No stablizer.Over the past few months, I've been tinkering with the idea of purchasing a gimbal to help aid in my own frustrations of a wedding day. Primarily a wedding cinematographer, you care about a few things when you purchase an item. Will it help me? Ease of use? Consistency of shots? These are just a few questions that come to my mind when I'm purchasing new gear.
Purchasing the Canon C100 was one of the best things I've done when it comes to camera gear. The built in ND filters, ergonomics and the dual SD card slot provide me with the confidence that AS I'm filming, I already have 2 copies of the footage. This was put to the test recently when one SD card didn't format correctly and there were glitches on one of the cards through the ceremony, toasts, etc. Popped the second card into the computer and it was golden. Right there, it did it's work and I know it's a camera function that I would be lost with. The built in ND filters help SO much. I'm finding that about 50-60% of my weddings this year are located outdoors. No longer do I need to fumble with screw on adapters or worry about the filter turning as you focus.
Once Canon came out with the Auto Focus update for the C100, I knew I had to try it after reading and watching a few reviews.
I did happen to just get off on a tangent so back to the gimbal. I tried building a DIY gimbal and it was awful. The parts didn't work properly, it couldn't hold the weight it claimed, so that was returned. The next gimbal I tried was a Defy G5. I bought this "used" although, it looked brand new. I will say that I do have a friend that uses the Defy just fine, however my experience with the product was not nearly what I was hoping for. I was looking for a gimbal that worked directly out of the box and had a VERY simple user interface that I didn't have to "learn" about or use customer service to figure out. *INSERT THE MOVI M5*
I saw an advertisement that Joe Simon created with Canon releasing the AF Update and the Movi M10. I honestly said to myself, who the heck would use a gimbal at a wedding. The shots he was showing were awesome, but at the same point I kept thinking to myself, this is an advertisement, looks to be a controlled situation. It sounds and looks awesome, but I didn't believe it. I've been a huge fan of flying a CMR Blackbird over the years at weddings and you can easily just throw it down when you are done. HOWEVER, I found myself not being able to get steady shots anymore. I could only hold the Blackbird for a minute or two without having pain in my wrist and my shots I was able to achieve was normally 3-4 seconds before I would have a movement I didn't like.
Within the past month, there was a review on the Movi M5 and wedding usage: See here. vimeo.com/93392584
I watched it and was amazed. This is what I was looking for. A bit skeptical from my DIY and the Defy experiences, I decided to take the jump to the M5.
One day later, the M5 showed up from Abelcine in NY. Great packaging, opened the box and had my Canon C100 with a Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 lens balanced within 8 minutes. Here came the moment of truth. Take into consideration, I haven't tuned the system at all at this point in time. I placed the battery on the MOVI M5 and hit the on button. Following the start sequence, I saw the Movi initialized and the camera was balanced. I picked it up and started to fly. Within 12 minutes, I had the MOVI C100 combo up and running. I had a bit of buyers remorse and thought is it worth it? It's cool, but will it help at weddings? I mean, it's something COMPLETELY new to me, you can't just throw it down, you have to place it on a stand to set up and stage. I have the camera balanced in a way that I have a manfrotto QR plate on the Movi and I slide the C100 to the front of the plate and boom, it's balanced.
I had time this past week to "Tune" the movi to the C100 if you want to call it that. Freefly's User Interface is so simple. Reading the directions and with a few clicks, the Movi was tuned and this was the end result. Can't give too much away as I haven't completed the trailer from the wedding yet, but a quick sample of what's awesome.
Oh yeah, I won't ever film a wedding without a Movi / C100 combo again. Set up and staging is just as fast as a Glidecam in my opinion, my shot duration is LONG and the movements you can grab are incredible.
Yes the Movi is a tool, however, I see the Movi is a tool that I personally NEED in my arsenal through a wedding day. Combined with the C100 and AF update, it is one of the best combinations I've ever seen.
I'm not paid by anyone other than the couples. This is my real life, normal wedding cinematographer review of the Movi M5.
Any cons? Not at this point in time. My only annoyance is taking the top handle off every time I pack the Movi away, and that's only because I don't have a big enough pelican case to store it :)
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