Merlin vs Glidecam vs... uhh... your arms for a stable wedding shoot. - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old December 19th, 2006, 10:30 PM   #16
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"and what I do see is way over-use off the stabilzer. "

THANK YOU!!!!

I think i mentioned once that your own work here joe was a reflection on the comment above.. ;) being that you DONT

glad someone here agrees with me though.. lol
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Old December 20th, 2006, 07:56 PM   #17
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I think the Merlin is the perfect tool to enhance weddings shots. Depending on what cam, it is very light and easy to use for 15 minutes. There is no wrist strain. It is more arm strain, but the Merlin can be supported with 1 or 2 arms and arms can be switched when the other tires. Ceremony & formal shots, Processionals, dances, & Love Stories can all be enhanced with the Merlin. Plus, if it is a multicam shoot the Merlin is perfect for one cam. If the ceremony is 15 minutes, the Merlin can shoot the entire service. The Merlin is absolutely amazing.

Another great feature is the setup time. I can set a Merlin with a vx2100 in less than 2 minutes. Set it back on the tripod and then use the pd170 with shoulder support.

I've never used any of the other Stabilizers, but the Merlin is a fantastic choice.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 08:55 PM   #18
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I do 2 cam wedding shoots using 2 tripods and a Glidecam 4000 with Bogen qr mounts for fast and easy transfers. I sometimes use an armbrace with it, depending on the length of the shoot--got a vest for it but have yet to use it. I and my b&g's truly love the footage I get with it and I use it for pre-ceremony, aisle shots, photoshoots, intros, dancing, you name it. It provides great contrasting silky smooth shots to the tripod footage. I almost never go handheld, and don't think shaky footage is a style that looks good in a wedding video, but that's just me.
For an affordable price and with a good deal of practice, you can't beat the glidecam for weddings (or for building your arm and shoulder up...)
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Old December 21st, 2006, 05:55 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Zlamany
I think the Merlin is the perfect tool to enhance weddings shots......
Ahh, finally another Merlin user responding. Richard, I agree w/most everything you write except for using it at a ceremony. Maybe ok at an outdoor (if there's zero wind), or a very informal indoor ceremony, but not in a church, IMO. The Merlin shows it's stuff when the camera is in motion, and I + cameras are locked down during the ceremony. I do nothing to attract attention.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Moreau
... stick to a tripod and if you really don't want to do that, get the dvrig pro.
I'm also a DVrigpro user, and it's great for moving around with a camera & all attachments for literally hours w/o any arm or back strain. Run & gun type shooting where you need a steady shot for an extended time but there's not time to set up a tripod. But, it's not a stabilizer and it's not a total replacement for a tripod -- not for me, anyway. In fact, I bought it thinking i could ditch the tripod.

With the DVrig, you are the tripod. So, any motion on your part -- shifting weight from foot to foot, breathing, looking around, scratching an itch, or God forbid you have to cough or sneeze or shoo away a wasp -- all will show up on the video. The camera movement might be very slight, but it's there nevertheless. And, of course, the more you're zoomed out, all body movement is more noticeable.

(For any DVrig fanatics reading this, I know about shallow breathing and various techniques to minimize movement. But, IMHO, if you prefer tripod-like rock steady footage, use a tripod.)

So getting back to the Merlin, it'll definitely give you footage that'll look cooler than anything shot by Uncle Joe with his hand-held minicam. However, if I was just getting started in this business, I'd invest in good basic stuff, and put this or any other stabilizer on the wish list.
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Old December 21st, 2006, 08:02 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Tomkowiak
Ahh, finally another Merlin user responding. Richard, I agree w/most everything you write except for using it at a ceremony. Maybe ok at an outdoor (if there's zero wind), or a very informal indoor ceremony, but not in a church, IMO. The Merlin shows it's stuff when the camera is in motion, and I + cameras are locked down during the ceremony. I do nothing to attract attention.


I'm also a DVrigpro user, and it's great for moving around with a camera & all attachments for literally hours w/o any arm or back strain. Run & gun type shooting where you need a steady shot for an extended time but there's not time to set up a tripod. But, it's not a stabilizer and it's not a total replacement for a tripod -- not for me, anyway. In fact, I bought it thinking i could ditch the tripod.

With the DVrig, you are the tripod. So, any motion on your part -- shifting weight from foot to foot, breathing, looking around, scratching an itch, or God forbid you have to cough or sneeze or shoo away a wasp -- all will show up on the video. The camera movement might be very slight, but it's there nevertheless. And, of course, the more you're zoomed out, all body movement is more noticeable.

(For any DVrig fanatics reading this, I know about shallow breathing and various techniques to minimize movement. But, IMHO, if you prefer tripod-like rock steady footage, use a tripod.)

So getting back to the Merlin, it'll definitely give you footage that'll look cooler than anything shot by Uncle Joe with his hand-held minicam. However, if I was just getting started in this business, I'd invest in good basic stuff, and put this or any other stabilizer on the wish list.
Tom you are spot on saying that a tripod is the only and best way to guarantee rock solid shooting.
But, you say that when using the DVRig Pro, there's not a way to place the rig on a tripod, when in fact there is one. If you purchase the tripod/light stand adaptor you will be able to place the entire rig on a tripod for lock down shooting.
I used to shoot this way all the time when shooting Ceremonies, as I would shoot the processional center isle on the grooms side, then place the entire rig on a preset tripod for lock down shooting.

I mentioned that I used to shoot this way, because I now use DVTecs new DVMulti Rig, which is smaller, lighter, multi configurable, and much easier to place on a tripod, the same way.
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Old January 3rd, 2007, 06:56 PM   #21
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Thanks for the advice

Some great advice here! Thanks for all the tips. This place is the best to come to for advice and "camera tech" talk.

I'm leaning towards the glidecam 4000... just because I see myself getting a heavier camera than my current GL2. I really only want to do some fluid movements for 20-30 minutes (outdoors, possibly windy at times) during the photo shoots.

All your replies have been great to read!

Thanks again.
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Old January 4th, 2007, 09:29 AM   #22
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My QUICK 2 cents

-tripod first, which is to be used for all the essential footage (ie ceremony/speeches)
-Steadicam shots used only to enhance video artistically.

With that said, here is a highlight reel of a wedding I did using a Merlin for the first time.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...709#post600709
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Old January 6th, 2007, 04:55 PM   #23
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I see your points. I never used a Merlin to date at a ceremony so I am still deciding how and when. I plan to shoot the guests before the procession & the bridal party after they receive Communion and the guests are still receiving.

I have shot shoulder mounted 15 minute weddings and find it much better for me than using a tripod. I like to be free.
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Old January 14th, 2007, 10:08 AM   #24
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Yep, always invest in a set of good basic equipment first. My best investment ever was a set of wireless mic. It costs less than my Merlin but I cannot live without it.
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Old January 14th, 2007, 02:10 PM   #25
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I must say, I say stabilizers are incredible when properly used in helping create very slick and professional highlight reels.

Also @ CES the new Merlin vest is out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Leung
Yep, always invest in a set of good basic equipment first. My best investment ever was a set of wireless mic. It costs less than my Merlin but I cannot live without it.
Hi Paul, your e-mail option is off, so could u please email me if possible? which wireless Mic set would u recommend? I've searched thru the forums & I'm trying to get as many reviews/opinions as possible, thank you!
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Old January 15th, 2007, 01:09 PM   #26
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Hi Michael,

I use and recommend the Sennheiser G2 100 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation

Now if I have to buy again, I might buy a dual channel system. I found that I need dual channel most of the time. I think Azden has such system.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 02:27 PM   #27
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Hi Michael Wong

Here's another link that'll lead you to the same place as Paul's above, but gives you the bigger picture: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...sc&fi=all&pn=2

I also use (and recommend) the Sennheiser Ev G2 100 Series. But, in case you're not familiar with wireless, you probably won't notice that Paul's link is only to the model with the "A" frequencies (518-554 MHz). If you click on page 3 of the link, notice there are additional choices for the B freqs (626-662 MHz) and C freqs (740-776 MHz).

In my part of the country, the C freqs are mostly open, so there's never a problem finding an unused freqency. The A & B freqs are pretty busy.

I see you're in Ontario, so before you buy any brand of wireless, you need to do some checking what the best freq range would be for you to operate in.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 03:55 PM   #28
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Thanx Paul & Tom,

You guys are super helpful and I thank u so much for ur help. I am deciding upon the Senn EW 100 G2 (with butt plug) or the dual channel Azdens' (here you go Paul):

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation

As tempting as it is to have dual transmitters for the Azden's, it is likely that I will go with the Sennhesier since its tried and true, and the reviews for the Azden product is far and few and are relatively unfavorable compared to the Sennnheiser.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Tomkowiak
s
But, in case you're not familiar with wireless, you probably won't notice that Paul's link is only to the model with the "A" frequencies (518-554 MHz). If you click on page 3 of the link, notice there are additional choices for the B freqs (626-662 MHz) and C freqs (740-776 MHz).

I see you're in Ontario, so before you buy any brand of wireless, you need to do some checking what the best freq range would be for you to operate in.
I've noticed that the wireless products are available for A/B/C frequencies but am unaware of how to find out which area uses which main frequency(ies).

In an attempt to no longer hijack this thread (sorry mods) I'm going to open a new thread to ask about this question. The link is right here.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=83955

Thanx again everyone!
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