What is the correct spelling? The answer is not as simple as it seems. Until now, the reference was an error Steadycam understandable since, in English, “steady” can not be written “Steadi”. Mistake, however, as Steadicam is well written with an “i”: it is a trade name, trademark, who took a generic use as did the Frigidaire brand, for example. So far, everything is simple. But since 1998, it is a little complicated. As we know, Steadicam patents, that year, fell into the public domain. As a land patent, this has allowed many manufacturers to create replicas of the machine that can not be called Steadicam (all refrigerators are not called Frigidaire !). And it is hard to imagine, in a generic name, the words “system operator to stabilize the camera.” way too long…Under these conditions, we can imagine a generic term that would be “Steadycam”, designating any system other than the registered trademark of Cinema Products (now owns by Tiffen), makers of the original machine. This may lead eventually to the disappearance of the word “Steadicam”. But the debate remains open …
In the end we all thanks Mr Garret Brown for creating this wonderful “tool” for cinema and video makers 35 years ago.
All credit to Bernard Wuthrich from planningcamera.com
You can find a complete article on the subject written by Charles King by clicking on the following link :