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:
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.