A closer look at the Konova video camera Stabilizer Vest and Arm. Let's start here. Pricing? Not very competitive. Everyone knows about my Hybrid setup using the Steadicam Merlin Vest / Arm + Glidecam HD4000. This hybrid setup works extremely well and you can probably put one together yourself for around $2300 or so. The Konova Stabilizer system will still run you over $3K. But if you wanted to compare apples to apples, this is more similar to Steadicam's Pilot system which sells for about the same price.
Pricing aside, what does it have to offer? The larger stabilizer should hold 10lbs on the top fairly easy. That's a bit more than the weight a Glidecam HD4000 is rated at. The unit is all metal, lightweight, and gimbal is very smooth. The top stage adjusts forward/back/left/right to center your camera. To balance the entire stabilizer, the Gimbal can be positioned further up or down the post.
The arm is huge and very well made. It can be positioned either left or right side by flipping the mounting bracket. It can definitely carry some heavy weight, but isn't designed to be fine tuned for light weight setups. (The Merlin vest can be tuned for light camera setups). The Padded Vest is very lightweight, easy to slip on/off and adjust various ways for comfort. From an operator's point of view, the Konova arm is much easier to place into the vest system than a Steadicam Merlin Vest (I just leave the Merlin Arm on all the time) and also easier to remove when breaking down. The stabilizer comes with a stand adapter (attaches to a light stand) to dock the stabilizer when not in use.
Let's talk cons. Well price is one. There are already so many other options on the market with either the same price or cheaper. Unless they can bring the price down, it's going to be a tough market to crack. It offers nothing different than what is already available. This unit is wired, but is missing HDMI. HDMI seems to be a growing trend not just for DSLRs, but for other popular cameras under 10lbs. (i'm going to mod this one with my own HDMI). The monitor that it comes with is outdated too, so I'll be switching that out with the SmallHD DP6. So that's it so far, and i'll be taking it out for a test as soon as I can build it up to my liking. Stay tuned.