Tag Archives: Merlin

Waiting for parts

The trouble with sourcing critical Jaybilizer parts from B&H and Adorama is that they are both closed for Passover. I’m out of stock with some parts of the Jaybilizer 3000 and Adorama wont start shipping again until Wednesday April 7. Hopefully with UPS two day I’ll have parts on Friday or Saturday. This is an unfortunate downside of just in time production. I had to post a notice that I am temporarly out Jaybilizer 3000sand am down to one Jaybilizer HDSLR in stock.

Introducing Jaybilizer.com and the Jaybilizer HDSLR

I finally launched Jaybilizer.com as its own site. It is where I can sell my affordable cameras stabilizers and other camera support gear. To launch the site I’m introducing the Jaybilizer HDSLR Merlin type camera stabilizer specifically designed for the use with the Canon 5DMk2 DSLR. You can also get to Jaybilizer.com By clicking on the productscts tab on this site.
The Jaybilizer HDSLR is a Stedicam Merlin-like camera stabilizer that is optimized for shooting with the new generation of digital SLR cameras that shoot high definition video.

Jaybilizer HDSLR

These cameras produce stunning quality with a film-like narrow depth of field and ultra low light capabilities. The downside is that these cameras are unwieldy for shooting video. The Jaybilizer HDSLR solves this problem and allows photographers and cinematographers to do Steadicam-like “flying” shots. The Jaybilizer is constructed of high quality steel and 6061 aluminum, with a heavy duty steel ball gimbal. The 8″ counterweight bar also acts as a tripod for easily setting down and storing the Jaybilizer. The Jaybilizer HDSLR is an affordable alternative to other expensive stabilizers, at $199 it cost only a quarter as much as the Steadicam Merlin.
The trouble with most camera stabilizers is that it is difficult and time consuming to properly balance a camera. The Jabilizer HDSLR makes this process much easier with both side to side and forward and backward infinitely adjustable sliding balance plates. The Jaybilizer is optimized for camera and lens combinations that weigh between 1.5 and 4 lbs. For lighter camcorders there is also the Jaybilizer 3000 which works with camera rigs up to 3 lbs.

Some of the DSLR cameras that the Jaybilizer HDSLR works with include:

Jaybilizer HDSLR with Lumix GH1

Jaybilizer HDSLR with Lumix GH1

The Canon 5DMK2
The Canon 7D
The Nikon D90
The Nkon D5000
The Lumix GH1
The Olympus E-P1
The Pentax K7

Jaybilizer HDSLR Key Features

* Inexpensive
* Steel ball gimbal
* heavy duty steel and machined 6061 aluminum construction
* Foam comfort grip
* Can be configured to shoot inverted
* Fully adjustable camera plate
* Easy one screw infinite side balance adjustment
* Works with a wide variety of camcorders and DSLRs
* Quick release camera plate
* Supports camera rigs up to 4 lbs
* Black Textured Satin Finish
* 25 counterweight washers
* 8″ counterweight bar allows you to store the Jabilizer HDSLR upright and improves balance.

Dual adjustable  sliding plates

Dual adjustable sliding plates


Counterweight bar

Counterweight bar


Single screw side balance adjuster

Single screw side balance adjuster

The Jaybilizer 3000 and the Canon 7D and 5DMk2

Due to the weight and high center of gravity of the 5Dmk2 and the 7D, these cameras do not work well with the Jaybilizer 3000. I did offer a 5D modified version, but I am not happy with the design, as it is too heavy to use for extended shooting. I have discontinued the 5D modified version. I have a working prototype design which is lighter and easier to balance the Canon DSLRS.
I will have a new Jaybilizer HDSLR model available as soon as I get some parts from the machine shop and stickers from the printer. I also have to make a how to balance video and set up the e-commerce site.
Thanks for your patience and I am very excited about the new model.

Jaybilizer 3000 5D model with the GH1 and Zoom H4n audio recorder test

This is a weight test of the the Jaybilizer 3000 5D model with the GH1 with the kit lens, a shotgun mic and Zoom H4n audio recorder mounted on the camera. . The camera rig weighs 3 Lbs 10 Oz. This is about the maximum weight that this camera stabilizer will handle. This was shot at 720p 60fps with several shots at half speed with no frame blending in Final Cut Pro.

Panasonic GH1 Jaybilizer3000 torture test

Panasonic GH1 Jaybilizer3000 torture test from Jay Shaffer on Vimeo.

Testing the GH1 on my DIY Merlin-type camera stabilizer (the Jaybilizer3000 jaybilizer.com )
This is kinda a worse case scenario, I was testing for rolling shutter with rapid side to side movement and to see how 24fps looked when moving quickly on a stabilizer also I wanted to see how smooth the camera was on the stabilizer. Obviously for real production footage I would have slowed down my motion to smooth out the 24p.

Jaybilizer 3000 Camera Stabilizer Shooting Techniques and Montage

I finally shot and edited this video that goes over some of the shooting techniques for the Jaybilizer 3000 , my homemade “Steadicam Merlin-type” camera stabilizer. The techniques include orbiting shots, tracking shots, low angle tracking shots, flying Shots and crane shots. I shot most of the video with a Canon HV30 on the Jaybilizer 3000 with some additional hand-held footage shot by Rob Martin with a Sony EX1.
Credits: Credits: Thanks to Rob Martin for the excellent EX1 handheld shots
Special Thanks to StickerGiant for the cool Jaybilizer 3000 stickers stickergiant.com/
Special thanks to Jeru at Jag35 for the Jag35 DOF Adapter jag35.com/
Find out More about the Jaybilizer 3000 jayshaffervideo.com/products/

Jaybilizer 3000 Camera Stabilizer Shooting Techniques and Montage from Jay Shaffer on Vimeo.

How To Build a DIY Steadycam Camera Stabilizer Under $50




How To Build a DIY Steadycam Camera Stabilizer Under $50 from Jay Shaffer on Vimeo.
How to build the JayCam MkII Merlin-type camera stabilizer. Jay Shaffer demonstrates how to use inexpensive parts to build an versatile stabilizer for camcorders like the Canon HV30.

JayCam MK2 updated

I added a couple things to my DIY camera stabilizer.

Detail of the inexpensive Tripod head mounted on the camera stabilizer

Detail of the inexpensive Tripod head mounted on the camera stabilizer

First, I figured out how to mount a cheap tripod head as a camera mount. This gives me a much more precise control of the cameras front to back balance and it also significantly raises the center of gravity of the rig. Secondly, because of the raised center of gravity, I now have to use counter weights on the bottom of the arm. This gives me a little more control of the rig’s roll characteristics. I also optimized the weights for the Canon HV-30 so it takes a lot less time to balance out the rig now.
Overall the design is evolving and improving and as I practice a bit more my shooting technique is improving. I would like to get a more experienced Stedicam operator to take it out for a spin.

Wing nut holds four fender washers as a counterweight

Wing nut holds four fender washers as a counterweight