Glidecam XR-500 camera stabiliser pictures and hands-on

Glidecam has launched a rival for the Steadicam Smoothee that can support light cameras, including the iPhone and the GoPro Hero. There are some interesting features here that make this a decent competitor to the Steadicam product, and one which offers potentially more value.

READ: Steadicam Smothee for GoPro HD Hero 2 review

For around $100 you get a camera stabiliser with a foam handle grip, a gimbal and a tripod-style mount. This differs from the Smoothee, because that needs adaptors to attach the various cameras. So if your camera has a normal tripod mount, you don't need anything more to get up and running. If you're using an iPhone, you need to buy a special mount that costs an extra $50, bringing the total cost to roughly the same as the Smoothee.

Interestingly, the XR-500 also has an extendable post and adjustable weights. The former means you get much more control over the camera. You can make the stabiliser respond more quickly or slowly with this and get a potentially smoother video. The weights let you add any camera up to the maximum allowed weight, which puts this in a different league from the Steadicam.

Our first impression of the XR-500 is that it's got one clear advantage over the Steadicam equivalent, and that's a far easier control. To use the Smoothee, you need to adjust the camera's position using a much smaller space. The Glidecam's arrangement is more like a big stabiliser, and from that perspective should make controlling the camera a lot easier.