Review: Laing X-15 Vest Arm kit with Laing P-04 Video Stabilizer

Here's a little review on another new and affordable Stabilizer Vest System for lightweight camera setups to medium sized cameras. This is the Came / Laing X-15 Vest+Arm matched up with the Laing P-04 Hand Held Stabilizer.

The Laing products have been around for quite some time, and I hear about RED Camera operators using the larger Laing stabilizers as an affordable option for flying heavy camera systems. The kit I have here is pretty heavy duty, each part feels very solid, and the entire bundle comes with a nice padded carrying bag.

Laing-Came-Carry-Bag Laing-Vest-Arm-Kit-X-15-P04

The Laing P-04 Stabilizer handle matches up perfectly with the small post on the X-15 ISO Arm. If you're thinking about trying to match this up with a Glidecam, just be aware that the standard rotating post is pretty short. The bottom weights can shift forward/back on the sled, the bottom post is adjustable, and the Gimbal can be positioned vertically along the post. It's pretty much got every adjustable feature available.

Laing-Stabilizer-Vest Laing-Gimbal-Adjustment-Balance

The top stage has a quick release cheese plate and features all the fine tuning knobs you'll need to balance your camera. Just be aware that the top stage may require a bit of cork to keep your camera from shifting it's position.

Lower-Sled-Laing-P04 Laing-P04-Top-Stage

The Laing Stabilizer Vest can be adjusted to fit taller or smaller frames, and the Arm is mounted to a quick release socket block. Velcro straps adjust the vest very nicely and buckles are used to climb in and out of the vest.

Laing-Socket-Block Adjsting-Laing-X-15-P-04-BlackMagic

The X-15 ISO Arm can easily be dialed to support an even lighter setup than my Canon 5D Mark II + Sigma 20mm lens, but can also be dialed up to support heavier camera setups than the BlackMagic Cinema Camera. Hopefully that gives you a general idea of the weight range it supports to see if it will work with your current equipment.

Laing-Canon-5D-BMCC-BlackMagic-Stabilizer Vest BMCC-Cage-BlackMagic Design Laing X-15 Stabilizer Vest Kit Review Video Sample

I can say for DSLR Video Shooters or even BlackMagic Cinema Camera shooters this vest is good. Actually for the price you could consider it to be very very good. Is it as good as the real Steadicam brand? Well, with my lightweight DSLR camera setup I felt the arm wasn't totally as smooth as my Steadicam Merlin ISO Arm, but results were much better once I mounted a heavier camera system like the BlackMagic Cinema Camera. On it's own, the Laing P-04 Stabilizer works excellent, but it seems adding a bit more weight to the X-15 Arm and Vest will yield better performance from the arm.

For more information about the Laing X-15 Vest Arm and P-04 Hand Held Video Stabilizer System, you can find more details on the following eBay product pages (click here).

Came-Laing-X-15 VestLaing X-15 Arm VestVest-Stabilizer-Laing-X15-P-04
find-price-button Laing X-15 Vest w/ Laing P-04 Hand Held Stabilizer

Laing P-04 Stabilizers available now on eBay


78 thoughts on “Review: Laing X-15 Vest Arm kit with Laing P-04 Video Stabilizer

  1. Kyo

    What's the difference between the M30p and M30s vest? There's auction that have both come with the X-15 arm... One seems to have red rings and the other one is plain...

  2. Hey Emm I bought this kit based on your review for my 5D MKIII. It's all working well the only problem I have is the two arms of the spring arm clash with each other quite a bit. Any experience with this or advice on how I might remedy it? I'm not an experienced steadicam guy so apologies if this is obvious! Newbie! Thanks for any help.

  3. Emm

    Post author

    @Jiri K. - Anything is possible =), but there's nothing off-the-shelf to do this. As far as I know, you would have to craft your own adapter to replace the post. If you know of a machine shop, they could probably do this for you.

  4. Jiri K.


    is it possible to combine this arm and vest with Glidecam HD4000 (HD2000 etc) like you can with Steadicam Merlin Arm&Vest? I mean to replace the original connecting socket with some reduction.


  5. Emm

    Post author

    @J&T Photo Paris - The Wieldy should be able to support your setup. The Wieldy is lighter than the X15, but both of these vests do not work directly with the Glidecam. You'd have to be clever to mod it to work, I myself have not even done so. Since the price has dropped on the Steadicam, maybe look into another one? Or contact Tiffen and see if they can send just that part.

  6. Hi Emm ! My merlin vest broke just like yours... err... but I didn't use it quite as much, actually, a friend borrowed it couple of days and broke it. But I never liked the vest itself anyway, so whatever... would there be a way to adapt an other vest and keep the arm ?
    I think it might be complicated and the Wiedly seems pretty good, I'm tempted to try this + the P-04 that seems really awesome... look so much easier and precise to balance than the HD-4000 ! The only downside is that I travel a lot, and as you said you can't disassemble it... much harder to pack.
    I love how the X-15 Vest pack, is it more compact than the wiedly ? the wiedly is leighter right ?
    I'm flying with a D800 + fixed lenses or 14-24 for now, but I'm thinking of adding a monitor sometimes... do you think the wiedly would be able to support all of this ?

    A lot of question I know, sorry about that !

  7. Emm

    Post author

    @Mason - The Laing is a better stabilizer than the Flycam stabilizers. Better build quality but also easier to fine tune balance.

  8. Mason

    Hey Emm, how do you like the Laing compared to your Flycam setup? Do you find the Laing flies better?

  9. RickS

    Will this vest work with one of the new mini stabilizers like the Laing Mini H3 or Came H4? I'm wondering if the stabilizer handle hole diameter and vest pin diameter are the same, and if these mini stabilizers are heavy enough to work properly with the vest.

  10. Emm

    Post author

    @kris - If you're flying a BMCC, yes I think the Laing setup is better build quality than the Wieldy. If you're going with a light camera setup, the Wieldy handles lighter setups better.

  11. kris

    Hey Emm,

    For flying a BMCC would you suggest getting the Laing P-04 over the Wieldy?
    I'm looking into getting a stabiliser, and although the P-04 and the Wieldy are quite old models, on the cheap side of stabilisers there seem to be no better options.

  12. Jaime

    Thanks for the fast respond I wasn't expecting that. I just have the 5d mrk II and the 28-135mm lens for right now until my other lens gets here.. I'm in stationed in Germany so this things take for ever to get delivered here sometimes. So my question now is do they not sell the one that is for the not upgraded one?

  13. Emm

    Post author

    @Jaime - Be careful about these vests. The one that supports a monitor is 'upgraded' for heavier loads. This means you must always use a heavy load when working with the vest. You can't just fly a basic camera and lens setup. As i've always mentioned, the hardest part is finding a vest to fly lightweight camera systems. Most vests require a 'minimum' amount of weight which makes the whole system harder to travel with and setup. I'm not sure what your camera setup is, but if you go for the heavier system, you must always use a heavy setup.

  14. Jaime

    Emm, thank you so much for all your info. I just got the laing p4 the one without the mount for the monitor and now I am thinking to invest in the vest +arm system. I have seen tho one on eBay

    Is this the one I needed to fly a 5d mark II or do I just buy the whole vest+arm+laing p4 kit one

    I am so sorry I'm confused and if you can please help me out with this. I am a soldier stationed in Germany so I m very new to this. Thank you in advance

  15. knsfj

    @huy - I got same problem, the springs are way too tight.
    i bought upgraded which allows us to put monitor and battery. i guess putting monitor and battery wont solve the problem.

    Emm if you have any tips please let us know


  16. Emm

    Post author

    @huy - My stabilizer has a carbon post, and the arms I have can move under lightweight, but they did perform better with added weight. Do you have a photo of your setup? Is it the same? Also, is there a way you can weigh your C100 setup?

  17. huy

    I just got mine too and I'm scratching my head over a few points.

    1. The title of the P-04 says "carbon fiber" but mine definitely doesn't look like carbon fiber.

    2.The springs are oh SO tight, even for a C100 with 16-35 2.8 lens and mic.

    I'm surprised to see that in your video, while flying the small DSLR, that the Laing arms were floating horizontally.

    Any thoughts or tips?


  18. Emm

    Post author

    @ahvs - Congrats on the new stabilizer system. Even if it came with the best of instructions, it takes weeks to months of practice to get really good with stabilizers, so don't get discouraged.

  19. Emm,
    FWIW, My Laing x-15/P-04 package (stabilizer, arm, and vest) arrived today...MUCH sooner than I expected. I ordered it on Nov. 6, and it arrived at my home in the metro NYC area on Nov. 20.
    I went over it with a fine-toothed comb as I unboxed it, (cheesy video to be posted in the next few days), and except for a couple of scratches on the arm, it strikes me as pretty well-made for the price.

    My cameras include a Panny HMC-150 and HVX-200. I'll probably start with the HMC-150, once I figure out how to set all the arm and stabilizer adjustments to work together.
    Never having used one of these, and because absolutely no instructions were included, I suspect I have a sharp learning curve ahead. Wish me luck.

    Thanks again for your review and pointers.

  20. huy

    I was about to buy the Laing package, but I would also like to know more about this new mystery system. Can't wait.

  21. Emm

    Post author

    @Funkbot - Ok, I'll try to show a little bit of it today with a BMCC on it. It's a really great system, but i'm just not happy that it can't fly light weight camera systems like a GH3. I'll try to show some of it later today.

  22. Funkbot

    Hello Emm,

    I am considering purchasing the Laing X-15 Vest Arm kit with Laing P-04 Video Stabilizer, but wanted to know if you thought that I should wait to see your review of the stabilizer system that you mentioned in post #49 of this thread? If it is within $200 of the complete Laing stabilizer system and better, I would like to wait for your review. If this is the case, do you have an ETA on that review?


  23. Knsfj

    I got Laing p-04 upgraded a month ago. The springs are too tight. The camera is over my head. I contacted seller regarding the spring being to tight, after watching your review video.They advised me I need put monitor and battery which will make the bottom heavy. I think my springs are too way strong and is for heavy cameras.
    But when I saw your video your spring for arm looks fine it's not that tight.
    I use canon 5d mark iii with sigma 24-70.
    Hope if I can get the springs change to lighter ones.

  24. Well, FWIW, I ordered the Laing package today: stabilizer, vest, and dual arm. Hoping it arrives in time to practice using it before the Dec. shoot.

    Although there is one question I haven't had answered; maybe you can help:
    Q: the unit is listed as being able to handle 1 to 10 kg.
    Does that include the total weight, i.e the sum of the weight of the camera, monitor, and whatever counterweights might be necessary?

  25. Thanks for the quick response. With that in mind, and presuming I go with the Laing vest, can you suggest which arm and stabilizer might be the most appropriate for the cameras/weights I mention, i.e. Panasonic HMC-150 @ 4.3 lbs. +/- , and the Panasonic HVX-200 @ 5.2 lbs. +/-, both with an external 7" Marshall monitor?

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