Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A Revolutionary Gimbal For Now

As filmmakers we are always trying to get the shot no one else can get, the smoothest footage, the money shot. Recently, numerous 3-axis gimbal stabilizers have been released which have thought to be the replacement of the Steadicam. While there is a lot of controversy about this topic, a new piece of equipment has been released that might throw all we know about stabilizers out the window.

As you see in the video, Sachtler has combined the brilliant gimbal benefits, that are available through use of devices like the DJI Ronin and the Movi, and the steadicam, which has long been the go to method of tracking shots. The movie "Goodfellas" has a historic tacking sequence all thanks to our beloved steadicam. This amazing idea provides a whole new style of filmmaking. As mentioned in the video above one shot that has been created through this system is being able to peak around corners with the camera. This could be great for giving a shot the feeling that someone is watching a character in a film. Being able to invert the camera as well makes this tool that much more versatile. Low angle shots were not attainable with former steadicams. Due to this item being brand new, there are limited visuals of real world applications so far, but by combining both of these amazing stabilization systems, the world of filmmaking just got a little crazier.


Having used the DJI Ronin quite extensively, as well as owning a Glidecam, I have experience advantages and disadvantages of both systems. First off the Ronin is electric and must be calibrated for the specific weight load that it is carrying. This is frustrating because with my Glidecam and many other traditional Steadicams, all weight adjustments are done through physical weight distribution adjustments. With my Glidecam the weight distribution does not have to be perfect either to still get a smooth shot, this is great for run and gun when you can't always count on a motor holding up for the entire shoot. The motor also is very susceptible to the cold due to the intricate mechanics of the system.

The Ronin however does trump the Glidecam in certain ways though. Getting low angle shots is extremely hard when the weights on the bottom of your Glidecam are hitting the ground. The Ronin is great for these types of shots because you are almost using your body as a crane and you can control the height of the Ronin to a much more specific point. The motor of the ronin, while running haywire occasionally, does however help with any bumpy steps you are taking as well.

Sachtler having combined these two amazing tools is really on to something. As mentioned earlier a new age of filmmaking with emerge from this system, but it is also costs about 15,800 Euros at the moment and the price truly makes it a professional piece of equipment. I previously thought the Movi would be the top stabilizer in the industry for sometime, however this industry changes faster than you can adjust and I'm sure this currently revolutionary equipment will soon be outdated and the bigger and better stabilizer will be running the streets soon.

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