The 3-axis pistol grip gimbal stabilisers seem to have become the next market trend as more and more new options are popping up lately. After the release of Nebula 4000, Pilotfly H1, and the Came-TV Pistol Grip gimbal, now we have another hand-held gimbal from Team Rebel Design called the Beholder MS1. This brand new affordable, lightweight and neatly designed stabiliser already has attracted the attention of many filmmakers with the ability to carry various mirrorless cameras, such as the Sony A7S, NEX series, Panasonic GH4,BMPCC and other similar in size compact cameras.
Before we share our personal impressions and insights on the gimbal in the upcoming days as we wait to get our review unit, here is a the extensive video review produced by Dave Dugdale from LearningVideo.com who already had the chance to play around with a pre-production unit of the stabiliser.
Among the first positive impressions is the price of the Beholder MS1 costing $499 only. In terms of payload its safe to conclude that it can carry cameras about 800 grams, which is 200g less compared to the maximum payload of Nebula 4000. Due to its compact and small size, the gimbal can be carried around really easily (even with a camera mounted on it) attached on an R-strap since it folds up nicely.
Furthermore, the provided joystick on the front side of the grip will let users rotate the camera without twisting their arm or changing the grip. Turning the jaw axis accurately also works a treat which is another advantage compared to the Nebula 4000, that according to Dave is actually the “biggest weakness” of the latter.
The Beholder MS1 is power by three 18650 batteries that provide about three hours of operation time when fully charged. The gimbal has a wide, sturdy handle with a nice even large flat bottom surface that you can use to calibrate it on a table or out in the field. Plus the gimbal comes with more powerful motors compared to the Nebula 4000.
Yet, like any other 3-axis brushless stabiliser, the MS1 is also not perfect and comes with some flaws that you definitely should be aware of. For instance, Dave had a few issues with getting perfectly balancing the GH4 camera on the gimbal due to the limited adjustment options of the camera mounting plate provided with the gimbal.
According to him, it will be impossible to use the flip screen of the GH4, and you also won’t be able to attach an HDMI cable while the camera is mounted on the gimbal. He also wasn’t able to use properly the inverted mode of the MS1, however according to Alex from Team Rebel Design the stabiliser has that feature.
Beholder MS1 Features and Highlights
8 bit board (for smaller model. 32 bit board for larger model)
Tool-less balancing and adjustments
Quick Release Plate
Lightweight, only 778g with the battery
Max Payload 900g (1200g for larger 5d iii model)
1/4 screw hole on the bottom for jibs, sliders, tripods, monitors, etc.
3 lithium batteries (18650) allows for up to three hours run time.
LED power and battery level indicator
Gesture Control System (option)
Currently, Team Rebel Design are also working on a second version of the gimbal that will be able to carry heavier cameras such as the Canon 5D mark III providing a bigger payload up to 1,200g and will run on a 32 bit board, whereas the Beholder MS1 is using an 8-bit board. You can purchase the gimbal here.
Special thanks to Jake Sorensen who provided us with most of the information about TRD’s gimbal.