DEFINITION January 2018



ACS SMARTGRIP A brand new innovation from ACS, the compact SMARTgrip robotic camera system adds an extra dimension of movement to its SMARThead product series. SMARTgrip consists of a SMARThead system fitted with a balanced carbon fibre arm and mini robotic head with Antelope PICO mini camera to provide a jib-like fully remote controlled camera movement within a small footprint. The SMARTgrip is supplied with a video and data fibre transmission system for full integration and control by a single operator from the OB or production area. This latest innovation uses existing ACS SMARThead support stands so you’re getting a minimum footprint/profile and discreet operation behind areas such as football goals as well as other production applications. The ACS SMARThead has an array of mounting hardware available. It’s fast to rig, features diverse control functions and is configurable for different applications. SMARThead makes use of various broadcast standard brick-style cameras including the Sony HDC-P1 and Ikegami HDL-51. Sony T kit adapted cameras (HDC-1500 with HKC-T1500) can also be used. This remote head solution is optimised for multi-camera remote use with features such as a dedicated HD router that is control integrated so that operator preview from multiple cameras can be managed efficiently. When combined with the large lens cradle adaptor the head can carry a Canon HJ40 with its excellent performance across the full focal length of the lens, with additional extensions that can be fitted to the yoke to achieve full look down in ‘hanging’ mode. Where cameras such as the Sony HDC-P1 are used, ACS has developed a SMPTE powered fibre adapter that provides power, data control and all camera services such as genlock.

MOVI PRO We’re on the cusp of a brand new product from makers Freefly but they won’t tell us what it is, so we’ve defaulted to talking about their current number one stabilising product. The new product should be out when you read this. Freefly launched the original MōVI gimbal three years ago at NAB with a great demo film made by DOP Vincent Laforet that caught the essence of what the stabilised rig could do in an instant. This year MōVI Pro reinvented the original product with a ‘down to the bolts’ update underpinned with what the team has learned over those three years. With twice the torque of the first generation MōVI motors and high- resolution encoders, MōVI Pro’s custom designed direct drive brushless motors are up for any challenge. This includes what most drone operators class as intelligent batteries; these clever cells allow for hot-swapping to lengthen your day’s shooting. But the main objective of the new design is shifting the weight, which the company has done with the impetus of a Formula One team, they’ve also tidied the whole rig up with wires disappearing under the metal of the rig. The update makes the whole rig stiffer, lighter and more robust. There’s now a built-in screen for access to all parameters, although a small one. As you would imagine, the new MōVI’s processing power has also been increased with massive control and I/Os now available. MōVI Pro also features an integrated screen on the back of the rig, giving users quick access to vital information and the ability to tune/adjust parameters on the fly without needing to use a phone or computer. Freefly is also shouting about the increased cross communication with RED with a transparent command protocol from ground to air.


Stabileye is a miniature stabilised head that weighs just 3.5kg. It has been designed light so as to comply with the parameters required to fly beneath an aerial platform, so is light enough to be used in the hand without being encumbered with easy rigs or exosuits. This means that you can move the camera from ground level to full reach during the shot and it is small enough so as to be discreet, very mobile and not in the way of the lighting. But that’s not the only way to wield Stabileye: it’s just as at home on a vehicle, a wire rig or even a galloping horse. Its speed of set-up and versatility is its big selling point, and will look to give you perfect stabilised footage every time. It can accept cameras of a variety of sizes ranging from the RED Weapon to the Alexa Mini. It can also support a wide range of small zoom and prime lenses right up to the new Panavision 65mm series. Built-in wireless capability can see a range of over 200 metres between the head and the controller, and the operator maintains control with proper handwheels and an audio link. Henry Braham shot Guardians of the Galaxy 2 using the Stabileye. “I had been doing some work with a gyro-stabilised remotely-controlled miniature head called Stabileye. It’s kind of revolutionary because it allows you to do precisely what I am describing,” he says, “as in to handhold the camera, but from an audience’s point of view, it’s 100% stable and therefore you’re not aware of the camera. The two most flexible documentary ways of shooting are handheld or Steadicam – both great ways to shoot, but the difficulty using them on the big screen is that they make you very aware of the camera and it becomes a presence in the story and not in a good way. I showed the director how it worked on the phone one day and he instantly realised its significance.”





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