The Steadicam Merlin is considered to be the lightest and most advanced hand-held stabilizer for compact to medium size camcorders. The Steadicam Vest upgrade, also available for rental from Camera Hire provides expanded versatility to any production employing the Merlin, or alternatively the HD4000 Glidecam unit which can connect to this vest with an adapter piece.
The new Merlin Arm and Vest make extended shooting nearly effortless. Even with heavy cameras – up to seven pounds (3.2kg) with the optional Metal Gimbal – the Merlin can now fly for hours without undue fatigue, and preserve all the flexibility and reach of the operator’s own arms.
The 1.2kg Merlin Vest is the lightest and thinnest ever made – it can even be worn under a tuxedo jacket – and it’s designed to fit the entire gamut of human sizes and shapes. The Merlin Vest provides complete comfort and functionality for extended productions and long continuous shots. All adjustments are ‘no-tools, including the right-arm/left-arm changeover.
The Merlin Arm also provides enormous vertical lifting range (28” or 71cm) and full ‘iso-elasticity’ so you’ll need only ounces of force to maintain the highest or lowest lens heights (from way above the head to below the waist). Like its big brothers, the Merlin Arm includes two-axis adjustment of the arm-to-body angle so that people of differing shapes can adjust the lifting angle to their most comfortable posture.
Together the Merlin Arm and Vest actually increase your shooting options. The operator can ease the Merlin back against the body and shoot ‘handheld’, with both hands on the camera, and fly seamlessly back off the shoulder and continue moving. With practice operators can fly the Merlin one-handed right off of the mounting post during a shot (docking the arm to the vest with the other hand) and execute those unique Merlin shot opportunities, ultra-low- or ultra-high-angles – and then slip it back onto the arm to continue the shot.
With the new Merlin Arm and Vest, one will be able to shoot longer and ‘fly’ more easily and more precisely than with anything else on the market.