Tag Archives: Glidecam

115 Comments

I've been fortunate enough to operate many stabilizers over the years, and it's amazing how they continue to improve while at the same time become more affordable. Here's a look at yet another new product - the CAME H4 ultra portable Hand Held Video Stabilizer.

As a bonus, i've taken the time to walk you through the steps on how to balance most hand held stabilizers. During the (lengthy) balancing process in this video, you will learn the importance of many key features that will benefit you when shopping for any stabilizer.

Although you may find cheaper stabilizers on the market, many of them will lack a quick release plate with multiple mounting options, fine tuning knobs, an adjustable Gimbal handle, telescoping post, and folding counterweights. Without these features it would be extremely cumbersome to dial in perfect balance.

Cheesycam CAME H4 Hand Held Stabilizer Top StageCheesycam CAME H4 Hand Held Stabilizer

If you're looking for great example footage from this unit, hang tight i'm still working on this. For now at least I have a short demo in the video above. I can assure you that this CAME H4 Hand Held Stabilizer is as good or better than any portable stabilizer i've used in the past. The CAME H4 build is a combination of Carbon Fiber and Aluminum with a very high quality anodized finish.

For DSLR Cameras relative to the size of a Canon 5D Mark II/MarkIII, the baseplate fits nicely with access to the battery door. The stabilizer folds down to a minimum height of just 12" inches and comes with a padded travel case. For more information, visit the product page at http://CAME-TV.Com

Cheesycam CAME H4 Hand Held Stabilizer Compare
find-price-button CAME H4 Ultra Portable Hand Held Video Stabilizer

You can also find this product available via Amazon (found here) and for International eBay (found here).

74 Comments

When i'm traveling with a stabilizer, my goal is always to travel as light as possible while still being able to pull off long smooth dolly-like shots at my destination. Here's a closer look at the new XCAM Sabre Mini Video Stabilizer that I think addresses those two main points for me.

Off the top of my head, I don't know too many mini stabilizers that offer so many details, while still being able to fit in a travel pouch. The Carbon Fiber Post adds a nice aesthetic and sheds some weight as opposed to the previous version. The larger diameter post is also easier to handle when steering (flying with two hands), but you'll see in the video many times i'm just working with one hand.

The top stage offers a quick release for fast setup and breakdown, and to dial in your center of balance with fine tuning knobs for both left/right and forward/back adjustments. Outside of that, the adjustable Gimbal along the Carbon Fiber post and telescoping lower sled add another dimension to getting perfect balance with different types of cameras.

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Telescoping Sled Supports Heavier Camera Systems

Build quality is very nice and if you're not a fan of the blue anodized finish, the XCAM Sabre is also available in all Black. You can find additional information about the XCAM Sabre at the web listing (found here).

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find-price-button 2013 Version XCAM Sabre Mini Telescoping Stabilizer

15 Comments

Earlier this year, I showed off a Wieldy Stabilizer Vest system that finally met my needs to fly a lightweight camera setup. The vest was able to fly both my simple Canon 5D Mark III as well as my BlackMagic Design Cinema Camera. If you're interested, you can see that original video and article (found here).

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I've been pretty happy with the system, and definitely worth the price for it's performance. Recently they've released a Wieldy Video Stabilizer Vest System version II. The vest has been completely redesigned along with the video stabilizer. (Their early version looks similar to a Glidecam HD4000). The new design of the stabilizer looks much more original, but still uses an adjustable gimbal that slides over a Carbon Fiber post.

Wieldy Vest Stabilizer Kit Video SystemWieldy_StabilizerII_dualArm_vest system

The Dual Arm has also been revamped now with a total of 4 smaller springs as opposed to the older version with 2 large springs. The Dual Arm quick release connection has also been upgraded and appears to have further adjustments at the base of the arm (similar to very high end vests). No real reviews on this product yet, just one random video on the product page. You can find the Wieldy Version II Stabilizer Vest Kits via ebay (click here).

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find-price-button Wieldy II Stabilizer Vest System

Wieldy II Stabilizer Vest Currently Available on eBay



86 Comments

A few others have already received their Wieldy stabilizers and have also posted up little video reviews like YouTube member Nitsan Simantov and YouTube member Chrisbottrellphoto. I received my version quite a while ago, but am only getting to posting something now. Here's a closer look at what these new Wieldy Carbon Fiber Video Camera Stabilizers have to offer.

I compare it side by side against the more expensive Glidecam HD4000 which runs for about $569 (seen here), while this new Carbon Fiber Wieldy can be found for just $250 US (found here). In the video (above) I even show how similar the counterweights are, that they can be exchanged with one another. [Update: I noticed prices have gone up since my purchase]

Screen Shot 2012-11-27 at 11.15.41 PMWieldy stabilizer carbon fiber
find-price-button Wieldy DV Pro Iron Triangle Stabilizer

Besides the affordable price, the new Wieldy has several features the Glidecam HD series stabilizer don't provide such as an adjustable Gimbal, non-rotating sled, and carbon fiber post. Other popular features found on the more expensive Glidecam HD like fine-tuning knobs (trim), adjustable sled weights, and quick release stage has been designed into this Wieldy almost exactly. Overall a great product for the price, and it performs well. Additional information, photos, and other video examples of the Carbon Wieldy Stabilizer in use can be seen following the link to the product page via eBay (Click Here).

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find-price-button Wieldy DV Pro Iron Triangle Stabilizer

You can also find the Wieldy bundled with a dual arm stabilizer from another seller. It's being rebranded under the name 'CAME' (terrible name). A few listings from this seller show the dual arm vest bundled with this same Wieldy Carbon Fiber stabilizer (Click Here).

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find-price-button Dual Arm Support Vest with Carbon Stabilizer

For reference you can find various Glidecam HD Series Stabilizers for sale via B&H (Click Here).
Glidecam HD Stabilizer
find-price-button Glidecam HD1000, HD2000, HD4000 Video Stabilizers

26 Comments

Today I decided to try and balance the Canon 5D Mark III with a Sigma 20mm F/1.8 lens on the Skyler MiniCam. Sorry I don't have any interesting test footage right now, but i'll be shooting something later on today (which is why i'm balancing it). Still very happy I was able to find one of these units used at an affordable price. The form factor is much smaller (and better looking) than the Glidecam HD1000 or even Flycam Nano. Still it can fly just as much weight as either of them. The fine tuning knobs makes it easy to balance, and the tripod design lets you set it down on a flat surface. Can't do that with a Merlin.

You don't need this particular stabilizer to get good results, and i'm able to achieve just as good results from the Flycam Nano or any Glidecam Stabilizer. The benefits to this Skyler MiniCam is it's sex appeal, small form factor, and fine tuning knobs. I personally think it looks 100 times better than the Nano. If it were priced more competitively, this could really sweep the market. Unfortunately at a retail price of $600 dollars, it's targeted to the audience that might be shopping for something as compact as the $800 dollar Steadicam Merlin.

It's not all about running around fast. We use stabilizers to add slow camera movements and eliminate handheld shakes. It's a fast way to get some dynamic camera footage without having to setup sliders and cranes. Here's a few seconds or raw footage from the Canon 5D Mark III with Sigma 20mm on the Skyler MiniCam.

The guys did a good job using very cheap household flood lights for the back lighting, and in the front we used a very cheap DJ Pinspot LED light and balanced the cameras at 6000K (it was very blue). The 100 watt flood light bulbs run about $5 dollars each and were put on a dimmer switch. The DJ Pinspot LED light is used to create a very tight spotlight and we got it on sale for about $35 dollars.

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find-price-button Skyler Mini Video Camera Stabilizer

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find-price-button 100w Outdoor Flood Light

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find-price-button DJ LED Pinspot Lighting

15 Comments

Running around with a Steadicam is possible, but besides tiring out the operator, it's also hard to get rid of that stomping movement. Roller Blades are clever, but it's not something that will travel through grass or gravel. The more popular solution for fast movements with a Steadicam is the Segway (as seen above). A big issue with a Segway (besides cost) is being able to transport this to your location. It's not something you can just throw in the trunk of your car.


Self Balancing Gryo Stabilized - Solo Wheel

So for those who don't plan on spending serious cash on a Segway, check out the new Solo Wheel. It's a self balancing gyro stabilized electric unicycle-like transport that works much the same as a Segway except it's extremely portable.

It can climb fairly steep grades, hit speeds of 10mph, travel a distance of 15-20 miles, and weighs only about 26lbs. Seems very agile, and it would be very interesting to see some Steadicam footage from something like this, but comes in at an $1800 dollar price tag. You can find some additional information on the product page. (click here for Solo Wheel on eBay)

Solo Wheel Steadicam Segway Self Balancing Gryo Stabilized
find-price-button Solo Wheel Self Balancing Gryo Stabilized Wheel

Also available via Amazon ((click here)

25 Comments

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There's a million different little stabilizers on the market, but about a month ago (maybe a bit longer), the Steady Dragon brand upgraded the Gimbal to a universal joint. This type of gimbal provides the maximum amount of range compared to the little Ball-and-Socket type like found in the Hague MMC. The Steady Dragon seems to have all the right parts with front and rear counterweights, side to side weights, and adjustment of the camera forward and back.

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With the optional camera plate, you can also add side to side from the top stage. A Tripod mount is also available so you can dock your camera. There's ways to create your own stabilizer with U-Joint from a Traxxas RC, but If you're not the DIY type, this little stabilizer looks like a good start for small cameras and under a hundred bucks. The Steady Dragon states it's rated to balance cameras just around 3 lbs and you can find some demo videos following the link (click here).

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find-price-button Steady Dragon Video Camera Stabilizer Streadicam

30 Comments

The Skyler MiniCam has been a work in progress floating around the Internet for a very long time, but this is the first time i've seen it available on eBay. A clever little stabilizer which stands on it's own like a tripod, looks to have great build quality, and very simple fine tuning knobs. A 1/4-20 thread under the stabilizer allows you to mount it on a Monopod so that you can don't need to dismount your camera.

Skyler MiniCam stabilizerSkycam MiniCam Stabilizer

Unfortunately the asking price of over $620 dollars is a big umm..'heck no' for me. It's too bad they couldn't get the Skyler under the $200 dollar price tag, I think it could be a hit. I guess if you want to compare the price to an $800 dollar Steadicam Merlin, it's not looking so bad, but there's so many more stabilizer options now for under $300 dollars. If you're still curious, there's some additional demo videos of the Skyler MiniCam stabilizer in use over at the auction page (click here).

Skyler MiniCam StabilizerSkyler Mini Camera Stabilizer
find-price-button Skyler Mini DSLR Video Camera Stabilizer Steadicam

24 Comments

Steadicam-Merlin-Pilot-Vest-Fix

Preparing for a last minute shoot today, I found my Steadicam Merlin Vest had cracked on the upper chest piece. Crap. The quick fix for me today was to use the top portion of the Konova Vest and mate it with the Steadicam Merlin Arm (which is held on with the waist area). There was a bit of hackery, drilling, and modding, but it managed to all come together in the end. The reason I needed to stick with the Steadicam ISO Arm is because the rig I had already built up was fairly lightweight. The Konova requires a good payload to be effective, but the Steadicam arm can be dialed to fly lighter sleds. So for today's shoot i'm Frankenstein-ed out with a vest that consists of a Konova Chest Piece, Steadicam Arm, and Glidecam sled...

Steadicam Vest Konova Glidecam Stabilizer Fix Repair