GEAR | STAB I L I SED SUPPORTS
while weighing only 5kg itself. The company even reports successfully putting an Alexa XT with Canon’s bulky CN7x17 lens on board. DJI’s most famous products are still drones, though. The fixed- camera Mavic series, currently represented by the Mavic Air 2, is probably best known, but the flyweight Mini 2 ducks the most limiting rules in many jurisdictions. Gudsen’s Moza line tells a similar story, although the company leaps straight to promoting the Moza Air X, depicted with an Alexa Mini on board. The Moza Air X competes with Zhiyun’s Crane 3 Lab, which has a very similar payload capacity at around 4.5kg as well as similar pricing, though the Crane has on- board wireless video that obviates another case full of boxes and wiring. Again, there are smartphone gimbals from both companies. There’s perhaps a need for some caution over the rather ambitious load figures given here; certainly, gimbals work better lightly loaded. So, there are options to put more or less any camera anywhere, and to keep it aimed in the right direction. Perhaps the biggest potential disruptor is the sheer amount of technology that smartphone designers are putting straight into the handset. Many of them digitally stabilise footage as it’s shot, just by floating the image around ever higher-resolution sensors. Whether that sort of technology might grow to the point where it steals any work from the incumbents is probably the sort of thing that keeps gimbal designers awake at night.
it handles comparably-sized DSLRs and the Flir Duo Pro R thermal imaging camera beloved by search and rescue emergency workers. The specifications indicate a gross weight of just over 8.3kg, which places it in the more restrictive legal categories for operation in most jurisdictions, though that’s true of many consumer drones beyond the weight of a gnat. Of course, a lot of work doesn’t demand Super 35 sensors and multi- kilo lenses. Given there are more iPhones than Alexas in the world, it’s clear Freefly and DJI make much of their living with their smallest products. DJI’s offering begins with drones but ranges to tiny devices, such as the company’s Pocket 2 gimbal. On top of that, there are the RS series gimbals that sit on a post grip and are ideal for shooting something like a skateboard from aboard another skateboard. DJI’s upscale option is the Ronin 2, which pushes capacity up to 13.6 kg
as a ‘modular dolly’ that runs either on tracks or on open terrain. From a distance, the free-roaming version might be mistaken for a particularly beefy radio-controlled car, but close up it becomes clear that this is no RC hobbyists’ toy. The vehicle itself comprises core, drive and mounting assemblies, plus stabilisation, which can be combined to suit various scenarios. What’s particularly valuable about this is that it avoids the crippling red tape of drones. Agito could capture many of the same things a really low-flying drone could, but with far less paperwork. Payloads are up to 32kg and an Agito can achieve up to 32mph when it is used on the right terrain. It’s something that seems destined to save the backs of a lot of Steadicam operators, although the ability to do tiny creeping motions is possibly just as valuable. DRONES Gimbals as we know them arrived when Freefly launched the Movi M10 in 2013. Now, there’s not just a gimbal to be seen at the top of Freefly’s website. The company is taking reservations for the Astro drone, a quadcopter shown prominently with the Sony A7R4 but that is also compatible with similar models. With a mid-range capacity of 1.5kg, “DJI’S RONIN 2 PUSHES CAPACITY UP TO 13.6KG WHILE WEIGHING ONLY 5KG ITSELF”
TOP LEFT Motion Impossible’s Agito can be paired with Arri’s SRH-360 for a ready-to-go remote solution
18 DEF I N I T ION | FEBRUARY 202 1
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