Crane/Jib vs Glidecam (stabilizer)

mikemiller Website User Posts: 11
edited January 2013 in Practical Filmmaking
I was thinking of buying a glidecam hd1000 for my canon vixia hv40. It is $370 on amazon.
Now, however I'm thinking of buying a 6 foot crane from advanced digital ($200) to add movement to my shots. I'll be replacing the plastic stand with a metal speaker mount.
Anyway, I was wondering which one you think I should get. I'll be using for sketches and short films.
My budget is 350 dollars plus or minus a little.
Mike Miller


  • rgbii
    rgbii Website User Posts: 965 Just Starting Out
    Really depends on your needs. Cranes can be fun, but normally require a good amount of setup/teardown time. I have two, and they are nice when you need them, but I don't use them as often as I thought I would, simply due to time. If you do get one, get one with a quick and easy setup. Also, keep in mind the extra weight you need to get on site.
    I have one stabilizer device, but don't really like it, and am looking for another. I have the feeling if I had one I liked, I would use it more than a crane, as long as the setup is easy and it stays balanced.
    But again, it really depends on the type of shoots you do. If you get the glidecam, I'd be interested in hearing how you like it. The Opteka I've got doesn't seem to handle my 7D very well, even though it's within the weight range specified.
  • mikemiller
    mikemiller Website User Posts: 11
    its a good point about the set up and take down time.
    I also used the opteka steadyvid pro, but had a hard time balancing it, and if i did it took a very long time. the glidecam looks easier to stabilize, however cranes are even easier of course. What cranes do you use?
  • rgbii
    rgbii Website User Posts: 965 Just Starting Out
    The smaller one I have, which I like and use the most is the Trapezist mini-jib. Here's a link, though they have made some changes (looks like for the better) and it's cheaper now.
    The larger one breaks down to less than four feet, but can be configured as either an 8' or 12' jib. I don't remember the name right off hand, but I bought if off ebay. It might even be by the company you mentioned, advanced digital, since that sounds familiar, but I can't be sure without looking.
    When shooting inside, the smaller one is so easy to transport, setup and use. Of course, it's nice to use outside, but doesn't have the reach of the larger one.
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast
    ProAm has some good jib crane on Amazon. Bought it and loved it.
  • Fox
    Fox Website User Posts: 89 Enthusiast
    edited January 2013
    Yup ProAm is allso where i bought my JIB crane and dolly, fast delivery worldwide.
    It takes no more than about 20 mins to set it up. The bad part is the contra weight who is around 12 pounds or more to carry around. (Depends on the cam weight, my SONY HDR Z1 is around 6 pounds) Its a bit more than 300 dollars for this setup (ProAm DVC500 ), but they have less expensive models also who will do the job nicely.
    Buying a crane its not all, you will also need a good cam remote controll, a monitor, and cabels.
    And a Dolly . . . And . . ;)
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,450 Enthusiast
    Aren't a glidecam and a crane entirely different things for very different purposes? So, really, it depends on the sort of visual style you're going for.
    Really, though, if you're not sure, you'd probably be better off renting this kind of equipment based on the needs of each individual project. That way if your script calls for lots of crane shots, you get a crane for a few days. Long-term gives you more flexibility and is more economical than trying to own everything in-house (tempting though that is).
  • mikemiller
    mikemiller Website User Posts: 11
    Thanks guys,
    I've thought about what you've said and what other forums have talked about and I think that a crane right now is what I need. Anyway, I've narrowed my search down to two interestign jibs.
    1.) proam 4 ft crane My link
    2.) advance digital 6 ft. crane My link
    The ProAm looks more professional
    The Advance digital however is about 70 dollars cheaper when everything is said and done, and it has the manual tilt bar.
    Wondering what you might think....
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast
    @Mike... i'd get the Proam 8 ft crane. I have it and its good. You can also when necessary add a 4ft extension to that. Do not get lured by cheaper products when it comes to major purchases. How much is quality worth to you?
  • Erik Refner
    Erik Refner Website User Posts: 2
    Hello everyone,
    I am having a cheap stabilizer Flycam 5000 MB. Its really working good, i shoot video while in motion and it gives much more professional look without camera shake.
    I also purchased Camtree scout jib for its price and easy assembling. Does an awesome job for its price.
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