February 25, 2014

Comodo Rethinks Camera Support with the New Orbit Handheld Stabilizer (and We Give Away One Free)

Handheld gimbal stabilizers with brushless motors might be all the rage these days, but gimbals themselves have been around in camera support for years. All-mechanical single gimbal designs operated with one hand like the Merlin might be less complicated to set up at first, but they are a bit more difficult to master and operate for longer periods of time. That's where the Comodo Orbit comes in. It may look unorthodox at first glance, but the twin-grip handheld stabilizer aims to give you the best of both worlds in one package. Check out the stabilizer in action below:

The Orbit is designed to be easier to balance than single grip stabilizers:

Smoother Shots with Dual Grips

One of the issues with brushless motor gimbals at the lower end has been weight capacity. Since it takes a more serious rig to keep things stable as you increase the camera size, they tend to get costly rather quickly. The Orbit, which comes in at 4.4 pounds, is capable of taking camera packages up to 11 pounds, which means you can mount anything from a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera all the way up to a RED SCARLET or EPIC. Longer cameras should also work fine -- here is a Sony FS700 mounted on the Orbit:

And here it is with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera:

With multiple gimbals, this design can't "take off" on you like single grip gimbals can. Getting perfect balance can be a little tricky with stabilizers like the Glidecam, but even when you do, they can get unwieldy very fast depending on the camera movement you're going for. With this design, it's far more difficult for that to happen because of the way the camera is supported.

You might be wondering what the two grips on each arm are for, but besides letting you balance the stabilizer on a table without any extra gear, they allow you to hand the camera off to another operator to get longer or more creative shots:

Comodo Orbit Camera Handoff

The Orbit also lets you tilt the camera up and down by yourself, something that can be difficult (or impossible) with other kinds of stabilizers.

Cameras attach with a 1/4"- 20 screw, but the cheeseplate design allows you to add pretty much any kind of extra support below the camera. The Comodo Orbit is available right now, and sells for $1,500, which includes all the accessories needed to get you going, including extensions arms and a case to house the stabilizer.

While you may need to attach some sort of follow focus device depending on the shots you want to get, autofocus technology is improving rapidly for large sensor cameras. We've seen it on cameras all the way from point and shoots to more recently the C300, but Canon's 70D released last year made great strides to make operating alone that much easier, and is a great match for handheld stabilizers.

Canon 70D & Comodo Orbit 'Get It In One Shot' Giveaway

But what if you can't afford all this gear? Well, you're in luck, because Comodo is partnering with No Film School to give away an Orbit stabilizer along with a Canon 70D to shooters in the US. You have until March 31st to head on over to their website and enter for a chance to win a package that includes a 70D with the 18-135mm STM Autofocus lens and a Comodo Orbit.

The winner will be chosen at random and contacted on 4/3/2014. Must be over 18 to enter. USA only, sorry international folks! Official giveaway rules above in Giveaway widget. Check out more over at the links below.

Links:

Your Comment

68 Comments

Maybe I am spoiled by all the great solutions out there....but the video produced by using this product looks pretty shaky to me. At least in the videos provided for demonstration.

February 25, 2014 at 10:54AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Scot

Ageed!

February 25, 2014 at 2:35PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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ChristopherG

hmmm - a design that looks to be moving in the wrong direction.

February 25, 2014 at 3:10PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I saw the presentation today at BVE in London and had the opportunity to check it out..Unfortunately what you see is what you get, shaky footage..The guy who made it was really passionate and excited but the reality was that everything they showed was shaky. It can still be useful but it has rather limited applications.

February 25, 2014 at 3:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Michael

US only give-away. Boooh :p

February 25, 2014 at 10:56AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Y U NO KANADA?

February 25, 2014 at 11:01AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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hello good job i will like to order one comodo rethink camera also to market the product in my country Nigeria

February 25, 2014 at 11:10AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Son of a...7/13 entries and realized it's USA-only. Are we talking US citizen only, or US mailing address only?

February 25, 2014 at 11:10AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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How does one pull focus while operating this thing?

February 25, 2014 at 11:12AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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David

Same as all stabilisation / lift systems: Remotely. Bartech follow focus and a Terradeck Bolt wireless video link does the job for example.

February 25, 2014 at 11:36AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Does it use gyroscopes to stabilize it?

February 25, 2014 at 11:14AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Daniel

It uses mechanically operated gimbals.

February 25, 2014 at 11:46AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Victor

$1500? Ridiculous.

February 25, 2014 at 11:15AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Lance Fresh

This thing looks awesome.

February 25, 2014 at 11:19AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Mason

Looks cool. Too bad this is US only.

February 25, 2014 at 11:19AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Looks nice, but I'd wait until someone makes the same thing for $200. Overpriced for the technology.

February 25, 2014 at 11:24AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Pat

I hate being negative but the footage is really not that stable. They even "slowmoed" a shaky move in the first video to make it look less bad. This kind of result would be more than ok for a really cheap product but this is sold at the same price as the cheaper brushless gimbals. So yes it can take 11 pounds but IMO the resulting footage is just not good enough.

February 25, 2014 at 11:32AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Haroun Souirji

+1

February 25, 2014 at 4:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Scot

I get an error message every time I try to enter

February 25, 2014 at 11:40AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Nothing new here... Footage look choppy and sloppy, bad horizons.
Ehhh all these stabilizer videos are getting old..

February 25, 2014 at 11:41AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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kyle

us only? boooooh! : (

February 25, 2014 at 11:47AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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tim

Agreed, not impressed with the footage, even less impressed with the US only... Common guys, you can do better. You seem to enjoy having reader from all around the world... Well then, you know what to do :)

February 25, 2014 at 11:51AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Anthony Bert

Footage looks the same as a fig rig shot. Why would you pay money for this?

February 25, 2014 at 11:52AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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mike

I was thinking the same thing: Why wouldn't I just use a fig rig?

February 26, 2014 at 9:19AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Dan

I could def use something like this as a cheaper solution to shoot the FS100 or BMPC with instead of a shoulder or a more expensive and complicated unit. Seems really similar to the Merlin I have for the DSLR but a bit easier to balance. I love long takes but am afraid they are going to start becoming overkill with all this technology!

February 25, 2014 at 12:20PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Nice try, guys.

February 25, 2014 at 12:27PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Christian Anderson

It's always soooo easy in demonstration videos...
Real life is worse. This week I returned my Glidecam HD4000. It was a pain to balance, but even when I think I had it balanced, it was a pain to operate. I never got the shots I wanted (simply hallway shots without the camera swinging side to side).

I know a lot of people shot great things with it, so I'm not blaming the product but myself.

February 25, 2014 at 12:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Mr.Floppy

here is a 20 second shot taken by me walking backwards down a hall with the c100 on a hd-4000, walking in front of a couple. smooth as. the key seems to be having the central post extended quite a bit.

February 26, 2014 at 4:50AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Meh, not all that impressed. I'm really surprised this thing is being marketed for over $500. It's definitely not in the same league as brushless gimbal systems, but there might be a little niche where something like this fits in. $1500 is just laughable.

February 25, 2014 at 12:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Kaleb

i hope i win!

February 25, 2014 at 12:55PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I work for a church and I would use it to film our yearly Beach Camp!

February 25, 2014 at 1:13PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Garrett Beachy

You would spend that much money on one piece of equipment just to film an annual church beach camp...??

February 25, 2014 at 10:51PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Brian

Why not? His name is BEACHY...

February 26, 2014 at 4:07AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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mariano

I work for a carnival and I would use it for our next party

February 25, 2014 at 1:25PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Bal

There are 2-3 axis gimbal based stabilizers on eBay for under $1K ... but free is free, folks. Get an inexpensive body support system like Atlas and this just might work out OK with moderate movements and moderate speeds.

February 25, 2014 at 1:51PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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DLD

It's no steadycam or movi, yet it's priced that high...the only way i'm getting one is if i win one for free.

February 25, 2014 at 1:59PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Andrew Mittman

Their demonstration is terrible. It looks awful, and is shaky. $3000 value seems ridiculous to me.

February 25, 2014 at 2:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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ChristopherG

I appreciate these things are hard to make, but the quality of the footage doesn't justify the price tag.
If it was WELL below $400 it could compete with the units aimed at hobbyists.

February 25, 2014 at 4:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Exactly. 1500 sounds almost insulting when put side by side against waaaay superior 2 and 3 axis systems that aren't all that much more.

February 25, 2014 at 6:49PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Kaleb

I'd use it on my first feature we are working on

February 25, 2014 at 4:49PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Ricky

Pretty shitty results. Too bad: the stabilizer looks nice. But, Jebus... if only it worked !

February 25, 2014 at 6:41PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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FabDex

The filmmakers footage looked a lot better than the first video, I bet with some practice you could get better footage.

February 25, 2014 at 7:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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$1500 for a POS hunk of metal that gives you shakey as shit shots??? I can buy a f@cking CAME motorised gimble for less and get smooth as butter results!!!

Are these jokers for real? Are NFS for real 'partnering' with these clowns? Your credibility has just taken a dive on this one guys.

February 25, 2014 at 7:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Peter

Agreed the footage looks shakey I rather pony up the extra grand for a defy gimbal. This thing is a waste of money.

February 25, 2014 at 7:57PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Azul

Avarege idea and pricetag, well, good luck.

February 26, 2014 at 3:11AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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vetec

Before I saw the price tag I thought they'd probably be charging $200 for this thing (which would still be a rip off). That product demo reel was disgraceful! If you're going to try and scam people out of their money at least have the decency to run your footage through the warp stabilizer on After Effects for God's sake. I've seen way more effective DIY solutions on youtube.

February 26, 2014 at 7:45AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Dan

Yeah that's what I was thinking. $200-$300 max.

February 28, 2014 at 2:58PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Awful shaky footage. This is a joke?

February 25, 2014 at 8:20PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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hellboy80

These ridiculous prices need to stop. There is an odd assertion that because it's for cinema sellers can get away with charging absurd prices. I can honestly look at this and say it is not worth $3000. The footage was shaky so this product is not that innovative, good luck with it.

February 25, 2014 at 10:29PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Tony

If that demo video is putting their best foot forward, there's not a lot to get excited about here.

February 25, 2014 at 10:53PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Brian

I wouldnt be surprised to see a editors note " sorry guys this product is crap"

February 25, 2014 at 11:13PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Azul

They had enough money to spend on glossy CGI product shots, but didn't care finding right people to test it to fly it smooth? Their marketing priorities were definitely wrong.

February 26, 2014 at 2:24AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Maxim Drygin

this is dope

February 26, 2014 at 3:13AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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derek white

This must be some early April fools joke. The shots from this thing are as"steady" as they would be without any stabilizer, heck, just the built in stabilizer from my sony alpha 99 is way smoother. And at 1500 bucks there must be some "special" people out there to buy this thing. Maybe it's something for Luke Neumann...

February 26, 2014 at 4:16AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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mariano

Big money, Big Money!!

February 26, 2014 at 8:47AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Timothy

Thank you in the name of all Europeans!

February 26, 2014 at 10:21AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Eddy Kindermans

Why $3000? I get that it cost to make something like this but the Chinese are making gimbals that support the Red and FS700 for $1600 fully equipped?

February 26, 2014 at 12:17PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Brendan

This is an interesting design.

February 26, 2014 at 4:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Just saw this at BVE, not convinced!

February 26, 2014 at 4:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Nick

I agree that the footage is not convincing. There are 3 axis gimbals that seem to help deliver better results. Still I like the idea of a mechanical solution. Perhaps they should refine this by adding somthing digital and electric. One question remains with all these stabilizers: How do you focus. A wireless follow focus and a focus puller seem the only solution for me but this is very expensive.

February 26, 2014 at 7:00PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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The other way would be to use something like the canon C100 or C300 with autofocus, or just shoot wide. Other than that there is no other way other than the expensive route.

February 27, 2014 at 12:25PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Tony Sosa

Leonard is the godfather of single shot cinema. He is the same guy who has been selling his own Steady Wing (http://www.steadywing.com/) for years, which uses almost identical principles at 1/4th of the price.

I've actually taken a class in single shot cinema from his partner last year here, near Amsterdam. Learned some interesting principles (become one with your camera), but back then I already thought that handheld stabilizers or even my trusted Glidecam yielded steadier results. Mainly on shorter takes, but that is how I shoot and edit anyway.

February 27, 2014 at 10:24AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Wow. This stuff looks terrible. WTF?

February 27, 2014 at 3:22PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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ronn

If i were to win this giveaway depending on when it arrived I would use this baby to make a behind the scenes doc for my company's (Church) Easter performance. We have over 500 volunteers and almost 100 paid personnel that pull off this event for our church. Also my baby girl Elizabeth is turning 1 in May and I would love to make a surprise video for my wife, I have some iphone footage but I do not own a DSLR and the 70D would help me accomplish this and start making videos/photos when I'm not on the clock.

February 28, 2014 at 6:40AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I would definitely take it if I won it.. but I'm not about to drop that kind of money on something like this.

March 4, 2014 at 10:06AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Great Idea, Can't wait to see it in action.

March 4, 2014 at 12:41PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Anthony

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