DSLR Stabilizer Antique?

Don't count out the Steadicam Jr.! This design might be old, but it's the same basic principle as the latest Merlin going for $800 dollars. I picked up the Steadicam JR as my first Stabilizer for around $118 dollars for my Canon 5D Mark II. Remember these things were designed to fly VHS Cameras (heavy). In fact, the Gimbal that is used on the Steadicam Merlin IS THE EXACT same Gimbal design on the old Steadicam Jr. You can find Steadicam Jr's at auction for dirt cheap if you look hard enough. Check out these Steadicam Jr's on eBay. Click Here.
steadicam jr merlin design

14 thoughts on “DSLR Stabilizer Antique?

  1. Just wondering whether one of these is a better bet than hacking a Steadicam Smoothee for a DSLR like a 60D (with 10-22 and Videomic)?

  2. Emm

    Post author

    @Rory Anderson - The easiest way is to have the camera settings so that everything is in focus. Close down on the aperture, focus to infinity. No matter where you go, things should look fairly in focus.

  3. OhhWell

    The JR is a great stabilizer for the price it can be had these days. It acn be a little tough to get the center of gravity to where it needs to be but once you do, the balancing of the camera on the fly is very easy thanks to the adjustment knobs.

    I borrowed a friends and tried to balance a GH2 on it. It was exceptionaly tough due to the low weight of the GH2. I imagine if I had removed the silly LCD screen it would have been much easier but as it was not mine, that was not an option. I would up using part of a shoulder mount system to raise the GH2 and add some weight at the same time. It worked like a charm.

    The JR is very usefull for DSLRs as long as you have enough weight above the Gimble. you cannot get quick adjustment knobs on anything new below a Merlin or GlidecamHD.

    There are a couple small downsides of course. One is that the hinge leading to the baseplate and gimble does not lock and will sometimes shift a small amount throwing the balance off. Second is that the wide plastic arm of the unit can make it a little tough to direct attitude and rotation while moving. Third, the JR (Like the Merlin) has a very small sweet spot. When it is in the zone and balanced it is amazing but it just takes a little bit to throw it out.

  4. imgpro615

    i have this stabiliser and i love it...used it on hi8, mini dv, and HDV cameras...it is only right that i use it with my DSLR[s]

  5. Dana

    I followed the link to the ebay steadicam but its not the same one being used here. I don't see the one being used here anywhere on ebay. Any leads?

  6. tmmm

    i just got the JR and i have no clue where to start. how do i get this adjusted? i am looking online for a video that explains the adjustments but one does not exist. please help

  7. Emm

    Post author

    The gimbal is exactly the same for the JR. and Merlin. Originally they were both available in plastic, then upgraded to Metal. They sell the replacement metal gimbals for those who purchased the units with plastic gimbals and want to upgrade.

  8. Robert

    Hi Emm, I believe you mentioned about a metal replacement gimbal for the Steadicam JR in one of your videos. is it the same one as the Merlin (item# 801-7100)?

    like this one: https://bit.ly/d0dNYI

    if not what replacement gimbal did you use.

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  10. Kay O. Sweaver

    Thanks for the heads up. I was thinking of buying a U-Flycam (httpss://thecinecity.com/tcc/product.php?productid=35&cat=103&page=1) but I'd rather an old SteadiCam I think.

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