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Problems with 7D Merlin & Vest

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#1 Ben Seed

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 07:14 AM


I recently bought a steadicam merlin and the vest & arm system. I've previously used friend's glidecams and got good result, so I'm not a complete novice when it comes to stabilisation. I've not managed to get my merlin shots to be perfect yet, but it's looking pretty good and I can at least see with practise that it'll improve. So the merlin used on its own is fine.

But as soon as I mount it to the vest/arm, I cannot get a steady shot. The arm is balanced nicely, and sits properly when I'm not holding it. The merlin appears to be be balanced, as when I remove it from the vest, I can walk and get smooth shots. But when on the vest the footage jerks around from my footsteps and camera is very hard to keep still whilst holding the gimble gently - harder than without the vest. I'm a pretty steady cameraman, and I just can't see how this problem will improve with practise.

I'm using a canon 7D with 30mm / 15mm lenses - I balance it out depending on which one I'm using.

I followed all start up instructions. Is there something I am missing, or a technique that I'm unaware of, because I'm really dissapointed with the results the best gives.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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#2 Sydney Seeber

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 01:57 PM

I see a lot of these posts. Personally I have several stabilizers, from a Merlin to a full sized rig. To be entirely honest the smaller rigs (Merlin) weren't designed for the DSLRs everyone (Including myself) puts on them. Granted a 7D with a 30mm lens isn't THAT heavy, but it's still near the maximum useful range of a Merlin. The guy who asked about the 1D Mark IV with 24-70mm lens has definitely maxed the Merlin's usefulness. I know because I've done it myself.

In addition, the arm/Merlin combo is not a useful product to me. Someone operating a smaller camera would be much better off using the Pilot sled than a Merlin. I just don't think the design of it works well with an arm. The Merlin is a great product... For completely handheld work. I'm of the opinion that once the weight range requires an arm to help offset the weight, just go with one of those setups, not the hybrid Merlin setup. Just my opinion and it probably doesn't help much, but I'm afraid you may be asking for something that just isn't going to happen with your current equipment list.
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