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All about using the Canon 1D X, 6D, 5D Mk. IV / Mk. III / Mk. II D-SLR for 4K and HD video recording.


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Old January 16th, 2011, 08:17 PM   #1
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Stabilizer for 5DMk2

Welp I've read about everything here and here it is 2011 and I need to follow talent on city streets soon for a gig.

Seriously leaning toward the Blackbird as it is a full kit with carrying case etc.

Pricing I've found at B&H is something like this:
Blackbird @ $669.95,
Glidecam HD4000 $549.99,
SteadyCam Merlin $799.00

With the full frame of the 5D was considering using my 24-105 f4L and have the ND filter for daylight if needed...24mm ought to give me adequate DOF to not worry about auto focusing.

Here in 2011 which of these three would be best?
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Old January 17th, 2011, 12:21 AM   #2
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Harry,

I use the Glidecam 2000 and it works pretty good. 24mm should be fine.
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Old January 17th, 2011, 08:19 AM   #3
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Thanks Ken,

Reckon it's like anything else you have to make a decision and work with it. I've got to order it today - anyone went though using all three with the 5DMk2?

Suppose I'll just have to pick one....like I say really leaning toward the Blackbird (case and all accessories) or the Glidecam 4000HD.
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Old January 17th, 2011, 10:59 AM   #4
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Ordered the Blackbird so i should be flying this weekend!! yippie!!
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Old January 21st, 2011, 08:13 AM   #5
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Harry,

You'll have to come back and let us know how the Blackbird went once you trrial it a bit.

I have a Steadicam Merlin and a Cobracrane Steadytracker, which I bought first.

I was going to sell the Steadytracker when I bought the Merlin because I had considered it an upgrade, but I kept it because I discovered that the Merlin is pretty useless in any wind. When I'm running, I also prefer the Steadytracker. As long as there's no wind and you're not running, the Merlin wins in every other department.

They say the Merlin is as good as its bigger brothers once it is used correctly, but that's not strictly true. Wind is the Merlin's biggest adversary as it is small and light.

My latest toy stabiliser is the Kessler crane which I've only just received and can't wait to use it in the field.
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Old January 21st, 2011, 10:47 AM   #6
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Kris:

The trick with any gimbaled stabilizer in a windy situation is to use a windblock. The best stock item is a 4x4 double net which creates a baffle for gusts while allowing a certain amount of air to pass, avoiding the effect where wind will rush around a solid object. Obviously this requires an additional person to wrangle.

Being prone to wind interference doesn't make the Merlin less capable than the larger rigs, which due to their increased footprint are quite susceptible to wind as well. In fact, using a 4x4 with a Merlin should deliver excellent results as it will be covered even more by a windblock that size than a full-size rig (which it barely covers).
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Old January 21st, 2011, 03:04 PM   #7
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The HCS Hague Stabiliser works very well for smooth steadicam shots with the 5D Mark II, even when running/walking over uneven rough terrain, or up/down stairs etc. I've been using one for recent video shoots in UK, Spain, France and Italy and have come to really enjoy using it.

HAGUE Camcorder Stabilizer HCS
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Old January 21st, 2011, 03:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
Kris:

The trick with any gimbaled stabilizer in a windy situation is to use a windblock. The best stock item is a 4x4 double net which creates a baffle for gusts while allowing a certain amount of air to pass, avoiding the effect where wind will rush around a solid object. Obviously this requires an additional person to wrangle..
Charles, many thanks for that. I hadn't considered using a windblock before. Can one buy professional double nets that are especially built for this job? I can't count the amount of times I've had to dispense with the Merlin due to wind interference.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 06:15 AM   #9
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I'musing the Merlin with the 5D + 16-40 zoom lens and the result is fantastic, especially when zoomed out to 16 mm. But indeed wind can be a problem.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 11:40 AM   #10
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There is one company I know that makes windblocks specifically for Steadicam use: California Sunbounce (link to the Wind-Killer on their USA site). I've not used it but seen at trade shows. That system will set you back over $500...

A standard 4x4 double net should do the job just fine especially with a Merlin-sized rig; those are available any place that sells grip gear at around $150. Plus, they have the additional utility of being usable in their original purpose as a double net!
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Old January 24th, 2011, 08:26 AM   #11
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The Blackbird has a gimbal friction adjuster that is suppose to help with wind.
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