Thread: Letus Gimbal

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  1. #1821  
    Senior Member Samir Patel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Morrison View Post
    I got my Helix. Was shipped as promised. I believe I was Batch #1. We'e been crazy busy, and are about to put it through it's paces. But yes....they are shipping. I have one. Immaculately packed in a gorgeous, laser cut pelican.
    That's awesome Nick! Can't wait to see you put it in use.
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  2. #1822  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Berg View Post
    Does anyone actually have a Helix in their possession yet? I saw on Letus' deposit page tonight that reservations being taken for Batch #2 are not expected to ship until late September at the earliest. I have had a reservation deposit in Letus batch #1.5 for 12 weeks now and have been "promised" the end of July, the beginning of August, and this week! I took the online GT training class on balancing the Helix yesterday and learned that Letus made a big firmware upgrade to the Helix onboard controller software this past Monday that is still being tested with the latest Basecam GUI and mobile android software.

    I hate to say it, but it's starting to feel like the Helix has problems that Letus isn't talking about and they are slow shipping (if they're shipping at all) to keep from getting too many units in the field with problems.
    Quote Originally Posted by PC Greene View Post
    Helix is fantastic and were getting a lot of great footage with it, but as stated, many are learning new gimbal handling skills, or like me, have gimbal experience but not enough time to tune perfect settings for their config right now.
    I hear ya, PC. Had my Helix a few weeks, but for me it's been a time thing. Just pulled in a lot of different directions right now (well, really one direction, but that direction is SUPER strong.) I've only shot with the Helix once after uploading Hien's Epic profiles. Results for me -- considering I've NEVER shot with a stabilizer of any kind and that this was literally my first time walking with the thing outside of my kitchen and living room -- were outstanding. But I want to make refinements, both to my technique, the balance of the rig, and the software settings before shooting again. Weather has also been a problem here. On days when I have time and the help I need to do something, it's either raining or a major threat to. But I do expect to shoot SOMETHING in the next couple of weeks, hopefully including some use on a Kessler crane. If what I get from that feels close to the potential the Helix offers, I will be sure to post the footage.
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  3. #1823  
    Senior Member Terry VerHaar's Avatar
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    Just to jump in here and echo what a few have said. I have Helix SN#002 and, as such, have probably had mine for as long as anyone. In fact, I have had it long enough that it has even experienced a trip back to Portland for some hardware and firmware tweaks and is due for another in a couple weeks. There have been some very important upgrades made since the first units so I'd say those people that are still waiting are going so get the benefits of some early adopter feedback.

    Also, like others, I have had some time stolen from Helix play by the "other" stuff in life: jobs shooting without Helix, vacation with wife, some house guests that would never leave, and the "usual" distractions of life. As such, I have spent maybe 8 hours actually shooting (walking around pointing it at things) and probably 5x that much working with balance and other "table top" activities. So, I feel pretty comfortable with the Helix right now although I feel that from here, the progress will be about 90% practice/practice/practice and about 10% improvements in firmware.

    So,what can I say about the Helix experience?
    1) From the beginning, the team at Letus has been phenomenal! The support they have given is very personal and dedicated. I have had phone calls with Hien, countless emails with GT, attended video training sessions and had each and every concern addressed promptly and in detail. Now, it is true that they could not have supported thousands of users in this same way but everyone should realize that the thorough and prompt attention to issues and details at this stage both benefits every unit that goes out but that, also, this behavior is in their DNA and I suspect they will kill themselves with effort before they let customers down in any way. So, ignoring the equipment for just a minute, owning a Helix has been a really uplifting experience like few others.

    2) The Helix itself is very wells designed and built. I continue to believe that this design, which holds the camera between the hands rather than "dangling" it below the plane of the hands, makes more sense. That's just my opinion, and I do not have any real experience with "the other guys." so it just a matter of visualization and intuition for me. YMMV and others will loudly disagree, I am sure. But, I remain convinced. The attention to detail in the manufacture is excellent. The unit is both light and strong. It works smoothly and quietly. It is a precision instrument.

    3) Balance - here is where you CAN (but don't have to) spend a lot of time. I have done so because I am a bit of a perfectionist and I like to experiment. I would say that achieving balance, once you become somewhat familiar with Helix, can be easy - IF YOU KNOW HOW YOU WANT TO CONFIGURE THE CAMERA! Therein is where the rub is. I started with a sort of minimalist approach without wireless FF or wireless monitor transmitter. But it was always a matter of where to mount each piece for better balance. Coincidentally, the firmware at that time need some tweaks so the footage was OK but not great. I also realized during this period that real world use would likely require some degree of focus control. The obvious thing is to build the camera with a wireless FF but I have also been experiment with REDlink and control via my laptop or iPad, which seems VERY promising. So, I am still tweaking different balance configuration and have also worked off of a vest/arm set-up which will allow for heavier camera set-ups. In the end, I imagine I will get the lightest workable configuration possible and use that pretty universally. But, we will see. Stay tuned.

    4) Footage - So, as I mentioned, some of my early footage - before firmware tweaks, was promising but was fraught with periods of jitter and wobble. Fine if you can stabilize out sone of the jitter or cut around it but not at all ideal for real world use. The firmware tweaks improved that like night and day. I have quite a bit of (otherwise boring) footage of walking through the park with stable horizons and following people walk, etc. (nothing fancier than some suitcase mode, rapid waling stuff) and I think the footage is excellent. In fact, the best footage I have gotten to date is working off the vest/arm set-up. Although I am reluctant to go through the bullshit that comes from posting it online, I may eventually do that when I get a few minutes to cut it to something manageable. Even at that, I am sure there will be further refinements of the firmware (including advancements in the new auto-tune, which I haven't yet installed) which will make things even smoother.

    5) Firmware - As I have mentioned, the firmware has been and is being refined quite a bit on an ongoing basis. We started without a "manual" as it were so, with Letus
    very actively leading the way, great strides have been made. They have also worked directly with Alexy at BaseCam to get a customized version for the Helix. AFAIK, the customized version is not massively different than the regular BaseCan software - some specific, consistent tweaks for the different "shape" of the Helix. So, upgrades and improvements in the basic BaseCam software can and will be easily implemented in the Letus version going forward. The best of both worlds. The auto-tune function is the latest improvement and is being feverishly worked on in Protland to bring its capabilities to the Helix world.

    I hope that this little recap is helpful. I remain a staunch advocate of the Helix as a terrific tool in the cinematographers bag. Not only do I expect to achieve great results with it, I actually think it is quite enjoyable to use. I am sure that makes the wait even harder for those that have ordered but take comfort in the fact that each day you wait, your product gets even better. It's like waiting for a tasty vegetable to grow before you harvest it. In the end, the wait will be worth every minute.
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  4. #1824  
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    Hi Terry,

    Practice?


    Alan Iverson Practice


    Couldn't resist...you are right, of course. Practice is "The Answer."

    Thank you very much
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    http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?111020-FOR-RENT-CARBON-FIBER-DRAGON-SO-CAL-AREA-CON-U-S&highlight=Rent+Fury

    949.689.5614 srgtfury@gmail.com

    Thank you very much

    Fury
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  5. #1825  
    Senior Member Terry VerHaar's Avatar
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    Haha, Nick. I had never seen that.

    So, I think I'll go practice... and stop talking about it. LOL
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  6. #1826  
    Senior Member Tom Greenberg's Avatar
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    I just got my tracking number email saying that my Helix had shipped. I am beyond excited to get my hands on this bad boy!
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  7. #1827  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Greenberg View Post
    I just got my tracking number email saying that my Helix had shipped. I am beyond excited to get my hands on this bad boy!
    Exciting times Tom.

    New update with info session for next week should be great!
    Though massive shoot for tomorrow.

    The biggest thing right now bar none is the use of a wireless follow focus. For me I'm looking to try http://www.24shots.com/silencer-pro/
    but they don't seem to be wanting to respond to my messages.
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  8. #1828  
    Senior Member Terry VerHaar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Note Suwanchote View Post
    Exciting times Tom.

    New update with info session for next week should be great!
    Though massive shoot for tomorrow.

    The biggest thing right now bar none is the use of a wireless follow focus. For me I'm looking to try http://www.24shots.com/silencer-pro/
    but they don't seem to be wanting to respond to my messages.
    Depending on your FF needs - and your lenses, consider using one of the iPad apps along with the REDlink (or the new box coming out from OffHollywood). Not exactly the same functionality but looks promising for much less money. I have the Redrock WFF but would love to save the weight when possible.
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  9. #1829  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry VerHaar View Post
    Depending on your FF needs - and your lenses, consider using one of the iPad apps along with the REDlink (or the new box coming out from OffHollywood). Not exactly the same functionality but looks promising for much less money. I have the Redrock WFF but would love to save the weight when possible.
    That is an interesting idea.
    That means someone would need to control the iPad correct?
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  10. #1830  
    Senior Member Terry VerHaar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Note Suwanchote View Post
    That is an interesting idea.
    That means someone would need to control the iPad correct?
    Exactly. Mikael's yet-to-be-relesased app from FoolControl looks pretty interesting. I have REDlink but the new, small box from OH looks to be killer.
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