Hauppauge, NY, January, 2008 - Steadicam, a division of The Tiffen Company, confirmed that the latest technological advances to the award-winning Steadicam Merlin have earned it the prestigious CES 08 Innovations Award.
The world's most advanced ultra-light Arm and Vest with Six-Bearing Metal Gimbal has been recognized with the prestigious CES 2008 Innovations Design and Engineering Honoree Award for the most innovative consumer electronics product in the industry's hottest product categories. The Innovation Award has become the hallmark for the best designed products in consumer technology.
The Steadicam Merlin is by far the world’s lightest and most advanced hand-held stabilizer. Ultra-rigid aluminum construction enables stable moving shots at unprecedented focal lengths, and inventor Garrett Brown’s unique Folding-Caliper hinge extends and retracts to balance cameras as light as one-half pound, yet it automatically seeks the compact storage position.
By itself Merlin weighs just 13 ounces (.36kg) without its stainless steel add-on weights. With the standard gimbal, Merlin was rated to carry camcorders weighing only as much as six pounds (2.7 kg). Now, with the new, precision-machined Six-Bearing Metal Gimbal and a few additional weights, Merlin can balance camcorders weighing as much as 7-1/2 pounds. Of course the additional weight will require more effort.
The Merlin manual and video teach techniques that help share the load with both hands, and this works for grabbing those quick, spectacular moving shots, but shooting entire weddings, or sporting events or theatrical performances can become strenuous, even with lighter cameras.
The new Merlin Arm and Vest make extended shooting nearly effortless. Even with heavy cameras – up to seven pounds (3.2kg) with the optional Metal Gimbal – the Merlin can now fly for hours without undue fatigue, and preserve all the flexibility and reach of the operator’s own arms.
The 2.6lb (1.2kg) Merlin Vest is the lightest and thinnest ever made – it can even be worn under a tuxedo jacket – and it’s designed to fit the entire gamut of human sizes and shapes. For 23kg eight-year-olds or 150kg linebackers, the Merlin Vest provides complete comfort and functionality for extended productions and long continuous shots. All adjustments are ‘no-tools, including the right-arm/left-arm changeover.
The Merlin Arm is ultra-light and extremely capable. It’s a 7/8 scale version of its big brothers, the Flyer, G-50 and G-70 arms, and provides the same legendary performance and flexibility including instant, knob-adjustable control of lifting power for camera payloads between 2.5 and 7 lbs. (1.1 to 3.2 kg) The Merlin Arm also provides enormous vertical lifting range (28” or 71cm) and full ‘iso-elasticity’ so you’ll need only ounces of force to maintain the highest or lowest lens heights (from way above the head to below the waist). Like its big brothers, the Merlin Arm includes two-axis adjustment of the arm-to-body angle so that people of differing shapes can adjust the lifting angle to their most comfortable posture.
Together the Merlin Arm and Vest actually increase your shooting options. The operator can ease the Merlin back against the body and shoot ‘handheld’, with both hands on the camera, and fly seamlessly back off the shoulder and continue moving. With practice operators can fly the Merlin one-handed right off of the mounting post during a shot (docking the arm to the vest with the other hand) and execute those unique Merlin shot opportunities – ultra-low- or ultra-high-angles – and then slip it back onto the arm to continue the shot.
The STEADICAM® MERLIN™ is ultra-light, ultra-rigid, ultra precise, folds spectacularly and is beautiful – in short, the ideal instrument for today’s videographers with camcorders weighing up to 5 pounds. For documentaries, weddings, news segments, commercials, even low-budget features, the Merlin shines. In practiced hands, it performs as impressively as the big $60,000 Steadicam, yet remains ultimately unobtrusive. The Merlin is not only stable, it is also an inherently graceful way to hold a camera –not only for big moves and running around, but also for those subtle, imperceptible and elegant displacements of the lens that cannot be achieved any other way. And now, with the new Merlin Arm and Vest, one will be able to shoot longer and ‘fly’ more easily and more precisely than with anything else on the market.