more than being able to walk a straight line, maintain a horizon, or configure the gear into low-mode--there's an endless stream of knowledge and tips about every other aspect of being a Steadicam operator that make it a priceless experience.
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#10 jmf

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 07:32 AM

Charles,

Thanks very much for your WOW (Words Of Wisdom).
And HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Congratulations on your upcoming 20 years in the business.

I appreciate your input.
You compared the Flyer to other, lesser Steadicams, but you didn't mention Glidecam or any other brands. Is this because they are not worth mentioning or becuase you're not familiar with them?

As a commercial still photographer for many years, I decided in the beginning to go with Hasselblad. If you're not familar with the name, it was (and perhaps still is) as good as it gets in medium format photography. Anyone in the business would know that, and it helped develop confidence from a client when you'd show up to a job shooting Hasselblad, rather than some other brand they'd never heard of.

While I never had any regrets with that decision, and Hasslblad is, indeed, one fine piece of craftsmanship that gave me 20 years of problem-free, constant use, I did notice that companies like Mamiya and Fuji were putting out top quality cameras with fine optics that were much less money.

More than once over the years, it occured to me that if I wasn't into such an expensive system, I might be able to afford that extra film back, or longer lens, or whatever. But what might cost $500 in another brand would cost $5000 in Hasselblad, so I would go without, or rent as needed.

What I wonder about the Steadicam vs. the competition is, now that the patent has expired and there are other companies out there making these things, are there any "Fuji's" or "Mamiya's" out there that will do everthing I need them to do, and do it well, but that just don't have that Hasselblad (Steadicam) name?

Can anyone here speak from personal experience of having used both Steadicam and Glidecam and compare them?
That would be very helpful.
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#11 RobVanGelder

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 09:02 AM

Achives...... so much info there, you will be surprised!
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#12 Tom Wills

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 02:57 PM

Hey JMF, I didn't see this thread before I posted in the other one, but there IS a way to get this done! (Check the other thread)

Since you are looking at buying a rig though, it might be wise to buy a cheaper rig and upgrade. This is pretty common in the Steadicam industry, simply because most parts are quite interchangable. The theories behind the device are incredibly complex, but if you don't mind doing a lot of playing around and not having a rig that is 100% a copy of the big film rigs, you can really have a lot of fun and get a really nice rig going. Also, a good thing to remember is that whatever choice you make, weather it be to homebuild, get the Glidecam, or get the Flyer, It's all about the operator. If you don't know beans about stabilizers, you will be a bad operator no matter what rig you get. Even the best rig can't make you be a good operator. It takes a lot of practice and work, but trust me, with enough work even the most consumer of rigs can work very very well.

See ya later.
-Tom
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