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Old February 18th, 2008, 06:55 AM   #1
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merlin - beyond the instructions

Hi guys

I'm learning to use the Merlin with the arm & Vest - so far my footage looks like I'm on electric shock therapy.

I'm practicing each day (cross on the wall) but I'm concerned that I may have the set up wrong so I've made this to get some comments - please excuse the quality, I was going to redo it but it the purpose is served even if the quality is lousy. I need to know if I'm on the right track, can you see anything drastically wrong?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aexC50Cus2M

any comments gleefully accepted
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Old February 18th, 2008, 08:58 AM   #2
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First, I'm no expert. Second, I have the Pilot, not the Merlin, but they use the same vest and arm, and I think most of the principals are the same. That being said, here's a few things you might try:

Make sure the vest is fairly tight around the hips and chest.

Try lowering the hip pads, but not so low that they interfere with your walking.

Since you're a lefty, the camera should normally be on your right side, and back fairly close to your body, so that the bottom weights are fairly close to your right leg/hip. You might need to swivel your LCD viewfinder on the camera. If the camera is out in front of you, your back will get tired fast.

If the image stabilization function of the camera is enabled, try turning it off.

If autofocus is on, try turning it off.

Again, I'm no expert, but these are some things to try.
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Old February 18th, 2008, 11:56 AM   #3
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Paul,
most of the basic adjustments look about right. Though loosen the arm just a little - it should actually hang just about exactly level.

Other than that, it looks like mostly an issue of practice. Try to loosen up your controlling (especially gimbal) hand a little more.


- Mikko
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Old February 18th, 2008, 12:55 PM   #4
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Yeah, the thing that stuck out to me is that you're holding onto the guide ring to tightly. Just like every other rig out there, the merlin just requires light fingertip control. Keep your hand on the handle, and use it to control the position of the rig itself, trying to do that on the guide ring is going to impart a lot of excess motion. Also, you're zoomed in pretty tight, which magnifies problems that may be in the shot. Certainly it doesn't look like anything some practice can't solve though. Good luck!
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Old February 19th, 2008, 02:56 AM   #5
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thanks guys - that's great

I'll get stuck into wearing a track in the hallway

I've assured my wife that the black gaffer tape cross on the wall won't leave a mark..... it won't ... will it (If I never take it off - she won't know if there's a mark or not will she...)
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