Jump to content


Photo

how to chose Steadycam


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 Audrius

Audrius

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 02 June 2009 - 05:58 PM

I am working with HDV Canon or Red cameras. I want to buy Steadycam or Glidecam or Varyzoom or anything else. I have no experience with any of it. What would be the best chose for the beginner to carry Red one . Is it possible to get any tool for less then 10 000$
Thank you very much in advance. :blink:
  • 0

#2 Brian Dzyak

Brian Dzyak
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1517 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Encino, California USA

Posted 02 June 2009 - 08:18 PM

I am working with HDV Canon or Red cameras. I want to buy Steadycam or Glidecam or Varyzoom or anything else. I have no experience with any of it. What would be the best chose for the beginner to carry Red one . Is it possible to get any tool for less then 10 000$
Thank you very much in advance. :blink:


Well, you can get almost anything cheap, but you won't get QUALITY gear cheap.

Steadicam/Tiffen has many models of Steadicam that will work with a variety of cameras.


Keep in mind though that any purchase is an investment in your personal business. Meaning, you're buying a "fishing pole" that you hope will catch you some fish and "feed" you (pay your bills). The fishing pole (equipment) that you invest in will attract a certain kind of client. So, if you buy a Steadicam that can only carry a certain weight of camera, then the only clients you'll work for will be those who use that kind of camera. And typically the smaller and less expensive the camera, the less YOU'LL be able to earn overall. That means you'll have to work more in order to pay your bills and pay off the purchase fees (and any accruing interest) on the gear you've purchased.

For that reason, a lot of people will actually rent gear until they get a long running show or a steady stream of work that will actually help pay that gear off. The alternative is just buying gear and HAVING to work for ONLY clients who will use it because you have to pay it off. If one project that uses that gear (like a camera you buy or a Steadicam) and essentially pays for it, then you aren't going to be forced into working on projects that only use that gear.

So you CAN afford quality gear if you get a client or job that gives you enough work to help pay it off quickly. If you settle for cheap gear, you'll HAVE to work for "cheap" clients and you'll find yourself working twice as much or more just to pay it off.

My advice is to head to the Steadicam forum and find out what RED users are flying with. Call Tiffen in Glendale and ask them what they recommend. Borrow or rent a model or two to find out what you like and you'll learn what pieces you need and which are merely bonus items. THEN make a wise choice when you're writing a check.

Good luck!
  • 0

#3 Jaron Berman

Jaron Berman
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 160 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • New York, NY

Posted 03 June 2009 - 03:19 AM

Bryan has a good point - try before you buy - this isn't a world you wanna jump into without any hands-on time. But even before testing gear etc... search this forum and the steadicam forum along the lines of "getting into steadicam." Here's the simplest way to say it - the equipment itself is essentially worthless without the operator. Simply strapping into a vest won't guarantee smooth shots...in fact at first it will probably be about 300% less pretty than handheld. There's a very steep learning curve which, while it flattens out, never ends. And, the investment never ends. Steadicam has a way of "re-calibrating" one's sense of money. Know as much about the abilities, limitations, costs and benefits of steadicam before jumping in. If you're looking to do this full-time as a living, good luck! It's a very tough time to start out. If you're looking to do this part time, essentially as a hobby, don't waste your money. It'll benefit you and your production in the long run to spend the relatively small amount of money hiring a professional operator who has made the enormous investment in time and money to do it full-time.

That said, the best advice repeats like a broken record - TAKE A WORKSHOP! Don't spend a penny on equipment before knowledge! Certain camera manufacturers would have you believe otherwise, that buying gear = buying skill....but know what you're getting into BEFORE you make an investment you may never pay off. Steadicam systems add up, even if the cost to buy the rig itself seems manageable. Wireless focus, video, downconverters, cables, batteries, cases, insurance... it all adds up! The only thing worse than owning equipment you don't understand is trying to sell yourself as an expert while using equipment you don't understand. You'll save years of frustration and possible injury if you begin by signing up for a 2 day or 6 day workshop, and then taking it from there.

The double edged sword of steadicam is that there's never been a better time to learn than now. There are more workshops in more places than any time in history! But, there are also more people diving into the market trying to make it as operators than any time in history, due to the availability of education and cheap knockoff rigs. Whether you're looking to learn so you can fly the rig for your own productions or for a career, a workshop will be the BEST bang for your buck. If you take the workshop, you learn the basics as well as practice techniques that will help you get to the point where you can feel comfortable taking a paid gig (it takes a while to REALLY get to that point). And, should you decide it's not all you thought it was, you made a relatively small investment AND following the workshop you'll at least know what steadicam is and is not capable of, so as a director, producer, DP, you know what you can ask for and what to look for when hiring an op. It's win-win no matter what you choose to do after the workshop.

But no matter how large or small your budget to buy a rig is, the workshop should be mandatory, BEFORE everything else.

Plus, you'll get to try some different equipment and get hands-on with equipment that can help you see first hand if a rig is right for you or not. And it's a ton of fun! I know guys that have gone a few times, because of the extra training but mostly how fun it is.

Not trying to kill the gear-lust, but if you're serious about steadicam, there will be plenty of time to spend truckloads of money. For now, find the nearest and soonest workshop and sign up.
  • 0

#4 Sanjay Sami

Sanjay Sami
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 258 posts
  • Grip
  • Anywhere they pay me to go

Posted 03 June 2009 - 10:49 PM

Hi Audrius,

I think Jarons advice is really good. As a Key Grip over the last 18 years, I have worked with great steadicam operators, and occasionally the mediocre ar bad operators. It is not easy to get good on steadicam, and anything less than good is best avoided. I cannot recount the number of times we have replaced steadicam moves with crane-on-track or dancefloor dolly, because the operator was not upto it. Apart from not getting the shot, it will certainly impact your reputation. Think carefully before investing.

Sanjay Sami

Key Grip
  • 0

#5 Gustavo Penna

Gustavo Penna

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 08 June 2009 - 07:14 PM

I am working with HDV Canon or Red cameras. I want to buy Steadycam or Glidecam or Varyzoom or anything else. I have no experience with any of it. What would be the best chose for the beginner to carry Red one . Is it possible to get any tool for less then 10 000$
Thank you very much in advance. :blink:


Remember this FIRST.

The Steadicam is NOT a TOOL. TOOLS anybody can buy at home depot and used them in a couple of hours.

i could teach 90% of the worlds population to drill holes or cut 90 degree angles.

The Steadicam is an Instrument. You cant just go buy a violin, saxophone or piano and start playing with a professional orchestra

a week, month or year later.

Its Not the Arrow what matters.

Its the Indian.

However you should do one smart investment instead of throwing your money down the drain.



GAP
  • 0

#6 David Rakoczy

David Rakoczy
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1579 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • USA

Posted 08 June 2009 - 07:59 PM

(Audrius),

Kindly go to My Controls and change your screen name to your real name per this forum's rules.

GAP.. the Steadicam IS a tool. Get over yourself. There are many many 'tools' you can not just pick up and use. Ever play with a pipe bender? A Motion 'Camera' is just a tool.. even though after more than 2o+ years I am still learning how to use it to it's best effect.
  • 0

#7 Stephen Press

Stephen Press
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 74 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • New Zealand

Posted 10 June 2009 - 03:25 AM

So if you take the workshop and still decide you want to do this have a look at the Actioncam RED edition. Its a sweet rig made to fly the Red.
Review
ActionCam REDedition
  • 0


rebotnix Technologies

Abel Cine

Metropolis Post

Glidecam

CineLab

Ritter Battery

CineTape

The Slider

Technodolly

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Rig Wheels Passport

Wooden Camera

Visual Products

Tai Audio

Willys Widgets

Aerial Filmworks

FJS International, LLC

Opal

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Paralinx LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Aerial Filmworks

CineTape

Glidecam

Ritter Battery

CineLab

rebotnix Technologies

Visual Products

The Slider

Paralinx LLC

FJS International, LLC

Metropolis Post

Technodolly

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Tai Audio

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Abel Cine

Rig Wheels Passport

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Willys Widgets

Wooden Camera

Opal