The world of wedding videos is still relatively new to me compared to my experience with photography, and I’m still finding ways to increase the production value of my films. One item that I’ve had sitting around for a long time but I’m just now starting to use is the Glidecam 4000 Pro and I really feel like it’s going to make a big difference.
Video Equipment: Glidecam 4000 Pro
A Glidecam or a steadicam is a type of support for the video camera that allows for smooth movement. If you’ve ever shot a video before and tried to walk, you probably noticed that the resulting film is all bouncy. The Glidecam fixes that problem. I can’t really explain all the details, but it works by balancing the camera on a rotating handle, so that the camera will basically stay in an upright position as you move.
For weddings, there are several different uses for this. One would just to use the Glidecam instead of a monopod. A lot of people will use monopod for support, but I’ve found that sometimes they get in the way and can be hard to move around with. The Glidecam would be much quicker and easier to move with. Another major use would be to follow the action. During weddings the couple is usually on the move. With the Glidecam you could walk right beside them or even be in front of them and walking backwards. The last way would be more of for creative shots. If you start far away from the couple and move to them quickly, it makes it look like the camera is flying in. Another thing often done is a circular shot around the couple. This is done by just walking around them a few times pretty quickly.
There’s a lot of good things about my Glidecam, but there’s also a few negatives. One, they tend to be expensive. I bought an older, used model and still spent around $200. The newer models cost anywhere from $200 to $500. There are some cheaper knock off models, but I tend to stay away from those. Two, they can be hard to set up. The whole balancing procedure is very delicate, involving making slight adjustments back and forth. I’ve just recently started to figure it out, but at first I spent several hours trying to figure it out. I will say the newer models have made it easier than mine. For mine, you have to loosen screws and then manually push or pull the plate. For the newer models, they have knobs that move the plate, which is easier to control. The last issue is usability. Just like I had to learn to set it up, I’ve had to learn how to actually use it. It can be kind of awkward to hold and move it. You have to make sure your movements are controlled or the camera will aim off somewhere else. With this as well, practice makes perfect.
The Glidecam 4000 Pro allows me to create some stunning videos. Once I get really comfortable with it, I plan on using it at every shoot. Then, I feel like I’ll be able to take my videos to even a higher level.