How to get the most from Glide Cam

The Glide Cam is a piece of equipment that is designed to help reduce unstable, shaky hand held footage and to enable smooth flowing camera movements, giving a shooter more options when shooting hand held. They are very popularly used handheld with a DSLR mounted on top. You can use some of the systems with a vest, and mechanical spring-loaded arm like that of Stedi Cam systems, this enables more options of movement and stabilization when shooting. They can also provide movements that are not possible on a tripod.

Balance of the camera is the most important factor when using this bit of equipment. Different sized Glide Cam rigs suit different weight cameras. Provided with the Glide Cams are weights at the bottom to help you remove, add or spread them to balance the camera at the top.

Most importantly is that the weight is distributed evenly meaning that the camera doesn't tip or tilt when held or moved. They can take time getting used to setting up, but once they are balanced properly they add a great number of options and different shots to your production. People will argue the amount of weight that should be added to the bottom to match the weight of the camera. It will vary for different camera weights and different lenses. It is suggested that there is between a 1 and 3 second “drop”. The drop is worked out by hold the Glide Cam by the handle, turning the camera into the horizontal position, and let the camera right itself by swinging into the vertical position. This can be adjusted by the amount of weight added to the bottom of the Glide Cam, and the length of extension made to the central column. Personal preference is also a factor on the weight added, as using it handheld for long periods can get very tiring on one arm.

To get the best out of the equipment, it is suggested to be used with wide-angle lenses, which allows you to get closer to a moving subject, and the wide angle exaggerates movement in the image. For instance walking in small spaces can make it feel like the person operating the camera is running. Wide-angle lenses also mean that unwanted left and right motion of the camera is less noticeable, than on longer focal length lenses. Guiding the Glide Cam by lightly pinching the central column just below the gimbal will help in control of where the camera is pointing.