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Freefly Movi Cinema Robot Best For Cinematography

Great Stabilization and Cinematic Tricks: Freefly Movie Cinema Robot 

The superior stabilization quality and multiple cinematic “tricks” are the qualities that the Freefly Movie Cinema Robot Review is famous for. In this review, I am going to analyze the Movi gimbal’s main qualities to see if it is as good as it appears. 

The Freefly is an American brand that stands out in the handheld gimbal market, where the Chinese gimbal manufacturers dominate. You do not often see an American name when surfing through a long list of handheld gimbals. This is another evidence that the Freefly proved to be an impressive device that was able to withstand its competitors. 

Freefly Systems is a company in Washington. They started by producing drone gimbals. Later, they produced a Steadicam alternative for professional cinematographers – the Movi M10 gimbal.

This is the reason why I always wanted to look at one of Freefly’s gimbal stabilizers in detail. Finally, I got a chance to review the Movi Cinema Robot.

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Freefly Movie Cinema Robot: Handheld Cinematography Gimbal 

The Freefly Movi Cinema Robot is another good gimbal, both in terms of its video stabilization quality and software. This phone gimbal is very special since this is a device not for regular users, but for cinematography professionals. Anyways, the gimbal would be too expensive for regular filmmakers, especially when many budget-friendly gimbals are available in the market. 

Despite its high price tag, the Movi gimbal is still very attractive. It features many impressive features, such as U-shape design, superior stabilization, and an excellent companion smartphone application. 

Nevertheless, Freefly discontinued the Movi release for some reason. However, the review would still be useful, as the gimbal is still available at certain marketplaces occasionally.

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First Acquaintance 

The Movie Cinema Robot comes in a hard box that looks more expensive than most of the stabilizers that I had to deal with. 

After I took it out of the box, I could not help but notice that it looked very different, too. First of all, the Freefly Movi Cinema Robot had a base. The main advantage of this feature is that you actually do not need to use a tripod with your device. It is possible to place the stabilizer on a flat surface and leave it there alone to film. This feature might be especially important for cinematography professionals. 

This Movi gimbal did not have a motor placed directly above the handgrip, which was very unusual, too. The handgrip was attached to the side of the gimbal. Its U-shape design, thus, allowed you to hold the gimbal comfortably with both hands. 

I also found the adjustable spring-loaded clamp very comfortable to easily attach my phone to it. The gimbal’s motors are very powerful, which means that the Movi Cinema Robot is easily compatible even with the heaviest smartphones.

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Freefly Movie Cinema Robot Compatibility

The Movi features high compatibility with almost all available smartphone models with its maximum payload of up to 500 grams. Therefore, the gimbal is compatible with the latest models of iPhone that are quite heavy, and also the bigger tablet-like Android devices. 

This gimbal is also compatible with the newest charging cables due to its new USB-C port. I found it very convenient, as most of the gimbals are still featuring the older Micro USB ports. Another advantage that you would appreciate is that you do not have to carry a Micro USB cable along with you. 

One of the things special about this gimbal is its compatibility features with many accessories. One of them, the Movi Hoodie accessory mount, allows you to connect special cinematography accessories, such as the microphone or additional lights. You only need to attach the Movi Hoodie to the device’s handgrip.

The maximum payload of the Movie Cinema Robot also means that you can attach various lenses to your smartphones and you will not face any issues with this. The device’s motors are powerful, so the extra weight will not affect their performance or battery life. However, if your smartphone with a lens attached is too heavy, consider using a counterweight to balance your gimbal.

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Making Real Films With Freefly Cinema Robot

Using the Freefly Movi Cinema Robot when filming makes you feel like a member of the Hollywood crew. The unique ergonomic design of this gimbal stabilizer allows you to use your both hands while filming. Not only it enables you to “feel the process” better, but it also gives you an extra stabilization opportunity. 

Filming with the Movi stabilizer feels natural. It is fun to shoot videos while using both hands, it allows you to the pan and tilts your gimbal easier. However, note that you cannot control your pan and tilt electronically. Personally, I like using my hands for this and do think of this as an issue. 

The device does have the D-Pad, which might be mistaken for a regular joystick typical for most of the handheld gimbals. However, the D-Pad is used to control more “cinematographic” factors, such as the exposure or showing previews. 

Originally, the Movi gimbal has been designed as a device to manually control all the movements. This is the practice, common for cinematography. By controlling the movements manually, you can get creative and add a piece of your individuality to the final product.

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Movi App: An App That Stands Out

Software that is compatible with a given gimbal is always an important part of my review. That is why I simply had to evaluate the Movi App that is compatible with the Movi Cinema Robot. 

I have experienced working with many gimbals applications, but, unfortunately, I found most of them to be poor. I often found the third-party apps better to use, as the signature software was either buggy or did not allow me to make high-quality videos despite the fact that my phone could do this. 

The Movi App was a complete game-changer. This software is the number one reason why you should consider getting this device. It is simply amazing, and I do not seem to find enough positive words to describe it. 

My favorite part about this app was how quickly it can change the speed of the pan and tilt follows. It is enough to click on the designated button on your phone screen and the speed will change on the go. There are multiple settings to adjust by using the Movi App, and there are also a lot of cinematic presents. It makes this stabilizer the best buy gimbal for wannabe cinematographers.

In fact, the app features so many amazing options that it would deserve a separate review. Therefore, just know that the Movi software is truly great, and it is a very serious advantage of Freefly. 

Filming Modes

The Freefly Cinema Robot features more shooting modes than any handheld gimbal available in the market in 2021. Basically, there are two modes that a user can choose between – the basic and the ninja modes. 

Basic mode allows you to use the Majestic shooting regime, which is great and you might want to use it all the time. The Ninja mode is developed for more advanced users and it makes all shooting regimes available. 

Besides these advanced features, the Movi gimbal has all standard shooting modes available in most of the stabilization devices: 

  1. Pan-follow. In this mode, the gimbal follows the objects moving left and right, keeping the horizon steady. 
  2. The pan and tilt following. The mode enables the gimbal to follow any movements made in two axes. The third axis is kept locked.
  3. All-locked. The gimbal keeps your smartphone camera looking in one direction only.

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Stabilization Quality 

As you could expect from a gimbal with such a price tag and the brand Freefly behind it, the Movi Cinema Robot’s performance is simply great. In fact, the Movi device is one of the best smartphone gimbals in terms of stabilization performance. 

Of course, there are many other gimbals, available for a lower price, whose stabilization performance is just as good as the Movi’s. However, holding this gimbal with two hands gives you much more opportunities to control the stabilization performance. 

I also found the Freefly Movi Cinema Robot to work quietly, as my iPhone did not identify any external noises while recording the videos. 

Nevertheless, there was a problem associated with my iPhone. Its built-in stabilization tends to conflict with the gimbal sometimes, which produces quite weird results. It is not definitely the Freefly problem, but rather an issue to be addressed to Apple. For some reason, the iPhone fails to block its internal stabilization while connected to a gimbal. 

There are ways to avoid this problem. However, I am not going to talk much about them in this review. You can play with some settings and get a buttery smooth video, so just know about this possible issue. Despite this, I insist that using the Freefly Cinema Robot with one of the newer iPhones will provide the ultimate good results due to their excellent cameras.

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Freefly Movi Cinema Robot Battery Performance

The 2600mAh Lithium-Ion battery enables the gimbal to work for up to 8 hours. 

While testing the gimbal, I have never filmed for 8 hours. However, according to my estimations, the Freefly did not lie about the Movi’s battery performance. 

If you are making videos with the gimbal in a static position, it may be helpful for you to know that this gimbal can be connected to a power source at the same time. 

Final Verdict

I do think that Freefly has released the game-changer when it brought the Cinema Robot to the market. It was extremely fun for me to review a gimbal that was completely different from other handheld stabilizers presented in the market. 

This is certainly one of the best gimbals for phones available out there. Its impressive stabilization performance, the number of shooting modes available, the ergonomic design, and an awesome app make this stabilizer a decent choice that is worth considering when purchasing a phone gimbal. 

However, I believe that the Freefly Movie Cinema Robot is not a device for an amateur filmmaker or someone, who is not looking for particular features available specifically in the gimbal. It has too many features that an average filmmaker is not going to need in addition to its expensive price and slightly big size. 

The filmmakers and bloggers, who are simply looking to improve the quality of their videos, can find many budget-friendly good gimbals to satisfy their needs. Meanwhile, cinematographers who are looking for specific “tricks” should definitely pay attention to the Freefly Movi Cinema Robot. 

Advantages 🤩

  • Superior stabilization
  • U-Shape design
  • Excellent smartphone app
  • No tripod needed

Shortcomings 😑

  • Too big
  • High price
  • Some features are too specific for a regular filmmaker

Rating: 4/5

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