Best Vest based Gimbal Support

Discussion in 'MōVI Pro' started by Craig Allan, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. Craig Allan

    Craig Allan New Member

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    Hi to All

    This topic seems to be have been touched on occasionally. I am hoping this time we can gather some varied and helpful information that will make my, and others decision a little easier. As with anything there is always going to be personal preferences - and that too can be helpful. From my perspective the desired outcome is to try and source information that may give some of the strengths of each device - which in turn will help make a more educated decision.

    For me, the gimbal will support either a FS7 or Red - wide angle short zoom or prime with minimal additional hardware - basics of a monitor and likely a transmission unit. All in all I would imagine a somewhat standard setup - and not too heavy.

    My purpose for a vest support system is two fold - one to support the weight for extended shooting times, as well as the removal of the z or 4th axis (vertical) motion in walking applications.

    That said my understanding so far is that each will in some way do both - but to varying degrees of success. My application is largely walk and talk - with minimal cinematic application (stairs, doors, obscure angles, pass offs etc.)

    Unless I have missed something there are four options - Ready Rig, Easy Rig+ Serene Arm, Armour Man 2 and Steadimate. For my application - a lot of walking - my research seems to suggest the Steadimate. Can anyone confirm this? Am I mistaken? Will any of the others do just as good, if not a better job for my application?

    What in your opinion what are the strengths of each/particular device? Please share your thoughts/experience.

    Thanks
     
  2. Graham Futerfas

    Graham Futerfas Active Member

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    Here are my personal opinions:

    I've done tons of walk and talk with my Ready Rig, and I've really loved it. It's versatile and relatively affordable, and there are "spindle" options that allow you to change the center of gravity on the vest and make doing tilts much easier. I also recommend getting the Pro Arms, because they're handy for certain shots. The trick to remove footsteps is to take less tension with the arms, so your own hands\arms take some weight and reduce the footsteps.

    That said, I've never tried the Steadimate. I recommend contacting Tiffen for a demo, but I don't see a lot of professional operators working with it.

    My friends have the Armorman and they say it reduces footsteps better than Ready Rig, which may be true. I think Armorman is heavier and works better with handlebars than the Ring (unless you have a custom adapter). The downside to Handlebars is you have to raise your arms higher in the air, which is less comfortable, and with Ready Rig I can grab the Ring lower.

    Easy Rig +Serene is not going to be as smooth. I've tried it. One advantage is you can pan as much as you want without turning your body but it's not going to help with your footsteps, and I think slow, subtle moves aren't as controlled. Also, it makes your profile very tall, so hard to go through doors.

    Apparently, if money is no object, then AntiGravity vest is the way to go. I've seen some amazingly smooth and controlled footage come from it, but it's over $14,000 to buy, and my vest doesn't bring in rental $$ like the Movi Pro does. Walter Klassen is a bit less money bust still expensive.

    Ultimately, the vest is a tool, and you need to practice with it, and realize that not every shot calls for using a vest. Many shots are better done without the vest, and it's easy to use the vest as a crutch for every shot when sometimes it can be a hindrance.

    And that's just my opinion, but you should see if you can try out some of these options for yourself. Good luck.
     
  3. Rick Gerard

    Rick Gerard Member

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    I have a Steadimate and it works just like a Steadicam and it is best when used Dual Op. All of the issues any Steadicam operator has learning the craft are the same when you attach a gimbal to it. It takes practice. I do not own a Ready Rig yet but I plan to get one when the next film I am working on gets funded. Not because it is better for all shots than a Steadicam/Steadimate, but it is better at doing certain kinds of shots. I have no plans to ditch the Steadimate because for the shots I got it for, it works very well and I owned and ran a Steadicam for several years. It was like putting on an old pair of hiking shoes. Five minutes and I was comfortable with Steadycam kinds of shots.

    For single op walk and talk shots, the Ready Rig would probably be an easier system to learn and use, but it will also require some practice to use well.

    If you are going to be walking backward I highly recommend that you pick up a little stick on mirror. I have a pair of these babies: Adjustable Stick-On Mirror For All Cars. I stick them to the MoVI ring all the time using Velcro. They saved me from backing into a door frame Sunday morning.
     
  4. Craig Allan

    Craig Allan New Member

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    Thanks Graham and Rick . . . very helpful information.
     

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