$500 Gimbal vs $200,000 Hollywood Camera Car Rig

Every few years it is interesting to take a look at all the equipment available in the filmmaking industry and how accessible it has become. Everything just seems to get better and cheaper. One area to look at is the gimbal stabilizer.

Once a very limited and specialized role with prohibitively expensive equipment it is now something that even beginner filmmakers can pick up for very little from every tech retailer – they even make some for your phone!

In an ultimate test of just how good these gimbals have gotten, Chris Hau took the new WEEBILL-2 from Zhiyun-Tech out against a $200,000 camera rig most often found on Hollywood sets.

The subject here is a car and the aim is to get some cinematic shots. The camera to be used is the Sony a7S III with a 24-70mm f/2.8 GM lens. It’s a heavy but solid setup. The WEEBILL-2 is a nice upgrade with more stability and better handling with its underslung mode. Coming in at $500 for the gimbal and about $5,000 for the camera and lens.

Competition is fierce, however, with a KALA car. It has a RED MONSTRO with 18-100mm lens a Movi XL Gimbal, and the MotoCrane Ultra on a Mercedes ML63. Total cost is $200,000 for the car, rig, camera, and modifications.

They did a variety of different shot types to see how each one could handle the different types. For a tracking shot, they both look great. The benefit of the KALA car is that there is more available movement with the arm and a dedicated crew to run it. Still, in terms of basic quality, there is very little difference in the actual footage.

Image Credit: MotoCrane

KALA definitely makes life easier. Though, most people likely are not shooting exclusively epic action car sequences by hanging a gimbal outside their car window. If you just want to shoot a nice car every once in a while this is an impressive demo of where consumer technology has gotten.

Honestly, the biggest thing here has to be safety and control. The dedicated car rigs are much more safe and reliable to operate – which is hugely important for professional productions

You can see it with the parallel tracking where the KALA car keeps up clean while there are some stutters and potential moments where you would lose the shot with the WEEBILL-2. Is the cheap rig still workable with some practice and multiple takes? Absolutely.

Image Credit: Zhiyun-Tech

You really shouldn’t be worried about what gear you have, you can make a lot with what you have already.

[source: Chris Hau]

Order Links:

  • Zhiyun-Tech WEEBILL-2 Gimbal Stabilizer (B&H, Amazon)
  • Sony a7S III Mirrorless Camera (B&H, Amazon)

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate partner and participant in B&H and Adorama Affiliate programmes, we earn a small comission from each purchase made through the affiliate links listed above at no additional cost to you.

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