2009 February 16th, 21:48
Here are two steadicams that I have recently found. They both look better than anything I have seen so far.
#1: STEADICAM STEADYCAM on e-bay. Italian and beautiful. Aprox. $ 369.00.
#2: Steady Tracker Xtreme. There are two models - extreme $ 279.00 and Steady Tracker UltraLite $ 185.00.
2009 March 14th, 11:05
I've been using a jr and it works well when it doesn't get out of balance. I'm wonderi g how it compares to the modo steady?
And where can I get the little screw for the jr? Thx
2009 March 20th, 01:15
I konw the merlin could be the best, cause is made from a guru of hollywood but it's to hard to adjust i have hv30+raynox6600 for a week i try and try. I don't see myself 2 or 3 hours trying to adjust the merlin before the wedding or event. I think for that price $800 they should have an office in each city where they adjust it for you for free. I'll post a video review soon.
2009 March 20th, 06:45
Learning to fly an stabilizer is a long process. The Merlin with a HV and a wde angle lens is about the hardest thing to fly, because the light weight of the camera makes the already sensitive Merlin incredibly squirrely.
As with all Steadicams, you ideally want to be at or near the top of the allowable weight range on the stage. Pushing the upper limit improves overall stability. For the Merlin, that's like 6 pounds. Your camera is probably under 2.
To make that work, you need to develop very precise, delicate movements, and good skill at balancing your sled. Even if Tiffen had an office in every city, balance is not a one time thing - learning to balance properly and manage drop time is key to working advanced shots in to your repertoire.
2009 March 20th, 22:05
2009 March 22nd, 11:50
I have one, and love it.
Originally Posted by bluesgeek
The Blackbird has a very subtle, but very important innovation that makes it different: you can dial in a dampening on the gimbal.
It's no surprise that I love stabilizers. I use a Pilot, a Flyer and an older 3A arm with a couple different sleds for work, and I've said many times the Merlin (which I own) is a bear to balance and fly well when using an HV20. Every stabilizer works better with more weight on it, and weight cages or shiny metal weights have been the only way to provide that extra weight.
Now, Blackbird offers something totally unique. Rather than add weight, which is a truly ugly proposition for a handheld stabilizer, you can adjust the freedom of the gimbal. This gives you the precise ability to get the stabilizer shots you want, and takes a lot of the squirrely nature out of stabilizer when flying ultra-light cameras.
There are a slew of other neat pieces to the Blackbird, but I'll reserve them for another post. I want to go into some detail - I really am impressed by this stabilizer!
2009 April 7th, 03:25
I just bought a Glidecam HD1000. Spent Sunday night balancing it. I can see this is going to take a lot of time, practice and experimentation before I can create any usable footage.
2009 April 8th, 12:30
I've been able to get it balanced with a slow drop time, but it still wobbles all over as I walk around. I think part of the problem is I don't have much strength in my arm. My arm is not rock-steady, so neither is the camera.
2009 April 9th, 13:11
i've seen reviews on this indian made "steadycam" and it came out pretty good. now so sure how heavy things have to be..
2009 April 12th, 19:20
Originally Posted by raycastile
The wobble may be your arm, but it may also be the stabilizer is not set up quite right. If your drop time is too slow, the camera will pendulum back and forth. You have to give a little input at the start of the motion and again at the finish to retard the natural swing of the system.
Ideally, the gimbal isolates the jerky motion of your wrist...but as you say, it won't help the large motions of your arm. That you have to do yourself!
The Merlin is a pain to work with the HV20 because of this. The lighter the camera, the more prone to swaying and the harder to manage the reduction of the pendulum motion. I use the Camera Motion Research Blackbird to get my small handheld shots now, and it really works well.
Now, I just need time to put together my little intro video I did of it!
2009 April 18th, 00:26
I thought the slower the drop time, the better? I got it down to 3 seconds, like the instructions said. I could get it down to no drop time easily, but slowing it down took hours of trial and error.
2009 April 19th, 03:32
For a small stabilizer like one would use with the HV series, a 2.5 second drop would be the longest you'd probably want to go. I'd recommend a 2 second drop for most shots.
Adjusting the drop should be simple for those working with the Merlin, just screw or unscrew the gimbal handle a turn at a time. Glidecams, quickest way to do it is to extend or retract the center post length a little bit.
I look forward to trying out the Blackbird at NAB this week and will be posting a review of it and other stabilizers over at DVInfo.net by end of next week or so.
2009 April 19th, 14:57
Looking forward to your review, Charles!
2009 April 19th, 18:34
Please do post some video...would like to see it.
2009 April 21st, 15:14
with the blackbird can you use a Handy35 adapter? also will a HVX200 work with it also? Looks very nice but just in case I upgrade one day
2009 April 23rd, 21:35
Just received my Glidecam 2000 today. Wow! I put it together and balanced it. Took about 1 hour total. Shot some video with my HV30 with Canon wide angel lens attached. Works great. Now to get down and learn the walk and overall just learn the whole steady holding thing. I have shot with a small steadycam in the past which gave me a bit of experience. Helped a lot. It is going to take a bit of going around and holding it so the arm will support it for longer periods.
Originally Posted by MASKIOS
Overall this little bugger is fabulous.
2009 April 27th, 01:30
i'm going to try the blackbird. i need something for an HMC150 and a HV30.
2009 April 27th, 06:34
The Blackbird works well with larger cameras (the EX1, HMC150, HVX200) and is magical with smaller cameras (the HV20 and up, most relevant to this board!). The biggest challenge with heavy cameras and handheld stabilizers is your personal stamina. Unless you're built like Popeye, you'll want a very deliberate shooting style. The cameras do get heavy on the forearm....and no, those godawful forearm braces aren't helpful.
2009 April 27th, 09:17
Charles Papert's review on the Blackbird is now posted on: dvinfo.net
I will be ordering Blackbird pie this Saturday. First, gotta start doing some pushups......
2009 April 27th, 18:52
OK, it's my duty as a loyal American to stimulate the economy, so I went ahead and ordered a Blackbird. I really like the design of the stage--it looks like a microscope stage with very precise controls. I believe this design will greatly expedite balancing the system.
I already have a Hague stabilizer and it works really well with the HV30 alone, but when accessories are added, it no longer floats the camera and hand movements begin to creep into the shot. I like the Hague's portability: carry the camera/stabilizer by using the curved part of the stabilizer as a handle.
I'll be giving my impressions of the Blackbird after I've tried it out in the field.
2009 May 10th, 15:49
just put my order in for the blackbird. should have it in two days.
2009 May 10th, 22:00
I've used the Blackbird for about 2 hrs total and I like it a lot. The DVD that comes with it is useful and the short documentation gives the major considerations for setting it up. I was very impressed with the packaging (double boxed) and the professional carrying case with custom-cut foam surround.
As they say with the SteadiCam Merlin, as well as the Blackbird, don't expect to balance the camera and get perfect videos right off. The first problem I had was sensitivity to wind (it is a real problem with both systems and I don't think there really is a solution).
Second problem was learning a very light touch to keep the camera from panning in one direction or the other without overcorrecting it. After I minimized the panning issue, I noticed an up and down movement (due to my walking stride). The solution is to bend your knees when you walk. Looks weird, but it works (as they pointed out in the DVD).
The construction of the Blackbird is quite professional (as is the Merlin) but the Blackbird stage is really well thought-out and makes balancing the system quite easy. At first, I was afraid to remove the camera or make any additions since it would throw off my "perfect balance" but that's just beginner's anxiety. With experience, you should be able to re-balance it in a minute or less. Plus, there are scales in both axes and you can put fine marks on the stage with a Sharpie to help re-position the camera attachment plate. I'm a professional microscopist, and I really appreciate the precise stage control (with no slippage or backlash).
Novice Caveat: I've only had my HV30 for a little over a month and a half. It's my first video camera (though I've used still film and digital cams for many years professionally). I'll post a video, hopefully in a couple days (we've had an inland hurricane and things are real mess).
2009 May 10th, 22:40
an inland hurricane is what you should be taking video of!
2009 May 11th, 08:08
My new rule: keep your camera with you at all times! I was in class when the event struck, the camera at home........ hard lesson, eh.
2009 May 12th, 16:59
I don't use a stabilizer with my HV20 but do with my Sony V1 and recently replaced my Glidecam 4000 clone Flycam 5000 sled with a new Glidecam 4000 HD.
The new camera head adjustment mechanism on the HD series of sleds is wonderful. It is the same principal as on the Steadicam Pilot. The earlier Pro model and my clone forced you to try and move the camera head plate by hand fore / aft and left / right. It was almost impossible to do fine movements with the weight of the camera on it. Now there is a knob to turn for fore / aft adjustment and one for left / right. All you have to do is loosen the hand screws that lock the plate in position and then turn those knobs.
Fine balancing is now a breeze which makes the $150 bucks the HD costs over the Pro well worth it not to mention the gimbal is supposed to be better quality now as is the weight system and the bottom of the sled (you can lengthen and shorten the bottom area the weights rest on).
I mention this here because as part of this new HD series Glidecam has come out with a small 1000 HD that is perfect for small HDV cameras like the Canon's on this forum.