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ShadowCam S-5 Prototype

ShadowCam S-5 Prototype

A few months ago I was contacted by Scott from ShadowCam, who had just started developing a brand new 5-axis stabiliser to compete with the range of brushless gimbals now on the market. Scott later invited me down to see the prototype at the BVE Expo in London, which has 2-axis dampening for vertical and horizontal planes, with a 3-axis brushless gimbal on top of that. This means the system can remove any of the unwanted 'bobbing' from running which no other brushless system has attempted to address. It also accepts standard shoulder mounts, to take the weight off your arms, which is a key disadvantage of heavier rigs such as the Movi. It's worth checking out their twitter to see the other configurations of the system.

BeSteady with GH3 and Paralinx

BeSteady with GH3 and Paralinx

The S-5 was the only unique brushless stabiliser on offer at the show. It was fun seeing small companies demonstrating their 'own' systems which are just standardised frames from china which are difficult to balance, heavy and as expensive compared to more reliable gimbals. Having got to play with the Movi which had a RED dragon on it, I wasn't overly impressed due to the weight of the system. The BeSteady team had a range of different sized cameras on their gimbals, with the one fitted with a GH3 being the only system I could see myself using all day without issues. That being said they did have their new system, which takes larger cameras, fitted to an EasyRig which is a clever idea.

BeSteady with EasyRig - It had run out of battery I think...

BeSteady with EasyRig - It had run out of battery I think...

An example of a crappy Chinese gimbal being sold as something special. Notice the added shiny motor shrouds... classy.

An example of a crappy Chinese gimbal being sold as something special. Notice the added shiny motor shrouds... classy.

The most entertaining part of the exhibition was seeing the Comodo Orbit, which was truly the worst stabilisation system at the event. After giving the guys at the booth a chance to explain the product, we tested it and really couldn't see why the hell anyone would buy this. It is supposed to stabilise motion and be good for handover shots, but when using a fully balanced system found neither of these features worked.