JOBY’s Motion Control Tools Get Creators Out of Tight Spots and Your Camera Into One
With its new affordable series of motion control gadgets, JOBY is getting into serious content creation, even with mobile still at the heart of its design.
The Spin and Swing accessories in combination with JOBY’s control app can offer creators several movement options to elevate their content. But the two separate gadgets are hearty enough to even help narrative and documentary projects looking to maintain a small footprint.
First, we’ll look at the JOBY Spin, which harkens back to the 360 Galileo hockey puck of the early days of mobile filmmaking.
The Spin is a palm-sized puck that can move a mobile phone or light camera in a preprogrammed circle, making it ideal for panning and timelapse. It is also designed to work in tandem with a secondary Spin unit paired through JOBY’s Pan Tilt bracket, enabling not only horizontal movement but vertical movement as well.
JOBY SpinCredit: JOBY
Next comes the JOBY Swing, a very compact scissor-like motion control device that can mimic the movement of a camera slider, but with a similar compact footprint to the Spin. Using a pincer-like mechanism, the Swing can provide 15” of camera movement with a device only 8” long.
And like the Spin, the movement can be preprogrammed and controlled by the JOBY Move app, so that the same speed and movement can be repeated from take to take.
JOBY SwingCredit: JOBY
While these devices are super lightweight and have been designed for smartphones or action cameras, JOBY hasn’t actively discouraged using them with compact mirrorless cameras.
Weighing in at 130g, the Spin, for example, can hold weights approaching 750g, giving a mirrorless camera with a pancake lens an opportunity to take advantage of the Spin’s motion control. The Canon EOS-M only weighs 408g, giving you enough room from a lens. Paired with Magic Lantern, you now have a motion-controlled RAW-capable camera from next to nothing.
If you want more options, the Sigma FP can also be partnered with the Panasonic L Mount 12-32mm Vario, while the Sony A7C with a 20mm f2.8 will also just barely meet the weight threshold. However, it’s likely to be limited to one axis, as the tilt bracket could impact the center of gravity when attempting a multi-axis movement with a heavier rig.
JOBY Spin + SpinCredit: JOBY
Additionally, the Swing cannot be combined with multiple Swing modules at this stage of development, nor can it be combined with the Spin to create a more complex camera sliding movement. Yet. This seems like it could be a limitation of the app software itself, and it could be something we may see in future variants.
But at $89.95 and $129.95 for the Spin and Swing respectively, these are interesting options for creatives to take advantage of. The Spin Pan Tilt Bracket is only an additional $29.95. JOBY also offers a kit for the Swing which includes the smartphone mount, ball head, and a GorillaPod 3K for $179.95.
- Capture Panoramas & Time-Lapse Videos
- 360° of Rotation
- Motion Controlled via iOS & Android
- Controlled via JOBY Motion App
- Designed in Conjunction with Syrp Lab
- 1 x Top 1/4"-20 Male Connector
- 1 x Bottom 1/4"-20 Female Connector
- Up to 1.7 lb Load Capacity
For those prices, JOBY is making it very affordable to create controlled camera motion on a budget, whether through a smartphone, action camera, or even a light mirrorless camera rig. While content creators are sure to take full advantage of these little gadgets, narrative filmmakers can also join in.
- Film Smooth Timelapse & B-Roll Footage
- App-Controlled Motion Control
- Split Swing Arm with 15" of Travel
- Top & Bottom 1/4"-20 Mounts
- Integrated Bubble Level
- Up to 1.3 lb Payload Capacity
- Rechargeable via USB Type-C
Both the Spin and Swing are small enough to fit in tight spaces, but also provide enough movement to give your footage cinematic choreography. With enough ingenuity, you can have a nice little motion control rig for VFX.