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-   -   XH-A1 and Steadycam Merlin shots? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-xh-series-hdv-camcorders/103097-xh-a1-steadycam-merlin-shots.html)

Shiv Kumar September 8th, 2007 03:11 AM

XH-A1 and Steadycam Merlin shots?
Does anyone have shots they've taken wthi the Steadycam Merlin? If so I'd love ot see them.

I remember ready Steven Demsy's post just before going ona camping trip (hint hint).

Rene Roslev September 8th, 2007 05:17 AM

I posted some a while ago:

Oliver Horn September 8th, 2007 02:15 PM

Here is my (very) humble first attempt.......

Brandon Paschal September 16th, 2007 05:45 PM

Within the rough cut of a project I have done I used the merlin with the A1. From both my experience and reading within dvinfo, practice is a very big part of it.


I'm hopeful this helps,


Shiv Kumar September 16th, 2007 10:14 PM


Sorry for not getting back to your earlier. I kind of lost this post after posting it :).

I'm very impressed with your results esepecially since you didn't have much prior experience. Very smooth and you seem to have got that thing well under control.

I ordered my merlin last week. I have a shoot next week. I was hoping to have it at the begining of this week but it seems the Showcase people don't have a clue about on-line orders. I heard so much about them that I placed an order on-line rather than call them. I have to call tomorrow (Monday) and see where things are at. But from the looks of it I'll only get it mid to end of the week so I'll have to pick up using the things pretty quick. I hope I'll be as good as you all (Oliver and Brandon included):).

Thanks for posting this.

I'll post my footage as soon as I'm able.


Shiv Kumar September 16th, 2007 10:16 PM


Your video (other aspects included) is pretty good. I love the start and how the camera flies away from the door.

Good job.

Shiv Kumar September 16th, 2007 10:20 PM


I got Oliver and Brandon mixed up :). The earlier post was in answer to Brandon. This post is in answer to Oliver.

I liked the start in this one too. So what did you do, just walk up to a stranger? OR did you know the guys. The video was a bit jerky but I'm not sure it was a steadicam usage issue. Could be a YouTube issue. YouTube just screws up the videos as well.

Thanks for posting.

Brandon Paschal September 17th, 2007 07:16 AM

I truly appreciate the encouragement. The footage I see up here is so impressive I am humbled to even post any on my own. I guess everyone has to start somewhere.

I actually purchased the Merlin from Adorama. I always talk to the same guy, and they actually encourage returns if you're not at all happy. The one I have right now is actually the 2nd one they sent. Being in Indiana, not too many video suppliers and it's tough not being able to touch and hold the merchandise. So it was indeed comforting to have someone who can work with you remotely.

With that, I'll catch up with you soon.

Best regards,


P.S. Anyone find a solution for mounting and dismounting the merlin to a rails system?

Shiv Kumar September 17th, 2007 08:59 AM


Yes, we've all got to start at some point. Just wait till you see my first Merlin footage. It looks like I'm going to have it shipped to Denver CO because it's not going to get here on time. Which means I'm going to be taking out of the bag for the first time at the customer's location!

To add to that, I've also bought the Letus35 FE and that's only going to be here on Friday (I leave from here on Saturday night for Denver). I hope to get my 50mm lens here before that (the other lens is being shipped directly to Denver). Not to mention the rails.

I'm sure I'll have a blast!

Charles Papert September 17th, 2007 11:36 AM

Not too much pressure there Shiv!

A lot of the battle for first-timers is getting it balanced without issues (and knowing when it actually is balanced). Then absorbing the basics of operating such as not grabbing onto the gimbal tightly etc.

Sounds like you will have a lot to do in a short time before your shoot. Try to watch as much of the DVD as you can, and download and pore through the manual (it's on the steadicam.com site) as soon as possible. Many of the folks who post here with questions did the "guy thing" and tried to get their rig up and running without really following the directions.

Shiv Kumar September 17th, 2007 01:10 PM



Originally Posted by Charles Papert (Post 745602)
Not too much pressure there Shiv!

And did I tell you this is my first shoot for a customer! I'm just going to be prepared mentally and otherwise and take it in my stride. Lights, camera, action!

I did read an article on the steadicam site to do with posture and stuff. But I'll take your advise and read up on the manual and anything else I can find. That's really good advise. I am getting so anxious while also coordinating (the shipment/arrival) of all the stuff I've bought, that I missed some simple things I could do.



Charles Papert September 17th, 2007 01:18 PM

Oh boy. Well, I would probably be remiss if I didn't advise you (considering all the factors) NOT to start pulling out new and unexplored gear on a job as it will pull your focus away from the many factors you will be handling. Working with new people in a new job category is complicated enough; adding into that equipment that you are not familiar with is really compounding things for your stress level.

It's totally up to you of course. When I was starting out I did similar things, and most of the time it was a mistake. It's really important that one be as familiar as possible with the tools you are using--the client isn't paying us to learn on the job and you end up having to disguise your inexperience as something else ("the damn thing showed up broken!") if you have any hope to be hired again.

Shiv Kumar September 17th, 2007 01:53 PM


I hear you! And you're correct. luckily the steadicam parts are something I'll be doing by myself (as in there is no talent involved in the shots and the customer or staff won't be around either). So if I goof up, I'm by myself. Plus these shots are towards the end (last two days). The first 4 days I'll be totally focused on the interview shots and the "B" roll stuff while working with familiar stuff (the stock camera, lights etc.).

I'd like to be able to use the Letus35 FE for stuff B roll is nothing else. I can almost imagine what those shots would look like! But that depends on the Friday and Saturday experience. If I'm not comfortable or can't get it to work/focus correctly, I'll just leave it behind so I don't get tempted.

But again, what you say is simple but very important. I appreciate the pep talk, reminding me of the important things.


Charles Papert September 17th, 2007 02:04 PM

Gotcha, well that sounds like it may well work out as you won't be under the gun when working the new gear. It gives you a few days (nights/lunch hours) to play around with the goodies too, get a feel for what's involved.

This is reminding me of a job I got something like 16 years ago, with a client for whom I had done a lot of work on Betacam and also with my full-size Steadicam. They were shooting a piece on the local community that required a dozen or more locations a day, basically running in, grabbing a shot and running to the next business, but they wanted something more interesting than a handheld clip, but didn't want to scare the business owners with a lot of gear. The Steadicam JR had just come out, so I suggested we shoot the piece with that and a Hi-8 Handycam and treat the footage in post to hide the less-than-pro picture quality (something you don't really have to worry about with the current crop of DV/HDV cameras!)

I went out and got both the camera and the JR, and spent a few days annoying my roommates with it until I felt ready to tackle the shoot. It was truly liberating to walk in with the whole thing in a bag under my arm; the subjects were all intrigued by this strange looking device but not intimidated, and we got a great series of swooping, energetic clips that cut into a beautiful piece. And the best part was that I had convinced the production company that since I was using the same skills as with my big rig, that I would be paid the same amount to use the JR (plus rental, which paid most of the cost of the gear within that one job). Nice one!

Jack Walker September 17th, 2007 07:59 PM

Steps to quick Merlin Success:
1. Watch the DVD and take a couple of notes about things that come up about amount of weight to use and purpose of different adjustments. (The notes will be a reminder as well as help you remember in the first place.)

2. Use a cookbook setting and understand it based on the principles of the DVD.

3. Relax.

4. The better you are at sports, the quicker the Merlin will be easy to control.

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