Freefly Systems introduced the first Movi several years ago and stunned filmmakers and viewers with its ability to capture smooth, fluid motion in handheld shots. The concept was simple: take the gimbal system from a drone and put it an operator’s hands. The result was game-changing. Now, Freefly is back with the Movi Pro, which takes an entirely new approach to the concept the company pioneered.
The most noticeable feature of the Movi Pro is the new ring which encompasses the entire gimbal. This allows the device to be set down anywhere and can easily be handed off to other operators or rigged to a crane or other devices. While on the ground, the gimbal maintains full control, so a remote operator can pan and tilt the camera like it was on a tripod.
But perhaps one of the greatest features introduced with the Movi Pro is its support for hot-swappable batteries. The rig holds two batteries which can power the gimbal and anything attached to it, including the camera and a monitor. The wiring is internal, with both USB and D-Tap power connections.
On the back of the Movi Pro, a dedicated screen shows battery life and any status warnings. Users can adjust parameters on the fly without needing to go through a separate computer or mobile app.
In addition to the internal wiring, the brushless motors are now sealed for safe operation in any weather conditions. The motors are also more powerful and more precise, offering greater stability and improved control in time-lapse mode.
Like previous Movi units, the Pro can be rigged in a variety of ways. Use it with or without the ring, attach the traditional handlebars, or mount it to a drone or dolly.
Most of us will not get our hands on the Movi Pro — it sells for $6,500 — but we will undoubtedly see the results of its use in future movies. If history repeats itself, the Pro’s features may one day trickle down into less expensive units, including those from other manufacturers. The original Movi was imitated by many competitors. DJI’s Ronin M, for example, is built to handle DSLRs and mirrorless cameras and starts at $1,400.