DIY Video and Photography Projects

13Feb Steadicam Smoothee Modified – Baby Merlin


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It was only a couple of weeks ago I posted information on how to modify a Steadicam Smoothee, essentially making it a mini Steadicam Merlin stabilizer (a.k.a Baby Merlin). If you have a small camera, and you’re a fan of the Merlin steadicam, this mod will come in at about 1/5th the price. In the [...]

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02Feb Steadicam Smoothee (modified) Test


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Made some slight mods to support a heavier camera and lens. Now it’s a Canon 7D + Tokina 11-16mm on a Giottos quick release plate. I needed to pull the front heavy camera a bit backwards. Threw on some extra counterweights from a Flycam Nano, and then performed a slight test. Brings me back to [...]

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31Jan GH2 on Baby Merlin (modded Smoothee)


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So the goal was to modify this Steadicam Smoothee for lightweight cameras, but it was surprising to see it fly my Canon 5D Mark II + 50mm F/1.4 Lens. Getting back to the real reason for the mod, I tested out a smaller setup with the GH2 + 20mm Lens (total 1.2lbs). It took [...]

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30Jan DIY Steadicam Smoothee Mod – Cheesycam Baby Merlin


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Yup, within the first few minutes the Steadicam Smoothee walked through the door it was laying helplessly in pieces on my workbench. As I suspected, it’s quite easy to modify this little stabilizer. With a quick release adapter, a top stage that can be fine tuned Left/Right & Forward/Back for easy balance, and one of [...]

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30Jan Can you modify a Steadicam Smoothee?


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I want to say when these things were first released they were over $200 dollars. Ridiculous pricing if all you plan to fly is a cell phone. They have since dropped down in price, and while they are listed at about $180 dollars elsewhere, this month they’re on sale at B&H (click here). Not bad [...]

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23Jan Steady Dragon Camera Stabilizer


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There’s a million different little stabilizers on the market, but about a month ago (maybe a bit longer), the Steady Dragon brand upgraded the Gimbal to a universal joint. This type of gimbal provides the maximum amount of range compared to the little Ball-and-Socket type like found in the Hague MMC. The Steady Dragon [...]

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21Jan Skyler MiniCam DSLR Video Stabilizer


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The Skyler MiniCam has been a work in progress floating around the Internet for a very long time, but this is the first time i’ve seen it available on eBay. A clever little stabilizer which stands on it’s own like a tripod, looks to have great build quality, and very simple fine tuning knobs. A [...]

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12Jan New Gear – Steadicam Merlin 2


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Today Tiffen announced at CES a newly designed Steadicam Merlin 2. One interesting additions is an upgrade to the handle that includes a remote to start / stop video. Not available in retail stores yet, but a full FAQ section and PDF user manual is available on the Tiffen website http://www.tiffen.com/steadicam_merlin2.html

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04Jan Life After Death – Steadicam Vest


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Preparing for a last minute shoot today, I found my Steadicam Merlin Vest had cracked on the upper chest piece. Crap. The quick fix for me today was to use the top portion of the Konova Vest and mate it with the Steadicam Merlin Arm (which is held on with the waist area). There was [...]

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11Sep Hollywood UltraLight Video Camera Stabilizer


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Another Hollywood Ultralight turns up on auction. This ultralight stabilizer is a discontinued product, but works like a mini Glidecam (as seen in the video demonstration above). It can support cameras of up to 4lbs, but with all the new GF3 like cameras with HD video, it’s too bad they don’t start making these things [...]

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17Aug No Name Stabilizer


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(Above) Video was just for fun, don’t take it seriously
I’ve probably tested more stabilizers than the Brady Bunch Family has fingers and toes (combined). Not everything makes it on the blog, because it just ends up as wasted sapce. Now i’m not saying some of these stabilizers ‘won’t fly’. What I look into and weigh [...]

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05Aug First Look – Konova Vest Arm Video Camera Stabilizer


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A closer look at the Konova video camera Stabilizer Vest and Arm. Let’s start here. Pricing? Not very competitive. Everyone knows about my Hybrid setup using the Steadicam Merlin Vest / Arm + Glidecam HD4000. This hybrid setup works extremely well and you can probably put one together yourself for around $2300 or so. The [...]

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15Jul Testing a Stabilizer w/ Vest and Arm


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Testing out some new gear here. Purposely a very poor image with badges erased. The vest and arm are very impressive, but we’ll see how the actual stabilizer performs. It’s not a Steadicam or Glidecam brand name. Unless you can tell which one this is by the image, i’ll have a review on this item [...]

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05Jun ASXMOV Video Camera Stabilizer Vest Kit


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Anyone know much about ASXMOV? It’s another Steadicam like vest and Stabilizer kit. Pretty poor old school demo video (above), but none-the-less somewhat effective. A single unit shows up online with total pricing on the kit (including shipping), cost about $1100 less than Wondlan’s new Leopard stuff.

ASXMOV Video Camera Stabilizer Vest Kit

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03Jun Wondlan Demo – Leopard Stabilizer


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Wondlan’s new Leopard Stabilizer system comes in along with some of the cheapest Dual Arm Vest + Stabilizer kits. How well does it work? Hmm..There’s a few videos that are showing up over at Vimeo for you to take a look at. One demo above, and an instructional type video showing how to assemble the [...]

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25May Steadicam Merlin – Quick Overview


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No matter how many Honda Civics are out on the road, there will always be the other guy who’d rather drive the more expensive Porsche. Sure it’s apples to oranges, but if you just need to make a trip to the grocery store, the end result is the same. My point being that a flying [...]

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