The Ultimate Freefly MoVI Comparison Guide

 

In the professional gimbal market, there are few companies that can rival the output of Freefly. Cornering the filmmaking sector, it’s not uncommon to see one or more of their products make their way onto big budget TV and movie sets.

Their central line of gimbals is the MoVI series which offers versatility and quality through a number of distinct models. Some are primarily handheld whilst others are able to reap the benefits of an aerial view via compatibility with Freefly’s ALTA drone range meaning that whatever your needs as a videographer, the MoVI has you covered.

This article focuses on the MoVI M5, MoVI M10, MoVI M15 and MoVI PRO. The upcoming MoVI XL and Carbon models will be compared to Freefly’s previous stabilisers once there is more information available.

To kick us off, let’s take a look at the specifications of these impressive Freefly gimbals.

Freefly MoVI M5
Freefly MōVI M5
Freefly MoVI M10
Freefly MōVI M10
Freefly MoVI M15
Freefly MōVI M15
Freefly MoVI Pro
Freefly MōVI Pro

Weight

2.15kg 2.2kg 2.47kg 2.65 kg (without batteries)

Camera Cage Dimensions

130 (L) x 180 (W) x 120mm (H) 140 (L) x 200 (W) x 165mm (H) 203 (L) x 200 (W) x 165mm (H) 196 (L) x 200 (W) x 175mm (H)

Maximum Payload

2.27kg 5.44kg 6.8kg 6.80kg

Power Requirements

9 to 18 VDC (3S or 4S LiPo) 9 to 18 VDC (3S or 4S LiPo) 9 to 18 VDC (3S or 4S LiPo) Use 2 batteries @ 1.8Ah; 22.2V

Connections

Bluetooth connection to Windows / Android GUI Bluetooth connection to Windows / Android GUI Wi-Fi pairing to iOS / Android / Windows GUI 2.4GHz Custom FHSS Radio, Bluetooth Low Energy v4.2, USB Type C

Features

Remotely operable either with a dedicated controller or using an RC aircraft transmitter (hand-held radio controller), Stabilized with operator control via gimbal base (Majestic Mode), Kills drive to gimbal axes, uses a GPS-assisted IMU, Live Wireless Tuning and Graphing, Silent Drive, Shot Recorder, Remote Firmware Updatable Stabilized with operator control via gimbal base (Majestic Mode), Stabilized image with no operator input, Stabilized with remote operator, Kills drive to gimbal axes Stabilized with operator control via gimbal base (Majestic Mode), Stabilized image with no operator input, Stabilized with remote operator, Kills drive to gimbal axes Innovative structural design; Dual Hot Swappable Batteries with status indicators; Integrated Focus / Iris / Zoom controller; Embedded screen for tuning / customization; Increased motor torque; 12-14v 6A D-Tap output for camera power; 12V 2A D-Tap output for accessory power; Ultra fast < 2 Second Boot time; Full stiffness and Filter autotune in ˜10 seconds; Majestic Mode; Timelapse; Dual GPS (top and bottom); Full Red RCP integration (Focus, Iris, ISO, Start stop, etc); Internal long range 2.4GHz frequency hopping radio for connection to MIMIC; Multiple handle options; Rugged System (IP52)

Battery

Dimensions

69mm (L) x 34mm (W) x 28mm (H) 100mm (L) x 25mm (W) x 30mm (H) 100mm (L) x 25mm (W) x 30mm (H) N/A

Weight

125g 200g 200g 306g

Capacity

1.3Ah 2.1Ah 2.1Ah 1800 mAh

Voltage

14.8v 14.8v 14.8v 22.2V (Nominal Battery Voltage); 25.2V (Max Battery Voltage)

Max Continuous Discharge

3C (3.9A) 3C (7.8A) 3C (7.8A) 8-10A

Max Burst Discharge

5C (6.5A) 5C (13A) 5C (13A) N/A

Max Charge Voltage

4.2V per cell 4.2V per cell 4.2V per cell N/A

Minimum Discharge Voltage

3.0V per cell 3.0V per cell 3.0V per cell N/A

Working Performance

Operation Modes

Dual operator and Inverted Mode; Can be top and bottom mounted on ALTA; Cranes; Jibs; Steadicams; Vest-Supported Stabilisers; Easyrig Dual operator and Inverted Mode; Can be bottom mounted on ALTA Dual operator and Inverted Mode; Can be top and bottom mounted on ALTA Ring; Skate; Classic; Aerial; Tero

Maximum Controlled Rotation Speed

N/A N/A N/A
Pan axis: 360°/s
Tilt axis: 360°/s

Roll axis: 360°/s

Range of Motion

Pan Range: 360°
Tilt Range: ±180°
Roll Range: ±180°

Slew Rates: 0 to 150°/sec

Pan Range: 360°
Tilt Range: ±180°
Roll Range: ±180°

Slew Rates: 0 to 150°/sec

Pan Range: 360°
Tilt Range: ±180°
Roll Range: ±180°

Slew Rates: 0 to 150°/sec

Pan Range of Motion: Unlimited
Roll Range of Motion: ±60°
Tilt Range of Motion (Normal Mode): +90° above horizontal to -165° below horizontal

Tilt Range of Motion (Inverted Mode): +165° above horizontal to -90° below horizontal


 


Freefly MoVI Series Key Features

Now that you know what’s going on underneath the hood it’s time to compare what you can expect from the MoVI series in practice. As all of these units have differences ranging from subtle to crucial, we recommend that you take the time to familiarise yourself before taking the plunge and committing to your MoVI of choice.

What’s In The Box?

The first thing you should be aware of is what you’ll be getting from each of these gimbals straight out of the box. See below for a full component list for each of the MoVI units.

What’s Included?

Freefly MoVI M5
Freefly MoVI M5
  • MoVI M5 Handheld Stabilizer x 1
  • MoVI Top Handle x 1
  • Stand x 1
  • Freefly 14.8V 1.3Ah MoVI Batteries x 2
  • Freefly LiPo Charger with AC cord and Charge Lead Adapter x 1
  • M2 Hex Driver x 1
  • M2.5 Hex Driver x 1
  • MoVI M10 Handheld Stabilizer x 1
  • MoVI Top Handle x 1
  • Stand x 1
  • Freefly 14.8V 2.6Ah MoVI Batteries x 2
  • Freefly LiPo Charger with AC Cord and Charger Lead Adapter x 1
  • M2.5 Hex Driver x 1
  • M3 Hex Driver x 1
Freefly MoVI M10
Freefly MoVI M10
Freefly MoVI M15
Freefly MoVI M15
  • MoVI M15 Handheld Stabilizer x 1
  • MoVI Top Handle x 1
  • MoVI Dock x 1
  • Freefly 14.8V 2.6Ah MoVI Batteries x 2
  • Freefly LiPo Charger with AC cord and Charge Lead Adapter x 1
  • M3 Hex Driver x 1
  • M2.5 Hex Driver x 1
  • MoVI PRO
  • MoVI PRO Battery Pack 1.8Ah x 2
  • MoVI PRO Battery Charger x 2
  • MoVI PRO Adjustable Camera Plate
  • MoVI Adjustable Top Camera Plate
  • MoVI Hot Shoe Mount
  • COM to MoVI Controller Receiver Cable x 1
  • MoVI Rod Mount Adapter x 1
  • 2 x Bolt 3/8 – 16 x 5/8″
  • 2 x Bolt 1/4 – 20 x 1/2″
  • 2 x Bolt 1/4 – 20 x 3/8″
  • 2.00mm Hex Driver x 1
  • 2.50mm Hex Driver x 1
Freefly MoVI Pro
Freefly MoVI PRO

Appearance

 

For their MoVI gimbals, Freefly settled on a design that was, above all else, functional. Every unit has been built to be as light as possible while still retaining the rigidity to maximise performance. This means you can move the camera exactly as the shot demands, whether that means running full speed or getting aerial footage courtesy of Freefly’s ALTA range.

A spartan construction of metal tubing and robust camera cages comes from years of R&D, learning how to implement enough versatility and quality into a gimbal to make it the perfect tool for professional filmmakers.

The biggest jump in aesthetics has come in the form of the MoVI PRO which has brought with it the ‘Ring’ which gives operators even greater control over their filming and shot framing while also managing to look rather sleek as well.


Performance

The MoVI M5 offers high-performance stabilisation and advanced tuning settings, allowing you to tune your setup with complete flexibility. This unit offers 360° panning as well as 180° tilt and roll. The M5 can also be used in tandem with the Freefly MIMIC and WEDGE.

With Freefly’s ‘HiPer’ functionality, longer focal length lenses can be used without sacrificing stability. Whether it’s used at an ultra low or ultra high angle, the M5 gimbal performs solidly. Switching between modes is simple, letting you focus on the shot.

Freefly‘s M5 has been custom designed and precisely calibrated, coupling the latest in sensor technology with comprehensive calibration to ensure accuracy. The M5’s brushless motors are built to be the perfect blend of performance and weight and the entire 3-axis gimbal rig has the ability to operate in near silence.

After the camera has been configured on the gimbal, Freefly’s no-tools adjustment allows for quick setup and 3-axis balancing. Lens changes and accessory add-ons are rapid, leaving more time for shooting. This allows you to focus on getting shots like the dynamic, customised time lapse sequences MoVI gimbals facilitate. Aerial shots are also possible thanks to compatibility with the ALTA range.

The control algorithms developed for the MoVI M5 stabiliser utilise a very high accuracy locational system. The GPS allows for acceleration correction when the gimbal is used outdoors and has access to a strong signal. This feature is useful when used on vehicle shoots with sustained extreme accelerational forces as non-GPS aided systems have a tendency to drift.

Freefly MoVI M5

The Freefly MoVI M5

The M10 is designed to easily mount to a variety of aircraft, most notably Freefly’s ALTA series. Combining the gimbal with a multi-rotor allows you to capture amazing low-level aerial shots. Combining 360° panning with 180° tilt/roll, users have a great range to work with as well as the option to tap into Freefly’s MIMIC for even more control.

After the camera has been successfully configured to your specifications, the M10’s intuitive ‘no-tools’ adjustment is perfect for rapid setup and balancing. All necessary lens changes and the fitting of additional accessories is a fast process, leaving more time for shooting and more chance to capture your vision.

Offering an added layer of control, the Freefly Movi M10 camera stabiliser comes with the ability to be operated remotely by a second person. This feature allows one user to focus on framing while the other tackles movement, allowing for unrestricted 3-axis camera movement. With both operators focussed on a single task, the resulting shot can reach its full potential.

As with the M5, the MoVI M10’s control algorithms operate via GPS which allows acceleration to be corrected when the M10 has access to a GPS signal. This is massively practical when fast-moving shots with sustained, high levels of accelerational force are required. This would result in other, non-GPS aided systems to undergo some level of drifting.

The Freefly MoVI M10

The MoVI M15 was designed with professional cinematographers in mind as well as to accommodate larger cameras. It’s intended to be used in either normal or inverted mode, which allows for easy integration onto a variety of platforms. Like the M5 and M10, you’re able to utilise a mobility range of 360° pan and 180° tilt/roll.

The M15 is powered by the same stabilisation technology that was created for the M10 giving you the ability to take faultlessly smooth footage in even the most challenging situations – especially true given its compatibility with the MIMIC.

Built as light as possible while retaining its structural soundness and rigidity, the MoVI M15 doesn’t add unnecessary mass to your list of concerns. When you’re carrying a 15-pound payload around a shoot, the last thing you want is more weight. What’s more impressive about this is that there’s also a full camera cage built into the M15 allowing it to take on demanding cinema setups and keep your camera locked on target, ready to capture that perfect take.

The M15 can accommodate a 15-pound payload. Its quick release pan axis has been designed specifically for heavier gear. A simple flip of a lever allows you to switch the M15’s hand grips from low to high mode. This gives you all the control you need to rapidly fine-tune how the gimbal operates and ensure your shot goes exactly to plan. Custom designed and calibrated precisely – the M15 is compatible with a wide range of sensors. Its intuitive calibration ensures accuracy in every use case.

The range of options offered by the MoVI M15 places you in full control. For example, it features the ability to create custom time lapse sequences. Every parameter within a time lapse sequence can be defined from the Freefly app or directly from the MoVI controller. It’s simple to define your desired start and stop positions and select additional frames to create dynamic motion paths.

The Freefly MoVI M15

Then, there’s the MoVI PRO. With twice the continuous pan torque of the original MoVI units and multiple high-quality MEMS sensors with full calibration (e.g. Cross-Axis, Temperature, Scale, Alignment), Freefly’s PRO unit is available as both an aerial and handheld gimbal.

Floating point processors and high-speed sensors enable 60dB performance at 1Hz while an inbuilt barometer and 3-axis compass for accurate heading information provide reliable and precise altitude estimates.

Sporting custom designed direct-drive brushless motors which offer incredible torque in a such a lightweight package the PRO is capable of a 360° pan/tilt/roll rate & 1000° base motion. Silent sine drive technology controls the pan, tilt & roll axis and sine drive motor controls update motor torque at 32KhZ.

The PRO stabiliser has a fast, reliable CAN bus communication protocol and 15 bit, high-resolution encoders which allow for greater stabilisation and motion control while its online temperature estimation allows maximum performance while protecting the motors from overheating

The Freefly MoVI PRO

The MoVI PRO also offers the following shooting modes:

  • Majestic Mode
  • Auto-tune & shot quality indicator
  • Timelapse
  • Motion control & path planning
  • Auto tracking / follow me mode
  • High Bandwidth Data logging / Visualization / Camera sync

 


Battery Life

 

The MoVI M5‘s 1.3Ah LiPo batteries will (each) run the gimbal for approximately 3-4 hours, depending on the setup. The batteries are sold in pairs and can be easily recharged using included Freefly charger.

Both the M10 and M15 use the same type of battery. These 2.1Ah Freefly batteries are high energy density LiPos and each of them will power the M10/M15 gimbal for 2-5 hours although this is dependant on the setup you’re using.

The batteries powering the MoVI PRO have an integrated over-current and battery ‘fuel gauge’ as well as discharge and charge protection. Freefly designed their PRO batteries to live up to the level of quality being set by the gimbal itself.

If you use Freefly’s MoVI PRO with one of its custom-built batteries powering both the gimbal and a larger camera like an Arri or RED, you can expect a runtime of roughly an hour (the gimbal can hold 2 batteries to help swap in and out while working). Once it has been depleted, a PRO battery takes about an hour to fully charge. However, the batteries are hot-swappable so if you ensure you have four to six of them when heading out to a professional engagement.


Camera Specs

The MoVI M5 was built to handle the most popular DSLR packages and keep the camera locked on target. The wide range of sensors it is compatible with includes:

 

  • Blackmagic: Cinema Camera (4K) [requires specific lens combo], Pocket Camera
  • Canon: C100, Rebel T5I, 70D, 1D-C, 5D MK III
  • Nikon: D4, D800
  • Sony Alpha 99, A7S
  • Panasonic GH4

 

The MoVI M10 is designed as the ultimate blend of size and weight and able to take cameras ranging from a small DSLR up to the most professional cinema cameras.

 

  • Blackmagic Cinema Camera 4K
  • Canon: 1D-C, 5D MK III, 70D, C100, C300, C500
  • Nikon: D4, D800
  • Panasonic: GH4
  • RED: Epic, Scarlett
  • Sony: A7S, Alpha 99, FS100, FS700 [specific lens combo]

 

Freefly’s MoVI M15 is compatible with the following cameras:

 

  • RED: Raven, Epic, Scarlett, Weapon, Dragon
  • Blackmagic: Pocket Cinema Camera, Micro Cinema Camera, URSA Mini
  • Canon: 5D MK I-III, 70D Mk I-III, 5Ds, T5i, C100-500 (MkII), 1D C
  • Sony: A7, F5, F55, FS7, FS5, FS100 & 700 [specific lens combo]
  • ARRI: ALEXA M, ALEXA Mini

 

Finally, the MoVI PRO can carry these models:

 

  • RED Epic, Scarlet, Weapon, Dragon, Helium & Raven
  • Canon C100 (Mk I-II), C300 (Mk I-II) & C500 (Mk I-II)
  • Blackmagic URSA Mini, Cinema, Pocket Cinema & Micro Cinema
  • ARRI Alexa Mini & M
  • Sony F5, F55, FS7, FS100, FS700 & FS5

 

…and also the DSLR & Mirrorless sensors listed below…

 

  • Canon 1Dc & 5D Mk I-IV
  • Nikon D810, D800, D500 & D5
  • Sony A7s I-II & A7r I-II
  • Panasonic GH3 & GH45

 

Please Note: These lists of compatible cameras aren’t exhaustive and are subject to change.


Get In Touch

If you want to learn more about the Freefly MoVI series or any of their other products, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us via the details listed below.

Call

0191 296 1024

Email

info@heliguy.com

Keep checking back to Heliguy’s Insider Blog to learn more about Freefly’s latest products, read our in-depth VERSUS series and, of course, stay up to date on the goings on in the drone industry.

Full post available at – https://www.heliguy.com/blog/2017/06/16/the-ultimate-freefly-movi-comparison-guide/