Skyler Mini Balancing Sony NEX-7 Canon FD 20mm

That's a Sony NEX-7 with Canon FD 20mm lens balanced with a Skyler Mini stabilizer (above). It's got all the right micro adjustment fine tuning knobs found in all the right places.The Glidecam HD has only fine tuning knobs on the top stage, but the Skyler stabilizer also has a micro adjustment for the sliding post so you can micro adjust the counterweight. There's a quick release plate on top so that you can dismount or mount your camera quickly without having to re-balance each time. I was able to find this one used at a great price, and i'm glad I did. The only thing I'm noticing is that I might have a slightly older version. The one seen in the product pages shows another counter weight adjustment at the bottom and another adjustment on the top stage. Luckily I didn't need this to balance my camera, but i'm sure it would make it easier for other setups.


Demo Video with Skyler MiniCam Stabilizers

Build quality it top notch, comes with some spare parts too. I have only had a few hours with it, but I can confirm that the footage you see in the above demo is indeed easily achievable. The Skyler comes with several stacking weights and can support even larger DSLR cameras. The handle is a bit short, and you have to position it differently than with the Glidecam or Flycam stabilizers. Although the Gimbal is small, it's extremely smooth. While I have problems balancing a stock GH2 on the Flycam without having to add more weight to the top, the Skyler seems to take these lightweight cameras quite well. I'm working on getting some close up videos of the little parts and sample footage of the Skyler in use.

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find-price-button Skyler Mini Video Camera Stabilizer



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22 thoughts on “Skyler Mini Balancing Sony NEX-7 Canon FD 20mm

  1. Jonas

    Thanks for answering my questions!
    It looks at least approachable (I have not tried stabilizers before)
    then many others

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  3. Emm

    Post author

    @Jonas - It will slide a Canon with a normal lens, but it's still not going to be as heavy duty as the larger Konova K5 or larger Varavon sliders.

  4. Jonas

    so I guess a Canon mark II with a normal still lens would not be too heavy for this? can you put your own release plate system on a stabilizer without compromising stability?

  5. Jerry also

    One of the shooters in that 2nd (parcour) demo is better than the other, including minimizing sway, though this isn't the best subject against which to assess it. It would be interesting to learn what this things weighs, esp since mfgr bills it as the lightest; I can't seem to find this info.

  6. Jerry also

    @Rob -- maybe the demonstrator wasn't up to the job... I'm wondering what Emm can get out of it.

  7. Rob

    Thanks for adding that demo video. It does a decent job for it's size, but it does seem to rock a bit like a boat. More ballast would help steady that rocking.

  8. Emm

    Post author

    @mike_tee_vee - So far I find it easier. I'm working on some samples, but i'm very impressed so far. Too bad mine is the older version, would love to have had the newer one with the other weight adjustments.

  9. @rafael - The ergonomics of the Glidecam style stabilizers is what turned me off of them too. I handled a couple at the local shops and even without a camera on them my wrist started to ache.

    I was wary of buying an eBay stabilizer as my needs are for event videography where I need to know for sure I can trust the gear.

    I opted for the Camera Motion Research Blackbird because it handles just like a Merlin (some say better than) for half the price at the expense of some portability. I've shown it off to some of my more experienced friends and the number one comment is how much easier it is to get set up than a Merlin despite having more adjustments (they also really dig the kick stand). The full kit, which comes with every accessory you could imagine (except the vest) in a padded carry case is still about $200 less than the Merlin.

    The Glidecam style has it's merits too but fatigue was too big of a downside for me.

  10. rafael

    Ok, The last few months or better saying, in one year, we saw a lot of new products ("glidecams") in the market. I have the glidecam HD 2000 working with a 7D/5D body which I use with the 24mm and 14mm. The downsize of that is the pain in our wrist after 20 seconds of operation, unless you have the vest, but that is ridiculous pricey. So, my question is:
    With all these new "glidecams" in the market, which one is really great and worth the buck? Is the Merlin still the best option at 800.00?

  11. @Emm - You got it! I love that feature. The Blackbird also comes with a spacer which can be inserted above the gimbal rasing REALLY light cameras (under 1 pound) up even further. My XA10 won't fly without the spacer.

    I'm still figuring out all the adjustments...I may never stop fiddling with it. Though that's not a bad thing. The first time out of the box I was able to get it balanced with a good drop time in about 15 minutes...and I'd never touched a stabilizer of any style before that day.

  12. Rob

    Thanks for the video! The side-to-side and front-to-back tests look good, but to my eyes it looks very bottom heavy.

    In your drop test it takes 1/2 second to go from the horizontal position to vertical (the standard 90 degree drop test). That's really quick, and to be sure a tiny bit of that is because you start it a full 180 degrees off normal and objects in motion....

    In contrast, a properly set up Merlin takes about 1 1/2 seconds. Here's Garrett Brown explaining: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iF6TAEmVldY (note he says his test was about 1 second, but I timed it in my NLE and it's actually 1 1/2 seconds). I've always balanced my setups with a minimum drop of 1 1/2 seconds.

    The longer the drop time, the more control one has. With the way it is set up in the video, I'd find it very hard to control correctly; seems like it would easily oversteer. Now that could just be the way this device is (in which case it isn't worth the coin, even at half the price). Or it could be the way you've set it up. Am curious to know which it is.

  13. Emm

    Post author

    @Al36 - Stated in my article, I bought it used for a much lower price. Mine seems to be an older version as it's slightly different.

  14. Al36

    In your post in January you said this thing was a "big heck no" for you due to the high price- what changed?

  15. Emm

    Post author

    @DaveT - The BlackBird and Merlin allow you to unscrew the Gimbal / Handle. As you unscrew the handle a bit, it gets further (or closer) to the camera. That's the same principle to raising or lowering the camera from the center of balance.

  16. So expensive! That's more than my Blackbird and my Blackbird will fly any size camera. It sure is sexy though.

    The trick I learned from the Blackbird is that you don't have to add weight to the top if you can just raise the camera up. Moving the weight of the camera higher above the gimbal can give you the same effect.

  17. Emm

    Post author

    @Apostolos - Not sure how much more weight I add, but I do add washers on the hotshoe. The batteries i'm using for these LED lights actually came with the LED lights, and have been using them since. The run times are still longer than an hour. Not sure about a very specific seller with good aftermarket batteries. I know B&H carries an aftermarket brand called Pearstone, but those are still expensive. The cheaper ones you can find somewhere under $10 bucks.

  18. I noticed you said in your last reply on that other thread, that with the Nano and the GH1/GH2 you needed to put "more weight on top." Like how much more weight? And in the form of what, metal washers?

    And on another side question. Since you put that rebranded Polaroid 312 in my radar, I now would have to buy some of those NFP type Sony batteries. I sold the last ones I had when I sold my FX1. But I remember the quality of the aftermarket ones from China on Ebay varies wildly. Some are okay some are pure junk. Do you have any seller from whom you've been getting those batteries with consistent okay results? How about a seller for aftermarket seller for GH1/GH1 batteries.

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