Glidecam HD1000 vs. Flycam Nano

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These are two of the most popular and smallest DSLR stabilizers. I'm not going to say one is better than the other when it comes down to the actual video footage. End results between these two micro flyers would be the same once you have them fine tuned and balanced. The main differences to consider between these two is cost, quality of build, time to balance, and handling.

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First no surprise here, the Flycam Nano can come in about three times cheaper than the Glidecam HD1000. The Flycam Nano comes in a bit smaller than the Glidecam but this also means it won't handle as much weight. If you want to stick to the smallest flyer but are concerned you might be pushing the limits too much, then the HD1000 might be the safer bet. The Flycam being the smaller stabilizer can pack down smaller for traveling. Of course the Flycam Nano can easily handle a 7D + Tokina 11-16mm (and then some), which is about the average weight needed for most entry level flyers. The Flycam might be a better choice for smaller cameras like the Sony SLT-A55 or Panasonic GH2.

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The Flycam build quality isn't as polished as the Glidecam. Cheaper materials, painted metal instead of anodized plating, lack of fine tuning knobs, tiny handle, and non-professional looking weights. That's what helps keep the cost down. The Glidecam is far superior in build quality, but fancy plating alone doesn't make it a better flyer.

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The Glidecam handle is much larger and more comfortable to grip. The Glidecam handle is the same width as it's larger HD2000 and HD4000 siblings making it possible to use the HD1000 with a full Vest. The Flycam has a much smaller and shorter handle designed to be used with an optional Flycam Arm Brace.

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The Glidecam HD series stabilizers also have fine tune knobs. The fine tuning knobs allows micro movements of the stage making exact placement of the camera much easier and faster to the center of balance. This is a great feature for anyone who seems to change out lenses, cameras, or accessories that require the entire stabilizer to be rebalanced. If you're pretty much set with the camera + lens combination for flying, a Flycam Nano with a quick release adapter should do the trick. No need to rebalance.

Here's a sample video with the Glidecam HD1000: http://cheesycam.com/glidecam-hd1000-dslr-video-stabilizer-demonstration/

Here's a sample with the Flycam Nano: http://cheesycam.com/flycam-nano-stabilizer-abused-with-7d-tokina/

2011-01-26 11.18.522011-01-26 11.19.06

glidecam-hd1000-dslr-video-stabilizer
find-price-button Glidecam HD1000 Video Camera Stabilizer

flycam-nano-video-stabilizer
find-price-button Flycam Nano Video Camera Stabilizer

 87 Comments





87 thoughts on “Glidecam HD1000 vs. Flycam Nano

  1. Emm

    Post author

    @Jonathan - I'll be testing out some of the Lensse stabilizers to see how it works out. A smaller stabilizer is recommended, maybe even a modified smoother.

  2. Jonathan

    What stabilizer would you recommend for the nex-7 then? I don't really have any accessories to add up top for additional weight, and if I could downsize to something smaller and lighter that would work just as well, why not?

  3. Emm

    Post author

    @Jonathan - Yes it's too light, but you can always add more weight to the top with the camera, and then balance it.

  4. Emm

    Post author

    @Jerry also - The Glidecam designed type stabilizers (like Flycam) allow you to tilt easily without losing much balance. The Steadicam Pilot, Flyer, Zephyer, etc can do the same.

  5. Jerry also

    Emm,

    Is it true that the 1 & 2000HD Glidecam stabilizers allow easy tilting of the camera while flying, and that the others don't allow it at all? I read somewhere that the Merlin at least doesn't allow this. That would seem a huge advantage, if so ...

    Thanks for your wonderful work! I hope that you are prospering from it.

  6. Emm

    Post author

    @Tom - The fine tuning knobs are definitely helpful, but once you know how to balance one, you can do it pretty quickly even without the knobs. It's practice practice practice.

  7. Tom

    Hi guys. I own a Flycam Nano and I try to use it with a Rebel T2i and a Tokina 11-16mm. I'm having a very hard time, trying to balance it and it takes ages for me to get it right.

    I definitely want a steadycam for my productions and I don't mind spending a (reasonable) amount of money.

    Do you think the Glidecam is much easier / faster to balance? Or are these fine tune knobs not so important?

  8. Geemo

    Which flyer do you think is the absolute best? Glidecam? Or is there something that does pretty much the same thing but is a Chinese knockoff or DIY?

  9. Geemo

    I wonder if there is a carrying case for the glidecam for traveling so it doesn't get all dinged up?

  10. Emm

    Post author

    @Jerry - I've never used a Flycam 5000, and going too big would make it harder to balance. You need the right stabilizer for the right amount of weight. If the stabilizer is too big, you would have to add more weight to the top load, then it could be too heavy to handle for very long.

  11. Jerry

    Emm- just came accross a flycam 5000, I want to know if it's easy to work with. I want to use it with my 5dm2, 24-70, and led light, possible 7in monitor too.

    Are they easy to balance or would you recommand Glidcam HD2000 as the plate look more easy to balance. Just the flycam 5000 is 200 buck cheaper then Glidcam from BHphoto.com.

    Thanks,
    Jerry

  12. Just a heads up. I purchased a Flycam Nano from ebay by a seller named Proaim23. I just received the product and the center post is about two inches shorter on the bottom than what Emm appears to have. The bottom of the gimble handle practically lines up with the adjustment screw on the center post. This Flycam was advertised as "up to 700grams" even though the picture wasn't the same as the final product. I've got a question out to the seller right now, but for anyone thinking of buying one, it's something you might want to look into.

  13. Pingback:

  14. Emm

    Post author

    @Phil H - If the stabilizer is too big it won't balance a light camera. I would go with the smaller for a 550D.

  15. Phil H

    Following on from Chris C comments about the standard nano (700gm) and the DSLR nano (1.5kg- 2.2kg) can you advise on the best choice for 550D.

    I assume that your footage was on the standard nano (centre post 11"-14")? In whch case it clearly works with 550D.

    Although the new DSLR nano add states that it is 550D compatible , am I correct in thinking that I would have to add additional 750gm on the top plate just to get into the weight range.

    At this time I dont envisage heavy lenses or monitors ....but you know how things grow !!

    Bye the way , great site and excellant footage in the video!

  16. Emm

    Post author

    @Chris C - Personally I think they are using the Flycam 3000 and calling it a nano also..

  17. Chris C

    I've been looking into the flycam and there seems to be a few different kinds available on ebay from India. One claiming 700grams and the other marketed for the 550d, d90, etc with a hold capacity of 1.5-2kg. Im concerned that both are the same and are just being marketed as different to justify the price increase... So im just wondering what's the difference? And which one were you using in the above video? Thanks!

  18. Lance

    Thanks Emm - I'm getting closer... Your site is awesome btw! Tips, tricks, gadgets, education...

  19. Emm

    Post author

    @Lance - I left them spaced out. The DSLR isn't a very long camera, and the lower plates are just added ways to make adjustments. There's no exact science to dialing in every piece. You just adjust where you think you need it. If you wanted it 'bottom heavy' you could add more weights or you could lower the sled. If you wanted it more front heavy you could move the front weight forward, rear weight in, or add more weights to the front, or use the fine tune knob to push the camera forward. There's infinite ways to getting it centered.

  20. Lance

    I noticed you mentioned moving the sled up and down but did you at all adjust the base length by moving counter weight plates apart from each other on the HD 1000? Or did you leave them spaced as it was shipped and only play with up and down and the stage?
    I am so close to getting my T2i body with Tokina 11-16 (with lens hood) and my manfrotto 394 quick release just right on the HD 1000 and thought perhaps the only thing left to do is move the base counter weight plates apart...

  21. Emm

    Post author

    @Danny - Further away using your arm as some type of suspension. Still use two hands, one to carry the weight, one to control panning and tilting.

  22. Danny

    Hi! I was wondering what's the best way to hold one of these? Closer to your chest or with your arm more straightened out?

  23. Can the pole from the weight plate be removed for making this stabilizer as compact as possible?? If so, is it easy to remove it?

    What about the top stage where you place the camera? Can that be removed as well?

    I travel a lot and need my gear to get pretty compact...

    Thanks for the review!

  24. Sean W

    I guess I did not compare the specs too much, but wondered how that fit into their lineup. Simple renaming and cosmetic changes make sense to account for it, and presto, a NEW HD DSLR model!
    Thanks Emm, I will be getting a standard Nano to try out then. I appreciate it.
    Sean

  25. Emm

    Post author

    @Sean W - Looks like 'Flycam 3000'. I'm wondering if because the Nano is so popular, they are using the name as a marketing scheme and it's really a Flycam 3000. Check this out Flycam 3000 Stabilizer

  26. Sean W

    Hi Emm ... Sorry, I was not asking about the comparison between the two models of this particular thread. I just posted my question here figuring this is related to Flycam (not knowing exactly where to do so I guess). Sorry to confuse πŸ™‚

    ... search "Flycam Nano" on eBay and actually there now are TWO versions of the "Nano" ... the regular Nano and the DSLR Nano.

    http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=p3984.m570.l1313&_nkw=flycam+nano&_sacat=See-All-Categories

    Thoughts?
    Thanks!

  27. Emm

    Post author

    @Sean W - I'm confused, LOL. There's only one Flycam 'Nano' from India, the other is a Glidecam HD1000 from Glidecam (the larger one).

  28. Sean W

    What exactly is the difference between the "Flycam Nano" and the "DSLR Flycam Nano"?
    I have about 1500g+ at the most I want to push around (3.5 lbs), twice what the stated weight limit of the Nano is. But if I understand it correctly I will be fine with doing that? I will not need this new larger Nano? I would rather not at a larger size, weight and price.
    I am just looking for understanding and confirmation.
    Thanks, I appreciate the site!

  29. Joe

    Emm, thanks for the idea for docking station. I'll about 90% on balancing my Glidecam HD 2000. So close but can't get there. Maybe do video set-up on your stand using the 60D & Tokina 11-16mm.

    thanks,
    joe

  30. Joe

    Emm, I just received the glidecam HD 2000 & Tokina 11-16mm. B&H got a new batch of glidecams in last week. The 60D with the lens looks awesome on the glidecam. I just need lots of practice! Thanks again for recommendating everything. Trying to build a homemade docking station to make it easier to balance it better.

    joe

  31. Joe

    Emm, Would the Flycam Nano be able to fly a canon 60D - Tokina 11-16mm - HDV-Z96 96 LED Light? Trying to decided on this set-up for flycam or glidecam 2000. Need some feedback.

    thanks,
    joe

  32. Iskandar Salim

    Emm, what about the Taiwan-made Skyler Minicam? It is a bit pricey, coming in at around USD600, more or less.

    Here's the link :
    http://skylerminicam.com/

    I'm thinking of getting one myself, but found very few reviews of the product from users.

    Just think you might want to check it out. Thanks!

  33. Emm

    Post author

    @ezam - That's a heavy lens and keep in mind you can't zoom or focus while using it. So no sense in using a lens of that range.

  34. AlanG

    I would like to mention that I have successfully balanced my flycam nano with a 60d, 17-40mmL and battery grip.
    i had to extend the sled quite a bit and used all the weights provided. took me about 45min to balance though.

    I also need the arm brace or what ever it is.
    My wrist is killing meeeeee!!!!

  35. Emm

    Post author

    @Abe - The grip is going to throw things off. I would do a larger stabilizer just because of the battery grip (if you really need it).

  36. Hey Emm, I have a 7D with bottom grip, I'm thinking of flying a Canon 15mm fisheye or 50mm f1.8, do you think this set up will be able to handle the Flycam Nano or should I try the Flycam 3000?

  37. Orome

    I've been reading a ton of posts regarding steadycams and what still baffles me (I'm a newb) is what to choose based on the technical details of each steadycam. Specs say for example "load up to 1.3 kg" yet many tend to get great results with more heavy gear.

    Keeping in mind my pockets are not extremely large, what steadycam would you recoomend for a combination of 5DMK2 + 27-40mm and optionally 50mm? Thanks! πŸ™‚

  38. Emm

    Post author

    @Leo - I don't have an armbrace to test with, but I don't see why you can't find a way to make the handle a bit thicker. Maybe add something over it and screw it in place?

  39. Emm

    Post author

    @Leo Telles - The Flycam handle is smaller in width than the Glidecam. It might support it, but would be loose internally.

  40. After weeks of trying, I still can't get my Flycam balanced to fly. Of course, I do not think this is at all a product design as I have seen it work.

    I removed the battery grip which I was trying to fly with and still cant get it.

    Does anyone who owns this care to share their weight amounts and setup for a T2i with 50mm 1.8 or stock 18-55mm?

  41. Emm

    Post author

    @7D + Flycam Nano - Moving the sled up and down even just a little should make a 'huge difference'. Sounds like you still have way too much weight below.

  42. 7D + Flycam nano

    Thanks Emm, missed that one. Have tried to move the sled up and down, but no real difference yet...really frustrating

    Any of you guys had the gimble screws come loose?
    Just noticed that mine had unscrewed a few millimiters. I could turn them just with my fingers.
    Can the screws just fall off, possibly droppig the camera? I mean you cant tighten them too much either or it wont work properly.

  43. Your best bet is to replace the handle with something longer. For me, I bought a 1 inch wooden dowel and drilled a hole into it where the screw goes. Much easier to fly when the handle is longer.

  44. red5un

    been using the flycam nano for the last month and flies pretty well with a t2i and 11-16. two things are driving me crazy though...

    1) that handle is wayyyy too small. it's actually easier to hold without the crumby foam cover. makes it feel just a bit longer. anybody try adding a bicycle handle cover or simply replace the handle with something longer?

    2) the sled keeps unscrewing if you knock it in the slightest. i would use a lock washer but i'm usually traveling and breaking down the nano. is there a solution to this?

  45. 7D + Flycam nano

    Hey Emm,

    Just got the Flycam Nano for my 7D.
    Bought it after I saw your videos that it could handle the 7D's weight. Was really impressed when you ran around your studio with it.

    I've been trying to balance mine for two nights now, but no success. Theres this really slow wobble that I cant get rid off. Watched many tutorials on how to balance it but getting the feeling theres something I'm missing. I've been going at it millimiter by millimiter for hours, and theres always this slight imbalance

    Any chance of you making a short video on how YOU balance it on the 7D? Would be much appreciated.

  46. Emm

    Post author

    @Steve - It's expensive to create a single part. You'll have to create batches of them. Wasn't worth investing into, but several people have made their own with access to machine shops.

  47. Emm

    Post author

    @Jordan - Never used it, and it doesn't look like the handle has as much range as the Glidecam stabilizers. Same reason I went from the Merlin to the Glidecam stuff.

  48. @7D

    I am sure you could its just a thread and bolt with one part attached the base and one attached to the stage.

    would be easy to mod the flycam to move left and right like this but to have it move 4 ways would be harder.

    wonder if the 4 way macro slider would work or can you get a stage from a glidecam 1000 hd and put it on the flycam....

    oooo the ideas πŸ˜€

  49. spaceflows

    I use the Flycam Nano and am very happy with it. I opted to pick up the arm brace as well since (as mentioned in the post) the handle on the Nano is appropriate for an 8 year old girl - too small! The arm brace makes a big difference with the handling and "flying", I believe it's an essential if you go with the Nano. I fly a 60D with Tokina 11-16mm/Sigma 30mm/Canon 50mm and (sometimes) a Manfrotto quick release plate. Getting better as I work with it more, don't be discouraged the first week or two, it takes a while to get the hang of it - when you do some really nice footage can be had!

  50. 7d

    Hi. Could you possible post high res pics of the "fine-tuning mechanism" for the glidecam? It would be interesting to see if it is possible to modify the flycam nano.

  51. Questions about weight.... the Flycam Nano only supports 1.5 pounds, so that's out of the question for most.

    The HD1000 supports up to 3 pounds. My basic 7D/17-55mm setup clocks in at 3.5 pounds.... so I'm sure that puts the HD1000 out of the question.

    So then I'm looking at the HD2000 or the U-flycam (at least if we're doing glidecam vs. flycam)

    I know the HD2000 is a great stabalizer, but what about the U-flycam? Not sure if it's decent.... or just junk.

    Any feedback would be great, Emm.

  52. I like the idea of adding a macro slider to the flycam nano, i can just about get mine balanced by hand but it would be very nice to have the control knobs of the Glide HD

  53. steve

    Did that adapter ever get made that allows you to use glidecam with the steadicam vest/arm ?

    You posted about its a few months back. You mentioned its a custom part someone was working on .

  54. Emm

    Post author

    @Tony Carretti - Feel free to list it in the classified section of this blog. Last one I posted from an auction sold it in a few minutes..

  55. Tony Carretti

    I agree about it not being so much with the hardware as it is with user experience/skill.

    I bought a flycam nano and have tried a few times. I've followed the video instructions on how to balance. Tried both my 550D as well as my gh2 and I SUCK with both!! I honestly don't know that I'll ever use it because I don't have enough time to invest in "practice" sessions...

    Oh well, you live and learn...

  56. Emm

    Post author

    @Mike - There is only 1 Flycam Nano. They might be all different auctions, but the Flycam 'Nano' stabilizer is all the same.

  57. theuser

    "With any stabilizer its all practice and experience."

    thanks thats what I thought, appreciatte the response.

  58. Emm

    Post author

    @theuser - The Flycam is very capable of steady flying. ive also seen plenty of terrible Merlin videos. One of my first stabilizers was the Merlin. I am no longer using the Merlin, so hope thats saying something. With any stabilizer its all practice and experience.

  59. Couldn't have come at a better time. Need to pull the trigger on a Flycam or Steadicam...and now I'm going w/ a Steadicam HD1000.

    Thanks!

  60. theuser

    Ignorant question:

    Hey Emm Im thinking about purchasing the flycam nano. Although I keep watching amatuer videos of people using sub $500 units and keep noticing that there is also a bit of swaying, is this a case of user experience or equipment. For example I've never seen swaying in videos of people using the $3000 merlin set-up.

  61. Emm

    Post author

    @Jared - Could work, but would add height also. Adding height multiplies the weight. It's just like moving the lower sled up or down by millimeters.

  62. Jared

    Emm, what do you think about throwing a 4way macro slider on top of the Flycam Nano? Adds weight, but with the right camera/lens combo it could probably still fly, would aid quick balancing and would only be a $40 (Or less if you catch a good auction.) upgrade.

  63. Paul

    I use a macro rail on my flycam - works great for adjusting the balance and makes attaching the camera much easier.

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