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Making your HDslr fly…

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Transform your HDslr…

We’ve all heard stories of how the new crop of HDslrs are making shots possible that were previously too difficult or even impossible because of budgets or the traditional video/film cameras size; tales abound of how shooters are using them in new and creative ways that make these little wonders almost seem magical in their power.

Well what if I told you I could make your camera fly. Really? I’m talking about running circles around your subjects, giving you an eagles perspective  leaping tall objects and tracking effortlessly while emulating an escalator and balancing itself on just about any surface.
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20110406_pegasus_stills_027 20110406_pegasus_stills_033Sound like I’m having a 70’s flashback?

What if I then told you that it could all be done with just one device and that it would only add about 5 or 6 lbs to your kit and hardly take up any space your bag.

Got your attention?

Read on…

My wife says it looks like a spider, an editor friend says it looks like a lunar lander, but to me it’s more of a transformer for my HDslr. A transformer like object that enables me to capture shots that used to require quite a few different rigs or were just too complicated to set up quickly in the heat of a shoot and so were disregarded.

Welcome to the Pegasus Carbon Linear Tracking System (LTS) from Cinevate.

20110405_pegasus_overhead_010 20110406_pegasus_stills_001I’ve recently had a chance to play with this little gem of a kit and I’ve got to say that the more I use it the more I keep finding fun and creative ways to “fly” my camera…from a basic slider (they say “Linear Tracking System”), doorway dolly, to an overhead rail or cable supported “fly cam”, to a vertical motion cam support, to a circular tracking system…to a…to a…seems like the possibilities are endless and only constrained by my imagination.

The basic system is built around a precision machined aluminum base and rail blocks that support up to 15 lbs on the 8 rubber tires (more than enough for most HDslrs with fat zooms and monitors). The unique articulating wheel system allows for mounting upright, on an angle or even upside down as the wheels “capture” the carbon rods, your own extended length steel rods or even the (optional) cable system.

20110406_pegasus_stills_01620110409_pegasus_escalator_stills_012Speaking of rods… a thoughtful touch that Cinevate engineered in for US users was the ability to use the Pegasus rig/wheels with easily obtainable (and much less expensive) 5/8” rods as well as the 15mm carbon rods that come with the kit. A quick change of the end blocks (your DIY or Cinevate’s from the Atlas 30) and you’re ready to fly and track extended distances (and weights) overhead or ???

Now, if that’s not enough for you, try further extending it’s capabilities by adding the optional 100mm bowl / ball and articulating arms transforming it into a circular tracking system. This will allow quick and easy tool-less precision arc adjustment and gives you a really cool visual update to those old “lazy Susan” 360 shots.

20110406_pegasus_stills_008Last but not least, the addition of the “All Terrain Legs” will give you the ability to level (or not, depending) on just about and surface you run into. The eight independent positions for each leg and a unique tool-less locking system coupled with micro adjustable feet gives you a really wide range of options for getting quickly set up anywhere.

For me, as a converted “still” shooter who is constantly overwhelmed by the sheer number of “must have” gimmicks being targeted to the HDslr market, discovering the Pegasus has been an unusual and very welcome bright spot. The Pegasus Carbon LTS is a high quality, very useful multi-function tool at a reasonable price from a company who stands behind their products and really seems to care about their customers.

Do yourself a favor and take a look at the Cinevate site, visit the Cinevate University and get to know both the Pegasus and the CEO Dennis Woods (he’s the guy with a twinkle in his eyes and a smile always lurking just below the surface who hosts the videos). I think you’ll come away with the same impression I have. It’s a small, friendly, approachable company that is genuinely interested in helping us become more successful by producing quality tools at reasonable prices that help enable our creativity by letting us concentrate on getting the shot.

enjoy…Ric

note: The folks at Cinevate were kind enough to lend me the gear for testing and review. During the initial conversations and process of getting the gear from Canada to Seattle I had a chance to experience their stellar customer service and genuine interest in feedback. Dennis Woods and Dan Walter are very approachable, responsive and always did what they said they would when they said they’d do it.

Cinevate Pegasus LTS – Review sample from Ric Kasnoff on Vimeo.

7 Comments

Greg Probst

April 9, 2011

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Ric, tell me all the gear you had on your camera and its weight. Did you come close to maxing out the 8lbs.

admin

April 9, 2011

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Just over 6lbs in the overhead configuration with the D7000, 24-70/2.8 and smallHD Dp6 monitor…with the 5/8ths SS rods a 5′ 6″ span was no problem…

on the table with the 1 meter carbon rods I was right at starting to bow with the same load…not a lot but noticeable…swapping out the heavy zoom for any of my primes negated that.

In the tracking configuration the full load was no problem…just have to watch your balance point. With a 50mm and no monitor it was almost too light (mass = stability to a certain extent)…

HTH…Ric

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[...] For the probables list, I can make an argument to include a small camera slider. This simple device has the capability (in the right hands) of adding tons of production value to a shoot for not very much money. (update: Got one! see my Cinevate Pegasus review) [...]

Steve

April 17, 2011

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Awesom review Ric as usual!

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[...] focus on normal as well as slider shots (whoops…I mean “Linear Tracking Shots”…I am using Cinevate equipment after all [...]

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[...] Cinevate Pegasus Carbon LTS sold me on rod type Linear Tracking Systems (aka: Sliders). The versatility and adaptability of a [...]

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[...] shoulder rig work but also on my sliders (should be perfect for either my Cinevate Atlas FLT or Pegasus ;-) and as a detached remote for jib [...]

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