Rotating Banners

Review: Glidecam XR-2000 Series Handheld Camera Stabilizer

Review: Glidecam XR-2000 Series Handheld Camera Stabilizer

Overview : The Glidecam XR-2000 Handheld Camera Stabilizer represents an affordable way to put your compact camcorder on a floating platform, enabling you to capture the types of professional handheld shots that add dynamic flair to any video production. Smooth camera movement that ranges freely in every dimension is not something you can achieve via dollies or shoulder-mount rigs. For truly unfettered, floating camera moves, you need a gimbal-based camera stabilizer.

The XR-2000 is a complete handheld system, with a dynamic camera platform that will allow you to mount & achieve proper balance for your small to medium camcorder (2-6 lb), a telescoping central post that allows you to adjust the height of the unit, and a balance platform that supports any combination of the included large and small counterbalance weights. At the center of everything, however, is the three-axis gimbal that lets the camera handle move freely while the rest of the stabilizer stays upright, thereby eliminating the shake that plagues most handheld camerawork.

The design of the Glidecam XR-2000 is tool-free, so you'll be able to set up and achieve balance easily & quickly every time. With practice you'll be steering your camera through three dimensions naturally and smoothly without a second thought, as if the camera platform were a cloud floating through calm skies.

For long periods of operation with the XR-2000, you will no doubt benefit from the addition of an optional support accessory (sold separately), such as a Body-Pod, a Forearm Brace, or an X10 or Smooth Shooter arm/vest support.

Features :
  • Dynamic Camera Balance Platform (Camera Mounting Platform)
  • Adjustable convergence, precision, three-axis Gimbal
  • No-tools Telescoping Center Post
  • Adjustable, inertial-control Base Platform
  • Foam padded Handle Grip
  • Precision Bearings at all vital points
  • Made with precision Aluminum
  • Anodized Studio Black
  • Laser etched Labeling
  • Allows unrestricted Booming and 360 degree Panning
  • Rubber feet under Base Platform
  • Made in USA
Glidecam XR-2000 Specifications :
  • Designed for compact, low profile cameras weighing from 2 to 6 pounds
  • Camera Mounting Head Dimensions: 6.00" x 4.187" x .75"
  • Base Platform Dimensions: 10.00" x 4.00"
  • Central Support Post: 1" diameter
  • 15" tall in shortest mode
  • 22" tall in longest mode
  • Weight: 2.1 pounds without Counter Weight Discs
  • Each large Counter Weight Disc averages 2.75 ounces
  • Each small Counter Weight Disc averages 1 ounce
  • The Glidecam XR-2000 includes 12 large and 4 small Counter Weight Discs
  • 12 large Counter Weight Discs = 2.07 pounds
  • 4 small Counter Weight Discs = .25 pounds
  • Camera Mounting Plate has 1/4" mounting holes
  • Base Platform has 1/4" mounting hole for optional LCD Monitor attachment
  • Made in USA

Quality/Usability : Glidecam has released the XR-Series which replaces the long standing Pro-Series (i.e. 2000 and 4000 Pro). I don't know when the Pro-Series was released but based on the design, it looks the same. So how is the XR-Series?

Everyone has at least recorded a video whether its with a point-and-shoot, DSLR, camcorder or even on a cellphone. But have you seen those home or amateur videos where the camera is handheld and its shaky and jumpy that you get nauseous from watching? Well the Glidecam XR-Series helps eliminate those shaky videos.

The Glidecam XR allows you to achieve proper balance with a floating camera experience. You can walk, run or move your hands up and down, left and right and your camera would be steady due to the three axis gimbal design.

First, lets take a look at the unboxing video that we made and what is included with the Glidecam XR-Series:

Included is the head plate that you mount your camera to, mid plate, bottom plate, telescoping post, base platform to hold counter weights. Also included are (2) rubber washers, (2) black thumb nuts, (4) bolts to hold counter weights, (4) 1/4" washers, (2) camera mounting screws, (8) black thumb screws, (12) large counter weight disks and (4) small counter weight disks. The shortest height is 12" tall and the tallest height is 16" tall.

NOTE: Since XR-1000 is smaller, so the size of base platform and telescoping post is small. Also, it comes with (8) large counter weight disks. The XR-4000 is bigger, so the size of the base platform will be bigger.

Review: Glidecam XR-2000 Series Handheld Camera Stabilizer

So how do we put this together? We've made a video of how to assemble the Glidecam XR-2000:

Trying to get it balanced requires some patience. As you know, every device does not weight the same. Item can be front/rear heavy or about the same. So the counter weights would need to be added or removed accordingly whether its adding more or less and lowering/raising the platform base.

To test its balance, you lift the bottom of the Glidecam so that the post is horizontal. Let go and it should take 2-3 seconds (by counting one-one thousand, etc. or one-mississippi, etc.) for the Glidecam to be vertical. If it swings down too fast, its bottom heavy and weights would need to be removed. If the camera turns upside down, its top heavy and requires more weight at the bottom.

If your camera tilts forward/backwards or leans to the right/left, you can simply adjust it to the center by turning the black thumb screws on the plate that holds your camera. You don't have to loosen it completely but enough that it will allow you to slide the plate forward or backwards. There are black thumb screws on the bottom of the plate as well and this lets you slide the black left or right. Just make sure that you do it slowly. Over adjusting will throw everything off balance. This is where the HD-Series outshines the XR-Series because it offers precise adjustments with a simple turn of the knob rather than 4 screws.

For a video on how to set up the Glidecam, check out the video on Philip Bloom's website and check out these videos from NAB 2011 - Video 1 of 3, Video 2 of 3, Video 3 of 3.

Once you have it adjusted and balanced correctly, the following video shows you the Glidecam XR-2000 in action after it's been set up and balanced correctly. NOTE: I am not a "professional" and have not mastered it yet but with a little more practice, I would have no problem using it.

Conclusion : Overall, the Glidecam XR-2000 Series Handheld Camera Stabilizer. If you're into cinematography, this will be your best friend. Setting up the initial Glidecam is very easy. Trying to balance your gear can take some patience but once you get the idea of how everything works, you will have no problem adjusting it on the fly.

I'm sure some of you are wondering, what is the difference between the XR-Series and the HD-Series. I've asked myself the same question. The HD-Series is the "higher-end" so it costs more. Both look exactly the same but each Series is slightly unique in terms of function. Both offer a foam handle grip, three axis gimbal and both hold the same amount of weight. But here is where they slightly differ:

The Glidecam HD-Series offers a camera-mounting platform with a quick-release, no-tools, drop-on camera plate that allows you to quickly attach or remove your camera. Ergonomic, control knobs allow quick, precise adjustment of the top stage’s back and forth, and side-to-side movement. These controls allow you to adjust the camera’s horizontal balance.

The XR-Series camera mounting platform can be adjusted to move back and forth, and side to side, to quickly allow you to adjust the camera’s horizontal balance without featuring a quick-release camera plate and back and forth/side-to-side control knobs.

The HD-Series offers a unique and proprietary Dynamic Base Platform that can expand or contract to a greater degree, than that of the Glidecam XR-Series. This allows you to easily adjust the systems dynamic balance or to increase or decrease the systems rotational panning inertia.

Ultimately, if videography is your main hobby or business, I highly suggest upgrading to the HD-Series. The quick release and ability to adjust the balance with a simple knob will definitely help you out. If you plan on using the Glidecam for a long period of time or have heavy gear, I highly suggest getting the arm brace.

Manufacturer: Glidecam
Site: Buy from B&H Photo / Authorized Dealers

Other Glidecam XR-Series
XR-1000: Buy from B&H Photo / Authorized Dealers

XR-4000: Buy from B&H Photo / Authorized Dealers

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...