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Steadicam for Students


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#1 Pirate Pippi

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 03:44 PM

Greetings all!

I'm hoping that I can get some opinions and input on this -

I work for a small Canadian University and our film studies program is looking at purchasing a steadicam to add to our equipment artillery. Pretty cool - I know :)

Thing is, trying to find a appropriate steadicam for students of various levels of expertise may be somewhat difficult. We have a pretty good budget (~$ 13,000) to buy something nice, but I'm nervous to spend money on something that will be of limited use to our students. Additionally, as the technician for the program, I will need to lug it around and learn how to use it properly before it will be used for any shooting, or certainly before it is handled by students.

Naturally, the weight of the camera is important - we are primarily using the lightweight Sony DSR PDX-10. We also have the somewhat larger Sony PD170 that we will want to use with the system.

There is a lot of interesting and detailled info on your forum and I'm finding it useful to read through and learn more about what we're getting ourselves into ;) but any additional thoughts on the topic, feel free to drop me some of your thoughts and opinions.

Any good resources in learning how to USE a steadicam properly? (practice, practice...)

Thanks!

Jenn
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#2 Pirate Pippi

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 04:13 PM

I forgot to mention (kind of important) the model we are currently looking at is the Flyer. Specific opinions?

Thanks!

Jenn
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#3 Mikko Wilson

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 04:27 PM

Jenn,
Welcome to the forum.

Nice to have somone on here with a realistic budget looking for a rig :)

The main basic factor in choosing a rig is the weight of the camera.

And belive it or not, if those are the only cameras that you are flying, I'd be enclined to sugest a Steadicam Merlin! - It'll fly a range of cameras from 0.5 to 5lbs - which both the PDX10 and the PD170 fall into.
It's a handheld rig, but it performs very well. And doesn't take very long to get the hang of. - Good for students. *A good rig if your main focus is the shots.
The only real downside is that it will get heavy with the PD150 on it after a while.
Ready... it's $850! ..for that price you could afford a couple. ;)

However also applicable is the Steadicam Flyer. Which will fly cameras up to 15lbs .. and actually a PDX10 will be too light for it without some extra weight. (that can even be a metal plate under the camera). It'll work great with a PD150. and biger cameras too.. bascially anything DV or HDV. The Flyer does take a bit more training to learn and time to master. *A good rig if the main focus is on operating Steadicam (as well as the shots of course).
It's $8000 with batteries and a chager. $7000 without.

For learning to operate, I'd STRONGLY sugest attending a workshop. ..Especially if you are planning on teaching the skill to others. - A full-rig workshop will be aplicable for a flyer, however you'd want to look into a JR/Merlin workshop if you get the Merlin.
Workshops run up to about $2200 for a week.
More info on workshops: http://www.steadicam-ops.com ..if you are really fast, there is one next week!

Also, something else you may be interested in: http://www.on-campus...m-workshops.com ...would fit in well with a Flyer in your budget.

Good luck with your program!

-Mikko
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#4 Matt Burton

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 06:00 PM

You should definatly go for the steadicam flyer. Its a proper steadicam system that your students can learn a real industry tool.

-matt
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#5 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 07:10 PM

Jenn,

The Flyer would be your best choice, but I'll play devil's advocate for a moment. Do your students know anything about composition and the other elements of basic photography? Can they handle a tripod properly? I'm not being flippant; I did a day long training seminar with two Steadicams awhile back to quickly discover the students really didn't know the basics. Not being mean, but if you can't frame a decent picture or execute a decent pan on sticks, how can they really be expected to do it with a rig on? Obviously, your students would disagree with me, but....

If you do opt for the Flyer, I strongly recommend you purchase it from Peter Abraham, an authorized Flyer deal on the East Coast of the US. He could deliver the unit to you along with bringing his own, then hold a workshop for you and your students with the two rigs. He is an inspiration to be around and a gem of a fellow. And no, I don't get anything out of this; I just know his heart is in the right place and he is a great teacher that will share many stories along with his skills from having spent years in the field.

http://www.on-campus...com/index.shtml

Good luck.
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#6 Matt Mouraud

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Posted 30 September 2005 - 03:49 AM

... And you can expect a few drop outs when they start the line dance ! I'd say the flyer is a good choice, but look also at the competition : Glidecam, Sachtler.
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#7 JobScholtze

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Posted 30 September 2005 - 04:25 AM

... And you can expect a few drop outs when they start the line dance ! I'd say the flyer is a good choice, but look also at the competition : Glidecam, Sachtler.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I agree. Look at the v25 from glidecam too. Same pricerange, more weight range. Up to 13kg.
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