Steadicam upgraded one of our favorite compact camera stabilizers at CES 2012 with the Merlin 2. The successor to the Merlin, the Merlin 2 adds several new features including a “folding-caliper” hinge, which makes the stabilizing rig easy to fold for shoulder-mounted shooting.
The new hinge will also quickly return Merlin 2 to its original position for handheld camera work. The entire rig, which weighs just under 13 ounces, can be easily broken down for transport.
Integrated into the new Merlin 2 is the new Merlin Camera Controller, which lets you control a range of functions in your camera right from the handle. Here are some of the features of the Merlin Camera Controller:
• Control the Record Stop/Start, Auto Focus and Zoom functions of Canon or Sony LANC-capable cameras right from the handle
• LED indicators on the control panel show RECORD and STANDBY status
• Allows the user greater freedom in operating the Merlin without aftermarket zoom controllers that can upset the balance of the Merlin and get in the way
• One-handed ergonomic design and button placements
• Programmable Zoom control buttons allow the user to set up the Merlin Camera Controller for either left- or right-handed operation
• No battery required – the Merlin Camera Controller uses power from the camera to operate via an ultra-thin connection cable to the camera’s LANC port
• Support for Merlin and Merlin 2 models
“You can seamlessly start and stop recording and control zoom and autofocus with no telltale bumps,” said Steve Tiffen, president and CEO of The Tiffen Company. “Complex sequences can be shot and edited in real-time and are immediately ready to hand off to clients.”
The Merlin 2 supports a range of DSLRs and compact and professional camcorders weighing from 0.5 to 5 lbs. (0.23 to 2.2 kg).
It sells for $849 for the basic set-up or $1,595 with the Merlin arm and vest kit.
More info here.