November 13, 2013

Cinevate Morpheus: An All-In-One GoPro/Small Camera Stabilizer, Tripod, Dolly, Crane, & Slider

Cinevate MorpheusNo, it's not the famous character from The Matrix played by Laurence Fishburne  -- though I'm sure that's all you're going to think about now -- it's actually a modular camera stabilizer. Cinevate has been working for a number of years on a small, light, and inexpensive camera stabilizer that can take your GoPro or other small camera and give you smooth-looking footage. The company has launched a Kickstarter for the stabilizer, so check out the launch video below for more on the Cinevate Morpheus:

The Morpheus system should be great if you want something simple that can get more complex the more you want to do with it. While there are plenty of GoPro and small camera stabilizers out there, most of them are single purpose, and will only work as handheld stabilizers. Morpheus will allow you to do all sorts of things with a tiny bit of gear, which is really the way it should be when the camera you're using, like a GoPro, has such a small footprint in the first place. The system can handle cameras that are 300 grams, or around 10 ounces, but it can work with heavier cameras if you add counterweights. It's also made specifically to work with GoPros with and without accessories, as well as all iPhone models and most smartphones, since the clamps are adjustable.

This whole video was shot using the Morpheus and the GoPro HERO3:

There are a number of award levels, starting at $125 for the stabilizer only and going up to $300 for the version with all of the bells and whistles:

Cinevate Morpheus 125 Dollar

Cinevate Morpheus 300 Dollar

As for when you can expect them:

Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, the molds can be purchased.  Preliminary design work for molding is already done, so we expect to first test models from the molds in 12 weeks (beginning of March 2014)  Once mold tweaks are complete (1-3 weeks) we will start to see finished product at or before April 2014.  Because we are making 100% of Morpheus in the US and Canada, we will not have any long shipping delays.  We have already sourced a supplier in Canada for the micro-machined components so the risk in going to manufacture is very low.

It looks like the team at Cinevate has tried to think of everything when it comes to making a stabilizer that can work in literally any situation -- so the Morpheus is really going to be the right tool for many jobs, especially ones that need to be light and easy to work with. It may be slightly over the limit, but it should also work with a camera like the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, which is in stock pretty much everywhere and now capable of shooting CinemaDNG RAW.

Head on over to the Kickstarter to read more about it, and donate if you'd like to help Cinevate reach their $25,000 goal by the beginning of December (it should also be noted that everything is listed in Canadian dollars, but the exchange rate is essentially 1:1 right now).

Links:

Your Comment

30 Comments

I think Cinevate is too big of a company to go to Kickstarter to fund their projects. They should risk their money or go through alternate sources of funding to ensure they can invest on this product. What's next? Zacuto will want kickstarter funds too?

Maybe I'm wrong, but something about a company this big going to Kickstarter just rubs me the wrong way.

November 13, 2013 at 3:58AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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You might be right, but on the other hand some of these bigger names, bring a lot of innovation to the market - at a premium - only to see it copied cheaply elsewhere. I think kickstarter in this case offers some security and a return on investment.
Maybe that is what is happening in this case, and people at the end of the day vote with their pledges etc..

November 13, 2013 at 4:14AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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kuban

Yeah, that's what I thought while I was watching the video.....So they need $25K....Just by watching the video I can tell them to sell the red Epic they used to shoot this video...so they can get that money, or the can move to a smaller office, or don't turn on the lights during daytime....So this way they can save that money....I guess by next year we will see a Sony's kickstarter for their new 4k camera right?? ahhaha that would be awesome.

It's very annoying to see big companies, or famous rich people doing kickstarters instead of the medium people who really needs the money.

November 13, 2013 at 4:58AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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jesuan

Kickstarter themselves has already shot down this theory; you should WANT big companies on there, as it brings a lot more backers in who go on to back other projects. Kickstarter is not a fixed set of money, the more backers there are, the more money there is to go around.

http://www.kickstarter.com/blog/who-is-kickstarter-for
http://www.kickstarter.com/blog/blockbuster-effects

November 13, 2013 at 9:51AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Chris

so the more big companies.....the less chances to ordinary people get publicity.....people will invest better on a big company that on a unknown one......

November 13, 2013 at 10:11AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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jesuan

Perhaps you should actually read their blog posts. When those two big games went up and created controversy, people backed $2+ million of OTHER projects in two weeks, compared to <$2mil in the prior two years. Another few hundred thousand dollars went to projects outside the games category as well. That's $2+ million that might otherwise not have existed for Kickstarter projects had that big project not brought people into the ecosystem.

A month after the Zach Braff kickstarter, $400,000 had gone to OTHER film projects from backers who came into Kickstarter via backing Braff. That's thousands of people that might not have known what kickstarter was, and that's hundreds of thousands of dollars that other projects got as a result of that awareness. That is a positive thing no matter how you spin it. More awareness equals more possible money for your projects

November 13, 2013 at 10:52AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Chris

Well said. I agree 100%.

November 13, 2013 at 4:28PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Stefan Antonescu

I think you are right. There is a lot of new creative people like me, looking for help with our projects. All glidecam shooters and those looking for smooth stable shots,, check out @ErozSteadyAid. What vest!?!
http://youtu.be/jD9kufcZ9qE
http://Erozsteady.com

November 13, 2013 at 4:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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RENz

mmmm is a shame, big companies shouldn`t use this methode to get money.

November 13, 2013 at 7:55AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Nelson

I really like the idea itself though agree with the above that I do not see why a established company like cinevate turns to Kickstarter.
Is the music of the promo video from videocopilot's pro scores? Great score but way overused and not a good choice when catering to the video enthusiasts community... also the more videos I am seeing from the Gopro 3 the more I realize that I really dislike the camera's color rendering, although that is of course unrelated to this product.

November 13, 2013 at 8:09AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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I would get one right away if shipping was December. Can't put $300 on a product and get it in April or later 2014. Who knows what videos you'll shoot in 2014?

November 13, 2013 at 9:28AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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cant help but wonder why cinevate needs a kickstarter...

November 13, 2013 at 10:33AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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So that's the first 10 idiots that need to get off this board :-) @Chris seems to be the only bright one around here.
a) if you think Cinevate is a 'big' company, you may hear some Canadian laughter. They probably turnover less than your local drycleaner does annually. Seriously.
b) Kickstarter is not JUST for your short films and people with 3-D printers. It wants to be the eBay of donation funding. With the recent law changes, it may yet turn into the eBay of equity funding.
c) Using Kickstarter (or a variant) to assess the demand for a prototype of a product that may well sell only in the hundreds or low thousands makes excellent common sense. Companies that supply this niche industry of ours need to maximise their R&D and production dollars. One mistake can be fatal to a company that size. We want Cinevate to survive yes? (I do!) So running a pre-buying plan for a niche product within a niche industry is pretty bloody smart.
d) @Chris is right: Kickstarter is not a zero sum game. Bigger fish attract bigger fisherman. Some of that new money in the market may reach projects they hadn't known existed (this is exactly how I ended up funding two art shows - by wandering around KS after buying kit!).
e) By saying 'big' companies shouldn't be on KS, you're asking two growing, creative businesses to stop growing so they fit your viewpoint. Did you think that through?
f) if Kickstarter is too big for you, there are more underground alternatives! I just won't feel comfortable donating to you on them.

November 13, 2013 at 11:24AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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marklondon

you idiot!!! I gave my opinion and that's what I think, you won't make me change my mind. As the name says it is Kick STARTER...no kick STABLISHED....that's why I think a company (big or small) should be on this places.

November 13, 2013 at 2:07PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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jesuan

Mark, that about says it. Thanks so much for your very insightful response.

We are a very small company, 8 full time, with a team around us of machinists and such. Morpheus quite frankly scares me a bit as it is a product with a monstrous injection mold cost in order to achieve a retail of $125. The molds alone will run $75K, made in the USA. As it is, consider how much four years of sideline development costs! Kickstarter is a litmus test that gives us a great opportunity to listen to our customers and in turn develop products that they really want. So far the response tells us that yes, Morpheus is something the world wants. Thanks so much for your support!

Cheers,
Dennis Wood (Cinevate Chief Cook and Bottle Washer)

November 13, 2013 at 12:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Dennis ... if you ever need a stand-in for your acting gigs ... I am available ...

November 14, 2013 at 12:26AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DLD

@Mark, Chris and Dennis: Amen.

November 13, 2013 at 1:07PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Luke

Pretty cool! That is all!

November 13, 2013 at 2:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Terry_mickie

Love the idea and I think Kickstarter makes sense for *medium* sized companies like Cinevate because it is the kind of social advertising we all love. Also, like Dennis said it lets them "try out" the idea. Also early adopters get a discount instead of paying a premium.

That said I really wish this worked with a slightly heavier camera. It would be *perfect* for casual or B-cam shots with my NEX sized cameras. I love the flexibility just wish it was a tad beefier.

November 13, 2013 at 2:53PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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I guess it all kind of makes sense why Cinevate would need a Kickstarter, but I wonder, even the CEO states this project scares him, so why do it in the first place, why risk it? The Steadicam Smoothee does everything this does, except adapt to a slider rig, which seems like a pretty cool advantage. I guess it's up to the people to decide.

November 13, 2013 at 3:28PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Steve M.

I DONT THINK THEY NEED TGHE MONEY BUT THEY TEST THE MARKET THIS WAY

November 14, 2013 at 12:49AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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sebastian R

Posts like this one, or rather, the comments section for this post, illustrate how badly NoFilmSchool needs to upgrade things. In the last few months I've noticed a trend where it is getting harder and harder to find intelligent opinions amidst the mass of ignorant, self-absorbed trolling and negativity.

Thank you @MarkLondon and @Chris for bringing a little intelligence to the forum and thank you @Dennis for taking the time to respond here despite the fact that some here appear unworthy of your time based on their opinions.

November 14, 2013 at 12:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Neil

I noticed the running footage is slo-mo. That's not a true demonstration of the device's stabilizing capability. I'd like to see footage in real playback speed. It does look like it has potential though.

November 14, 2013 at 1:27PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Tony

Big companies like Cinevate are using Kickstarter to figure out if there's a need for they're product. They made one stabilizer and created a video with it. If no one donates, they won't make it. Why invest resources into a product no one will buy?

November 14, 2013 at 5:28PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Personally, I'm excited about something as versatile as the Morpheus at $125-300. I don't begrudge other small/medium companies for putting out equipment for $500 or $1,000 and up, but as a beginner I just don't have that kind of money. If Cinevate can offload some of the R&D costs in exchange for "preorders" and thereby keep the final purchase price low, then it's going to turn out to be an interesting way to fund new products.

My only concern is how much risk there really is. Kickstarter says the terms of use require creators to refund money if they are unable to deliver the reward, but I've heard so much about undelivered Kickstarter projects that it makes me wonder if it's more like a preorder or more like an investment that could end up as a total loss. If I don't have the $500 for a Kessler pocket dolly then I definitely don't have the $300 for vaporware. I'm speaking as someone who has never funded a Kickstarter project that has actually been completed, so maybe that's obvious to someone who'd be able to enlighten me.

November 14, 2013 at 5:42PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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TK

Some great responses here from Sathya, TK, Mark, Neil and Chris :-) I had to smile at the comment characterizing Cinevate as "corporate raiders" . We're a company with 8 employees (including me), who creates much needed employment in the small community of Thunder Bay, where 90% of our machining and anodizing is done :-) I suppose one of the upsides of supporting this project is that we're not an unknown. Cinevate has been around for 10 years now, something significant in terms of assessing risk.

For the record, the Red Scarlet used to the shoot the Kickstarter clip isn't ours. It belongs to Imaginarium, a local film making company that we hired to shoot the Kickstarter video. It was not inexpensive to do this, however the $$ that we invested in the video went right back into the local film industry..and we support these guys at every opportunity by hiring them to do work for us. "The Run" however is 100% GoPro Hero3, and shot by me :-) None of the footage was stabilized in post, although there is some speed ramping going on to suit the edit. We'll be posting a pile of footage over the next few weeks to show off the magnetic steering system, and demonstrate how good it is with various cameras..including a Black Magic pocket cam. A big thanks to all ( and especially NoFilmSchool.com ) for making our first week such a successful one.

Cheers,
Dennis Wood (Cinevate Guy who pays the Bills)

November 15, 2013 at 5:42PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Nice... but who's gonna use a cell phone to make films compared to a real camera?

November 14, 2013 at 5:51PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Agree This is not cool at all...
Crowd Funding was not intended for established corporate profit raiders to use the funding of often struggling media makers to increase their own profits from and reduce the risk of product failures.. KICK THEM OFF

November 14, 2013 at 8:44PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Michaelauknz

Dayzero, that is a great question. Remember our price point is $125 so definitely targeted at the sub $1000 camera. We're already looking at the "heavy lifter" version which would use the same technology but would be CNC machined from aluminum, or titanium.

On Wednesday a class from the local film school (Confederation College) will be at Cinevate with their Black Magic Pocket camera, (220 Mbps using Apple ProRes 4:2:2) and a selection of wide angle lenses. We will be shooting for a day with this combination, and will be posting footage on the Kickstarter page. Similarly the Sony RX100 ($750) with its 1" chip, OIS, and f1.8 lens at 10mm shoots some pretty amazing video on Morpheus. I have been using this combination for some time now and it's simply amazing. The added mass of these cams translates to very, very nice performance in "flight" mode. Stay tuned.

Cheers,
Dennis Wood

November 17, 2013 at 3:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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I think the admin of this website is really working hard for his web page, as here every data is quality based stuff.

May 30, 2014 at 8:53AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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