I think I'm going to buy the Merlin for my XL2... at DVinfo.net

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Old July 23rd, 2007, 12:05 PM   #1
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I think I'm going to buy the Merlin for my XL2...

Hey everyone. Here's my situation: Just bought an XL2 and love it. I have also read quite a few excellent things about the Merlin Steadicam and can imagine the same blissful relationship with it too.
The only problem is that Canon lists the weight of my camera at 5.3 lbs - and the limit for the Merlin is 5.0 lbs. In addition, as a student filmmaker, the Flyer is way out of my price range.
Being a fairly brawny guy, I managed to muscle the XL2 around on a pretend Merlin with one arm and didn't find it too difficult.
So, if anybody wants to express their opinion, either way, I'd be very appreciative.

Oh, and by-the-by, on the Tiffen website, under their Merlin Cookbook Settings, I found this:

PANASONIC HVX-200
5.4 lb
2.45 kg 1 Finish 1 Start
6 Mid
1 Finish (max)13.5"
34.3 cm H +1 -2 YES

That's balanced at 5.4lbs. Thanks.
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 12:50 PM   #2
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I'd actually weigh your camera and see what it clocks in at. Even my Panasonic DVC60 (XL1 copycat, but no changeable lenses) with shotgun mic and battery is 7 pounds. You might be able to slip by with the upgraded gimbal, but I'd do some weighing beforehand.
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 01:25 PM   #3
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Ah crap. Yeah. You were right. The XL2 "fully-loaded" is around 7 lbs.
Still, could the Merlin work with it? Could it be customized to work?
Also, I have experience with an XH-A1 which is listed as being nearly as heavy as the XL2. Yet, I've seen the videos with it and the Merlin on youtube. I'd hate to have to upgrade just to be able to use the Merlin.
Thanks,
Jon
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 02:54 PM   #4
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The XL2 is too heavy for any handheld rig. (Technically it could be balanced on some, but the whole combination is far too heavy to hold safly or operate well.)

I fear that even with the Merlin metal gimbal upgrade and flown on the Merlin Arm & Vest, the XL2 is just too heavy to be practical.

The XH-A1 is a much lighter camera, and it's also a "lower" camera, meaning that it's center of gravity is lower within the camera, and that really counts with a Steadicam when you are getting close to weight limits.


Your best option would be to get a Steadicam Pilot. With a capacity of up to 10lbs, it would fly the XL2 very comfterbly.

- Mikko
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 03:56 PM   #5
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Thanks a lot for your input.
I guess I will have to (reluctantly) purchase the Glidecam 4000 for $399 from B&H. It supports cameras 4-10lbs.
Does anyone have any opinions they'd like to share about the difference in quality? Or point me to a thread that discusses this?
- Jon
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 04:01 PM   #6
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Quality asside (and that has been discussed in meany threads in this section, read on...) the Glidecam will be far too heavy to hold with the XL2 for more than just a couple of painfull seconds.

You need a vest/arm mounted rig for a camera of this size.


- Mikko
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