I’m sure I’ll post more about the Helix soon. The Helix is a stabilizer designed and built by Letus. They came to be during the 35mm adaptor fad. They made a quality product and have continued to make accessories for the changing market. I first saw a clip about the Helix at NAB and thought the design idea was cool. They center the lens for 360 degree rotation. It has a flat base so you can set it down. It is designed to be a camera stabilizer not a helicopter gyro. Anyway, I got to try one out today at Cinequipt. Just a couple of minutes and my first impression is sold. The Ronin is great, but much heavier, difficult to hold for long periods and just not as refined. I’ll be putting in an order soon.
So it has been a long time coming. As a camera operator I have always longed for a Steadicam. In recent years there have been many imitators of the famous brand of camera stabilizer. Until now I have resisted such temptations. So as the industry prepares for another revolution in camera stabilizers with the introduction of Movi and BeSteady I have finally picked up a stabilizer.
So a job coming up requires stabilization and I had my eye on the steadicam Solo since it was announced but it isn’t available yet so I went with another inexpensive model from Adorama branded as Flashpoint Zerograv. This one is sold with or without a vest/arm. I went with the vest (not pictured) because I don’t want to put any more strain on my wrist at this point in my life. A DSLR may be light, but not for extended periods of time.
I’ve never had a stabilizer before, but I have played around with Merlin, Glidecam and even a Pilot. I’ve always thought they were too difficult to set-up, etc. All true. Now I’m pretty sure the more expensive the stabilizer the better it may maintain its balance throughout the day, but nothing is easy. The Flashpoint was pretty easy to balance despite having no manual or instruction. Most of the forums will also tell you the same thing. It requires lots of practice, adjustment and more practice. After a couple days of practice I can get footage that looks better than hand-held but by no means does it look like Goodfellas.