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Steady cam on a budget


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#1 Gene Loveland

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 07:20 PM

So I'm using a Canon xl2 and would like to get a basic steady cam set up. Any thoughts?
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#2 Brian Rose

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 12:00 PM

So I'm using a Canon xl2 and would like to get a basic steady cam set up. Any thoughts?


The most low-fi example I can think of is on "Evil Dead" Sam Raimi and his DP attached their camera to a 2 x 4, and ran with it, each hold one end of the board. Coupled with a nice, wide angle lens produced a pretty nice shot.

If you've got some money to spend, you could look into the glidecam. It's based on the same principles as the steadicam, only the product line is geared more towards digital and low-budg filmmakers. The sled goes for around 400, and you can get some nice results with it as a handheld (though it's a BITCH on the arm, and you really can't do more than ten or twenty seconds at a time). For about two grand, I got a used package that had the sled, a shock arm and vest, plus a monitor, and it's been worth every penny.

But if that's too much, why not try craigslist? As an owner/operator, I've found gigs through there, to use my glidecam, and I bet you could find someone in your area, who might come out for a fee.

BR
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#3 Chris Burke

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 08:13 AM

a quick search on google came up with this hit first

http://steadycam.org/


I have used this for a DVX100 and it works great.
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#4 Bruce Taylor

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 04:47 PM

http://steadycam.org/


Love it! I just bought the pre-made version http://littlegreatideas.com/steadycam for $40 because I didn't want to bother with the trip to Home Depot. Nicely machined aluminum and the low mode bracket is a lot better that a bent piece of angle iron. I works for little cameras and you sure can't beat the price.

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#5 Josh Andersen

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 11:03 AM

You can also look at the Lensse steadycams, really nicely made in Turkey.
2 different models on amazon.

http://www.amazon.co...36HWCIH&sn=JOGR
and
http://www.amazon.co...36HWCIH&sn=JOGR

I also like the idea of making some sort of steadycam out of a 2x4. I would like to see pictures of Raimi using that for evil dead!
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#6 Benjamin G

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 07:25 PM

a quick search on google came up with this hit first

http://steadycam.org/


I built one of those years ago. It works quite well but does take some practice to make the image really smooth. It gets really heavy too, especially if you add anything to the camera. Like a lens adaptor, Firestore, monitor... Etc. You're limited to doing relatively short shots unless your steadycam operator is also a body builder.
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#7 M Joel W

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 09:10 PM

You've probably made up your mind judging by the date on which you posted, but I would think twice before building one of those home depot things. All they are is a counterweight with no gimbal and you might as well just tie a weight to the bottom of your tripod and operate from the center of gravity for even less money. The result will be equally poor.

I bought a glidecam 2000 about six years ago (for my long gone dvx) and have used it with the dvx, 7d, t2i, hv30, etc. Also used the glidecam 4000 with the vest, which might be more appropriate for an xl2. These are usable to the extent that they'll actually help stabilize your shots a bit way when used correctly (they have both counterweight and gimbal), but they are a pain to balance and the slightest error balancing will result in wonky footage. Unless you build up a lot of intertia and get perfect balance the look is still more smooth handheld than steadicam, but they are good for the money.

None of these cheap options will compare with a real steadicam rig and experienced operator. Not even close. And they'll all tire you out really fast with a camera as large as the xl2. That said, I do find the glidecam useful and it's inexpensive. It's just not great.

Raimi was doing a trick shot at a low frame rate. Pretty effective, and the guy is a genius with the camera, but that technique is not really versatile.

Edited by M Joel Wauhkonen, 29 March 2011 - 09:12 PM.

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Rig Wheels Passport

Wooden Camera

CineTape

Visual Products

Paralinx LLC

Aerial Filmworks