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Steadicam Système de stabilisation Merlin pour caméscopes
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Description du produit
● Notez que les paramètres de configuration d’origine peuvent être différents de ceux habituellement utilisés en France (ex. les paramètres de langue, d'heure et de devise). La garantie du fabricant de ce produit pourrait être différente de celle habituellement fournie avec des produits vendus en France.● Ce produit peut être équipé uniquement d’une prise anglaise.● Compatible DV● Assemblage exclusif de 6 cardans en métal● Charnière "Folding Caliper"● Poignée à cardan brevetée à 3 axes
Meilleurs commentaires des clients
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
Let me start by saying this is neither a toy nor just a tool. It is an instrument. Like a violin, you would not expect to buy one on Amazon and start playing like Itzhak Perlman. Similarly, if you expect to take a Merlin Steadicam out of the box, latch your camera on it and have professional grade results...you will be sorely disappointed. That said, if you have basic skills in videography, decent hand-to-eye coordination and persistence...professional-grade results are achievable. Given the way these results are achieved (with precision balance on an exceptionally well-designed gimbal), I really can't imagine how this would happen with a cheaper variation. Some of the Steadicams out there sell for under $100. Take a good look at just the gimbal mechanism of the Merlin and you will see that manufacturing this one part probably costs more than $100. There is a reason it is so expensive.
Aside from the fact that it actually works, the other beautiful thing about the Merlin is that it is very compact. I took it all over Europe and Russia for a month and filmed a great deal. When it is collapsed, it fits neatly in my camera bag with just the back end sticking out a little bit (see pictures). This is important because you don't want to draw too much attention to yourself with expensive-looking electronics overseas (and in this case, it really is expensive equipment). When I took it out and opened it up, it kept the pre-configured balance flawlessly. Also important - you don't want to be fussing over your expensive electronic equipment when you want to capture a spontaneous moment or when potential thieves are on the prowl. On the few occasions when the balance was slightly off, the adjustments were very easy and quick to make.
When I was first starting out with this, admittedly, the balancing part was a task. It took a great deal of practice. I watched the video and followed the instructions. At one point, I even contacted their customer support. Tiffen has a group dedicated to the Steadicam and the person I worked with helped me tremendously both by e-mail and on the phone. One of the things I learned was that you really need to use two hands to operate the Merlin. If you try to do it like they show in the instructional videos (where they use one hand) your results may be less impressive. Also, the "recipes" for balancing are somewhat misleading. There is no one right way to do it. For example, there are different holes on the mounting plate which theoretically correspond with your specific camera. Along with using those holes, you should use a specific counter weight and arc angle. The rep at Tiffen confirmed that this is just one of almost an infinite combination of configurations that would work equally well. So if you buy this, don't feel frustrated if the "recipe" for your camera isn't working well. Think of that recipe more as a starting point and then you can experiment to find a better match for your equipment. For example, since I was traveling with this, I wanted it to be as tight and light as possible. So I reduced the arc angle to the bare minimum to give it a "lower profile" and reduced counter weights to the bare minimum. I then compensated by changing which mounting holes I used and where I positioned it on the stage. If what I am writing doesn't make much sense, that's because you have to see this and use it to understand. So read this again if you actually buy it.
I am including some pictures of it open, collapsed and in the camera bag in case you also have the same idea I do about traveling with it. I also modified my mounting plate (again, see picture) slightly so that I could leave it permanently mounted on the plate. This way, I could still open and close the memory card door on my camera without removing the mounting plate. This is important because removing the mounting plate potentially requires tools. Again, this will make more sense if you buy the Merlin and look at it.
Although I have very positive feeling about the Merlin, there are limitations to any small gimbal-based Steadicam which I was not aware of before purchasing it. Even the tiniest bit of wind will make your otherwise steady video swing. And when the camera faces forward and you walk forward or back, the camera stays relatively steady. But if the camera faces forward and you walk sideways to get a panning shot, the resultant swinging action will be far more pronounced. This has to do with weight distribution of the camera and the method by which your hands steady the gimbal. Also, unless you plan to buy more mounting plates, it is not very quick and easy to change between cameras. If I wanted to shoot with both my Canon and Nikon, I'd need to bring a flat head AND Philips screw driver with me to swap out the position of the mounting screws. And if you are only using one camera but you have extra batteries of different sizes, this will be a balancing headache as well. If at all possible, you will want all your spare batteries to be the same exact dimension and weight. Lastly, the mounting system is secure and reliable, but there is more play between the mount and the camera than I would have liked. Remember that ANY play will change the balance and this could affect your results. So I actually placed some electrical tape on the mounting plate and on the underside of the camera to create a little bit more resistance and friction (see picture). This did help prevent slippage.
IN CONCLUSION: For small cameras, I am not aware of any other Steadicam on the market that even comes close the Merlin in terms of reproducible and exceptional results. Yes, the Merlin is expensive, but that's because it is made in small quantities in Los Angeles by experts in the field and using high-precision parts that are designed to last. So relative to what it is, I think the price is fair. The Merlin is very compact and light considering what it does. Lastly, it is important to remember this is a precision instrument and it takes dedication and practice to master it - like all instruments.
This is a beautifully made and cleverly designed product that works amazingly well. It's expensive, but when you see the beautiful machine work and finishes you'll understand why it costs what it does. It's truly a professional piece of gear. BUT, don't expect to take it out of the box and use it right away with good results. It takes some time, patience and commitment to become proficient.
The initial setup took me a couple of hours the first time. But once I understood the basic principles, I was able to rebalance the camera with different accessories quite easily, usually in about ten minutes or less. I wrote down the basic settings that worked for the various configurations (camera alone, camera with with shotgun mic, camera with wide angle adapter, camera with both, etc) and that helps a lot.
The major learning curve is learning how to make decent shots with it. The video and manual are quite good for a starting point. Then, it just takes time and practice. After about 5-6 hours of use I felt like I was really getting it. Now, I've got about 10 hours on it and I'm actually getting pretty good. The shots I'm making now are very usable. But each time I use it I get a little better so I know I have a ways to go before I'm really good.. It's actually been fun to learn it and not very frustrating.
So that's the biggest downside. It's not for someone who's casual about their video shooting or isn't willing or able to put in the necessary time and effort. Other cons: My arms get tired after about an hour or so of shooting. Also, forget about using it outside unless it's a very calm day. Even a slight breeze turns the camera and makes it almost uncontrollable.
Overall, I think this is a great product for the right person.