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Old September 5th, 2008, 12:27 AM   #1
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XH-A1 and Steadicam Merlin

I just got the Steadicam Merlin and got it balanced with one of my A-1's It seems to take all the weights to balance, one and a finish on the front, and the rest on the bottom.

Is this how the rest of you are using it with the A-1. I want to make sure before I spend too much time practicing.

This is the Steadicam that they recomend with the A-1 and I figure if I am going to do much flying will be with a base camera anyways, the audio will be on the tripod mounted A1.
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Old September 5th, 2008, 05:33 AM   #2
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I use these settings

Canon XHA1 and Steadicam Merlin ? Tutorial By Shiv Kumar On ExposureRoom
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Old September 5th, 2008, 07:41 AM   #3
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Shiv's video was very convincing but the settings didn't work for me. I've probably got a different sized battery in my camera.
But it's a very useful video that shows how to set the Merlin up and adjust it.
I don't think there is a specification that will work every time.
It seems that you need to practice the technique for balancing the camera on the Merlin and once you have learned the technique you are in business.
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Old September 5th, 2008, 09:34 AM   #4
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I was also curious as to what battery Shiv used in his tutorial, because those settings would not work for me. My settings with the bp-950g battery... I have the spar extended all the way, and I have 5 mid weights and one finish on the lower spar, and one mid and one finish on the upper spar, and I've raised the stage by 4 turns of the gimbal. G-platz screw just between the focus and zoom rings. Seems pretty balanced and I've been getting some great shots in my limited use of the merlin.
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Old September 5th, 2008, 09:42 AM   #5
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I have a wide angle lens on this one but its set up as you mentioned. I've got the screw in front supporting the lens between the focus and zoom rings also. It took a while to get it set up so there was no pendulum effect when I stopped. I'm coming from 6 years on a Glidecam and it seems like the merlin is much more sensitive to any adjustments. I find myself having to tweak the trim all the time.

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Old September 5th, 2008, 09:53 AM   #6
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Timely thread

I'm waiting for my Merlin as I write.

Just wondering, anybody use this with an external mic like the Sennheiser k66 module? Too hard to balance? I only have the one cam/one person (me) and need good sound.
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Old September 5th, 2008, 10:14 AM   #7
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I use the TA-100 tripod adapter plate with my XH A1 (because I needed the standard 3/8" threads so I can mount the camera on a bigger tripod for use with teleprompters). It probably adds too much weight for the Merlin...although my guess is that wide angle adapter might be about the same. I think Glidecam has a hand held device that will go up to 9 pounds. It might be better in my case.
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Old September 5th, 2008, 10:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Dorsey View Post
I was also curious as to what battery Shiv used in his tutorial, because those settings would not work for me. My settings with the bp-950g battery... I have the spar extended all the way, and I have 5 mid weights and one finish on the lower spar, and one mid and one finish on the upper spar, and I've raised the stage by 4 turns of the gimbal. G-platz screw just between the focus and zoom rings. Seems pretty balanced and I've been getting some great shots in my limited use of the merlin.

This is funny, I tried several times to do it His way, but the way you mentioned works for me. 5 mid weights and a finish weight, no starter weight.
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Old September 5th, 2008, 10:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor View Post
I use the TA-100 tripod adapter plate with my XH A1 (because I needed the standard 3/8" threads so I can mount the camera on a bigger tripod for use with teleprompters). It probably adds too much weight for the Merlin...although my guess is that wide angle adapter might be about the same. I think Glidecam has a hand held device that will go up to 9 pounds. It might be better in my case.

That would be the Glidecam 4000 and I now have one for sale if you want it, its like new with a hardwood block and quick release combo so it can be removed and put on a tripod.

The standard set up left no way to disconect and conect to a tripod
If I were to use any accessories this would be the stabelizer for me, but I am a whimp so need something lighter.

Denny
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Old September 5th, 2008, 10:34 AM   #10
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Check your email Denny :).
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Old September 9th, 2008, 03:45 PM   #11
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Okay, I've got my A1 pretty balanced with the Merlin but just to make sure, does everyone agree the I hole on the dovetail plate is the one to use for this cam?
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Old September 9th, 2008, 06:15 PM   #12
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A good video tutorial

You might want to check out this video tutorial on the Merlin. I thought it was very informative.

Canon XHA1 and Steadicam Merlin ? Tutorial - AOL Video

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Old September 9th, 2008, 06:44 PM   #13
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Thanks:) I've seen that one.

It is very helpful.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 02:22 AM   #14
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Question about slow moves with XHA1 and Merlin

I'm going to be doing a few videos of harps being played, and have a XHA1 and Libec tripod. I'd like to do some very slow tracking shots which are either side to side or possibly following a 45 degree line (eg going down and left at the same time). I've thought about using a jib and/or dolly and tracks but obviously there's a knock-on in terms of setup time.

I'm also considering the Merlin as potentially much more flexible - but can the XHA1 / Merlin combo do SLOW tracking moves and remain completely stable? I have a look in mind to the moves, but it would be very subtle and slow and not necessarily over a huge distance, just a subtle move to pivot around the instrument to have the background moving slowly with the instrument (subject) effectively stationary - hope I've explained that OK.

Can the Merlin do this (with practice)?
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Old February 28th, 2009, 02:23 AM   #15
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Yes, this setup is capable of the moves you describe. However to really duplicate a dolly for slow moving work, the operator needs to have put in many hours of solid practice. These types of shots are some of the hardest to do.
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