Best Stabilizer for a Z1? at DVinfo.net

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Old December 14th, 2006, 02:54 PM   #1
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Best Stabilizer for a Z1?

I've read several old threads discussing the Glidecam 2000/4000 and the Merlin and the Jr. However, I couldn't seem to find any Z1 users comments.

So, any opinions on which is the best for the Sony Z1? I'd prefer the one that is the cheapest/best (oxymoron, yes).

Many thanks.
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Old December 14th, 2006, 03:03 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin Walton
I've read several old threads discussing the Glidecam 2000/4000 and the Merlin and the Jr. However, I couldn't seem to find any Z1 users comments.

So, any opinions on which is the best for the Sony Z1? I'd prefer the one that is the cheapest/best (oxymoron, yes).

Many thanks.
The reason that you don't notice comments just from Z1 users, is that it is the weight of the camera that is important not the model. The Glidecam 2000 would fit the Z1, not the 4000, which is for heavier cameras.

Read the previous post again, this time looking for those in your camera class. The "best" is certainly subjective, the cheapest you can look up in any catalogue.

Generally they will all work well if you set them up properly and take the time to train yourself extensively and fully.

Mike
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Old December 14th, 2006, 03:15 PM   #3
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Your post reads like someone who would quote Socrates. :)

It really does seem, from what I've read, that all the brands have many satisfied users, and that it really is a cost issue, no?
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Old December 14th, 2006, 03:26 PM   #4
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For the GC 2000:

Forearm brace?

or

Body-pod?
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Old December 14th, 2006, 04:06 PM   #5
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I have successfully flown the Z1 on my Merlin without any trouble.
It works really well.

With a heavier camera like the Z1, it's really important to have a rig that adds as little wieght as possible. The Merlin is far lighter than the Glidecam, and it's also designed to sit over your hand, not out ot the side like the GC which twists your wrist.

Another wieght saving feature is the built in quick release that is a popular feature often added on later to glidecams at more cost and another increase in weight.

Cheapest? The glidecam, though with a quick-realease plate and the arm-brace that price gets closer to the Merlin which needs neither extra.
The Merlin is generally agreed to be the "best" handheld rig.

Which you choose is a matter of personal choice based on budget and needs.

- Mikko
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Old December 14th, 2006, 04:11 PM   #6
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Thanks Mikko

For someone w/o any experience w/stablilizers, what would you say is the learning curve/difficulty for a Merlin?

The design alone of the Merlin is certainly intriguing.

Again, thanks.
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Old December 14th, 2006, 05:36 PM   #7
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I use the Merlin with my Z1. It took me, a newbie steadicam user about 3 months to get consistant images from it. But it was worth it. The results I get now are superb!
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Old December 14th, 2006, 10:51 PM   #8
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If you're planning on flying your Z1U handheld only then a stabilizer that puts the weight over your hand as does the Merlin would be best. If you're planning on moving to a body mounted system eventually then...

How long are your shots going to be?

Terry
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Old December 15th, 2006, 10:25 AM   #9
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Thank you all.

Most of my shots would only be for a couple of seconds, but of course I wouldn't mind being able to do the occasional "Goodfellas" shot.
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Old December 15th, 2006, 11:26 AM   #10
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Most Steadicam shots are prety short. Even the "Long ones" are only a few minutes tops.
Of course there are longer times during event coverage where you want to fly longer. But normally those are paying events so you can put a bigger vest mounted system into your budget.

Merlin will take about a week of casual schedule (an hour or two for a few evenings) to get up, balanced and "understood".
It will take about a month of practice to get repeatable shots. After about 2-3 monthes of fairly regular practice you will be able to reliably shoot with it.
These times of course can vary greatly depending on your skill, amount of practice, and a bit of luck. :)
This schedule is prety similar for any system. The Merlin can be a hair more daunting at first as it has a few more adjustment options than some other systems (that I just call more restrictive). But after that first few hours you will find the Merlin easier to adjust and faster to work with than for example a Glidecam. The trim adjustments on the Merlin are designed to be made in mere secconds between shots, even in mid flight!

- Mikko
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