Tag Archives: video stabilizer

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Last weekend, SatoStudios let me tag along out to a small car meet. They wanted to test out the CAME 7000 3 Axis gimbal Stabilizer I had built a few months ago. As a first time operator of this gimbal, here's a bit of the BTS footage Mike was able to pull off with his 5D Mark III + Canon 16-35mm.

Throughout the day the gimbal had it's share of issues, but when it was time to work it performed very well. If you notice from the video, it was fairly windy that day and the unit was not prone to swaying. Talking to Mike after the show, he's definitely sold on what gimbals can offer, but there are many quirks you have to be comfortable with.

DIY 3 Axis Gimbal CAME 7000 Calibrate Alexmos CAME 7000 3 Axis Gimbal Instruction Setup Program Software Cheesycam
find-price-button CAME 7000 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

If you're working with one camera + lens combo, you're good. If you have to do lens changes throughout the day, it takes time to rebalance. It's also not something you can just disassemble and throw in a backpack. When you're not actively shooting with it, you have to be mindful about carrying it around. It's also helpful to have an extra pair of hands (assistant) or a place to dock the Gimbal, as you physically can't hold the stabilizer while performing maintenance.

I'm definitely going to install an ON/OFF switch, as having to disconnect the battery throughout the day quickly became annoying. I'm also going to find the slimmest QR adapter available as changing camera batteries took time as we had to remount and rebalance.

So as a quick summary, gimbals are great and anyone who uses it for the first time will immediately be impressed. I will continue to use gimbals, and hopefully upgrade to more expensive gimbal systems as they become available. It's a different tool that can do what other tools can't, but you should not consider this a replacement for every other stabilizer, jib, or dolly system on the market. If you're thinking about building one, here's my first impressions article: http://cheesycam.com/came-7000-3-axis-gimbal-first-impression-and-demo-video/

There's more footage from the gimbal that is yet to be released from the show, but you can also follow via instagram @satostudios

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instagram logoFollow @SatoStudios via Instagram

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This new adjustable shoulder camera stabilizer, is a simple design. A pad that wraps over the shoulder combined with a long chest plate supports the weight of your camera. An adjustable / rotatable stage with support handle positions the camera. Simple but effective, especially for super small video cameras.

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Now the unusual feature is what looks like a compass (if i'm correct). If you require a compass to navigate to what you need to shoot, I don't think you should be allowed to handle a camera. Now if it were an electronic touch screen GPS navigator, that might be a different story. I wonder what would happen if you hacked two of these together (one on each shoulder). Fairly new, but you can find the shoulder support stabilizer on eBay (click here)

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find-price-button Video Camera Shoulder Support Stabilizer w/ Compass?

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Anyone know much about ASXMOV? It's another Steadicam like vest and Stabilizer kit. Pretty poor old school demo video (above), but none-the-less somewhat effective. A single unit shows up online with total pricing on the kit (including shipping), cost about $1100 less than Wondlan's new Leopard stuff.

ASXMOV
find-price-button ASXMOV Video Camera Stabilizer Vest Kit

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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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Canon 60D on Jag35 Full Shoulder Rig

It's Jag35's DSLR Full Shoulder Rig. Jag35.com long ago, was a DIY Video website now, and has now grown into a company focusing more on actually manufacturing and reselling affordable and professional video equipment. With the trend, there's no doubt that they have a full line of DSLR related equipment from Shoudler Rigs, to Follow Focus systems, LCD view Finders, Cages, Monitors, Batteries, and more.

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Monitor X - Jag35 Magnified DSLR LCD View Finder

This Jag35 Full DSLR Shoulder Rig comes with industry standard 15mm rods to expand with other accessories. The rig comes with a simple configuration of clamps, handles, contoured shoulder pad, an offset design for DSLR's, and counter weight for balance and extra stability. Like most affordable DSLR rigs, it was designed to have the most important features you'll need for a stable shoot. Wide spread handles (adjustable of course), comfortable shoulder padding, and counter weight. It's not a bad looking rig, and it's an all aluminum build, but unlike the top players - this one leaves off unnecessary aesthetics to keep things more affordable as a starter. What do I mean by this? Well for instance, the handles aren't anything special, but they work like handles should. If you want something more substantial, you're welcome to upgrade them from another company since the rods can accept any industry standard clamp. The counter weight is also something we've come to recognize, but that just makes it all more affordable, while still blending in with the OEM. Who needs to pay three times the price for flashy high polished stainless weights? Sometimes you just need to get the job done.

I've never been a fan of the orange color, but it's not bright as it seems on the web. It's more of a metallic copper. The friends that came to see the rig actually liked the color, but hey everyone's different. I do like the extra time they put into black on black rods, a few of the rod clamps, and handles. The black is also a more matte finish than the Gini rods if you like the flat finished look. The foam padding on the shoulder rest is a full 1" thick and fairly dense to support the weight. There is quite a bit of brand recognition going on here which might not appeal to some. Every little knob and every clamp is covered with a Jag35 button like badge. I'm missing the top handle, and this is the base setup. There is a whopping (count them) "17" Jag35 Logos on this rig. I'm hoping that didn't add to additional costs in any way, i'd rather save a few bucks than to have so many logos stuck everywhere you turn.

It's been great so far, but then again why wouldn't it be? It's a solid rig, with great craftsmanship, and one of the more affordable setup's out there with what many say comes with top notch customer service. It's got all the important features you'll need for a long steady shoot. For now, you can get more information on pricing with optional upgrades and accessories available at the web page here: Jag35 DSLR Full Shoulder Rig

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find-price-button Jag35 DSLR Full Shoulder Rig

If you're looking for something even more affordable, Jag35 also offers another starter rig that you can build on, called the FieldRunner.
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find-price-button Jag35's Affordable DSLR FieldRunner Shoulder Rig

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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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@MunkiCloud checked out the DIY Point and Shoot video stabilizer I made for my Canon SX210 and modified it to mount the new iPhone 4. For a walking and panning shot, I think this DIY Stabilizer for that iPhone 4 came out great. Sometimes it takes a bit of 'dialing in' on how much weight to use and how far to spread those weights. Practicing if you've never used any type of stabilizer is also key. So before you drop down about $900 bucks for an iPhone Cinema Kit, you might have better video results with this DIY stabilizer for probably under $10 bucks...

You can find MunkiCloud's full write up here, and more information on my DIY Video Stabilizer for small Point and Shoots found in my article here.

iphone video stabilizer munkicloud cheesycam

Above: Adapter for iPhone on DIY Point and Shoot Stabilizer

Below: Images of my DIY Point and Shoot Stabilizer

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Looks like Vimeo member Choon Ean, was doing a bit of research into a handheld stabilizer and chose one I recommended for lightweight cameras. Thanks for the plug on my stabilizer video Choon Ean!

She does an excellent job showing off the capabilites of this stabilizer with lightweight gear such as the Panasonic GH1 + 20mm lens. She also does an impressive job of switching hands several times to show how stable the video can be maintained. I'm not sure how long she's been 'flying' this camera, but she sure looks like a pro. You can find prices for the Hague Mini Camera Stabilizer here.

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click image to buy

Check out the Lensse modeled exactly like the Hague.
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Check out the Stabilizer from IndieHardware. This one brags to be much better than the Hague, possibly in size, and gimbal rotation. It does look pretty beefy.
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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

Glidecam-HD2000
find-price-button Glidecam HD 2000 Medium Sized Glidecam HD DSLR Video Camera Stabilizer

Glidecam-HD4000
find-price-button Glidecam HD-4000 Largest Glidecam HD DSLR Video Camera Stabilizer

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