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Sony NEX-EA50 (all variants)
Including NEX-EA50UH / EA50EH / EA50H / EA50UK / EA50EK / EA50K


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Old April 10th, 2013, 12:25 PM   #1
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Blackbird, Rookie pilot goin flyn!

I just ordered a Blackbird for my EA50. After doing all my research the Blackbird seemed like a no brainer compared to the other options. I will be limited to short flights for awhile because the vest will come later. The back is not what it used to be.

Open to all suggestions, tips, and ideas.

Noa, I think I found most or all of the posts you have made on the board. Anything else?

Steve
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Old April 10th, 2013, 01:37 PM   #2
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Re: Blackbird, Rookie pilot goin flyn!

I've been tempted to order the Blackbird also. Keep us informed of your progress.
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Old April 10th, 2013, 02:01 PM   #3
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Re: Blackbird, Rookie pilot goin flyn!

I will. If I can do it anyone can. It arrives Friday. I have a crane/jib and a slider, this will finish off the big three tools for motion. Now I need to practice and get it all booked. I could not have done my dental surgery shoot two weeks ago without the crane but I was wishing I had a stabilizer with me for cut-a-ways.

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Old April 10th, 2013, 02:50 PM   #4
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Re: Blackbird, Rookie pilot goin flyn!

Not a huge fan of hand held stabilizers. But I do understand that there are space restrictions in some projects that will force you to lose the doorway dolly. Let us know your thoughts and post some results...!

JC
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Old April 10th, 2013, 03:07 PM   #5
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Re: Blackbird, Rookie pilot goin flyn!

Below video the steadicam shots where with the blackbird with the ea50 mounted on it, for me that combination is too heavy to handhold for longer periods, that's why I fly a canon 550d (t2i) with a 14mm lens on it. I was able though to get more controlled movements with the ea50, probably because of the added inertia caused by the extra wheight. The blackbird is very fast set up and balanced, solid piece of equipment and excellent customerservice. Check out the dvd that comes with the blackbird, very informative and will give you the basics to get started quickly.

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Old April 10th, 2013, 05:15 PM   #6
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Re: Blackbird, Rookie pilot goin flyn!

Hi Steven

Hope you can manage with that! I would have thought that the 50 was way too heavy for a Blackbird...I use mine on a custom rig designed for 5 -8lb cameras with full vest and dual arm and after 15 minutes I'm sore!! I can see the sense of putting a DSLR on a Blackbird ... Hmm if the 50 is too heavy maybe grab one of those new Black Magic pocket cams????

Let us know your thoughts once you have flown it??

Chris
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Old April 10th, 2013, 05:46 PM   #7
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Re: Blackbird, Rookie pilot goin flyn!

I know it will be to heavy until I get the vest. Especially on this old back! I have some other camera options.
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Old April 11th, 2013, 01:55 AM   #8
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Re: Blackbird, Rookie pilot goin flyn!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
I would have thought that the 50 was way too heavy for a Blackbird
The blackbird can handle the weight of the ea50, it's just that it becomes too heavy to handhold without vest/arm for longer periods.
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Old April 15th, 2013, 02:56 PM   #9
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Re: Blackbird, Rookie pilot goin flyn!

Guys, I am moving my comments over to the stabilizer section where they should be. I just started a thread. I believe the Blackbird was a good choice. But operating the EA50 without a vest is physically beyond my capabilities. I will be resorting to lighter camera options as I expected.

The Blackbird is a finely machined tool, as it should be. I am sure it will be worth every dollar once I train enough with it. My first impression is, operating a steadycam is harder than it looks!

Steve
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Old April 15th, 2013, 03:10 PM   #10
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Re: Blackbird, Rookie pilot goin flyn!

Quote:
operating a steadycam is harder than it looks!
It requires a big amount of "feeling" and anticipation to get fluid motions, it is much lighter then the real steadicams and has less inertia meaning you need to control it quite delicately, I"ve seen Paul wags pulling some impressive moves with it so he certainly got the hang of it.

I feel like a dancer sometimes when I walk around with that thing, since I don't have a arm/vest my body has to act like these devices and you need to float with the blackbird, takes a lot of practice to get it right. I stopped using that friction control months ago because it can give some unwanted motions when you are doing small movements, it does work well if you are walking faster but I prefer to do without. Currently I am at a level where I can perform controlled tilts. Expect to use it a lot before you get decent results though.
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Old April 15th, 2013, 07:02 PM   #11
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Re: Blackbird, Rookie pilot goin flyn!

Hi Steve

You will need many many hours of practice before you become even reasonable...I have been flying stedicams for around 10 years now and I still suck although I get better with each shoot.

Get hold of Tiffen and get their stedicam training DVD ..it was made way back in the early days BUT it is absolute gold!!! If you search on YouTube there are also (or were) a few segments from the DVD and they also pop up on eBay now and again ... grab a copy it gives you all the basics!

Chris
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Old April 15th, 2013, 07:14 PM   #12
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Re: Blackbird, Rookie pilot goin flyn!

Cool, I will try to find it. Blackbird gives you a one hour DVD with the device. It is pretty good too, but I need all the help I can get.

At 53 years old this is one of those rare times I wish I was a video gamer. My hands just don't have the dexterity my kids have. Their thumbs have more talent than my whole body!

Steve
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Old April 15th, 2013, 10:06 PM   #13
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Re: Blackbird, Rookie pilot goin flyn!

Hi Steve

Some basic rules are firstly walk like a cat burglar with your knees slightly bent and try to glide across the floor/ground rather than stomping ... practice to walk with a fluid motion ..that helps a lot.

Probably the hardest to master (and most important) is keeping the frame height constant..you can do this indoors too by making an "X" on a passage wall with tape and then walk towards it and away from it trying to keep the object to top frame height consistent...when the frame height tends to move up and down it looks awful.

The actual training course DVD was made with the EFP rig but has some awesome techniques in it!

Chris
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Old April 16th, 2013, 05:56 AM   #14
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Re: Blackbird, Rookie pilot goin flyn!

Hi

has anyone used the Merlin Steady with the EA50?
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Old April 16th, 2013, 10:36 AM   #15
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Re: Blackbird, Rookie pilot goin flyn!

Hey Dave,

I have not used it, however FWIW, when I did my pre-purchase research this month I found a large number of complaints about it being very hard to balance.

Steve
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