3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizers for the Panasonic GH4 & Sony A7s – Part 2

Last week, in Part 1 we looked at the Came 7000 gimbal and the Defy G2 3-axis gimbal for the GH4 and the Sony A7s. This week, we are going to be looking at a few more options for brushless motor stabilisers for small-form DSLR cameras.

We start off with EU-based BeSteady. Their BeSteady One 3-axis brushless motor gimbal was recently revised into a BeSteady One+.

Last year they successfully funded on Kickstarter their BeSteady One project by receiving more than £220,000 in donations. This has allowed them delivery a really good quality stabiliser at an affordable price.

The BeSteady One Plus updated design combines custom brushless motor technology advanced electronics. The motors have been developed to be precise and powerful, while the 32 bit custom AlexMos electronics make the BeSteady One Plus highly customisable and intuitive to operate.

In contrast, the original One version used an 8 bit AlexMos board. 

besteady one combo

Operating modes include ‘follow mode’ for single operators, ‘inverted mode’ for creative mounting possibilities and a ‘remote mode’ for remote operation. The frame of the BeSteadyOne is made from high quality materials, including aircraft aluminium and carbon fibre combined with stainless steel. However, it is still lightweight and extremely durable.

The BeSteayOne Plus retails for about 2,900 Euros excl. VAT, and can support camera/lens combos of up to 2.2 KG, and some of the supported camera are the Canon 5D/6D/7DSony Alfa series, Sony NEX-X series, Panasonic GH1/GH2/GH3/GH4, Sony CX730/760, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema camera and other similar sizes. 

Here’s a demo video of what the gimbal can do:

BeSteady One – handheld gimbal stabilizer tech demo from BeSteady on Vimeo.

And here’s a long lens test with the Canon 5D Mark II and the EF 24-105mm F/4 lens.

BeSteady One / Long lens tests from BeSteady on Vimeo. Find out more about BeSteady and their gimbals at facebook.com/besteadyhome

Next up, we’ll take a look at the Movi M5 from FreeFly Systems, one of the leading companies in the world of brushless gimbals for both aerial and terrestrial cinematography. These guys sort of started the whole “gimbal” craze in the video market last year, by introducing their hugely successful bigger model – the Movi M10, which is targeted towards heavier cameras/lens combos such as the Red Scarlet/Epic and the Canon C300/C500 weighting in less than 12 lbs/5KG.

The Movi M10 is the leading 3-axis brushless motor gimbal on the market and has gained significant acceptance into the broadcast, video, and film production industry. Movi gimbals can be used on major films/TV set like “Saturday Night Live”.

Alex Buono SNL Movi

Photo credit: AlexBuono.com

The handheld 3-axis digital stabilised gimbal Movi M5, which retails for around $4,995, utilises a proprietary high performance IMU and brushless direct drive system. The gimbal is 100% custom designed in-house by Freefly’s engineering team. It can accept camera/lens combos of up to 5 lbs./2.2 KG’s which makes it perfect for the GH4 and/or the Sony A7s and other comparable combinations such as the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, or the GH2/5D/7D and others.

The gimbal features a Majestic Mode (Pan/Tilt) – which allows for a single operator to control the pointing of the gimbal by moving the handles without compromising the stabilisation of the image. The gimbal takes the operator’s movements and intelligently converts them into stabilised pan and tilt movements. This allows for very low profile single operator setup and accurate framing in tight situations.

Here’s a few demo videos which go into more detail about the Movi M10 and Movi M5 (which is basically the same as the M10 in terms of functions and features, just limited to a 2.2KG payload).

At the Bench: Freefly Systems MōVI M5 from AbelCine on Vimeo.

MoVI M5 test flight with the Cinestar 8 HL and Canon 5dMk3 from GravityShots.com on Vimeo.

MoVI M5 test flight with the Cinestar 8 HL and Canon 5dMk3 from GravityShots.com on Vimeo.

MoVI M10 Behind The Scenes via from Vincent Laforet on Vimeo.

The new generation of 3-axis hand-held gimbals from companies like Came-Tv, Defy, BeSteady, and FreeFly Systems are incredible pieces of technology. They give us filmmakers so much more freedom and opportunities to get those shots, that would have seemed impossible to get on a limited budget just two years ago.

Let us know what you think about those gimbals in the comments below, if you’ve used them on a shoot, or if you’re planning on getting any of them. We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences with other gimbals not mention in the two articles, as there are so many out there.

[Link – Vincent Laforet’s Blog, Alex Buono, DP]

[Link – BeSteadyShop]

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