newb wondering about 3 axis BG steadicam

Hey guys, I'm a filmmaker and recently discovered this amazing invention. I've been scouring this forum for hours and are slowly learning more about this, including that some might be a scam (did that OG guy ever confirm he has a product?).


I'm hoping you can answer some questions.


1. The cheapest, professionally reviewed BG steadicams I could find are Defy and Besteady, for $4000 and $3000. I'm finding ones for $2000 on ebay, but don't feel safe sending $2000 to china for a seller who doesn't have a top rating. Anyone know of a cheaper assembled rig from a reliable source?


2. Are there any DIY guides that are simple enough for a complete knucklehead to assemble a working rig? I'm seeing unassembled kits for $500 and they're supposed to come with instruction manuals, but the English in the ad is so bad that I don't trust the manual to be coherent.


3. I know different rigs handle different weights. If I get one to carry a DSLR now, would it just be a matter of installing more heavy duty parts to a rig to handle something big like a Red cam? How difficult is it to balance the camera? Would you need to do it every time you put on a long lens, especially a front-heavy image stabilizatin lens? Could the rig even handle that kind of lens?


4. I'm reserving this line for other questions as they come into my brain.


Thanks in advance. This forum is a little intimidating, I have no idea what you guys are talking about.


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  • Hi Jay

    I am no specialist... should ask Paul but he is not around at the moment. We do some movie work from time to time. So I kinda understand your short terms a bit ;) Can also say you talk like them (movie dudes) ;) not everybody knows what is a RED or DSLR.. try next time to describe the weight you want to handle and it will be easier to understand and get help here.. all about weight on a copter ;)

    The RED.. and mainly the lenses are so out of dimention, that you need for every lense your own gimbal mount to keep it balanced. Do-able.. but work intensive. We have 2 3D Printer to get all our gear in shape, the rest we vacuum inject with Carbon. The brushless gimbal control systems also have their weight limits at the moment.. a few are specialised in carry big gear too. Ari, a friend, has a 78kg lifter just for movie work down here in Cape Town. I can get you in contact with him..

    For a proper movie rig.. you have to think more direction $15-25k.. depending on lift and cam you want to use. Will be a two man operated copter.. so you still need the people able to handle it. Put the renting.. you guys LOVE renting ;) .. of the gear in your finance plan and rent a copter for the shot. That's what happens down here.. none of the guys own one. Last offer we got from a producer: I give you the money to buy the gimbal, you maintain it and when we need it, you rent it to us, ok? Movie people, funny people ;)

    If you just want a brushless gimbaled hand held system... thats no biggy.. but dont get a heavy lifter without any experiance! That would be like a guy who reads the manual to a formular 1 car and thinks he can make a new round record at the Nürburg Ring in Germany... that wouldnt end well either.

    If you want more contact to some guys doing movies... drop me a note here:



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