MoVi M5 Tips & Tricks | Part 1
We use FreeFly Systems’ gimbals for various reasons as opposed to other gimbals such as Ronin, Gremsey, etc. This doesn’t mean these other gimbals are not worth pursuing, it just means we’ve adapted MoVis to work very well with our workflow. We will be discussing why we use MoVis in depth in another video.
Now I believe the MoVi M5 is built very well. There’s a ton of great new features FreeFly Systems added to the M5 compared to the old M10 versions. Now MoVi’s are known for their strength and durability. The M5 was designed physically smaller than the M10 to accommodate smaller cameras such as the DSLRs, Pansonic GH4, etc. So naturally, larger cameras cannot be mounted on the M5. The cage on the M5 is fairly short, while having only 8 inch vertical carbon fiber rails installed. So this limits taller cameras from being installed such as the Canon C100 or C300. So after looking over the M5, we came up with a few ideas to modify the cage to accommodate taller cameras.
Now, just a quick disclaimer, the tips and tricks we’re about to show you have worked with our M5, however we are not responsible of your outcome from your own tweaks. Tweak at your own risk.
The first modification we made was replacing the 8 inch 15mm rails to 10 inch 15mm rails. Once we finished this upgrade, we were able to successfully install the Canon C300. Now the C300 is 3.2 lbs with the EF mount and 3.6 lbs with PL mount so you’re still going to be under the 5 lbs weight limit on the M5. We flew the C300 with EF lenses with no problems.
Now, we were pretty excited once we successfully flew a C300 on the M5, so naturally, the big question was… could we fly a Red? After a little bit more bench testing, we felt confident that the tilt mount could hold more than the recommended 5 lbs weight limit. So yes, we mounted a Red Epic on the M5. Now the Red body is 5 lbs by itself, and with an EF lens, you’re going to add another 1-2 lbs to the payload. We have tested both EF and PL mount Reds, and have had no issues. However, when using a PL mount Red, you are going to be limited to lighter PL lenses. If you use too heavy of a lens, you won’t be able to balance the camera correctly because of the physical limitations since the carbon fiber tubes are too short. The back of the Red body comes right up against the roll bar, so you’re going to be very limited to what glass you can mount. But overall it works quite well in most cases.
We recommend keeping your camera and lens payload at 7 lbs or less. The weakest link to the M5 is going to be the tilt mount. This mount is made up of some plastic whereas the M10 is all aluminum, therefore the M5 mount is going to be weaker.
Now some of you are going to say the motors are weaker on the M5 vs. the motors on the M10 because of the smaller battery, right? No, wrong. The motors on the M5, M10 and M15 are all the same. The only difference between the M5 and M10/M15 batteries are their capacity. Their voltage is the same, (4S, 14.8 volts). This means all of the motors pull up to the same amount of power.
The second tweak we made to the M5 is going to allow you to balance the pan axis more precisely. As you’ll notice the M5 has a keyed aluminum tube attached to the yaw motor. This prevents you from pivoting or pendulum swinging the vertical rail for more accurate pan axis balancing. Depending on how you have your MoVi set up, you will need to pivot the vertical rod either slightly left or right.
The simple fix is to replace the keyed aluminum rail with a regular 25mm carbon fiber tube. Now without a keyed tube, you’ll be able to tweak the pan axis adjustment much more accurately.
If you’re interested in learning more about aerial cinematography, check out our Multi Rotor Tutorial Series for filmmakers. There’s 24 tutorials and over 4.5 hours of exciting and valuable knowledge for you to download into your brains.
I hope these MoVi tips and tricks helped you guys out. If you have questions, feel free to comment below. In our next MoVi video, we’re going to show how to start and stop recording on a RED remotely. In addition to showing how to complete HD downlinking efficiently with your MoVi.