The Blackbird is a lightweight hand-held steadicam.
I bought my Blackbird Camera Stabilizer Kit off B&H's online store for US$669.95 not including P&P.
I had to import myself as there are no distributors yet in New Zealand. The cost of postage were rather hefty and I had to pay G.S.T. as it came through customs. The package arrived at my doorstep in less than two weeks.
after roughly assembling the small rig I immediately mounted my 5d. It was easy to work out and didn't take long to get it roughly balanced.
As with all camera stabilizers a lot depends on the skill of the user. it took me roughly a week to really get the hang of it.
Whereas previous semi-pro cameras were too heavy on top of hand-held stabilizers the 5d and other DSLRs are perfect for these light weight rigs. Wide angle lenses such as a 24mm on a full frame camera work best with steadicams. Here is a look at my test footage.
The Blackbird is made by CMR - a relatively small American company. The Steadicam Merlin is a more popular unit. It is more compact than the Blackbird. It is also slightly more expensive. The extra length of the Blackbird also restricts how very low to the ground action.
I decided to chance my arm at the blackbird, besides I had gotten the impression from reviews that the Merlin was more difficult to find the equilibrium. So far I have been very happy with the Blackbird. It is a well designed, solid piece of equipment. It is quick and affordable solution to giving movement to your shots.