Arm & Vest System for Steadicam Merlin
Tiffen's Low Cost SteadicamsTiffen/Steadicam offers multiple options in the low-cost stabilizer market.
The Steadicam Pilot (above left) is a low cost ($3,995) Steadicam for cameras weighing up to about 10lbs. It features: A double section silky smooth Iso-Elastic arm with an amazing 28" boom range - which is equal to or more than any other arm on the Market except for Steadicam's own higher end arms. The arm uses the same technology as the highly regard Flyer and G-series Steadicam arms.
A telescoping carbon fiber sled that is internally wired for 12v power and Composite video.
A tools free micro adjustable X-Y camera stage with removable camera plate.
The Steadicam Pilot is available initially with a choice of a 3.5" color 4:3 LCD monitor and a 12v AA battery back, or a 5.8" 16:9/4:3 color LCD and V-mount/Anton Bauer battery mounts.
The sled base is highly adjustable for quick and easy balancing by moving the monitor, battery, and entire base. PLUS the base also accepts standard Steadicam Merlin counterweights to be screwed on in various locations as necessary to quickly add stabilizing mass.
The Pilot comes with a super light weight low profile vest with standard features for fast adjust ability of fit, a fully adjustable "socket-block" to trim the arm to fly level and the option to mount the arm on either side of the operator.
The sled and arm both break down into components for light and compact transportation. You can fit the whole system into a backpack. When you don't need the capacity and features of the Steadicam Flyer, the Steadicam Pilot is the perfect rig for most 1/3" cameras.
The Steadicam Merlin can now carry more weight thanks to an optional upgrade of an all-metal gimble that allows the Merlin to carry cameras weighing up to 7lbs. (this would get tiring quickly, so...)
The same arm and vest from the Steadicam Pilot system, are available as a kit with the metal Merlin Gimble and additional Merlin counterweights, as the "Merlin Arm & Vest" system (above right-$1,995) which allows the operator to shoot with a 7lb camera payload on the Merlin for (quite literally) hours! It's so light and comfortable that the camera will run out of tape before the operator tires..
The same arm as the Pilot provides for that huge 28" boom range - that can be increased by simply flying the Merlin off the arm into "handheld mode" mid shot (I tried this today myself, takes a bit of practice but very doable). The arm breaks down into 2 pieces for fast transportation with the folded Merlin and the packed lightweight vest.
- Mikko Wilson - www.mikkowilson.com
The official list prices:
The Steadicam Merlin Arm & Vest. Includes metal gimble upgrade for Merlin and some extra counterweights. (Does not include the Merlin itself) - $1995
The Steadicam Pilot. With 5.8" 16:9 monitor & professional (V-mount/AB) Battery mount. (Includes all you need, including the dock - but not the stand itself (as many people already have a stand) - $3995
The Steadicam "Co-Pilot". With 3.5" 4:3 monitor and 12v AA battery pack. Includes the same other gear as the Pilot. - $3750
*special thanks to Mikko Wilson
Merlin Accessory Plate
Complete the Steadicam JR/VX-1000 Info Tour--all written by John BruneBack to the homepage!
Setup Recipes for Handheld Steadicam!
Steadicam FAQ & Tiffen info!
URGENT-Screws Loose on the VX-1000!
Caring for the JR Monitor!
Balancing the VX-1000 with a Wide Lens Adapter!
Using the XLR-PRO with the Handheld Steadicam!
Attaching Microphones & Headphones to Your Steadicam!
Tips and Techniques
The Support Gear Page!
Steadicam User Gallery!
Using the Zoom Commander Pro with the Cobra Crane!
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