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Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series
Sony's latest single-CMOS additions to their HDV camcorder line.


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Old October 24th, 2006, 12:38 PM   #16
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yeah, sony are definately marketing it for the "independent film maker" rather that broadcast tv. Hence it is only a little bit cheaper than the z1 and the main selling point is progressive making it very easy to transfer it to film if needed. If I had the spare cash I would buy it. Looks lovely, little bit lighter so using it on the Steadicam Merlin would be easier and all my accessories would fit it!
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Old October 24th, 2006, 02:51 PM   #17
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Phil, Excellent video clip. Can you share with us how you like the Steadicam Merlin and what made you select it? Im look for a steadicam and the Varizoom VZ-Ultralite and Glidecam 2000 are 1/3 the price ($299UD vs $799USD!), hold the same weight, and seem to work on the same principle. What made you select the more expensive Merlin?

~jr
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Old October 24th, 2006, 02:58 PM   #18
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yeah, I have been reading about your problems to balance the Z1 in the Merlin. Last week I was about to order a Merlin for my film project (shooting on november 25th - 60 pages script) I was wondering and dreaming if with the Merlin maybe I could have achieve a slight dolly feeling at least, but as Im complelty inexpierent with steadycams and Im preproduction Id have not much time to practice with it, plus my dop never touched one, and I prefer to be focus on the acting rather than resolving balance and steady stuff etc...
So merlin and sgpro would be for next year projects...

by the way, looks pretty good your stuff.
Would you recomend to shoot with black strech and cinematone 1 on film poyect?? (film with lots of colours in costums, despite its winter season here in europe)

thanks once more
martin
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Old October 24th, 2006, 04:06 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Rofrano
Phil, Excellent video clip. Can you share with us how you like the Steadicam Merlin and what made you select it? I’m look for a steadicam and the Varizoom VZ-Ultralite and Glidecam 2000 are 1/3 the price ($299UD vs $799USD!), hold the same weight, and seem to work on the same principle. What made you select the more expensive Merlin?

~jr
Thanks John,

I love the Merlin, it's a pain in the butt to get used to but then if it was easy everyone would use it. Took me about a month of practicing to get happy with it and I still can't do a tenth of what it is capable of. Very frustrating, but the rewards are fantastic. You truly can get motion like the full size steadicam. The gimbal system is way better than any of the other systems.

I have a Varizoom flowpod, a bigger version of the Ultralite, I have the low flow add on which is great for those low POV stuff. The normal stuff is fine but you really don't get anywhere near the quality or smoothness of the Merlin. The gimbal on the Merlin is incredibly smooth and precise but for me the best thing about the Merlin is it's just so damn light! It weighs next to nothing on it's own and the counterweights are just a quarter of weight of the camera by it's clever arc design, whereas all the others are the same weight as the camera as by design stabilizers needs to be ever so slightly bottom heavy. The Glidecam is REALLY heavy without any weights so using it for any length of time is impossible.

The Merlin and the A1 are a beautiful combination, I used it solidly for two hours, had muscle and neck ache but there is no way I could do that with a Ultralite or Glidecam.

You really do get what you paid for. I would buy the Merlin again in an instant!

Just go onto the Merlin section here and read posts from steadicam old hands like Mikko Wilson and Charles Papert (a real expert, who shot American History X amongst others) who will explain just how amazing the Merlin is.

Phil
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Old October 24th, 2006, 04:15 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Noboa
yeah, I have been reading about your problems to balance the Z1 in the Merlin. Last week I was about to order a Merlin for my film project (shooting on november 25th - 60 pages script) I was wondering and dreaming if with the Merlin maybe I could have achieve a slight dolly feeling at least, but as Im complelty inexpierent with steadycams and Im preproduction Id have not much time to practice with it, plus my dop never touched one, and I prefer to be focus on the acting rather than resolving balance and steady stuff etc...
So merlin and sgpro would be for next year projects...

by the way, looks pretty good your stuff.
Would you recomend to shoot with black strech and cinematone 1 on film poyect?? (film with lots of colours in costums, despite its winter season here in europe)

thanks once more
martin
Yeah I know how cold it is, got back from Miami at the weekend, back in rainy London.

I wouldn't go near the Merlin just yet, the balancing is just part of the hard part. The learning curve is too steep for something that you have never touched before. I bought it two months ago and still feel i need another months practice before I can really use it on my broadcast stuff with new clients. It's amazing, but you need so much practice. You can do dolly moves but only with a lot of practice. I still can't really do them, it's the stopping and starting that is hard!

If you can at all try and hire a Wally Dolly, i have one, it's beautiful. Sets up in minutes, is incredibly smooth and very easy to operate! There's nothing like a dolly for dolly shots!!!

I do tend to shoot black stretch and cinematone 1 but you are probably better off shooting clean and doing any grading in the edit, gives you more options!
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Old October 24th, 2006, 07:27 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Bloom
Just go onto the Merlin section here and read posts from steadicam old hands like Mikko Wilson and Charles Papert (a real expert, who shot American History X amongst others) who will explain just how amazing the Merlin is.
No need to ask anyone. Youve used all the ones I was looking at and you prefer the Merlin. Thats good enough for me. Im SOLD! ;-) Thanks for your insight.

~jr
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Old October 25th, 2006, 05:38 AM   #22
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Good luck with it John. It's the best piece of DV kit out there!

I just got confirmed a commission to shoot an 11 part documentary series here for channel 4. Going to shoot it using a combination of my z1/a1 and with the Merlin and DOF adaptor.

Good luck and practice every day with it!!
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Old October 25th, 2006, 12:52 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Bloom
I just got confirmed a commission to shoot an 11 part documentary series here for channel 4. Going to shoot it using a combination of my z1/a1 and with the Merlin and DOF adaptor.
WOW! Will that work though? I want to pickup either a Letux enhanced or M2 and throw thaton my HC1+Merlin, but I always figure that will be impossible to balance properly with the Merlin becuz it'll end up ridiculously front heavy.

Let us konw how it works out!!!!
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Old October 25th, 2006, 01:34 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Michael Y Wong
WOW! Will that work though? I want to pickup either a Letux enhanced or M2 and throw thaton my HC1+Merlin, but I always figure that will be impossible to balance properly with the Merlin becuz it'll end up ridiculously front heavy.

Let us konw how it works out!!!!
I didn't mean at the same time! Although that is my next goal. DOF adaptor on the Merlin. you would have to set the focus at the start of the move as you couldnt touch the lens whilst operating the merlin.

I was imaginging doing a walk and talk with me doing the old "Don Juan" quite close to the talent. Using a very light small lens (i have an f1.4 50mm nikon which is tiny) and the DOF adaptor on the camera, i will try first with my A1, although it has such a strange centre of gravity i may come unstuck, but I think it is possible. I could move the dovetail plate to one of the most forward holes and also have it further back on the stage.

The letus flip enhanced maybe wont work because it is so big but the letus35a on its own or the brevis35 could well work. When I use my letus enhanced on my a1 it needs rod support due it only being a 37mm thread so that also might be a problem with the Merlin, although technically the a1, letus enhanced, small lens and cavision rods do still weigh less than a z1 so maybe...

I think it will definately work on the new v1, with a pd150 style centre of gravity, a fat battery on the back and half a kilo lighter than the z1 it should work really well.
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Old November 6th, 2006, 07:08 PM   #25
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repost?

The video link is dead. Can you repost it somewhere? Would love to watch it again.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 02:57 AM   #26
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sorry. changed the name of my site so link died (although if you click my homepage it's still there) new direct link posted!

http://web.mac.com/philip.bloom/iWeb...o%20video.html
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Old January 5th, 2007, 12:29 AM   #27
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Letus35 configuration.

Phil, or others...

Kindly detail what is needed to use the Letus enhanced on the HVR-A1... ie rods, adapters for the 37mm threads, etc.

How much larger is this rig compared to an off the shelf A1?

Thank you.
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