By now anyone in the film world with an internet connection has probably seen or heard about the Freefly MoVi camera stabilizer. We got to play with the MoVi a couple of months ago at Cinegear, and it is pretty impressive! However, there’s quite a few gimbal camera stabilizers out there in the works.
The MoVi from Freefly was the first gyro-stabilized camera rig to make a name for itself in the camera world. While it might be too expensive for many budgets, the MoVi is definitely the cream of the crop when it comes to gimbal stabilized rigs.
The MoVi M10 is the first in the Freefly MoVi to be released. The entire M10 weighs less than 3.5 lbs and can travel in a thin suitcase as carry-on luggage. The rig can hold a camera and accessories weighing up to 10 lbs.
The MoVi can be used by a single operator in “Majestic Mode”. While in Majestic Mode, the M10 takes the camera operator’s movements and intelligently converts them in to stabilized pan and tilt movements. We got to play with the MoVi at Cinegear and I must say the Majestic Mode was pretty impressive! It also has a dual operator mode. When using this mode, a second “gimbal” operator uses a joystick to control exactly where the camera is pointed and what the frame is.
The MoVi M10 costs $15,000 and can be ordered on Freefly’s site. The first units are expected to start shipping in the next few months.
A smaller M5 version is expected sometime next year and will cost around $7500.
Relentless DEFY G2
If you aren’t flying a heavy camera and the MoVI is out of your budget, take a look at the DEFY G2 3-axis camera stabilizer. The G2 stabilizer can hold cameras up to 2-3 lbs such as small DSLRs, the Black Magic Pocket Camera, and Sony NEX series cameras.
The DEFY G2 has two modes of operation: “Follow Me” and “Stabilize”. Purchase includes the gimbal, two LIPO batteries for approximately four hours of collective operation, LIPO battery charging station, and a crushproof/waterproof PELICAN case.
The DEFY G2 is pre-ordering now and costs $2300.
The BeSteady One currently appears to be the best choice for a “budget” stabilizer. It can hold cameras up to 4.5 lbs such as: Canon 5D, 7D, 6D, Panasonic GH2, and the Black Magic Pocket Camera.
Like the MoVi, the BeSteady One is a 3 axis camera stabilizer. The rig is designed to be able to easily add accessories such as monitors, paralinx wireless video transmitters, and adjustable grips.
The BeSteady One stabilizer has a single operator mode as well as a two operator mode where the camera is controlled with a joystick, much like the Movi’s Majestic Mode.
The device is powered by a rechargeable battery. The standard fully-charged power packet allows for the stabilizer to run for one hour. It takes less than a minute to replace the spent packet for a charged one. The stabilizer has a charge display screen which enables the operator to control the charge level of the battery as well as the amount of time left until battery change is needed.
The BeSteady One is currently beginning production and expected to cost about $3k. You can keep up with the BeSteady guys on their facebook page.
While there are without a doubt some other gimbal stabilizers being made, these three seem to be getting all the buzz. One might wonder if Steadicam has one in the works…