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Sean Gates

Body rig is less steady than handheld steadycam - normal or help?

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I have the Flycam 5000 with Comfort arm and vest. Previous to owning the vest I was using only the Flycam (handheld) and was getting good results. However, I wanted to take the weight off my arms and decided to try using the Comfort arm and vest to extend my filming time.


Unfortunately, there is a very visible bounce in my steps while using the full body rig - every one of my steps translates into the shot. I have tried adjusting the spring tension, altering my walk, I've read tips on trying to keep my knees bent, unbent, I've read many conflicting reports on how to mitigate the issue.


The worst is that my film work is significantly more steady using the handheld apparatus only. I find the body rig only shines when I'm moving faster than a few miles per hour, where then it is still only comparable to the handheld system.


Is there more to practicing my walk to eliminate the bounce, or is the equipment just not good enough to warrant the cost when I can use the handheld?



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Hi Sean


Did you try changing your droptime?



Hi Gus,


Am an extreme amateur - what does "droptime" refer to? I don't think I've adjusted that, unless that refers to either spring tension in the control arm or a pendulum swing for 90 degrees.

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Don't forget the Neutral "No-Drop Time" method!  Just saying some operators like a 8-9 second drop time ;)

Sounds like you could use a workshop.   Gus, have you considered attending a Steadicam Workshop or personal training...  It will make a world of difference and 100% worth the cost.  There many skilled pros that will work with you.   https://steadicamlessons.com/

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Hi Sean,

As Tom said, it sounds like a workshop would benefit you. Here are a few more options in addition to the one Tom linked:

Tiffen Workshops

SOA Workshop

Another great resource is The Steadicam Operator's Handbook. Though it's a great guide, it can't replace someone with experience making sure your vest is fitting correctly, you're walking correctly, holding the rig correctly, etc. - all of which could be contributing to your footsteps translating to your frame. 

Happy flying!


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