World Class Camera Stabilizers

Endorsements


"Not so fast"

By: Lauren Cohn

“Not so fast” is how I would put it. I picked up a Ronin a few months back, and I thought I would never use my Glidecam (HD4000) again. I really thought that brushless/computerized gimbals were the future. Within a few shoots I realized I was too quick to think so. What did I miss about the Glidecam? Lots! I love how I can take the Glidecam apart and fly to locations with it. It breaks down, and fits within my existing kit. I may not always need the Glidecam, but having it with me, is definitely peace of mind. The mechanical nature of the Glidecam is something I missed. No batteries. No firmware. Simple and easy use. The Glidecam is smaller and allows me to take it off the X10 arm or just move around with it. Using the HD4000 in a conference center is 100x less intimidating than the Ronin. How I shoot with a Glidecam is night and day different than with a Ronin. My shots and what I can do with a Glidecam is more fluid and natural since I am not wrestling with the monster that is a Ronin. Physically, the Ronin “Hand Held”? Yeah for about 20 minutes max. The Ronin, to be able to use it for lengthy periods, requires either “briefcase mode” or “upside down mode”. Then, if the IMU(the computer that stabilizes the Ronin) freaks out, the shot is ruined and will probably wrap up my HDMI cable or break off the connector. Sure, the Ronin has its place, but between calibration, batteries, balancing (yes you still have to balance it), syncing with my tablet/phone, running cables, setting dead zones, acceleration…ugh. Away from the Ronin cradle it’s next to impossible to recalibrate the device without having a stand! Just using the Ronin is a big production. Ultimately, the Ronin’s lack of ease makes me leave it in its case. I’m glad I have a Ronin as a tool, and there are some shots it’s better suited for – as in violent quick moves/high accelerations or remote operation - but the Glidecam ultimately wins in the real world/on location settings. Most watchable cinematography is best shot on a well configured Glidecam setup. My “Motion Toolbox” consists of GoPros on small computer gimbals, and when needed, a Ronin for extreme/specific shots. The Glidecam fits perfectly in probably 90% of what I shoot. 


World Class Camera Stabilizers