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3-axis stabilizers ala FreeFly MOVi or ZenMuse - DIY and commercial
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  • In the meantime I made a short video with footage from first tests and projects with the Porta Head 2 and 5 prototypes. The footage is not stabilized in post to show the actual results of the gimbal. More footage will follow soon and also a test with the gimbal combined with the steadicam.

    Best regards, Andreas

    www.portahead.de

  • Shot using GSS 520

  • Has anyone used one of these for a long period? They're obviously fantastic and having given up on two hand held ones in the past because of the fanny of balancing them I would love to have one but if you were doing a loooooong shot, covering an event or whatever wouldn't you still want a vest and arm and therefore regular stabiliser? Do you need both!?

  • I have a blackbird and a merlin vest and arm. I can't hold the blackbird for long without the vest and arm. with it, it's a joy. Most of the muscle tiredness you get comes from fighting to keep it balanced and get a clean shot.

    Now if these new gimbals ones work and work well (I actually doubt they do) they eliminate most of the fatigue. It's those little muscle movements that kill you.

    If you can get a perfect run with a brushless gimble the first time, it's better than doing ten times with a vest and arm.

  • Just thinking with a BMCC and monitor and maybe battery it's still going to be a weight to lug around and hold up for an extended period of time. Maybe i just need to go to the gym - I would put more but that wouldn't be true.

  • @belfryman Since using a Portahead 2 with BMCC, my 1st AC and I have been hitting the gym.

  • @ahbleza Ah, thank you, that was my fear. I might be too old to start! So the Portahead 2 is OK with BMCC, that's good news, bit of a price jump to 5. What sort of lens were you using? Did you have any add ons like FF or battery?

  • @Belfryman No FF, and the battery was held in pocket attached with a long cable. Lens was the Voigtlander 25mm.

  • @ahbleza Thanks. So nice and light. Do you think it would have taken a heavier lens or ff?

  • @belfryman The big issue with these stabilizers is balance. It's possible it could take a heavier lens, and I intend to test its limits later this month, so will report back here.

  • I've found that a lighter rig is a bitch to get balanced. Weight is stability.

    If these work than you could get stable shots with a light rig. That would be a good thing. Then a GH2/3 bmpcc could be a flying rig with a bigger camera as the main.

    There's no way anyone can hold say a bmcc with a big lens, monitor and stabilizer. Not without body support or more that one guy. Not for multiple takes. No way.

  • @ahbleza. That's great, thanks. @chauncy Right, that's what I was wondering, so these are not going to kill the vest and arm if you want to use a bigger camera but fab combo with the BMPCC or GH2/3. More money needed!

  • I'd like to see a brushless on an arm, has anyone seen it done? Can't see what the connecting point would be but if there is a way that would seem perfect to me. Great off the arm for short bursts and getting into nooks and crannies and then fine for longer work on it.

  • @belfryman

    I second that. These on an arm would seem to be the best of both. A steadicam arm/vest is excellent for weight management and for eliminating up/down movement from running/walking (the one movement, coincidentally, that the brushless gimbal stabilizers do not account for). But the brushless gimbals are better and easier to control in terms of other camera movements.

  • I wouldn't go anywhere near these until comprehensive reviews are out. It's one thing to walk around the carpeted office, it's another on uneven ground in the field.

    What's the learning curve like? What about calibration? What happens when it's loaded in the back of a car, does all the gyro get screwed up? Some of these look fragile. How long does it take to get it set up and balanced?

    How do they handle sway and pitch? Most stabilzers handle up down motion really well. It's the side to side roll that's hard to control. Turn a corner and see what happens.

    I love the idea. But the idea has to work and work repeatedly under real conditions.

  • Upcoming Varavon gymbals

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    var.jpg
    800 x 518 - 62K
    var1.jpg
    633 x 744 - 74K
    var2.jpg
    640 x 723 - 72K
  • Itll be interesting to see the price on the varavon unit, as they are usually pretty inexpensive.

  • I was skeptical about these things but this past weekend I was at a local camera shop and a customer walked in with the Defy G2 and I got to say, I was impressed from the built quality to the easy of use. It is easy to set up and I can confirm that I didn't notice any sway movement (well I didn't get to use it for long) One of the sales guy at the shop who is also a cinematographer did mentioned to be careful to by from a manufacturer that's dedicated in making 3-axis stabilizers like MOVi or Defy. I kinda told myself, I was gonna spend +$3000 on a stabilizer, I will buy a Defy. I doubt the varavon system is gonna be cheaper.

  • Be careful to by from a manufacturer that's dedicated in making 3-axis stabilizers like MOVi or Defy. I kinda told myself, I was gonna spend +$3000 on a stabilizer, I will buy a Defy. I doubt the varavon system is gonna be cheaper.

    This market will change in upcomign year very significantly. With mentioned manufacturers pushed into niche top market. As for varavon stuff, don't make assumptions :-)