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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Video - Blackbird on the Steadicam Merlin Arm and Vest

Here's a short video demonstration I made with the Sony FS100 showing the Blackbird stabilizer on the Steadicam Merlin arm & vest. The 'behind the scenes' footage was captured using a Sony NEX-5N.

You can mount the Blackbird stabilizer directly on the Steadicam arm and vest using the standard Merlin arm post. For this video I've used the optional Z-post (review of the Z-post) from Camera Motion Research, because it gives you more clearance between the arm and the stabilizer.

There were a few parts in the forrest I wanted to capture on camera and the only way to get there was to walk there. The Blackbird (review of the Blackbird) is a fantastic stabilizer and it's great to use it in combination with the Steadicam arm & vest system. I was able to keep filming non-stop for about 1,5 hours without getting too tired.

Hope you enjoy watching the video!

Equipment used in this video:

- Blackbird stabilizer
- CMR Z-post
- Steadicam Merlin arm & vest
- Sony NEX-FS100
Manfrotto (MN-357) Sliding Plate Adapter
Tokina 12-24mm superwide zoom lens
Novoflex adapter (Nikon lens to NEX E-mount)
- Sony NEX-5N


  1. Hello, very nice work.I admire that. Can you give me an advice? I own blackbird for few years, my problem is I cannot get the camera to point straight and stay there.It panns to the sides all the time. When I want to walk straight, I have to touch it so it doesnt go to left/right, but then it is useless.Thank you. Petr

    1. Hi, it's a bit difficult to try and give advice without being able to see what's going on, but I'll try. :) When filming outside wind can cause the camera to start panning and you'll need to try and control the gimbal with a very light touch to keep the camera aimed at your subject. Also, if you start to walk when the camera isn't completely hanging still, it will affect the flight. Perhaps it's best to try and re-balance your camera by following the steps as explained in the manual. If this doesn't help you can contact Camera Motion Research and ask for their support. I'm sure they can help you get to the bottom of this and sort it out.

    2. Ok thanks, for your answer, but what I meant exactly: when the system is still, not moving, I can see the front of the lens is moving(shaking) to the left and right for few milimeters all the time. I cannot get it freezy to the front. When I move, this "tiny shaking" to sides stops. But when I stop moving, it starts again. What do you think? Blackbird, 5dMarkII, EF 17-35mm,EF 50mm