Steadicam Merlin gets vest and arm at CES - Page 4 at DVinfo.net

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Old February 14th, 2007, 03:35 PM   #46
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Bruce!

So that's what the 'o' stands for ;)

Regarding Charles' comment about the non-linear gimbal, this issue with the Glidecam can be fixed. Pingpongcams addresses this issue: http://www.pingpongcams.com/glidecam...bal/index.html

Thanks for the in-depth review!
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Old February 14th, 2007, 03:36 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Ostrout
Cool thanks for that explanation! I come from an electrical engineering background, so i don't necessarily understand the physics and terminology
yeah, me neither, but I fake it pretty well, huh!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Ostrout
I do know I can tweak the 4K sled until my thumbs are raw and never really get a balance to where I can remove my control hand and walk around the sled without it losing balance.
Doesn't take much to go raw from twiddling those thumbscrews on the GC, does it? I wouldn't want to say for sure, but it does sound like the gimbal on your GC is not linear.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 05:24 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Chung
Regarding Charles' comment about the non-linear gimbal, this issue with the Glidecam can be fixed. Pingpongcams addresses this issue: http://www.pingpongcams.com/glidecam...bal/index.html
Peter
Very interesting; thanks. What I understand from this procedure is that the yoke around the gimbal bearing may not be centered in the side-to-side direction. Since there is no fine adjustment (e.g. thumbscrew), the yoke bearing has to be shimmed by trial and error.
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Old February 16th, 2007, 10:39 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Chung
Bruce! So that's what the 'o' stands for ;)
Yep, My last name.

Thanks for the link! I will try correcting it for use on my 2nd crew, but it seems like a pita to have to do that.
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Old February 17th, 2007, 12:42 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Bruce Ostrout
I will try correcting it for use on my 2nd crew, but it seems like a pita to have to do that.
I was thinking that was a colorful expression, then I realized you probably meant to write "pity". Ahhh! I "falafel" having to point that out, but...

anyway, the reality is--you get what you pay for, of course. The Glidecams are much cheaper than the Merlin, but one has to expect that things like tolerances and design are going to suffer as well.

If it makes you feel any better--I just bought a new gimbal for my big rig this week, for a bit over $5000...!
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Old February 26th, 2007, 02:35 PM   #51
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I'm debating getting a Merlin myself, and this vest certainly seems like a great way to get a budget steadicam system for myself without having to sell my car! What I'm wondering is if I should invest in a Merlin soon (can't really drop $800 at the moment on one) or wait till the vest/arm comes out.

Is there a possibility there will be a bundle for it, at perhaps a reduced price? I don't have a real need for the Merlin yet, so if there's a realistic chance it may drop in price or come cheaper bundled it'd be worth the wait. Any thoughts on that?
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Old February 26th, 2007, 04:02 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Byron Huskey
..........I don't have a real need for the Merlin yet.......
Well then, this is the perfect time to buy a Merlin. Buying one when you need it is too late. There's a bit of a learning curve to get proficient to a professional level -- weeks or even months -- so buying a Merlin just before the event is not a good plan.

A price drop is always possible, but so is a price increase. Bundled deal? Who knows. I'd like to think current registered Merlin owners would get a discount on the vest & arm as a reward for being loyal customers and walking advertisements.

Look at it this way: Just plucking numbers from the sky, would it be easier to spend $1,300 a year from now, or, $800 now and be able to use the Merlin for 12 months, and $500* next year for a vest & arm? (*Just a WAG).
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Old February 26th, 2007, 06:25 PM   #53
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just guessing

Tom,
I know that $1300 price you mentioned was a total guess, but it just seems too low to me.
Surely the arm and vest can't come in for anything under $2000. Possibly $2500 including the Merlin as a bundle? I'm just guessing too though.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 06:02 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Ethan Cooper
...I know that $1300 price you mentioned was a total guess...
More like wishful thinking on my part.
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Old March 8th, 2007, 09:17 PM   #55
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Another question..

Yep, another quesiton about the vest/arm combo. From what I have seen and read about the Merlin, it's not designed to support a video monitor (unlike the Steadicam Jr). Now, with my XH-A1 I'm sure I can just use the pop-out viewer, but I'm curious about the vest/arm. I know many lower end steady rigs have the ability to place a monitor on them, allowing the cameraman to focus on this rather than following the camera with his eyes. Is this going to be possible with Merlin's?

This may end up becoming an important factor in whether I invest in one or not, because from what small experience I have had watching people use stabilizers, they rely on those monitors a good deal. I'd prefer the option of a monitor, even if it's a bigger price jump, because as nice as the viewfinder is on the AI, I can't imagine it'd be convenient to use it in combination with the kinds of movements I'd want to use with the Merlin/vest/arm.

Any information on this guys?
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Old March 9th, 2007, 03:53 AM   #56
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I believe it will indeed be possible. I will enquire about this with the appropriate folks.
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Old March 9th, 2007, 08:48 AM   #57
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Thanks very much Charles! Part of the reason I'm leaning towards the Merlin combo is the price (I assume it will be collectively cheaper than the bigger rigs) and the ability to have a hand held stabilizer if the situation calls for that instead of a full rig. If a monitor is included or at least supported, that'd be perfect! Too abd we don't have a price estimate/release date yet ;)
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Old March 9th, 2007, 01:38 PM   #58
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There is a Monitor development for the Merlin.

It will mount in place of the front weight - in a similar place to the JR's monitor.

It will work in both handheld and "arm/vest" mode.


That's about all I know.

- Mikko
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Old March 10th, 2007, 09:13 AM   #59
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It seems like $2500-3500 would be the ideal price range for a Merlin with Vest/Arm. Much more, then I might as well get a Flyer and possibly use it with a future, heavier camera (Red maybe, or XDCAM HD).

I have grown frustrated with my Glidecam V-8. I have a very non-linear gimbal, thanks for the terminology Charles! And desiring something that will set up and tear down quicker, I'm seriously considering the Merlin. Until the arm and vest comes out I might try rig up a way to use my Glidecam arm and vest with the Merlin. Even with the Merlin Arm I'd probably try to use my Glidecam vest, it seems more substantial and has buckles. It would take a trip to the machine shop since the Glidecam mounts on the opposite side the Merlin does.
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Old March 10th, 2007, 09:24 AM   #60
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The Smooth Shooter socket assembly on the vest can be mounted on either the right or the left...not sure if the Merlin will also have this flexibility (think so) but in any event they could likely be interchanged via the mounting points on the center spar of the vest. This would likely require drilling some new holes, so you would be doing so at your own risk!

I thought the Merlin vest was possibly underbuilt in the same way you describe (substance & lack of buckle fasteners) but Garrett assures me that he considers these to be positive attributes, and having spent only a short time in the rig I will take his word on this.
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