Jump to content



Photo

Moving from Merlin to Pilot


  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 Mike Dunn

Mike Dunn

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Columbus, Ohio, USA

Posted 26 May 2013 - 07:51 AM

Hi all,

 

Long time reader, first time poster.

 

I'm new to all of this. Mostly a Steadicam enthusiast at this point. I've owned a Merlin2 for a few months now and am considering plunking down the money for a Pilot. I've enjoyed working with the Merlin (despite a lot of reading about how it's endlessly frustrating to use/balance). Ultimately, I would like to work professionally, however I'm really just enjoying this as a hobby at this point. (I'm not independently wealthy--just have a very supportive spouse).

 

Question is, is "big" Steadicam use/balancing (i.e., Pilot and bigger) so dramatically different from the Merlin that it is worth the money just for the learning experience? I considered renting from somewhere around here, but as with the Merlin, the time needed just to balance the Pilot would probably make buying more sensible.

 

Thanks,

Mike


Edited by Mike Dunn, 26 May 2013 - 07:54 AM.

  • 0

#2 Mark Schlicher

Mark Schlicher

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 776 posts
  • Nashville, TN

Posted 26 May 2013 - 08:21 AM

Is it worth the money? That's a subjective call.

 

Do you have a vest-and-arm Merlin system or just the handheld? If Vest and arm, I think the change is not as dramatic (but the cost to by just a Pilot sled is not as dramatic either). But is is still significant.

 

But I would say the difference in operation between a handheld Merlin and any vest and arm system is indeed very dramatic.

 

You will also experience a dramatic shift in feel (due to the increased masses) between a Pilot and full-size rigs (Pilot is by no means considered a fullsize rig by professionals). But not, in my opinion, as big as the shift from a handheld rig to a vest and arm.

 

Strongly suggest you find a Pilot rig to try it on, at a rental house, an operator, or a dealer. That way you can decide for yourself.


  • 0

#3 Victor Lazaro

Victor Lazaro

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 1230 posts
  • Sunnyside Queens, NY

Posted 26 May 2013 - 08:37 AM

There are many advantages to moving to a center post based sled with arm. But make sure that while buying, you select a sled that will cover the weight range for your usage now and for the future. The feel is very different, but the math and the logic behind the Merlin and the pilot is the same and you should be able to adapt fast with a smooth learning curve.
  • 1

#4 Evrim KAYA

Evrim KAYA

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 301 posts

Posted 26 May 2013 - 03:47 PM

i suggest you to take a 2 or 3 day workshop. That way you'll get proper introduction to operation conventional style (center post) rigs as well as try different small to midsize steadicams. if you want to be a professional steadicam operator, taking a workshop (from Tiffen or other reputable sources) is a must and surely money well spent.

 

welcome to the community and fly safe.


  • 1

#5 Lars Erik

Lars Erik

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 543 posts
  • Norway

Posted 27 May 2013 - 02:55 AM

Hello Mike,

welcome. I would do as Evrim suggest. Attend a workshop. It's a different ball game using a vest and arm, even though the object of both items is to stabilize the camera.

A pilot will cost you about $4k, not included stand, sandbag, batteries, cables etc. So spending some money on a course is a good thing before splashing out that kind of cash.

Good luck
  • 0

#6 Mike Dunn

Mike Dunn

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Columbus, Ohio, USA

Posted 27 May 2013 - 08:09 AM

Thanks all. Great insights. You all nailed what I was alluding to but didn't articulate very well--the difference between handheld and arm/vest.

 

I do not currently own the Merlin arm/vest. In the back of my mind, I think I was always figuring the Merlin would be temporary, so that money would be better off going toward the Pilot eventually.

 

Thanks,
Mike


  • 0




rebotnix Technologies

Omnishot Systems

Boland Communications

IDX

PLC - Bartech

SkyDreams

Paralinx LLC

Ritter Battery

Varizoom Follow Focus

BOXX

Betz Tools for Stabilizers

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Wireless Video Systems

PLC Electronics Solutions

Engineered Cinema Solutions

Teradek

GPI Pro Systems