Steadicam Merlin Vest to Glidecam HD4000 DIY Adapter

After posting up my BTS footage of the Glidecam HD4000 with the Steadicam Merlin vest found here:, I've been getting quite a bit of emails on how these two different products 'mate'. I'm sure this blog is quite cluttered with random articles, so here's the DIY video dug up from the archives posted 8 months ago. The reason I have this setup is because I used to fly a Merlin, so I had the vest already. I found the Glidecam design to be more flexible and the HD4000 can also carry a heavier load. The Glidecam was very heavy and I didn't want to invest into another Vest. It turned out to be a great cost saving idea since you have a 'dual arm' (two spring things) vest for about $1499 + Glidecam HD4000 for about $600. If you were shopping for a Glidecam Vest, the Dual arm for Glidecam runs more than the Dual Arm of the Steadicam Merlin. Some also argue that the Steadicam Merlin vest is a better design, much more slim profile, and of course cheaper cost. That's all opinion, and I just want to make it clear that I was just trying to make products I already owned work together. So even though it wasn't pre-meditated, there's a bit of cash savings using this method and as you can tell i've been very very happy with my whole system for a very very long time. You'll catch my reference to 'mating' the Steadicam Merlin arm with the Glidecam HD4000 Handle in this video..... Enjoy.

find-price-button Tiffen Steadicam Arm and Vest

Steadicam Merlin-Vest Glidecam Hybrid DIY adapter
find-price-button Glidecam HD-4000 Hand-Held Stabilizer

17 thoughts on “Steadicam Merlin Vest to Glidecam HD4000 DIY Adapter

  1. Emm

    Post author

    @kicap - I don't think anyone has tried. I think the majority would say the Steadicam Vest is much better than Glidecam, unless you're talking about the very very high end Glidecam vests. The Steadicam version has dual arms for about $1500, the Glidecam only has one and is still more expensive.

  2. kicap

    Have anyone figure out if I can attach the Merlin Arm to a Glidecam Vest?? I found that Glidecam vest is much better built compared to Merlin and less velcro. Just a thought.

  3. Emm

    Post author

    @Lam - There is different models from Hd2000 and HD1000. If the stabilizer is too big, add more weights to the top with the camera.

  4. Lam

    hey bro, just wanna ask i am using a panasonic TM700, i wanna use ur setup wif my camera, do u tink it will work? I had a HD4000 but it seems to be too heavy for my camera... it starts to unbalancing itself when i start walking fast...

  5. Emm

    Post author

    Sweet. Althought I've been able to work around the handle, I think extended outwards a bit more would definitely be helpful. The Steadicam Pilot System has an angled handle and gimbal like the Glidecam has been modeled after.

  6. Veteran2010Toronto

    Well not like ACTUALLY dangerous...but as it is exposed unpainted metal it stands out quite a bit especially when you don't have a sled on it!

    I'd definitely say that post on cinema5d was inspired by your OG combo of sled/vest...I know that's what prompted me to copy it =).

    As for the sled being 'too close' to the handle....I don't agree there...I've had no problems getting around with it ever...even when booming the arm!

    Emm...I have finished my glidecam/steadicam rig also with running cabling up the center post to keep it clean. I'll try to post a video with my config soon...since you helped and all 😉

    - B

  7. Emm

    Post author

    Haha, I actually already made this, but there's not a huge market for me to waste time. I posted this long before he made his. Here's my original post, curious if there was any inspiration to his design: httpss://

    Glad someone agrees though. DIY version - ugly yes, dangerous?? How so??

  8. Bob

    I tried this but was unhappy because of the design flaw of the glidecam, that the handle is perpendicular to the post, which restricts movement. So I retained the bent merlin post, then got a piece of EMT conduit that was 45 degrees, mated it to a pipe cap that I screwed into the gimbal yoke. Total cost: $3, and it basically exactly replicates the angle and handle of the tiffen steadicam handles, and the sled has a much greater range of movement, and the handle is actually a handle for booming.

  9. Hey,
    you should def. check Brian Berkey of ... he makes incredible adapters of machined aluminum to perfectly fit the Merlin arm to the Glidecam.

    Really you should ask him about that. I got mine from him in August and it works just perfect. Guess what it's not even more expansive than this DIY stuff mentioned above.

    If you want pictures of it or any more information shoot me an email and I'll get back to as fast as I can.


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