Steadycam VS Glidecam

Viewing 19 reply threads
  • Author
    • #48104

      I’ve been researching these two items, and looking at videos people posted about them making their own. It seems to me that they both do essencially the same thing, but there is a difference. A steadycam is a solid piece of equipment with a counter weight on the bottom. The glidecam however has a gimble unit of some sort and counter weights spread out to the left and the right of the unit.

      Is there a situation where one is better over the other? I have a friend who wants me to make an online commercial for a home she is selling. I was looking at steadycams to remove effect caused by me walking. I would like a nice smooth glide through the house. Would one work better for me over the other, or is it more a matter of preference?

    • #197773

      I’d think the glidecam is to counter horizontalshifts (more so)and the steadycam to counter vertical.

    • #197774

      Ok, so if I’m reading this correctly, camera motion from footsteps would be a virticle shift thus am Steadycam would be better than a glidecam.

    • #197775

      the SteadyCam and the Glidecam do the same thing when balanced properly.

      i personally own a glidecam smooth shooter 2000 PRO and you can run, walk, run up and down stairs, ride on a motorcycle or in the back of a van and ALWAYS have a steady shot!

      the reason i purchased the Glidecam over the Steadycam is that the Glidecam was stock! since i needed it rush…

      expensive but worth it!

      below is a link of videos showing how its can be used…


    • #197776

      Having owned and used one of the Glidecam series units I can say that properly adjusted it works with both elements of movement, and does it well. Also, it is much less expensive, comparatively speaking, to the Steadycam series. I’ve not owned, nor ever used or tried, any of the major Steadicam series units, only the Steadicam JR which also employs a gimble mechanism and mostly addresses horizontal movement, but also allows for some vertical stability. However, the JR was highly susceptible to wind and a bit of a challenge to control when turning corners or twisting around. The force of the left-right movement made the unit want to continue swinging around after ease to a pause.

      F.Y.I the Glidecam I owned was the Glidecam 8 series, complete with harness, arm and stabilizer. Both units required stamina for extended use and even with the brace and harness apparatus the Glidecam quickly begins speaking to your lower back region.

      At the time I acquired it the Glidecam system was more than $3k. I don’t remember WHAT I paid for the JR, but it wasn’t cheap by any stretch of the imagination. Neither are miracle workers, and both approaches require some muscle development, stamina, conditioning and working out with in order to achieve their ultimate capabilities. Neither of the two I used were pick up and go type systems, calling for much practice to get it right.

      Also, did I mention that these systems, especially the more effective ones, are pretty darn expensive?

      On another thought, after having worked with these, I’ve learned to achieve some smoothness in motion with one of the heavier monopods, using a thumb-and-forefinger grip, slightly extended arm acting as a shock absorber, and a slouching, Groucho Marx type quick shuffle walk to reduce the naturally occurring bouncing motion in normal walking. Most monopods of any weight will help achieve the balance needed once you get the hang of the grip, especially for short distances.

    • #197777

      I Agree with Earl… the cost of these units is high and they are more effective with bigger heavier cameras.

      For ultra light weight cameras….

      leaving the collapsed tripod attached and practicing is a pretty darn good alternative to any steady cam…

      I also have success using mu tripod this way:

      I have a bunch of grip equipment laying around anyways… so I used plumbing pipe insulation and gaffer tape to insulate and pad two of the three legs on one of my older manfrotto light tripods.

      on the third leg, I used a manfrotto pipe clamp and light weight ball head with quick release plate and pistol grip. mounting the camera to the leg and resting the padded tripod on my shoulder, the tripod then becomes a shoulder mount which is quite stabil with the sr 12 and hdr hc1 or d-slr.

    • #197778

      What do you think of these people that are making steadicams from galvinized pipes or PVC. Would they work as good as an expensive one, or the monopod idea that Earl talked about?

    • #197779

      “What do you think of these people that are making steadicams from galvinized pipes or PVC. Would they work as good as an expensive one, or the monopod idea that Earl talked about?”

      Those home made steady cams work on two principals… Weight and inertia on the one hand, and balance on the other hand. It really is that simple.

      I think they should use their tripod, and not waste time, money, energy, and space on a clunky device that has to be removed to put the camera back on a tripod at some point, anyways….. but that is just me.

    • #197780

      If you’re running around, steadicams and glidecams are the best.

    • #197781

      XTR-91 Question: Do you use, have you used, or do you own or have you owned, or have you rented or applied any or either of the various brands of stabilizers or rigs? Just curious if your comments are based on personal experience or simply personal opinion.

    • #197782

      If your camcorder is less than about 1.6lbs I suggest the Manfrotto 585 modosteady. It has a clever design, quality construction, is easy to balance and folds to the size of a shoe. Only about $100. Here is a video I made using my Canon HF11 with wide angle converter walking through the Vaillancourt Fountain in San Francisco.


    • #197783

      “Just curious if your comments are based on personal experience or simply personal opinion.”

      I’ve never used a real glidecam or steadycam, but I know that they’ll give you more success than a monopod. I don’t know that there’s anything better you can use for “running around shooting”.

      I’ve seen the glidecam, and it’s got a weights sticking out on the side, implying that it will absorb left-right shake.

    • #197784


      Earl has this topic nailed. +1

      (Full disclosure: I do own a Glidecam)

      I especially second the part where he talks about operator skill, stamina, and strength.

      The equipment helps a little. With the skill, stamina and strength it helps a lot.

      Good luck

    • #197785

      I’ve got to agree with Earl and others. After 2 years of trying,I finally sold my Glidecam on Ebay. I even went to a strength building class to try and build up my wrist strength. After 5 minutes it was a killer.Sure I’m an old guy, but it was stilla constant problem to keep the thing balanced just right.

      I now use my Manfroto monopod to shoot all my moving shots.

    • #197786

      Here’s an interesting contraption by VariZoom The Crossfire Series

    • #197787

      I own the SteadyTracker Xtreme. I use it for most of my shoots and I must say that it is easy and quite affordable. Check it out.

    • #197788


      Please place a photo of your converted tripod.

    • #197789

      I use the Steadicam Merlin to do house tours. I have the vest, but generally don’t use it.It’s just hand held with a 5D Mark II (DSLR). I’ve tried a few of the cheaper knockoffs, but didn’t find they really worked that well. They were clumsy and very fatiguing. I have used this thing virtually every single day, all day long for over 5 years. It’s built well! No issues, but the learning curve is a LOT greater than their advertising would have you believe. It takes hours and hours and hours and hours and hours of practice……

    • #197790

      I use my Glidecam X-10 with an XH-A1 loaded with a Frezzi Light & battery, camera battery and Azden shotgun mic.After about 5 to 8 weddings here in So Cal I got some pretty smooth shots. People are correct in pointing out proper balancing and walking takes a bit of practice. I also use Core Melt’s Lock & Load for further smoothing out shots. The first 1/2 dozen weddings I shot, my lower back was in a world of hurt, but in time with pretty frequent work no more back aches. Also expect to lose 5-7 pounds per 10 hour day during hot days – sounds crazy but you need plenty of water.

    • #213013

      steadycam all day

    • #212962

      Wish that guy would stop talking all over your filmwork. Did he miss a cliche – wait – nope?.
      Like art gallery guides that yap when you are trying to look at a painting.

      And they reserve capital punishment for murderers ..


    • #212963

      and sweat bands and a shirt change and deoderant and a towel and handkerchiefs and ..
      (just thing a DAY at the gymn)

    • #212964

      Good lead on lock and load – I use warp stabilizer in premiere but its slow as a wet week and reanalyzes everytime you change an effect or the clip.
      Might see if there is a trial of L&L – they dont seem to have updated it since cs6 though and Premiere is two versions on – hmm.


Viewing 19 reply threads
  • The forum ‘Video and Film Discussion’ is closed to new topics and replies.

Best Products

Best products of 2021

Best products of 2021

With so many great products this year, we've taken the time to review the best of the best. These are our picks for the best products of 2021.

Need help making a stellar first video?


Download our free eBook with 8 tips to get on the right track and create a video that you can be proud of.



Given away to one lucky winner

Competition is open worldwide