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Chinese Knock off steadicam's are starting to piss me off


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#1 Adam Eden

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:17 PM

Because people on REDUSER are talking about the below

http://www.ebay.com/...=item1c2f8347bc

A cheap shit steadicam knock off for $1750 USD...

Clients are now ringing me to see if i am going to lower my price to compete! I have an Archer 2 SE with a G50 arm and after having invested a substantial amount into it and other bits like Wireless follow focus/iris/zoom, Wireless HD links etc

My comeback is.. Do you like my work, answer... Well yes you are excellent. So you want me to shoot with a steadicam IPHONE then. It can do the same job.

Rant over..


Sorry i have had 3 calls over the long weekend. And other people would have complained about the same thing but i was lost for words when i saw pictures of this thing. I dont know how they could make it and make money at that price!
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#2 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:39 PM

What is the purpose of the DROPDOWN monitor arm.....
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#3 thomas-english

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:29 AM

Looks good. I might buy one and drop my prices so I can give production better value for money.

I am being sarcastic by the way. It looks like its going to break in so many hundreds of ways.
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#4 Erwin Landau

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 09:26 AM

Sooo...

There is a battery on the sled AND the camera...
There is a yellow coded cable going from the bottom of the sled (from the battery?) to the camera... yellow means video in my book... and it looks like a continuos one... either there is a hole drilled in the post or there is actually no connection or support on the top of the post.
But there is no cable going to the "monitor" neither power nor video (wifi maybe?)
Monitor Bracket... we have been doing it wrong all these years... I am not even going there...
I especially like the weights... you can work out while waiting at one???

The Vest is called "Camera Support" and the arm is called "hotweel" I can see Mattel suing... it does have wheels... kind of... and it looks like a toy...

Even the operator does not want to be seen wearing that contraption, or he is blurred out for his own safety?

You get what you pay for... and you get what you support, according to e-bay some poor schmack actually put his money where is mouth will be... or something like that... and paid money for that!

Yeah, support Chinese workers they have a billion mouths to feed!

wow...
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#5 Kevin Andrews SOC

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 10:56 AM

"The resonable structure design makes sure the whole equipment run more flexible"

I'm sold!
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#6 Thomas K. Jensen

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:23 PM

And I thought that Flexible was a bad thing when it's got something to do with Steadicam?

Maybe I was wrong :-)
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#7 Tom Wills

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 04:21 PM

Hold the phones, guys! They're actually asking the Chinese makers of this rig if they can get a discount for ordering more than one at a time! Because, clearly, $1700 for a stabilizer is way too much.

Honestly, my take on it is this - I'm being hired for me, and I choose to get the best gear I can afford, because it lets me produce a better product. If I thought I could do decent shots with cheaper gear, I'd do it, and I'd keep my price right exactly the same, since I'm being hired for my skills, the time I've put in practicing, the trust a producer has in my credits, the fact that no shot will be "not doable" with my gear, etc...

Clients will always ask for discounts, but if they dump you because you won't price match to garbage gear, then you're not working with clients who value your skills.
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#8 Adam Eden

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 04:47 PM

I wish I had better clients! I'm lucky that I am a DOP and I have my own kit including a red epic kit with lenss. I'm not the cheapest in town but I'm not the most expensive also. There are a lot of bad Steadicam guys in sydney with flyers or glidecams. So when someone tells me that I am expensive I usually email them my competitors reel. That seems to get me more work! Steadicam is a constant learning curve and it really is a skill that can't be taught in an hour. As jerry taught me.... Always be happy on set and always make out what we do is easy and effortless. I do from Time to time rig up the director and throw the rig out of balance so they can appreciate what we do.
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#9 Janice Arthur

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:16 PM

Hi guys;

I can't believe this is a real product. Could this be one of those get your credit card, never deliver the product things?

Even at a nickel a part to make you can't make this for $1750. Machining the parts, buying the springs and monitor it would cost more than that.

Heck I'd buy the arm for $1750 just to see if would be useable for a flyer?? I don't know just noodling but it can't be a real thing for that price.

That's my bet.

JA
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#10 Chris Van Campen

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:28 PM

WOW that docking bracket is seriously going to split in half at the stand...
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#11 Chris Van Campen

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 06:06 PM

whoops that's the gimbal handle... yikes...
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#12 Chris Poynton

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 09:29 PM

This is the reality of market forces ... an ***entry level*** (term used advisedly!) sled for DSLR users and the serious enthusiast that will likely provide better results than a handheld Merlin and maybe about 1/3 performance of a Flyer. The load ratings are extremely debatable.

There is a serious and obvious lack of demonstration footage from these rigs on the web, so any uptake will likely be slow. However, this is an onslaught of technology that will not go away in a hurry, and there will be iterations and DIY tweaks that will improve the performance of these rigs and likely affect the economics of low-end Steadicam operators.

The underlying problem for the sellers and users of real Steadicam equipment is that superior performance criteria of Steadicam gear (e.g. iso-elasticity, bearing quality, inertia feel) are generally not available in empirical form. For instance, when was the last time anyone saw empirical force/curve data graphs for various Steadicam arms? Or inertia measurements that allow you to clearly compare operating a 4kg Merlin v an 8kg Flyer v a 20kg GPI-PRO?

The subtleties of iso performance, for instance, are quite impenetrable to most newbies, so many more will continue to be sucked into the lazy school of thought that says "if it bounces it must behave like a Steadicam". These systems are just another step in sorting out aspiring operators ... a chance to play and work out whether they want to take the next investment step.

Regarding actual performance of these Chinese arm/vest/sled systems, early user feedback on other forums (for a similarly badged system) indicates the bearings in the sled may be reasonable and that dynamic balance is achievable. The tilt head rotates around the top of the post, not the CG of an average camera, so trimming the headroom will affect both static and dynamic balance, making trimming for headroom maybe a three-plus-step process. Internal cabling on one such system is HDMI. The monitor bracket is somewhat of an aberration, but can be easily tweaked or replaced by a DIY-er. Ditto the curved operating handle.

The performance of the Chinese arms generally depends greatly on a great deal of swapping and experimenting with various springs. I have been experimenting with one such in recent weeks, and I conclude that very limited ***almost iso-elastic performance*** might be theoretically achievable in very narrow weight ranges, but from my observation, the geometry tends towards a very non-iso feel. The "lift adjustment" knobs require an enormous number of turns for little net effect in the lifting, so trimming for various lens heights is not really an option.

There is some software floating around on the HBS Forum at HomeBuiltStabilizers.com that allows load/performance modelling of various arms if anyone wants to toss around arm parameters. (The software is "SteadicamDesigner v1.0" (2007) by Lyu Abe.)

The Chinese vest design (common to many brandings) is generally quite solid in its adjustability, with padding and buckles that are servicable. Although ironically - given its Chinese origins - the vest cannot be readily adjusted to very slim builds.

The socket blocks are sophisticated, offering dual axis adjustement for fall of the sled, but the mechanism and large hinges at the arm's shoulder tend to take up an enormous amount of real estate - up to 10-15cm of extra room off the hip than say a Flyer. (Ouch for doorways.)

All in all, these rigs are not to be dismissed, although I am sure these developments must truly irk anyone who has spent more on a battery than what these full rigs sell for.

I would encourage some renewed efforts by manufacturers of high-performance Steadicam gear to put greater effort into releasing empirical performance data, and/or putting together a new web site called something like "SteadicamQuality" that neatly encapsulates all the reasons one might want to steer clear of imitations at the pro-sumer end of the market, so that there is an easy "go to" that can be promoted on the various forums where this gear is discussed.


I do from Time to time rig up the director and throw the rig out of balance so they can appreciate what we do.


Hilarious!!!!!!!!
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#13 Jon Beattie

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 11:48 PM

Godzilla has landed in NYC.



...
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#14 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:22 AM

Hi guys;

I can't believe this is a real product. Could this be one of those get your credit card, never deliver the product things?

Even at a nickel a part to make you can't make this for $1750. Machining the parts, buying the springs and monitor it would cost more than that.

Heck I'd buy the arm for $1750 just to see if would be useable for a flyer?? I don't know just noodling but it can't be a real thing for that price.

That's my bet.


I'd take that bet, Chinese machining is VERY cheap. Heck I know of one product out there in our world that is sold for 10 times what it cost's to build...
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#15 Lars Erik

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:40 AM

"We only accept 5 star full Positive feedback"

Ha-ha. Great company policy. You're not allowed to say ANYTHING negative about this product.

Must be manufactured by the Chinese government. Or perhaps Pyongyang.
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