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Our shop is looking to get our first steadicam and based on our needs I think we are looking at the Aero 30 or Zephyr.

We have three C300 Mark II Canons plus an Alexa Mini so relatively light camera packages.  We have a series of Canon Prime lenses so we don't have a lens over three pounds.

Looking to buy new and wondering if the Zephyr is worth the extra $5k?  From reading other material on here it does appear the Zephyr is a better made product.  However, it appears the Zephyr can only hold three more pounds than the Aero 30 holding up to 23 lbs as opposed to 20 lbs.

We need a rig that 4-5 people on our staff will potentially use that can be a one-size fits all for beginners but at the same time be a quality product.  The Aero 30 seems attractive because it can take a Canon Battery mount.  Is the extra weight capability of the Zephyr a moot point considering the different types of batteries the two rigs could take?

Based on our camera and lens package plus the number of people who could potentially use the rig, I'm wondering what Steadicam is best for us?  I'd appreciate any information regarding the differences between the Aero 30 and the Zephyr.  Thank you very much!

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I have a mint condition Zephyr . For sale. Flys my Alexa mini with Cooke anamorphics perfectly. Which is anywhere from 25-30lbs 

Edited by Cizko quevedo

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Thanks for your reply Cizko Quevedo.  Can you provide more information about your experience using the Zephyr?  Like I said I'm trying to figure out what is best for my team since 4-5 people will potentially use the rig.  I'd appreciate any feedback on the Zephyr or on the Aero 30 if you or anybody else has any experience and could share the pros and cons of each rig based on our needs.

Thanks again!

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I bought this for my brother. I Direct/DP. Wanted him to become a steadicam op. But he decided to stick to his engineering career. My Good friend also has the Zephyr. He flys my rig, on multiple gigs. Features, commercials, music videos etc. the Zephyr is maxing out with my camera package, which is heavier than most Alexa mini packages because of the lenses I have. But I’m not personally a steadicam op, I work with my friend every time who is, who owns the Zephyr as well. 

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I did talk to my steadicam guy. Who also flys the archer2 and the M1. He mentioned that the pros and cons between the aero30 and the Zephyr , is that the Zephyr is more bullet proof with a couple of more options. It’s a better built. 

The Zephyr is an good set up for an entry level steadicam as it’s easier to use than a more heavy duty set up. It’s lightweight, and for a light camera line the mini or a c300 it’s a good fit. 

With that said, it will be more squirrelly than a heavier duty one. But for a lightweight rig , it’s ideal. It’s lighter than heavier Steadicam’s and easier to use in its functionality . 

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I own an Aero-30 and I'm very happy with its performance and portability. I haven't flown anything much heavier than a Mini with S4s, but I've still had plenty of lift room. The only downsides I can see are the limited power options and weight of the Aero sled, itself. Since it's a lightweight rig, it's a little more difficult to balance with a heavier camera load. That being said, Cizko's price for a Zephyr is very good and I'd definitely check it out if you're not specifically looking for a brand new rig.

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Appreciate all the feedback.  Corey or Cameron, how do you power your Aero 30?  We would look to get Canon batteries if we went with an Aero 30 package to make a lighter load.  I'm wondering if the extra weight a Zephyr can hold becomes a moot point since it takes heavier batteries with either V-Mount or Gold Mount.  The Canon battery option is very attractive since we are moving toward Canon family cameras.  However, we'd like the option to fly our Mini too.  Our heaviest potential package would be the 5lb Mini and a 3lb lens on the Steadicam just factoring the camera and lens.  I need to figure out if that heaviest potential package would still work well on an Aero 30 or if it would be better suited on a Zephyr.  And again I'm wondering if the batteries make a big difference in weight between the two rigs.  Thanks again

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Hi Rob! I have the Aero 30. I like it, at times I wish I had the Zephyr. 3lbs doesn't sound like much, but, it can be very handy. It sounds like you know exactly what you want to fly, Canon/mini with canon lenses. It might be a good idea to build your typical camera package and then weigh it. I didn't see anything about a FIZ or teradek, so you might want to throw that on your build as well to see the added weight. That will give you a good idea of which rig would be best for you.

Some advice I got in regarding to camera package/weight, you don't want to aways fly a camera package on the max end of your payload capacity, its good to be a little under. So if you are pushing it weight wise on the Aero 30, then the Zephyr might be a good idea.

I would recommend going with Gold Mount over the Canon battery for the sled. 

And I think either the Aero 30 or Zephyr would be great for beginners. The Steadicam silver workshop uses both for new ops!

Hope this helps!

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On 12/11/2018 at 9:58 AM, Rob Glessner said:

Appreciate all the feedback.  Corey or Cameron, how do you power your Aero 30?  We would look to get Canon batteries if we went with an Aero 30 package to make a lighter load.  I'm wondering if the extra weight a Zephyr can hold becomes a moot point since it takes heavier batteries with either V-Mount or Gold Mount.  The Canon battery option is very attractive since we are moving toward Canon family cameras.  However, we'd like the option to fly our Mini too.  Our heaviest potential package would be the 5lb Mini and a 3lb lens on the Steadicam just factoring the camera and lens.  I need to figure out if that heaviest potential package would still work well on an Aero 30 or if it would be better suited on a Zephyr.  And again I'm wondering if the batteries make a big difference in weight between the two rigs.  Thanks again

I use Gold Mount, which is really useful as, again, since the sled is so light, I'm better able to balance larger builds.

I believe Tiffen created the Aero as a replacement for Zephyr, although it was manufactured overseas (hence the price differences). Both of them can carry 20lbs+ camera payloads with no issue (Tiffen-recommended max for Zephyr is about 3lbs more than Aero-30), so your camera and lens combos should be no problem.

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