Merlin Vs Glidecam HD-1000 for Canon HF S100 at DVinfo.net

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Old May 18th, 2009, 03:47 PM   #1
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Merlin Vs Glidecam HD-1000 for Canon HF S100

I am looking at both of these stabilizers to use with my HF-S100. Is the Merlin worth the difference in price?
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Old May 19th, 2009, 06:52 AM   #2
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I've used the Merlin and the Glidecam but the Merlin is the one I bought. Being a real Steadicam, its a very finely engineered piece of kit - you can quickly make fine adjustments to the trim without moving any weights as on the Glidecam, and of course the Merlin can be folded up and carried in your camera bag (just about) - I take mine on holiday.

My main dislike with the Glidecam is the side-mounted gimbal wich exerts a twisting force on your wrist that I find very uncomfortable - its fine if you have the arm and vest but that is overklll with a small camcorder.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 12:37 PM   #3
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Thanks for your input Tony,

I am still in the hobby phase and would like to get some experience with a stabilizer. I have been leaning towards the Merlin.

Frank
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Old May 19th, 2009, 01:25 PM   #4
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Just to confuse things, here is another good option:

The Blackbird Camera Stabilizer by Camera Motion Research
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Old May 19th, 2009, 02:08 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input Charles.

I see this is similar in design to the Merlin. It weighs in at about 2lb vs the 13 oz for the Merlin. The Canon is very light. In your opinion would the camera balance better on the Merlin or on of the others mentioned.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 02:36 PM   #6
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Charles,

Is it possible to get the 1 sec drop time with the Merlin using the Merlin without adding much additional weight when balancing the Canon HF-S100. The camera weighs about 1.1 lbs.

Thanks,

Frank
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Old May 19th, 2009, 02:36 PM   #7
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Learning Curve

Frank, since you mentioned that you are still in learning stage, I would recommend the Blackbird. I wouldn't underestimate the learning. It is like learning to play the violin. To get really good at it takes very long time. I think that the Blackbird makes it easier with the adjustable friction feature.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 03:16 PM   #8
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Hello Pavel,

This "friction feature" you speak of. Is it the pan lock?


Frank
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Old May 19th, 2009, 03:22 PM   #9
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Unless the type of shooting you plan to do relies on the rig being as light as possible (i.e. very long walking shots), I would recommend that you add a bit of weight (accessories etc.) A 3lb camera will handle a LOT better than a 1.1 lb camera on any of these stabilizers.

Frank, the friction control on the Blackbird (they call it Smoothtouch) is a dialable friction element on roll and tilt. I used the unit at NAB and felt that it is a potentially helpful feature especially for new operators.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 03:53 PM   #10
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Charles,

I read your review of the Blackbird and looked at video on their website.Very helpful.

The "Vertical Balance" bar seems to add a lot of length to this stabilizer. Did this get in your way? It look a little ungainly.

Frank
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Old May 20th, 2009, 09:07 AM   #11
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Thanks for the input.

I have settled on the Merlin.
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Old May 20th, 2009, 03:03 PM   #12
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A fine choice.
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Old May 20th, 2009, 03:14 PM   #13
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If you don't mind I will have some footage for you critique in a few weeks.

I may be overly optimistic but I am excited to learn to use the Merlin.
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Old May 20th, 2009, 04:53 PM   #14
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I've used a non-Steadicam full size rig before with 2/3" chip cameras, and when I got a Merlin with arm and vest for my XH A1, I found the Steadicam quality even in this small system was much better that others I've used. I think it's worth the difference in cost if you can afford it. And if you get a heavier camera, you can add the arm/vest package with the extra weights.
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Old May 21st, 2009, 09:34 AM   #15
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I worked as a camera man for a PBS station when I was a lot younger. I have had the yearning to get back in behind the camera for a long time. We used studio cameras on pedestals to do all kinds of productions. This will be fun to "fly" the little HD camera around.
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