Let me start by saying I do own a Steadicam Merlin Vest and the Glidecam HD4000 stabilizer. These are two high quality pieces of gear that will give excellent results, but total over $2100+ US dollars. If you can afford this combination, you won't be disappointed with the results.
For those who can't afford such equipment, I have had the opportunity to try several different more affordable vest systems and posted a video about this (below) along with an Arm/Vest I recommend for budget shooters.
So If you are a budget filmmaker, this more affordable Vest/Arm with Stabilizer Combination that can work just as well as some of the more expensive kits out there. The dual ISO arm vest is easy to get in and out of, easy to adjust to fit, and the arm has a quick release system and can be found bundled with the Wieldy Carbon Fiber Stabilizer (Wieldy review found here). Below is a sample video of the Dual ISO Arm and Vest with Wieldy Stabilizer flying a BlackMagic Cinema Camera.
Even with the additional weight of the BMCC, the stabilizer works great. This has been one of the best alternative Vest/Stabilizer bundles i've used that can deliver results similar to my $2100+ US dollar setup, and the kit is often found for around $800. You can find this Dual Arm Vest + Stabilizer via eBay (click here)
Video Camera Steadycam Dual Arm Stabilizer Load Vest
The vest is very helpful for longer video shots, but is not required. You can always purchase the vest at a later time and just start with the Wieldy Carbon Fiber hand held stabilizer. I have additional information and sample video footage shot with a Wieldy (found here). So if you are just looking for the Hand Held stabilizer, that can be found via eBay (Click Here).
Wieldy DV Pro Iron Triangle Stabilizer
Thank you, sir!
@JP - I use a jellyfish tablet clip that has a tripod mount. You can use something like that with a mini ball head on the sled. Just replace some of the weights with your monitor.
I just ordered this (v. I), nice price on ebay since the version II is out. I am using a canon camera and plan to use an Android phone as the field monitor (DSLR Controller). Do you have thoughts on how to mount the android to the sled? I think I will like the lower position (on antlers?) so that I can see the ground and the frame as I walk. Thoughts?
Ok so I actually figured out I can easily add weight by adding a battery grip, and camera weight plates. That can easily add an extra 2.5 pounds.
@Emm - Sry last question, which I've tried searching for, is what would be the easiest way to add enough weight to work well with the vest/arm? Thanks!
@Emm - I think I am leaning towards arm and vest solution and adding weight. I feel like it will be easier to get consistently smooth and cinematic looking shots.
@Emm - Thanks a bunch!
@Alex - The T3i may be too light for the full on Wieldy vest system. Stick to just the hand held Stabilizer like the Blackbird or plan on making your camera setup heavier to work with a vest.
I am looking for a stabilizer for my canon t3i mainly to do music videos. I am considering this full wieldy rig or just getting a handheld blackbird or getting the blackbird and mount it on the wieldy vest and arm. Emm or anyone can you help me make a decision? My main concern is I am not sure if T3i is too light for the wieldy arm and vest all together. Thanks!
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Good tip. Thank Emm. if anyone else has experience with this new vest and its behavior with light camera rigs please let me know. I am using a GH3 with few accessories.
@gnarg - I haven't tried this vest, but they have updated the springs to include 4 instead of just 2. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing. The problem with most vests are they can't fly lightweight cameras. More springs might make the vest incompatible with light cameras, I don't really know until I try.
thanks for your quick response to my previous question.
I noticed the wieldy product you reviewed now links to has what they describe as a updated vest and stabilizer. (New!! Wieldy 1-9KG Carbon Fiber Stabilizer Steadicam Camera Video DSLR Steadycam) Any issues or significant advantages/disadvantages with this setup that you feel are noteworthy to consider or would change your opinion of this product?
nice site by the way. I'm learning a lot from your efforts.
@gnarg - The handheld stabilizers work best, the vest is optional. The vest is used to carry the weight for heavy setups or long operation times.
what works best for steady footage when walking? A vest based system or a shoulder system?. I will be filming walking virtual tours of historical sites in my area with a dslr and would love to get some advice from the experienced folks who follow this blog.
I purchased the Wieldy stabilizer linked in this post, and recently tried to run an HDMI cable through the sled's carbon fiber post. Specifically, I tried running a Monoprice "6ft Ultra Slim Series High Performance Mini-HDMI® to HDMI® (A-C) Cable w/ RedMere® Technology" cable, as it had the smallest connector I could find.
It turns out the sled post has a very strong steel tube embedded in its top that's maybe 7 inches in length or so. The top and bottom of this tube constrict to a smaller opening than the carbon-fiber tube. This becomes a bottleneck that won't let the mini-hdmi plug pass. I even ground off the plastic and some of the metal on the mini-hdmi plug's housing to make it smaller, and it just can't pass through this opening that unfortunately keeps the cable from running far enough towards the top of the sled to be sure it's above the gimbal.
@Morgan - the Merlin is designed to fly with by holding the handle slightly at an angle. As you walk the handle can then move up and down. It also moves the small stabilizer further from the arm so it has room to work.
@ Jay and Emm
I also want to fit my merlin on the wieldy arm, so that seems like a nice solution...
But can you guys tell me something about why the merlin requires an angled post?
And why would I need to change the back screw for a longer one?
Thanks A LOT!
Just to notify that for those like me who want to use this arm/vest with the Merlin, you can buy this arm post : https://www.tiffen.com/displayproduct.html?tablename=steadicam&itemnum=801-7290
Just need to change the back screw for a longer one, and it will fit right.
I'm very happy with it.
Thank you for your blog.
Emm--Has this stood the test of time? I'm really thinking about getting it.
I still have had massive issues with broken units and broken down communication with the suppliers of this unit. Just wished I bucked up the extra cash and got a Glidecam.
Important note on the Opteka vest & arm I recently bought. The vest is reasonable quality and fits ok, BUT the arm post DOES NOT fit a Steadicam Merlin handle as described on the Opteka site and Ebay site.
They inform me they need to build a custom adaptor for the vest to work with the Merlin which should take 1-2 months to manufacture.
@Tim - It is one spring per segment, and 7 pounds may be pushing it. You might have to look at the more robust vest systems.
I have the Flycam 6000 and it sucks. Want to take the plunge on this setup. I have both a DSLR as well as the C300. Will it fly both? The c300 with cage, lens, and monitor is around 7 lbs. Do you think it can handle that load. Also, does the dual arm have a total of 4 springs? Two in each segment? In my experience, two springs in each segment helps stabilization. Thanks for the help.
I got a deal on a 2nd merlin arm and vest to go along with my first Merlin arm and vest and a modified Glidecam HD4000. I would love to buy the Wieldly sled and use that on my 2nd steadicam arm and vest with the adapter that I bought from Berkley systems. However, since the Wieldly post is smaller than the Glidecam, I'm wondering if it will mount onto the berkley adapter.
Anyone know about this or have other advice> I guess I could get some screws and adapters, cause really it's like 300 bucks cheaper than the HD4000 so I'm game for that... and I might even consider the whole vest and amr since that is in the ballpark...
Any advice? cheers and thanks for this article.. it's great.
@RBStudios717 - You would simply attach a mini ball bead where the weights normally are. The monitor will be used as one side of the counterweight. The trick is running an hdmi cable to send the video output. Some guys have drilled holes in the stabilizer post and ran it through.
Hey Emm. Great info and insight on this comparison! My question is, how(if possible) could I attach my 7inch(Lillput) LCD monitor to the Wiedly Steadicam/Vest? I see some videos where they have a monitor connected towards the bottom of their stabilizer. Thanks in advance!
@Mick - Wow that's a tough one. The GH2 is so light weight on it's own, it won't work on a vest. If you happen to 'rig it up' to a heavier setup that weighs about the same as a Canon DSLR, then I might say this Wieldy with vest is pretty good. If you don't need a vest, there are many small hand held stabilizers like Glidecam or Skyler Mini.
what is the best budget vest/arm combo to drive a gh2?
@Ramin - The BlackBird Stabilizer has the same diameter as a Merlin. Here's a new vest that is designed to work with the Merlin so it should work with the BlackBird Stabilizer as well. It's very new and there are no reviews just yet on this. Check it out here: SV AX5 Vest Arm for Stabilizers
I just got a used BlackBird Stabilizer and the diameter of the hole in the handle where the post of the arm is inserted is about 12mm which fits a Merlin vest/arm. I checked on Ebay and some of the Chinese vest/arm combos mention the diameter of the post is 16mm. So they are obviously incompatible. Do you know of one of the Chinese vest/arm combos (Merlin is expensive) that is compatible with Blackbird? Thanks
@John - Does not look like the same vest I have, but similar stabilizer. An hdmi run would be convenient to have for those who want to run and external LCD.
Have you seen this version?
Some of the brackets look like they might be different, but I'm wondering what you think of this one (same brand, new hdmi deal)
@John - Yes the monitor could work on the wieldy. I have recently seen the Laing M02 and it's massive. You would have to add a heavy plate just to use it with a small camera. That system has a great build but is only recommended for heavy camera setups.
Thanks for all of this.
I'd like to put a 7.7" oled monitor on the bottom, and fly my 5Dmkiii with various lenses on top.
Hoping to run an hdmi cable (large on both ends) from the monitor, throught the carbon post, to the camera.
Do you think all this will work?
Also, have you seen the Laing system?
@Sam - The Vest will hold a heavier camera like the FS100 but I have not used that particular stabilizer to say if it's any good.
Do the system below will suit a sony fs100 camera.thanks
@jermaine - Funny you ask. Was just about to post something here: httpss://cheesycam.com/laing-steadicam-for-red-scarlet-sony-fs700/
Emm. Im looking to purchase a Video Stabilizer asap! Do you think the Wieldy Dual ISO Arm Vest Video Stabilizer is a good choice to fly a RED SCARLET! Also what may be another affordable Steadicam you may know!
@David K - The Merlin requires an angled post (not straight up). You would have to find a small rod to bend and place into the arm. If you have the tools to take a small rod and bend at an angle and drill for the vest mount, it can be done.
I have a Merlin and love it, but I'm looking to add an arm and vest. Do you think that it would be easy to adapt a Merlin do this 1-7kg arm and vest?
It's a very good arm+vest
I tested it and it's very useful
Now I sell it using ebay , if you are interested , check it as "Wieldy Dual ISO Arm Vest Video Stabilizer" from Italy
@wma - Hopefully you have the same vest as I had suggested with the Carbon Stabilizer. After you mount your stabilizer to the vest, the arm should be horizontal. So dial down/up the arms until both are level with the horizon. If your camera setup is too light, you will have to find a way to add more weight to the top of the camera and to the base of the sled.
I figured it out, I watched the videos of them balancing and it said to use 2 weights on the back, 1 on the front. This was throwing off the balance, I used 2 of both sides and it can balance dynamically, I'm having trouble adjusting the spring tension though..
Sorry to keep bothering you Emm, but can you give me some tips on what I should be looking for in spring tension? I went all the way counter-clockwise to release tension but I'm not sure what I should be looking for.
I'm also using this on a 6D + 24-70 and can't seem to dial the tension right. Any advice is well appreciated!
Is the Wieldy vest & arm available for purchase in North America?
I like the video comparing to the Merlin Vest & Arm. I have a CMR Blackbird stabilizer and would like to get a vest/arm system for even smoother real estate videos. Shooting with a Sony NX70U with LED light.
Will this arm connect with the Blackbird?
@wma - Make sure you have your camera's center of balance on the top stage and then try again.
I just received mine and can't seem to achieve dynamic balance, if I spin the post it doesn't stay relatively still and wobbles quite a bit.
I've tried using 1,2,3,4 drop times with no effect, also when from the wing span all the way out, to all the way in.
Does anyone else do the same?
I received mine and tested out, the stabilizer has friction. As I spin the to get the dynamic balance, you can head and feel the friction on the gimbal, lubing it was the same. The vest and arm is actually nice, becareful when you put it on and fly it. After I put it on, a couple of screw fell off..WTF. But lucky, I found it and just retighten it back to the joint of the arm. Adjusting the arm is nothing like the pilot arm, it take a bit of musle to do it and there must be no weight on the arm.
Over all it a good vest and arm, the stabilizer however is not what I expected. So I sent it back...pricey to, so be sure that it's what you want.
It cannot handle my FS700, I do not want to always have to take the fs700 top handle out, and put in a light battery and lighter lens.
@The Wolf - Can you upload your video and jump?
like this video
I bought blue one too, but my camera is very right and
I am so disappointed.
Emm, I had no idea you could rent the system from Borrow Lenses! I am going to WPPI in a month and the last time I checked they had a vendor booth. Maybe I will get lucky and they will have a system there, but if not I appreciate the heads up on the rental option!
I finally went for the blue one.
I'm actually dialed down and I'm flying a total of almost 8 kg (17 pounds). The built is really strong and it feels pretty close to a real steadicam.
I just got it and only had a couple of hours to play around, but its looks promising.
To give professional use to your steadicam you'll need to add a monitor and a wireless follow focus to your rig. A mattebox and filter holder are really recommended.
If these are your needs (and if you are willing to spend a couple thousand more in total), the more weight it needs, the better. You can always add weight to it, but you can't make things lighter.
Having this on account and seeing that this rig can probably hold up to 10kg, I'm really happy I went for it.
@Dylan - If you don't know how serious you are or if you need a vest, you can always rent a Glidecam Stabilizer system to try it out at Borrow Lenses (here). It's great because they will ship it to you, and when you are done you just ship it back.
Really appreciate the advice from someone with hands on experience. I am having to make a considerable financial investment without any prior experience with a stabilization system apart from a brief bout with a Merlin so thank you for clearing that up.
@Dylan - Although a Vest won't necessarily 'improve' balance on your Steadicam, the first advantage is being able to fly longer. The second advantage is it is easier to concentrate on steering and flying because you are not fighting the weight of the balanced camera.
If you have no problems with Fatigue, then there is no need for a vest. In real estate i'm guessing you can shoot over and over, but when working with Talent (subjects) you are wasting everyone's time shooting several takes so it's very important to have the tools needed to help you nail it in the first shot.
What in your opinion are the advantages of using a vest with handheld stabilization as opposed to flying solo? I will be purchasing a setup within two months and I am having a hard time deciding whether to elect for the latest offering from "CAME" in order to get a vest and arm or to use that money on a HD4000.
I will be doing real estate fly-through home tours on a regular basis, and the weight that I am flying for each tour will include on-camera LED lighting and wireless sound while I follow the agent around the property (ideally a smallHD AC7 will be added to the setup soon after). Correct me if I am wrong, but the weight of these items, the accessories needed to mount them, and the camera/lens itself should be heavy enough to prevent a dual arm with a higher tension spring from bouncing shouldn't it?
I think this would make the cheaper vest/arm Ebay combination a better buy than the more expensive product you were able to use with lighter setups (not to mention I share your view on the unbranded aesthetic of the former). But is a vest and arm necessary at all? This is the one question I cannot seem to find an answer to online. Fatigue is a non-issue with me, it is all about getting the look. With that in mind do would you recommend purchasing a HD4000 and flying without support, or going with one of the Ebay vest/arm/sled combinations?
Does this Vest and Arm fit with a Merlin Steadicam ?
@wma - They appear to all be the same. They are just trying to attract more sales with various pricing I guess. I used the Buy It Now listing https://www.ebay.com/itm/111007375542
Just curious, any idea why one listing is $13-$50 cheaper than the others yet they all have the same picture? (not the blue stabilizer) I couldn't find anything different between them :/
Which listing did you purchase from Emm? (price wise)
@Kyle - Don't get confused by the brand name. Look carefully at the product. The one I have is under different names including CAME and works great for a dslr. I have to dial it down quite a bit so this means it can carry a heavier payload than what I show in the videos. So far it has been a great unit, and now I have it on loan this weekend with a friend. Waiting to hear his feedback as well.
Emm, I know you mention the "Came" brand doesn't fly a DSLR very well, but what about with added weight? I have a 7D with battery grip, small rail system and matte box that could make the system work better. I'm also looking for something that can hold an HVX200A, and do you think the blue-accent rig may be better suited for that? Or do you think the Wieldy can handle bigger loads just as well?
For reference I've owned the Flycam 6000 (too bulky and never got it to dial down enough for ANYTHING), the Steadicam Flyer (I wasn't using it enough to justify keeping it), and the Glidecam V-18 (great for Betacam-sized cameras).
Thanks Emm and Jerry. I'm really looking forwards to (hopefully) mastering this and I acknowledge it will take lots of practice.
Do you mind if I ask for advice on some related topics. I assume steadicams need some sort of on-going care and maintenance. For example do hinges/springs/pivots need regular lubrication, if so with what (wd40?) and how often?
Are there specific environments/conditions that should be avoided at all costs, e.g. rain, sand, etc?
Finally is there a general rule about how to load/counter balance the sled, i.e. if my camera weighs in at 3kg is there an equation to work out the ballpark weights it requires at the bottom of the sled? On this note is there a particular best practice for putting the whole thing together and balancing each time?
I've been trying to find answers to these things around the Net, but most of the tutorials (understandably) are product/model specific and less useful starting out with something like the Wieldy.
once you learned how to balance, dynamic balance, everything else is practice, practice, practice!
@Nigel - The weights will be included with the stabilizer. There will be more than enough included, and you should not add anymore than what it is capable of handling. I will see if I can find a good tutorial. You should practice without the vest first and just get comfortable trying to walk without the camera moving.
Hi Emm. I've just ordered the Wieldy rig through eBay. I'm quite new to steadicam flying and have a few questions.
1) Where can I purchase weights to fit this Wieldy sled? I'm in the UK, but assume most retailers will ship internationally.
2) What is a good selection of weights to buy for this rig? I'll be flying both a Canon 600D DSLR with a Tokina 11-16mm lens (combined weight - 1.1kg/2.5lb)as well as a Canon XF300 (3kg/6.6lb).
3) Is there a good resource on the Net giving video training for a rig of this size/type? Maybe something that starts with 'setup/adjustments' and then takes you on through handling and other tips of the trade.
Many thanks for this review and your blog, it really helps.
emm, thanks so much for the insight! Guess I need to put my merlin vest and arm on ebay now... 🙂
Thanks everybody! Finally pulled the trigger on the Wieldy vest system (CAME rebranding), my very first stabilizing system and can't wait to do some flying. Wish everybody well.
@Scott - The way the vest functions I feel is better than the Merlin vest. I like the buckle system much better. I also like how simple it is to remove the arm from the vest which makes it easier to get in and out of the system. The Merlin is very difficult to do this so I would usually end up taking off the vest completely risking the arm to swing out and hit something. The arm of the Merlin is a much better build than the Wieldy, but the Wieldy should easily accommodate for what most budget shooters are trying to achieve and at a $1300 dollar difference in price.
Emm, how is the build quality of the vest compared to the steadicam? Padding, etc... I have one of the newer steadicam Merlin vests with that dumb little Velcro tab over the left breast. Pops off all the time.
Hi Emm, how does the quality of the wieldy vest compare to steadicams merlin vest? Build quality, padding etc...
Thanks man - just ordered it!
@JohnyD - Yes it would work with the FS700.
So, this vest and Arm:
with the weight of the camera (let's say a 5D MarkII), lense, using a glidecam hd2000 and a wireless follow focus and maybe a monitor, won't be enough weight to fly without bouncing?
And would you be able to fly a RED Epic on it? Or a Black Magic?
I'm really torn between this one and the weldy (without the stabilizer).
You can always add weight and stuff ( and you would end up if you do this professionally; like a monitor, an LED, battery packs, a rig for the WFF, matte box and the filters...) and my biggest concern is if it will allow me to fly higher end cameras, like the Epic with a light set up. Will the Weildy hold up or because the springs are so weak it would be too much wight (even if its still under 7kg)
So if anyone has bought it or has any experience with it I would love to hear. I've been thinking about this for over a month and I can't still make my mind.
Sorry, I see they have a big cam attached on the ebay page. Thanks!
Would this work well for an FS700?
@Emm - Appreciate your though, will hold out and try to grab the one you'd recommended. Thanks Emm!
@Brandon - Footage looks awesome just from that RX100 already. For a small DIY stabilizer check out this design I did years ago httpss://cheesycam.com/diy-stabilizer-point-and-shoot-video-cameras/
@guru4co2 - Read through this article and comments. It looks like the same spring arm and could be too strong for DSLR Video httpss://cheesycam.com/cheap-video-stabilizer-load-vest/
Hey guys, any opinions on this vest and double arm one? More in my price range. TIA.
Thought I'd share a vid I did recently attempting to mimic Steadicam moves just walking carefully with my Sony RX100 and using the Lock and Load plugin sparingly in post:
Of course it's much more limited in application and can produce nasty artifacts if done wrong, but I was still pretty happy with the results.
All the same, I'd like to eventually get a real stabilizer for ambitious shots, I'd just like to get the smallest one possible for use with ultra-light cameras like the RX100.
Hopefully they are the same with the name changed and all that, I just ordered one!
@Emm - Yes! of course ! But they(stead and vest) are all "came" now on your link 🙂 that's why i was looking for the wiedly vest : to get EXACTLY the same 😉
Ok I see what you talking about blue handle https://www.ebay.com/itm/1-7kg-Carbon-Fiber-Stabilizer-Steadicam-Camera-DSLR-Video-Steadycam-Vest-Arm-/111003772490?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item19d857264a
I wouldnt event take it if you gave me that stabalizer for FREE...I waste $400 buck on that and trash it.
Emm, I'm ordering this whole set.. is this correct. I have bad experiences with the wondlan stabalizer and when I saw the gimbal looked the same I was very skeptical.
@Jerry - I am using the Wieldy Carbon Stabilizer and you can see how different the bottom weights are from the other Blue Handle Stabilizer. I suggest that you DO NOT BUY the blue handle stabilizer, and choose the vest that I have shown in my video and in the photo.
Thanks Emm, sorry, you are right, even with a monopod, you can't hold it steady and with a straight horizontal. I'm about to order it but now @Cyrille brought up that question and you stated blue handle....I'm buying the hold setup..when you say blue handle are you talking about the blue handle on the stabalizer or to tighten and lock the arm on the vest?
@Cyrille - You want the one shown in my video and in the picture. Not the blue handle one.
@Jerry also - Shipping from china takes a long time so I use the buy it now to save time.
Emm have you found it worthwhile enduring the bidding on eBay, especially for this kind of gear, or do you take the buy-it-now route?
@Jerry - I could tell you how steady it is but it still boils down to the operator. Anyone who invests in such equipment should realize it will take many months if practice to be comfortable using any steadicam. The question is can you lock off a shot for 3 minutes straight even with a monopod?
on emm's links they are all branded with "came" now (blue ones and black ones) ...? An other seller sells "the black one" branded "wiedly"...They all look the same. How to do simple when it can be complicated 🙂
Thanks again Emm, how is it when you shoot it like a tripod for say 3 mins, horizontal balanced?
@Jerry - Keep in mind the BMCC crop factor. The Sigma 20mm is around a 35mm. A 50mm prime here might be at 75mm.
A good test would be a 35mm or 50mm prime..it will show if the horizontal is balance when framing a subject from static movement to moving?
Thanks Emm, I am more on when you come to a subject and framing, then stayed there like a tripod filming for a few mins like speeches, that why I'm more concern on the horizontal balance. if you can stand there like a tripod and it's balance then I'm sold. I will mainly fly it with my FS700. Switching from low mode on the fly. The handle will also be an issue for me. Not sure if they make a curved handle for it.
Pulled the trigger and got the last one of today's offering. I'll be flying a T3i with my Tok 11-16 at the heaviest, and don't plan on anything much longer than a few minute flight. I'll start pumping some iron just in cast, though!
Thanks for the head's up...again!
And with the money saved, just slid it toward the quadcopter budget allotment...
@Jerry - I'll see what I can squeeze in, but there's no difference to how it looks in a short run or on a longer run. It's balanced and can handle the weight of the BMCC.
Emm, I really want to order one, but can you get a longer video of walking and static shots, I like to see the horizontal movement more...mainly balance. I'm saving up for a steadicam zephyr but lately, it seem impossible to save up to 10k, just when I reach 5k, some else take it away. I almost dump it on a steadicam pilot but when I saw this review I'm giving a 2nd tho...currently have the flycam c5 and glidecam hd2000.
@Paul - Clockwise to increase and counter clockwise to decrease the strength. You won't see the change unless you put some force on the arm. First mount your fully balanced stabilizer and adjust until both arms are just about level.
Hey emm i was wondering if you could shed light on what the nobs on the arms do, i've adjusted them but there doesnt seem to be any change in tension? is it clockwise to increase tension or to decrease it
@Sean - The vest is for the operator to carry the stabilizer for longer periods of time. You can achieve the same shots with or without a vest. DSLR cameras are not very heavy, but after 2-3 minutes of straight flying you'll find yourself tiring out. It really depends on how much weight you plan to fly on the stabilizer.
Is the vest/arm mostly for comfort during long sessions or long shots? If I am planning to do just the occasional shot do I need the whole set-up? Or are there a bunch of shots that just work better (or can only work) with the vest/arm set-up?
@Darren - The Skyler has a very short handle and short post so it would just end up hitting against the arm. You need to create some type of offset for the Skyler to move it away from the arm.
Hey Emm - quick question - would this work with a Skyler Minicam? I'm assuming you can throw yours on this arm to find out for me... thanks
@emm - I did it, finally! Thanks 🙂
@guru4co2 - Good luck
@ElBurke - Thanks man! Will make sure its not the blue one.
@William - I think the Flopod would just end up crashing against the arm because it's not offset the way the Wieldy or Glidecam handle is.
Will this vest/arm work with a Vaizoom Flopod?
@Daniel - I rarely write down my settings, let me double check what I have on there now. I feel i'm very quick to balance most stabilizers, so i've never had to keep a cheat sheet around.
@ElBurke - When starting out you need to dial both arms so that everything sits almost horizontally. If you cannot dial down the arm to where both are horizontal, the spring tension is too stiff. There are a few different 'CAME' vests, does it look like mine? Especially the way the arm attaches to the vest?
@Brian - Wow, sounds good. I'll double check my bag to see if I might have the same.
Mine had an adapter for the post down in the bottom of a pocket in the bag. I am not sure if it fits a glidecam. I didn't even know it was in there until I went digging in the pockets looking for something.
Emm - is the bmcc a lot heavier than the dslr? the arm that im using doesnt go that low when im using my 7D with battery grip and 2 batteries. I hope they didnt send me a different arm. Im using the CAME stabilizer
CAME is actually Wieldy. just make sure its not the blue one
Hey Emm, thanks for the video. I bought this exact vest/stabilizer system from CAME and plan to fly my BMCC with it. can you tell me what setup worked best for you with the BMCC? weight plates, mounting hole placement, etc? thanks!
@Trey T - Along the arms where the spring is enclosed it looks like there are bearings on those joints. The connection directly to the vest does not have bearings.
All the joints have ball bearing?
@Jaan Shenberger - The Blackmagic Cinema camera + SSD drive + Lens might equal over 5lbs. The Vest can probably handle a 10lb setup, but I'm not sure if the Wieldy comes with enough counterweights to support the 12lbs.
@Jaan Shenberger - The lens I was using does not have Image Stabilization, and nothing was added in post. So no there is no image stabilization on this footage.
got my wieldy branded dual arm and vest a couple days ago. shipped pretty fast too.. a lot faster then the stabilizer.
very easy to deal with
Also, does the sample footage make use of lens image stabilization?
@Emm - First off, I love the site, you've saved me a lot of time & money in the past couple years. Thanks.
How do you think this setup would perform with a 10-12 pound camera rig?
Hey guys, is the CAME version (bit cheaper) in the same performance class as the Wiedly? Appreciate any feedback. TIA.
Thanks for great info. always.
Will Wiedly vest work if you wear backward, so weight can be on lower back instead of front?
Will Wiedly vest will work other brands arm that can handle more load capacity ?
@Emm - Yup.. I'm with you. Just sharing for others. I really like the Wiedly. but.. will prob. sell it doesn't work with my smooth shooter setup (and it's redundant to the hd4000). My opinion for others viewing.... You can prob. make the GH2 work. But you may need to add weight if you're not using a heavy lens. But.. I must admit my muscles like using the GH2 and small 14mm lens with a modified Stedicam Smoothie. I just wish the smoothie was a little better built. I hope this helps someone.
Thanks again Emm (as usual). You have a great thing going here.
@pops - Thanks. The Vest doesn't make it any more stable, but it does require a minimum amount of weight for the springs to work correctly. I don't have an exact weight, but I found that this vest can be dialed down to work with my Canon DSLR setup, and dialed up for the weight of the BMCC.
@ Emm- FYI The Gh2 with a tokina 11-16 will balance with the Wiedly. I have no clue about the vest and arm working with it though.
@John - That is a totally different vest and stabilizer. I can't speak to how that works, but one of the problems I've experienced on other systems is that they cannot fly 'lightweight DSLR' setups. The spring is usually too strong, and the one I am showing is very flexible (as seen when i'm jumping in the video).
Here is the link to that unit I purchased: https://www.ebay.com/itm/1-7kg-Carbon-Fiber-Stabilizer-Steadicam-Camera-DSLR-Video-Steadycam-Vest-Arm-/111003772490?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item19d857264a
I saw this post and ordered off my iPhone. The ebay link shows another unit... I purchased that unit for $699. Does it perform just as well? It's the one called "CAME" with the stedicam with blue handle..
@Brian Siano - The GH2 is too light for this stabilizer. Check out the Skyler minicam on this blog.
just got my vest in last week. a simple solution to mount a Glidecam to the Wieldy arm is to wrap duct tape around the end mount to increase the diameter to the proper width. It works perfectly!
FWIW, I've seen the black dot in the sun or bright lights on footage from the Canon 7D, 5DmkII, Arri Alexa, and Red One MX. I think it's a problem endemic to CMOS sensors, and is thankfully very easy to fix in post. It's definitely not a problem specific to the BMCC.
Just think of it as if CMOS sensors all love to make King of Pain references.
How well would that stabilizer combo work with a DSLR, like my Panasonic GH2? Or is it for heavier cameras?
I made the mistake of buying the single arm vest, just before this vest was released. (at the same price)
Don't make the same mistake I did, buy this one instead.
@Jerry also - I'm not sure if i've read your comment correctly, but YES you do want the Wieldy Iron Triangle Stabilizer with the Vest (not the blue handle stabilizer).
@jacob Barkey - A metal tube to shim it would be better if you can get one made. I still need to tackle that project as well.
@Jacob Barkey - Yes, the Glidecam post is a tad larger than the Wieldy handle. Some additional photos of that in this earlier article httpss://cheesycam.com/new-dual-arm-stabilizer-vest-vs-steadicam-merlin-vest/
Never mind. I just finished watching it. What might you propose to make it fit? A plastic tube with the correct ID and OD?
Hey Emm! Will I have to mod this to work with my Glidecam?
I think people should notice that some (cheaper) offers in this Wieldy/Came link -- showing a blue handle on the stabilizer -- involve a different stabilizer from what Emm several times reviewed. Offers with all b&w photos seem to include the wanted Wieldy Iron Triangle stabilizer. Tricky business.
@Sherw in - Still going through it. Had to buy some additional gear to get it up to speed. There's moire in the ProRes setting, have to try the 2.5K RAW to see if it's still there. Hopefully the firmware upgrade will fix the black dot issue.
I see that your BMCC has the dreaded black dot problem in its highlights. Have you noticed other issues with it since you've got it?