The flycam cf-3 dslr carbon fibre review
So why did I get the flycam, and why did I get this specific model, so let me tell you a little more about what I do and what equipment I use. I am a professional photographer and I get every year a few assignments where video is required. I am a bit of a perfectionist and despite videography not been my main area of expertise, I still want to accomplished the best I can possibly achieve, without breaking the bank. My main video recording equipment are:
Nikon D800 (main camera)
Nikon D3200 (backup and second angle)
Tokina 16-28mm (wide angle lens)
Nikon 70-200mm vrii
So this could get pretty heavy and the ergonomics of DSLR for video in my opinion are useless but the quality coming out is so good that we quickly forget about it and just get on with it. When I put my expensive camera and lens on a piece of gear which going to support it, I am ultra-careful with what I choose. If I have any doubt about the tool I’m gonna use, I just simply don’t use it. So let’s talk about that steadycam.
What comes in the box.
Ok so the flycam comes in a nice and well rugged bag where each compartment has its own purpose, but you will probably end up by doing like me and making it your own. The foam allowed me to stick the screw which I use a lot in there so I have quick access to it, same as the key which will close tight the screws. There are a lot of weight, far more than I need to use to balance my D800 with the Tokina 16-28mm, this means that I can keep some weight in the bag if I ever need to change my camera and so increase the weight when needed.
They are also giving a few extra bolt for the plates which is included, so losing one will not be too much of an issue
The first steps of putting it all together takes a minute or 2, it’s so simple that my 5 year old kid could do it. The second steps, this is where it gets a bit more complicated but this has nothing to do with this specific steadycam, they are all the same to setup when you put your camera on top, it takes time to get it to balance, constant micro adjustments of the camera on the plate, number of weight at the bottom, how high or low do you keep the weight from the top to the bottom. It can off course take some time to get it to balance perfectly and this is absolutely normal, there are a lot of factors that come in to place to get the perfect balance. But once you get used to it, it won’t take you more than a minute to set it up and be ready to start shooting.
As in the product name, must of the construction is made from beautiful, strong and light carbon fiber. The hand grip has strong foam which will last you a while before you need to change it. The connection between the hand grip and the main bar is metal with a very smooth system which performs very well to keep footage without any unwanted knock. All put together, that steadycam is very solid and very well build.
The base which carrys the weight is made of metal, same has the weight. It is large and allows you to space them with the center bar, I’ve not find it useful to make it balance but this could be if you have a larger camera on it.
The only downside is the plate connection between the camera and the steadycam, its plastic and it has a cheap feel to it. If you are planning to use it a lot, you might want to look in to a different plate from manffrotto.
I have in the past few years used different ones, some very expensive and some knock off EBay ones, to me this one has been the best value for money I have found. It comes well packed, build solidly and with very little effect to make it work. The thing with steadycams is that the steadyccam itself is only going to provide you with 20-30% of help, handling it well is 80% of the job to handle well it takes time, practice, practice, practice… and you will get some awesome footage. For me the steady cam works best with ultra-wide lens at a small aperture to get everything in focus so you don’t have to worry about focus which will be impossible while moving about with it.
Pros: Price – Construction – handle – amount of weight – bag
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
you can see some pictures of the actual device here: http://www.flycamdslr.com/hdvs/flycam-cf-3-carbon-fiber-steadycam-stabilizer.html