Tag Archives: Hague

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Cameras are getting smaller and lighter. People are attempting to fly GoPro's and iPhones on Steadicams. For lightweight cameras including Sony's A55, Panasonic GH2's, or Canon T2is, here's a simple DIY DSLR Steadicam (merlin style) stabilizer idea from Vimeo member KFLeung. There isn't much tooling required, it's more of an assembly of readily available pieces which combined provides you with a framework, gimbal handle, and counterweight for a camera Stabilizer. Starting with an inexpensive Flip Flash Bracket. These brackets are made for photographers to mount a Flash above the camera. When the camera is rotated in either landscape or portrait position, you can flip the flash so it still remains above the camera (i.e. to bounce light from a ceiling). This video is actually about 3 years old, but there are still several people using this method with good results.

KFLeung's first test video posted after the build

The Gimbal (handle) is based on a mini tripod with ball head so that it swivels freely. Getting a good fluid mini tripod is key to having smooth movements.

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A really simple method to creating a 3 axis Gimbal Handle most people don't think about is to literally take a mini ball head and throw it on top of a Barska Handgrip. This setup adds some size, but is extremely comfortable and acts as a decently effective Gimbal Handle system. (I can see many of your minds already at work with that idea...)

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Mini Ball Head
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BARSKA Grip

The arch design of the bracket gives space for your hand to work, while providing an area to mount a counterweight below. At this area, you can use simple Fender Washers like most Hague or Indiehardware stabilizers. When you're done, the stabilizer folds into a small form factor.

Flip Folding Flash Bracket
find-price-button Folding Flip Flash Bracket

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Vimeo member Satva Leung shares a Flycam Nano stabilizer test with me. It's pretty nice to see someone fairly new to stabilizers get great results, especially from such a cheap piece of equipment. Flying a Canon T2i + Tokina 11-16mm (same lens I used on a few tests), check out the results. I haven't flown my cameras around in a while, I think next week i'll take the GH2 or GF2 out for a spin with the Flycam Nano. [Thanks Satva]

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find-price-button Flycam Nano DSLR Video Camera Stabilizer


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find-price-button Tokina 11-16mm Wide Angle Zoom

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Vimeo member Carl throws up a demo video with the Canon T2i on Hague MMC video stabilizer. Something i've shown a while so nothing new there. Jump on over to 2:18 in the video and you find out how Carl balances the GoPro and iPhone properly. I've always said if your camera is too light for the stabilizer, you need to add weight to the top. Carl achieves this by adding a small Manfrotto tripod which works well for weight and adds the function of a quick release adapter. Now that the GoPro has an LCD BacPac, we could start seeing more GoPro Flying. Watch out Tiffen Smoothee, the cheaper Hague MMC with some small mods can easily balance a Flip, GoPro, iPhone and more...[Thanks Carl]


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find-price-button Hague Mini-Motion Cam Video Stabilizer

Now Carl does an excellent job with the Hague MMC, but i've used this stabilizer before and there's other (better and cheaper) options. The Hague is higher priced than the IndieHardware which I reviewed against the Hague MMC not so long ago. You can definitely save a few clams if you considered the IndieHardware over the Hague for your lightweight cameras.


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find-price-button IndieHardware Camera Stabilizer

If you're really interested in flying a GoPro, you should also check out another version of these type of stabilizers from Lensse. Probably just as good if not better than the rest with a price that sits in between. There's also a smaller version offered by Lensse dedicated to small Cell Phones (iPhones) or PDA's. Right now Lensse is trying to grab some marketshare and some items are being auctioned off starting at .99 cents. These small stabilizers already designed to work with an iPhone without any further modification, just might be good enough for the GoPro too. A deal hard to pass up..

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find-price-button Lensse i-Steady Camera Stabilizers

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I've talked about this particular video camera stabilizer before, and have been suggesting it to many people. In my older posts i've always shown demo videos of other people using this Flycam Nano stabilizer. This time around, i'm actually doing the demo. It's an affordable stabilizer with a Gimbal bearing handle that has more range of motion than the Hague MMC or IndieHardware. It's more expensive than the IndieHardware and about the same price of the Hague (if not cheaper) depending on where you live and shipping costs. It can also carry much more weight than both the Hague MMC and IndieHardware stabilizer. The design is similar to the Glidecam series of stabilizers, and it's possible it can carry the same weight as the Glidecam HD1000 which is 3 times the price.

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Flycam Nano next to Glidecam HD4000

The Flycam Nano is a cheaper stabilizer not only because it's coming from overseas manufacturing, but also because it doesn't spend on fancy aesthetics. The weights used on the sled (lower tray) of the stabilizer are just large washers with a wing-nut and bolt combo. The finish of the whole unit looks like it's some type of hard flat black paint as opposed to higher end units that use a flat black anodizing process. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing that feels like plastic. It appears to be an all metal rig. Unlike the the Glidecam HD1000 there are also no simple fine tuning knobs. To balance this stabilizer, you'll need to loosen all the thumb screws, shift the plates, recheck and try again if it's still off. With any stabilizer, this could be a time consuming and frustrating process especially for those who aren't familiar with balancing a stabilizer. For myself who has balanced many other stabilizers, it took me less than a minute. Of course, the first time I balanced a Glidecam it literally took me several hours. I've learned to understand what to look for when balancing my cameras, and practice makes perfect.

I'm very impressed with this stabilizer and the amount of weight it can carry. I'm only using 5 of the weights on each side and the unit shipped with 10 on each side. With the amount of weight I have on there now, it doesn't feel like the unit is struggling. I'm flying the Canon 60D with a Sigma 20mm Prime lens. The Flycam Nano I ordered also came with several extra parts including extra rubber feet and wing nuts. It was packaged nicely in a box of solid foam with cut outs. There are a few parts on the unit i'm planning to upgrade like the screws that hold the weights, and changing out the wing nuts to fancier clamp knobs. There's also a small hex screw that holds the top stage to the post that seems to work it's way loose after a while. A simple lock washer will prevent this from coming loose. It also lacks any type of quick release system to remove your camera when traveling. I'll be placing a Quick release adapter to the top of this unit.

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Minimal Parts for easy Travel

It's super compact and if you decide to take it apart will fit into a small bag. It's a really fun stabilizer, and i'm hoping to shoot something worth watching. If you have any questions for me at this point, leave them in the comments section. You can also check out the earlier related posts showing more examples of the Flycam Nano in use.

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find-price-button Flycam Nano DSLR Video Camera Stabilizer

Related Articles:
http://cheesycam.com/flycam-nano-now-available/

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After Benson caught my test on the IndieHardware stabilizer parking lot demo, he decided to dive in and give the IndieHardware Stabilizer with a Canon HV20 combination a try. I would have to say that his footage is slightly more interesting than mine if you're into tens of thousands of women in tiny bikini's waving at the camera. Other than that, I think my test and his are a close match. LOL.

One thing that I was completely confused about, was that I didn't see more than one DSLR camera carrying person in this video. WT? That's like twilight zone type weird for any event. Or maybe my eyes were just forced elsewhere in the video, I just missed it. If you're still undecided on a stabilizer or are looking into the IndieHardware Video Stabilizer, check out the footage above. To me it looks like it could be just slightly off weight, but a really good first test for sooooo much walking in the heat. Thanks Benson.

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click to find prices

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Wow pretty overwhelming day already. Just received the Tiffen Steady Stick and the Glidecam HD1000 I posted about earlier. The Steady Stick isn't really anything fancy and pretty straight forward about how it works. I will run through some of the details of their build quality and features a little. The Glidecam HD1000 is really the one I want to dig into. It's much more expensive and quite large than say a Hague or IndieHardware (which i'm reviewing today), but it's just another option in the line of moving DSLR stabilizers I wanted to share with everyone. Hopefully i'll get these video reviews knocked out soon enough.

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I posted about this Hague Mini Motion Camera Stabilizer earlier in my blogs, but I just thought I'd share with everyone what a Canon T2i looks like when balanced on the Hague. Now that high quality HD Video cameras are smaller, the Hague MMC is one good option. This stabilizer will only fly the weight of a Canon T2i with 18-55mm kit lens and nothing more. You can find the Hague MMC on eBay (click here)

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find-price-button Mini Camera Stabilizer

One stabilizer that pretty much resembles the Hague MMC but which is a bit cheaper is the MidX (found here).
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find-price-button MidX Camera Stabilizer

Other Small Video DSLR Camera Stabilizers
If you're planning on Flying something a bit heavier, the next best option would be the Flycam Nano. You can see how well this stabilizer flies in this video (click here). This is what I feel the best bang for the buck. It can easily fly a Canon 5D Mark II or Canon 7D with a Tokina 11-16mm lens. You can find the Flycam Nano online (click here).

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find-price-button The Flycam Nano

One feature that the Flycam Nano lacks is what are called 'fine tuning knobs'. These knobs are available in some stabilizers for you to quickly and easily get your camera in balance. You simply turn the small knobs and the camera will shift slightly left / right, or shift slightly forward and back. If you need to be quick about getting a camera ready to fly, the Glidecam HD series are the best bet. For small cameras similar to what the Flycam Nano can fly, you'll want to look into the Glidecam HD1000 stabilizer. You can find one of my demo videos (click here). The Glidecam HD1000 is the smallest of Glidecam stabilizers under the HD2000 and HD4000 which can all be found online (click here).

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find-price-button Glidecam Stabilizers

If you're looking to beef up your Camera by adding a battery grip, LED light, or Microphones and need something to carry more weight, the next step up (price wise) would be the Glidecam HD2000-HD4000 stabilizers. You can find the different Glidecam HD models available here. They are all basically the same design, just different sizes to support different weight cameras. You can probably get away with the smallest one, but if you plan on adding something like an LED video light (like this one) , you might want to get the larger Glidecam HD2000 or HD4000. I personally own several different stabilizers, but here's a BTS video with the HD4000 (click here).

In your search for Glidecam stabilizers, you might run into the Pro versions. These will also work great and the difference in the Pro series of Glidecam stabilizers is mainly the lack of 'Fine Tuning Knobs'. They will balance fairly heavy loads and if you don't require the fine tune knobs you can find many of these used for cheap prices (click here). Getting back to the Glidecam HD series of stabilizers, you can find more information about how much weight each stabilizer can carry, along with prices following the links below.

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find-price-button Glidecam HD 1000 Smallest Glidecam HD DSLR Video Camera Stabilizer

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find-price-button Glidecam HD 2000 Medium Sized Glidecam HD DSLR Video Camera Stabilizer

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find-price-button Glidecam HD-4000 Largest Glidecam HD DSLR Video Camera Stabilizer

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