The Sony A7 camera range is one of the most popular camera units going at the time of writing with the various camera bodies within the range being very popular with photographers, videographers, and vloggers. Due to this, as with any popular product, we are seeing a steady number of people reaching out each month with questions about the Sony A7 camera range.
After covering what we feel is the best motorised gimbal for Sony A7 cameras a few months back, we have noticed a number of people reaching out for advice on manual camera stabilizers, particularly what the best Steadicam for Sony A7 cameras is. Due to this, we have decided to make this the focus of today’s article to try and help any of our readers who are looking to add a Steadicam style stabilizer to their collection of Sony A7 camera accessories.
Now, a few years back our default answer for any type of manual Steadicam style stabilizer would have been to go with something from the Glidecam range but things are changing. Back in the day, Glidecam were always innovating and making sure that they were at the forefront of the manual stabilizer market and the premium price of their products was most definatley worth it.
These days though, the Glidecam range has become stagnant with no real innovation for years now while they still have their premium level price tag for what is essentially a dated stabilizer that is most definatley showing its age. This has left the market open for competing brands to swoop in with newer technology and take large shares of the market from the more established brands in the space.
Now, we know that some of our readers will likely have to go with a unit from the Glidecam range but we would highly recommend that you check out the Flycam Redking as it is one of the best manual stabilizers on the market right now. Don’t let its low price tag fool you, this is an excellent bit of kit that offers similar performance to higher price point units almost double its price.
Flycam has taken advantage of various advancements in metal allows and machine processing over the last few years to knock out a great product that what a low price tag. Since its launch on to the market, it has only gone from strength to strength and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Additionally, it has managed to quickly earn itself an excellent reputation within the community that is growing at an almost exponential rate.
We know that the Redking will not be able to meet all of our reader’s needs but we are confident that it will be able to perform well and meet the needs of a large number of readers while also saving you some money. This is why we feel that the Redking is one of the best Steadicams for Sony A7 cameras on the market right now and we will be taking a more in-depth look below.
Performance And Functionality
Now, as there are multiple camera bodies in the Sony A7 range, we know that each individual A7 camera body will have a slightly different camera body weight but they are all around the one pound of payload weight mark. In addition to this, even with a bunch of heavy camera accessories mounted to it, the 15.4-pound maximum load capacity of the Redking ensures that it can easily support the weight of your camera rig without issue.
Another limitation of the Glidecam stabilizers is that even at much higher price points than the Redking, they are very limited in the load capacity that they are able to support. This can heavily restrict the camera accessories that you are able to mount to your Sony A7 camera during use but the Redking offers a massive load capacity that you can take advantage of.
Additionally, the 15.4 pounds of payload weight that the Redking can support also offers you some excellent futureproofing against possible camera or camera accessory upgrades. This means that if you pick up a heavier lens for your A7 or decide to add a heavy DSLR camera to your collection, it is likely that the Redking will be able to support the payload weight meaning you don’t have to upgrade your Steadicam.
This helps to show you the level of performance that you can expect from the Redking and how it is able to ensure that you can capture the best image quality possible for your clients. If you are using your Sony A7 to capture video footage for your YouTube channel or your social media profiles then image quality is everything in this day and age. The Redking can help ensure that your footage is as smooth as possible and stands out from your competition helping to convert them into subscribers and followers.
When you take all of this into account as well as the fact that the Redking has a very low price tag for what you are getting, it is not surprising that there are so many raving reviews of the Redking online that have been posted by people who use it as their go-to Steadicam of choice. If its growth over the last few months is anything to go by then we only expect this to continue and for more and more people to post such reviews in the future.
User Interface And Control System
Whereas a gimbal has a bunch of settings and modes that you can customize, the Steadicam style stabilizers have no need for this as they are more of a specialist accessory rather than a jack of all trades, master of none. On the flip side of this though, the latest generations of gimbal like the Zhiyun Weebill S have all of the latest techs and can provide you with some natural-looking image stabilization while also having all of the advantages of a gimbal too.
Until a few years back, gimbal image stabilization had a slightly robotic feel to it giving the manual stabilizer its niche of being the king of natural image stabilization. Due to technology advancing at a rapid pace though, many motorized gimbals also offer natural-looking image stabilization to taking more and more market share away from the Steadicam units each year.
Outside of adjusting the central column and mounting plate of the Redking and actually balancing your Sony A7 rig on the Steadicam there really is no need for an interface. The adjusting system for both the central column and mounting plate are also very easy and clearly marked too and we will cover the balancing system for the Redking below.
Additionally, we have decided to share the video tutorial above with our readers as we feel it is a great overview of how you are able to balance the Redking quickly and easily. We have previously tried to type up balancing systems for various gimbals and Steadicams but people tend to find it a little confusing when compared to a video tutorial.
Additionally, the user manual that comes with the Redking offers a great tutorial on how you are able to quickly and easily balance it with your camera rig mounted to it too. On top of this, the Sony A7 range is a very light mirrorless camera system anyway making the whole balancing process even easier.
Build Quality And Design
When it comes to build quality, the Redking is made from CNC machined aluminum to ensure that the stabilizer is as stable and lightweight as possible while also being very tough and robust too. This means that you are able to hold the stabilizer for as long as needed, even with a havier Sony A7 camera rig mounted to it without getting aches or pains. This ensures that you are able to keep recording for those longer sessions without issue and capture the footage that your client requires.
Due to the Redking being so lightweight for a manual stabilizer, it also makes it ideal for air travel if needed as it does not take up much of your luggage allowance when compared to some other stabilizers on the market. That said though, the usefulness of this is going to depend on the niche you are working in as many videographers and vloggers never need to travel via air.
That said though if you are in a travel videography or vlogging niche then an additional top that we can offer to reduce the weight of the stabilizer even further is to work out exactly how many counterweights you need to balance your Sony A7 rig at its heaviest. Then take the required amount of counterweight plates plus an additional ten to twenty percent as spares.
Although the handle grip on the Redking is very comfortable, it does have the main drawback of the Redking and that is that the handle grip can rotate around the actual gimbal handle during use with heavier camera rigs. Now, to most people, this is not a big issue as you are able to quickly and easily fix the issue with some super glue but it is a bit of a pain.
Essentially what happens is when supporting a certain weight the handle grip on the Redking can slip and rotate around the actual handle. Although this does not put your camera rig in any danger of falling, it can feel like it is about to fall at times as well as have an effect on your image quality. Due to the Sony A7 camera range being so lightweight, this may not even be an issue for your but we wanted to make you aware and as we said, a few drops of super glue can fix the problem anyway.
That brings our article going over what we feel is the best Steadicam for Sony A7 camera to an end. Now, as we mentioned back at the start of the article, some of our readers will probably have to go with something from the Glidecam range due to what they need out of their Steadicam. On the flip side of this though, we really do feel that the Flycam Redking will be able to meet the needs of many, if not most of our readers while helping you save hundreds of dollars on your Steadicam.
On top of this, there are also a whole bunch of independent reviews online for the Redking posted by third party videographers and vloggers that you can read. Even if you only have a few minutes free to skim those reviews they offer an excellent insight into the performance of the stabilizer. On top of this, if you look at the difference in price tags between the Redking and something like a Glidecam, those few minutes of reading those reviews can potentially end up saving you hundreds of dollars.