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Opteka SteadyVid SV-HD Camera Stabilizer with Quick Release for DSLR and Video Cameras up to 6lbs
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- For DSLR and video cameras weighing up to 6lbs
- Allows high and low angle shooting, high precision bearings and low friction joints
- Height adjustment improves weight ratio and reduces the need for base weights
- Aluminum construction with black powder coating
- 1 Year Warranty when purchased from an authorized dealer
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The SteadyVid SV-HD is a lightweight stabilizing system created for DSLR cameras weighing up to 6lbs. This compact hand held system takes away the need for tripods or dolly's, giving videographers the ability to create smooth videos while the camera is in motion. It features a camera platform with both x and y adjustments, and multiple mount holes for various camera positions. The weight plate contains six weight discs to balance your camera on the stabilizer. These can be added or removed based on your need. The weights are fastened on the weight plate with 1/4" screw.
The back and forth, side to side moving SV-HD platform allows for a quick adjustment of horizontal balance while the disks on the base platform adjust the camera's vertical balance. When properly balanced, the camera floats, and the stabilizer is ready to use.
The SV-HD can be extended from 14.6? to 23.6? to adapt to the weight of the camera. This system is especially good for video cameras, video capable DSLR cameras and DVs.
~Maximum length: 23.6"
~Minimum length: 14.6"
~Quick release plate: 1.96"
~Weight capability: 6 lbs
~Quick release plate
Top Customer Reviews
As someone who works in TV for a living, I've had the occasion to shoot video with really great pro gear. In the professional arena, we train for weeks or even months before we're allowed to to almost anything by ourselves. Then it's years of practice to become the guy who is good enough to train others.
I'll start with a word of warning: you really, really have to take the time to balance the rig to get it to work. If you don't get it right, the whole thing will wander and wobble and you'll almost be better off hand holding the camera. Having said that, that's true of even pro rigs. The best Steadicam will wobble and shake if you don't balance it properly. This can take a few minutes or a half an hour, depending about the the weight and center balance of your camera. Plus, even something as simple as adjusting focus or zoom level can throw things off (it's really that fine a balance), so be prepared to make adjustments on the fly if you change anything with the camera. That means find a position where you can see your view screen and stick with it, because flipping it out or folding it in will really throw things off. Don't forget to remove your shoulder strap since having it flop around will make balancing things impossible.
The next most important thing is your technique. First, you need to keep your knees bent and avoid thumping down onto your heels, otherwise known as the "Ninja Walk". Your arm is going to take the place of the articulated arm that normally is part of a vest mounted stabilizer, so keep your elbow away from your body so it can absorb the impact of your steps.
Finally, practice, practice, practice. It takes pros months to get reliably useful shots and years to get really great shots on a regular basis. Don't buy this and expect to shoot a wedding video with it that same weekend. You'll suck at it. Trust me.
As some other reviewers have noted, it's not just the front, back and side to side balance that is important: it's also the vertical balance, which will have the greatest affect on preventing wobble. Tipping the stabilizer up horizontally to the ground and allowing it to drop to vertical should take a good 2 seconds. If it takes less time, raise the weight platform or you'll end up with a pendulum effect as you walk. If it takes longer, the camera may start to want to rotate.
I ended up getting the Giottos MH621 Quick Release Adapter and plate to attach to the sled so I wouldn't have to balance the system every time I attached the camera. Now, it just requires minor tweaking.
So far, I haven't had a lot of time to use the stabilizer. I've practiced with it twice for about 3 hours. I definitely have some room for improvement, but the early results are very encouraging. I've attached some sample video of what I shot on my second session. There's a bit more side to side wobble than I'd like, but I was walking over uneven ground and on stairs to really put the stabilizer through its paces. Again, my early results are still a bit rough for my tastes, but I should be able to improve my results with more practice. Even with this unit, I should be able to tune things further.
5 stars for the price, and it does work. It seems to have solid built material and well made. The size and weight is about right compare to Merlin except just a little big to pack in my camera backpack for travelling. Speaking about comparison between this one and Merlin, one thing I don't like about Merlin is you have to rebalance almost every time you after you put it down somewhere. I don't have this problem with Opteka, which is making very usable for production shoot.
1 star for balancing. It can take a long long time to get it right. For my first time, it only took me less than 5 minutes. But after that my luck is gone. Every time when I have to balance this one, it could take me somewhere between 30 to 45 minutes or even an hour. The problem is the vertical and horizon adjustment clamps (should use the dial like Merlin). In order to balance, you have to loose the clamp one at the time, and use one or two fingers to lightly tap the plate for the adjustment. Too much force or too little, it just thrown the balance off so easily. This is why taking forever because you just have to go back and forth until you get it right.
1 star for accessory. I was hoping that I can use this one with Glidecam Forearm brace, but none would fit. With any steadicam without some kind of support accessory, you just can't shoot for too long.
The bottom line is this thing dose work, just leave the camera permanently mounting on it and work out your arm muscle.
It has been great used since I have this steadicam, but on my last wedding shoot I notice the bottom clamp that adjust the rod for the weight is no longer can hold the rod tightly. Without securely and tightly the bottom rod, this steadicam constantly needs to be re-balance and adjust all the times. It becomes unusable. I am not sure how long the warranty for this product, but I am contacting the selling to see if I can get a replacement for this problem.
FIRST TEST: [...]
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The friction of itself is too big.
Like every product take time to learn how to use correctly.
It is very good for just a couple shots, but after a long time, your arm obviously won't be...Read more