Sunday, February 27, 2011

Review: Glidecam CamCrane 200



JB's review: So I got  ahold of Glidecam's CamCrane 200.  This is a simple, tripod-mounted crane that will create basic jib arm type shots.  The action is smooth, and gives the camera a "floating" feel.  There's no pan or tilt function on the head, but you can always upgrade this area.  Otherwise, you simply mount your camera or rig to the head, and move 10' from floor to ceiling.  It's fairly silent, and much sturdier than I expected for a prosumer level device.  It's important to balance the rig properly with the appropriate amount of weight.  Glidecam recommends a 3-1 ratio of camera weight to counter-balance weight, so I used Boa bags & weights for about 38 lbs of counter-balance.  The provided fine tuning weights are an excellent choice to get that "floating balance point."  While the price point was a great entry, I had to upgrade my tripod to a heavy duty Manfrotto, that was more expensive than the actual crane (there's also a Cartoni for $529).  It's important not to skimp on your legs, and make sure you have a tripod that can handle the weight.  My only other complaint is the instructions are terrible, and I did better building the crane just using my horse sense.  I recommend this system if you want more production values for simple HDSLR projects like music videos & commercials.  For under $700, it's affordable, but make sure you also have a heavy tripod.





< Shipping contents.










< CraneCam shrapnel.








< You insert the brass bearings into the boom poles.  I had to pound mine in like a monkey.






< The vertical support unit is built with solid & heavy aluminum.  This should provide plenty of strength for the small size of HDSLRs.







< A balanced CamCrane 200 with mounted Canon 60D.










< A very simple mount: the Manfrotto 486 ball head attached easily to the CamCrane's mounting plate with the included 3/8" bolt.  Using the ball head to control my shooting angle gave me awesome versatility and diversity with shots.

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