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looking for advice from the pro's


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#1 Joe Morrison

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 04:31 PM

Hello everyone,

This is my first post and I appreciate any advice.

I am an independent video producer, doing all sorts of projects. I own a Sony HVR-Z1U HDV camera. It's just under 5 pounds, probably over 5 pounds with mic, receiver, wide angle, etc. I need to buy a steadicam for a better look in some situations.

I have no experience yet with the Steadicam Merlin or the Flyer, or Glidecam products. I just need something that will be easy enough to use, especially since I have some arthritis in my hands from years of baseball. Will probably get a wrist stabilizer to help.

Has anyone used the Z1U with any particular products and had great success or failures?

Thanks for the help.
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#2 RobVanGelder

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 09:31 PM

Ho Joe, (last name too please, one of the requirements of this board).

I hope you know and realize that a Steadicam rig, ANY Stabilized rig is not just an easy tool to get better shots, available for anyone who picks up the gear.

They all need a serious amount of time to make a useable shot, they all need a lot of practice.

The lightweight rigs might look easier to manage, but in fact the lack of weight makes them more twisty and wiggly, like a squirrel, so they need a lot of practice and attention.
Otherwise it will look like badly operated Steadicam, something you don't want to show off.

Specially the lighter rigs need a very light touch to operate, i have no idea how your finger control is with your arthritis.

I suggest to find someone in your area with a rig that can suit your needs and ask to try your camera with it.

Personally I have used your camera, but with a weightcage, on a bigger rig. That works fine.
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#3 Joe Morrison

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 11:37 PM

thanks Rob...I am looking for someone local who has a rig that I can try out...
what is a weightcage?
Joe
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#4 RobVanGelder

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 01:51 AM

A weightcage is what you might need to use a lightweight camera on a full size rig.
It's all about balance, so top and bottom are almost the same in weight (actually, weight times distance to the CG, that is in the Gimbal) So a mini DV camera on a rig that normally works with full size film cameras needs extra weight, and that can be in the form of a cage like contraption (as I build and sell :rolleyes: )
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#5 Erwin Landau

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 03:15 AM

Shameless Rob, shameless...

But check here:

http://www.steadicam...?showtopic=5057


Erwin
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#6 Charles Papert

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 02:05 PM

I have no experience yet with the Steadicam Merlin or the Flyer, or Glidecam products. I just need something that will be easy enough to use, especially since I have some arthritis in my hands from years of baseball. Will probably get a wrist stabilizer to help.


Joe:

The issue you describe leads me to believe that you will be much happier with a body-mounted system where you don't have to bear the weight of the camera on your hand/wrist/forearm. Currently your best bet is the Flyer, which will work with your camera and allow you to load up with accessories also. Tiffen has shown a vest and arm system for the Merlin which may be ideal for you as it is less expensive (and lower capacity, but still would be able to manage what you describe). No release date yet.

There are many other brands of stabilizers with vest and arms out there, but none have the sophistication and isolation of the Steadicam brand arm and will generally impart a bounciness into the photography, especially with a lighter camera package as you have.
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#7 Joe Morrison

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 06:21 PM

thank you all for your advice...I'll probably try the Merlin and later add the vest and arm. I'm looking for a business or someone in my area who has one of these that I can try before I buy. Thanks again.
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#8 RobVanGelder

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 10:19 PM

Sorry Erwin, i couldn't resist as I still have so many left from cancelled orders......

Joe, maybe you should have a look at the Easyrig system, its not comparable with Steadicam, but it definately gives you more control if your hands are not that flexible anymore.

http://www.easyrig.com/
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