Movi Cinema Robot. Best Gimbal for Phones?

Freefly Movi Cinema Robot

The two features that first caught my interest with the Movi Cinema Robot were the counterweight system and the two handed grip design.

I was interested in the counterweight system, because it allows you to balance the gimbal when using a variety of aftermarket lenses on your phone. A two handed grip provides greater stability while using the gimbal, resulting in smoother shots.

Though on the pricier side of phone gimbals, I decided to give it a try.

In this article, I will share with you what I like and what I do not like about the Movi gimbal.

Here are some of the things that I liked…

I really liked the ergonomics of the gimbal. It was very comfortable to use and I do like the two hand grip design.

The motion-lapse and hyper-lapse features worked well.

Another interesting mode allows to you do an orbit around something. While in this mode, the gimbal will rotate at a consistent speed and it is up to you keep up with it for some interesting motion effects.

The app was easier to use than some for many of the settings.*

It did a great job of stabilizing footage so long as you were not panning. Walking forward or sideways it was great. Using it on a boat with ocean swells, it worked well. But…

Here are some things that I don’t like about the Cinema Robot…

The counterbalance system works, but takes a lot of little adjustments to get set correctly. It is not a quick process.

The counterbalance costs extra and it isn’t cheap. I used this gimbal with my iPhone XS and it did not work as well without the weights. The weights should have been included with the gimbal as this is not a big phone.

Panning was jittery. To reduce the jittery behavior requires some tweaking of the settings in the app. The autotune feature kept suggesting settings that were too strong, even when using just a phone by itself. I thought mine was broken at first.

After some communication with the manufacturer, I received an email with instructions on how to reduce this. I think this approach is flawed. Autotune should just work and then if you want more aggressive settings, you should then set them manually. This was very frustrating and ruined several shots I took while traveling. It wasn’t super noticeable until I returned home and watched the footage on a larger screen.

Most of the app features were easy to use, but figuring out the manual settings to stop the jitter were not.

Another complaint is that it regularly lost the horizon as over time it would tilt, ruining the shot.

It ruined several shots. I had to restart it and redo the autotune until it would reset itself. This was very annoying.

And finally, they really should have made this so that it could also work with compact cameras. I knew this would be the case when I bought it, so I knew what I was getting. However, other more affordable alternatives work with different cameras.

So… Would I purchase this gimbal again? Not at this price. It was a great concept, but I think you can get a good gimbal for less.

Was it a waste? No. I did get some really good shots with it. Maybe some of my complaints will get resolved in future firmware updates. Until then, I will be trying something else.

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    James Cross Jr

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