Mounting a Camera to a Steadicam Merlin

Ask any videographer who is accustomed to backpack shoots, and they will certainly say that the Steadicam Merlin is one of the best inventions made for the film industry. Handheld video shoots often encounter the problem of unsteady camerawork, wobbly shots and dizzying unstable frames. With the Steadicam, handheld camerawork has become smoother and steadier. It’s almost akin to dolly and tripod shots.

The Steadicam Merlin is the latest and most state-of-the-art in stabilizing mounts. You simply mount your camera on it, then balance it properly with the weights that come with it. Once you’ve properly set it up, you simply hold the grip, and you’re good to go.

Before you mount your camera to the Steadicam Merlin, there are several things that you first have to ensure. Try flipping through the manual first to find out how to properly fold and unfold your unit. You should also be familiar with the different parts of the Steadicam Merlin, and the purpose that they serve. Make sure that the Dovetail Plate is properly attached and secured at the stage of the steadicam unit; this will be the attachment accessory for your camera.

When you’ve properly prepared the Steadicam Merlin, here are the steps you should take in mounting your camera on it:

Step 1: Double Check the Steadicam Settings

Make sure that the Dovetail Plate is properly secure. Check the weights on the Steadicam Merlin to ensure you have them in place. Adjust the size of the Arc according to the camera you’re using.

Step 2: Connect the Camera

With the Steadicam Merlin in one hand and your camera in the other, hook the bent part of the plate on the monitor part of the Merlin Stage. Make sure the Dovetail Locking Lever is positioned forward, then let the Dovetail Plate slowly drop into its correct position on the stage. Now swing the lever sideways.

Step 3: Secure the Camera

Slide the Dovetail Plate forward until it is in line with the stage, then swing the Locker Level to the back to secure your camera in place. You’re now ready to shoot with the Steadicam Merlin.