Published on October 14th, 2014 | by Greg0
The Affordable, Adjustable Glidecam XR-4000 Handheld Stabilizer
Taylor Swift might be telling everyone to Shake It Off. But we’re pretty tired of shaking- especially for when it’s our video footage. Even the best cameras suffer from jitter and bumps, especially when you’re trying to go handheld and ditch the tripod or monopod. Sports and action cameras are handy, but are tough to stabilize, and for the most part it doesn’t matter since viewers are prepared for (and expect) the motion.
But with handycams, smaller digital video cameras, or DSLRs, you want smooth and even footage. And for any camera from four to ten pounds, you should get a Glidecam XR-4000. Glidecam does make other models for smaller models, so your choice will probably depend on the lenses (and camera bodies) in your arsenal. But most DLSR users with decent glass will want to opt for the larger model, which adds about five or six pounds of weight to your gear. We tried out Canon and Nikon prosumer DLSRs with a variety of optics, and found that as with most dynamic camera balance systems, the biggest and only real hassle is actually the initial balancing which requires adding and carefully placing weighted disks (sixteen of them are included, though you probably won’t need them all).
There is a three-axis gimbal as well as a no-tools’ telescoping center post allowing you to adjust the height of your camera, between 20 and 28 inches. And compared with some other solutions, like dollies or a shoulder-mount rig, you have a lot more freedom of movement with a Glidecam and can achieve very fluid motions. We’ve seen a few others, like the sister model HD-1000, and the construction is always solid and rugged- critical when your expensive equipment is on the line. This one
As before, though, the system does get a bit hard to hold after a while, cramping your hands despite the fairly ergonomic handle. Luckily, there are other optional accessories which help reduce the strain. Even just using good old fashioned hand power, though, you’ll see an impressive balance with just a little practice. Even walking and tracking shots are steady, and you can move the handle freely for best positioning without affecting the shot. It’s very cool, and enables far more professional video results with just a bit of setup time. Available now, online and in stores, for around $290.