eSteady: The $200 Homemade Version Of The MōVI

Tom Parker, avid aerial photographer and videographer from Cambridge, UK, decided to try and make his own homemade MōVI rig without losing all his savings in the process. Parker is a Product Design and Manufacturing student at the University of Nottingham, where he got the knowledge on how to design and build the rig for his GoPro camera. The final result works great, and all he had to pay was $200. Not bad if you compare it to the $15,000 it will cost you to get the MōVI. Check out how he did it.

Tom created the rig using different materials and techniques - from 3D printed parts to bicycle parts he found on ebay, and it took him a week to make it. The rig can stabilizes on two axis (unlike the MōVI with 3 axis), which is useful as it only requires one person to operate it as the pan movement isn't constrained. The motors are connected to a remote control so the operator can set the shooting angle of the camera and even change it while shooting.

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eSteady is a great rig for run and gun photography, for mounting on moving cars and pretty much for any action shot you can think of (as long as you dont get it wet). The creator of the rig promises to work on a 2nd generation of the eSteady, that will keep a similar price point, and will also support 3 axis.

To read more about the eSteady and learn how it was made visit Tom's blog

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47 Comments

kickstartit, tom

Bloody brilliant Tom - I agree with sropero - kickstart it!

This is a money maker for the GoPro market for sure! But will it handle the weight of a DSLR+Lens combo? I still notice some shake in certain uses, but wonder if thats just because of the lack of weight on the goPro... Would love to see a bit bigger version made for 5D's, or Cinema series! Id love a Movi... but not a second mortgage for one!

It's because it's 2-axis, not 3 like the Movi

Man-I'm hoping you can make something like this for a DSLR and in the same price range-I'm a student on a budget. OK-an economy model and then one with all sorts of whistles and bells for the gear heads. Thanks in advance!

So explain to me again why we need to pay 15 G's for the Movi? This kind of stuff pisses me off where some company will come out with the thing to change the world and then a couple months later some kid makes something almost as good in his back yard. It makes me feel duped by the original excitement of the initial product

Zach Sutton's picture

Is this any different than any other device created? Movi still has a monopoly on the system...so they're able to set the price point.

The kid isn't paying for research and development or the original idea. He is making a knockoff from somebody else's hard work. That said, that is the reality of the world. I would buy his version in a heartbeat.

That said, the Movi is much better, he even says so himself (3-axis vs 2-axis). I do not know if this is the final component, but I was much more impressed with the Movi than his videos. Movi produced much smoother camera paths with much bigger cameras.

If you're making a commercial film, you get the Movi. You making an independent film, you get this (If it goes for sale which we assume he would).

Over time (very quickly), the quality difference will be minor.
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Jayson Carey's picture

All the Movi did was take a pre-existing stabilization mount for RC helicopters and put handles on it then make a fancy promo video.

I would say the reverse... All this guy did was use some RC parts and then connected his GoPro. Many of my lens are 10x the weight of a GoPro...

He didn't even implement 3-Axis... If its so easy to use RC parts, then why didn't get get the more expensive parts? How much was the 3D printer?

In the end, the results speak for themselves. The Movi is a much higher product.

That said, the eSteady is very cool, and I would by one in an instant for my GoPro too. However, it is not in anyway an alternative to the Movi. I'm confident that if he pushes this product, he can develop a "pro" version" to truly be competitive.

Jayson Carey's picture

I didn't say this guy didn't use pre-existing stuff, only that the Movi is not a completely revolutionary device, ergo he wasn't "knocking off" their idea. The makers of the Movi, Freefly, in addition to several other companies made gimble stabilizers and even fully built multi-rotor RC copters before they made the Movi. The only visible change they made was to add a crossbar and three handles to their existing 3-axis gimble. They make a 2-axis as well.

Not to mention, the Movi takes a full size DSLR, this takes a GoPro. I'd categorize this as a hobbyist solution.

To be fair, I would still say it is a good tool, maybe for some b-roll with a GoPro, etc. It would be great on an independent film...
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Cause it can handle a full weight rig (used in real productions, with real budgets), and this can only handle a cell phone?

Looks like some good stuff and affordable. #Winning

These guys should make a model that supports a much bigger camera like the 5DMIII

With the weight of a DSLR, you'll probably need a more expensive motor. This seems great, and making it only up-down makes it a lot easier to control/cheaper then a 3 axis rig.

If you only could change shutterspeeds of the GoPro, and lock exposure...

$200?!?!? I would pay that for the blueprint! I vow to back this if you Kickstart it. Or just send me one! Love the FS tshirt in the clips. Nice touch.

I'll wait for the 3-axis version, but I hope it'll handle a mirrorless!

Are you people serious? This is no where even close to the stabilization and functionality of a Movi. However, there's a market for DIY and budget gear so I say congrats.

Are you people serious? This is no where even close to the stabilization and functionality of a Movi. However, there's a market for DIY and budget gear so I say congrats.

Seems like people have different measurements for "not even close" then. I'm not into filming myself, but I found this pretty impressive. Also, you start to wonder what the 14800 more are used for in the MoVI. Sliiightly more fine tuned motors that can handle a bigger camera, an axis more, some extra features and a need to make a profit (200 is the cost of production I suppose, not with profit included). There's probably a reason, but for 95% of everyone filming, the 200 one is a better choice than the 15000 one, especially when the result is somewhat simmilar

Martin Melnick's picture

None of these shots are usable in a commercial field. I applaud your ingenuity, but this thing doesn't really work. I'll take a steadicam or a Movi any day.

Why?

Martin Melnick's picture

They don't look much more stable than handheld to be honest. And, from these tests at least, even when it is more "smooth," there is a lot of bounce in the acceleration and deceleration of the rig.

Spy Black's picture

A giant $200 rig for a tiny $300 camera with a fixed lens and no exposure control...

Kickstart it bud, you'll get some money from me that's for sure.

I'd like to see someone make a version of these that can handle a DSLR...

they did....it's called Movi.

This is an example of how human creativity can achieve things. Imagine if there weren't Copyrights at all. What wonderful marvellous things would people invent and create using the collective, without stupid limitations. Someday, when we grow as society, maybe in a couple hundred years.

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