Fotga S-450 Hand Held Stabilizer

Fotga recently opened up their product line to include a new S-450 Hand Held Stabilizer for under $150 dollars. Judging from what I can see in the photos, it's probably comparable to the size of a Glidecam HD2000, so you're looking at supporting cameras around 6-8 lbs max.

fotga s-450fotga hand held stabilizer
find-price-button Fotga S-450 Hand Held Video Stabilizer System

The new Fotga S-450 includes a top stage with fine tuning knobs (left / right / forward / back), and the baseplate includes a swing out set of legs to prevent the stabilizer from toppling over. A telescoping post means it can collapse to support small cameras, or telescope out for heavier setups.
DP3049_8Fotga Baseplate Stabilizer Hand Held Steadicam
find-price-button Fotga S-450 Hand Held Video Stabilizer System

The system can be broken down into several pieces for easy travel, and the handle accept a vest (not sure which type). For more information and additional photos, check out the Fotga S-450 Hand Held stabilizer via eBay (found here)

Fotga Hand Held Stabilizer S-450 ProFotga Steadicam Stabilizer
find-price-button Fotga S-450 Hand Held Video Stabilizer System





35 thoughts on “Fotga S-450 Hand Held Stabilizer

  1. Todd

    Unfortunately didn't read the comments here before purchasing this.

    I live in Hong Kong. Bought this from the dealer in Hong Kong. Really want to like it, but unfortunately it does not work. The gimbal binds up, so the camera cannot rotate/swivel freely around the axis as it need to. And the more weight it has, the more it binds up. This as I understand it is a critical requirement in a stabilizer.

    Have made several trips to the store, emailed them links about the problem, with links to potential fixes. Even promised to write several glowing reviews on the internet about how wonderful this is, if they fix the problem. I really want this to be excellent, because it has a lot of positive traits. It just needs that last 1% fixed that makes it a disaster.

    But after my last visit to them, seems they are working on a new product, and this issue is something that likely will not be fixed for a long time... if ever.

    As a next step I may attempt to disassemble it and use another recommended lubricant. Some videos on youtube claim that might fix the problem.

    Although they are super friendly in the Hong Kong store, after a few trips they referred to my never worked properly Fotga as a repair. This is the second one I've tried, they both have the same problem. This is a glaring design flaw.

    I've learned that there is a hardware/software issue in a lot of things out of China. They can duplicate the "hardware", but not the "software". I stayed in a wonderful luxurious looking hotel in China once, but almost cracked my head on the floor getting out of the shower because they didn't put non-skid coating on the floor. Thats what I mean about hardware/software skills.

    This product looks good, the hardware is Ok quality for the price, but the software part is terrible. Looks good, but doesn't work.

    If they fix and get back to me I will post an update. As of now, its clear I'm being ignored. I really want to post a positive review, but at the moment I cannot recommend any of their products. If you have a product that doesn't work, you are ignored.

  2. Brian Siano

    Count me as disappointed. JD's comments above are all accurate, and I have another. The part with the rubber grip enters into the the main gimbal joint, and screws into a threaded ring that rotates freely inside the joint. This holds the grip in the joint, but allows it to swivel freely. The problem is, the grip part _unscrews from that floating ring_, and it's next to impossible to re-screw it in.

    If Fotga offered an instruction manual, and maybe a hex wrench or two, it'd be fixable. But I recommend avoiding this product.

  3. At the end I realised a video with a footage test. I have to say, that the weigh of my Panasonic G6 is not enought fot this stabilizer. I had to change the structure of it and add two extensions in the base of weights and ad a quick reliease, an extra weight and a Rode Videomic on the top in order to have a better balance.

    This is the result:

    http://www.viajarcomeryamar.com/visitar-barcelona/que-ver/park-guell-barcelona-paseando-por-el-parque-de-gaudi-mas-emblematico-video.html

    Not very well flying in three of the clips, but easily solved with an extra stabilization in Final Cut Pro X (only on this three clips) The rest of images are as I recorded.

    Dont forget, practice and adapt it to your camera is a MUST if you want to fly...

    Hope this helps.

  4. CR

    Do you all think that this steadicam would be too much for use with the GoPro or other small camera? Also, if so, which Steadicam would be good for it? Thanks!

  5. I've purchased this stabilizer after think and watch tones of videos an happy people with their flycam blah blah blah...

    Ok I bought and I have to say that it has been (for me) a confusing experience. Is it a good product? It depends on your spectations...

    "Problems"

    First of all I had to dismount the gamble to clean it and avoid it to have friction and let it turn left and right more freely. It has a small design flow and it makes it to have friction in the gamble. Not extremly important, but there it is.

    Secondly, if your camera is light enought, you will probably have many problems to find the exact spot to balance it and fly with it. It's probabli made for heavier cameras. (Mine is G6).

    Third: The gamble is too long and touches the bottom screws of the platform. Only if you have a heavy camera, thats not a problem because you can enlarge the gamble.

    Fourth: Only three weigths. Its dificult to adjust the weight to your needs. You must use the gamble lenghth to find the spot and this is not always good to have a good flying shot.

    Fifth: The gamble is not robust. the screws unscrew every ten minutes and you have to check them to avoid loose them. Its not the best gamble in the world, that for sure.

    Pros:

    Very easy to adjust using the platform and the screws. There is no quick release, but this is not a big problem.

    Good materials and construction. Its a chinese producto and you pay about 120 USD fot it. What do you spect?

    Easy to mount and dismount and very confortable to let it on the floor with its four points of supont.

    Very useful level bubble.

    My concern about this... You will need a lot of practice to make good flying shots.Practice, practice and more practice. The weight and shape of your camera will change the perceptiono you have of the product. Its is a MUST, to shot with a wide or ultra wide lens. This makes more easy the fly. Try to fly with a normal lents will give you to a disapointing experience (but not with this stabilizer, maybe with any).

    I still can not show any shooting. No good enought. I need more and more practice.

    Good luck!

  6. Mitch

    Could someone that has one of these please put up some footage? Very curious as to how well this thing works.

  7. Dale

    How about a review of shooting with it? Did it work well? How does it stack up to the glidecam (which is way more expensive)? Anyone have any footage to share?

    Looks like a nice product - but wondering if it is worth the purchase.

    Thanks!

  8. Ron Regan

    Kyle, I seem to have resolved the problem with that joint so I'm good. Just trying to learn how to use it properly...... best of luck to you.

  9. Ron

    Kyle I have taken apart the first joint ....right off the handle there are two bearing cups in there and a spacer.I think the issue maybe just a little lube and I think to the outside two nylon washers would stop whatever friction there is the outside. The nut is a 12 mm ...easy to get to after taking the platform off the stabilizer. It may be a little tight Loctite was used on the threads and the nut. For me the other joints were just fine. I'll let you know how it goes after reassembly.... Probably Sunday.

  10. Ron

    Received one of these a couple of days ago. I have no prior knowledge of using a stabilizer before but I have found that the first joint off of the grip is tight and I can not get it to balance when it is so tight. Is this design of a bolt running into the handle common? Might it just need lube....I tried loosing it but that does not solve the problem and instead making it loose creates just another problem. It seems to be just a 4-sided head bolt the screws in the handle assembly.Any help....thanks. I have contacted seller but as of yet haven't heard back but he seems responsive.
    Thanks

  11. Nacho

    @feelgood

    Has arrived already you stabilizer?
    I boutght also the s-450 but i have to wait at least 3 weeks.

    Thank you.

  12. Nacho

    I think not too many people interested about it, no reviews or any new info. Seems good in the pictures but in order to buy one I need more info.

  13. Jim

    @Nacho

    I got it right as I headed out of town for work.
    Not able to balance or review for the next 7 days.

    Will share feedback when I can.

  14. Nacho

    @feelgood Thank you for the answer. About the maximum load capacity of this fotga steady I am a little annoyed because all the series can fly the same amount of weight from 0,5 - 4,5 kg (1.1 - 10 lbs). As far as I know the larger the pole the most weight you can load.
    I wait the reviews.

  15. feelgood

    @Nacho - I will be using a 5D mk II and the 24-105mm L glass lens, so probably up around 4 lbs.

    I'm a little nervous - the load weight on ebay says 4.5 kg (max), which is more than enough but the load weight listed on amazon says 4.5 lbs., which is denitely not the same thing as kg. I'll also try a test where I load it up with a a light and mic to see if it handles okay. I too was looking for any kind of review, etc, but couldn't find one. I think it's a brand new product. I was looking for the closest thing I could find to a Laing P=04 but under $200, and this this seemed to have the most features (micro weight balance adjustments on the plate, moveable gimble/handle adjustment, etc). It could be junk, but I think people have been pleased with Fotga's other follow focuses, etc., so I'm hoping they come through on this.

    My shipping estimation says it will come as soon as Saturday of this week, but the other user on here who ordered from China sounde like they got his/hers in 5 days or something. We'll see if mine comes that quickly.

  16. Nacho

    @Jim - Did you have balance or fly it yet?

    What do you think about it?.
    Are you happy whit this product?.
    Than you.

  17. Nacho

    @feelgood - whith what camera and lens are you going to use it the most of the time?.
    Right now I'm also thinking about to buy one of this.
    I will wait for the review.
    Thank you.

  18. feelgood

    I pulled the trigger and ordered a s-450 last week. It hasn't arrived yet, but I'll try and upload some footage and my thoughts on it the day it arrives this week.

  19. Emm

    Post author

    @Nacho - I'll have a better idea when I test this, but from what I can tell through the specs, the S-450 may be the size you need. I should have more info net week.

  20. Nacho

    I always have the same doubt, how to know what is the good size of the steady. All these Fotga units loads from 0.5-4.5 kg. So for a DSLR like my 7D with a prime lens (total weight around 1.5 kg), what soul be the correct size?

    Than you.

  21. Emm

    Post author

    @Jim - I have tried different stabilizers. Some friction is not always a bad thing, as it helps with steering.

  22. Jim

    @Emm

    Thanks for the heads up. Will be using my 6d w/17-40 more often than not.
    No battery grip so I should be good I hope. (Fits within weight range).

    Should a "tighter" gimbal be a worry? Does not appear to "spin" as quickly as I see others.

    Thanks!

  23. Emm

    Post author

    @Jim - There is such a thing as having a stabilizer too large for a camera. You should get the size that fits what you are trying to counterbalance. If the stabilizer is too large for your camera, you will never get it balanced, unless you start adding a ton of weight to the top area with the camera.

  24. Jim

    I ordered on Monday after seeing the posting here.
    Arrived Friday (coming from China I was pretty amazed)

    Similar build to their other items.
    Does not appear as robust as the Glidecams, etc.
    Gimbal is a little tight, will get lubricant perhaps.
    I have not had a chance to balance or fly it yet. Will let you know what I find.
    Also wondering if I should have gotten one of the "taller" ones (S-1200}

    Cheers

  25. Nacho

    Annoying, I am turning crazy looking for some info about it, no one upload a review on YouTube. I want to buy one but need a little bit more info about how good is this steady.

  26. Nacho

    Seems a nice product. They also have the s-750 version, a longer one. I would like to see more info about it or a YouTube video review but I can't see anything, maybe is too early.
    Have anyone info about the gimball?, Is it as smooth as the laing P-04?.
    Thank you.

  27. Emm

    Post author

    @Lainol - Thanks, so it looks like a small post diameter like the Wieldy or Laing stabilizers. The Glidecam I believe is around 25mm.

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