Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tech Expo @ Rule: Tiffen Steadicam

The Tiffen table had a Panasonic GH1 mounted on a Steadicam Merlin, as well as three full-sized Steadicam's arranged along the wall. The Merlin is a small unit that can carry a camera of up to 5 lbs (so it's possible to use with a light DSLR.) At $800 it's not cheap, but by all reports it gives good results; just expect to spend some time balancing the camera and learning to use the device.

I asked what the metallic green frame being used to position the GH1 on the Merlin was, but the people at the table didn't know - so I didn't ask about the Steadicam Smoothee (the upcoming Steadicam for iPhones!)

Director of Technical Services at Tiffen, Peter Abraham, then showed up to demonstrate the new Zephyr, which will support cameras up to 20 lbs, and features - amongst other things - a new tools-free patented Iso-Elastic stabilizer Arm that has been upgraded from the Steadicam Flyer.

Peter Abraham and the Steadicam Zephyr (and vest)

When you know how to operate them, Steadicam's are amazing things. Peter ran a two-day workshop on Steadicam operation at Rule over the weekend, and he has ones coming up in Florida, Texas and New York (see the Steadicam Workshops link below.)

The Zephyr isn't out yet - it's expected later this year - and this is one of only two prototypes.


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