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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old May 5th, 2008, 12:14 PM   #1
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EX1 on Steadicam merlin

i was trying to balance the EX1 on steadicam merlin. But was not successful. Appreciate if anyone can share their setup experience with steadicam merlin.

Thanks
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Old May 5th, 2008, 01:58 PM   #2
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I don't think it'll work.
It's just too heavy.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 03:13 PM   #3
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Yes - it is too heavy, you will need the arm and vest which Tiffen at NAB tells me should be okay for use with th EX.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 03:23 PM   #4
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If you want my opinion on this, the EX1 is to heavy for anything smaller than a flyer.

It is nose and side heavy and I would imagine that it would be close to impossible to balance on a light rig. It really benefits from the increased performance of the bigger rigs. I have added an 11lbs weight plate (total payload 22lbs but that is pretty much standard) on my steadicam and that works really well.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 03:44 PM   #5
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Tiffen had an EX1 on a Pilot at NAB. I took it for a test drive and it worked very well. If you power the camera from the battery on the sled you can keep it well under the max weight.

I suspect it will be a bit heavy for the Merlin.

My pilot should be here by tomorrow. I'll be rigging it up for the V1 first. :)
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Old May 5th, 2008, 04:12 PM   #6
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I've flown the ex1 on a merlin/vest/arm and it flew nicely.... Now I fly an ex1 on a pilot and it flies even better..... This last friday night I flew for 6 hours straight at the ky derby playboy party..... sorry I can't share footage.

the ex1 on a merlin without the vest/arm would be just to much for a normal person to hold very long.....
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Old May 5th, 2008, 11:00 PM   #7
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Christopher,

What settings were you using for the EX-1 on the Merlin? The cookbook ones don't seem to work too well for me.

Dan
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Old May 6th, 2008, 08:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bhanu Neti View Post
i was trying to balance the EX1 on steadicam merlin. But was not successful. Appreciate if anyone can share their setup experience with steadicam merlin.

Thanks
You need an accessory plate, it will shift the weight balance so you'll be able to fly EX1 on Merlin hand held, there is no way to balance EX1 on Merlin without it; but BP-U30 only and no light, or WA.
I could go about 45 -60 sec, longer than that is questionable.
Then, I got an arm and west package and was able to balance EX1 , but it's clearly over the Merlin's capacity, I was never able to get the same perfect balance that I used to have with A1.
So now I'm selling Merlin and getting Pilot, it wasn't easy decision and I've tried a lot of different combinations of settings before I understood that with EX1 weight and ergonomics you need a sled;
I would keep an arm and vest, it is a great piece, but I can't buy any decent sled separately, maybe you guys can point me to the right direction;
cheers!
:-)
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Old May 6th, 2008, 08:49 AM   #9
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yes.... I used the accessory plate with every weight available attached and the spar all the way out.

here's a photo of how I had the merlin setup with the ex1....

http://www.witzke-studio.com/merlin.jpg

I don't have the merlin anymore... upgraded to the pilot.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 08:12 PM   #10
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I got the Merlin Vest, arm and metal gimbal upgrade. I found that the EX1, without any accessories, is just a bit too squirrelly on the Merlin. It's doable, but the amount of weight required on the Merlin is maxed out and even then just seems on the border of being imbalanced. Just not enough weight below the EX1 and the EX1 is a pretty top-heavy camera to begin with.

I think the Steadicam Pilot will work well with the EX1, I have a kind of hybrid setup where I use a Glidecam 4000 Pro and fabricated an attachment for that to fit onto the Steadicam merlin arm and vest, that works pretty well and is a lot cheaper than the Pilot and I don't need the Monitor and battery the Pilot adds.

If money isn't an object I guess I'd recommend the Steadicam Pilot as it is probably easier to fine tune as i think the sled has similar fine adjustment knobs similar to the Merlin. The Glidecam is doesn't have much fine tuning. However I think that the EX1 is still at the weight limit of the Pilot, if you add mattebox, or Letus Extreme, it's way over the limit. Then it's up the the really expensive Steadicams.
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