05.02.13 - Glidecam HD 4000 Review

Today I set out to use my Glidecam HD 4000 for the first time and overall I was quite happy with the experience. Now there were some drawbacks, which I will go over later in the article, but for the most part, this was a positive experience that I can only imagine will continue to get better with more and more practice. If you wish to skip the review, feel free to watch my compilation video from the day and move on. I also appreciate all likes and shares. Now onto the review!

What I liked:

Firstly, the Glidecam feels well built with quality materials. I may have only used it once, but I get the feeling that this product will last me a long time. It feels like a well-manufactured truck in the form of a stabilizer.

I was surprised on this next pro, but it made me very happy. Balancing isn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Having reviewed the product for sometime before actually receiving it, I was fairly concerned about balancing the Glidecam, after all, it’s useless if you can’t balance it. Fortunately, after finding a decent tutorial video (found here) on how to balance the Glidecam, I was able to have a decent balance within 20 minutes. The trick I found was having the right counter weights. If you’re just using DSLR and lens, two weights on each side should do the trick. Since I was using a grip, I made it 3 on each side and it worked great.

Lastly, I’ve found it has a quick learning curve to understand the basics. By no means do I think I’ve mastered the Glidecam, but I found the clips I shot to be more than sufficient enough to create a piece I liked. Now I hear it has a steep learning curve but I’m hoping with time and practice, I’ll be able to take movements to the next level.

What I didn’t like.

Let’s point out the obvious first, is it ever heavier than a small baby bison. This thing is definitely going to take some getting used to. Thankfully for me, I use it for creative pieces so it’s a lot of stopping and going but I wasn’t able to hold a gliding shot for more than a minute 30. Afterwards, my wrist felt a slight burn but for the most part, it was manageable. Hiking with it could prove tiresome and tricky. I recommend not adding any accessories if possible and just shooting with a body and lens. Could be the difference maker between amazing shots all day, and a broken wrist.

Weight however, was not my biggest problem. I found when I was wearing the jacket; the bottom of the Glidecam would constantly nudge against my jacket causing a jerking motion that would shoot the camera offline. The solution? Taking it off, which in the winter isn’t the best idea.


Overall I’m very excited for my first day with the Glidecam. Although the video was a little bumpier than I would have liked, I’m excited to see the potential for what I will be able to create in the future. Hope this article helps you in your decision to purchase a Glidecam and if you have any questions, leave it in the comments below. Hope you enjoyed the video and have a great day!

- Kevin

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