Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. Collapse Details
    Steady Gum Handheld Camera Support
    #1
    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    3,645
    Default
    So, I blame Dan(pure drifting) for this after starting the thread on support for handheld gimbals which got me looking at this again. ; )

    https://steadygum.com


    Ok, the name is stupid and the price an order of magnitude even more so, but if you shoot a lot of handheld with ENG or other 'built-up' cameras(i.e: F55 w/17-120), this thing is a big help. The Easyrig is a PITA from an operators standpoint(and doesn't work that well, IMO) if you're running around in the real world, besides just making you look like a complete clown. And the Ergorig https://www.ergorig.com just seems like a hassle to get in and out of quickly and not really very "low-profile", either.

    So, after thinking about it off and on for the last year or so, I made the decision last week to drop a day rate(I'm talking day rate with gear) on the Steady Gum. It's not really a new idea, but it's one that works in a light weight and fairly low-profile set-up that you can be in and out of pretty quickly and not make you look like a complete tool. It's basically a heavy duty elastic type band with a grippy pad that goes over your left shoulder and connects to a heavy duty leather cup/pouch/receiver for the heavy duty "mini-monopod" that attaches to the front bottom of the camera via the the wedge/v-mount that mates into the front of a standard VCT style tripod plate. So then a portion of the weight (especially the front) of the camera is now supported in the strap and spread out over your other shoulder. The plate that locks into the camera is on a pivot which allows you to tilt the camera down while still supported. It can also tilt up easily by extending the monopod slightly(handy if you need to shoot up on someone for extended periods of time like in gang-bang sound/scrums). You can also sling it down to your side and it acts similar to a HipShot, but you will have to support it more than with the HipShot.

    1-772x1020.jpg

    6-772x1020.jpg

    The only thing that I don't like(besides the absurd price), so far(and you may be able to retrofit/upgrade the monopod to "fix" it), is that the monopod is much shorter than I thought it would be. I mean it's perfect for what it's basically designed for, I was just hoping to be able to extend it far enough to get the camera completely over my head to arms length while still being supported for situations during locker room/scrum sound when you can can't get in and need to go over everyones heads. If I can get that worked out, I will be really, really happy.


    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Reply With Quote
     

  2. Collapse Details
    #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    838
    Default
    Quote Originally Posted by Run&Gun View Post
    The Easyrig is a PITA from an operators standpoint(and doesn't work that well, IMO) if you're running around in the real world, besides just making you look like a complete clown.
    Interesting. A friend, Alan Hereford, has used an EasyRig for at least 10 years (ie- I remember 20 years ago we worked on something where he didn't have the EasyRig; can't recall exactly when he got it). He likes it a lot. A couple weeks ago, we worked together (ie- I hired him) for two days on a tough shoot in an artisanal bakery, so it was cramped, there were things hanging from above, and there was lots of movement (fwiw, we were rolling on a FS7II with the extension back, vmount batts, and a mix of zooms and primes; so not super heavy, but not super light; He's also used it with old-school ENG cameras, F55s, Amiras, etc.). Alan's shot in a lot of kitchens so knows his way around, but the EasyRig didn't inhibit him and he likes the way it shifts weight to his hips. And he has a good collection of jokes about the EasyRig. So anyway, it works for at least some people... But enough of that.

    The SteadyGum looks pretty cool. The price I see online is about US$1900, so ya that seems like a lot. OTOH, that's less than 500 fancy coffees. Looks like a nicely put together kit. Thanks for the heads up and let us know if you get the monopod length thing worked out (because that would be great!)
    ----------
    Jim Feeley
    POV Media


    Reply With Quote
     

  3. Collapse Details
    #3
    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    3,645
    Default
    I think a big part of it is personal preference. I'll admit that I've been prejudiced against the EasyRig since I first saw one 20 years ago(or whenever). We all used to make fun of them and the guys that wore them. And I swore I'd never use one. But now being older, knowing I'm actually mortal and the nature of a lot of cameras today coupled with some of the ridiculously long handheld situations we end up in, I actually demoed one at the end of last year. I went in with an open mind and actually hoping to like it, because I want to prolong my shooting life. I rented a Vario for about a week and tried it with my ENG cameras and my F55, my two most used cameras. Even going in with an open mind, I still felt like a tool with it own, but moving past that to the actual operating, it just didn't click with me. When I tried to put the camera on my shoulder(as it was originally designed for), I could never get the camera to actually sit properly on my shoulder. It wanted to float just above it. And whenever I panned or turned I was always whacking the pole. Operating at heights between your knees/hips and chest for extended periods is where I think they are a benefit and how I see them being used the most out in the wild. And then mostly by younger guys with either C300's or RED's. Plus it's just big and bulky. I'm sure that the guys that use them all of the time get used to them and can account for the extra size that they add when you need to work in tight(ish) spaces, but it just didn't work for me. Now move over to the the SG and it's much lower profile and it's much more natural feeling. The camera is till on your shoulder and you still have to take some of the weight, but some of it is now redistributed and in front-heavy configurations, it's now supported so you're not fighting/pushing up on it. So the mechanics and feel of the way you've gotten accustomed to operating all these years is still mostly there, but the weight isn't all there in one place wearing you out.


    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Reply With Quote
     

  4. Collapse Details
    #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    838
    Default
    ----------
    Jim Feeley
    POV Media


    Reply With Quote
     

  5. Collapse Details
    #5
    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    3,645
    Default
    So, I actually got to use it in the real world yesterday. It wasn't running around and shooting ridiculous 30 minute off-the-shoulder standing interviews, but it was a decent real-world test in an NFL post-game locker room. As I said before, it's not taking all of the weight off of you and I could still feel it in my shoulder when I was done, but it does take the weight/stress off of your hand and arm and allows you to shoot really steady, especially really tight in those types of environments(so you don't accidentally show something that doesn't need to be seen on TV). During most of the interviews, I wasn't thinking, "Oh my God, shut the hell up", because my shoulder, neck or hand was giving out, I could have kept on going much longer. Also, my right hand/fingers never started to go numb once. All you hand-held guys know what I'm talking about. Also, being able to extend the mono-pod to tilt the camera up and not have to support it all yourself was nice, a few times.

    I showed it off to a few people before and after the game and I let my audio guy(who actually shoots and lights as much or more) try it out with my Vari(25lbs+) and he really liked it. In fact, when we were packing up at the end of the day, I was showing it to some guys and my audio guy chimed in and basically said that he's not a toy, gadget or accessory guy and is generally skeptical regarding these types of things, but it was the real deal and he liked it and would use it. Of course, after I've told people the price, no one has turned around and run-off and ordered one, yet. I just wish this thing had been around a decade ago when my professional life every weekend consisted of shooting a metric-sh i t-ton of off-the-shoulder sound, with most of the subjects standing above me in "media scrums"(as the more polite people refer to them). As a matter of fact, I'm letting one of my friends that shoots for the team borrow it for part of the game this Thursday. They shoot on Amira's with ENG glass and 17-120. I'll definitely be interested to hear his thoughts after a few quarters of football.


    Reply With Quote
     

  6. Collapse Details
    #6
    Senior Member puredrifting's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Los Angeles, Ca.
    Posts
    9,863
    Default
    Quote Originally Posted by Run&Gun View Post
    So, I blame Dan(pure drifting) for this after starting the thread on support for handheld gimbals which got me looking at this again. ; )

    https://steadygum.com


    Ok, the name is stupid and the price an order of magnitude even more so, but if you shoot a lot of handheld with ENG or other 'built-up' cameras(i.e: F55 w/17-120), this thing is a big help. The Easyrig is a PITA from an operators standpoint(and doesn't work that well, IMO) if you're running around in the real world, besides just making you look like a complete clown. And the Ergorig https://www.ergorig.com just seems like a hassle to get in and out of quickly and not really very "low-profile", either.

    So, after thinking about it off and on for the last year or so, I made the decision last week to drop a day rate(I'm talking day rate with gear) on the Steady Gum. It's not really a new idea, but it's one that works in a light weight and fairly low-profile set-up that you can be in and out of pretty quickly and not make you look like a complete tool. It's basically a heavy duty elastic type band with a grippy pad that goes over your left shoulder and connects to a heavy duty leather cup/pouch/receiver for the heavy duty "mini-monopod" that attaches to the front bottom of the camera via the the wedge/v-mount that mates into the front of a standard VCT style tripod plate. So then a portion of the weight (especially the front) of the camera is now supported in the strap and spread out over your other shoulder. The plate that locks into the camera is on a pivot which allows you to tilt the camera down while still supported. It can also tilt up easily by extending the monopod slightly(handy if you need to shoot up on someone for extended periods of time like in gang-bang sound/scrums). You can also sling it down to your side and it acts similar to a HipShot, but you will have to support it more than with the HipShot.

    The only thing that I don't like(besides the absurd price), so far(and you may be able to retrofit/upgrade the monopod to "fix" it), is that the monopod is much shorter than I thought it would be. I mean it's perfect for what it's basically designed for, I was just hoping to be able to extend it far enough to get the camera completely over my head to arms length while still being supported for situations during locker room/scrum sound when you can can't get in and need to go over everyones heads. If I can get that worked out, I will be really, really happy.
    Doesn't distribute any of the weight to your hips though? That would seem to be a key for keeping steady for shooting longe periods of times.
    It's a business first and a creative outlet second.
    G.A.S. destroys lives. Stop buying gear that doesn't make you money.


    Reply With Quote
     

  7. Collapse Details
    #7
    Senior Member Eric Coughlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,023
    Default
    Now we just need another company to make the same thing for $200.


    If they made an optional waist attachment that attached to the bottom of the rest of the rig, then weight could be distributed to the waist too as it is with a Steadicam vest. Optional basically means you could decide how much fluff and support you want to put on. Are you hearing this random company that's going to sell this for $200? Make it cheaper AND better.

    The Movi started out super expensive but now gimbals area all over the place on the cheap. Not that this will ever become gimbal popular, but assuming the design isn't patented I wouldn't be surprised if someone else came out with a similar or better one for a price that is actually reasonable. This has got to be one the most over-priced products I've seen in the video market. Now we just need a jinni.tech expose video on the Steady-Gum.


    I actually bought the Manfrotto 080 Monopod Belt Pouch many years ago which performs a similar task (and I already had separate monopods), but never ended up using it on a shoot. I'm sure it doesn't work as well as the Steady-Gum, but, ya know, $16.79. I did test it out at home, though I had lighter cameras back then, and it seemed to work decently enough.




    This post is ironic because more often I'm explaining to people why something is worth its cost, such as a C500 Mark II over say an S1H. Now I'm posting links to $16.79 items that don't work as well as $2k items.
    Last edited by Eric Coughlin; 09-11-2019 at 12:15 PM.


    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Reply With Quote
     

  8. Collapse Details
    #8
    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    3,645
    Default
    Quote Originally Posted by puredrifting View Post
    Doesn't distribute any of the weight to your hips though? That would seem to be a key for keeping steady for shooting longe periods of times.
    My audio guy has a friend that does really good leatherwork and I asked him to talk to him about making me something designed for belt-mounting, like the versions of this that you used to see in the 80's-90's(liked the idea of it being slightly lower-profile and the weight being supported around my hips/waist). But after actually using it, as is, you understand that the "bandolero(bandolier)" is a good idea. It's essentially a heavy-duty elastic band that allows for support and tilting up/down and slinging the camera over to your side while still supporting it in a Hip-Shot type way. Granted, I haven't literally run around with it while shooting, yet, but I have to imagine if the receiver was mounted to a belt that didn't have any give, like the band, it would transfer much more shock/bounce from walking around. The reason you can wear a vest and transfer so much weight/load to your hips with Steadicam is because of the arm absorbing the shock. Mount the receiver without any type of shock absorption system/mitigator and you're gonna transfer every step through the monopod to the camera. Now, I'm not saying that I don't want the option of a "belt-mount solution" or wouldn't use it(because I do and a mod I want to do may be better served with that), but the sling provides multiple, useful benefits that you wouldn't get with just a belt-solution.

    I was looking into ways to do it much more cost effectively, because let's face it, it seems outrageously priced even in the context of our world of 5-figure lenses and 6-figure cameras. You can find leather flag carriers for like $30-$40 and monopods are pretty cheap, but the hitch is the heavy-duty top tilting platform that locks into the VCT wedge on the camera. You used to be able to find similar items fairly easily to support ENG cameras on monopods(I think a friend had one from Sachtler), but so many "specialty" items that used to be available to us in the TV world are no longer made or available, because not everything is an ENG camera, now. Almost everything is designed for toy cameras and Cine cameras. "Broadcast style" accessories are no longer 'en vogue'.

    I will say, it is built to go to war, though. I definitely wouldn't trust that monopod belt pouch to completely support the weight of a 5-figure, 25lb+ ENG camera being directed down through a monopod into it.

    And yes, even with prior art, the SteadyGum is patented. My guess is, this is so niche and no one probably thought a thing about patents for this type of thing 20-30+ years ago when similar set-ups were around, nothing similar showed up and this will never be challenged(well, never say never... or so they say). And possibly so niche, you may never see a "Chinese Knock-off". I have seen something similar to the top stage from a Chinese company, but I can't find anyone that carries it, it doesn't tilt and it looks like it would snap in half with the torque that would be applied to it if used in the same manner.


    Reply With Quote
     

  9. Collapse Details
    #9
    Senior Member Eric Coughlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,023
    Default
    Quote Originally Posted by Run&Gun View Post
    You can find leather flag carriers for like $30-$40 and monopods are pretty cheap, but the hitch is the heavy-duty top tilting platform that locks into the VCT wedge on the camera. You used to be able to find similar items fairly easily to support ENG cameras on monopods(I think a friend had one from Sachtler), but so many "specialty" items that used to be available to us in the TV world are no longer made or available, because not everything is an ENG camera, now. Almost everything is designed for toy cameras and Cine cameras. "Broadcast style" accessories are no longer 'en vogue'.
    I'm not sure what you're saying here. As far as I'm aware most equipment designers will make their items from scratch, as in (and forgive me if my construction terminology is not correct), say they do a 3D mold of what they're designing and weld it into the end product, and then good to go, and they can make as many more as they wish with no huge cost.

    You make it sound like they had to scour the ends of the earth in the distant lands of Zimbabwe and Zanzibar to find old broadcast style accessories, and then after the SteadiGum employees had rounded up the remaining 2000 broadcast style accessories that were buried deep in the caves of doom, those parts were then used to make 2000 SteadiGum units.

    Okay, so I'm re-reading and perhaps you're just saying that broadcast style cameras are less popular and therefore they wouldn't be able to sell enough units at say $200 to recoup their design, R&D, and manufacturing costs. But I'm still not buying it (no pun intended) because I feel like there are still broadcast accessories that are not outrageously priced. Then again, not sure what I'm saying because what broadcast accessories am I actually aware of? Broadcast cameras are so self-contained. Okay, VCT plates. Reasonably priced for what they are, even with new designs from newer companies such as Smallrig.

    My theory is that the SteadiGum people realized some basic advantages they had in the marketplace; a patent, a unique way to keep people from back injuries and fatigue, and a product marketed at people who often charge around $2k as a day rate, and thus could afford a back saving device that costs just one day of work. As such, like the Red mag, it's not so much that it actually cost them a lot to make, but moreso that they felt the product had a high value in the market they were selling to and they wanted to take advantage of that.
    Last edited by Eric Coughlin; 09-12-2019 at 02:20 AM.


    Reply With Quote
     

  10. Collapse Details
    #10
    Director of Photography
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    1,609
    Default
    I can't speak for the individuals behind this product but I know somewhat is involved in bring a product to market (I am in the process of doing so). It is frustrating to see it broken down into "how much is the sum of the materials? That's how much it should cost" when there are so many other components involved, from hard costs like prototype manufacture and tooling up for production runs, clerical costs like the patent process (generaly $15-20K) and marketing, and intangible costs like hundreds of hours spent in design and bringing a product to market. It takes a lot to be an entrepreneur, and sadly the proliferation of overseas companies that are disrupting the profit cycle make it less attractive for those with good ideas to want to do it. I will probably spend 100+ hours bringing my product to market and making sales, with a net return of far less than I make as a DP amortized over those hours--and without a doubt, people will be grumbling about how much it costs because they have gotten used to knockoff companies like Smallrig coming in with ever lower prices on gear.

    My final comment on this is the same as I give for any disruptive market technology (like ridesharing); we all think it's great when you pay less for something, but how would it feel if your boss comes in and tells you that he's found someone who can do your job for half price, so you can either take the pay cut or get out? In this instance, everything thinks this product should cost less but if someone told any of us that our own rate is "stupid" or "absurd" (to use descriptors applied above regarding this product), who amongst us would say "you're right--I should charge less".
    Charles Papert
    charlespapert.com


    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Reply With Quote
     

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •