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Stabilizers: cheap vs expensive?


sandro
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Hi,
I need some help understanding how things work technically mainly.
I own a cheap Opteka SV-HD http://www.amazon.com/Opteka-SteadyVid-SV-HD-Stabilizer-Release/dp/B00DRGQETA, even when I find a perfect front-back and right-left balance I'm never able to get a smooth shot no matter how hard I try.

Considering the more expensive options like the Glidecam 2000 or ProArm USA AutoPilot that actually look and work the same what exactly do they have cheap stabilizers don't? I mean if it's just a matter of physics once you find the balance what changes on the product that lets actually achieve a smooth shot?

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The Nebula 4000 is a decent offering, but I've heard balancing is tricky. 

This one is probably better and very budget friendly: http://www.supamods.com/product/mini-3-axis-gimbal-sony-a7s-gh4-bmpcc/

I'm selling my BeSteady One Plus Advanced (now called The Plus) for £850 (retails for around £1600 new): http://www.acr-sys.com/acr-the-plus/. UK buyers only though. ;)

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Take a look at the new H1+ from Pilotfly, upgrades from previous: 32bit and dual IMU. To me this for the time seems to be the best pistol grip deal out there.

What normal handheld stabilizers concerned, the CAME Mini 2 might be the winning choice. Both the H1+ and Mini 2 are just about toolless and easy to set up.

Don't forget to check out the YouTube channels of Dave Dugdale, Nitsan Simantov, MrCheesycam, Erik Naso and Tom Antos. They get in bunch of gear for reviews and know a thing or two about these stabilizers.

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I tested a lot of the cheap steady cams on the market and most worked, but you really had to mess with it. The best one I found was made by Vidpro, but even that one required over an hour of fiddling with to find the perfect balance. From reading various forums, most people aren't putting the time in that is really required, plus you usually need more weight selection than what is offered... Washers are your friend and be ready to spend an hour or two setting it up. When you do get it balanced properly, mark the steady cam and lens used. Once you try it with a different lens, you need to start over. Add a light, or anything... Start over. And then you need to practice the walk. It takes a while to get everything working properly. but once it does, you can get some really smooth footage. 

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I'd say knowing how to use a glidecam-style stabilizer is a worthwhile skill to have. Lighter so you can use it for longer and you don't have to worry about batteries or the myriad of technical issues that come with a brushless gimbal. Don't get me wrong, the tech is amazing and getting better every day, but I've seen a ton of ops who can't even seem to get a steady shot with a computer helping them. There's a skill to it no matter what, and if you can master a glidecam, you can move up with relative ease. 

As far as glidecams go- the money for an HD-2000 over a $120 Chinese variant is well spent. While there are some decent cheap ones, most are built like garbage. Glidecam is just a solid brand and won't give you any trouble (once you know how to use it).

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Hi,
I need some help understanding how things work technically mainly.
I own a cheap Opteka SV-HD http://www.amazon.com/Opteka-SteadyVid-SV-HD-Stabilizer-Release/dp/B00DRGQETA, even when I find a perfect front-back and right-left balance I'm never able to get a smooth shot no matter how hard I try.

Considering the more expensive options like the Glidecam 2000 or ProArm USA AutoPilot that actually look and work the same what exactly do they have cheap stabilizers don't? I mean if it's just a matter of physics once you find the balance what changes on the product that lets actually achieve a smooth shot?

Buy this and never look back, only forward.........

 

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=1137174&gclid=Cj0KEQjwiN6sBRDK2vOO_vaRs5cBEiQAfsnJCdDmmll6CQ4gVgdSFU_P-KsrHt0qnQQDIak0NRJBedYaAhRM8P8HAQ&is=REG&A=details&Q=

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-07-04 at 7.03.38 PM.png

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Here's some stabilized footage I shot a few days back for a goofy corporate gig.  Might give you an idea how certain moves and some very basic shots can be enhanced with the technology:

 

 

I like this. What did you use? Looks pretty smooth. 

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Either you're a brain surgeon, or I need to stop drinking coffee.

​Nah, I just do some Kesuke Miyagi' "kata" moves and the 5-axis stabilization in the EM5II smooths out the bumps.   I literally gently sway my body while holding the cam or soft-feet-crouch-walk -- just like I would if using a glide cam or, I suppose, a Ronin.  Doesn't take much practice to be honest.

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You've got those moves down to a fine art there @fuzzynormal!

Have been very close to buying this camera several times as I could shed about 3 items of support gear when filming weddings. I just can't quite sign off on the image quality.

Looking forward to Oly's evolution, but for now I guess I'll stick to my trusty old Glidecam HD1000 and GH4.

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I'm been wanting the e-m5ii since day one. Used to gave a e-m5 for stills that was great.Was able to get really stable footage with it in video as well.

The closeup of the pig is actually at 240mm (ff) handheld without trying to keep it more steady than normal.  Did have the energy to change title for one or two shots.

(No ND filter so lots of blown highlights)

 

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Looking forward to Oly's evolution

​I kinda think the floating sensor 5-axis tech will be a standard thing in almost all consumer enthusiast cameras within a handful of years, and then continuously refined after that.  We'll see how Sony does it next with their upcoming release.

Anyway, I decided to buy this new cam instead of a gimbal; just knew it would fit my jobs more pragmatically --and for me it has.  I've always been one to parse down my gear though.  A lot of times when I show up on a shoot the folks tend to ask me "where's your stuff?"  A small footprint is good for me, but other shooters like to (need to) make a statement when they're on set with their gear.  Whatever works.  

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