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Old September 17th, 2014, 08:58 AM   #1
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Deciding on Merlin 2 for 5D Mk3 ?

Hi, Im currently using a Wondlan Stabilizer and its hell lot of work to stabilize it. Takes hours to get it right and Im tired of it.

So, Im looking for a better, portable solution, which would work best and takes seconds to stabilize it instantly.

So, I found Merlin 2 Steadicam. Its 399$ price tag.

My 90% usage is making wedding movies, using 5Dmk3 with 24-105mm Canon.

So, can this Merlin 2 handle that weight and do the job best ?

Or shall I look for other options ?
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Old September 17th, 2014, 12:47 PM   #2
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Re: Deciding on Merlin 2 for 5D Mk3 ?

I can feel your pain with the Wondlan Stabilizer. I had a Glidecam and was so sick of balancing it. lol!

I'm not sure how heavy the lens you mention is, but most videos I have seen with the Mk3 and Merlin 2 have used like the 24mm 1.4.
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Old September 17th, 2014, 05:45 PM   #3
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Re: Deciding on Merlin 2 for 5D Mk3 ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soumendra Jena View Post
So, Im looking for a better, portable solution, which would work best and takes seconds to stabilize it instantly... My 90% usage is making wedding movies, using 5Dmk3 with 24-105mm Canon... So, can this Merlin 2 handle that weight and do the job best ? Or shall I look for other options ?
Hi Soumendra,

Like anything, there's plusses and minuses, but definitely it can handle the weight. This is probably really bad advice, but I think you should buy it and give it a try; and by "give it a try" I mean spend at least a week walking around with it. And if you don't like it then, eBay it.

Balancing -- if you get experienced with it, you can balance it fast. But it's considered difficult to balance by most people, especially for beginners.

General usage -- it can be a really subtle tool, and there are more moves you can do with the Merlin but not with the Glidecam than vice versa. You can also physically get it into places you can't fit a Glidecam.

But Glidecams are easier, more stable for "normal" Steadicam shots.

Fatigue -- Glidecams put more strain on the wrist.

I'm not familiar with the stabiliser you mention, so can't comment.

Alternative plan: get a Ronin gimbal instead!

Last edited by Adrian Tan; September 17th, 2014 at 06:15 PM.
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Old September 17th, 2014, 09:37 PM   #4
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Re: Deciding on Merlin 2 for 5D Mk3 ?

DJI Ronin is what I loved, but I cant justify the 3000$ that quick, as Im doing very less weddings now, due to my work schedule.
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Old September 18th, 2014, 02:18 AM   #5
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Re: Deciding on Merlin 2 for 5D Mk3 ?

I spent ages yesterday looking at gimbals like the DJI Ronin. It's even harder to justify the Ronin at $3000 when you are using a small A7S rather than an epic.

There are cheap ones for GoPros - I wish there was something available in between.

I looked at some cheaper options, but most require a full build (wiring and all). The CAME 7500 though now comes already (mostly) assembled for just over $1000.

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Old September 18th, 2014, 03:55 AM   #6
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Re: Deciding on Merlin 2 for 5D Mk3 ?

How about this - £999

Comodo Orbit - Cameragrip

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Old September 18th, 2014, 04:22 AM   #7
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Re: Deciding on Merlin 2 for 5D Mk3 ?

Not a chance. I canít believe that price for that! Its nowhere near as stable as regular steady cams that cost £400-800. The CAME 7500 is about the same price and itís an actual motorised gimbal!
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Old September 18th, 2014, 03:10 PM   #8
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Re: Deciding on Merlin 2 for 5D Mk3 ?

Hi, I've had a Merlin Ver. 1 for the past couple of years and think its great but has taken me a while to learn. I'm still not perfect but do manage to get the shots I need. My fellow videographers mainly use either a Glidecam HD2000 or FilmCity 3000 (cheap version from ebay) and recently was lucky enough to try both. I found the Glidecam HD2000 easier to setup than the Merlin but quite heavy to use for long periods. The FilmCity 3000 was also easy to setup but had the advantage of being fairly light so could be handheld for longer periods. I think the Merlin is a pain to setup but once you find the sweet spot is great to fly - i currently use a Canon 7D + Tokina 11-16 f2.8 lens. Out of the three the best bang for buck was probably the FilmCity 3000 - not sure if they still make these but may be under the name FlyCam 3000.
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Old September 18th, 2014, 05:19 PM   #9
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Re: Deciding on Merlin 2 for 5D Mk3 ?

I've used the Merlin for years now and have got it pretty well balanced with my 5DMII and a 24m 1.4 I recently rented a Glidecam 4000 and while it was easier to balance I could not take the strain on wrist/arm. With the Merlin, all of the weight is directly above or underneath your hand which I guess works different muscles and allows better endurance (at least for me) if you're going to be using it for long periods of time

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