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"Merlin v. JR" - camcorder edition

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#1 Quindaro


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Posted 23 October 2005 - 01:47 PM

Hi. I use a camcorder, one that about two years ago sat right on the prosumer edge, the Panasonic PVDV953D. I've gotten such lovely results with it that I have no intention on changing even as I begin my first documentary in earnest.

So I have been reading the various testimonials to the Merlin with great interest, in particular, those like Mikko who say "now here's something you long-suffering JR owners will really like." However, I am not convinced the Merlin would have such compelling advantages over a JR for a camcorder user like me for the extra $500-$600. I keep reading that Merlin is much stabler when mounting a 5-lb camera on it than the JR. But my setup is, at most, 2 lbs. Surely the JR handles that just as well. Does anyone here know?

Secondly, though I intend mostly to shoot my subject walking and talking, I am intrigued by the idea of trying to do some jiblike shots with the steadi. Is the Merlin better equipped for the creative camcorder user than the JR? Or is it in fact aimed more at the XL1 owner and I'll get just as good results doing the creative stuff on a JR?

I'm not a cheapskate, but I'm happy using a camcorder until I can cost justify professional grade. That said, I like to buy products that will last and will give me good quality results for years to come. So if the Merlin absolutely is that gizmo, I'll buy it. Obviously it's a bargain compared to other products. And eventually I'll get my money back ....

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#2 Tom Wills

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Posted 23 October 2005 - 05:23 PM

Well, that Merlin will never, ever hold anything beyond a camcorder. The FX1 is just about what it can handle. I personally think that the JR is definetly a downgrade, because it just isn't the kind of fit and finish of the Merlin. The merlin is just so much better designed. It is more stable, harder to break, and easier to adjust. It should last you a lot longer than the JR will.

Oh, and the Merlin is specifically designed for people like you, running small consumer-prosumer cameras. Now, the Flyer might be overkill, but the Merlin definetly is not.
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