The FS100 on the Blackbird Stabilizer - video at DVinfo.net

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Sony NXCAM NEX-FS100 CineAlta
An interchangeable lens AVCHD camcorder using E-Mount lenses.


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Old June 28th, 2012, 05:47 PM   #1
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The FS100 on the Blackbird Stabilizer - video

I've been reviewing the Blackbird stabilizer with the NEX-FS100 for the last couple of days and made a short video with it at the Botanic Gardens in Utrecht. You can see the result here:

And the Blackbird with the FS100 in action (making off) here:

If you're interested, my review of the Blackbird with the FS100 can be found here: DerranNL: Review: Blackbird Camera Stabilizer from CMR
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Old June 29th, 2012, 02:18 AM   #2
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Re: The FS100 on the Blackbird Stabilizer - video

Thanks for that, Derran - again convincing!

I understand the Black Bird also has the vest option - right?

Piotr

Edit I checked on the manufacturer's site, and there seems to be no vest/arm option.
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Last edited by Piotr Wozniacki; June 29th, 2012 at 03:13 AM.
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Old June 29th, 2012, 03:55 AM   #3
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Re: The FS100 on the Blackbird Stabilizer - video

Derran,

At least here in Poland, the GLIDECAM 4000 PRO stabilizer - which can be used with a vest - is substantially cheaper than the Black Bird (which cannot). Is there a single and obvious reason for this price difference?

Sorry for the naive question, but I'm new to stabilizers :)

Piotr
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Old June 29th, 2012, 04:34 AM   #4
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Re: The FS100 on the Blackbird Stabilizer - video

Thanks Piotr,
The Blackbird can actually be used directly on the (Merlin) Steadicam arm & vest system. I've tried it and it works great! I was going to show it in the demonstration video, but due to lack of time I wasn't able to use it. When I have some more time, I will be making a video, showing this combination. CMR (from the Blackbird) also made an accessory (Z-post for Merlin arm/vest) that provides more space between the arm and stabilizer.

You're talking about the Glidecam PRO version not the HD, right?
The HD version is Glidecam's latest model which has a lot of improvements over the (older) PRO version. I believe you can still buy the PRO version for a cheaper price. The Blackbird Basic is priced $485, the Glidecam HD-4000 is around $589. If you get the Blackbird including all the accessories it's $675 so they are not that different in price actually, if i'm not mistaken. :)
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Old June 29th, 2012, 06:31 AM   #5
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Re: The FS100 on the Blackbird Stabilizer - video

Thanks Derran for this additional info, very valuable... For one, I didn't know the "HD" line is newer/higher positioned that Glidecam's Pro line; this would explain the latter's lower price. Please tell me one more thing:

If I went for the lightest (and cheapest) HD model - the Glidecam HD-1000:

- will it be enough for stabilizing the FS100 with the NEX 16mm lens?
- if I find out that due to me physical limitations, I still need a vest to even use it at all, will it be compatible with any vest&arm system? If so, which would you recommend?

TIA,

Piotr

PS. Sorry for digressing in your BlackBird thread:)
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Old June 29th, 2012, 08:04 AM   #6
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Re: The FS100 on the Blackbird Stabilizer - video

Haha, no problem digressing the thread. We're still talking about stabilizers for the FS100. ;)

The HD-1000 load capacity only goes to 3 lb (1.3 kg). Thats not enough I'm afraid, for the FS100 with 16mm lens. So you'll have to look at the HD-2000 in that case. But considering your situation, I don't think it will be good for you to have an off- axis handle. It's makes it much heavier to hold the stabilizer. Having the weight above your hand, like you have with the Merlin and Blackbird would be a better option, I think.

The Glidecam has two arm & vest options. The Smooth Shooter and X10. The latter is comparable with the Steadicam arm and vest because they both have a dual support arm (Smooth Shooter has only one). But the X10 isn't iso-elastic and costs more then the Steadicam arm and vest. Hope I'm not making it more complicated with all this information!
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Old June 29th, 2012, 08:20 AM   #7
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Re: The FS100 on the Blackbird Stabilizer - video

Thanks Derran - and I really hope our exchange of posts will benefits a few other newbies like myself, as well :)

OK, so due to the payload, the HD-2000 is the way to go, if I decided to also consider a vest. But the Smooth Shooter and X10 systems are not cheap (to my standards) - so If I only tried a hand-held solution, the BlackBird is even better.. Did I get you right?

If so, please provide some info on the option of using the BlackBird directly on the (Merlin) Steadicam arm & vest system. Why do you think it'd be better than just using the Merlin 2 itself - solo, or with the Arm&Vest option?

I'll appreciate your answers indeed!

Thanks again,

Piotr
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Last edited by Piotr Wozniacki; June 29th, 2012 at 09:31 AM.
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Old June 30th, 2012, 08:24 AM   #8
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Re: The FS100 on the Blackbird Stabilizer - video

I also hope people will benefit from our conversation. :) I know how difficult it is to choose a stabilizer, because there's so much to consider with so many options!

Yes you're correct, you'll need the HD-2000 for using the FS100 with the 16mm lens. If you also want to be able to use heavier or other lenses on the FS100, you'll need a different stabilizer. The HD-2000 only goes up to 6 lbs (2.6kg) and Merlin to 5 lbs (2.2kg). The HD-4000 to 10 lbs (4.5kg) and the Blackbird to 8 lbs (3.6kg).

If you want a handheld stabilizer, the Blackbird would be a very good option. It can handle camera's up to 3.6kg and with the camera placed right above your hand it's less heavy to hold. In the video I'm actually using the FS100 with the larger (NP-F960) camera battery and it was still manageable.

The handle of the Blackbird has the exact same opening as the Merlin and fits perfectly on the Steadicam arm. When walking around, it works exactly like the Merlin. The reason I would go for the Blackbird (I've never worked with the Merlin 2, only the original Merlin) is that the Merlin only supports cameras up to 2.2kg and I noticed that the placement of the counterweights on the Blackbird give you less rolling shots. It's also easier to balance, because with the Merlin, if you're trying to reach the right drop time you'll have to make the arc larger or smaller to move the weights up and down. With the design of the Merlin this also means that the weights will go forward or backward below the camera stage, which means rebalancing the camera. The arc of the Blackbird never changes so you'll only move the weights up or down. In other words, rebalancing the camera on the stage isn't necessary. The same thing goes for placing counterweights or removing them. This makes balancing the Blackbird really fast and simple. And when you're new to using a stabilizer you can use the SmoothTouch function on the Blackbird until you're used to working with one. It's like removing training wheels. You can also use the SmoothTouch function to make the it less sensitive to wind.

I can't choose for you, but that's just my two cents. :)
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Old June 30th, 2012, 08:58 AM   #9
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Re: The FS100 on the Blackbird Stabilizer - video

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derran Rootring View Post
I can't choose for you, but that's just my two cents. :)
And very valuable 2 cents, Darren - thanks:)

Piotr
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 07:52 AM   #10
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Re: The FS100 on the Blackbird Stabilizer - video

Derran,

Any idea if it is for sale somewhere in The Netherlands?
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 07:59 AM   #11
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Re: The FS100 on the Blackbird Stabilizer - video

Hi Cees, yes it is, at DSTTL (http://www.camotionllc.com/dealers-a-90.html). I've also seen it at other stores in the Netherlands, but I'm not sure if I can post them here.
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Old July 12th, 2012, 03:15 PM   #12
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Re: The FS100 on the Blackbird Stabilizer - video

Today I received the Z-post to connect the Blackbird stabilizer to the Steadicam Merlin arm and vest system. The Z-post provides more clearance between the arm and the Blackbird.

If you like, here you'll find some more pictures and information:
DerranNL: Blackbird Stabilizer on the Steadicam Merlin Arm and Vest
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The FS100 on the Blackbird Stabilizer - video-blackbird_z-post_steadicamarmvest_picture1-klein.jpg  
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