XCam 2013 FL Mini Tripod Stabilizer

The Skyler MInicam is probably my most favorite little travel video stabilizer. It might look small, but for reference, I often fly a small Sony NEX, to a mid-sized GH3, and up to a large Canon 5D Mark III. The original Skyler Minicam stabilizer has typically been out of reach for many as it lists for over $450 dollars (found here on eBay)

Skyler Minicam
find-price-button Skyler MiniCam Video Camera Stabilizer

We've seen other products that share a similar design to the Skyler, but this new 2013 XCam version has an improved bearing gimbal that is said to be smoother and now offers the folding leg design making it easier to pack and travel. The top stage still offers a quick release plate and fine tuning knobs making it easier to find the center of balance. The new <XCam 2013 Mini video Stabilizer is offered at just $238 via eBay (click here)

XCam Mini StabilizerXcam stabilizer
find-price-button XCam 2013 FL Mini Hand Held Video Stabilizer







32 thoughts on “XCam 2013 FL Mini Tripod Stabilizer

  1. Emm

    Post author

    @Dominic - The 70D is not a super lightweight camera, you might be very safe with the Glidecam HD1000.

  2. Dominic

    Thank you !

    So if you had the choice between all those since i start to get crazy with all the reviews of all the stabilizer out there wich one would you recommend with your experience and also built quality .. Thank you again so much for the tips

  3. Emm

    Post author

    @Dominic - The XCAM is easy to balance, smaller, more affordable, and does not need to continuously be balanced (unless you change your setup), but you can't go wrong with a Glidecam if you can afford it.

    XCAM has also recently released a Sabre version which looks pretty good. This time it's a carbon fiber post, and adjustable Gimbal, and a telescoping sled to support even heavier cameras (while still being compact). This one looks pretty good (check it out here): http://www.ebay.com/itm/121173527710

  4. Dominic

    Looking good but just want to dont loose money like I did with the first purchase of my Opteka pro ( bad !) .. So i was thinking of getting the glidecam hd 1000 ( for 320$) or the xcam for probably the Canon 70d ?? Wich one would you recommend ? Thank you very much ...

    Does one would be easyer to balance than the other ? And do we have to always fine tunning it while using it ?

  5. Larry

    I just received my Xcam (via ebay link above). Ordered July 21st and received July 29! It's really nice. Seems to be pretty solid. I love that it can be rested down onto the 3 bottom weights like a tripod. So far I've balanced a 5D3 + 24-105/4 IS along with a manfrotto 394 QR. I had to use the full weight and extend the base completely down until it stopped on the threads. This was JUST enough to get about a 2-3 sec drop time. So if I wanted it a little more bottom heavy I would need to add something at the bottom (in the 3/8" center hole).

    Next I mounted the same lens to a Canon EOS-M with the EF adapter. Raised the bottom weight all the way to the top. Balances pretty good, although I need much more practice. I like the fine adjustments for the most part although it's tough to adjust left-right balance one-handed. But wow, talk about a nice small unit that packs up into a large-lens-sized bag!

  6. Al3xMac

    Yea, Ive been checking eBay every day, havent seen any reposted. Id love some more info on this from people who have purchased it and used it. Im trying to fly a 5dmkii and Id love to get the Xcam instead of the Mini

  7. Fantastic, Emm! Glad I you introduced us to a winner here, and thrilled to hear that it's just as good as the Skyler. BTW - If you have any settings for Canon 5DMkII/60D/T2i mastered, I'd really appreciate any settings (publicly or via email) as getting it set-up is a real challenge. Another amazing find, Emm! So many thanks again.

  8. Emm

    Post author

    @Food Biker - Yup, received mine, just as good as the Skyler with some other features (like folding legs). I think it's a great price and works very well. I am shooting an overview on this one, will post up soon.

  9. Hey Emm - Mine showed up last week (MUCH sooner than expected), and it appears to be pretty amazing (but it's operator skill that I'm lacking). I'm guessing that you should have your XCAM by now; what are your thoughts? I'm just not knowledgable enough to know whether or not what I purchased is worth what I paid... Thanks!

  10. Emm

    Post author

    @bill - The technique to fly a merlin 2 is the same. I personally feel the skyler style is easier to fly and steer.

  11. bill

    Emm have you used or reviewed the Merlin 2? I am wondering because the Merlin 2 is $599 at B&H and the Skyler minicam is $450, so fairly close in price.
    Thanks Bill

  12. Thanks so much for the fast reply, Emm. Heck - Although I received a message saying that it has shipped, who knows if it'll make our deadline for our shoot -- and certainly won't expect miracles out of the box. Let me know your take on it when you receive it; I'm curious as to what an experienced operator thinks of it as compared to a Skyler...let alone any other steadicam. You rock!

  13. Bob

    So if you had your choice between something like this and a modified Steadicam Smoothee, for small cameras or the very occasional 5D use, which would you choose?

  14. Emm

    Post author

    @Food Biker - To start it may be possible to add more than the intended weight, but the unit may only come with a certain amount of counterweights. You have to get creative on how to add more, but there is a threaded mount underneath where I guess you can add washers.

    I know you are in a rush to get this item, but fair warning that if you have no experience with any stabilizer it takes weeks to months of practice. Don't expect miracles out of the box, it is hugely dependent upon the operator.

    The gimbal on this unit is improved over other clones, but may not be up to the same standards as the original skyler. From the video it looks really good, and I too am waiting for a unit. I like the folding legs and if it works great, i could sell my Skyler.

  15. Hey Emm,

    I jumped on this purchase yesterday, as only two were available and I have been reluctant to purchase any expensive steadicam...but we have a major shoot in a month where a subject will be walking around in the woods for an hour; I figured light and portable is good.

    Just hope I didn't make a mistake with the purchase; I guess it's a gamble. Everything you've posted about and I've purchased have been gems so far! :)

    1) Ideally, we'll be flying a 5DMkII, 24-105L (as it's advertised to handle), but the battery grip puts it over the 3.74lb weight limit. How strict are weight limits on small stabilizers? I have quite a few pieces of Canon glass that would put it over the weight limit...Maybe more weight could be added to the bottom feet that need it? Or would that stress out the gimbals?

    2) I can't find any info about the previous or current edition of this steadicam, with the exception of a video about Skyler clones being discredited. Is there any info available about the upgraded gimbals that you mentioned?

    So many thanks, Emm!

  16. Emm

    Post author

    @Robert - The larger stabilizers like the Glidecam, or Wieldy or better if you plan to add an LED Light, Microphone, etc. There are times where I needed to Steadicam in a dim area (think wedding reception), and you may need on on camera light. The problem with the heavier stabilizers is that you need to always carry a good minimum amount of weight to balance correctly even if you're not using the light or microphone.

    If it's just the bare bones camera, a smaller stabilizer like the Glidecam HD1000, XCam, or Skyler MiniCam will work. I find myself in many different situations and so I own at least one large stabilizer and one very small one. Think about the reasons you want a stabilizer and pick which might work best for you.

  17. ricland

    Emm,

    How about a Gh2??

    Would I be able to fly with the Sykler as well as with the Wieldy or Laiang?

    I'll be doing some serious feature movie-making soon, and need a real workhorse.

    Oh, got the Steddiecam. Testing it. Will report soon.

  18. Emm

    Post author

    @VisX - Lighter weight is good for longer duration, but it is easier to fly any stabilizer when it's loaded up so that it's not 'too loose'. You should test this out. I found it is easier to fly my stabilizers with more weight than it is with less weight.

  19. VisX

    Not sure how the quality this XCAM is. The minicam I have is very good, especially the consistency. Once it is calibrated, it maintains the balance even after un-mounting the camera and unscrewing the legs for storage, and then put it back together.

    It is scary to see a clone with almost exactly the same look plus enhancements, but half the price.

    Question: why put weight plates on top of a light camera, when you can just reduce the weights on the "legs" instead?
    Lighter setup is better for longer duration.

  20. Robert

    Thanks Emm, but the question is which one to buy :)

    They are about the same price, so which one you think is smoother, easier to balance and to fly a camera like Canon 600D or eventually a 5D Mark III? I'm not interested in cameras heavier than those.

    I have no experience with this kind of stabilizers, so your advice would be much appreciated.

  21. pixcanfly

    Emm, I'm planning to buy a stabiliser for the BMC. Is Glidecam 2000HD able to handle it? I really like the Skyler and Xcam, but I doubt they can handle the weight of BMC.

  22. Emm

    Post author

    @Robert - For cameras up to a Canon 5D Mark III, this will work, but the larger stabilizers like the BlackBird, Glidecam HD200+ will handle much heavier cameras. The Wieldy for instance can fly a BlackMagic Cinema Camera and this little stabilizer cannot.

  23. Robert

    So this would be the best under $300 stabilizer, in your opinion? I mean for a Canon 600d up to maybe a 5D Mark III.

    Would you recommend this over Wieldy steadycam ( Glidecam HD-2000 type)?

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