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stabilizer or dv rig pro

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cowboyneilstabilizer or dv rig pro
by on Dec 7, 2006 at 8:36:13 pm

Hi, I shoot a few sports fantasy camps, and children's day camps. I'm walking around a lot and fiwould like to find an alternative to my tripod. After doing a little research, I've narrowed it down to either a glidecam 4000 with smoothshooter or a dv rig pro. I realize that they are different animals. Any suggestions on which one to choose if you could only have one.

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Mark SuszkoRe: stabilizer or dv rig pro
by on Dec 7, 2006 at 10:19:35 pm


Well, I like a monopod for quickly moving to a new spot and taking fixed shots that are very stable. Monopods also let you take high-angle psuedo-jib shots if the camera is small. If you put enough weight near the bottom of one, it also acts like a fairly good motion stabilizer due to pendulum effect.

But for following kids around in activities, from medium to closeup distances, I like the Manfrotto Fig Rig. Better yet, the imitation one I made from a used bike rim and some welded steel. lower priced:-)

With the small handicam-form-factor camcorders, this is an awesome way to shoot while in motion. Mine cost me maybe ten bucks, the bike rim was free from the junk pile behind the bike shop, I think it was around 23 inches. I snipped off the spokes and lost the hub, sanded off the rust and had a friend spot weld perforated steel angle iron from ace hardware onto that. Tidied it up with black pipe wrap insulating foam and tie wraps. The grip and comfotrt is amazing, as is the stability and ability to effortlessly point and rotate under complete control. It's all in the leverage and where the ring lets you put that leverage. It helps a lot that when I use this rig it's with the intent of running the lens wide and not telephoto, moving the body and camera physically instead of zooming.

Try this, if it doesn't make you feel too wierd. Stop by the bike or auto accessory aisles of Walmart or similar. Pick up a spare 20-23-inch or so bike wheel/tire , or one of the automobile steering wheel covers in that section of the store. Holding at the 9 and 3 o'clock positions, or just below there, hold the thing out in front of you and feel how it is to control it in height, pitch, and roll.

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Reg from ABRe: stabilizer or dv rig pro
by on Dec 8, 2006 at 3:42:21 am

This is something I'd like to read more of people's experiences about. I've been researching for something that will help me go mobile in a range of situations, and my conclusion so far is that no one item will do everything I want.
Varizoom's Flowpod strikes me as an excellent combination of monopod and stabilizer (although I haven't tried one yet), but if a person wanted to throw in the occasional up shot from near ground level, you have to pause and re-rig the Flowpod with its low-flo kit first (I've been told about the "turn the camera and monopod upside down" trick - haven't tried that yet either).
And the big disadvantage of most stabilizers is the strain they put on your arm (I'm told).

Enter the stabilizer-and-vest combinations. But now (I assume) you're limited to the reach of whatever mechanism links the camera to the vest. No quick change to high-up shots or low-flo shots. And I think I'd feel like a bodyguard with that vest on under a suit...
The demo footage of the Steadicam Merlin is VERY impressive, but same likely problem - arm strain. And it isn't a monopod substitute like the Flowpod.
I haven't yet tried the Fig Rig - it was recommended to me at a recent meeting, but I'm not convinced it's going to help me and my shaky hands...

After reading back what I just wrote, I think I convinced myself that the Flowpod is the best compromise for me, but before I part with my money... please would those of you with experience of different systems be prepared to share your experiences - pros and cons of the various systems?

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cowboyneilRe: stabilizer or dv rig pro
by on Dec 8, 2006 at 5:50:49 pm

Has anyone used the DV Rig Pro? If so, is it basically a walking tripod or does it allow for smoother walking shots as well (compared to handheld shots)?

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dezineRe: stabilizer or dv rig pro
by on Dec 15, 2006 at 3:48:27 am

I ahve used and swore by my DVRig Pro. As Doug said earlier, it's not a steady cam but you can get smoth shots with it, and you can get extremely steady shots (not as steady as a tripod, but more steady than a monopod).
The main advantage if the DVRig over a monopod is the ability to reframe your shots at a moments notice as well as either go low profile to overhead without a blip.
Oh and best of all you can mount the rig on a tripod or shoot handheld fatigue free all day long.

However, afetr saying this, I would suggest that you take a serious look at the new DvMulti Rig also from DVTec (makers of the DVRig Pro).
The shooting configurations of this thing are endless, low profile, fig rig style, DVRig Pro style, tripod shooting, fig rig handheld with support pod, and more. All of this again is effortless and fatigue free.

You can even keep it attached to the bottom of you camera and fold it up to be placed in your camera bag.
Lets see any support device do this.

Tkae a look at it here:

Currently you can only order from the DVTEc site as the product is new and only available when ordering from their website.

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cowboyneilRe: stabilizer or dv rig pro
by on Dec 15, 2006 at 6:19:07 pm

Thanks. So you recommend it over the dv rig pro? Do you have to buy it direct from Israel or do they have any distributors?

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dezineRe: stabilizer or dv rig pro
by on Dec 15, 2006 at 7:05:35 pm

Currently you can only purchase it from Israel from their website.

Right now because of it's versatility, portability, and solid construction, I would recommend it over the DVRig Pro. Especially if you are using smaller cameras like a DVX200, PD170, Z1U etc.

Just so you know Danny Natovitch the owner is fantastic to work with.
If you need anything that he currently doesn't make for your rig, you can just shoot him an email and he'll make a prototype part for you. He really does go out of his way for people.

If you like, I have posted some pics on my website as well of my setups using the Multi rig. Just so you know that was with a fully loaded rig (wireless, PagC6 light, and Rode NTG-2 shotgun mic) using my VX2100. I have since purchased a PD170 and my setup is not even lighter and smaller than what's posted, as I no longer need the Beachtek XLR box, and can mount the my mic, light, and wireless directly on the camera now, so the grip extender that is attached to my left grip (holding my shotgun), is not needed, thus freeing up all of my handles to work with.

You can see more streamlined setups on the dvtec website, but as I said mine is fully loaded up, as much as I would need for an entire day of shooting and never have a need to attach or detach anything from my camera.

Here's my site pics.

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cowboyneilRe: stabilizer or dv rig pro
by on Dec 16, 2006 at 2:20:00 pm

Thanks for the help. I will be ordering the DVMultirig today.

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dezineRe: stabilizer or dv rig pro
by on Dec 16, 2006 at 2:57:33 pm

Trust me you'll love it, and be up and running in no time at all.
BTW, mention to Danny that you heard about it from me (Michael Liebergot) as I try to let him know that I am spreading the word of his great products.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about usage or setup.

Happy shooting and happy holidays,
Michael Liebergot

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cowboyneilRe: stabilizer or dv rig pro
by on Dec 16, 2006 at 4:27:14 pm

Thanks, I will let him know.

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Doug GrahamRe: stabilizer or dv rig pro
by on Dec 8, 2006 at 6:31:42 pm

I have personal experience with several types of shoulder brace, and with the Varizoom FlowPod.

I prefer the FlowPod in monopod mode to any of the shoulder braces I've used. The one thing I'd like to add is a pan/tilt head. Bogen makes a monopod with a little head on it, and little foldout feet, too, so it can stand on its own if you must let go to do something with your hands.

Like any handheld stabilizer, the FlowPod in stabilizer mode tires out the arm quickly. The lighter the camera you use, the better off you'll be...but if too light (an HC-1, for example), you'll need to add weight to the camera end of the stick.

My colleagues who've used the DV Rig Pro like it very much. They tell me that moving shots aren't as smooth as with a true stabilizer, but smoother than handheld, and that stationary shots are almost as steady as a monopod.

You're right that there's no single support system that will "do it all". The tripod is about as close as human ingenuity has come so far.

Doug Graham

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zrb123Re: stabilizer or dv rig pro
by on Dec 10, 2006 at 5:23:39 am

What camera do you plan to use it with, this may help with answering your question?

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Reg from ABRe: stabilizer or dv rig pro
by on Dec 10, 2006 at 10:15:14 pm

Not sure if this question is posed for me, Neil or both of us. But anyway - I'm using VX2000's at present. The events that I shoot that might need mobile footage include weddings (indoor and outdoor), equestrian events, and the odd documentary.

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cowboyneilRe: stabilizer or dv rig pro
by on Dec 11, 2006 at 7:56:29 pm

I would use my sony FX1.

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zrb123Re: stabilizer or dv rig pro
by on Dec 12, 2006 at 4:40:39 am

I got one of these for my FX1 and love it, but alot of it is going to be a personal choice, get what fits your shooting style better.

(oh the front handel comes off, who would want a handel coming out of it like that I dont know)

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Doece25Re: stabilizer or dv rig pro
by on Dec 15, 2006 at 7:01:57 pm

I recently picked up the Pag stabilizer system.

I have yet to take it out on a serious shoot, but messing around with my XL2 and the unit, it works great. I love the pan and tilt (X, Y, and even Z axis movement) functionality in the unit. Produces some pretty decent tracking shots as well with the spring rod which clips into the belt. It lacks the modular aspect of the DV Rig Pro, but I think it makes up for it in other ways. The unit is very solid in construction. I would recommend this unit to anyone looking for a shoulder support system.

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markwoodsRe: stabilizer or dv rig pro
by on Jan 16, 2007 at 10:38:59 pm

I have tried all of them for my HVX and ended up with the DVMultiRig. What I like about it is the versatility of using it as a shoulder braced support for more "calm"shoots and as a very dynamic kind of stabilizer when using only two grips, No shoulder brace with the aid of the elastic support pod. what is called "Stabilizer Plus" in the manual. I did't realize, until I tried it, how much a shoulder brace is transfering walking shakes to the camera ! I always thought that a shoulder support helps smoth walking shoots, It turned out the opposite. in the Stabilizer plus mode it is very easy to achieve quit smoth walking shoots while panning, shooting side ways (e.g. Pag shoulder brace support),making small crane adjustments, tilts and even lock the pod springs for a very steady fix shoot. Recomanded.

Problem is I am about to shoot now with a heavy HVX-900 fully loded, Too heavy for me. Wish there was a solution to support this load.

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