Tag Archives: glidecam hd4000

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Some people want to stick with big brand names - nothing with wrong with that. So if you're looking for my suggestion in this area, one of my favorite Stabilizer + Vests combinations still to this day is the hybrid Steadicam Merlin Vest + Glidecam HD4000 Stabilizer.

Obviously the Glidecam Stabilizer can be used without a Vest, when you just need to fly hand held. If you need the extra support for long hours of Steadicam work, you can mount the Glidecam to the Steadicam Merlin Vest (with an adapter).

Glidecam-HD4000-1
find-price-button Glidecam HD4000 Video Camera Stabilizer

The ISO ARM on the Merlin Vest can be dialed to fly both lightweight cameras as well as medium weight camera systems. This is a true 'Steadicam' branded vest, and build quality on the ISO Arm is top notch. Typically this vest runs $1600 dollars (some retailers still list this price), but recently it's been discounted for just $995 $849 (found here).

Steadicam Merlin Vest Kit
find-price-button Steadicam MERLIN-ARMVESTPK Upgrade Kit for Merlin $995

Now i'm not a fan of the Velcro straps on the actual vest part. So the only other thing I highly suggest getting is the Buckle Upgrade Kit (found here). This little kit will get rid of those nasty velcro straps that are both noisy and will eventually wear out. You can find that kit below (click here).

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find-price-button Steadicam Merlin Vest Buckle Upgrade Kit

So if you're working with the Glidecam HD4000 (or similar post) Stabilizer, to mate the two you can either DIY an adapter (as seen here), or you can pick up a ready made post from Berkey designed specifically for this Hybrid setup. Here's a link to the adapter required to allow the Glidecam Stabilizers to work with this Steadicam Merlin Vest.

Steadicam Merlin Glidecam Mod PostSteadicam Glidecam Post
find-price-button Berkey Glidecam Post Adapter to Steadicam Merlin Vest

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Thanks to Rob for pointing out another one of those hidden Canon lens deals. This time it's for the Canon 10-22mm F/3.5-4.5 USM Lens. Keep in mind this is an EF-S mount for APS-C Canon cameras like the Canon 7D, 60D, T4i/T5i Rebel, etc.

It can also be used if you're rocking the BlackMagic Cinema Camera EF mount, or to get a wider view with cameras like the Pocket Cinema Camera (3X crop) & Panasonic GH3 with a smart adapter like the Redrock Micro LiveLens MFT Active Lens Mount.

Not the widest, nor does it have a constant fixed aperture, but it's a very sharp lens. Typically with these wide lenses, I'm always stopping down to F/5.6 anyways for Stabilizer use. Here's a 3 year old uncut BTS example of this Canon 10-22mm lens at work on a 60D with a Glidecam HD4000.

Normal MSRP puts this lens at $649 minus -$50 instant rebate, but as you proceed to the checkout (you must proceed to checkout to see price change) it drops down to just $529 (found here).

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find-price-button Canon EF-S Wide Angle 10-22mm F/3.5-4.5 USM Lens

FYI, there's also a checkout discount for the Canon 85mm F/1.8 Prime USM Lens. This lens will work on both APS-C and Full Frame Canon cameras. Following the checkout shows the price dropping it down to just $334.99 (found here)

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find-price-buttonCanon 85mm F/1.8 USM Prime Lens
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For those who wanted a better look at the Flycam Armbrace, here's a quick little show and tell. The Flycam Armbrace
is used to help carry some of the weight of a stabilizer off the wrist. Glidecam also sells a Forearm Brace (seen here), but it's bit more expensive and looks like it will only fit on the Glidecam due to the larger OD on the post.

One common question is 'Does the Flycam Armbrace work with the Glidecam?'. The answer is 'YES' the Flycam Armbrace does work with BOTH the Flycam and Glidecam HD1000, HD2000, and HD4000 stabilizers. It uses a smaller OD on top and steps to a larger OD for the bottom of the post (as seen in the video). Coincidence? You be the judge. Using an arm brace will help relieve some weight from the wrist, but keep in mind that it will not solve the weight carried from the Bicep and the stabilizer will still be just as heavy. The Flycam Forearm Arm brace can be found via eBay (click here).

Flycam-Armbrace
find-price-button Flycam Forearm Arm Brace for Flycam and Glidecam HD Stabilizer

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I get it. Sometimes you fly a stabilizer around and need to take a pause for a long static shot. These things can get quite heavy, so being able to stand on it's own could be beneficial for event shooters. Varizoom offers a Monopod / Stabilizer called the FlowPod (seen here), but when used as a stabilizer, it didn't really work out very well. Varizoom also makes a Crossfire Stabilizer (seen here) that doubles as a small Tripod too. None of them I think work very well, mainly because of the Gimbal setup they are using.

Varizoom-FlowPod
find-price-button
Varizoom FlowPod Stabilizer Monopod
Varizoom-Crossfire
find-price-button
Varizoom Crossfire Stabilizer Tripod

Wondlan also recently showed a Carbon Stabilizer that can be extended to work as a monopod, and they used a better Gimbal system like the Glidecam type stabilizers. I think they fell short a bit here because the sled was a little too small. If you think you need a stabilizer that doubles as a stand, here YouTube member NitsanPictures shows how it could be possible to modify your own with a Glidecam, and possibly even the Flycam by connecting to the 1/4" female thread under the post. It seems to work pretty good, but I think there are other Monopod designs that would make it easier to telescope when needed. [Thanks Nitsan] If you guys haven't seen a Glidecam Stabilizer in use, check out some of my old videos.

Glidecam HD1000 Demo:
HD1000 Demo

Glidecam HD4000 Demo:
HD4000 Glidecam Demo

Glidecam-HD1000-HD2000-HD4000
find-price-button Glidecam HD1000 HD2000 HD4000 Stabilizers

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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.

Konova Vest Arm
Konova DSLR Video Camera Stabilizer on eBay

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[Video and Audio are terrible. Shot with a cheap Point and Shoot]

Not sure if the post shows up, but it's about 1:00 a.m. (in the morning). I received a super last minute call to help out with some Glidecam work on an event. So I decided to hack something up which I think would be helpful. When flying on this Glidecam i'm closing down the aperture to keep things in focus. This means less light. So I decided to mod a few RC batteries together to power up the 352 LED Ring Light. It's bright, it's well diffused, and it's dimmable. It's the perfect light source for what i'm trying to achieve during this event. [BTW the light at the end of this video is turned all the way down - it gets brighter!]

In order to mount the large 352 LED Ring light, I needed to raise up the 60D with a battery grip and then place it on top of a Calumet quick release adapter. A few flexible power arms kept the LED Ring light mounted and also the Rode VideoMic Pro in place. With the 60D Manual Audio + Rode VideoMic Pro +20db, it sounds really good. Anyways, this rig might be overkill so I also balanced out my 7D on the Glidecam HD1000 for times I don't need lighting or audio. Ok, time to nap. Could be a long day...

dimmable-352-ring-light
find-price-button 352 LED Ring Light with 12V AC Adapter

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Thanks to Pierre on Vimeo for sharing this bit of information. I believe the company is called L'AIGLE which if my French isn't too rusty means "The Eagle". Ok i'm lying, it's translated on their website and I double checked on Google Translate. LOL. This particular DSLR stabilizer is called the 'Titan'. The Titan goes from hand held stabilizer into a folded camera shoulder support. Looks pretty cool, and the website offers a bunch of different upgrades and options, with even more confusing price packages. I'm thinking it's going to run a pretty penny since they even threw in some very expensive words like Carbon Fiber, Titanium, Tungsten Carbide, and Aluminum.

From the video it looks like it's pretty quick to setup with a bunch of fine tuning options. Most of these methods to balance are very similar to the Steadicam Merlin stabilizer, including changing the size of the arc. Changing the arc on these types of stabilizers shifts the weight further from the Gimbal making it more bottom heavy without adding additional weights. Being able to adjust this minutely is key to getting perfect balance.

eagle-video-stabilizer-vest-armgoonies-data

Instead of going for the vest, they've got a beefy waist belt that could be used for some interesting POV shots, JK!. If the belt works, it would be more comfortable to hide under a jacket, hmm..where did I see this before?

eagle-stabilizershoulder-mount

All in all it looks like a quality made stabilizer with lots of thought and design. I'm still going to say that it doesn't have the range and flexibility as the Glidecam HD stabilizers i'm using. For a few reasons, you can't rotate 360 degrees, run while tilting the stabilizer, and if you dare - flip it upside down! I flipped mine taking advantage of the Canon 60D articulating LCD screen. Very handy for Steadicam Stuff. If you think that all sounds like too much to ask, check out some of my ''amateur techniques'' (i'm no professional) with the Glidecam HD 4000 Product and Steadicam Merlin Vest.


[Thanks again Matt for letting me use the BTS footage]

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It was a scorching hot day yesterday, but the bright sun helped bring in some light into this old unused factory. There was no electricity so the band rented a 5000 watt generator for the shoot. We had full run of the entire abandoned lot which was awesome. This place was huge with several buildings over 8 stories high and had so much texture of steel, brick, and concrete. Sitting right off the water, the place was just so large, we didn't get to see everything. The entire area is private, fenced off, with 24 hour security so we were able to just leave stuff everywhere. I'd love to get back there and shoot again if I could. Would be a perfect setting for a horror film, that's for sure.

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We started indoors with some really slow camera movements on the DIY track. It could have used another saw horse down the center for some additional stability, but worked fine for just slow movements. Going faster, it wanted to flex. We also did a bit of Crane shooting and later threw in some really close up hand held beauty shots of the band.

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We moved up to the roof in the late afternoon, and to really show off the height we were at, slung a Canon 60D on a crane over the side of the building. A bit scary, but it should be a really cool looking swing from over the side of the building back onto the roof. Hopefully that went pretty smooth, but from what we can see on the LCD it came out great.

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Next we went down to the outside grounds for a walking Steadicam Shot. The band followed the camera slowly while singing to the music. With the Canon 60D articulating LCD, I was able to walk forward and let the band frame themselves by looking into the LCD. They were able to monitor themselves and stay in frame, while I concentrated on not falling over or tripping on anything.

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I'll get the video footage once the editor hands them back, and show some of the shots we did. The Steadicam looked really great with the Canon 10-22mm Lens I rented and had all this space to run around in. Flying through a wide open room with large glass windows and concrete pillars everywhere had a very cool flying effect. I have to admit that with the changes in light, using the white balance on the 60D was much more effective than trying to set it on the T2i (which was being used for some BTS video). The 3 Canon 60D's worked really well and meshes closer to the workings of the 7D than a T2i. Definitely a great camera to work with. Now that i'm done with this project, I may sell one of them, but tempted to keep them both!

[Thanks to Matt for grabbing these BTS photos while we were running around in the heat]

Related Articles:
http://cheesycam.com/canon-60d-video-stabilizer-first-flight-glidecam-hd4000/
http://cheesycam.com/glidecam-hd4000-bts-with-canon-60d-steadicam-vest/

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