If you don't own one, then you're currently drooling over one of Freefly Systems' MōVI systems (we know the feeling), which have gained incredible acclaim as cheaper and more nimble Steadicam alternatives. This week at NAB, Freefly introduces not one, but four completely new and exciting products, apparently striving for the industry's continued droolworthiness.
The MIMIC is a new kinetic controller for your MōVI stabilizer. Built as an entirely separate control interface, detached from the "runner" or carrier of the actual MōVI and camera combination, MIMIC allows a second operator to stand in one place or move with the camera as he or she literally leans the unit to literally have the MōVI mimic pan, tilt, and roll. Reminiscent of the BeeWorks BW05 stabilizer and kinetic remote combo from Kickstarter, the MōVI brings similar functionality to an already proven line of products. The MIMIC can be ordered in a beta version for $495, according to NoFilmSchool, though longer-term pricing plans are not yet clear.
Chase Jarvis -- the lucky guy that he is (and no, I don't really believe in luck) -- already got a chance to play around with the MIMIC:
Another sweet promo video:
Built on Freefly's experience with their CineStar platform, the ALTA provides support for a 15-pound payload in an entirely unique top-mounted position on the drone, allowing for greater flexibility and freedom in shooting. In addition to fully supporting weights necessary to lift and operate RED and Arri cinema cameras, ALTA was built to be even easier to operate, taking just five minutes to grow accustomed to, according to TechCrunch. Pricing is not yet announced on Freefly's website, but NoFilmSchool claims the ALTA will cost $8,495 (just $1,000 more than the previous CineStar flagship) and will start shipping in June to those who lay down a $1,000 deposit.
WEDGE is simply (though arguably somewhat profoundly) a three-axis lens control system built with the drone in mind. Size and weigth were both kept to a minimum, making it the smallest iris, focus, and zoom control system in the world, or in other words, perfect for your drone. At $2,495, it apparently costs a lot to miniaturize any tech (I guess we knew that).
Rather self-explanatory, the MōVI XL is the first Freefly stabilizer able to handle the heft of cameras like the Phantom Flex 4K and the ARRI ALEXA. The MōVI XL is also likely out of your budget at $40,000, available for pre-order with a $4,000 deposit. But then again, if you're packing Phantom Flex 4Ks and ARRI ALEXAs, there probably isn't too much that's out of your budget.
If they weren't already, Freefly is certainly now at the forefront of the development of some of the industry's best camera operation tools. These releases at NAB 2015 only go to show there's still even more that can be accomplished.