Tag Archives: Glidecam


Starting with a basic Ladder Hanging Bracket found at Home Depot, Vimeo member StudioAmarelo was able to create this DIY Steadicam. The Gimbal is based on WSClater's Traxxas U-joint design. From there it's a matter of placing weights in the right spot. You can find some additional information at the video link (here). [Thanks Garrick]

Steadicam Glidecam
click image for available Steadicam Glidecam gear

Droppin' dollars into Glidecam gear is quite an investment if you're not familiar with how one works. In fact, you might even find that 'flying' a camera is not something you're quite into. If you already own one, maybe your thinking about testing out the arm brace or Vest system? Don't forget that you can save a ton of cash when you rent gear, and the lineup of products available is growing over at Borrow Lenses. One piece of advise is to rent something as early as you can and get some practice in. You don't want to be figuring out how things work 'the day of'. If you're satisfied with the tools, it gives you a better idea on what to invest in.

borrow lenses
click image for a variety of Video gear rentals

The BL company takes your order and ships it 'NetFlix' style along with very simple return instructions when you're done. From RedRock shoulder rigs, to LED Ring lights, to Phillip Bloom's Pocket Dolly, and Glidecam vest systems. There's much to check out at the ever growing site (click here).

visit-button Click to Rent Gear from BorrowLenses.com



Testing out some new gear here. Purposely a very poor image with badges erased. The vest and arm are very impressive, but we'll see how the actual stabilizer performs. It's not a Steadicam or Glidecam brand name. Unless you can tell which one this is by the image, i'll have a review on this item up in time..


Thanks to an email from Matt, The Tokina 11-16mm is back in stock. This was my first 'Tokina' brand lens I picked up because of some excellent reviews and I admit this thing has become one of my favorite wide lenses for cropped cameras like the T2i, T3i, 60D, or 7D. It is possible to mount this lens to a Full Frame camera like the 5D Mark II, but only when it's zoomed out to it's 16mm. When used in that manner, this thing is wicked wide.

The Tokina 11-16mm is one of my favorite lenses for Flying with a Steadicam / Glidecam stabilizer (many others favor this lens too for flying). Unlike Canon's 10-22mm, the Tokina can also maintain a nice wide aperture of F/2.8 throughout it's range for low light imaging. The lens has a solid build and very sharp, so if you're missing this super wide range in your lens collection, this is definitely the lens to get (click here).

find-price-buttonTokina 11-16mm F/2.8 for Canon, Nikon, and Sony cameras


I think i've received at least 2 questions/day since this new 'Flycam Nano DSLR' had been advertised online. It's quite confusing since there already is a Flycam Nano that supports DSLRs. This one claims to be better and can handle more weight. Of course it does! It's bigger and looks almost exactly like the Flycam 3000 (far right). Did they just swap the handle and slap on the Nano name because the hottest search term is 'Flycam Nano'? The Flycam DSLR is just about the same price as the Flycam 3000 too. To me it just doesn't make sense.. what do you make of it all?

Flycam Nano

Flycam Nano DSLR

Flycam 3000

My personal opinion is that you should use the max capacity for any stabilizer. If you get something bigger than the original Nano, then you may have to end up adding more weights to the top of the camera in order to make it fly better. So do you need a larger one? Unless you're pushing more weight that the common 7D + Tokina 11-16mm (BTW you can balance a bit more than that), then you don't need to go to the next level. I have several stabilizers and the one I take with me the most is the smallest one I can pack to do the job. The Glidecam HD4000 and Steadicam vest are only called upon when I really need to carry some weight...


Aaron of Winnipeg shows us how he mods the IndieHardware Video Camera stabilizer. This is one of the cheapest stabilizers I've reviewed on this blog that was able to balance a 5D Mark II + Sigma 20mm Lens. That's about all I was willing to push, but Aaron's managed to practically double that up while still using the stock Gimbal. The mods to add a Lilliput 7" monitor to the little stabilizer allows Aaron to add more weight to the top with a T2i + Battery Grip and 17-55mm F/2.8 IS lens (nice lens). He's also added a new handle which is one of the most common complaints on this particular stabilizer, replacing it with one from an old Flash Bracket . The video is a bit long, but all good information, so stick through it and hopefully get some ideas. Also note that the IndieHardware stabilizer is always in and out of stock, but you can check current pricing and if it's available below.

find-price-button IndieHardware Video Camera Stabilizer


Arri Alexa 352 LED RING LITE

Arri Alexa LED RING LIGHT screen shot

Gustavo from www.o2lighting.com writes in and provides a few BTS images of the 352 LED Ring Light on an Arri Alexa! That's one fancy camera, and i'm glad to see this thing in use by these guys. It definitely is a kick-ass ENG Light. Traditionally most people want to use this light by putting the lens through the center, but it can also be mounted as a top light or off to the sides with a light stand. [Thanks Gustavo]

I used my 352 LED Ring light with my lens through the center when working on a Steadicam setup mainly to try to keep things balanced. When the light is used off camera this LED Ring throws a very soft even diffused light that can be still be controlled via Dimmer. I have to say that the bracket that comes with the item pretty much sucks. The unit itself is awesome and very very lightweight. I removed the brackets from my unit and just used a Friction Power Arm to the hot shoe of my DSLR. You might have caught that in my video here: http://cheesycam.com/last-minute-glidecam-mods/

find-price-button 352 LED Ring Light with 12V AC Adapter


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These are two of the most popular and smallest DSLR stabilizers. I'm not going to say one is better than the other when it comes down to the actual video footage. End results between these two micro flyers would be the same once you have them fine tuned and balanced. The main differences to consider between these two is cost, quality of build, time to balance, and handling.

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First no surprise here, the Flycam Nano can come in about three times cheaper than the Glidecam HD1000. The Flycam Nano comes in a bit smaller than the Glidecam but this also means it won't handle as much weight. If you want to stick to the smallest flyer but are concerned you might be pushing the limits too much, then the HD1000 might be the safer bet. The Flycam being the smaller stabilizer can pack down smaller for traveling. Of course the Flycam Nano can easily handle a 7D + Tokina 11-16mm (and then some), which is about the average weight needed for most entry level flyers. The Flycam might be a better choice for smaller cameras like the Sony SLT-A55 or Panasonic GH2.

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The Flycam build quality isn't as polished as the Glidecam. Cheaper materials, painted metal instead of anodized plating, lack of fine tuning knobs, tiny handle, and non-professional looking weights. That's what helps keep the cost down. The Glidecam is far superior in build quality, but fancy plating alone doesn't make it a better flyer.

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The Glidecam handle is much larger and more comfortable to grip. The Glidecam handle is the same width as it's larger HD2000 and HD4000 siblings making it possible to use the HD1000 with a full Vest. The Flycam has a much smaller and shorter handle designed to be used with an optional Flycam Arm Brace.

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The Glidecam HD series stabilizers also have fine tune knobs. The fine tuning knobs allows micro movements of the stage making exact placement of the camera much easier and faster to the center of balance. This is a great feature for anyone who seems to change out lenses, cameras, or accessories that require the entire stabilizer to be rebalanced. If you're pretty much set with the camera + lens combination for flying, a Flycam Nano with a quick release adapter should do the trick. No need to rebalance.

Here's a sample video with the Glidecam HD1000: http://cheesycam.com/glidecam-hd1000-dslr-video-stabilizer-demonstration/

Here's a sample with the Flycam Nano: http://cheesycam.com/flycam-nano-stabilizer-abused-with-7d-tokina/

2011-01-26 11.18.522011-01-26 11.19.06

find-price-button Glidecam HD1000 Video Camera Stabilizer

find-price-button Flycam Nano Video Camera Stabilizer

1 Comment

Above is the only example I know of showcasing a Hollywood Lite Camera Stabilizer. When I first mentioned the stabilizer on this blog, the auction sold lighting fast from this article: http://cheesycam.com/hollywood-lite-video-camera-stabilizer/. This is a discontinued type of stabilizer that is designed to support cameras up to 4 lbs. I can't imagine it was very useful in the old days of heavy cameras, but with all the new lightweight Canon T2i's, Sony Alphas, and Panasonic GH2's coming around, it's seems to be relevant once again. Now i'm not saying it will fly a 7D, but for those GoPro Video makers, or iPhone Video junkies this might be an inexpensive solution. Cody left a comment and wanted to share that another thought to be extinct Hollywood Lite stabilizer shows up online again. On auction now and up for another day.

find-price-button Hollywood Lite VS1 Video Camera Stabilizer