The Glidecam HD-1000 is awesome (Sample footage + mini review)
I've recently bought a Glidecam HD-1000 for an important music video shoot that's coming up.. I got it a week ago and 10 minutes later I had it just about set up and balanced, not perfectly but pretty close. Please note that I've had experience with stabilizers before (including building two of my own 'DIY' designs) so for someone inexperienced with stabilizers it may take longer to learn to balance it or use it, but my point is that it's very, very fast to set up and balance.
I'm still learning more and more about how to use the Glidecam and how to get good shots with it. It's something that requires lots and lots of practice, as well as building up the stamina and strength to use it. Not something you need to worry about too much if you only intend to do one or two shots with it every once in a while, but if you intend to shoot live events on it or even just do a 3 minute long shot (for a music video or whatever) then you should get lots of practice with it and you will naturally get used to shooting with it for longer periods of time. One trick I'm trying to master is switching hands mid shot without shaking (or dropping) the camera because it gets very heavy on your wrist after a 10-15 minute shot. - it would be so easy if they made a longer handle.. I might have to DIY one.. If I do, It will be posted here and on my Youtube Channel
Another option is to use a vest or arm brace, However, good (and bad) vests are very expensive and very large too, the arm brace from Glidecam is also pretty large and not cheap either at about £150. You can opt for the Flycam branded arm brace although I'm not 100% sure that it will fit the Glidecam.
Another option is to 'DIY' an arm brace.. I'm going to try to make one from a skateboarding wrist guard I have similar to the one pictured below. Most of them are built with hard plastic on both sides of the wrist which should give a good mounting point for the Glidecam's handle, it should be strong enough as it's made for impact for the weight of a person but we'll see if it's still good with a hole in it.. I will post my design soon.
Here a video from my first day of using the Glidecam. I didn't have it perfectly balanced but still got some nice shots with it. Notice some of the shots have some downwards tilt, that's due to it being a little bit too bottom heavy, and one or two of the shots had a random sideways tilt because the Glidecam wasn't bottom heavy enough..
I will soon post a video tutorial on how to properly balance a Glidecam or Flycam because at the moment there is a lack of good tutorials on the subject. Watch this space..