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Glidecam iGlide Stabilizer Review

Glidecam iGlide Stabilizer

With its slick design, amazing stabilization, and low price, the Glidecam iGlide is a great piece of equipment and easily used by professional videographers and amateur filmmakers alike.

The scenario is simple. You’re trying to shoot HD video for an event that requires your image quality to be at its best. Or, you might even be attempting to record your friend landing a skateboard trick and you want the video to be smooth and without camera shake. So how do you capture this quality video on a small budget and with limited space in your kit? The iGlide by Glidecam can be the answer to your stabilization needs.

Glidecam’s New Addition

For more than 20 years Glidecam has been producing camera-stabilizing rigs for all types of intended uses and users. With the different types of rigs that they produce, stabilization is the key to the Glidecam’s success and with the iGlide, there are no exceptions. The size and lightweight design of the iGlide allow you to shoot with HD camcorders, and the best compact cameras weighing between four and 14 ounces. Even though iGlide is the smallest of Glidecam’s arsenal, the smooth video results are surprisingly big. From amateur filmmakers to professional videographers, the iGlide does wonders in stabilizing those tough handheld shots.

Out of the box, the iGlide has a nice clean design and the hardware, such as the locking bolts, feel very durable which creates a sense of security. As video producers, we appreciate gear that can be used safely, for the sake of our crew and our equipment. Glidecam also gives you a color choice of black, blue, orange, and olive, making it fun to add color to your video kit. The most important feature of the iGlide is how lightweight the whole device is. Made out of aluminum and weighing a mere 13 5/8 ounces without counterweights, the iGlide allows for painless handheld camera work.

Out of the Box

When you purchase the iGlide you get everything you need to attach it to any number of cameras, including a top camera plate, base plate, thumbscrews, yoke, and stabilizing handle. At $149 you will be getting an awesome little rig for a great price. Also included are .9-ounce counter weight discs used for balancing, and even though this might not seem like a lot of weight, we found them to be sufficient.

We used three small cameras with different ranges in versatility to test the iGlide: A Sony Handycam HDR-CX220, a Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS8, and a GoPro HERO3: Silver Edition action cam. This put two roughly six-ounce cameras and one three-ounce camera, each with a different center of balance up to the test. For all three cameras we ran and walked over rough and smooth terrains, uphill and downhill, and even up and down stairs, just to test the limits of how well the iGlide deals with camera shake. The majority of our video was smooth and clean, although some of the shots were better with specific cameras.

The iGlide helps stabilize camera movement and the HERO3: Silver Edition is a camera made for people on the go, so the two devices together make for a great match. The Sony CX220 and LUMIX ZS8 are great compact cameras with built-in optical image stabilization and quality video that can be used for multiple tasks, but with an ultra wide lens, the HERO3: Silver Edition handled the majority of the terrain even while running up and down stairs. Regardless of the camera, the iGlide’s three-axis gimbal, which is similar to Glidecam’s HD-4000, ($650) allows for free flowing movement which helps capture quality video. You’ll feel like your camera was on a professional floating system.

Placement Features

In our tests of the iGlide, we found a few things that might be tricky when using it for the first time. Since the camera mounting head wasn't quick to work with, it was difficult to switch between cameras, but if you prefer a certain camera you won't have any issues once the camera mounting plate is secured. Although, we did find it a little bothersome with the amount of screws we had to undo when trying to remove the camera plate.

closeup of top of the camera mount plate
When you attach the camera to the top plate you have to fully remove the two thumbscrews on the sides to remove the plate, this is no quick-release. Although, once attached, your camera is very secure. You can spin and twist and try to make the camera detach, but you won’t be able to without undoing the thumbscrews. As with any stabilizer, make sure you allow proper setup time before shooting.

Summing It Up

Stabilizing your video camera is one of the most important aspects to video production and with the iGlide you’re likely to get exactly what you need. There are many different types of camera stabilizers, yet with the iGlide’s size and capabilities you will be purchasing a fine piece of equipment at a great price and the quality of the video you produce will be well worth it. With smooth and graceful video assisted by the use of the iGlide, you have a great little addition to your amateur or professional shooting kit.

Glidecam Industries, Inc.
iGlide: $149
www.glidecam.com

TECH SPECS

Load Capacity: 4-14oz. (113.4-396.9g)
Camera Mounting Head Dimensions:  3 7/8” x 2 1/4” x 5/8” (98.4mm x 57.2mm x 15.9mm)
Balance Plate Dimensions:  7 1/4” x 2 1/2” (184.2mm x 63.5mm)
Leveling Bubble: No
Central Support Post (diameter): 5/8” (15.9mm)
Minimum Height: 9 7/8" (250.8mm)
Maximum Height: 14” (355.6mm)
Weight (without counterweights): 13.6oz. (386.3g)
Counter Weight Discs: .9oz. (24.8g)

Strengths

  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Good stabilization

Weaknesses

  • No quick-release plate

 

Zac Fernandez is a freelance videographer and documentary filmmaker from Northern California.

Tags:  December 2013
Zac
Fernandez
Mon, 10/14/2013 - 8:17pm