EX-1 with Merlin or SteadiCam Pilot? - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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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 November 22nd, 2008, 02:10 PM   #16
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I can vouch that the Pilot/EX1 combo is excellent.

Trying to run the EX1 with a handheld rig is going to be very tough. I would avoid that if at all possible.
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Old November 22nd, 2008, 02:32 PM   #17
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Thanks for that Charles. Maybe I'm overestimating the weight of the camera though.

I just checked the manual and it says camera, lens hood, eye cup, BP-U30 Battery, one SxS card is 6lb3oz (or 2.8kg).
Add Sennheiser G2 receiver 5.6oz (158g)
Add Sony WA Lens 10.6oz (300g)
Add Sony 673 Shotgun 4.8oz (135g)

I threw the other stuff in because Malcolm mentions them. I think that's about 7lb8oz. So it's closer to 7.5lb then 10lb.

I may be making misjudgment based on using a Sony PD-170 with Glidecam 2000 though. Alas that's why I wish I could try some things out.
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Old November 22nd, 2008, 04:38 PM   #18
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I'm looking for something myself. A shoulder mount system might serve me better though.
This one looks good, and Phil Bloom gives it a thumbs up. Might work for you.

Check out the demo video too.

Creative Video CVP SM1 Shoulder mount camcorder support bracket system - Ideal for most handheld DV / HDV camcorders
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Old November 22nd, 2008, 04:53 PM   #19
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FWIW.... I fly an EX1 with 2 g2 receivers and a LP-micro on a pilot all the time.

Rarely even turn on the micro, but it's there as an obie just in case.

All works fabulously and I have no complaints..... been known to wear the whole rig for over 5 hours at a time. I've even run down cobblestone alleys with it Don Juan style.

I did start out with a Z1 on a merlin.... then a Z1 on a merlin with vest/arm..... but the pilot is much more stable than the merlin...
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Old November 24th, 2008, 06:53 AM   #20
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BTW Glidecam is about to update their product line. I noticed a new "HD" after the sled with something like "accepting orders" on B&H site. The Glidecam site doesn't mention this so I contacted them. Available mid to late December 1000HD, 2000HD, 4000HD. They confirmed it and even sent me a screen shot of the 2000HD. They didn't mention updates to vests/arms but I didn't ask.

Notice the difference in the build, particularly where the weights would be.
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EX-1 with Merlin or SteadiCam Pilot?-hd-2000_3d_v01__02_md.jpg  
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Old November 24th, 2008, 07:13 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
As Jeroen brought up/ this is assuming you actually want a camera stabilizer and not just something to relieve the awkward handheld configuration of the EX1. Malcolm, your initial post hints at a shoulder-mounted and counterweighted support rather than an actual stabilizer, as working with that neither feels like nor produces images like handheld
Many thanks to all of you for your advice (sorry to be responding so late; I've been visiting my parents, couldn't connect to the internet). Jeroen and Charles - - you raise very good points, and you've made me consider and reconsider what I'm looking for. I do shoot a lot of handheld, as I mentioned, and when I do, I'm always moving the camera—smooth pans, moving in and out, up and down... just a little, mind you, but enough to make the shot more interesting (in my opinion). I've been doing this kind of handheld stuff for a long interview that I do once a month. The interview is an hour, non-stop, and I've noticed the quality of my 'moves' deteriorates by the end. That's why I was wondering about something that would help.
So I'm still wondering—am I looking for a Merlin+vest combo, or a Pilot?
You have me wondering about your last comment (above), Charles. If I were, in fact, to shoot this interview with a stabilizer, would it look like a much more professional version of what I've been doing, or would it look odd?
Thanks all,
Malcolm
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Old November 24th, 2008, 08:27 AM   #22
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Merlin and EX1

Hey!For clarity..It's possible to balance EX1 with merlin(of course EX1 without any additional accessories and standard battery.But sure its too hevy..anyway if u need to to some preplanned steadicam shots,good to know that U can do it.Longer work - forget it!
EX1 settings for Merlin available at merlincookbook user settings.


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Old November 24th, 2008, 10:34 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Raul Roma View Post
Hey!For clarity..It's possible to balance EX1 with merlin(of course EX1 without any additional accessories and standard battery.But sure its too hevy
Paul, I appreciate the clarification, but would like a little more. It's probably just a minor language thing - - "too heavy" would mean, to me, that it doesn't work. I think you're saying the EX-1 is heavy, but it's still workable on the Merlin... but only for short periods of time. Have you used this set-up? If so, how long can you comfortably shoot with the EX-1/Merlin combination? Also, if you have used the Merlin, have you done so with the vest support?
Thanks, Malcolm
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Old November 25th, 2008, 05:06 AM   #24
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Hi Malcolm.

For shooting an hour long interview, you will absolutely want a body-mounted stabilizer. Either the Merlin or the Pilot will be light enough to shoot for that long without being too much of a burden, once you get used to it, but it won't look like handheld, for better or worse. For what you are describing, I almost wonder if a small dolly-mounted jib would be the most appropriate, in that you can maintain the type of subtle movement through space you are describing without the need to wear the rig. Until you get used to a stabilizer, there will be a lot of extra erratic motion that may be distracting to the results, different in look but perhaps similar in effect to what happens when you get tired and your handheld starts to suffer. A jib should eliminate that. Just a thought...
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Old November 25th, 2008, 06:26 AM   #25
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Hi Malcolm,

I have an EX1 as well as a Glidecam handheld stabilizer. I only use the handheld unit with the smaller cameras I have and the EX1 is used on the Pilot. The EX1 is heavy enough that its not practical to handhold it on the Glidecam or any other handheld stabilizer for more than about 3-5 minutes. I just can't do it any longer with any quality at all. With the Pilot I can run the camera for a very long time and keep the camera under good control. But as Charles and others have said it will have a much different look than a handheld camera (even a handheld stabilizer will have a much different look). This may not be he look you are after in an interview.

In case this isn't over-re-stating what everyone else has said - a stabilizer isn't a tripod. It isn't a replacement for a tripod or even a hand held operator. They are very hard to hold still. They work best when you have somewhere to go and something to do with the camera. The most difficult thing I've worked to get proficient at is being still. It is ridiculously hard to do for more than a few seconds.

Based on what I've read here in this thread you will be better served with a really good shoulder mount for the EX1. Among the benefits are - lower cost than a stabilizer and body harness, much less tiring than hand held, shorter learning curve, and the look of the shots will be more compatible with what you've already shot.

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Old November 25th, 2008, 06:56 AM   #26
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EX1 on Merlin

Hi Malcolm!

I think U got it right!As Earlier guys talks - EX1 works with the Merlin but U can't use it for long period.As i owned merlin before,then i just tryed out it - possible to stabilize EX1 on merlin - sure.Maybe You can do few shots if needed..but longer period vest and arm is a must.I think too that pilot is the best combination with EX1.So if U dont have steadicam right now and want some for u ex ,then look for pilot.If u have merlin already look for arm and vest for merlin.

Best regards

Raul
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Old November 25th, 2008, 11:41 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Medico View Post
In case this isn't over-re-stating what everyone else has said - a stabilizer isn't a tripod. It isn't a replacement for a tripod or even a hand held operator. They are very hard to hold still.
I have taken a lot of looong footage of nature with EX1 on a rigid tripod - exploring the possibilities of such a tecnique - but now exploring further with sloow panning and possibly moving the camera on a dolly or maybe a stabilizer like Merlin or Pilot.

I saw a demo video of Pilot or Flyer with the camera at the bottom, up-side-down. Have you tried that? I´m thinking of close-to-ground shots showing the perspective of mouse or something, walking very, very slowly. I want to get the 3D-impression one gets with a dolly but not with panning with a tripod. You might check Pictures-Come-Alive! - Plants 4 - a 3D-effect might make even a scene with nothing moving quite interesting.
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Old November 25th, 2008, 03:33 PM   #28
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I do have a Glidecam 4000 for my EX1.
First of all, it's way too heavy to be handeled more than few seconds.
But the most important is that it sooooo difficult to balance.
Having the right weight at the bottom is not that easy. Then, balancing the camera is nearly impossible. You have to unlock the plates and move them, trying to stay parallel, then lock them... Really difficult. And I spent a lot of time trying.
I don't have the name, but I would really recommend something better for the EX1 or any camera that weight, moreover if you're using a 35mm converter + rigs.
Try to find something where you can balance the plates with rotating knobs. It will be much simpler.
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Old November 25th, 2008, 06:53 PM   #29
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Thanks for that info Sebastien.

Basically it seems that the EX1 is just at the weight point that hand held stabilizers are near useless.

I did run into this in my searches. They claim it holds up to 22lbs and it's only $1150.
It certainly looks like they made an attempt at rotating knobs.
The CineCity*::*Flycam Stabilization systems*::*Flycam Stablization Steadicam system*::*Magic Arm & vest with Flycam 6000 stabilizer steadycam Steadicam for DV HDV upto 22LBS camera Weight
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Old November 25th, 2008, 07:28 PM   #30
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They claim one can handle up to 14lbs ($349) and a heavy duty version up to 24lbs ($375).
It's the oddest approach I've ever seen for a stabilizer. It looks like it would be a bit bouncy to me. Looks like if you ran fast it could fly over your shoulder and kill the person behind you.
The Indy Steadycam
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