NAB 2017 – Gimbal Roundup featuring DJI & Freefly
The gimbal revolution ended a year or two ago and we are kind of in an iterative stage of development as we see small tweaks and improvements to the way they are built. I’m personally still rockin the DJI Ronin and always have my eye out for a reason to upgrade. I don’t think it’s this year yet, but here is what was going on at NAB so far:
DJI Ronin 2
The DJI Ronin 2 is the sequel to the venerable OG Ronin that is 3 years old. The Ronin 2 improves upon the original without departing too much from what you’ll see in any production quality gimbal these days. DJI has upgraded the motors to deliver a higher amount of torque which contributes to it’s increased payload capacity of 30 pounds at speeds up to 75mph. Now that it is GPS equipped, it also will assist in stabilization at high speeds.
The Ronin is also upgraded with a “power hub” with four 14.4V Lemo connectors to power accessories and make your setup cable routing a bit neater (less velcro maybe eh). Other things on the power front include a dual battery system with ability to hot swap while running on one. Although anytime I”ve had a gimbal op on set, it is put down more than enough for battery swaps without me ever thinking this was a needed feature. But nice nonetheless.
Maybe what is (potentially) the coolest addition is an integrated touch screen on the back of the main vertical arm and accompanying app.
Freefly MōVI XL
The one who really kicked it all off, Freefly, comes with a toy for big boys, the MōVI XL. Not designed to be handheld by any means.
First off, the XL boasts a 50lb platform payload, with FIZ integration, and a quick release system. They have tested the stabilization at 100mph. This quick release integrates all power and wiring solutions so that the MōVI XL can be moved from setup to setup such as from a car mount to a jib arm. They emphasize the focus on this in the promo video:
In addition to the quick release, the new brushless motors have hollow shafts which allow wires to be passed through the unit as desired. Also continues to be compatible with the MIMIC remote control system, Pilot, and Movi Pro App. The XL also features a 3 axis lens control system in the camera stage which can be controlled a variety of ways.
The specs are early but it will run off of dual batteries and weigh 25lbs. Price TBA.
Freefly MōVI Carbon
The MōVI Carbon is a unique offering, a 5 axis stabilizer that is designed for multi use on vehicle, drone, and handheld use with stability and long focal lengths. It is built around a Sony a7s II paired with a Sony 24-240mm lens to provide an all in one solution. Delivering stable footage at 240mm in a package this small is quite a feat.
Each unit will be hand built and cost somewhere under $30k.