NX5 + Steadicam Merlin... at the end of my tether! at DVinfo.net

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Old August 30th, 2010, 10:59 PM   #1
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NX5 + Steadicam Merlin... at the end of my tether!

Hi guys,

Very happy with my NX5; amazing camera. A few months I put down the dough for a Steadicam Merlin but for the life of me I can't get appropriate settings. It's really disheartening especially since I've put many hours trying to work out different combinations to get it right.

I was hoping someone would be kind enough to post their settings for the NXCAM. I use the larger NPF970 battery too.

Thanks in advance guys, I love the community here.

Cheers
Ben
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Old August 31st, 2010, 04:58 AM   #2
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An acquaintance of mine came with a Merlin to try it with my NX5. His first conclusions were that the Merlin is able to maintain balance, afterward he bought the NX5. Now, after more testing he said that it's not very satisfied with the results and the NX5 it's a bit too heavy.
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Old August 31st, 2010, 06:14 AM   #3
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Interesting, but disappointing conclusion. I don't suppose you would be kind enough to obtain the details as to the best settings he has found?

I have a Sony HDR-CX550V as my 'B' cam which would be ok with the Merlin but the weird centre of gravity has proved difficult for the Merlin too. I feel really frustrated with the whole Merlin experience. I knew it was going to be a lot of work but thought I would eventually get there. That was 4 months ago :-)

Thanks for the reply mate.

Cheers
B
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Old August 31st, 2010, 01:59 PM   #4
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I have the Glidecam Pro 2000 and it is supposed to support up to 6 pound camcorders, but I have had no luck using it with my Sony HDR-AX2000, simply to heavy for the Pro 2000, I will probably have to move to the 4000 for my needs.....
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Old August 31st, 2010, 03:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Gourlay View Post
Interesting, but disappointing conclusion. I don't suppose you would be kind enough to obtain the details as to the best settings he has found?
B
Well, good news... and bad. I spoke to him today on the phone, he told me that figured out how to balance it eventually and now it's better than was with his older Sony VX2100 camcorder. He said that he recorded over 40 minutes continuously with the NX5 & Merlin hand-held and he is more than satisfied, the NX5 is better balanced than VX2100 and the combination worked like a charm.
The bad news is I cannot ask him the details because he left today on vacation until 20th September. And I cannot guarantee that he is willing to give the full details but I will try to speak to him when he returns if you will be interested then.
But I think you may wanna try to balance it once again maybe you can figure it out eventually. If he can, I'm sure you can find a way too. On the other hand I have a friend that sold the Merlin after he bought an EX1, he wasn't able to work with it, and he wasn't very thrilled even when used an VX2100 with the Merlin for a few months.
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Old August 31st, 2010, 04:20 PM   #6
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My buddy had an fx1 and a Merlin and while it seemed to work it was just too finicky. He sold the Merlin and got a deal on a pilot and was much happier. Granted the pilot has the arm and the Merlin didn't. The assessment was the Merlin just couldn't handle that kind of weight.

On a similar note, I bought a blackbird for my dslr and it worked so well I figured I'd try my hmc150. Same thing. I fiddled with it until it was acceptable but it was so touchy I gave up. Just too much for the BB.

I'd recommend the Merlin vest and arm for that "mid-sized" camcorder. Otherwise, a smaller camera.
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Old August 31st, 2010, 07:03 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Cristian Adrian Olariu View Post
The bad news is I cannot ask him the details because he left today on vacation until 20th September. And I cannot guarantee that he is willing to give the full details but I will try to speak to him when he returns if you will be interested then.
Thanks for the info mate. Thats ok, I've had it for some months unsuccesfully able to use it, so another 3 weeks will be no problem! Hopefully he will be happy to share his settings, not sure why he wouldn't want to share them!

Thanks again for the info. Cheers.
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Old August 31st, 2010, 07:06 PM   #8
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I'd recommend the Merlin vest and arm for that "mid-sized" camcorder. Otherwise, a smaller camera.
Hey Robert. I'd like to get the vest and arm but I just can't justify the added cost especially since I kinda feel i've wasted so much money already. As mentioned I also have a smaller Sony CX550 flash HD Handycam, but due to the weird centre of gravity vs tripod mount, I've also had massive problems getting that to be satisfactory. I certainly wouldn't mind getting that to work.
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Old August 31st, 2010, 09:43 PM   #9
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550 should work great. Keep at it and if you can find a local person to give you pointers it will greatly speed up the process.
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Old September 2nd, 2010, 06:40 AM   #10
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Hi. I borrowed a Merlin from a friend for an wedding two weeks ago, and can certainly offer up my two penneth.

I set up the camera a couple of times before the day, and on the second attempt was very happy with the stabiliser - it was rock solid. What I had not noticed was the differences with the camera - the result of which was that I set it up while the bride was preparing, and it was unuseable.

The difference was the battery. I have the standard fit battery (came with the camera - I'm sorry - I don't have the number here - it is much smaller than the 970). Set up the merlin with the small camera battery and it works (just), but with with the big battery (I think the one I have is the SWIT version of the 970) and it does not.

The Merlin settings I used were : - the arc size was set to maximum, there was a single end weight on the front, and every other weight was on the bottom. I then had to adgust the guide screw to near the top to bring the c of g under the gimbal. The stabilisation result was very nice (but I did find the rig a little heavy!!)
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