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Old April 22nd, 2007, 12:06 PM   #31
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Charles: if you get a minute, could you give us your cookbook settings for the addition of the wide angle, and/or the wide angle / DM50 combo.
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Old April 24th, 2007, 10:30 PM   #32
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I second Dale, more cookbook settings. I'm getting my merlin in the mail and I have the dm-50 but no wide-angle.
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Old April 25th, 2007, 12:27 PM   #33
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Charles this is fantastic footage, thank you for posting! It really is exciting to see such strong results. I about cried when I hunted down the $800+ price tag :(

I've found comparable ones on ebay for $200 range: http://cgi.ebay.com/STEADICAM-STEADY...QQcmdZViewItem

..hmm
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Old April 25th, 2007, 12:35 PM   #34
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With the whole package onboard, I moved the camera back one mounting hole, added a middle weight at the bottom and dropped the spar an inch or so. With the DM-50 only, I think you could probably just drop the spar a little bit and not have to make any other adjustments (except fine-tune the gimbal and stage adjustment).

Chances are that you will be regularly adding and subtracting bits and pieces to your cameras, so its good to get into practice balancing the Merlin without relying on cookbook settings. If you follow the procedures in the manual, it's really not all that complicated, you'll get a feel for it very quickly.
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Old April 25th, 2007, 12:35 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Royer View Post
Charles this is fantastic footage, thank you for posting! It really is exciting to see such strong results. I about cried when I hunted down the $800+ price tag :(

I've found comparable ones on ebay for $200 range: http://cgi.ebay.com/STEADICAM-STEADY...QQcmdZViewItem

..hmm
Indeed. Thanks for the link.

There were quite a few different cost-effective models shown at NAB from $300 on up. Hindsight is 20/20 and I wish I had handled a few while there.
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Old April 25th, 2007, 12:39 PM   #36
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Steve:

I've never seen that Italian (?) version of the Merlin, but it is probably safe to say that it weighs noticeably more than the Merlin chassis which means more strain on the arms. Generally the cheap knockoffs of Steadicams fall short in the fit and finish which means less rigidity and a wobblier frame, and more fatigue due to the extra weight. The miniaturized gimbal is also an area that may not be well designed which will have catastrophic effects on the photography. Again, this particular unit might be fine but I've never heard of it before today.

I should also point out that not one of the pictures shows a proper operating hand position--the one with two hands under the gimbal was particularly illuminating.

Caveat emptor, gents.
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Old April 25th, 2007, 01:54 PM   #37
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Merlin after 2 hours

I'm not sure if anyone really cares, but I thought I'd throw my 2 cents in about the Merlin. It's really incredible! The $800 price tag felt high until I used it for the first time. I'm really new to making videos, but I'm having a great time with everything and the Merlin makes taping anything fun. I posted a clip of some footage of my dog and wife, and It was taken 3 hours after receiving my Merlin in the mail. I've got a long ways to go, but if an extreme amateur like myself can get results like the ones you'll see in the video, Holy Jeeez, the possibilities are endless!

Video: http://www.klondikesamuelson.com
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Old April 25th, 2007, 02:06 PM   #38
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josh, i enjoyed that a lot. the tracking shot of the dog against the side of the hill was particularly nice. was that shot on an hv20 or xha1? the notes read that it was shot on the xha1, and my initial thought was that the xha1 must be a little heavy and on the upper end of the weight range for the merlin. in any case, thanks for sharing.
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Old April 25th, 2007, 02:07 PM   #39
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Guys, I just sold my Merlin. I used it on my HC-1 but not all that often. With the HV-20, I think I can stabilize it well enough that it's just not worth trying to use it. You have trouble in wind and with the lighter cameras, have to rebalance often. It does work, but really takes a chunk of time to get everything set-up and ready to use each time you use it. Maybe I'm just to lazy.
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Old April 25th, 2007, 02:46 PM   #40
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Charles, thanks for answering about the cookbook settings with the DM-50 only. B&H shipped my Merlin today and I can't wait to get it. Looking forward to months and months of learning and practicing Steadicam. :)
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Old April 25th, 2007, 03:09 PM   #41
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Tim, understood, it's not for everyone. Certainly it's more hardware and requires more attention than handheld or tripod work. I do find that the quick release system in use with the Merlin allows me to jump back and forth between modes in probably less than a minute to read-to-go--there's a bit of trimming involved but I do that while discussing the shot etc. I would say that there's a significant difference between stabilized shots and handheld especially with a camera that can't be shoulder-mounted, but not everyone needs that type of stability.
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Old April 25th, 2007, 04:17 PM   #42
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I agree Charles. It does work, can produce wonderful results, takes some skill, but for my work, mostly candid shots of the kids, the time efficiency was killing me. If I did a significant amount of staged shots, I would use it with a strong recommendation.
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Old April 27th, 2007, 12:41 AM   #43
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I wanted a Merlin last year, but realized I probably didn't have the stamina to use it with my GL2 for hours at a stretch. When I got my HV20, it dawned on me that I could maybe use a Merlin for extended periods of time. So I got it. And it's great. I was carrying the combo (HV20 w/DM50/Merlin) for about 3 solid hours taping a rock band on a yacht last night. Couldn't have gotten the shots I did without it. I didn't have cookbook settings for the added DM50, but I quickly threw on an extra bottom weight and adjusted the stage and that seemed to do the trick.
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Old May 16th, 2007, 10:53 PM   #44
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been using it for a week

HV20, no accessories yet, merlin, works much better than without it. The manual and dvd are easy, but it does take a little time to work with it and get used to it.

Thx to Charles for his settings and user settings in the cook book, I was 95% there in 15 mins... Read the manual and watched the dvd and experimented a bit and I'm very happy with the results.

It is much better then hand held and much better then the DIY basic units you see on the web.

It does a take a little bit more time and work then grab and go, but the results are so much better with it, that it is going to be my standard way to go..
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Old May 17th, 2007, 07:12 AM   #45
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Cool Charles. Thanks for the effort. We definitely need cat video. Cat Rap video!

Just balanced out my HC7 on the G2K last night and if it was not for the QR plate, it would have no weight on it at all. Similar to almost no counters for the Merlin and the HV20.

When you get the focus puller, the mini-35, and the monitor on it... :P

You have been driving the Cadillac too long! You've got to work on your shuffle again :D
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