Get a Clear View of Your Shot with Ikan’s New Gimbal
With the innovative angled mount of the Beholder DS2-A gimbal, operators can finally get a clear view of their framing.
Sometimes when using a gimbal it feels like you are using a tool designed by someone who has never even held a camera. Not so with the new DS2-A from Ikan, the newest stabilizer from the Houston based company, where the designers have clearly put a lot of thought and attention to the needs of actual camera operators in the design. By angling the support arm, there is finally a gimbal that gives you a clear and complete view of the image you are framing without requiring external monitoring equipment of any kind; you can just see the monitor that comes built into your DSLR.
Ikan has focused not just on usability, but also easy setup. Many gimbal stabilizers are notoriously finicky to set up and learn to use, but Ikan has customized the quick release plate system to make initial physical setup a breeze. A few simple adjustments of the sliding plates and the camera is stabilized and ready to work. Once you are working, the setup remains as easy with a simple "lock mode" that keeps the camera framing you dictate no matter how chaotic the operator's movement might be, and a simple point and lock for reframing.
The gimbal also has 3 different follow modes including the Pan-Follow Mode (pan), Follow Mode (both pan and tilt), and the 3-Axis Follow Mode (pan, tilt, and roll). In addition, the DS2-A has a new 60-second auto-sweep feature that allows you to program a 60-second movement. The camera will move from one point to another in a 60-second time frame.
When we tested the gimbal, one detail we appreciated is the combination battery charger/battery holder. The same assembly that you use for holding the batteries together inside the gimbal arm slides out to be used as the battery charger. This elegant arrangement smartly avoids having to worry about losing an additional battery charger and gives it a lifetime position to store your charger between jobs—inside the handle. With the 8-10 hours of runtime you get from a 3-4 hour charge cycle, a spare set of batteries on the charge is basically unnecessary.
The DS2-A comes packaged in a well-designed smart case that offers more protection than the common cloth sack while not requiring the bulk and weight of a hard case. The DS2-A is designed to be as small and lightweight as possible, focusing specifically on the mirrorless camera market (A7S, XT2, and GH5 being especially popular with filmmakers). This allows Ikan to make the gimbal smaller and lighter by avoiding needing to bulk up its components to carry the heavier mirror reflex cameras.
A Bluetooth app will be released in the near future that can be used to control the gimbal’s pan, tilt, and roll movements including the option to mimic control with the phone. The app will also include a face tracking feature using your phone’s camera.
While many like to "over purchase" in case they might need a bigger gimbal in the future, with anything handheld that you will have to carry for potentially long days, it makes sense to focus instead on getting the precisely right tool for the job and saving yourself the extra weight for a payload capacity you won't need. If what you need is a stabilizer for a mirrorless camera that lets you see what you are shooting without an external monitor, the DS2-A Beholder is a great choice.
- Cameras up to 4lbs
- All aluminum construction
- Li-Ion batteries, up to 10 hours of runtime and only 3 hours of charge
- 3-Axis stabilization, 360° pan motor
- 32bit controller, 12-bit encoder
- ¼” 20 and 3/8” tripod mounting points