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    #11
    Junior Member
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    Jul 2007
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    san antonio tx
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikkowilson View Post
    Merlin w/ Arm & Vest by far. It's a fantastic two section tools-free Iso-elastic arm, whereas the Smooth Shooter has an ok single section, tools-required non-iso arm. The single section affects operability - you can't get the lens up to eye height with the SS, not a problem with the Merlin. And the iso elasticy of the Merlin arm is a huge difference in feel. And the need for tools & taking the sled off the SS arm makes it a lot of work to adjust.

    Merlin vest is lighter, and it has a proper socket block adjustment for the arm connection, so you can always stand up stragith with it - the SS is missing this adjustment, which is a critical feature for proper opeterating, and operator comfort/safty. (Standing incorrectly due to a poorly fitting vest can cause serious back trouble with time.)

    Merlin Sled also works much better handheld if you so choose, and is MUCH easier and faster to adjust (especially final trim) then the Glidecam 4000.

    There's only a few hundred bucks in it, at that point, it's WELL worth the difference to get the fully featured system over the "low cost alternative" ... and if you want a Glidecam X-10, their dual arm-section version of the SS, it will actually cost you more than the Steadicam anyway. What the Steadicam costs extra in quality and furetures, they have managed to reduce with intelligent design over the kock-off units.

    - Mikko

    thanks a bunch
    -seth


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    #12
    Senior Member
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    Dec 2004
    Location
    Lafayette, LA
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    Mikko,

    First off thanks for all of the online info you have put up all over the web on the steadicam. Very helpful stuff.

    Upon the annoucement of the Pilot I was sold, however now I am considering putting out a little more and just going ahead and getting a flyer, which would allow me to work with full size cameras like the 500.

    Other than the additional weight capacity of the Flyer, can you tell me what other differences I would find between the flyer and the pilot?

    I'll be mounting an HVX200 on whichever I choose, often with a mattebox. I am even looking at the lightweight teleprompter from prompterpeople. But while the prompter technically is within the weight limit of the pilot, I am concerned that it might just be too much.


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    #13
    Steadi-Guru mikkowilson's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
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    Juneau, Alaska, USA
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    Generally you are best off getting a rig with some extra weight capacity on it. Buying a rig that is immediately maxed out can come up short too fast sometimes, it's always good to allow yourself space to grow.

    I'd also recommend attending a workshop (preferably before you buy) if you are serious about Steadicam. They have Flyer specific workshops (that also pertain very much to the Pilot, as well as all other rigs in a broader sense). Check out www.thesteadicamworkshops.com for more info on those.

    - Mikko
    Mikko Wilson
    Steadicam Owner / Operator - Juneau, Alaska, USA
    +1 (907) 321-8387 - mikkowilson@hotmail.com - www.mikkowilson.com


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    #14
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    Jul 2006
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    It sounds like you'll be upgrading rather quickly if you're already adding things like teleprompters; by the time you add a wireless focus system and a video transmitter (and you eventually will) you'll be much better off starting with something like the Flyer that will give you some headroom.

    I speak from experience. I started with a Flyer, outgrew it within two months, upgraded to a Clipper 2, outgrew it within seven months and moved up to the Clipper 24. That's right, I bought three new rigs from Tiffen within nine months which I think was a record for them. Even now, I wish I had the extra $20k to have went direct to the Ultra 2. Buy for growth whatever you do.

    Also, I would highly recommend one of the Flyer workshops as well. It's almost a necessity and definitely gets you started. I'm assisting Peter Abraham with a Flyer workshop here in Las Vegas January 12-13th. and I think there are a few spots open still.

    All the best!

    Robert Starling, SOC
    Steadicam Owner Operator
    Las Vegas


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    #15
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    Dec 2004
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    Lafayette, LA
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    Hey Robert and Mikko,

    Thanks for the replies. Robert, I guess it's safe to say that once you got started you were hooked huh? hehe

    I've definitely settled on getting a flyer and Peter is giving a workshop in Atlanta in March, so I think I'll catch that one since it will be closest.

    I've been concerned about being able to control focus, thinking that I would start out with a wired focus control for remote focus and zoom:

    http://varizoom.com/products/controls/vzrockpzfi.html


    Will the cable affect the steadicam very much? I should be loaded down pretty well and I don't expect to be doing really crazy stuff with the rig. I am also thinking that my depth of field will be pretty deep and I mostly plan to stay wide, but it might be nice to tweak the framing if I can't physically move around in a spot.


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    #16
    Steadi-Guru mikkowilson's Avatar
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    A small cable will work fine on a heavier rig. This probabaly wouldn't work very well on the Merlin (for example), but it'll be just fine with the Flyer once you figure out the best way to route the cable.

    - Mikko
    Mikko Wilson
    Steadicam Owner / Operator - Juneau, Alaska, USA
    +1 (907) 321-8387 - mikkowilson@hotmail.com - www.mikkowilson.com


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    #17
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    Oct 2006
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    Los Angeles
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    Bringing back an old thread from the dead, does anybody have recommendations on how to route a varizoom iris and focus control on the pilot? I have a DVX with shotgun mic and camera light attached so I have decent weight and inertia, but I'm afraid the thick cable of the varizoom will be very difficult to get working with the pilot.

    Any help would be great. Thanks!
    Michael Shu
    The Onyx Cinema Team
    Alumiq Wedding Cinema
    www.onyxcinema.com
    www.alumiq.com


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