Flying your camera is not as easy as it looks.

The opening sequence was shot on this Glidecam HD2000. These type of devices that fly your camera are not as easy as they look, they take practice and this is my first one so I have nothing to compare it to, so please take my review from the point of a true beginner.

First off let’s talk about price, the HD2000 is around $450 which kinda on the pricey side for hobbyist, however if you compare it to the Steadicam Merlin it is a steal, but on the other hand if you compare it to a Hague then it looks expensive again.

I had some problems balancing my Glidecam so I contacted the manufacturer and Tom from Glidecam gave me a few pointers. They actually told me I have the wrong one for the T2i, they recommended the same one, the Glidecam HD1000 is about $100 cheaper.

I am tall at 6′-3″ when I try to go low to get at eye level with my girls the handle hits the bottom plate the camera sits on which ruins my low shots. I asked one of my visitors to my site Marc Wiblishauser Skateboard video on Vimeo what he does with his and he recommend rotating the handle, and that worked great for my low shots instead up inverting the whole unit which would time consuming.

I found that flying this outside it much easier than trying this inside, the main reason is focus, you generally want most of your image to be in focus so you have to raise your F-stop to 8 or higher, and if you don’t have much light inside for all the rooms you are passing through you need to up the ISO a ton.

Again I am a beginner at this but one of the biggest things I learned that really helped me get much smoother shots is applying the right pressure to the post while steering, this just comes with practice. I would think that within a month or two I will improve a ton more.

Here is one of my bad shots that is not easy, I’m trying to do a crane move and you can tell I need a lot of practice to smooth out my shot.

Suggestion for Glidecam

I have one suggestion for Glidecam to make this a better product. Taking weights on and off is the most time consuming process when getting it balanced, instead of having two screws which takes time to screw is to use just one. Create a holding bay for them to fit is so they don’t shift. Also the screws are the weakest link because if you damage the threads you are kinda screwed out in the field, my suggestion would eliminate half of them.

Hague Footage

Jake Nielson came to help me out and he brought his Hague unit which he tested out on me. It is about a third of the price and I was surprised how smooth it was on the level walking scenes, however up and down the stairs it was hard to steer it with one finger. Also as Jake explains it appears to have a major design issue.

I learned a lot by watching other people use it, so on my blog post I included a few videos I think you should watch.

Good Videos To Learn From

Some other videos to check out:

Products Use in this Video

All Video – T2i
50mm 1.8 product shots
Opening Sequence
Glidecam HD2000

Thanks to Kevin Macleod for the creative commons music.


  • Really cool, it’s amazing to see how even as a “beginner,” the video very much improved. By the way, I just also wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for all of the good content. Your vids are well made, and very informational. Thanks again.

  • Dave, This is pretty perfect.

    Personally I don’t using any Stabilizers with my DSLRs. Check my latest work here : http://www

    All the track shots are taken with Canon 5DmkII and all handheld shoot. All footages stabilized with Warp Stabilizer plugin comes with Adobe After Effects Cs5.5, Those are pretty perfect than Glidecam 4000HD 😉

    But the thing is we have to waste bit time for stabilize process. 🙂

    the magics are done with Adobe Aftereffects and Autodesk maya.

    Hope you can enjoy it.

    Cheers . .
    Amila C.


  • Thanks for this video. I had the Hague MMC but sold it as the knob to turn the camera was to small. See my Channel for a demo. After that I bought the original Steadicam JR, made by Garrett Brown, inventor of the Steadicam. This is perfect for the 550D. But like all steadicams you need to practice to control the “fly”. Search on YouTube for Steadicam jr ( not the Merlin)to see some demos from Garrett Brown how to use a steadicam, body positions etc.

  • Hey Dave, thanks so much for the shout out! My plan is to do a second video where I’ll go into more advanced techniques such as movements and accessories like the vest but time has been a little tight. Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see in the second video and I’ll try to get it in there 🙂

  • Hey Dave, another great video! I’m learning to fly my T3i + Sigma 30mm 1.4 on a HD-1000, and I wish there were more instructional videos like yours. The tip to turn the handle 90 degrees for low shots is awesome! Now I can chase after my toddler.

  • Hi Dave, thanks for share your experience with the hd-2000, i also recently received mine but using a GH1, lighter than the T2i, but something that help me a lot was using 4 weights on the camera plate and use a manfrotto sliding mounting plate, with that i win some wheight on the camera size, later was a much easier to adjust the Glidecam.


  • If you get a chance try a CMR blackbird. For the price range it is the best Steadicam IMO. I’ve read read all the reviews.

  • In this opening sequence you didn’t balance it in proper way…that tilting left and right is due to weights, you dont have it enough…stick one or two on top of the glidecam “slow” release plate…and it seems that drop time is not good…you have to adjust it for your stile, if you walk most the time it have to be little slower(3-3:30 sec), but if you run it have to be faster(2-2:30 sec) i have it almost a year now and that is what i figure it out…always try to add weights because best performance of glidecam is just near the weight capacity:( and that is the reason why Tom sugested you 1000 model…hope i helped you…
    Ps sorry for my english i am from Croatia and this is second language for me:)

  • I would never spend 400 bucks on a steadycam like this, but the 2nd video made me almost want to! It looked amazing! Do you know how he got it that steady? It must have taken years of practice.

    And what stabilizer was used at the end that was hooked onto his waist?

    Where is that skateboarding video that you mentioned?

    Thanks for the review!


    I’m thinking of doing a DIY of one of these, but I don’t know what design. I could do a design with a C shape, kind of like the hauge, or a I shape like yours.

    Do you have any opinion on this idea? I don’t want to fork out 170 bucks on a hauge, because im planning on getting a rode two.

    I’m amazed that all of my friends have ipods and xboxes, and one year without that stuff has gotten me so much gear! it epic. Most of it was inspired by your gear.

  • @Amila Kumarasinghe, I saw your video, and it was amazing! I understand it taking 4 weeks, but how long did the actual stabilization take?
    Would this work with pretty shaky running footage?

  • Hey Dave,

    First a big thank you for all the hard work you do on these tutorials!

    Second, I have 5D Mark III, coming my way soon and I use many of the same lenses as you, what Glidecam would you recommend? Some say the HD 4000 is the way to go, especially if you start adding mics and an LCD screen, but what’s your take on it?


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