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Glidecam HD-1000 Hand-Held Stabilizer

4.1 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews
| 17 answered questions

List Price: $399.00
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  • Camera Mounting Plate
  • Mid Plate
  • Bottom Plate
  • Central Post
  • Three Axis Gimbal with Yoke And Offset Handle
5 new from $379.00 3 used from $299.00
$379.00 & FREE Shipping. Details Only 5 left in stock. Sold by Kellards and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Technical Details


Product Description

Hand-Held Stabilizer

Product Information

Product Dimensions 5 x 9 x 17 inches
Item Weight 4.6 pounds
Shipping Weight 5.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
ASIN B0021AES3M
Item model number HD-1000
Customer Reviews
4.1 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #445 in Camera & Photo > Camera & Photo Accessories > Professional Video Accessories > Stabilizers
#606 in Electronics > Camera & Photo > Video > Camera Supports & Stabilizers
Date first available at Amazon.com June 17, 2003

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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Nate TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 29, 2010
Length: 2:00 Mins
I've had a chance to try out the Glidecam HD-1000 for a few weeks now, and I have to say I'm impressed. The thing's extremely well built: precision designed and solid. The mechanisms for getting your camera balanced are both simple and clever, and they are easy to use once you get the idea of what you're supposed to do with them. I can definitely say that this tool makes it possible to achieve what it promises: smooth and steady shots that seem to glide through the air.

Having said that, I should also say that unless you've had a lot of experience working with steady-cam type stabilizers before, there will be a learning curve before you can expect to get anything like the kinds of demo shots you can find of the Glidecam on the web. The Glidecam HD is a well-built tool, but it takes some skill and lots of practice to be able to use it well.

The basic idea behind this kind of stabilizer is that you balance the weight of the camera with the weight of the plate below, allowing you to create a center of gravity around the gimbal style pivot where the handle attaches to the Glidecam post. There are knobs on the camera mount that allow you to move it forward, backwards, left and right, so that it floats around the pivot in a perfectly upright position. More importantly, given that the weight on the bottom is almost exactly balanced with the camera, any inertial forces on the camera that would tend to push it forward or backwards around the pivot are counterbalanced by the inertial forces of the plate at the bottom.

So, in principle, the camera should just float around the pivot at the handle, always facing forward and upright. In practice, though, what happens is when you move around it tends to drift.
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This works very well for my 1.2 pound Canon Vixia. I'm not sure it would work that well for cameras that are heavier since I have all the weights on it and extend it and that's the only way I can get an ideal amount of smoothness, at least, given how well I can operate it.

Looking back, it may have been worth while to just make a do it yourself glidecam for a much cheaper price, but this does do what it advertises. It's design is so simple, though, you're almost better off modifying a tripod or just building your own glidecam for a fraction of the price. I didn't have the patience for that when I bought this.

But, it does do what it advertises. I'm able to get smooth shots with lots of motion after a little practice.
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I researched and thought very hard about which stabilizer to invest in. I was very close to getting the Opteka for a significantly lower price, but what always seems to happen is I quickly outgrow it and end up buying the real deal anyway and spending more than if I had just bought what I really wanted to begin with. Well the Glidecam definitely IS the real deal.

*Setup*
Initial setup does take a bit of time. If you don't know what you're doing and need to follow along with the instructions, it might take about 15 minutes to put together, not including balance fine-tuning. But the bulk of the time you will spend will be in balancing it. You mainly just need to screw together a few metal parts, and mount the "quick release" plate to your camera. Not too bad.

*Balancing*
This is the tricky part that you'll really need to practice on. The first time I balanced it, I just put all 10 weights (5 on each end) on the Glidecam and started playing with it, I was too excited to properly balance it. I suppose overweighting is better than underweighting, but it was much harder to control smoothly with overweighting, even though I was already noticing a massive improvement of my wide-angle motion shots. I then went back to properly re-balance it. I actually ended up needing 2 weights (1 on each end) to get that perfect floaty feel.

Once you are in the ball park of how much weight you need, the easiest way to fine-tune it is to adjust the length of the vertical bar. Even the tiniest adjustments will cause very noticeable changes in control. If you just lengthen the bar by a few millimeters, it gives lowers the center of gravity ever so slightly, which is what I needed to do to get my vertical balancing perfect.
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When I go to a shoot I like to know that even if something last minute comes up that I can adapt to the change quickly and shoot whatever is necessary.
So, I like to know my gear, every lens, every option, and know how to use each based on what I'm shooting.
Anyway...I purchased the Glidecam assuming it was going to fit in well with the rest of my gear in terms of "ease of use". I have a Canon 7D with shotgun microphone, stereo mic, and a few lenses.
It was extremely easy to assemble, but once assembled it was very difficult to balance. I never got it "perfectly" balanced...it was always a tad off. Whether swaying a little left and right, or always just swaying a little front and back. But, It seemed I could never get it to be perfect.
And, while using it, the handle is so awkward that it immediately begins attacking your wrist. After about 10 minutes of constant use you don't even want to pick the device up any more because your wrist just aches.
I know people who have this same Glidecam who are large men and can't hold it for that long either.
Don't get me wrong though, the first time you see this thing you think "man, it's smaller than I thought it was going to be". Because it really is small. And when you first pick it up you think "man, this lighter than I thought it was going to be". And it's fine....for the first minute. But then it starts taking effect on your muscles...

In the 2nd day that I had it, I was already getting the hang of operating it and getting some smooth shots here and there. But, it just didn't feel worth $500 for a couple of smooth 3 second shots here and there.
So, I decided to return it and use the money to buy a shoulder rig instead.
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