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Old July 23rd, 2014, 05:49 AM   #1
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Alternative steadicam merlin jacket

Hola guys,

i'm using the steadicam merlin with my fx1 and sometimes with the 5100 or 7100. Wondering if you could suggest me any vest/Jacket (not branded Steadicam) that is cheap and good product for the steadicam merlin.
Many thanks

Marcus Martell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 23rd, 2014, 06:51 AM   #2
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Re: Alternative steadicam merlin jacket

Cheap Video Stabilizer Load Vest CheesyCam
C100 - GH4 - NYC Shooter
Darren Levine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 24th, 2014, 12:04 AM   #3
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Re: Alternative steadicam merlin jacket

Are you looking for a vest and arm? Between that post and the link Darren provided, I'm getting confused--is there a trend towards lumping the arm and vest together and calling it a vest? That's a new one (btw Marcus, "vest" is the most common term with "suit" being a rarely-used term; "jacket" would not be a standard description for this gear).

One thing to note about the Steadicam brand gear. A lot of people don't care for the original Merlin vest, which has velcro straps instead of buckles. The current version does incorporate buckles. Much more importantly, the design of the Merlin arm (which is, I believe, the same as the Pilot arm) is far superior to anything that you will find coming out of the cheap knockoff world. It's not visually apparent when you look at it, but the principal behind the design allows for much more isolation than a simple spring arm. In the article they are claiming that the footsteps of the operator are due to either the single section arm or the rig requiring more weight, but neither is the case--it's simply that the Steadicam brand arms for small rigs have a much more sophisticated design that is covered by a number of international patents.

So while there may be up to $500 in difference between the brand name and knockoffs, and the vests may be quite similar, the arm design is going to be definitely worth it. As it is, the Merlin has so little mass that it challenges even the Steadicam arm to provide full isolation--you don't want to go there with a springy, bouncy cheap arm. You'll see far worse results than handholding the Merlin. Hope this helps.
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