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    #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesPapert View Post
    IThe ergonomics of holding a mass forward and extended from the body is a flawed one due to the principals of leverage, but a necessary evil if one expects versatility in lens height (but if you didn't, imagine a shoulder-mounted gimbal that delivers the usual isolation of pan, tilt and roll, perhaps even with vertical isolation built in?)....
    I think that's sort of the point of these things. Yes, for "Hollywood" shoots where things are planned, it's not the right fit. But when you're trying to cover an event you have no control over and don't know what will happen, flexibility is key. For example, I filmed the teacher strike in West Virginia. I had my C200, but also a A6500 on a Zhiyun Crane. That allowed me to get my camera far above my head to get shots that revealed the size and nature of the crowd. I could not have done it with the C200 alone. And I could not have done it had it required me to hold it with two hands. And besides the impossible logistics of having a Steadicam in such a crowded scenario with an inability to respond quickly to events as they unfolded, it gave me the chance to get creative shots that otherwise would have been impossible, such as walking straight through the crowd. I would have loved to see you try that one with a Steadicam vest, arm and 30 lb. rig.

    I'm with you on the top-heaviness of it. It takes a bit of concentration to prevent the side-to-side wobble this creates. But on fatigue, I don't agree. I can easily shoot long stretches with it. Of course only with an SLR.

    Like anything it's a tool with pros and cons. And it's the right tool for some situations.


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    #22
    Senior Member Samuel H's Avatar
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    (An a6500 on a ZC is easily less than half the weight of the rig he was talking about)
    (I put my ZC on a monopod and use it as "safe poor man's drone" relatively often, holding it as high as I can; it's not easy to control but when it works it works great)


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    #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by brettsherman View Post
    I think that's sort of the point of these things. Yes, for "Hollywood" shoots where things are planned, it's not the right fit. But when you're trying to cover an event you have no control over and don't know what will happen, flexibility is key. For example, I filmed the teacher strike in West Virginia. I had my C200, but also a A6500 on a Zhiyun Crane. That allowed me to get my camera far above my head to get shots that revealed the size and nature of the crowd. I could not have done it with the C200 alone. And I could not have done it had it required me to hold it with two hands. And besides the impossible logistics of having a Steadicam in such a crowded scenario with an inability to respond quickly to events as they unfolded, it gave me the chance to get creative shots that otherwise would have been impossible, such as walking straight through the crowd. I would have loved to see you try that one with a Steadicam vest, arm and 30 lb. rig.
    Haha, well, been there done that, one way or another! At least the part about being in an unpredictable crowd. I shot some campaign spots for a presidential candidate in the mid-90's, this particular candidate was older and had to prove he was in fighting shape so after doing the speech from the back of the train thing, he walked up to City Hall and we dutifully followed. I was flying a 16mm SR3 on my full-size Steadicam (more like 50 lbs than 30) and we had pride of place directly in front of the candidate, but the media was swarming all around and constantly banging into the rig. One of the craziest things I remember was the AC re-loading the camera and slating and we never broke stride--helps that the SR3 mag was a quick switch with no threading! By the time we made it into City Hall some 15 minutes later, the crowd moved in so tightly I nearly lost the Steadicam in front of me. It was lunacy!

    But to your point, sure, in a doc or event situation I can see the advantage of flexibility. I don't think it necessarily appropriate to compare a Zhiyun crane to a fullscale Steadicam rig--the more appropriate comparison would be a Merlin or Glidecam 2000, similar payload and no arm and vest. Which wouldn't be much of a treat to hoist up above one's head for any length of time either.

    Still, I think they could do a better job with the design of the pistol grip rig. I invite anyone to attempt what I pictured above, putting a mass at the bottom that moves the center of gravity down to where you are gripping the gimbal. It's much more comfortable. If the batteries were a flatpack that snapped onto the bottom of the post (giving one both the means to set the thing down as well as moving the CoG lower) that would be a good start--perhaps even a telescoping section that one could release to further extend the masses.
    Charles Papert


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    #24
    Senior Member Angry Leprechaun's Avatar
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    Another thought to make this rig more usable. Shoot underslung and attach it to a gimbal ring with an adapter like this

    CAMVATE-25mm-Single-Rod-Clamp-with-Arri-Rosette-Lock-for-Ronin-M-Gimbal-Stabilizer-Red-Thumbscre.jpg

    You can use the pistol handle for doggy cam shots and use the ring for everything else. But then of course by this point you might as well get a used Movi M5 or a Ronin-M for like a hundred or two more. *sigh*
    Jerrod Cordell
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    #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesPapert View Post
    Haha, well, been there done that, ... By the time we made it into City Hall some 15 minutes later, the crowd moved in so tightly I nearly lost the Steadicam in front of me. It was lunacy!
    And probably only about half as crazy as the situations I have to shoot in! Often times when I'm pointed to where the cameras are to set up, I think "well that's never going to work. I'd better be prepared to move." There is a certain scrum etiquette which is you are allowed to be pushy, but only so much and you can't expect more space then anyone else takes up. Now the problem is people with iPhones reaching out and sticking them in front of cameras. Sigh.

    I used to have a Merlin and found it impossible to work with, if the balance was even the slightest bit off it was useless. And the clamping mechanism never held tight so the balance would just shift on you. One advantage of the gimbals is they can be used slightly out of balance. This allows me to zoom the lens and alternate between wide and telephoto without rebalancing. Something that would be impossible on the Merlin or Glidecam.
    Last edited by brettsherman; 03-15-2018 at 06:16 AM.


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    #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesPapert View Post
    Any Steadicam sled can accept a 1/4-20 mount via the mounting plate. But I'm not sure that's what you would be looking to do. Then you are putting a gimbal assembly on top of a Steadicam rig. That has been done but it has its own set of complications. In that eBay link above there's a picture of a Steadicam style arm and vest with a pistol grip gimbal plunked onto the end of the arm. That doesn't work at all, as one can quickly figure out--that removes the ability to pan and tilt the camera (unless you use the joystick controls, and I feel like very few rely on those versus actually rotating and tilting the gimbal itself). There are various ways to mount a gimbal to a Steadicam vest and arm that still allows articulation of the gimbal; the Tiffen Steadimate is one. I haven't yet seen eBay knockoffs of that concept but surely they are coming.
    For panning/tilting, could you add a strong ball head and keep it loose?


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    #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob norton View Post
    For panning/tilting, could you add a strong ball head and keep it loose?
    Interesting idea--would have to test it to see if that works.
    Charles Papert


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    #28
    Senior Member legrevedotcom's Avatar
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    I found the time to visit my local Sony / Tilta guy and they had a stock of G2X gimbals. It was nice to just get a "see for yourself" feeling about wether or not it would physically fit the gimbal.
    Theoretically the G2X can only just carry the FS7 II with the 18-110 or MK zooms. But now I have seen and understood myself what makes it a bad idea (apart from the one handed weight ofc).

    The thing is that the camera will sit very low, even with the angled arm, and would potentially make it hard to use the tilt function. Add to that, stripped down I'd still have to have a cable running to the monitor which would unavoidably cause unnecessary torque and shifted weight.

    So... damn... I thought I had it this time :P Next step up would be the G3, but that is plenty heavy as well and would probably force me to buy into an Armo Man setup, and what I really wanted was a nice small package with the gliding motion, which the Armor Man setup definitely is not.

    I asked them what they thought would be the largest camera to put on and they said FS5 or EVA1... and even then with smaller non cinematic lenses. Back to the think tank....


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    #29
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    I got the G2X to use with my 1DXMKII, couldn’t get anywhere near to balancing the tilt axis. The G2 was exactly the same, the guys in the store let me try it. Ended up the a Crane 2 which came today but not sure how I feel about it.i have a Ronin M but wanted something I could travel with easier for trips abroad, I’m thinking the M will just have to come. It’s much nicer to use than the pistol grip style gimbal, though I am going to give the dual handle a go on the crane.


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    #30
    Senior Member Samuel H's Avatar
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    ^ (The crane 2 usually needs the special "tall-camera" bracket in order to balance the 1DX properly)


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