The Flycam Nano video I posted recently with the Canon 60D + Sigma 20mm seems to have been a big hit. eBay seemed to have sold quite a few of them, and I wouldn't be surprised if they would be out of stock soon. It's happened a few times before. After posting my video with the Nano there were tons of questions about the Canon 7D + Tokina 11-16mm lens combo and if it would fly. The Tokina 11-16mm is an awesome lens for you who aren't familiar with it and it can maintain an aperture of F/2.8 throughout it's range - good for low light stuff. It's one of the top favorites for cropped cameras and wide angle flying stabilizers. (Note: Available for Nikon and Sony also, but won't work on Full Frame cams)
I've worked with many different stabilizers and had no doubt that it could fly this weight with ease, but for many of you 'seeing is believing'. Actually I wished I tried this combination earlier as it seems to fly much better than the 60D + Sigma 20mm. The reason why it would fly better is because of the weight. One of the top stabilizer tips I always give out is that you should really load up your stabilizer. Sometimes I'll add weights to the top of the camera and then compensate with more weights at the bottom, just so that I can make it overall heavier. The bearing handles on these stabilizers are very strong, and my experience with stabilizers are that they just fly so much smoother when the bearings are loaded up (especially on windy days). So here it is, and I've included in the video my secret recipe of weights and position for this combination, and also the secret power hidden in the Three Wolf and a Moon shirt (gag gift).
If you're not familiar with the shirt, the history is that someone posted a funny 'review' and then thousands of others followed with their own 'gag review'. It became so viral, you'll now see this available on XBOX controllers, iPhone skins, Laptop cases, and has even been featured in Television Shows like 'The Office'. This is also another great inexpensive 'Gag Gift' to consider this holiday season for your co-workers and close friends. You have to check out some of the Customer Reviews on Amazon.com and also the uploaded 'Customer Images' found here: The Mountain Three Wolf Moon Short Sleeve Tee Hilarious!!
(Note Video Error: I kept saying the arm mounts dead center in the 'Chest' What I meant was in the Stomach area.)
In this video i'm referencing the Varizoom DV Sportster Vest for some Steadicams, Flycams, and Glidecams. It's a cheap vest, and have heard slightly negative feedbacks about this particular item. Part of the fun in finding useful affordable tools is to get hands on and see what the true limitations are. Since there wasn't much information on the web about this product, I thought I would at least be a reference point for others who might be searching for information on this. I know, I know, I gave it a shot, but it's ok to leave comments saying 'Emm - I Told You So. What were you thinking? Why didn't you listen to us all...."
The problem isn't the build quality. It's very light weight and sturdy. The arm feels plenty strong to carry the Glidecam HD1000 DSLR Stabilizer that I did a video about. The problems I had with the vest was the ergonomics. Everything just felt like it was in the wrong place. Just after a few minutes of wearing it, I felt like grabbing some steel and fixing the design with my own. Just by relocating the arm to the side instead of dead center would have already been a huge improvement. A simple steel plate is all that it would take to get that situated. The back support is just straps, so it doesn't provide good relief from the weight. Everything just loads up on the back of your neck. So, it's lightweight, strong, fairly priced, but needs redesign in the Ergo department. Hey Varizoom..if you ever want guys like me to test and suggest for product design...Holla!
By the way - You can catch a bit of the studio i've been working on. Thanks to some local Photographer friends, they all pitched in to (literally) scrub the floors, lay down epoxy, tile the bathroom, change out the toilet, and move in some gear, but it's still a long way to go. Just brought in some couches and chairs, and there's still a whole lot of equipment not yet there. I can only pass by for an hour before I head home, and all my weekends have been booked with camera work. Someday this thing will have it's use....