So I see a gentleman in Flava Flav-style white framed sunglasses racing around the show floor in a motorized wheelchair, followed by another guy "flying" a very small handheld gimbal. Okay, so my interest is piqued.
I start following these two to see where they're going. Turns out they're headed back to the booth for Big Balance Technology - an exciting new player in the multi-axis gimbal market.
With the introduction of the $15K MoVI 10, the $5K MoVI 5 and the $1.8K Defy last year - plus the proliferation of brushless gimbals we're starting to see on 'copters (such as the Zenmuse Z15), there are lots of gimbals at NAB this year. For years, I've dreamt of smooth, gimbaled Hollywood-style motion from a 2 or 3-azis stabilizer, but I hadn't planned to stop by any of the gimbal manufacturers' booths this week, because there was no way I could afford a powered stabilizer - or so I thought.
Enter Big Balance. A new Hong Kong company with a presence in the US and Europe. They saw the opportunity to bring multi-axis gimbal technology down from the high-end to smartphones, action cams, small and large interchangeable lens cameras - and this year they're at NAB, planning to ship their products in June. Prices start at an unbelievable $220 for their "Gazelle" 2-axis smartphone stabilizer.
Here's my interview with Larry Reich from Big Balance with a demo of the $995 Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera on a $750(!) Big Balance Gorilla stabilizer. I was so impressed,I forgot to pay attention to holding focus on Larry:
For smartphone and action cam filmmakers, this is a no-brainer. They should buy the Husky and the Mustang as soon as they are available.
For compact cam and DSLR/DSLM filmmakers, it's a little more money - but still worth it - especially for BMPCC owners (like me) who are frustrated by how hard it is to hold the camera steady.
If you have been on the fence about buying the BMPCC because you have been concerned about image stabilization - it may be time to pull the trigger.