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  • @Ralph_B You can check out this video by cheesycam. Pretty selfexplanatory (


  • @Rambo

    Thank you for your recommendation of the Tiffen Smoothee for the GH2, you were right on. Well worth the $150 at Amazon, and after adding a 577 QR and some extra weight at the bottom, it's at least as good a performer as my Flycam Nano, easier to balance, and a hell of a lot easier on the wrist and arm. Good call, mate.

  • @Shaveblog Yep, it makes sense to keep the total weight down when considering handheld stabilisers else you risk fatigue and muscle shake, that's the trade off. Personally I also need small and lite weight for travel but it's still a great performer like you say and easy to setup.

    Have fun mate.

  • I received my Beginners Steadicam via catchit deals ($134.) Well packed and promptly delivered. Took the time to set up and balance it whilst watching a few tutorials, and after a couple of hours tinkering and trying it out I think I found the sweet spot. I decided to make a couple of reference marks on the plates etc, before I packed it away, so I could refer to them when I set it up again. The reference marks worked well when I did set up again and took me 5 minutes to have it balanced again, so I took it out for a proper test and was very pleased with results for a beginner. I am using the 4 weights it came with, 14-42 stock lens. Sure it lacks the callibration more expensive units have, and adjustments are fidly at first. The gimble is terrific but the handle will need slight adjustments as time goes on. Good build, well priced, and for $134 it's a good beginners stabilising unit. Cheers.

  • @Haberdasher

    Thanks for feedback, hope youll make some video later and post it also.

  • I'm not sure how to post here yet, so I can offer a you tube link. "Beginners steadicam test, by a beginner" Cheers.

  • I bought the same steadicam Haberdasher bought (the one Vitaliy posted at the bottom of page 5), and I'm still having a hard time getting it set up and using it.

    For starters, ZERO documentation is included, so it's up to you to figure it out. Right off the bat I was confused by the top plate. I assumed it would slide out so I could affix the camera and slide it back in. This is not the case, as the top plate does not come off. Makes it very time consuming to attach the camera, so I'll be adding a QR down the road.

    I then spent about a half hour attempting to get the camera balanced (GH2 with 20mm pancake). Having no instructions, I had to rely on YouTube clips of people balancing similar style rigs. In the end, I thought I had a pretty good balance and a nice, slow drop time, so I gave it a try.

    And the results were awful! So, laughing it off, I went back to the drawing board. I didn't have much time to do a lot more tweaking, but I'm finding I still have these problems:

    1. The camera wants to rock fore and aft as I walk forward, pivoting at the fulcrum. It's really slow, like it's only barely off balance.
    2. The camera wants to spin about the vertical axis, like panning on a tripod. I can't keep it looking straight ahead. (Unless I want to turn a corner with it, then it points straight ahead no matter how hard I try to get it to turn!...)
    3. I'm not sure what orientation I should use for the bottom plate with the weights on it. Should it be oriented left-right (parallel to the camera body), or should it be oriented fore-aft (parallel to the direction of shooting)?
    4. What do you guys do with the camera's shoulder strap while the camera is on the steadicam? There's no quick release to get those things on and off, so it would take way too much time to remove them every time I wanted to use the stabilizer. I found that the straps got tangled up in the rig too easily and affected the balance.
    5. I mostly shoot things that are low to the ground (my kids), and I found that when holding the stabilizer any lower than about stomach-height, the handle bumps into the top plate and knocks the camera around.
    6. I have no idea what I'm doing!

    I'm not a professional videographer, just a guy that wants to shoot video of his kids that aren't so shaky. I guess I was under the delusional impression that I could just balance the steadicam once, then quickly pop the camera on every time a spontaneous moment comes up that I want to film, and it would magically make everything nice and smooth. Boy was I wrong! These things actually require a lot of know-how, not only to operate, but to set up. And they require setting up before EVERY use, so they're not a tool for spontaneous filming.

    I plan to keep practicing, though, and hopefully get some fun shots with it. If anyone has any tips, I could use all the help you're willing to give me. For instance, the whole point of these things is to lock the horizon in, but what do you do when you want to look up or down with the camera in the middle of a shot? For instance, my daughter is crawling toward me, and so I need to aim the camera lower and lower as she approaches. And how do you keep the camera pointed at the subject when it's free to spin about its vertical axis at will--I turn a corner, and the camera keeps pointing the direction it was before? I suppose that must involve using your off hand on the fulcrum as Shaveblog pointed out, but does anyone have any pictures or video clips demonstrating this technique so I get a better idea of what's needed?

    Anyway, it's still a cool new toy to play around with, and I hope to eventually post up a decent example of something shot with it.

  • @geddyt

    We have few topics with tips.

    Steadicams are not so easy tool and require skill. Plus small ones are just less effective (due to physics).

    You can get

  • @geddyt My beginners steadicam differs slightly from the one shown on page 5 with regards to the (fixed) top block that accomadates the side adjustment plate, and mine has different weights (lighter by the looks). However on comparison to mine, which I'm looking at, it looks very close to my set up.

    I have the LCD closed (at this stage still), a 14-42 lens, and a lens hood attached. My weights (4 of them the same size) sit exactly the same on weight plate as page 5 picture, and my main post (shaft) would be approx 1/2 inch longer. My drop time for outside recording, from one side to the other is about 3, (plus1,plus 2, etc, is the way I count, and everybody counts differently. In studio drama some Cameramen have a drop of 6 or more from side to side with the real steadicam set ups.

    I think you should always try and roughly balance the top first, and then the drop. I don't adjust the angle of the weight plate unless the camera drifts left or right by itself, and I found that having the weights spread (page 5 pic helps me)

    Learning to use your thumb and index finger (VERY LIGHTLY) to guide the camera will help to solve most of your problems, and stay at eye to chest height like I am, until your confidence grows. Also maybe just slowly incorporate stabilised shots into the home movies, and not base your shoot around it. Cheeers.

  • Thanks for the tips. Do you take the shoulder strap off?

  • Do you take the shoulder strap off?

    Take it off and do not have anything that can move.

  • I posted about a month ago, expressing my frustration with Merlin and how it swings side to side. Since then, I've 'upgraded' to a Glidecam HD 1000. After a few practice runs, I've used it for a commercial with much better results. Somebody here mentioned the physics of Merlin vs. Glidecam. From experience of using both models, Glidecam design is much better for a smaller camera like GH2, in both ease of use and smoothness. I have a long ways to go, but I get pretty good results using just one hand. I can't seem to get silk smooth results guiding with left hand just yet. One thing for sure though, no more uncontrollable side-to-side swinging!

  • I also found the Merlin 2 to be pretty bad, though all I can compare it to is the Flycam 3000. See "flawed design" review at

    Hoping the Glidecam HD1000 will be a good one.

  • @balazer

    Also remember that Laing will be coming with upgraded things :-) We are working on them.

    You can check some of stuff for not so small cameras at

  • I just got the all black version of this stabilizer from eBay also known as the Mini handheld stabilizer S-60. Mine came already assembled in the box, a carry bag, and a Disc containing a video (see below).

    I haven't balanced it yet, but my first impression; Considering the price, I like the build quality.

    @geddyt: For starters, ZERO documentation is included, so it's up to you to figure it out. Right off the bat I was confused by the top plate. I assumed it would slide out so I could affix the camera and slide it back in. This is not the case, as the top plate does not come off. Makes it very time consuming to attach the camera, so I'll be adding a QR down the road.

    • the quick release plate does slide off, watch this video, it will show you how.

    I'll post footage once I've practiced using it.


    Does anyone know how to adjust the friction on this gimbal? (image attached). It is similar to the Wondlan gimbal.

    I have it balanced while stationary. Done the drop test (2.5 second drop). But I have a few problems with the Gimbal:-

    1. Once I start moving–even taking baby steps at snails pace–the stabiliser becomes very unstable.

    2.The gimbal isn't isolating any movements. The pole moves with the slightest movement of the handle. For example if you turn a corner the stabiliser turns in the same direction. It doesn't spin, it just moves in the direction I (wrist & handle) turn. Seems counter intuitive for a stabilizer.

    1. When I spin the pole, it doesn't rotate more than a couple of times. There is definitely some friction in the gimbal or handle. Spins 2-3 rotations then stops. I doesn't even come close to spinning like the Laing P-03 in the video below.

    Have contacted the eBay seller, but any help/advise to fix this would be appreciated.

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  • "the quick release plate does slide off, watch this video, it will show you how. "

    Aw man... I feel like an idiot. Thanks for the tip! And thanks for that video in general. That helped a lot.

    Interesting that your gimbal bearing seems tight. Mine seems too free. I wouldn't mind tightening it a bit.

  • This is my 3rd effort with the Beginners Steadicam. Sorry if I haven't set up & posted it correctly for youtube viewing, but I'm quietly happy with the progression I'm making and what I see on my desktop in 1080.

    Won't bore you all any more until I have something more substantial to show. Cheers.

  • No worries @geddyt My gimbal and handle will probably cause me to return this stabiliser.

    Even after balancing it correctly, a stiff handle & gimbal just throw everything off axis b/c it can't isolate any movement.

    @Haberdasher seems you are making progress.

    @Haberdasher @geddyt how are your gimbals?

    Try to do this 'test' demonstrated in the video (10:00); your camera should remain pointing in the same direction.

    Regardless of the speed I rotate around the camera, my camera rotates with the handle.

  • @Henry... My gimbal bearing cover plate has 2 locating lugs (shallow holes) and I'm sure they all do, and what I've already had to do is remove it with circlip pliers that fit nicely, and then tighten, or loosen the adjusting collar that is revaled on the shaft when you seperate the bearing cover plate. You should do this from time to time anyway I think, as it gives you a chance to clean any muck out that will get in, and get rid of any slop in the bearing like I developed. At the same time you may want to deliberately tighten it up to suit a requirement and then loosen it again later. Cheers.

  • @Heaberdasher Hardware is not my forte, so just to clarify, the "2 locating lugs" is this right: see attached picture.

    Also, is this the circlip plier you are talking about? I guess I'll have to get one and open this thing up.

    So far I have the stabiliser balanced perfectly, it just the gimbal that is the weakest link. If I can get this thing working correctly, I'm positive I can get some smooth footage.

    Thanks again.

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  • @Henry Sorry mate it's not either of those 2 silver lugs, but the larger top cover plate that sits horizontally, and the main shaft (post) travels through. The plyers shoud be fine, and the cover plate should easily unloosen in anti clockwise direction.

  • @Haberdasher thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

    I now see where you're talking about.

    It's located on the cover plate. Cheers.

  • For all two of you that have a Wondlan Ares, do you find the GH2 to be just too light for the thing? I have the 14mm pancake and the 25mm leica and I suck with both of them. I can't even add any weights at the bottom of the stabilizer because it makes it too heavy. Has anyone had any success at all using the Ares in conjunction with the GH2?

  • @MagicMountainMan Not sure about that Wondlan but if it's the same weight specs as the Glidecam HD2000, maybe. The GH2 is just way too light for that thing and I'm using the Tokina 11-16. I had to strap a shitload of huge washers to the top plate.

  • I'm thinking of just going selling the Ares and getting a HD1000 because it seems to be the ticket when it comes to lightness. The one pitfall of having a camera that's too small and too light, it doesn't play nice with stabilizers...