Freefly quite literally revolutionized the way we move our cameras two years ago with the MōVI. This year, they're making gimbal operating easier than it's ever been before.
In a massive announcement today, the popular camera movement technology company revealed a plethora of professional products. The announcement includes MIMIC, a kinetic controller for operating the MōVi gimbal, ALTA, a high-end drone, WEDGE, a tiny 3-channel lens control system, and MōVI XL, a beefed-up version of the MōVI that can handle the weight of cameras like the Alexa and Phantom Flex 4K.
The MIMIC controller for MōVI is moving gimbal operation away from unintuitive controllers with joysticks and knobs, and it's making the process easy enough for everyone to do it. Essentially, it's a handheld controller that you can move kinetically, and through some sort of wireless engineering magic, the gimbal follows those movements seamlessly.
With the MIMIC there are no joysticks, knobs or wheels. Just tilt, pan and even roll the MIMIC and the MōVI will follow. It is a system so intuitive and organic that operators can execute complex moving shots with precise framing after just minutes of practice.
Here's world-renowned photographer and filmmaker Chase Jarvis using the MIMIC:
And some totally adorable kids:
The concept of the MIMIC is similar to the kinetic remote for the BeeWorks Stabilizer (which is also being showcased at NAB this year). Ultimately, this type of technology is the future of remotely operating gimbals, as it literally breaks down most of the barriers (except for cost) that comes with equipment this advanced. And speaking of cost, the MIMIC can be pre-ordered for $495 (although it's a beta release, so who knows if that price is reflective of what it will cost later on), and the first beta product shipments are expected before the end of the month.
Freefly's first foray into drones was the CineStar, which was, and still is, an excellent professional solution for professional aerial cinematography, especially when integrated with the MōVI. Freefly wanted to improve on that system by making it far simpler to set up and operate, while making it even more reliable. They achieved that goal with their new drone, the ALTA.
Here's a little piece from their press release:
The ALTA comes ready to fly. It unpacks in minutes, carries a 15 lb. payload, and is guided by the state-of-the-art Freefly Synapse flight controller to ensure safety, rock-solid stability, and versatility. Enabling a host of shots that were never before possible, the camera can be mounted on the top of the ALTA.
The ALTA drone will be priced at $8,495 and is expected to begin shipping to customers in June, 2015. You can pre-order it from Freefly (or an authorized dealer) right now with a $1,000 deposit.
WEDGE is a wireless three-channel lens controller (it can control focus, zoom, and iris) that is designed specifically for use with gimbal stabilizers. The problem with many of the wireless lens controllers currently on the market is that they're often bulky and heavy, which presents a major problem for gimbals since they're restricted in the weight and size of the gear they can carry. According to the Freefly press release, the WEDGE "operates in tandem with the MōVI Controller, and adapts to many different professional camera, lens and motor combinations. It is the smallest and lightest 3-channel lens controller ever, fitting into place snugly in a tiny package between the MōVI cage and camera."
The WEDGE is going to set you back $2,495 and is expected to begin shipping early next month.
The MōVI XL is just what it sounds like, a beefed up version of the original gimbal stabilizer. It's designed for heavier camera systems like the Alexa and Phantom Flex4K. According to the Freefly press release, "the MōVI XL will be available in the 3rd calendar quarter, in a bundle with the MōVI Controller, from the Freefly Store or only through select Freefly dealers at a price of $40,000, and can be pre-ordered with a $4,000 deposit."
So there you have it, a whole bunch of cool new gear from Freefly. The company will be showing off all of these items at NAB this week, so if you're interested, drop by and see them at booth C3112.