DV Steadicam

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Has anyone used the DV Steadicam yet? I've got a Canon XL-1 and I'm considering buying a DV Steadicam but would like to hear from someone who has used it first.

-- Steve Brooks (nilesby@mindspring.com), February 15, 1999


The XL1 is really too heavy for the DV Steadicam for most practical purposes. You either need to opt for the lighter wide-angle lens with it or strip down the camera... even removing the viewfinder assembly.

I eventually just gave up and only use my VX1000 with the DV Steadicam, which otherwise is a great tool.

-- John

-- John Windmueller (jwind@cais.com), February 16, 1999.

I recently bought a Glidecam Xtrme from Promax. It was pretty easy to set up and worked farely well off the bat. I don't reccommend the tiny JVC monitor they offer with it. I guess you get what you pay for. Oh yeah.....I'm using an XL1 with the XLR adapter, with a boom pole in tow. It seems more stable with the included extension. bob

-- Bob Sherman (phatfarm@io.com), March 05, 1999.

I have also looked into purchsing the DV Steadicam, but have learned that it definitly does not work with the XL1, and even has some problems with the VX1000. However, I am looking into the Glidecam3000 which is setup slightly different. There are some useful info to be had from/look for "XL1 watchdog report" and a Steadicam Jr site found on the VX1000 resource users links/from Scott Bethel. Sorry, I did not write the links down. If you have problems finding these very informative sites before plunking down 1200.00 for the DV Steadicam e-mail me.

-- Nef Cano (Ncanu@aol.com), March 06, 1999.

We need to be careful to differentiate now between the Steadicam JR (for which the XL-1 would be a little much) and the new-for-1999 dv)steadicam, which was specifically designed FOR the XL-1 and the VX- 1000. I've used the JR extensively (and very successfully) with the VX-1000, and I recently acquired the dv)steadicam, including the arm/ vest to help distribute the weight (and allow for longer shooting days--just what we need, right?!). It's a wonderful combo.

-- Edwin de Jong (director@visualedj.com), April 16, 1999.

I bought a DV Steadicam to use with my XL1. What a waste of time and money. Returned it in 2 days cuz it DOESN'T WORK with the XL1 period Too many flex points, goes out of balance too easy!!! I'm looking into buying the Hollywood Lite rig. 360 degree pan and tilts, yes tilts. Complete with vest,arm and sled. Save your money!!

-- Nuri G (fusionproductions@hotmail.com), August 21, 1999.

Hi, I've been shooting with a Xl1 for a while now and I was looking to buy, the steadicam DV to use with it, So I did my homework and found out that about 8 out of every 10 people I talked to said that the Xl1 is to heavy, I called the company and the guy I talked to even told me that the Xl1 is to heavy. So I bought a Glidecam V- 8, which I'm very happy with, but it costs more and it doesn't come with a monitors, and you just about have to buy a monitor for it in my mind, but in my opinion the glidecam is a more profession rig, it comes with a vest, spring loaded arm, and sted, but it takes alot of pratice to get good.

-- josef rogoschewsky (xots@hotmail.com), September 04, 1999.

You can't give the DV Steadicam just 2 days to give it a fair analysis. The only problem with camera operators and the DV and JR Steadicams is that most of us want the damned thing to work right away! Cinema Products should inform folks right off the bat that practice is of the utmost importance! Practice and more practice! The glidecam ships without a monitor?!! What the hell is that? That's a waste of money! The Steadicam JR is great for any camera up to the VX-1000 and the DV Steadicam (or DVS) is perfect for the XL-1. Anyone who says otherwise is either ill-informed or not patient enough to realize that practice makes perfect. E-mail me if you have any responses.


John Brune http://www.geocities.com/~steadicamjr

-- John Brune (jbfine@fortwayne.infi.net), October 28, 1999.

I've used the Dv Steadicam with my XL-1 and found it wanting: The rpevious response regarding the necessity of practice is probably true, but the tool is nevertheless FAR too temperamental to be useful with such a heavy camera. I can only get the balance dead on if I remove the right-side mic attachment (not really a problem for me since I'm usinf it for effects shots, but still a limitation).

I also bought a Stadicam JR years ago (which I also attempted to use with a camera that was far too heavy). When will I learn?! Cinema Products, in my opinion, has been somewhat irresponsible in their claims, for years now, when it comes to their Steadi products. The DV Steadicam, with the XL-1 at least, is unwieldy, unreliable and inadequately documented. If the product was designed specifically for the XL-1, then why was the balance info included on a photo-copied, unattached sheet of paper when it arrived?

Note: I'm not saying it WON'T work with the XL-1; I'm saying it's a royal pain in the A** with the XL-1... and forces the user to baby the thing to the point that your shot, becomes all about fitting the tool's requirements--when the tool should be fitting YOUR requirements.

I think I'll look into

-- Brian Pope (thepope@saintly.com), November 02, 1999.

Check this out! :)

Homemade stabilazers.



-- Igor Trajkovski (eg_igor@yahoo.com), December 26, 2000.

dv steadicam

-- rajeev .v (rajeevclickman@rediffmail.com), March 21, 2002.

We built our own glidecam for a JVC DVM-50. Shooting everything handheld is a breeze. Just hit the hardware store and create one, cheaper than buying one that seems to not work your cameras. Construction lighting and built a boom too. I make killer DV films and it costs me practically nothing.

-- Brian Tessitore (btessitore553@earthlink.net), November 08, 2002.

Those of you who claim that the dv steadicam doesn't work with the XL- 1 have not really taken the time to learn how to use it. It takes time to learn to use this kind of equipment, whether it's a Steadicam, Glidecam, or a homemade device. There is not a big feature film being made anywhere nowadays that doesn't employ at least 3 Steadicam operators. These guys and gals practice and practice with these things and even take classes specifically designed to teach them how to use them. Not to mention the fact that a Panavision motion picture camera weighs a heck of a lot more than the little XL- 1, and these camera people have no problem filming a movie with their Steadicams because of patience and practice.

One thing I have learned by working with beginning film makers is that they are in such a hurry to get their movie filmed they don't take the time to learn how to use the Steadicam, even after spending all the $ on such a professional piece of equipment. As if owning it will make them a better film maker. To this I say: you didn't learn to break down a script, formulate a shooting schedule and budget, light a scene, film a movie and edit it in the span of 2 days. It took time to learn all this. So, try to give yourself a little more time to learn to use a Steadicam (did you jump on a bicycle for the first time and ride off into the sunset?).

For those of you who may not be able to afford a Steadicam, go to Hocast.com and you can buy instructions on how to make your own Steadicam-like device for a lot less. They work, I know because I have built and used 3 of them.

-- Jeff Ochoa (specfxdude@hotmail.com), December 18, 2002.

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