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NAB Video: Freefly Movi M10 Camera Stabilizer

04.11.13 @ 1:00AM Tags : , , , , ,

Well, arguably the hottest announcement this year so far came in the form of the MoVi. Our guys on the floor at FreshDV get some hands on access, hit the jump for the video:

Seeing this thing up close is pretty exciting. Share your thoughts below, and just remember — it’s a rental item!


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  • im assuming the smaller one with be able to hold 5ds and Lspecs?

  • VINCEGORTHO on 04.11.13 @ 1:35AM

    Yes. arguably the hottest announcement.

  • I want this in pocket size for the pocket cinema camera, in fact I might just want everything pocket size now!

  • I want everything sub-pocket size! This is pretty incredible.


    I want it NOW!

    NOW! NOW! NOW!

  • I like what I see … would love to try it out with my MarZpak overhead system.

  • Better work on those guns fellas. I’d imagine 10 minutes of operating that and you’ll wish you had your steadicam operator back.

    • Yeah… It’s like booming a camera for a whole take.

    • LOL…can’t help but notice the demo guy is the size of CHEWBACCA! He is gotta be at least 6’4. Would love to have seen the host put down his mic and demo it for 2 minutes.

    • jd holloway on 04.11.13 @ 7:19AM

      New job title…”Meat Dolly”.

    • Can’t stress this enough:
      operating this at eye-level needs Conan the Barbarian if you use serious cameras, especially for several takes in a row.
      You can only do so many sub eye-level shots in a piece before audience gets distracted and feeling like a dog. Other than that it’s a great device for specific tasks you couldn’t do with other devices.

    • This would be best with a modified easy-rig. Also the handles need to be extended to get the camera at eye height. If there were toggles on the system for control of pan and tilt then one operator would be fine.

  • The first 20Kdollars I will have in my life I will spent for it!

  • Ninjazoom! xD

  • I wonder if the distance between the gimbal and the camera can be adjusted so you can accomodate different types of cameras. Also, will the M5 be able to handle a C300 with rails and FF motors?

    • Nope, c300 needs to be on a m10,

      • Thanks. That means the rig becomes more expensive than the camera. I think I’ll hold off until next year when the first-time buyer market has been saturated and perhaps more competitors may have entered (assuming this is not a patent protected product).

  • If they can explain how easy it is to balance that would be great. I spent weeks a few years ago trying to a balance a DVX 100 on a Merlin and had to give up.

    • Have you tried the tips in this video?

      Usually the first step with stabilizers (at least with a Glidecam) is to find the center weigthing point of your camera + desired lens. Best way to find this out is to put a tube on the table and gently try to balance your camera on it (both front to back and side to side). The middle is your gravity point and this is where you should attach your camera on the stabilizer plate. After that, you have to start tweaking the other variables of your stabilizer. For a Glidecam this usually means extending the tube to a height where camera won’t drop foreward or backward instantly. Then you do the drop test, and make sure it meets 1-2 seconds. Finally, you start finetuning the fore and aft and side to side. That’s it. Once stabilized, tighten down screws and use the camera in a fixed combination with a specific lens. Unless you like to do it all over again…

  • Hey guys! Thanks for the coverage on this! What I think a lot of people would like to know though is what separates this from the cheaper model. If it’s weight alone then who would be using the cheaper model and what would the maximum load baring be? I can’t seem to find much info on this! Any chance you could go back and ask? ;)

    Also it would be great to know if there are plans to have say a shoulder mount counterbalance for it as an accessory. Of course the point of a shoulder mount wouldn’t be to add stabilisation it’s just that if this really was to replace pretty much all of your other accessories it certainly would give you a lot of fatigue operating it that way if you were using it over longer periods of time. I guess would be a bit of a hinderance in some circumstances but if it were quickly attatchable/detatchable it would be a great addition. Damn I need one of these :D

  • Ive always wondered because where I live I could never rent locally. How does rental work overseas? Like is it possible to rent this thing in Detroit and then film something in Africa and bring it back? Or do they not usually allow you to travel with a rental?

    • It’d probably be possible to work something out, but you’d definitely need insurance. And you would need to be completely honest, they’d flip their shit if they thought you were staying local and then went to Africa.

  • I would say this is the 2nd or 3rd hottest announcement. Don’t get me wrong, I will buy this. But the Black Magic Cameras are such a God Damn technical and financial marvel, they truly boggle the mind. There are no words to describe how utterly shocking and amazing their offerings are at the price point they are at!

    • Yes, what is incredible about BMD is that they are offering innovation and quality AND the pricepoint that is simply unthinkable for their competitors.

  • Sponsor-changer! Ooos, I meant Game-changer, my bad.

  • It’s a glide-cam you don’t have to spend five minutes balancing, that also works on helicopters.

  • Couldn’t one theoretically use an easy rig in combination with a movi to somewhat help with the fatigue associated with holding at eye level?

  • That guy really needs some more practice holding a mic! ;)
    At some point he seems to be totally forgetting that he is actually holding a mic, which isn’t such a good idea with a dynamic mic in a noisy envirionment….

    • … and what’s with the mega rapid zooming? Is that a thing in American television? Because if I did that during an interview nobody would ever book me again. Sorry, I don’t wanna be negative, I just noticed these rapid not-so-nice zooms in all the FreshDV NAB videos.

      • Peter Kelly on 04.11.13 @ 5:07PM

        if you dont want to be negative then don’t be negative.

        As i’m sure you know those zooms are a style that is used if you dont like it and dont want to be negative then dont comment on it. Unless you do want to be negative?

        • Well, I think being negative can be constructive. I mean, it could lead to a discussion about different camera styles, the use of zooms, how to or how not to cover live events, and how camera operators think. (Disclaimer: some self-justification here; I just commented on the zooming in another thread!)

          One way to use zooms: documentaries sometimes have beautiful moments where the camera zooms in just before the subject says something revealing, and often this seems to involve, on the operator’s part, a sensitivity to content, knowing when something is about to come up (although the final edit of a doc will often show only the hits, not the misses — all the times the operator crash zoomed and nothing happened).

          In the case of this particular video, the zooming (and then fast pans) was definitely a bit distracting to me… do you not feel the same?

          • Peter Kelly on 04.11.13 @ 6:08PM

            yes, i dont like it particularly, but it is a common style that I would imagine most filmmakers/commenters would be familiar with. I think Heiko was being disingenuous with his question.

  • Just thinking out loud. Here’s some random *approximate* weights:

    – Mk3 — 2lb with battery
    – 1DC — 3lb body only
    – Black Magic Production Camera — 4lb body only
    – Scarlet (see this thread — 5lb brain only
    – Teradek bolt transmitter — half a pound
    – Canon 24mm lens — 1.5lb

    So maybe the $7,500 M5 version of the Movi, which supports up to 5lb, is enough to fly the first two of these.

  • blackespresso on 04.11.13 @ 7:10PM

    i can’t see regular folks holding a camera-rig with this weight more than 5-8 minutes max, wonder about the strain and fatigue factor, haven’t seen anyone address those issues?

  • Ryan Farner on 04.12.13 @ 2:55AM

    Can someone please reverse engineer this thing and sell it for what the parts actually cost. 15 grand is a bit out of sight to own.

    • Why not establish a kick starter project to buy and reverse engineer one, then make the specs open source? The proprietary item would probably be the software (copyright) but the logic and algorithms could be improved and thus altered, no copyright violation, and then given an open source license for all to use and further improve.

  • Would tilting be an issue with this device? It looks like it you wanted to tilt up/down by any amount, because the point of contact is at the top, it would be a real struggle. Would tilting up/down stop the system from working effectively if it relies on the weight lying below the point of contact for balance?

    Also is vertical movement stabilised at all or is it up to the operators arms to control it?

  • I like what I see …

  • Did you ever noticed the shitty grips they put on these expensive rigs?
    Looks like a bicycle grip.
    No one ever does some research and look at the FATIGUE factor and how to make it less taxing on the operator? I have yet to see a well designed handle/grip on any rail systems!
    They are all very bad.

  • Apparently not enough people saw the EasyRig comments. I think using an EasyRig is the answer if you had to use this a lot in one day or had one, long, difficult shot. Other than that, start working out on your upper body! Do any of you think running around for a long time with a Steadicam, Varizoom or Glidecam rig is easy on the lower back?! If so, you have not used one. We used a talented, experienced Steadicam operator on a 30-sec commercial shoot. He did a great job but cost us about 25% of the $7,500 version of the MoVi. So, If we can own a MoVi, after four commercial shoots, we’ll be making money as we up-charge for using this amazing rig. And don’t you think your clients would be super impressed if they saw you using this on a shoot for them.

  • such a kind of gimbal for lighter cameras (<1kg) can be easily diy'd
    2 axis – right here and right now, just google 'simple brushless gimbal controller'
    3 axis in near future