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rec's for stabilizer system

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John Baldino
rec's for stabilizer system
on Apr 29, 2010 at 2:13:35 am

Any thoughts welcomed:

I have an HMC-150, am looking into stabilizers. The Glidecam 4000 is rated at 4-10 lbs, but the camera is slightly less than 4lbs. Maybe 3 1/2 I think? I don't plan on being able to upgrade to rails/matte box w/35mm adapter or anything any time soon, but knowing that I could is nice. Were I to go with the 2000, the max is 6 lbs, which I'm sure I'd exceed if I ever DID want to add the extra stuff.

So, two questions arise: a) how bad is it to undershoot the 4 lb weight spec if I were to get the 4000 rig; and b) are there any other comperable brands/stabilizers that have similar price points? The only other solution I know of off hand is of course the steadicam pilot, which is considerably more, factoring in the cost of the vest/arm in addition to the stabilizer itself.


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: rec's for stabilizer system
on Apr 29, 2010 at 4:08:31 pm

Underweighting is a problem - you wind up with a kind of pendulum-like wobble. Imagine holding a string with a weight so the weight is stationary at the end of the string. If you move your hand from side to side, the weight's inertia will try to keep it in place and it will lag behind your hand, then swing back and forth.

Now, if you are only 1/2 pound away there are some things you can do: 1) add more equipment - you've already mentioned that might be a possibility, 2) add weight - not much, but a dozen or so washers can be screwed or just duct-taped (or gaffer-taped) to the platform (the inch-wide washers weight about 1/2 oz each so get like 16-24 at a few cents each and you're covered) - make sure to attach right around the camera's center of gravity - just underneath or on either side should work, 3) don't worry about it - with a significant weight difference, it can be an issue, but 8 oz is not a big deal, but remember the pendulum thing and prepare to counter it, 4) check the Steadicam Operator's site: http://www.steadicam-ops.com/, Alternatives to Steadicam: http://www.urbanfox.tv/articles/cameras/c16steadicamcomp.htm, Steadicam Forum - http://www.steadicamforum.com/, 5) call and talk with Glidecam for advice - they want to make a sale and they will know more about the product, then compare their advice with more expert advice - I'm no expert, but I've built my own steadicam-like devices in the past with springs and arms and gimbals, etc. I know why you buy them versus making them yourself, too. I still don't own one I haven't made, tho. ;)

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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John Baldino
Re: rec's for stabilizer system
on May 5, 2010 at 11:50:55 am

Thanks Jonathan -

I think you're right, I shouldn't be too worried about the weight because I can add washers and the like to make up for the somewhat negligible deficit.

So while I still have my eyes on the glidecam rig, I'm thinking I may have to go the DIY route in the interim. I'd be curious as to what kind of rigs you've built -- tools/materials used, cost, etc. Anything you'd like to share on that front would be helpful.

"Philosophy is questioning without answers; religion is answers without questioning." - Anonymous


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: rec's for stabilizer system
on May 5, 2010 at 3:44:34 pm

Oddly enough, I just built a stabilizer - spring articulated and all. In fact, I just ordered some quick release stuff for the camera to attach to the plate on top. The gimbal rig is a slightly-modified version of the "Shock Corridor" stabilizer from Killer Camera Rigs That You Can Build (http://www.dvcamerarigs.com/). The springs are of my own design based on the original patent of the Steadicam (http://www.howstuffworks.com/steadicam.htm - only made with common supplies from Ace Hardware and Home Depot). Still working on it, too.

Here's a pic of my mount I made for a feature we are working on: http://www.finleywade.tv/blog_page1.html (have to scroll down to the bottom).

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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