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First gear - Steadicam Aero ?


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#1 Frederic Borensztein

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Posted 27 October 2016 - 05:58 AM

Hi everyone !

 

After a couple of years of self taught flying, I joined a 1 week steadicam workshop in Paris, France on may 2016. And from this date, I want to specialize myself as a steadicam operator. I've been looking for a first rig for months since I didn't want to spend 10k+ euros without being sure to work enough to make my gear profitable...

 

But yesterday I saw that Tiffen/Steadicam had a new rig for sale !  The steadicam Aero, which is basically, (from what I've understood) a scout-like sled with a Zephyr arm/vest (Aero 30), has a really interesting price : around 5300$ for a 20lbs capacity.

 

Would it be a good rig to begin with ? I will mostly shoot with dslr cameras and sometimes with cameras like FS7, F5, red scarlet... 

 

And if it's a good choice, what battery option should I choose ? VL, LPE6, other ? I have my own 5d Mk3 but I hope I will not use my stead only with my Canon...

 

Thanks !

 

Fred


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#2 Janice Arthur

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Posted 27 October 2016 - 01:25 PM

Fred;

I don't know specifics about that system but ask about things like what inputs the monitor; HD or SD monitor, how to would you power follow focuses and transmitters off the sled or your camera?

Batteries not sure but call up all the manufacturers and get lots of info from their websites.

Take your time, buying is easy and fast and often things are forgotten . Ask questions, do lots and lots of homework.

Janice.
Good luck.
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#3 Frederic Borensztein

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Posted 02 November 2016 - 05:19 AM

Thank you Janice for your answer.

 

I will definitely take all the time I need to be sure it's the right rig for me before buying something. And of course, I will gather all the information I need to know.

 

Specifics about the system are listed on Tiffen website, so everything I need to know about monitors, inputs or how to power external devices is in it.

My only questions are really about which battery option to choose, and of course if this new Steadicam Aero would be a good first gear choice for my use.

 

Thanks !


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#4 RobinThwaites

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Posted 03 November 2016 - 04:50 AM

Hi Fred

 

If you can run to V-lock batteries that gives you by far the biggest choice for Europe. If you need to travel you can rent them rather than carry on aeroplanes making your life easier. 

 

Robin


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#5 Frederic Borensztein

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Posted 04 November 2016 - 04:22 AM

Thanks for the tip Robin ! I'll keep that in mind.

 

I'll have a look and, i hope so, will be able to try the Aero during the SATIS exhibition in Paris (15-17 Nov 2016). So I guess I'll have answers to my questions !

 

Fred


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#6 Victor Lazaro

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Posted 05 November 2016 - 01:09 PM

I havent tinkered with the Aero but the sled looks really well thought out. For a similar price You might still want to look into a Zephyr, you get one more SD video line (useful for video return) and some 3 pin lemo connectors (that match the bigger Tiffen sleds and the PRO Cine Live so you can keep your cables when you upgrade (I did)


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#7 Will Davis

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 06:29 PM

Hey Fred,

 

Battery wise, I'd go for light weight batteries as much as I can since weight matters, especially on a steadicam.

I've been using BCBs for a while now, they are pretty light. But with some googling you can find sites that compare them considering weight as well. One such I just found is http://www.comparebr...tbatteries.com/


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#8 RobinThwaites

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 05:00 AM

70-80 Watt size if you are using DSLR's, 90-110 Watt if you are using heavier cameras. Not a strict rule but given the choice........


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#9 Frederic Borensztein

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 08:00 AM

Thank you Will for the tip. BCB batteries seem to be a good choice. I'll have a look.

 

@Victor I totally understand your point about the SD video line and lemo connectors. But the price is far from the zephyr's one actually. From what I can see on Tiffen website, for the arm, vest, sled and monitor, it costs more than 10 000$ fo the Zephyr when the Aero 30 (which lifts 20lbs) is only 5300$. So I'm wondering why buying the Zephyr (which can lift 23 lbs) when its almost twice the price of the new Aero 30. And I don't think the additionnal  SD video line or 3 pin lemo connectors justify these 5 000$. What do you think about it ? Maybe I'm missing something...


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#10 Victor Lazaro

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 09:47 AM

Thank you Will for the tip. BCB batteries seem to be a good choice. I'll have a look.

 

@Victor I totally understand your point about the SD video line and lemo connectors. But the price is far from the zephyr's one actually. From what I can see on Tiffen website, for the arm, vest, sled and monitor, it costs more than 10 000$ fo the Zephyr when the Aero 30 (which lifts 20lbs) is only 5300$. So I'm wondering why buying the Zephyr (which can lift 23 lbs) when its almost twice the price of the new Aero 30. And I don't think the additionnal  SD video line or 3 pin lemo connectors justify these 5 000$. What do you think about it ? Maybe I'm missing something...

Used Zephyr can be found at around $6500 and maybe less now that the aero is out. Steadicam rigs, if maintained well will not age much and still be usable years later. Just something to consider when buying. That being said the aero looks great, there's no denying that. 


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#11 Janice Arthur

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 03:21 PM

Thank you Will for the tip. BCB batteries seem to be a good choice. I'll have a look.
 
@Victor I totally understand your point about the SD video line and lemo connectors. But the price is far from the zephyr's one actually. From what I can see on Tiffen website, for the arm, vest, sled and monitor, it costs more than 10 000$ fo the Zephyr when the Aero 30 (which lifts 20lbs) is only 5300$. So I'm wondering why buying the Zephyr (which can lift 23 lbs) when its almost twice the price of the new Aero 30. And I don't think the additionnal  SD video line or 3 pin lemo connectors justify these 5 000$. What do you think about it ? Maybe I'm missing something...


Fred;

Usually the price difference is in HD vs SD. So does Aero have HD monitor or SD? Do you know outputs of most likely cameras you'll use? Lately those are the big price differences. I have not followed all your posts but this is the stuff that gets overlooked. Good luck
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#12 Frederic Borensztein

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 04:36 PM

It has a "standard" Steadicam monitor : "7" HD-SDI/SD/HDMI 1000 NIT "

And to answer your second question... I will most likely work on my own 5dmark3, but I aim to work on bigger cameras as F55, FS7, C100/300, red scarlet...


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#13 Janice Arthur

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 06:13 PM

Fred;

Great, on monitor. Now look at both rigs and see the other differences, probably in the wiring harness and options at the top junction box.

This are the things that change the prices on rigs.

If you're happy then that's what matters.

Good luck.
Janice
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