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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


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Old October 29th, 2010, 07:05 PM   #1
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Stabilization ≤ $1000

For the 7D and T2i, what do you recommend? Both sporting matte boxes, 50mm f1.8 and 20mm f2.8

On a two camera shoot, there is running involved. I was thinking of getting shoulder mount for one camera in addition to one of those flycam/steadicam things for another, but I really don't want to spend 1k just to end up not liking one stabilizer.

What do you guys think could provide the most cinematic quality, or superior stabilization, ignoring what the camera operator brings to the party.
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Old October 29th, 2010, 07:26 PM   #2
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CMR Black Bird. For that price range you really are looking at only two that are quality units and that would be the Merlin or the Black Bird I prefer the Black Bird. For shoulder mounts in that price range look at Indie systems. Use the search and you will find a million threads on this.
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Old October 29th, 2010, 09:28 PM   #3
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Love the blackbird. Just keep the cameras stripped down and ligtht. I've used it with both the t2i and 7D. Tokina 11-16 works great as does the Canon 28mm f1.8. The 20mm will work great. The 50mm might be a bit long but thats something i havent tried. I'll have to play with that sometime. My setup only has a 501 QR system and the lens. I even remove the battery grip. I wouldn't use the matte box either.
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Old October 29th, 2010, 10:02 PM   #4
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What about follow focus and a monitor? Are non shoulder mounted stabilizers put off too much by using a follow focus whip?

http://www.dvcity.com/Shoulder_mount...lder-kit-5.jpg
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Old October 29th, 2010, 11:12 PM   #5
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Yeah...the whip would really not work well on the blackbird.


For shoulder mount, I use a z-finder as again, my priority is keeping the rig light. I use a follow focus but haven't found the need for the whip yet. I originally was using a homemade shoulder rig that held either of my cameras and my smallhd dp1. While it worked well enough in tests, it turned out too heavy for practical shooting. The smaller DP6 or similar might help the weight issue but I prefer to stick my face on a viewfinder as it gives me another point of contact for stability and shooting outdoors, blocks outside light making focusing much easier.
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Old November 7th, 2010, 03:42 PM   #6
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I'll second the vote for the Blackbird. Got it, love it, use it whenever I can. It definitely wouldn't work with the extra gear piled on, though. But if you're looking to run, do you really need a follow focus and a monitor? Without knowing any other details, it seems like you'd be better served to strip down, go with a wide angle with a very deep depth of field, and not worry too much about focus.
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Old November 8th, 2010, 09:02 PM   #7
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well, if you're looking to outfit 2 cams for under 1K, maybe 2 Glidecam 2000's?
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Old November 10th, 2010, 09:47 PM   #8
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$1,000 each actually. Focus is important to me, even with a wide angle, I'm working on a wireless follow focus atm
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Old November 14th, 2010, 06:45 PM   #9
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I'm curious have you guys used all three of these stabilizers:

1. The Merlin
2. The Blackbird
3. The Glidecam 2000

And how do you think they compare to each other for:

1. Effectiveness
2. Ease of use
3. Value

I have the Glidecam 2000, its about a year and a half old and doesn't have all of the controls for fine tuning the balance so it can take a while to get the balance right. Because of this I haven't practiced or used it nearly as much as I would like.

In order to get nice shots with movement in them I've built and tend to rely on different camera dollies, a jib and slider, all of which can be time consuming to set up as well but I know I'm going to get the shot with those supports where I'm not as confident with the Glidecam.

I heard good things about the Glidecam and really good things about the Merlin before I purchase the Glidecam but I chose the GC2000 because of the price difference. Maybe I just gave up on it too easy.

I'm curious what you guys think about these stabilizers and if you think its a good idea to upgrade to either the Blackbird or Merlin. The Blackbird looks comparable to the Merlin for less -- here I go again...
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Old November 20th, 2010, 12:36 AM   #10
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I've been using the Merlin with great success. I read reports it was hard to use and set up, but just watched some videos and got going right away.
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Old November 20th, 2010, 01:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Spaulding View Post
I'm curious have you guys used all three of these stabilizers:

1. The Merlin
2. The Blackbird
3. The Glidecam 2000

And how do you think they compare to each other for:

1. Effectiveness
2. Ease of use
3. Value

I have the Glidecam 2000, its about a year and a half old and doesn't have all of the controls for fine tuning the balance so it can take a while to get the balance right. Because of this I haven't practiced or used it nearly as much as I would like.

In order to get nice shots with movement in them I've built and tend to rely on different camera dollies, a jib and slider, all of which can be time consuming to set up as well but I know I'm going to get the shot with those supports where I'm not as confident with the Glidecam.

I heard good things about the Glidecam and really good things about the Merlin before I purchase the Glidecam but I chose the GC2000 because of the price difference. Maybe I just gave up on it too easy.

I'm curious what you guys think about these stabilizers and if you think its a good idea to upgrade to either the Blackbird or Merlin. The Blackbird looks comparable to the Merlin for less -- here I go again...


I guess the Glidecam 2000 Pro address's some of the fine tuning controls, it looks heavy though.
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Old November 24th, 2010, 12:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Dalton View Post
I've been using the Merlin with great success. I read reports it was hard to use and set up, but just watched some videos and got going right away.
I've been trying to use the Glidecam 2000, I either haven't figured out how to balance it correctly, I totally suck at this or both. I find this to be a very humbling and discouraging thing...

During Monday night football I noticed a guy with a steadycam in the end zone go from a standstill to a run and when they cut to him it was rock solid. I don't expect to be that good with a $300 [or whatever it costs] Glidecam but I was hoping for something much better than I'm able to accomplish.
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Old November 24th, 2010, 04:01 PM   #13
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For affordable shoulder mounts:
Handy FilmTools
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Old November 26th, 2010, 10:48 AM   #14
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We use the Blackbird a lot for event cinematography -- possibly even too much, but the footage from it is just that sweet. You need to take 2-3 hours to set it up, watch the helpful instructional DVD (the company just released a better instructional and shipped it to everyone who had bought a Blackbird in the past, free of charge!). Some people catch on faster than others. I can't fly the thing very well, but my filming partner was a natural at it, so he flies the Blackbird while I work off a monopod.

Forgive me if this is overly obvious, but it's also helpful to get as wide as possible. On a 7D, we get great results from the Tokina 11-16, decent results with a Sigma 17-70 (only at 17, though), and everything else is just too long. The Blackbird is extremely easy to tweak ever-so-slightly to achieve the balance you want. The "stage" where it's mounted is extremely well engineered. I don't work for CSM (I think that's the manufacturer), but I may be the Blackbird's biggest fan. We get tons of comments about the "moving shots." Check out our Vimeo page for a few samples.

Yeah Yeah Creative's albums on Vimeo

Let me know if you have any specific questions. I'll vouch for this sucker all day -- It's the best $$ we've spent.
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Old November 26th, 2010, 02:07 PM   #15
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David,
This is some beautiful stuff, well done. Love the quality in some of the glass you use, and like that your style shines through and are not just another still motion clone.
Regards...
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