Handheld Stabilizer HD-2000

HD2000 Carbon Fiber Steadicam Handheld Stabilizer for Camera Video Camcorder

I bought the stabilizer from AliExpress, it is very similar to the Glidecam HD-2000, for name and for its look and payload, but is way cheaper, I will not do any comparisons, instead I will talk about my first impressions and experience I had with the the HD2000, sold by the company Qingzhuangshidai.

Inside the box

This is what you find in the bag, there is no manual but nothing that you can’t find on Internet.

  • Central post (the main tube)
  • Telescoping post (inside the central post)
  • Camera mounting platform
  • Base platform (expandable)
  • Counter weights (8 x 130g)
  • Four bolts and thumb nuts for counter plates
Gimbal and Yoke
Base platform with weights
Central post with gimbal and yoke

First impressions

So the company that produce, or distribute the stabilizer seems the Chinese company Qingzhuangshidai, the price on AliExpress is 138 dollars, it get shipped with a carry bag, the inside is foam, made specifically for the stabilizer, but is nothing special, and I would probably use one of my bags to take it with me instead.

In the overall it looks good, it feels high quality, and expensive, in the description they state that the central post is made of carbon fiber, true or not, the tube is light, and the quality seems really good.

I didn’t find any manual in the box, or on Internet, but fortunately Glidecam has provided a manual for its HD series, and I was able to assemble and balance mine without problems.

Clamps and knobs on the base platform
Bolts and thumb nuts on the base

How much weight on my hand

Knowing the weight of your gear is important for balancing purpose and for the health of your hand, so I weighted all the components.

  • Camera mounting platform (400g)
  • Base platform (470g)
  • Central post + telescoping post (500g)
  • Weight x 8 (130g)

As an example, for balancing my camera, Canon 200D, with microphone and a 50mm lens, a total weight of around 750g, I put two weights on the base platform, so the entire load on my hand is of 2.38Kg!

Before you buy

Before you buy any handheld stabilizer, these are some of the characteristics that you should take in consideration, so to get the best out of it.

The payload

The weight that a stabilizer can hold can vary from 0.5Kg up to 5Kg, is really important to see how much is the payload and compare it with your gear full weight.

The weight of the stabilizer

Keep in mind that these stabilizers are heavy! The central post of this one is quite light but the overall, with all the components assembled, is gonna hurts after some minutes and you will not be able to use it continuously for hours.
Fortunately is possible to take off the mounting platform with the camera when you don’t need it and easily put it together again in seconds.

Quick release plate

Attach and detach the camera have to be fast! Nobody want to waste their time with screws, trying to balance the camera over and over again, during a shooting, also the best shots happen always when you are not prepared. Take the time to look through the description and see if they have some sort of quick release for your gear or it will become very frustrating really quickly.

The mounting plate attached to the central post
A top look of the mounting plate

Pros

  • Good construction quality
  • No battery or charger required
  • Makes you cool, or stupid, it depends on the point of view, if latter, put it in the cons
  • Cheaper than an electronic stabilizer
  • There is no quick release plate but the entire mounting plate can be detached easily without removing the camera
  • It can bring better result than an electronic stabilizer depending on your skill

Cons

  • Your hand will feel it, it's heavy!
  • Even your back will feel it, if you decide to put it in your bag
  • It requires skill to use it and have good result, also you need both hands
  • The balancing procedure can be tedious

Tips or just things to remember

I found some tips in the Glidecam manual, that are worth to highlight, and understanding how the stabilizer behave when you change something will definitely improve the result of your film.

  • Extending the base platform reduce the pan movement
  • Adding more weight or telescoping out the base will speed up the drop time
  • Expanding and moving the counterweight plates apart, will slow down the rotation of the sled and reduce side to side movement
  • If you move the guiding hand down by the base platform you will get more control, over the stabilizer, but in general keeping the guiding hand right below the yoke will allow you to gently move the camera without interfering with the stabilization
  • Read the manual first than play with it, here the Glidecam HD manual

Conclusion

Happy of my purchase, I can say that this is a good investment for anyone considering film making a little more seriously, I am sure this stabilizer is gold for wedding shooting, or where you need to follow your subject at close distance and you don’t want to trash that clip because even warp stabilizer on Premiere Pro refuses to work.

My pretty face

Emanuele Disco

SW engineer, film maker

Full time front and back end developer, I play mostly with Java, Javascript, HTML, Python and C#, I love programming, playing pc game, doing astronomy, studying and many other stuff and I do video as well…

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