Monday, March 15, 2010


I checked out a short demonstration of Glidecam’s HD series stabilizers at the camera show on Saturday.

The HD series comes in three models; the $399 HD 1000 (sells for around $329) is for cameras up to 3 pounds. The HD 2000 $499 ($450) is for cameras between 2 and 6 pounds, while the HD 4000 $599 (549) is for cameras between 4 and 10 pounds.

HD 2000 stabilizer with Canon 7D

They even had a Canon 7D on an HD 2000, though I can’t help thinking that keeping an SLR in focus on a stabilizer would be a challenge.

Glidecam has been making stabilizers for seventeen years, and I was surprised to learn that they were based here in Massachusetts. I didn’t know that!

These models are quite an improvement over the models of ten years ago; the simple washer weights at the bottom have been replaced with custom counter-weights. Even better, the camera mount platform now has a quick-release plate, making it much easier to transport and set up the camera/stabilizer.

It also seems a lot easier to adjust the balance on these models.

They showed a video of a guy rollerblading, and I thought that the cameraman must have been running to keep up with him; turns out the camera operator was on rollerblades as well!

One thing I learned; operating the stabilizer is actually a two-handed operation; one hand holds the stabilizer handle while the other lightly grips the stabilizer post just below the gimbal to change position of the camera as needed.

These stabilizers aren’t that expensive; though if you’re planning on shooting a lot with them, plan to really build up your arm muscles, or you might have to think about getting a vest and arm. Those start at about $1,400 and go up from there.

A write-up about the HD-4000 and the X-10 arm can be found here: Gliding in on the HD-4000 and X-10

Quick-release plate

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