One really simple question before I buy this thing today (was going to purchase yesterday, but some things came up and B&H pissed me off and EVS was out of stock).
To people who have owned or used this thing, how hard is this thing to balance?
Thanks for any feedback.
Thread: Glidecam 4000 Owner Question
Results 1 to 10 of 27
12-20-2005 10:53 AM
12-21-2005 03:27 PM
I just purchased the Smooth Shooter/ 4000.
Here's the deal. Common sense is all it takes. First, it's important to get the Bogen quick release assembly, otherwise every time you remove your camera from the sled, you'll be back to square one. Second, simply start by mounting the camera in the center of the sled, add ssome weights to the bottom and try to get a front to rear balance. then, adjust the sled to get a left to right balance. Then, add weights to the bottom equally to get the "drop test" close, then fine tune it with the sled extension. It can't possibly take more than 30 minutes.....see my review in the recent threads...
12-21-2005 07:28 PM
I've been using the French "Aigle" (Eagle) stabilizer for quite a while (see here : http://www.laigleparis.fr/) and I made a web page (http://perso.wanadoo.fr/cinedv/steadicam.htm) to give people tips fed to me by the designer that weren't included in the original manual.
I say this because my first experiences with that stabilizer were somewhat frustrating : stabilizers can be difficult to balance (and to use), which is why the Steadicam™ classes are quite successful, from what I hear.
However, if the manual is detailed enough, or if another user gives you some hints, it becomes quite easy, although it always does require care and some patience. On average, I'd say it takes me about 10 minutes to balance my stabilizer on set before being ready to shoot. I've rarely seen any paid professional do it faster... and clean stabilizer shots are immensely enjoyable to watch !
Have fun !
12-21-2005 07:43 PM
Well I purchased the quick release plate, so my goal is to get it pretty much set up with the view screen out and the high capacity battery on so I don't need to worry about it after that first balance.
I'm just a bit paranoid about the setting for it, then also running any sort of XLR cable into the camera, that is really scary.
12-21-2005 08:25 PMOriginally Posted by AbracadabraFilms
12-23-2005 12:52 PM
Well, needless to say, balance is critical to smooth shots. That said, we used the Glidecam (2000) and got the balance down with the monitor out and the big battery. But we were using a Quickcapture via Firewire and that completely threw the balance off. We decided to use the tape for scenes with the Glidecam. (The XLR cable caused the same problem.)
12-23-2005 12:56 PM
OK, I got it, working on balancing it for a while now. Right now I have mounted the quick release plate and I'm running about 5 weights front and back right now. Does anyone have a picture of their Glidecam set up or any idea of how many weights they have on the base?
12-23-2005 01:04 PM
Have you checked out this page?
This really helped me understand what correct balance is. I thought I had it balanced pretty well, though, the clips I shot told me I was wrong. After watching the demos on this site, I was able to get everything balanced correctly.
Once again, though, having external cables plugged in defeated me completely.
12-23-2005 01:46 PM
I have watched that about three or four times, but I still cannot balance this piece of s*%t. I'm getting pissed now.
12-23-2005 01:52 PM
I use 5 or 6 weights, front and back, and my rig. Generally I'm running with LCD out, hood on, occasionally a long shotgun mounted on top, sometimes ALSO with a wireless receiver mounted off the right side.
It takes a little getting used to. The first couple of times I tried to get it balanced, it took me a long time. Now, after a month or two of use, I can do it in about 3 minutes every time.
XLR cables are a real problem, as can be headphone cables. If you must use it, you need a cable wrangler. It also helps to wrap the cable around your neck and down your back opposite the direction of movement (generally this means over your left side). If you're doing a very complex shot, I would HIGHLY recommend bringing in another recording device for audio.