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CAME steadicam - Too cheap to be true

came steadicam cheap togoodtobetrue offbrand

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#1 JamesTSandoval

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 06:32 PM

Hi all,

 

I currently own a Varizoom Aviator and have been in the market to upgrade to something that can handle more weight. At least in a 20-30lb max range. 

 

I came across the CAME steadicam carbon fiber stabalizer, and it's only $900 with a max out at something like 33lbs. 

It is made in China, but a lot of people are reviewing it, at least a lot of consumers. Of course I'm looking to get something made by Steadicam or Glidecam or any of the noteworthy brands, but do any of you have any opinions of have tested out one of these CAME guys? 
Please let me know!! Thank you.

 

Link to product

http://www.came-tv.c...izers-p-88.html

 

- James


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#2 Victor Lazaro

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 06:58 PM

I would rather get a used Steadicam brand rig than this.


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#3 David M. Aronson

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 09:24 PM

For that weight range, I'd look at the Zephyr. It'll handle up to 24lbs and has a pretty decent gimbal and arm and a VERY comfortable vest.

What cameras are you looking to fly?


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#4 JamesTSandoval

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 09:33 PM

For that weight range, I'd look at the Zephyr. It'll handle up to 24lbs and has a pretty decent gimbal and arm and a VERY comfortable vest.

What cameras are you looking to fly?

Well the Zephyr is about $9,000 with ≤24lb limit. 
This Came is about $1,000 with a ≤30lb limit. 

Im still conflicted! :(

 

Im trying to fly cameras from BlackMagic4k to Sony F55s and Reds (I guess) lol


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#5 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 10:35 PM

Looks like a piece of junk made by people who know nothing about Steadicam. Im looking at this picture: http://gl.merchantru...om=ImageSummary

Balance weights are stupid. No clue how that socket block connection works but it doesn't look good. Look at the angle of the arm post compared to his vest spar. Thats a lot of slop and twisting in that arm. Its wired for HDMI; HDMI is stupid.

 

I doubt you could find anything better for the price but you definitely get what you pay for. If you are trying to do this as a profession then you need the proper tools to do the job. If you want it to shoot home movies then knock yourself out.


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#6 David M. Aronson

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 10:37 PM

I've been trying to figure out a good analogy for this, but it boils down to, you get what you pay for. The CAME might hold 30lbs now, but in 2 years, will the springs have snapped? Will the gimbal still be true, if it was to begin with? Is the vest going to be comfortable? How much can you sell it for if you ever need to upgrade?

 

You seem to put a lot of emphasis on weight capacity and price when there are dozens of other factors that you should also be looking at. 


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#7 Lucas Delbanco

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 11:04 PM

I went with a small, incredibly cheap rig for my first (and so far, only), and I will say that for my needs it worked out fairly well.  Considering I was a high school junior when I bought the thing, the $700 I payed for it was substantial to say the least; It took a couple months of saving to even get a monitor for it.  Now, I am seriously considering upgrading at some point.  I enjoy operating my little POS more than almost anything else on set, and I have gotten some decently good shots out of it.  Obviously, they're no where near the level of 99% of people on this forum, but it was a good investment in my opinion.  If nothing else, I learned a ton from it and found out how much I enjoy operating.

 

For you, though, as this would be an actual, working, rig, I'd pass.  Mine, from a similar manufacturer, has had too many issues to count.  I would not recommend buying something off brand just for the price, as many unsolvable issues will arise at some point.  The Zephyr, or maybe even a used scout or flyer would definitely be the way to go over the CAME thing. 


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#8 JamesTSandoval

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 11:24 PM

I've been trying to figure out a good analogy for this, but it boils down to, you get what you pay for. The CAME might hold 30lbs now, but in 2 years, will the springs have snapped? Will the gimbal still be true, if it was to begin with? Is the vest going to be comfortable? How much can you sell it for if you ever need to upgrade?

 

You seem to put a lot of emphasis on weight capacity and price when there are dozens of other factors that you should also be looking at. 

Ah this is the answer I'm looking for. 
Honestly, I'm a fan of you get what you pay for, but I'm not one to judge a steadicam since I've only ever used one model. 

I'm going in on one with a friend and he showed this to me and I was a little skeptical about it but I thought maybe it's just the new generation of products. 

Now that I think about it, I said the same thing about my affordable shoulder rig that broke on me...lol

 

What rigs would any of you suggest that are in the 10-30 range? well more of a ~≤30


Edited by JamesTSandoval, 05 March 2015 - 11:27 PM.

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#9 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 06 March 2015 - 12:19 AM

James, you are looking for a unicorn. CAME is a waste of money. No matter how much you wish for it, you will not find a rig to hold 30 pounds for anywhere near $1000. As many have mentioned, the price of entry for a useable rig that holds anywhere near that weight is around $8-10K. That's the price of a new or used Zephyr (24lb limit). You might get a deal on an older rig that needs some TLC, but CAME and the other Chinese and Indian knockoffs are universally bad. There is no known Chinese or Indian cheap knockoff that is worth a flip. That's just the fact. They are for suckers, and you don't want to be a sucker.


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#10 Lars Erik

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Posted 06 March 2015 - 01:19 AM

Hi James,

I've never used this system. So I can't say if it's a good system or not. But in all likelyhood it will be a big disapointment to you. It will probably be a really big pain in the arse to you.

You don't state your market, but you say you want to use Red and F55. So I'm guessing music videos and short movies?

A cheap knock off system like this might be a cheap way to get a F55 on the rig. (I doubt it will balance very good though) But if you're serious about steadicam it will be a huge risk in the long run getting a system like this. Why? Because it's components might be so poorly manufactured that operating it might be more difficult than trying to command a horse not to shit were it pleases. You're reputation might get a huge dent.

Again, if you're serious about steadicam, I'd strongly advice you to take a workshop. You'll get handson experience with professional rigs. There will be industry professionals there to guide you. Some workshop are expensive, but there are for example 2 day workshops that will cost less than €1k.
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#11 Alan Rencher

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Posted 06 March 2015 - 01:35 AM

The question is: do you risk putting 30lbs worth of gear on a rig that might force that 30lbs to the floor, or do you does that money you saved seem like a down payment on replacements down the road, or maybe it's a deductible for future hospital bills when you seriously injure yourself? The point is: these companies spend just as much time as they need to make a rig that someone with no experience will buy based on looks alone. They aren't engineered to be safe or effective. I would venture to say they aren't engineered at all, and the results show. The only positive "reviews" I've ever seen on these rigs are from people who genuinely don't know what they're talking about.
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#12 Frank Born

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Posted 07 March 2015 - 05:41 AM

I had one of these when I knew close to nothing - gimbal was not centered, the arm non-responsive as a log. As I'll never have to fly something else but my own (very light) cam and focus, I got away with a Pilot system. And even with this entry-level system, the difference is beyond night and day. Try it out for yourself.
Best, Frank
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#13 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 07 March 2015 - 10:01 AM

The guy in the second video is really funny. He is trying to appear unbiased and like he was just another customer.

However, I have got to say, that the price is unbelievable. Thats the price you would expect to pay for a monitor bracket or something. I am tempted to buy one just to use the parts for something else.

This is a tough one to call. I know it will be a crappy rig, and if you are thinking of flying F55's then I am guessing you are looking into at least a reasonably professional market. In which case I would say go for something better, but if your market is very low end, its hard to argue against this rig. I mean, the price is just ridiculous.

In conclusion I would like to say that I have no opinion ....


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#14 Victor Lazaro

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Posted 07 March 2015 - 10:11 AM

I have never tried this rig but in my experience, every time I tried cutting corners and getting the cheaper thing with similar specs as the famous one, I always ended up spending more because I had to buy the famous one after. 

 

Buy it once. Buy it right. We are talking about a tool that will allow you to generate income in a competitive market. If you are not on top, then you are at the bottom.


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#15 Kevin Andrews SOC

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Posted 07 March 2015 - 02:25 PM

James, regardless of what you want or even need out of a rig, what is your budget? It's easy for people to point you in the direction of Zephyr's etc, but if your budget is truly under 1K, then the point is moot. If $900 for a stabilizer is what you can afford, then the CAME unit may work for your needs and your productions. You should try to demo one or buy it with a return guarantee. It looks like it flies cameras according to the demos, and even if it dies after a year, hopefully you've made enough on jobs to upgrade. But at $900 it should be considered an expendable piece of your kit that may not owe you anything in the long run.


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