Let me start by saying I do own a Steadicam Merlin Vest and the Glidecam HD4000 stabilizer. These are two high quality pieces of gear that will give excellent results, but total over $2100+ US dollars. If you can afford this combination, you won't be disappointed with the results.
For those who can't afford such equipment, I have had the opportunity to try several different more affordable vest systems and posted a video about this (below) along with an Arm/Vest I recommend for budget shooters.
So If you are a budget filmmaker, this more affordable Vest/Arm with Stabilizer Combination that can work just as well as some of the more expensive kits out there. The dual ISO arm vest is easy to get in and out of, easy to adjust to fit, and the arm has a quick release system and can be found bundled with the Wieldy Carbon Fiber Stabilizer (Wieldy review found here). Below is a sample video of the Dual ISO Arm and Vest with Wieldy Stabilizer flying a BlackMagic Cinema Camera.
Even with the additional weight of the BMCC, the stabilizer works great. This has been one of the best alternative Vest/Stabilizer bundles i've used that can deliver results similar to my $2100+ US dollar setup, and the kit is often found for around $800. You can find this Dual Arm Vest + Stabilizer via eBay (click here)
Video Camera Steadycam Dual Arm Stabilizer Load Vest
The vest is very helpful for longer video shots, but is not required. You can always purchase the vest at a later time and just start with the Wieldy Carbon Fiber hand held stabilizer. I have additional information and sample video footage shot with a Wieldy (found here). So if you are just looking for the Hand Held stabilizer, that can be found via eBay (Click Here).
Wieldy DV Pro Iron Triangle Stabilizer