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Gimbals (MG V2, MG Lite, Zhiyun Crane)


Ki Rin

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I've just noticed that Feiyu Tech have released a couple of new gimbals in the last few months. The MG V2 and MG Lite. Has anyone tried these?
It seems like currently the best gimbal for mirrorless systems might be the Zhiyun Crane. I've seen good reviews on it here and elsewhere. 

One thing I'm not so sure about is how essential it will be to have a gimbal with the new GH5 camera? I know the motion is not exactly the same as when using a gimbal, but it seems like the IBIS can give very smooth shots when combined with the new native lenses especially. 

What do you think?
 

Also, do you know if it is possible to use a gimbal like the crane with a videomic attached to the hotshoe of the camera or does it get in the way?

Thanks guys!
 

 

 

 

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It depends on what shots you are trying to achieve... Can you do steadicam without a steadicam?  Of course if you are just doing static / panning / shoulder rig shots you don't need it.

 

I just mounted the ride videomicro on top of g7 and it worked OK but very unbalanced (on a shoot two days ago, unplanned).  I did not have to move very much so it was OK.  I don't know if you can balance it properly - I had to do it spur of the moment due to client last minute request.  "Does it get in the way ?" Kind of.  You can do certain positions but for normal use it's OK - you probably can't do inverted or move the tilt too much.

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Thanks, that's pretty much what I figured. 

I think I might end up getting the crane. It seems to be a very useful and high quality piece of kit. I was a bit worried about the weight and time to make adjustments, but it doesn't seem to bad, judging from the videos I've seen. 

 

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If the mic won't work on the camera, you could attach it to the 1/4"-20 socket on the bottom of the Crane's handle, with a simple bracket, or a magic arm, and a longer cable. Sure, it won't be pointed 100% perfectly in line with the camera at all times, but it will be pretty close, and the Micro has a wide-ish pickup pattern anyways.

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RE: time to balance / make adjustments.

Changing lenses does suck depending on the setup.  

G7 and 7-14mm / 12-35mm is really easy, just adjust the camera position back and forth and it's close enough.  Takes like 15 seconds.

But on A6500 swapping between 10-18mm and 18-105mm requires adjustments on all 3 axis.  Would probably take a minute to do? It's too long when shooting in fast paced situations.  Especially if you need to swap back and forth.

I'm working on a solution for weighting the 10-18mm so that I can make a quick change like the G7, but I need some parts.  

1-2 minutes doesn't sound like very long, and if you're on your own schedule it isn't, but if you have inexperienced clients waiting for you it's just too long.

I've found it very useful so far.  

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Thanks scotchtape, that's very informative. I guess you tend to stick to just one lens as much as possible to avoid having to rebalance. 
I'm thinking I will end up using it (in the future) on the GH5 and 12-60 lens most of the time. But unfortunately that lens also extends when zooming, so I might need to readjust each time I want to zoom? 

BTW, what happens if you try to use the gimbal when it is slightly off balance? Does it just put more strain on the motors, or will it not work at all? 

 

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Well for G7 combo it's very easy so it's a non issue with those two lenses.

Not sure how GH5 will fare - that combo is about 1kg, depends on how far the lens extends.  I mean, if you forget to take your lens cap off before balancing then take it off, your camera will fall backwards!  However, with G7 and 12-35mm I haven't found it to be too big of a deal.  I've only used it for a few jobs so far and maybe like 2 hours continuous  max so I can't comment too extensively.

The motors are supposedly quite powerful, enough to handle some imbalance.  The more imbalance, the shorter the motor life will be, but I have no idea by how much.  Presumably you will upgrade your gimbal by the time you burn out a motor if you're being relatively careful (just my guess).  I mean I stuck a rode videomicro on top of the whole thing and it still worked despite being quite unbalanced... I wouldn't recommend that for extended periods of time though.

However if you are that worried about it just put an arca plate on it and adjust balance carefully between different zoom settings, should work fine.

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Thanks, that sounds good. It seems relatively easy to adjust and not as delicate as the previous generation of gimbals anyway. 

I'm also hoping they might add a function for shooting time-lapses. Would be great to have that added functionality. 

 

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I shoot with a g7 + 12-40 and the crane, sometimes with a vmp on top. It all balances and works fine, you just need to balance the gimbal properly and as previously stated, you have issues with the range of motion the camera can move through because the roll motor hits the mic. In terms of zooming, the crane is amazingly strong and you can zoom a bit without it upsetting the gimbal too much, if I balance at 12mm on my 12-40, I can probably get to 30mm before things start getting shaky. I wouldnt worry about the battery life being shot with unbalanced combos, I have used it for probably 15 hours all up and I usually end up switching the batteries because I feel like it and I'm paranoid they will go flat; they have never gone flat on me. Overall, much better than any other gimbal I've ever used in the small gimbal category. A ronin or movi is in another league though. 

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