The Merlin is in essence a scaled down version of its larger predecessors and an updated version of the Steadicam JR. Machined aluminum has replaced plastic parts and it has a more high-tech look. No doubt, the Merlin is sleeker, trimmer, and superior quality than the Steadicam JR. The Merlin let’s you “fly” wherever the scene takes you–up and down steps, indoors and outside, through crowds–almost anywhere, with precise, elegant control and effortlessness. Its quick release mount lets you instantly swap camera connections between your Merlin and any tripod. The Merlin includes a host of resources to help appropriately setup the invention. An interactive DVD, paper workbook, and online camcorder handbook are all packed with helpful info. Merlin’s design significantly reduces fatigue. So lightweight, it weighs less than a can of soda. With a compact DV, balanced and ready to go, the Merlin weighs approximately two pounds. Its rigid construction permits longer focal lengths than ever imaginable with a hand-held stabilizer. Merlin’s unique dual extended weight system greatly increases inertial stability. And its counterbalancing weight can be correctly adjusted to balance cameras from 0.5 to 5 lbs. Merlin’s design significantly reduces fatigue. So lightweight, it weighs less than a can of soda. With a compact DV, balanced and ready to go, the Merlin weighs approximately two pounds. Its rigid construction permits longer focal lengths than ever imaginable with a hand-held stabilizer. Design elements really make the Merlin stand out from the crowd. The Merlin is made up of 7 main parts so as to add up to one sleek unit. Unfolding the Merlin is straightforward. Just make sure to lock the “hinge release” in place, midway up the Spar, the curved metal tube that hangs beneath everything else. This will ensure that once your camcorder is aboard, the unit will not fold up again. Steadicam’s famous low-friction gimbal design stays the same on the Merlin, and a few parts are still made of plastic. Accompanying the gimbal is the additional guide. The guidebook now acts as a fine adjustment to lower or raise the balancing point of the unit. How do you know when to use it? If your Merlin sways when you start or stop a move, you probably need to do some adjusting. Finding proper balance includes adding the correct amount of weight to the lower Spar. Each machined weight connects to end of the Spar, and can be piggybacked (five total) to create a long extension of stainless steel counterbalance. The Merlin has been brilliantly designed with rubber O-rings connecting each weight, keeping them from binding as soon as threaded together. Secure your camcorder to the Merlin by using the newly designed Dovetail mounting plate. The plate is made of lightweight aluminum and features 15 screw holes to ensure proper balance used for a extensive range of camcorders. As soon as your camera is secured to the Dovetail, slide the plate onto the Stage, and make coarse fore-aft adjustments. As soon as in approximate position, lock down the Dovetail and start making finer adjustments with the Trim controls. Simply rotate these very smooth thumb rollers to adjust the fore-aft, and side-to-side balance. A careful touch that adds functionality is the engraved arrows next to each control. Trim “up” to point the camera up, arrow down to point at the dirt.