Had a chance to interview Tom Howie, VP of Sales and Marketing for Glidecam at NAB last month and he was gracious enough to share, in great detail, the proper way to set-up and fine tune the Glidecam HD 2000 (or any Glidecam HD) during the interview. During the process he candidly answers questions that I've seen floating around the forums relating to the use of not only the Glidecam products but all similar devices. Here's a (very ;-) rough cut of the part of the interview that directly relates to setting up, fine tuning and actually using any of the Glidecam HD units. After the setup instruction he shares some interesting tips and exercises to help us get ready to shoot successfully with the rigs. I cut a lot out and split it into 3 parts but it's still 38 mins long (total) so grab a cup of coffee and settle back for an in depth look at the proper way to set up and start using the Glidecams according to Tom and Glidecam.. btw: Schy Gleason, our cameraman on the interview had to shoot from out in the aisle at NAB which as you might guess is not an optimum place to be at anytime. So please excuse any bounces or sudden position/focus shifts as he was constantly struggling for space. Shot in available light at ISO 640 on a Nikon D7000, GenusTech shoulder rig and Bravo follow focus. Recorded on Zoom H4N and painlessly synched with Dualeyes.
The Glidecam HD-Series works so well that it allows you to shoot incredibly smooth and graceful shots even while going to extremes like running up and down stairs or traveling over rugged terrain. And when it comes to normal shooting, like walking or moving the camera slowly around someone, the results are equally magical. Each HD-Series Stabilizer’s offset, foam cushioned, Handle Grip is attached to a free floating, three axis Gimbal. This allows your hand to move up and down, and side-to-side, thereby isolating your hand’s unwanted motions from the camera. This up and down movement alleviates the bouncing, pogo type action often associated with our competitor’s system because their handle cannot move up and down. This design feature, coupled with the overall higher inertia of the HD-Series systems, produces superior stabilization when compared with our competition. A unique and proprietary, precision, three-axis Gimbal incorporates several adjustable, axis convergence controls. This allows all three axes to intersect for proper operational alignment. A camera-mounting platform with a quick-release, no-tools, drop-on camera plate allows you to quickly attach or remove your camera. Ergonomic, control knobs allow quick, precise adjustment of the top stage’s back and forth, and side-to-side movement. These controls allow you to adjust the camera’s horizontal balance. By varying the amount of Counter Weights on the Base Platform, or by changing the length of the no-tools telescoping Central Post, you adjust the camera\'s vertical balance. When balanced properly the camera floats, ready for you to move into action. The Glidecam HD Series stabilizers offer unparalleled controllability and ease of use with their unique rigid, yet dynamically adjustable, control and weight distribution surfaces. Setting up, controlling and adjusting system balance is now quick and precise. A unique and proprietary Dynamic Base Platform can expand or contract. This allows you to easily adjust the systems dynamic balance or to increase or decrease the systems rotational pan inertia.
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