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Need info on the best.

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#1 Skettalee


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Posted 08 September 2005 - 01:08 PM

Ok first off im a videographer in the military (Air Force). We pretty much just document stuff going on. Usually I set the camera on a tripod and film whatever event is taking place. But there are sometimes when I need to be off the tripod moving around alot like when a crowd of families are on the flightline (airport) waiting for their spouse to come back from Overseas deployed in the War. People are running around and im all over the place. Im tired of having to find something smooth in a timeline of shaky footage, I talked with my shop and they agreed to by a Steadicamera system I just need to look into what the best one would be.

We currently have 2 Sony VX1000's a Canon XL1s and a Panasonic DVX100a and thinking of getting another DVX100a or waiting on getting 2 Panasonic HVX200's. But anyway, I use the DVX100a the most actually thats all I really use if I have the choice.

I need some kind of steady cam setup thats very lightweight so I can be running around for atleast 15 to 30 minutes at a time shooting without stopping but maybe small 3 to 5 minute breaks here and there. Thats really all that I need. I want something that will make the footage I have look super still. LOL. So im guessing im asking which one makes your footage look the best while running around. I dont always run but I do move alot.

I would love to get one that has a pan/tilt/zoom control on it and even a small monitor if that would be possible.

I have like $500 budget, give or take. Can you take a minute to think about what you think would be best for my situation? Id appreciate all the help I can get from you guys. Links to where I can buy the product would help a bit as well. Thank you! Nice forum you guys have! Also if your ever not busy and want to check out another great forum, go to mine, I got alot of different things people are into there.
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#2 Afton Grant

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 01:34 PM

Unfortunately, for $500 your options are quite limited. Long ago I ran a DVX100 on top of a Glidecam 4000, which is a handheld system. It produced decent results. If you're running around for 15 minutes at a time, you might want to look into their Body Pod or Forearm support. Other than that, even the cheapest of full rig systems (vest, arm, sled) start around $1500.

One very important thing to keep in mind, however, is you could buy the most expensive system in the world and unless it's operated properly, the shots can look worse than handheld. It's all about the operator.
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#3 Skettalee


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Posted 09 September 2005 - 07:37 AM

I dont want anything that has the vest and arm and all that. I can be wearing all that stuff in Uniform. Im talking about something like a Merlin or something similar. What would you suggest?

82 views and only 1 reply?
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#4 Erwin Landau

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Posted 09 September 2005 - 01:59 PM

It would maybe help if you would sign your name...

It's hard to talk to someone if you don't know who you are talking to...
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#5 RobVanGelder


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Posted 09 September 2005 - 02:28 PM

Did you ask yourself ever why there is no equipment that meets your needs?

In order to understand the nature of Steadicam, super still shots (your words) you might want to read a bit of the theory behind it. (Physics)

But basically it comes down to this: you need MASS to get STILL/STEADY images.

Yes, with some electronics you can help it a bit (Steadyshot) but there you only stabilise the image projected on the chip, you are not stabilising the camera-platform, your hand/body or vehicle

So that´s why all the good systems are heavy, need a harnass/vest and the lightweight systems suffer more from "vehicle-movement"

But you might try something like this: Garrett Brown is demonstrating this handheld stabiliser from Tiffen. :)

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#6 Tery Thompson

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 11:53 PM

The Merlin is a very nice stabilizer for it's size but still needs a good operator to make it work well (as in all stabilizers). It is small and light but does sell for over $800 so it's out of your $500 price range.

The Glidecam 4000 pro is in your price range but is harder on the arm depending on how long each shot is. You can find those for around $400 so it's in the running. Don't get the body pod as it is intended for static shots. The forearm brace helps on the wrist but puts the strain on the shoulder.

Many of us here I believe have done a lot of research on stabilization systems and know the good from the bad from the ugly. How do you want your video to look...smoother than handheld - flying - or like it is on a dolly? Different systems will give different results. As amgrant has said, you're limited by the $500 price tag.

Hope this has helped.


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#7 Mikko Wilson

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 02:02 AM

No name,
Millitary on a $500 budget? no way.
You'd think that the millitry would just drop down for the best automaticaly.. (and FYI, that's about $70,000 for the base rig, plus the accesories normally used..)
The XL1, and the HVX200 won't fly on the Merlin.. and your wrist bill basically die with them on a GC2000/4000 for any extended period of time. You will want somethign with an arm.
All rigs pan and tilt. Zooming is a feature of the camera.. you will need a controller for that seperatly (which depends on which rig you get)

But for $500 your options are very limited.

I'd sugest dooing a bit more reading, with a bit of reasearch you'll get the idea pretty quick what you are dealing with.

- Mikko.
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#8 TJ Williams

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 10:53 PM

Billions for war and $500 to stabilize the pictures of familys meeting returning GIs
your boss needs to get some training in priorities.
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#9 thomas-english


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Posted 21 September 2005 - 01:59 PM

I had a go on one of those handheld glidecam things the other day. The guy paid $100 for it . As Mikko said, probably a GC2000/4000 .

Get one of them and put the lightest camera on it possible. I hammered it playing for hours with this thing doing crazy spinning shots etc etc and was really impressed with what I got (making a load more visuals for ninja tunes and associates). Get one of them and enjoy the pain. Nail your nice tracking shot then "cup" the camera to rest it. You ll be fine.

see if you can put the battery on the bottom and have an extension cable to power the camera, thus loosing more ballast from the bottom.

As you say, you probably can t wear the vest anyway over your uniform.
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#10 mattmarek


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Posted 21 September 2005 - 04:29 PM

thomas you shooting for any artists in particular for ninja tunes? amon tobin is with that label. if you do his vid, i'll be envious :ph34r:
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#11 jay kilroy

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 06:37 PM

I must add that I am jealous that you are working with Ninja Tunes. They and their associates are some of my favorite producers. Congrats, I would love to see what you shoot for them, as well as the music you shot for.
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