This New Camera Stabiliser Could Change Cinematography Forever

A new piece of filmmaking gear was just announced that could completely reinvent the complex process of camera stabilisation. It's currently being tested and endorsed by Vincent LaForet, who's given us a little taste of what it's capable of.

The product is called MōVI, created by Freefly, long-time maker of crazy camera-drone equipment and stabilisers. LaForet is presenting a short film and behind-the-scenes video to illustrate its abilities, which consists of a completely custom-made gimbal and 3-axis gyroscope that digitally stabilises the camera (a Canon 1DC in this case). It looks to be very light and portable, a far cry from giant metal arms, vests, and weights that almost the entire camera support world is based on.

Anyone who has ever picked up a camera knows that one of the most frustrating things is getting footage that isn't shaky. That smooth gliding movement is one of the hallmarks of good production value. At the pro level, stabilisation is the focus of entire companies, like the ubiquitous Steadicam, which provides beastly and expensive equipment to Hollywood, TV, and independent production houses for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some of cinema's most famous shots have utilized this type of gear, such as this iconic Goodfellas scene:

Shots like these are based on a counterweight system, where heavy weights are suspended below the camera, which sits on a low-friction gimble. The new system gets rid of the counterweight completely, allowing the camera person to move around much easier. For added control, the camera's movements can be operated remotely via joystick.

Let's be real though -- this is very much a professional-level piece of gear that is currently priced at $US15,000, with a $US7500 option coming in the near future. That is to say, out of the price-range of most individuals and small businesses. But the very apparent break with old technology will no doubt trickle down into more consumer-friendly devices as time goes on, and hopefully make those awe-inspiring camera shots possible for anyone to pull off. [LaForet Visuals]



    Is it cinematography - or video? Film is rarely used these days, and that Canon is a digital camera [with a 4K sensor]. One for the grammar purists to ponder, I suppose.
    Translating the gymbal / gyroscope to a consumer probably means having it "built in" to some degree. Like 3D, marketing will probably hype it as the reason to buy all-new equipment.

      Whether its a piece of film or a digital sensor doesnt really matter. Its such a small part of what a cinematographer does.
      Yeah I would have to agree, this isnt a consumer bit of gear. You do see technology similar to this already in development. Sony are making a lens and sensor that are independent of the camera body and offers some stabilisation.

      Cinematography is an art form, video is a medium.

      BTW that behind-the-scenes brought tears to my eyes :')

      Last edited 08/04/13 10:01 pm

    From someone who's got their eye on a Steadycam HD2000 my jaw just hit the floor. Some amazing results. That shot following the cab on rollerblades and then going in through the window was impressive!

    Camera man also doubles as a stunt man

    this will be great for small short films and independents but i hope it dosnt get severely over used

    This will be perfect for carrying my hot coffee back to the office without spilling it!

    I just need the money, I am 17 years old and for my Media project I want a long take like Cuaron, guess it's back to IndyMogul

    Check out AlexMos Gimbal - a IMU controlled Gimbal for Aerial Photography which is a very harsh environment to get smooth footage out of.. and it's being done for under $1000.

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