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Steadicam Professional Video Stabilizers Merlin 2 (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

2.6 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
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Price: $295.00 & FREE Shipping. Details
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  • Steadicam offers light, agile, and seamless video shooting
  • Very lightweight and incredibly stable
  • Counterbalancing weight can be precisely adjusted to balance cameras from 0.5 to 5 pounds
  • Folding caliper hinge allows instant fold-up
  • Perfect for shoulder-mounted shooting
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Technical Details


Product Description

The Steadicam Merlin offers light, agile, and seamless shooting for today's videographer. Ultra-light and ultra-compact, the Merlin allows you to keep up with the action more easily than ever. Designed by Garrett Brown, the inventor of the original Steadicam JR, the Merlin is the next generation hand held Steadicam system. This stabilization system is about half the weight and four times as stable as the JR. Yet, it can move almost as smoothly as the big $60,000 rigs used in Hollywood. The Merlin lets you "fly" wherever the scene takes you - up and down steps, indoors and outside, through crowds - almost anywhere, with precise, elegant control and ease. Its quick release mount lets you instantly swap camera connections between your Merlin and any tripod. Merlin's design significantly reduces fatigue. It's so lightweight; it weighs less than a can of soda. With a compact DV, balanced and ready to go, the Merlin weighs about two pounds. Its rigid construction permits longer focal lengths than ever imaginable with a hand-held stabilizer. Merlin's unique dual extended weight system greatly increases inertial stability. And its counterbalancing weight can be precisely adjusted to balance cameras from 0.5 to five pounds. The new patent-pending "Folding-Caliper" hinge allows instant fold-up, perfect for shoulder-mounted shooting, and just as quickly, returns precisely for hand-held camera work. Whether you're an independent camera professional or running the corporate AV department; a wedding and event videographer or real estate agent; enthusiast or film student, the Steadicam Merlin is right for you. What's in the Box: Steadicam Merlin, base unit, removable dovetail plate, one start weight, six middle weights, two end weights, camera mounting screw, locating pin, and accessory mounting tripod plate.

Product Information

Product Dimensions 4.9 x 13.4 x 9.4 inches
Item Weight 1.4 pounds
Shipping Weight 6.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
ASIN B007A0EFUE
Item model number MERLIN2
Customer Reviews
2.6 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

2.6 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #705 in Camera & Photo > Camera & Photo Accessories > Professional Video Accessories > Stabilizers
#926 in Electronics > Camera & Photo > Video > Camera Supports & Stabilizers
Date first available at Amazon.com March 12, 2012

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
This is my first steadicam mount. It takes some learning (the book and DVD were excellent in that regard), but once you master it, it's surprising how well it works. And once you work out the calibration (which admittedly was a long, frustrating process as a first timer), it's set forever, so you don't have to keep re-balancing it all (unless you swap cameras or lenses, in which case you have to re-calibrate from scratch).
For the record, I used this with a Panasonic GH1 with a wide-angle "pie" lens, which I worried might be too small and lightweight for this; since it seems to have been made with larger cameras in mind. But it works just fine with it. A heavier camera may've been easier/quicker to calibrate; but once you work it out, it's fine.
The product is very sturdy, comes in a nice, solid carrying case and the adjustment controls are very smartly placed at the handle.
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Verified Purchase
If you are willing to carefully read the manual and view the DVD, patiently follow the instructions for all your different cameras/lens/accessory combinations, and then practice to develop the proper technique, you will be amply rewarded with an amazing stabilization system. Brilliant design. Easy to fine-tune for different scenarios once you have done the work described above.
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Verified Purchase
Canon t2i, Sigma 18-55 2.8 (or canon 40mm 1.8, or rokinon 16mm 2.1 depending on the day.)

I despise this thing.

Everyone said "be patient, it takes some practice to balance and work with." I'm relatively everyone who has used it is just as resentful of it as I am and is trying to make everyone else as miserable as they are, because as far as I can tell the only purpose this thing has is to screw with the poor saps who purchase it.

I've lost track of the amount of hours I've spend trying to get this (insert expletive here) thing balanced and working as intended. I've watched the DVD. I've read the notes on the forums and watched more youtube videos than I can count on 6 hands and an abacus, and still been completely unable to get this #%$#*&^$*&%^ing thing to balance and work as advertised. Seriously. There's one guy who had to buy a baseball catcher's chest guard and bolt the merlin to it to get it to balance properly. I'm not kidding. He's on youtube. Look him up. A CATCHER'S CHEST GUARD. YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE TO USE A CHEST GUARD TO GET THIS THING WORKING THE WAY IT'S SUPPOSED TO.

I hate this unit.

I'm sure someone out there has the patience and skill to get this stupid device balanced and functioning as advertised. That person is surely not me, and I'm tired of wasting hours on trying to get this frigging thing to work the way it's supposed to. I'm going to sell mine just so I don't have to look at it on my warehouse shelf taunting me anymore.
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Verified Purchase
This is a pretty complex product, but once you get it perfectly balanced, it's pretty fun.

If there was a way to make it less complex (I change lenses often, and I have to re-balance it every single time) I would give it 5 stars. Unfortunately I'm not sure that's possible.
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Verified Purchase
I had no idea why it is more expensive than other stabilizer of this size and weight. But after trying it with my Sony NEX5N and Canon 5DMk2, I do not regret any penny I spent on this. It works perfectly. I seriously recommend reading the manual and watching the video tutorials that come with the unit, they really help setting up the stabilizer. It requires a lot of patience and fine tuning. Every piece of it is well built and the whole thing feels sturdy and unbelievably light weight. The gimbal is very smooth, precise, and fragile (by saying fragile I am just saying it is very delicate and it is most of the time exposed, but it does hold a lot of weight), so I would take extra care of it when using and storing the unit.
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Verified Purchase
I rarely write negative reviews, but the Merlin 2 was not suitable for my Sony Handycam HDR-CX130 which was 10.5 oz (299 grams). Setup was a bit of a learning curve but I was able to balance the camera but it had extreme stability issues in my option. I have seen the term "flightiness" used to describe what I experienced and it basically comes down to the fact that my camera was too light even though the Merlin 2 specs range from .5lbs. It was never stable enough to use effectively. I have read that you can buy weights for the camera to help offset this effect, but I would expect this to be included for the price I paid. Inertia won this round!
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Verified Purchase
Does it do what they claim? Sort of. Once you get the thing perfectly balanced with your camera, is when the problems start. The slightest motion, up , down or sideways starts a pendulum effect which can only be controlled by using a second hand. The slightest breeze (like from running) causes the camera to rotate. Again, requires a second hand to stop. You can not put enough weight on it to stop that effect and still have the camera balanced. If you are done shooting for the day and you remove the camera, even after marking everything, the process for balancing starts all over as you can NOT fold up the Merlin with all of it's weights on it and return it to it's carrying case. You can forget about zooming in or out while using this product as it can not be done without moving the camera. For the money it is not a completely finished product as far as I a m concerned. I am in the process of returning mine for a refund. With the exception of running, I have found that I have more control just using my hands and am more steady
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