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  • Charl Jooste

Freefly Systems Continue to Innovate

Image: Freefly Systems

Washington-based Freefly Systems are one of the leading innovators of cutting-edge equipment in movable camera systems, specializing in camera stabilizers, gimbals and movement systems used in high-end cinematography, particularly for use with remote controlled vehicles and drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)

They are the market leaders in the field and despite an already impressive arsenal of quality equipment, continue to design and develop better, more powerful and more sophisticated equipment, especially in the aerial cinematography space.

Their first major innovation was the MōVI M10 camera stabilizer which revolutionized digital video production. Since then, they have gone on to even greater heights.

They have three exciting new products that are, once again, changing the shape of cinematography.

Taking MōVI to new heights

Everyone loves to say new and improved but when Freefly launched the MōVI XL, it is like the already brilliant MōVI Pro but on steroids. They obviously kept all the already impressive features and added a host of new ones making it the biggest and best in its class.

This highly versatile camera gimbal is totally wireless which has enormous benefits and provides ultimate flexibility of use. It requires no wires for power thanks to the high power lithium batteries and the by utilizing the Freefly control ecosystem (MIMIC, MōVI Controller, Pilot), no wires are needed for direction and control. This is a complete game changer and opens up a host of opportunities while providing the ultimate in convenience and ease of use.

While the handheld stabilizer was their invention, to begin with, they have taken it a step further by designing the MōVI XL to be mounted in either an overslung or underslung fashion and all that is required is to flip the axis over.

Sticking with the existing Freefly Ecosystem, the MōVI XL will happily interface and integrate seamlessly with all existing Freefly equipment, including the MIMIC and MōVI Controller.

One of the main features is the lightweight design, something the have managed to achieve once again, despite the improved technology. This makes mounting and travel of these top-end gimbals perfect for any application.

As the whole idea is mobility, they have made it quick, easy and safe to pack-down, securely store and setup quickly. This means you can take safely take it where ever you go and have it ready for action in a flash.

Another handy feature is the quick release mechanism, allowing you to move it from one allocation or to the next securely and in seconds. No tools are required to move it from one type of vehicle or position to the next.

True to their usual style, Freefly has ensured the MōVI XL is powerful enough to perform whatever is required of it. They have kept it lightweight while still offering the necessary power. The motor cooling technology ensures it will handle even the toughest of requirements.

They have built on the already successful field oriented motor control and sinusoidal motor drives used in previous models and the new MōVI XL does not disappoint, delivering 200W continuous and 500W peak power.

Grace under pressure

The great batteries, drives and custom motors mean that the MōVI XL can handle speeds of 100mph (160km/h) without full stability and control.

It features an incredible power per pound ratio, able to deliver a peak power of 1500W while weighing a mere 25lbs. All of this while being completely wireless is truly impressive.

The entire system is intelligent, fully modular and designed to make accessory changes quick and painless. This just adds to the freedom and versatility the MōVI XL offers, allowing you to create amazing results with minimal hassle and effort.

Much of the credit goes tot the MIMIC which offers natural and accurate control of the MōVI XL. It provides long-range bidirectional control of MōVI camera control, settings and pointing with real-time telemetry. Gestural control of zoom, iris and focus is also available.

Image: Freefly Systems


Pilot is an enhanced MIMIC that provides total pointing of the gimbal including inputs for zoom, focus and iris control.


Freefly ensure perfect integration with RED camera that can be managed from six hundred feet away with the MōVI Controller, Pilot, or MIMIC.

Built in FIZ / Power

The device features the world's smallest, completely integrated 3 axis lens control system included in the camera stage. All 3 channels can be managed using one or a combination of the MIMIC, Pilot or MōVI Controller.


A powerful Android or iPhone app allows you to customize and tune the MōVI XL on the go.

Advancements in the internal wiring have made it even more reliable and the boot and auto tune time is phenomenal, allowing you to be ready for action in less than 15 seconds.

Other features include advanced auto tune and superb stability that comes from the camera pointing updating a thousand time pre second.

Real Time User Feedback

Performance is enhanced by the user receiving real-time data and information on rf strength, errors, temperature and balance.

Pilot is a compact, power unit that will give amazing wireless control over a range of functions on a number of cameras, including zoom, iris and focus control as well as MōVI setting and pointing.

RED RCP support allows you to have ultimate control of a RED camera from over 600 feet away.

It offers the following:


RED - Full camera control via RCP

ARRI - Start/Stop

Sony - LANC/Multi Terminal

Canon - LANC

Phantom - Start/Stop

As it was primarily built to work in tune with the MōVI applications, it will give you long distance control and real-time feedback from the MōVI, again, from distance of over 600 feet. It uses the same hopping spread and frequency as the MōVI Pro.

Using Freefly’s patented MIMIC technology, Pilot is able to direct the MōVI and F/I/Z outputs and focus, zoom and iris can all be controlled.

One of the features of Pilot is the 6bit 75mmFocus Knob which allows for adjustable damping and the perfect, real-time control of zoom, focus and iris is achieved through a high-resolution 16bit encoder.

It features a modular exoskeleton that is highly versatile and adaptable. It can be mounted to a wide range of objects.

The multi-controller is another useful feature that allows separate units to control various aspects from independent units simultaneously.

Image: Freefly Systems

Forthcoming attractions - MōVI Carbon

Due out in spring this year, MōVI Carbon will be a world first as a handheld or drone mountable 5-axis camera stabilizer.

It will feature 2 inner axes for perfect stability under all conditions, even at maximum zoom of 240mm.

MōVI Carbon features an a7S II as well as a 24-240mm gimbal integrated lens. The fact that they were able to make it so small means it can literally get into places never before possible for footage that was previously impossible. The possibilities are endless. There are plans for future developments but for now, Freefly are satisfied that the freedom, quality and creativity possible with the current form is ideal and has a lot to offer.

MōVI Carbon will come to market slowly as they are hand built and will be released in small quantities over time. Orders are being taken already and the price is expected to be under $30,000.

SOURCE: Freefly Systems

#freeflysystems #MoviXL #MoviCarbon #gimbal #Mimic #FreeflyPilot

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