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Recently I have been looking at a lot of reviews of these two video stabilization products and now I simply can't make up my mind - which one is better for me, which one should I buy?

I mean, the Glidecam is amazing, but is it really worth the price? Perhaps Opteka shoulder rig would be enough if I'm filming just camps, public events and such things.

Perhaps you have had a similar experience. Perhaps there's something else that you can suggest for a low-budget starter in DSLR film making?

Ps. - I already have a really great tripod, but I would like to be able to move around while recording.

Opteka CXS-2: http://cheesycam.com/optekas-new-cxs-2/

Glidecam HD-2000: http://www.glidecam.com/product-hd-series.php

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2 Answers

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I have a glidecam 2000 and a chest harness for it. I also have a shoulder mount similar to the opteka one you linked.

I use shoulder mount far more then the glidecam.
It takes time and practice to get good at the glidecam. Lots and lots of time. After using it with a chest harness I would never use it by itself again. Without any extra support just the glidecam is exhausting for your arm. Guess what your arm does when it's tired, it shakes..

The shoulder mount rocks. I can give that to a rooky camera op and they have very few issues using it.

It's ideal as a mobile shoot. Unless you have good image stabilization neither can move very fast or far.

Keep in mind neither can move far or fast, your not going to be running after your actor .

You will also need to shoot with a wide lens that has image stabilization using either of these pieces of gear.

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A few years ago, I invested in a Fig-Rig. The price is right (under US$300) and I love the look of the footage. Because it's hand held, there's still a little bit of the organic movement that you lose with the perfect stability of a GlideCam.

Versatility is awesome...high shots, low shots, travelling shots, I can attach it to a tripod, and most of my accessories...eye-lights, mic receiver paks, cabling...can attach right to the frame. Google for "Fig Rig Demo videos", & watch them to see what it can do.

I originally picked it up for my Panasonic DVX100B, but recently switched over to DSLR. For the latter, it's a wonderfully compact support package that does everything I need it to do except make coffee. :)

Designed like a steering wheel where the camera creates a low center of gravity, it self-stabilizes like gyro stabilizer, without having to fight as much as you do against a gyro stabilizer.

Which should you get? Whichever one you like. Personally, I don't like SteadiCam/glidecam shots; they're TOO perfect. I like to see a little bit of human frailty in the image that reminds me of the hard work the operator puts into the film.

I'd recommend finding friends, rental houses or production companies in your area that may own these or similar devices. Try them out for a weekend by borrowing or renting them. Analyze the footage. More likely than noe, you'll find something you LOVE, and then you have your answer.

One thing that I will note, is that there are a TON of DIY plans on the 'net to make these things on the cheap. One of my first stabilizers was made for under $10.00 with iron pipe and some fitness weights.

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