Hi everyone, a quick note to say "G'day" and briefly introduce myself.
I have to admit to 23 years in broadcast television, beginning in 1993 when I left the merchant marine (Radio Officer) and entered TV as a freelance cameraman and sound-recordist. That was back in the Betacam SP days - boy those things were shoulder-breakers! My rig spent almost all of its time "on the sticks" shooting sports with a 5" studio viewfinder on top.
Since then I've added master-control, presentation-switching, microwave links and satellite uplinks to my portfolio, but I've always liked pointing a camera at something, which I have been doing (on and off) since the early 1970s.
These days I wield a Panasonic GH4 (working in HD not 4K), coupled to my extensive collection of old Minolta Rokkor 35mm glass via a Metabones Speed Booster. My steadicam gear consists of a Merlin 2, Merlin arm and vest, a spare Pilot arm, and a complete Pilot HD system. Like a lot of freelancers I've built dollies out of plywood and track out of PVC pressure-pipe, laboured to set them up for a ten-second shot and envied the grace and fluidity of Steadam work but was unable to afford the rigs which cameras of the day required.
Now cameras are smaller, the rigs are far more affordable and I decided I had to "get on the bus". In my current TV work I get to meet Steadicam operators on most jobs, so I can pick their brains for hints and tips and watch the way they work. These guys are mostly using the Shadow, a nice rig but way too big for what I am doing.
I am very pleased to see the names of some of the acknowledged Steadicam Masters on the forum. When these people post, a wise man reads, absorbs and understands. I feel privileged to be here and although I may not have much to say, I'll be gleaning as much as I can from the collective wisdom of the forum and its members.