Does the world really need another gimbal stabilizer? Many would argue no, but the engineers from Seattle-based startup BeeWorks beg to differ.
It's been roughly a year and half since MōVi took the filmmaking world by storm. In the period that followed, startup company after startup company emerged sporting their own variations on the motorized gimbal. A select few of these stabilizers were top notch and offered solid performance, while countless others were bulky, cheaply manufactured, and sadly ineffective. Ultimately, it made the camera stabilization marketplace feel unbearably saturated, even annoyingly so.
However, despite the wonderful advances in stabilization technology over the past year, it would be silly to argue that there's no room for improvement. Enter BeeWorks, a Seattle-based technology startup. With their backgrounds in mechanical/aerospace engineering and electronics design, BeeWorks co-founders Matt Nuffort and Adam Behringer set out to build an evolutionary gimbal stabilizer from the ground up, and used their unique backgrounds to create a one-of-a-kind product. Here's the Kickstarter video for the very first stabilizer from BeeWorks, the BW-05:
There are a few things that really set the BeeWorks stabilizer apart from the competition. First and foremost is the weight. At just over four pounds, the BeeWorks is the lightest gimbal stabilizer in its class. Anybody who has spent long hours using other stabilizers like the DJI Ronin -- which comes in at nearly 10 pounds -- knows that operating them can take its toll on your arms very quickly. With aircraft-grade aluminum construction, the BeeWorks is built to be as light as possible while still maintaining the standard five point weight capacity, which is perfect for smaller cameras like the A7s, GH4, and BMPCC.
Another really interesting feature of the BeeWorks stabilizer is the kinetic remote system, which uses remote motion sensors to control the panning, tilting, and rolling of the camera when it is mounted to the baseplate. Check out the kinetic remote in action here:
The kinetic remote system looks like it provides an incredibly tactile way to control the camera when it's not in your hands, and if it works accurately with little lag, it will be a far preferable option for remotely controlling motion than RC controllers with joysticks.
Ultimately, the BeeWorks stabilizer isn't really revolutionary, but it is most certainly evolutionary. The BeeWorks team has taken the feedback and criticisms of filmmakers about our current generation of gimbal stabilizers, and they've used their engineering know-how to craft a product that fixes many of those concerns. However, at $2740 for a basic package and a discounted full package including the kinetic remote at $4000, the BeeWorks is not an inexpensive proposition by any means.
To learn more about BeeWorks 05 stabilizer, head on over to their Kickstarter page.