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December 7, 2017

Don’t call it a gimbal — Freefly Movi is a ‘cinema robot’ for iPhone shooting

by John_A

Freefly is known for creating the gimbals used in Hollywood, from Captain America to Game of Thrones, but the company’s latest gimbal isn’t for big Hollywood directors — it’s a $299 device for smartphone creatives. Oh, and the newest Freefly Movi not exactly a gimbal, but a “cinema robot” packed with both stabilization and preset camera effects.

Launched on Wednesday, December 6, the Freefly Movi for iPhone brings the company’s cinematic effects in earlier models like the $2,700 model for DSLRs into a compact form for shooting smartphone shots. The mobile version uses a backward L-shaped handle with a set of controls at the top that allows users to pan or tilt the camera around with the press of a button. On the bottom end of that L, a smartphone cradle that can adapt to different cases and add-on lenses sits on top of the electronics that control the stabilization and camera movements. The design also means you can just set the entire unit down on a table without needing a tripod or any extra supports.

The Freefly Movi mobile uses a gyroscopic system to stabilize video, but Freefly is calling the system a cinema robot, because like other Movis, it does more than just take out the camera shake. Used with the iOS app, the Freefly Movi contains a number of different shooting modes that imitate Hollywood-level camera effects with a smartphone and a single operator.

Echo mode allows videographers to select a start and end spot and a duration, allowing the system to move between the two points at a steady place while immobile or even while the operator is moving as well. An orbit mode helps rotate around subjects. Time-lapses and moving time-lapses can also be programmed inside of the app.

Settings inside the majestic mode offer more controls over how the Movi stabilizes the shot. Videographers can, for example, turn off the horizontal stabilization to create rolling effects or to shoot the scene at a diagonal.

Freefly says the Movi for mobile incorporates much of the technology of the pro-level rigs in a size and price point for iPhone videographers. The Freefly Movi for iPhone lists for $299 and is available for pre-order, with shipping expected sometime during the second quarter of 2018.

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