When it comes to portable motion control equipment, DitoGear has long been among the industry leaders, but they never cease to innovate.
Aiming to take gimbal stabilization to a new level, DitoGear announced VibraFreek, a supplementary gimbal stabilization system that incorporates the 3-axis gimbals- you already own to convert your car into a fully stabilized automotive cinematography vehicle. Think of it as a Russian Arm only a fraction of the cost.
Here's a bit from the press release that explains how it works:
VibraFreek vibration dampening arm effectively reduces both low and high frequency vibrations allowing for smooth and fully safe operation of the mounted gimbal and camera system even at higher speeds. An optional X/Y platform contributes to performance of the system under extreme conditions such as high speeds, wind or rough terrain.
They've released a bunch of test footage from the VibraFreek a while ago:
And here's some test footage shot with the just released XY module:
- 84 lbs. payload
- Can travel at up to 62 mph
- Compatible with systems from Freefly (MōVI), DJI (Ronin), and ACR (formerly BeSteady)
- Multiple mounting options, including spider, pillar, and bespoke mounts
The VibraFreek is an exciting rig for several reasons.
Even though today's gimbal stabilizers allow you to shoot steady footage from a car, the VibraFreek takes that to the next level -- no more awkward and dangerous camera maneuvers through an open car window, door, or tailgate.
You’ve probably seen rigs hard-mounted to the car using suction caps. Although this approach allows for better angles, it puts serious strain on the equipment itself and doesn't necessarily deliver satisfying results -- gimbals work fine handheld, but they are not designed to handle strong low and high frequency vibrations very well when hard-rigged to the vehicle.
Not only is VibraFreek safer for the gimbal, camera, and operator, but it allows you to mount the camera in the most attractive spots -- from low positions just a few inches above the road to over 8'.
VibraFreek aims to bridge the gap between DIY solutions for automotive filming and expensive systems like the Russian Arm. And it does it pretty well -- a complete system with a Pillar Mount will cost you about $4750, which might not seem all that appealing for a budget filmmaker, but remember that rigs like this (Russian arms) can cost almost that much to rent for a single day, not to mention $500K mark to buy one.
The DitoGear team also thought about making it easy to put their system to work. With the spider mount you can actually mount the gear to the bullbars or other available grip points. No need for expensive car surgery.
To take advantage of filming from a higher angles, you’ll want to go with the pillar mount(s). That actually requires a bit of modifications on the vehicle, but detailed guidelines are available.
Finally, DitoGear also provides bespoke car modification service, custom mounts and configurations, so you can get your car converted in a few weeks.
If that takes too long, you can always buy the BMW shown on the pictures above as it is for sale.
- DitoGear™ VibraFreek Arm - $2400
- DitoGear™ VibraFreek Complete system with Spider Mount - $2850
- DitoGear™ VibraFreek Complete system with Pillar Mount - $4750
- X/Y Module - available by the end of 2015, add $1000
And even if those prices are still too steep for you, DitoGear will be running a Black Friday Special, which can save you more. Not only for a VibraFreek, but also for their motion control equipment.
As of right now, we don't know the details of the sale, but they've said that it will be a big deal this year. So, if you're interested, you can sign up to be notified when the sale goes live below, or you can head on over to the VibraFreek site here to learn more.