Hanging with the GearAddix team at a recent visit to PhotoPlus NY 2013, we stopped by the Mastor Tech booth who was showcasing an entire line of motorized gimbal video stabilizers.
The largest Pronghorn PN1 3-Axis version includes joystick controls built into the handle for both Pan/Tilt for single operator mode, or can be used with a second operator controlling the system through an RC Remote.
Three smaller 2-Axis hand held versions ( Sailfish SF1, Greyhound GR-1, and Cheetah CH1 ) all include a joystick for Tilt control (panning done by hand). The smaller versions offered are for the GoPro Hero cameras, Mobile Phones, and for cameras such as the RX100 or similar sized Point-n-Shoot cameras. A LiPo battery built into the handle can be recharged via USB and powers the units for up to 2 hours.
Needless to say Mastor Tech was one of the more popular booth at PhotoPlus NY 2013, so it was difficult to nail down a solid interview. Although we may see more of these coming to market, what was most appealing was the build quality and performance. There are no exposed wires or controller boards, and we would swap various cell phones and digital cameras on the systems and it balanced very quickly. This seems like a very polished finished product for the end-user, but possibly because they already have experience with designing aerial gimbal products.
These products won't be available until 2014 so stay tuned. For now, I would love to hear any questions or comments about what you think of this new product?
Exactly when will the GREYHOUND GR-1 handheld gimbal be
available for purchase? Please inform me. Can't wait.
Things are getting weird. Mastortech split off into two companies after internal disputes, and the "new" company launched a Kickstarter campaign exploiting the prototypes already in development, adding candy red colors (as the Chinese often do, thinking it looks cool), and naturally jacking up the price. Dangerous waters even though it was promising at first.
last year, mastor started to sell a 2axis gimbal for rc. It never worked and many buyers considered it like a scam. No communication at all from the company...
just type mastor gimbal on rcgroups and you will know
Any update on when it will be available ?
A solution to hold the cameras above people, on a stick, telescope. is this technically possible? AND: version for 3dsereo-dualcameras: Canon compacts. horizontall or vertically mounted on a bar.i am already in contact with mastortech. i will give data later.
Here is a 12min video that covers these guys and has a bit of info on balancing, battery life and produciton plans (2014 Q1):
Thank you for your info. Looking forward to see a full review asap.
If it is $600 I am really interested! GM1 + 12-35mm would be within the limit too! Can probably replace the GH3 + Minicam I've been using.
The Sailfish looks awesome! I'd been going back and forth for months deciding whether or not to buy the Defy G2 ($2,600) for my GH3. But with Panasonic's release of the GM1 and Mastor's announcement of the SF1, I can save some $1,300; have an extra camera body for one of my zooms; and I'd be more likely to take it out on shoots.
Thanks for Stephen from Mastor Team to respond our posts, it shows that your team really want to design successful, affordable and no nonsense products for guys like me who Use DSLR cameras for video.
I totally agree with OldCorpse's comment, I would buy a 3 Axis stabilizer without all the bells and whistles but can be operated just like a Glide cam by one shooter. We also do not need any display as we have already invested one. I would buy one in a heart beat if it is priced under 2K which could do shots like the Video you posted from Japan.
Please remember that When 4K GH4 comes, we can use that on stabilizers like Glidecam, get reasonably balanced shot then use software based stabilizers such as Warp stabilizer in Adobe PPro and down convert to 1080P where we will not lose any resolution which is a drawback when using any software based stabilizer now because we only shoot in HD resolution.
Thanks and good luck.
We will announce Kickstarter Pre-order in this blog. Or you can leave your email to stephen.tsang at mastortech dot com. Once again, thank you very much for your interest in our products.
For Russ and Boriz,
Pronghorn series was originally designed to help TV/Studio/Movie crews to get rid of those heavy mechanical steady-cam equipment, it was not targeted for general consumer. The high price is due to the very low production volume. Yes indeed, there really should be some product lines in between. Your comments will be passed to our chief engineer, and thank you guys.
For John Griswell,
Thank you very much for your support!
Thank you very much for your comments, and I'll pass your message to our design team.
Here is a Pronghorn footage taken in CEATEC Japan:
Yes indeed, I also strongly believe a cheaper 3-axis is a MUST in the product line.
You have done your home work very well. Pronghorn series includes a 3-axis gimbal unit and a remote control unit with live video streaming LED screen. I believe MOVI of Freefly is selling the gimbal unit at around $14,000.
For tom nguyen,
iPhone and GoPro gimbals are catered for general users, and we believe 2-axis is good enough to do the job. We haven't tried the 5-axis gimbal, however, 3-axis is pretty much cover the 3-dimension. As a matter of fact, what makes us stands out in this market is we do not use Alexmos's software algorithm, which is a PID approach, ie compansation is always behind. Ours is an A.I. approach, our algorithm predicts your motion using a lots of parameters, and correction is alway in advance.
Yes your calculation is absolutely right.
Thanks Paul! Will take a look at your email.
wow, now thats a hefty pricejump. from 599 to 8800? and the 10k version can fly the 5d3 - thats it? no epic? ouch....well, there will be another company to build a buget gyrostabilizer that works with heavier cams, for sure.. xiexie
That's what I was getting at as well with the GM1 or GX7 + 12mm. My only concern, after rewatching some videos, is that the GH2/GX7 might be too tall and would end up hitting the handle/frame when using the full 360 rotation.
Thank you for the additional information, Stephen. I have sent you an email under separate cover. --Paul
Given the weight parameters above, the Sailfish handles 500-550 grams. The GH2 is 444 grams for Card, Body and Battery. The 14mm pancake is 55 grams, bringing the total up to 499 grams, easily under the 550 it is rated for. Even the 20mm pancake is only 87 grams, which would make it 531 grams, still in range!
Too bad the two small ones for the iphone + gopro are only 2 axis. There's too much yaw/pan motion when you walk/run... even with 3-axis, you can't get rid of the up-down motion of natural walking/running.
someone needs to market alexmos' 5 axis gimbal:
@Russ - I'm not sure if it's clear what that price includes, but the full unit we saw included a monitor with wireless video + second operator remote for Pan / Tilt. If they can strip it down hopefully it might be much cheaper.
I can't remember exactly but I thought the complete FreeFly system with wireless video and remote pan/tilt (second operator) ran more than $20K?
I'd be interested in a 3-axis model without the pan/tilt joystick controls.
$8,800 FAR exceeds my budget.
I really wonder what the market is for this. You gotta remember, you can buy the GH3 for under $1K these days. Even if the next GH4 is $1.3K, that's a "cheap" camera. If you are on a budget you buy the GH3, but if you are on a budget, will you then shell out $8,800 for motion control? I think the limit here is about $1,500 what people would pay - you see many interested in stabilizers that run $300 - $1000 for something that can fly a GH3, so I'd think $1.5K would be the limit... I certainly cannot afford more. So if it's really fantastic, I might pay $1.5K, but $8,800 - not a chance. Of course, maybe there is a market, who knows, I'm not a market researcher. I hope the company knows what they are doing.
But of course the first question is always: how well does it work. Because if it doesn't work well, all this discussion is useless. We'll have to see more real life tests - Emm, you got some work to do 🙂 🙂 🙂
>$599 - Sailfish SF1 can handle any thing within 500-550gm.
This means you could run the new and crazy tiny Panasonic GM1 body (204g) and the Olympus 12mm f2.0 prime (130g) in C-AF mode and have a pretty bad-ass little steady cam for wedding work or run-and-gun type work. Just pull it out of a shoulder bag, flick it on and start rolling chasing that bride!
One issue would be getting low shots with the GM1's lack of tilting screen but a Panasonic GX7 (402g) and the 12mm (130g) would still only be ~532g so it should work and you would have a tilting screen.
Get that Kickstarter rolling, I'm in!
There is missing an in-between in this line-up...
with this price you say say good buy to many buyer
how would we get updated on kickstarter? thanks stephen!
First of all, thank you very much for your interest in Mastor products, and I really should thank Keiko for introducing our products. Our time have been fully occupied by our Global Road Show.
For Shawn Caple, sorry for the delay, I personally will get back to your email within this week.
For Aron J Anderson, we are considering launching a pre-order in Kickstarter. Pls stay tune!
For Emm, you are right. Our Suggested Retail Price are as follows:_
PN2(for Blackmagic pcc)-$8,800
PN3(for Canon 5D MarkIII-$10,000
For pepeprod-thanks for your comments. I can assure you our product is the best available at this moment. we have won the CEATEC Japan 2013 Digital Imaging Award over Sony and NEC.
For Philip, yes, our production model (for 3 axis models) will have a lock button, so you can decide if the camera should follow or not when you pan. If fact, in the coming up Inter-BEE Japan Expo, we will be showing the updated model with a lock button when pan.
For Gyoz, thanks for your comments.
For Simon, thanks for your comments. More serious killer stuff for GoPro is coming in the 2nd to 3rd quarter of 2014.
For Doc Hutch, thank you for your interest. Stay tune for our pre-order in Kickstarter.
For Enrique, thanks for your comment. Pls come and beta-test one in CES 2014 in Las Vegas. You will immediately know the difference.
For Ruban,the good news is we have tested GH3 using 12mm lens in front of the Panasonic booth in IFA 2013 Berlin, and it works like a charm.
For Kevin, we are working with the RED ONE model now. We did not apply our latest technology in MOVI-no further comment.
For Johnny, Sailfish SF1 and handle any thing within 500-550gm. However, we only recommend lens of 12-14mm only.
For Helge, we are working on that but need more time than 6 months.
For Pat, I am sure that is a mechanical problem. Those machines have been travelling along the world with us for quite some time. Our brushless motor is one of our patent pending technology. It actively corrects your motion 10,000 times per second.
For gerald, it was me quoted you $699 for SF1. We have been trying with great effort to knock the price down. The price of $599 would be pretty final.
For Paul, thank you for your interest. Pls stay tune with our pre-order in Kickstarter.
For rishio, we don't have a Sony A7R for testing. Will let you know if we can get hold of A7R in Japan Inter-BEE Expo.
For Johnny, only 12-14mm lens should be used, and we recommand 12mm lens. We ourself is using Olympus 12mm lens.
For Brian, thanks for your interest. Pls stay tune on our pre-order in Kickstarter.
For Nedly, I am sure you won't regret when you have tried our SF1 model. Pls come to join us in CES 2014 in Las Vegas.
@Nedly There is one big difference between EasyGimbal and Mastor Grayhound. EasyGimbal is a 3-axis gimbal and this one is 2-axis one. Based on my past experience with 2-axis aerial gimbal and GoPro, it cannot compensate for the side-to-side movement which is inevitable when you're walking or running with the unit. So far EasyGimbal seems to be the best in the market for portable 3-axis gimbals, but I'm sure many startups in Asia will come up with similar things in the near future.
Crap I just ordered the EasyGimbal on Kickstarter for $599 that is releasing on Feb. I think this one will also be released around the same date, and this one looks a more polish product than the EasyGimbal without any cables hanging out, any idea I can cancel my pledge on Kickstarter? With the price of the EasyGimbal I can buy 2 of this.
Shut up and take my money already!
Hmmm, I wonder what they mean by "original lens" - surely that can't mean the Panasonic 14mm F2.5 only...
@Paul - Thanks, I've attached the page to this comment for others to see. The BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera is shown on the lower left.
Any idea if the Sailfish-SF1 could support the Sony A7r with the 35mm f/2.8 lens?
@Emm/@Johnny: Go to this link: https://mastortech.com/ebrochure.html
There you'll see the BMPC included so long as it's using the "original lens" (which they must mean, the not-included Panasonic 14mm f2.5 pancake lens that they picture with the BMPC). I'm sold -- if only I could place a damn order.
i emailed the company and for the sailfish sf1 they quoted me a price of $699
During the last Photo expo I try the one for 5D. Once I've make faster move and stop. The entire Gimbal star shaking. I told them about it and theirs answer was "ITS BECAUSE IT STABILIZE YOUR MOVE" The thing is that after that I try to hold the whole thing in one place and the gimbal actually keep shaking. It is for sure great stabilizer but they need to improve the stabilizing method and eliminate the shaking effect.
@Johnny - from the look of it, I don't think it will fly a BMPC. I could be wrong, but I don't think so.
Still waiting for an inexpensive gimbal that can take more than a DSLR, like the FS700 or something heavier like a RED. I'm guessing there will be one or many on the market within six months 🙂
Emm, do you think the Sailfish SF1 could handle a Blackmagic Pocket camera (355 grams) + Olympus 17mm F2.8 (71 grams)?
Will the Proghorn model be compatible with the production and cinema camera by blackmagic? I only see the pocket camera listed, please advise on the capability or if i'll need to move up to the MoVi, id rather not...
Thanks @Emm for the info. Love the site and hope to interact more in the future!
Thanks a lot for your quick and helpful response. I think I'll buy the Xcam Sabre after watching your review. It seems easier to balance than the Glidecam and Flycam, and a lot cheaper than these new Mōvi like stabilizers.
@Enrique - I have only played with a few and they work excellent when you're just hand holding a camera. You can simulate a tripod static shot very easily even with shaky hands. Walking with a subject directly in front of you, these also work very nice and smooth. I would love to use these systems with my smaller cameras.
As far as running with them where it requires steering / panning / tilting in different directions very quickly, that will require lots of practice and possibly the assistance of another operator. Not to mention if you have to deal with focus, you'll need another system for that including wireless video streaming.
How do you like these Mōvi style gimbal stabilizers (such as Mastor, Defy or The Ghost)? Are they worth the very extra money over a Glidecam/Xcam stabilizer?
Hope they make one which could support GH3 and 7-14mm around $600.00 price range. It looks to me the SaliFish SF1 does not support the GH3 weight.
Can not afford the big one for many thousand $.
@Doc Hutch - I know what you mean, but after thinking about it, the longer they hold out the lower the pricing becomes on newer units. Could be a good thing.
Kinda sick and tired of hearing about all the brushless gimbal setups yet not being able to buy them anywhere.
@Simon - Yes, they commented to say the GoPro version was retail $200 ready to go. It works great from our tests at the show.
Would like the GoPro version if it's less than $300 (and works!)
@Philip - Most systems like this have an option to turn 'follow' on/off. That's just a simple software thing, which I can't confirm was added or not added to this product. Even if it's not on here now, it's still possible to add it by the time it's available in final production.
Looks like very serious stuff. I would like to have the one with the integrated monitor.
Too bad the copied the music of this video:
They had nice stuff at their booth. They seemed a little overwhelmed with the crowd though and not really prepared with prices. I'm not surprised if @Shawn Caple found no info. They are a Chinese company and more prepared with the manufacturing end than marketing. In any case, one thing I didn't like that much with the 3 axis gimbal (not the largest with the dslr, but the one that was holding a smaller camera, was that you needed to push buttons to pan. If you panned without the buttons, the camera didn't follow.
And they have an european office !
It seems very good !
The majors doubts a have with others gimbal is the difficulty to balance it and the fragility of the electronic parts. But here it seems very easy and solid product.
@Shawn Caple - For the smaller ones I heard $200, $300, $600, and the largest one was unclear. Some would say between $9K - $10K, but don't quote me on that. It was being shown as a 3-Axis gimbal, with Wireless HD stream, and external remote control (second operator).
Aron J Anderson
Here is my comment, I want one.
I have tried to get info from the Mastor website about availability. Price and even where they will be sold. No reply and no confirmation of email received. Very odd.