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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...

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Old July 24th, 2009, 10:51 AM   #16
Inner Circle
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 2,933
I've been very happy with the Merlin, and I shoot throughout a wedding day without an arm/vest. I like that your hand is set directly under the camera. I like how easy it is to make minor balance adjustments. I like how it's smaller than GC's, so you have a better range of shot choices. I like that it looks nicer than the GC's.

My only complaint really is that the contact area for controlling the unit is pretty small, and for some shots it makes things more difficult.

I will say I haven't actually used a GC.
Black Label Films
Travis Cossel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 24th, 2009, 07:12 PM   #17
Major Player
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 410
I didn't read all of the previous posts, but I'm gonna throw in my 2 1/2 cents.
I just sold my Merlin on here a few weeks ago. I own the Glidecam HD 1000, 2000 and the older 4000. My FX-1 wouldn't balance very well at all on the Merlin. I was able to get acceptable shots if I used the smallest battery available in the FX-1. If you are putting a light on your camera, forget the Merlin. The Glidecam HD 2000 is also going to be pushing it. You need the 4000 to get the best results. I'm sure other people have had different experiences, but again, just my 2 1/2 cents.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 08:47 PM   #18
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 689
Hi Peter,

I've used the Glidecam since 2002 and last year tried a Merlin for three events. My thoughts:
- I couldn't get the merlin to stay balanced. I'd set it up and it'd work perfectly, but the next time I went to use it was out of tune. Still can't explain that because others have had so much success with it. When it was perfect I enjoyed using it, until the following logistical idiosyncrasies made it not the right fit for me:
- I can't just set the Merlln down on its base when I'm not using it. Instead you either need a stand or have to lay it down on its side.
- The merlin also doesn't allow you to take the camera off without the need for retuning it again when you want to put the camera back on. This is because the camera adapter is part of the merlin rather than a standard tripod plate. I like to be able to throw any camera on the glidecam and on any tripod that takes the same plate without tuning but that isn't possible with the merlin.
- Because the Merlin is so light it makes holding the horizon steady a battle. The Glidecam has enough inertial weight to stay level in a breeze.
-The shoulder-shooting position of the Merlin is a nice feature if you're used to shooting that way, but I normally use a monopod when not gliding. The Glidecam makes a great pseudo monopod - by wedging the back of the base in at your belt-line you can get some very steady shots - even zoomed in. This even works with a vest and arm.
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Old July 25th, 2009, 05:53 AM   #19
Regular Crew
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Hermon Maine USA
Posts: 138
I just decided to start using my glidecam 1000 (yes it's old but still works like the day I bought it)again this year due to switching to a smaller camera (Canon A1).
I rarely use it as intended though. most of the time I am holding it by the main bar and not the handle. I also have a zoom controller mounted on it so I can hold the entire unit right close to me and turn my whole body when I want to pan. I also can hold the unit over my head somewhat and have the camera at about a 7 1/2foot hight(for a few minutes anyway!) and still have zoom control When I see a good opportunity I will switch back to the handle and do a traditional glidecam move.
To do a low walking shot you can just hold the camera handle and the weight of the glidecam will help keep the shot level.
I also have a stick that goes into the handle and the other end rests on a harness I can wear at waist level. You cant really walk or run with this setup, but you can shoot a very long toast over peoples heads with no problem and then 2 seconds later use it as a traditional glidecam and use it to follow the bride over to the cake or something.
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