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Buy used Steadicam Flyer or new model?

Nolan Dennhardt

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Hi everyone!

The Steadicam forum came up multiple times as I researched buying a used Steadicam flyer rig, I learned alot but have a few more questions. I'm waiting for a call from a sales rep from Tiffen who has been around the block a few times. That will be later this week.

I'd just like to thank everyone here for the information I've been able to gather from the forum.  I've learned that many people believe the Flyer has held up over the years.. but I would really appreciate any extra feedback I could get on this potential first purchase of Steadicam gear!

So, thanks in advance if you are thinking of providing any information.

I'm from a small city in Northern Ontario, Thunder Bay. A retired wedding videographer who I know personally is willing to sell me what he says is a Steadicam flyer 24SE for $1,500 that he purchased around "2010ish"  for $7,500 CAD. I haven't seen the rig as it's in a storage unit an hour out of town. But I do have some indications of the model and generation.
Based on his memory, it would be this rig here: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/488892-REG/Steadicam_F24SE_F24SE_Flyer_24_Camera_Stabilizer.html

Based on his memory, it includes the bag, the rig has grey colouring and can be powered by both the included Anton Bauer batteries at the same time, has a telescoping gimbal post, black Steadistand (not c-stand version), vest (some buckles on shoulders, can't recall any leather) and monitor. Once I tell him I'm serious about buying it I can get all of these details as it's a ways out of town.

I get the feeling I'll just have to go see it as his memory may not be totally accurate. But maybe this all adds up? The grey colouring may mean it's older than 2010 and is an original flyer? Confusingly, lots of these features only come with the LE version, and I've heard the SE version was supposed to have leather on the vest.

Can anyone determine the model or generation based on these clues?

A bit about what I would need it for:
I am a one man show, operating a small media company in a small city. Some shoots require using a hand held electronic gimbal for many hours and it destroys my lower back. I also do narrative short film and some documentary work, mostly for passion projects, but sometimes for money. I have a pair of Sony fs5's and a pair of black magic 4k's that I am expecting to use on the rig mostly. I don't need anything fancy and I doubt I'll ever be building any large camera rigs for this Flyer. I am just looking for reasonable portability for long gimbal shoots and the odd out of town shoot. Also, being able to adjust straps on the vest myself while wearing it, comfortability, and obviously smooth operation. These are likely all I need.

I am looking to either purchase a newer but less expensive rig for under 1k, or to buy this used Steadicam flyer that appears to be in great condition.

If I could get your opinions on any of the following, I'd greatly appreciate it:

Have there been any significant changes or improvements to Steadicam body rigs, like aero 30 for example,  since the flyers release?

Is there any significant changes to technology that greatly reduce the Flyers modern usability when compared to newer models?

Is an old flyer worth investing the $1,500 CAD?

Is it still possible to find replacement parts for a reasonable price?

Are the arms still considered up to standard or useable? what are the pros and cons of the Flyer's arm design?

Will the "smoothness" and ease of use hold up to modern stabilizer rigs from steadicam?

Does the vest have a reputation for comfort and usability for one person crews?

Is the Flyer's gimbal/deck lacking in weight distribution features, smoothness and quality of life additions when compared to the aero 30 or zephyr?

What about cheap models like amazons FLYCAM Galaxy?
https://tinyurl.com/3avjkk3r for around $500 CAD?

I'm not sure if I'm asking all the right questions.. but I haven't found anything online directly comparing the Steadicam flyer to newer style rigs made at the same price point/market segment.

I'll be speaking with a senior rep from TIFFEN later this week.

Thanks so much for your time and consideration!

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I have no idea what I am doing, so take this with a grain of salt--the only thing I am qualified to talk about is the single old Flyer I bought earlier this year.

For what it's worth, some of the first generation Flyers had a grey arm, though some of them are black.  I can tell based on this middle hinge, which has three holes:



Mine looks like this ad:

This is a closeup of the hinge from that ad:


Battery systems vary a lot.  Mine came with a pair of NP1 slots...but Anton Bauer and IDX are common too.

The Flyer vest I have has plastic buckles on the shoulders.  There is no leather anywhere on the vest.

This site has been invaluable for trying to understand what model is what:


I've been tracking Pilots/Flyers for a while in the GTA.  Most seem to ask roughly $600-700 for a Pilot and about $800-1200 for a Flyer.  I suspect you can probably negotiate a lower price, those are asking rates.

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