Welcome to our ultimate Glidecam XR Pro review that we have decided to publish due to seeing a number of people constantly reaching out about it for the last few months. Additionally, we have also posted a number of dedicated reviews fro various Steadicam brands over the last few months and feedback has been positive so we decided to publish our review of the XR Pro too.
Our hope is that our article will help any of our readers who are considering purchasing the XR Pro and adding it to their collection of camera accessories as it is a solid little manual camera stabilizer in all fairness to it. Since its release, it has managed to earn itself a solid reputation within the community that seems to be holding.
That said though, just like most of the Glidecam range, you are spending way over the offs on the actual equipment you are getting due to the brand. Although many people will have to do with the official Glidecam XR Pro depending on their requirements, we are confident that a large number of our readers will be more than fine with the Flycam Redking.
Although the Flycam Redking is around half the price of the Glidecam XR Pro, it is an excellent manual stabilizer and has one of the best reputations going right now. Its low price tag is definatley not a reflection of its level of performance as it continues to outsell and outperform many higher price point stabilizers while growing in popularity at a rapid pace. We would highly recommend that you check out the Redking to see if it will be able to meet your needs while saving you a few hundred dollars.
That said, many people will prefer to go with the Glidecam so we will still be reviewing the XR Pro for our readers. We just wanted to bring the Redking to your attention at the start of the article as we know many of our readers are busy people who don’t have much free time. There’s nothing more annoying than spending the time reading a full article just to have a cheaper alternative with very similar levels of performance brought to your attention at the end of it.
Performance And Functionality
For example, the stabilizers load capacity range starts with a minimum of around two pounds and goes up to a maximum of six pounds. Although a maximum load capacity of six pounds should be plenty for all mirrorless camera rigs and some lighter DSLR camera rigs, in this day and age, completing stabilizers like the Redking offers treble the maximum load capacity for half the price.
Now, depending on the niche that you are working in, a motorized gimbal like the Zhiyun Weebill Lab may offer advantages over the type of image stabilization that the Glidecam XR Pro is able to provide for you. On the flip side of this, as we mentioned, the Glidecam XR Pro has its own advantages when it comes to the natural-looking, fluid video footage too. As we don’t know what you need out of your stabilizer, only you are able to decide what route is better for you.
Just like most of the modern manual camera stabilizers on the market right now, the Glidecam XR Pro mounting plate is able to directly mount mirrorless cameras, DSLR cameras, and video cameras as required. The larger mounting plate of the XR Pro ensures that you are able to hot-swap between your cameras as required to ensure that you are always getting the performance you need with optimal image quality.
User Interface And Control System
Due to this, outside of the balancing system, there really isn’t much in the way of a control interface on any modern manual stabilizer as there is nothing to interface with. In our opinion, this limited functionality and the technology in the latest motorized gimbals being able to provide very similar levels of natural-looking image stabilization is one of the main reasons that electronic gimbals are growing exponentially whereas manual stabilizer growth is pretty stagnant.
Now, the Glidecam XR Pro has received a fair amount of criticism from the community due to its difficult balancing system and when you are paying almost $400 for a manual stabilizer from a brand like Glidecam, you really are well within your rights to expect a seamless balancing experience. Unfortunately, this is not the case and in our opinion, Glidecam definatley missed the mark when it comes to balancing the XR Pro.
Not only can it take long periods of time but it can also be very frustrating due to the system of using fourteen large counterweight plates and only four small counterweight plates. Once you get the hang of the system you are able to get it done within minutes but this just plays right into the Flycam Redking hands with its lower price point, similar functionality, and much easier balancing system.
Build Quality And Design
As many videographers have to travel around alot for work, knowing that your stabilizer is as lightweight as possible while also being robust is great. This lets you store it away in your videography kit bag and not have to worry about being over your luggage allowance or having any problems with the stabilizer breaking due to a few knocks.
When it comes to design, the vast majority of modern manual stabilizers all use very similar designs with little innovation being made by anyone. This is due to the standard design having stood the test of time and proven its ability to provide some great image stabilization while being as easy to use as possible. The fully adjustable central column on the Glidecam XR Pro also ensures that you can adjust the stabilizer as required for optimal performance no matter what you need.
Now, as we touched on earlier in the article, we really do feel that the balancing system is the main let down on the XR Pro. The counterweight system that Glidecam have gone with on the XR Pro really doesnt help either and we would much rather see a system based around counterweight plates that are all equal weights. In our opinion, this is the better method of balancing your stabilizer and the two-weight plate system used on the XR Pro is dated and make a poor balancing system worse.
That brings our Glidecam XR Pro review to a close and although the stabilizer is an excellent camera accessory that can help improve your image quality via the image stabilization it provides, we really would recommend that you check out and consider the Flycam Redking. It is a great bit of kit that is almost half the price of the XR Pro at the time of writing but has one of the best reputations available for manual camera stabilizers and continues to grow at an almost exponential rate.