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#1 Rob Vuona SOC

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 05:12 PM

Hey Guys,
I recieved an email from the owner of the FS Pro Stabilize system in response to a post that happened awhile back, the thread was

http://www.steadicam...x...3&hl=FS Pro
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I am enclosing his email and my response to him:

So upfront, I appologise to anyone who was offended by the original post It was a slip of the finger with the word Toy and again, hopefully , all is good in the world!

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His email to me said:

-----Original Message-----
From: FS PRO <contact@fsprostab.com>
To: RobVski@aol.com
Sent: Mon, 3 Mar 2008 8:03 pm
Subject: FS PRO Frédéric Savard

Hi mister Vuona,

I would like to know why say you false things about our system of
stabilization. It is by far a toy and it surpasses a lot of stabilizer on
the market at this price. He gets closer largely to the steadicam brand and
surpasses glidecam easily.

I am disappointed that an Operator of steadicam supposed professional say
hypocrisies without ever having seen a system in question.

Be impartial and honest if you can!

We sell it worldwide. And let us have never had negative comment

I would like to meet you personally.


Call me!

Sorry for my bad english.

Sincere greeting!
Frédéric Savard
FS PRO

1 877 204 6556 Toll free
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and my response was:

Hello Mr. Savard,
I appologise for making you believe that I was saying your product was a toy, but if you read the thread again regarding the FS Pro, I started my statement with "Just my two cents" meaning just in my opinion . . . .!

I believe all of these 5-20lb rigs have incredible engineering and yours is no acception but unfortunately not all great engineering makes a great stabilizing system.

I am happy to hear that in your opinion your system far surpasses that of the Glidecam. but again it is only in your opinion, I am sure if you ask Glidecam their opinion would be the opposite.

You are absolutely correct when you say that I have never seen it in person, so the only conclusion I could make is via the pictures posted on your web site. Again, I appologise for using the word "TOY" it is clearly not a toy, and very well may be the best stabilized rig in it's price range, but in my opinion saving your money and spending a little more for a used rig with more growth potential seems to be a smarter way to go.

Hopefully this clears it up . . .

If there is a unit in the United States I would love to demo the unit and give it a complete evaluation and share all of the details with the rest of our community

Peace Out

Rob "Operator of steadicam supposed professional" Vuona
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#2 Colin Donahue

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 11:11 PM

Rob,
if you want to call something a "toy" just take a look at that car in your garage!

just my two cents

colin donahue
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#3 Rob Vuona SOC

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 12:32 PM

Rob,
if you want to call something a "toy" just take a look at that car in your garage!

just my two cents

colin donahue

Nice Collin . . . .very strong!
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#4 Charles Papert

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 01:05 PM

Rob:

You are certainly being generous by saying that "all of these 5-20lb rigs have incredible engineering"--there are more than a few that I have seen that are tragically engineered, or at the very least under-engineered (the ones that are primarily sold on eBay in particular). Copying elements from rigs that were themselves copies and opting not to improve on the design would to me be a good example of under-engineering.

I haven't seen the FS Pro in person, so I won't comment on the quality of manufacturing. I'm glad to see it has a fine-adjust stage. I'm underwhelmed that it doesn't have axial adjustment at the arm socket. And the padding on the vest looks too thick.

As far as Monsieur Savard's assertion that they have not received any negative feedback, that doesn't surprise me in that the market for this price range of stabilizer tends to be folks who have had little to no prior stabilizer experience so they have little to compare to. I would expect that a Pilot or Flyer owner would have some things to say if their rig was wrestled away from them and replaced with this one, but perhaps there may be aspects of the FS Pro that they appreciated as well. A while back I tested a prototype low-cost remote follow focus system that was so flawed that I judged it unuseable, yet the designer told me that they had a dozen or so units sold and working in the field and had not heard any complaints. My assumption was that all of these users were so delighted to have a device that could turn a lens remotely that they could ignore the rest of the operational and design flaws--this thing made a WRC-4 look state-of-the-art!

But anyway--outside of the obvious things that can be gleaned from pictures on a website (I know we all enjoy seeing promotional shots where the operator is wearing the vest upside down and grabbing the post everywhere but the right place) it is probably true that we should reserve final judgement until we get hands-on time with these sort of rigs. I was asked to review one such system for a DV site last year and was entirely underwhelmed, but I felt it was necessary to temper my article by saying along the lines of "what seems like a deal-killer for me may well make budget-strapped newcomers to the stabilizer world perfectly satisfied"; after which I decided not to review any more of these rigs because I'm simply not the target demographic.
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#5 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 10:10 PM

" I'm simply not the target demographic."

Yes, which brings up an interesting point. This forum (or more appropriately, its mother AOL forum) was generated for professional Steadicam Operators to discuss the issues we face day in and day out using professional gear. Back in the day, there was no Flyer let alone cheap knock-offs allowing hobbyists to get into camera stabilization. Now it is an interesting time because we do have machines like the Flyer that let us do amazing work because they are professional quality machines that can produce amazing results when coupled with the latest nifty light-weight cameras out there (and a good operator behind the gimbal). The knock-offs however have fallen somewhere between homebuilt stabilizer, professional tool, and a paper weight. A manufacture should not be so sullen if people on this forum opt not to blow smoke up their....
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#6 Erwin Landau

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 02:17 AM

From all rigs out there to borrow, they chose the Glidecam...
Weights on the bottom, dead weight... great as if I hadn't enough to carry.

This forum is the wrong demographic for a rig like that. I'm not a prosumer and couldn't care less about companies like that. I doubt whole hardly that this rig will handle my bread and butter cameras like the ARRI 535B, Moviecam Compact, Arricam, ARRI 435, etc... Not even getting into The Genocide et al. Power, HD signal etc. That's why I would even stop at a show to check it out.

It's like getting approached on a Formula One race to try out and race a Lada Niva. My cart costs more then that unit...

So why is this guy getting bend out of shape?

Wrong Forum!

Just my 2 cents.


Erwin
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#7 Charles Papert

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 12:08 PM

Well, really there isn't a hardline definition of this forum, it's just what we are used to and where it came from. Certainly back in the mid-90's when we were on AOL you didn't get folks asking how to balance their VHS-C cameras on their Steadicam JR's, but that's because no-one could find anyone at that point on the internet (life without Google??!)

According to the banner we are "motion picture camera stabilization specialists" (at least that's what I call myself every day, don't you?) but since a number of motion pictures have been made and released using the same little cameras that would mount nicely on the FS PRO unit, it's hardly a distinction.

A line needs to be clearly drawn in the sand before we can chide anyone for overstepping it, in my opinion. We have the Steadi-newbies section but there will always be crossover, especially when it comes to rigs. The SK was not taken particularly seriously by the Steadicam cognoscenti when it came out but look what Jimmy Muro did with it on big features. The Merlin might seem like a "toy" but what if you put an Iconix camera on it and sprinted hither and yon, into and out of cars, handing it off etc. (you'd have a nasty cable to deal with, but you get the point). I used a Pilot this week as a rehearsal camera for a big ass Genesis shot, and it was utterly brilliant; I'll be posting more about that shortly.

So in a way, this sort of thing does have some possible relevance even to us big-rig snobbies. However there is a discussion still to be had about all this. Perhaps the creation of a "velvet-rope" section of this forum that would be more exclusive for those who make their livings operating Steadicam...?
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#8 Jerry Holway

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 05:05 PM

My two cents:

I think it's great that we have to sort though all the posts and re-think what makes us Steadicam operators and what makes for good rigs, accessories, operating techniques, aesthetics... and we can praise or discuss or trash any and all of it if so inclined, so long as we take the heat for our posts.

If we don't want to read about someone's idea of a new rig or the eternal wonderment of newbies too awestruck to dig through the archives, ? or anything else ? we don't have to... but we might miss something along the way, or forget the wonderful crazy road we took to get here.

Here's to participatory democracy and even anarchy (in the civilized sense, of course). The alternative is frightfully boring.

Jerry
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#9 Rob Vuona SOC

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 12:11 AM

My two cents:

I think it's great that we have to sort though all the posts and re-think what makes us Steadicam operators and what makes for good rigs, accessories, operating techniques, aesthetics... and we can praise or discuss or trash any and all of it if so inclined, so long as we take the heat for our posts.

If we don't want to read about someone's idea of a new rig or the eternal wonderment of newbies too awestruck to dig through the archives, ? or anything else ? we don't have to... but we might miss something along the way, or forget the wonderful crazy road we took to get here.

Here's to participatory democracy and even anarchy (in the civilized sense, of course). The alternative is frightfully boring.

Jerry

Hey guys,
Thanks for even reading, who new it would even evoke a conversation . . .I posted to help out the FS Pro guys and clear my conscience. I guess I'm just a swell fella . . . .LOL . . .Ya . . .Ya . . .Wilson thats right, I said fella!

And Ewin . . .
You words "My cart costs more then that unit..."

LOL . . . your cart costs more than my new Smart Car . . . .LOL . . . . .

anyway . . .Jerry well said, look forward to getting into trouble with you in Italy

If the schedual permits
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#10 Jerry Holway

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 08:49 AM

look forward to getting into trouble with you in Italy

Rob- Hope to see you there - Italy will be awesome! Looks like lots of steps!

Jerry
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