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Old February 5th, 2013, 03:43 PM   #1
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Video: Blackbird Stabilizer on the Merlin arm & vest

As promised (although a little later then expected :)) a short demonstration video of the Blackbird stabilizer on the Steadicam Merlin arm & vest.

I used the NEX-FS100 with Tokina ultra wide lens and NEX-5N to capture the footage. You'll also see the Blackbird stabilizer placed on the Steadicam Merlin arm & vest with the optional Z-post that you can order from CMR. You could also use the standard Merlin post, but the Z-post will give you more clearance.

Hope you like the result!

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Old February 5th, 2013, 04:49 PM   #2
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Re: Video: Blackbird Stabilizer on the Merlin arm & vest

Hey Derran, nice work there mate.

See you got the Tokina 11-16 mm on, great lens.
Looks like the new Sony NEX 10-18mm could be a winner too, I need a wide auto focus on the fly lens.
I find when I am flying mine on the vest though, I have to step very carefully.

For quick set up and slow precise flying handheld the Blackbird wins over the Glidecam.
Glidecam is better for fast action, running and is harder to keep x and Y spot on when moving. It's also much harder on your wrist.

I use the Blackbird hand held for all my real estate virtual tours.
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Old February 5th, 2013, 05:23 PM   #3
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Re: Video: Blackbird Stabilizer on the Merlin arm & vest

Thanks Paul!
Yes the Tokina lens is a great. But I've also been very curious about the new NEX 10-18mm because of the auto focus and iris. Could be a real lifesaver out in the field.

I consider the Glidecam to be a step up from the Merlin and the Blackbird a step up from the Glidecam. I use it for all my stabilizing videos nowadays. It can handle the most shooting situations and it's nice to be able to change settings on 'the fly'. Something that can be very challenging with the other two. And you're right, you have to be careful when you walk around. That goes for all stabilizers and especially in a forest! :)
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Old February 6th, 2013, 06:15 PM   #4
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Re: Video: Blackbird Stabilizer on the Merlin arm & vest

From what I have been finding on the net, the new 10-18 seems pretty good but I really want to know how much distortion it has before I spent $1000 for one.

It will be prefect for flying on Sony nex cameras though and that auto focus would allow us to get close to objects on the fly.

Here is a clip I shot with my Blackbird on the Merlin Vest with the little Canon 60D and Tokina 11-16mm
First little bit was a Gopro in the Limo and was the first time I have ever shot a wedding.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 05:27 AM   #5
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Re: Video: Blackbird Stabilizer on the Merlin arm & vest

That's a great video! Really makes you feel part of the action.

I've also been very curious about the amount of distortion the 10-18mm might have. I've seen two images where I could definitely see some barrel distortion, which would be a deal breaker for me personally. Perhaps this effect can be limited by zooming in a bit, but I wasn't looking for a fish-eye lens with zoom capabilities. ;)

I'm still waiting for actual footage to show up to see how good the lens is. Sharpness and chromatic aberration seems to be under control, so I'm hoping for the best.
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Old February 8th, 2013, 06:32 PM   #6
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Re: Video: Blackbird Stabilizer on the Merlin arm & vest

I think you should go and get the lens and test out for us all :-)

Will post some footage soon with the Glidecam on the vest then run the same course with the Blackbird.
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