GH2 on Baby Merlin (modded Smoothee)

So the goal was to modify this Steadicam Smoothee for lightweight cameras, but it was surprising to see it fly my Canon 5D Mark II + 50mm F/1.4 Lens. Getting back to the real reason for the mod, I tested out a smaller setup with the GH2 + 20mm Lens (total 1.2lbs). It took about 6.8oz of counterweight, but she balances just fine. In fact, I really think Tiffen should offer something like this for all the new smaller lightweight cameras coming out. If they can keep the price about the same, they'd make quite an impact. There's some additional information in the video about the Quick Release mount and Counterweight attachment.

If you're late to the party, you can find all the build information on modding a Steadicam Smoothee for your small cameras in the previous article (here).

20 thoughts on “GH2 on Baby Merlin (modded Smoothee)

  1. Emm

    Post author

    @juan leal - Looks like you're still too bottom heavy. You have too much weight at the bottom causing the pendulum motion.

  2. juan leal

    @pixcan thanks thats okay but a little plain looking and coming from uk it will take forever to get here

    @emm finally completed the mod just have no idea how to balance this.. will post video/pix soon

  3. Sam Shea

    Love this, thanks so much! I too want to fly the gh2 w/ 20mm

    With the DIY method, is it possible to swing the DIY counterweight system upwards as featured in this video? OR would the vertical position of the washers interfere with the Smothee.

    If I went the dual metal bracket route, wouldn't the suggested one (11 7/8") be too large ? Would you suggest cutting it in half or do they make smaller slotted brackets?

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us all!

  4. juan leal

    @pixcanfly like what? and something that doesnt look ghetto or is more expensive. i contacted opteka to see if they will see the parts only, i doubt they will even get back to me.. apparently their customer service is not that good. Lets see.

  5. This looks amazing but at $150 plus the costs to mod it's still not a cheap solution. I recently bought a Steady Dragon on eBay for about $90, it's nicely made, can take a lot of weight, and so far, given I'm a novice at using these things, the results are great. It was hard work getting it balanced first time and this does look much easier but once done I marked-up the mounting plate and stabilizer positions and the weight needed for each lens so I can get a rough setup quickly and then just fine tune.

    Great work though, can we see some results?

  6. pixcanfly


    You should just mod this in volume and sell to us GH2 user 🙂
    Btw, are there other options beside buying the Opteka SteadyVid EX Video Stabilizer for it's bottom weight.

  7. Jason

    2nd day aired!

    as always, I hope it comes in time for my shoot!

    And I really think Im going to do this mod.

  8. Allen H.

    I'd like to know how this compares w/ the flycam nano. For 5d use. Can you give us some details after testing? thanks.

  9. Emm

    Post author

    @billybob - It's painted over, but I think it's a lightweight AL. [Update] My magnets don't stick to it...

  10. what is the curved metal portion of the rig made of? Is it aluminum or a light weight steel? I was thinking of welding the pass through nut to the body.

  11. Nice!
    I really want one now for my 5D setup, Where can we find the extra weight you have on yours Emm, Not the washers but the actual silver weight, or I don't need it?

    I can always remove weights to use it on a Sony NEX 5N amd the GH2.


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