How to Make Merlin Steady Cam

Hello RTV virtual tour providers out there. I just wanted to share something very exciting with you all. Recently I made a DIY Merlin Stedicam for under $40. The pro version is about $800. The handle is from a speed jump rope so it has a bearing in it. The universal joint is from a local hobby shop for R/C cars and together they make a handy gimble. I changed my tripod head to a pistol grip ball head for the spherical virtual tour shots and had the two way laying around so I stuck it on the help level the camera.

There are a bunch of YouTube videos on how to make these but this is my version. Just need to practice walking with it. I used a 2.5 lb counterweight which doesn’t bother me but if the rig needs to be lightened they can stack heavy washers and extend the weight down to add leverage to the fulcrum of the gimble to keep the camera upright.

I have also been experimenting with Magic Lantern ISO Overrides. Here is a video to see the difference. Note ISO 100 for a base then look at 160, 320, 640. I shot at 100 and 640 and barely had a difference but an increase is shutter speed. Faster shooting is always good for my Myrtle Beach virtual tours!

Dan Conklin
Myrtle Beach
Order a virtual tour: 843-254-8412