(VIDEO SHOT ENTIRELY USING THE MOZA LITE 2 GIMBAL)
Back in October I started shopping around for the best gimbal, with the best features, best performance, and with the best price I could find. There were several options out there at the time, the most popular being the DJI Ronin M. I was fortunate enough to be sponsored by DJI for my service trip to Kenya a couple months before. They supplied me with a Ronin M which I took and enjoyed using while I was there. I didn’t go for shooting reasons, but I decided to shoot what I could. While the gimbal was easy to use, I wasn’t exactly blown away by it’s stabilization and noticed quite a lot of micro-vibration in my shots. That’s not to mention how noisy the motors were. I had used the DJI Ronin gimbal with a Red Epic in the past and never had the same issues. It’s not like it was my first time using a gimbal.
This is where I started to wonder whether I should look elsewhere for a gimbal to purchase for my own use. I weighed the options and noticed a newcomer who wasn’t using Alexmos motors or programs like SimpleBGC. That’s when I learned about Gudsen and their Moza Lite 2 gimbal. They had their own motors, encoders, and software. Seems like they had it figured out. I couldn’t find any reviews or video’s of the product in use other than the company made videos. I’m always skeptical of company videos that are shot in high speed and use post stabilization. Plus they are usually shot by employees and not real filmmakers.
The features and specs of the Moza Lite 2 seemed amazing, and with a leap of blind faith, I placed an order. One week later I was blown away with the gimbal and was VERY happy with the decision I had made.
It wasn’t exactly a smooth start though. Upon balancing my camera and powering on for the first time, I noticed the horizon was slightly off, like a minimal rotation was happening. I checked my built in camera level and sure enough it was off just slightly. Most people might not notice or care, but straight lines are important to me 😉
I took a photo and emailed Gudsen’s support immediately. It was 10:00pm here in California and I received an email 30 minutes later. I was told I needed to run the software calibration via their osx or pc app and sent an instruction video. To be honest, I was not only shocked I got a response that quickly, but with a thorough walk through video. I love DJI, I own several of their products, but their customer service is notoriously bad. Gudsen gave me a pleasant surprise. Needless to say I plugged the gimbal into my macbook pro, ran the software calibration as described, and 5 minutes later my camera was perfectly level. After many shoots now, I’ve never had to calibrate again. The gimbals come pre-calibrated but I have a theory about them being calibrated in China, that quite possibly puts them on a slightly different rotation angle than here in California. I have to calibrate my DJI Phantom 4 every time I travel to maintain it’s horizon level.
This is the email they sent me with the steps to remedy this:
To solve this issue, you need to do the following:
1.Calibrate the sensor
2.Adjusting the offset angle
3.Lower the dead angle of yaw axis
So you need to download and use MOZA-Assistant GUI at first, you can download it here:
Then connect the gimbal to your computer, The sequence of your operation is very important:
1.Start the battery
2.Plugin the USB cable
To upgrade the firmware:
2.Plugin the USB cable
3.Start the battery
This video shows how to calibrate the sensor:
When MOZA is on, refer to the leveler in the camera, if MOZA cannot make the leveler entirely level, then you need to correct the stable status by adjusting the angular deflection to make the leveler entirely level.
Deviation angle allowed before a Follow
movement. Follow movement will not start when operating
some axis in the beginning, but starts when a certain
angle of difference. The follow destination is decided by
dead corner. Motor will not follow to the exact operating angle
but stops spinning when realizing dead corner.
This may be useful to follow for your first time using the gimbal. If your calibration is already good, then don’t worry about it. Hopefully this will save someone a potential issue and provide a simple fix.
A few of the features that I love and that pushed me towards the Moza Lite 2 were the following:
- Max payload of 11lbs (5.0kg)
- Custom motors and encoders
- Modular and tool-less design
- Battery life of 4-8 hours with lightweight batteries
- An upright operation mode that flips the camera right side up (THANK YOU)
- The ability to attach to a drone
- Custom Mobile App that’s intuitive and easy to use
- Internal camera control/camera power/hdmi ports built in
These features were enough to push me to at least try the thing out. I’m glad I did. Not only can I use the system with cameras like the A7s II, but I can even use my RED Weapon camera on the same gimbal with the same performance and features. It’s incredible to me that a practically unheard of company could produce something this good.
REAL LIFE USE…
I said it earlier and I’ll say it again, I hate gimbal companies demo videos. Why is most of the footage shot in slow motion?? Even most reviews are shot in slow motion. Don’t be fooled. Slow motion makes handheld look steady. The video at the top of the post was the first video I shot with the gimbal, and maybe surprisingly to some, shot literally the day after I received it. So I didn’t have any practice, had never used it, and was about to go on a guerrilla style music video shoot for Metallica, one of the biggest bands in the world. The premise of the shoot was to go around Los Angeles and shoot an actor in a green screen suit. There was no pre-planned setups, locations, or anything. We walked around downtown Los Angeles and shot whatever we could get at any moment. Direction was given while the take was happening and there were never any rehearsals or walk throughs. After all, we had no permits. I’m including some unused footage from that shoot with NO post stabilization so you can see how the gimbal performed. I’d say I was very impressed and with more practice it would be even better. Remember, this is only my 2nd real shoot using a gimbal and first time shooting guerrilla with one. The shot in the taxi at the end was in upright mode with the handle bars resting on my legs in the middle seat. Hope this gives you a more realistic idea of it’s abilities than those slow motion videos you find on the web. The battery lasted me an entire 10 hour day on a single charge which shocked me. I did power the gimbal down in between shots to save power. But this saved a ton of time and hassle on set, especially since I was the entire camera department.
If you’re in the market for a gimbal, give a hard look at the Moza Lite 2. I think you’ll find it nearly impossible to find a comparable gimbal with all the benefits at this price point. From someone who’s tried many gimbals, give this one a shot and be pleasantly surprised by it. The payload, battery life, operation modes, camera control interfaces, smartphone app, and tool less setup make this a ton of fun to use. I love being able to power my camera straight from the gimbal battery while passing the hdmi signal through the gimbal to cut out loose cables. This is a very well designed and thought out gimbal. Do yourself a favor and pick one up!
*Disclaimer: I was not paid or given free product in exchange for a positive review. The opinions I express are my own and are not those of any other companies or individuals.