10/25/12 Come Fly with Me

Steadicam is highly regarded as the coolest way to move a camera. I agree. Polecam rocks, but this is a different animal. These rigs keep the camera steady while traversing stairs and on long walks and runs for that matter. They are widely used in TV programing and live sports and concerts.

I have had a starter unit called a Steadicam Merlin for years that will carry cameras up to 6 pounds. Good for small shoots with small cameras and learning the principles of dynamic and static balance. I’m on to bigger things now and needed a bigger rig. For a recent shoot I geared up with a Steadicam Flyer and man was it fun.

The main idea is the Iso-elastic arm and vest isolate the camera from any movements the operator makes. The sled keeps it balanced. They work together to keep the camera movement fluid. Very fun stuff. It does take a while to balance the camera and even the slightest change, like the angle the viewfinder sits at can affect the balance. And then there is the walking part. The guys that do this full time have mastered an art that is very under appreciated.

I had two days with the rig and gave it a good run. The video needs a little stabilization in post but turned out as I expected and this is only due to the years of using the Merlin. Steadicam is not something to just jump into. To get really good I will need to practice up a bunch. Better get my hands on a full rig already.

Sample is loaded HERE: http://3215009.net/Steadicam.Flight1.mov