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Pilot without arm + vest or going for the merlin ?

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#1 Bart Wierzbicki

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 03:33 AM

Hey guys,

I have been using my steadicam Pilot now for about 2 years and I really love it.
But because I do mostly wedding videos I have to work fast and move quick so I started using
the Pilot without the arm & vest.
I'm happy with the result.
But in the way I'm using it now (handheld) ... isn't it then just the same as a merlin ?

So I was thinking of selling my Pilot and purchasing a merlin instead.
It's also for handheld and smaller in size so even easier to carry around.

I used the merlin in a shop in our town, but I wasn't happy with the result.
It felt really wobbly and not as steady as with the Pilot.
Is it just because it may have not been balanced correctly or is there still a difference
in handling it ?

Now in my opinion, because of the bigger size of the Pilot, I think it is easier to stabilize
a shot (when using the pilot handheld).
So because of that I think it's best to keep on working with the Pilot instead of replacing it with
the Merlin.

what are your ideas ?
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#2 Sam Morgan Moore

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 12:15 PM

The pilot spreads the mass out miles further than the merlin so is more intertially stable

I would stick with it - if you have somewhere to stash it while shooting on sticks - or whatever other shots you do

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#3 Michael Shu

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 06:45 PM

I started with weddings with the merlin as well and although it was a bit of a hassle moving to the pilot (the docking stand, arm and vest do take much longer to set up) I do swear by the pilot for great shots during events for the same reasons Sam pointed out.

I recommend using the merlin handheld for tightly scheduled (and tight spaced) events like pre-ceremony and some tightly scheduled ceremonies, then busting out the pilot during ceremonies with good amount of prep time and receptions.

The merlin is a tricky little beast depending on how much weight you put on it. If you add more weight to the top and extend the spar, you'll have much more stability in terms of maintaining horizons. I prefered a longer drop time on the merlin and used finer hand control to avoid the pendulum effect of suddenly changing movements in response to the unscripted events.

Edited by Michael Shu, 03 May 2011 - 06:46 PM.

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