Two Pledge-Worthy Kickstarter Campaigns for Amazing Next Generation Small Camera Stabilization Products: MagicJib & SteadXP, Closing October 11

by Karin GottschalkLeave a Comment

In an era when we are deluged with press release after press release about the high-priced, high-tech, cutting edge electronics-plus-materials-engineering cinematic marvels going by the monikers of ‘motion stabilizer’ or ‘gimbal’ made for all manner of DSLRs and accessories, the fact that many of us are using far smaller cameras and simpler rigs gets a little lost.

Not so with two current Kickstarter campaigns that are more than worth supporting with your pledges – MagicJib and SteadXP. Both products, the purely mechanical MagicJib and the hardware-plus-software SteadXP, are aimed at users of those smaller cameras and are breaking into entirely new territory, unburdened by really high prices, heavy flight cases and the need to take a team or at least an assistant with you at all times.

Both of these smaller camera stabilization projects caught my eye as their creators clearly understand that the default stabilization and camera movement solutions – SteadyCams, gimbals, jibs, cranes, dollies, sliders, tracks and the like – are not for everyone and in many cases are sheer overkill.

Which is not to deny the benefits of those default products. I used some of them myself when I first got into moviemaking and have watched them at work in the hands of some expert operators. If you have the means, then go for them.

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An apparently not-so-uncommon collection of stabilization and support gear of the traditional DSLR and camcorder-sized variety. Big heavy cases, an SUV, van or truck required to carry them.

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Or, if you shoot movies with small mirrorless aka DSLM hybrid cameras, iPhones, iPads or Blackmagic Design’s smaller cameras, then KickShark’s MagicJib may be just the thing for you. It looks small enough in this photograph to strap onto the outside of a backpack or carry in your hands or a reasonably small shoulder bag.

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Oh my god, where are all the electronics, the carbon fiber, the cages and the gimbals? The KickShark team appears to have completely rethought what is needed to obtain smooth motion in all directions with smaller cameras. Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera aka BMPCC in action with MagicJib. I’d like to see how MagicJib handles Blackmagic Design’s new miniature cinema cameras when they finally appear.

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The model for this photograph and the one above is, I am informed, 5’ 1” and 105 pounds. KickShark CEO Jack Campbell told me that “we wanted to make sure MagicJib was plenty usable for her size person”.

But my status as a no- to low-budget solo moviemaker rules out anything that can’t be transported on my back or in a roll-along case. And both the MagicJib and SteadXP are, by the looks, eminently transportable in a shoulder bag, backpack or airport roll-along.

For those of who who have the means for bigger, costlier solutions, then consider the MagicJib and SteadXP as the alternatives you can take with you anywhere or easily grab those shots for which the big stuff is overkill. Neither product is the answer to all your camera movement and stabilization needs but they both look like they can deliver on a big subset of them.

News Shooter’s Dan Chung has had the privilege of trying a pre-release SteadXP and out it to work in the streets of London recently. Go to his News Shooter article ‘SteadXP Kickstarter Launched: Next Generation Image Stabilisation Unleashed’ and watch his videos for an insight into what the SteadXP can do.

Two Kickstarter campaigns for next gen small camera stabilization products: MagicJib & SteadXP. Click To Tweet

MagicJib – Magical Motion for small camera videography!

Via Kickstarter:

“MagicJib enables amazing motion shots for smaller video cameras — from mirrorless systems down to smartphones or tablets.”

MagicJib

Understand that MagicJib is not for DSLR cameras. It is for the millions of us using the newest smaller cameras — smaller than DSLR.

Standard jibs, cranes, dollies, sliders, tracks, etc. for big cameras just don't make sense with smaller micro four-thirds and other mirrorless cameras, smartphones, or a GoPro. We are tackling this challenge and re-engineering motion products specifically for cameras 2-1/2 pounds or less.

MagicJib opens a whole new world of run-and-gun motion control to users of these smaller video systems — vertical, diagonal, and horizontal motion like you've never gotten before — shots not even possible with existing methods.

MagicJib 2

Magic Motion

MagicJib allows smooth, stable motion up and down like a traditional jib — plus diagonal or horizontal motion shots — without tracks or a dolly or a slider. And, MagicJib works beautifully with any of these cameras:

Learn more about MagicJib at their Kickstarter Campaign page.

MagicJib – Magical Motion for small camera videography!
Campaign Target – US$40,000
Campaign Closing Date & Time – Sunday, October 11 2015, 3:27pm AEST.



SteadXP – The Future of Video Stabilization

Via Kickstarter:

SteadXP delivers 3 axis stabilization in a lightweight, easy to use package. Our devices are compatible with nearly all digital cameras, including GoPro®*, DSLRs and cinema cameras.

By combining our custom hardware with a unique software approach, SteadXP allows you to shoot action shots without the bulk or hassle of a steadycam or gimbal.

Using SteadXP's built in accelerometer and gyroscope, your camera's movements are accurately recorded as you shoot. When you're finished, just connect SteadXP to your computer and watch as the software stabilizes and reduces all of the unwanted artifacts in the footage.

Both SteadXP products in a very demanding context

And beyond stabilization, our advanced software features turn any of your handheld shot in a perfect cinematic move:

Handeld turning shot : reframing by SteadXP

The real breakthrough is how free you are to film without the hassle of any mechanical structure between you and the camera. Now you can do crazy camera movements and decide only later how smooth your shot is going to be.

Just plug your SteadXP on your camera, and you are immediately ready to start shooting.

In practice, your camera records unstabilized video as usual. In the same time our device saves all camera movements.

How it works

Then our post-treatment software will automatically upload, extract and process datas to compensate for any unintentional movements.

Within a few seconds, SteadXP software will suggest you to choose between different trajectories already optimized for your shot, resulting in different typical looks.

Learn more about SteadXP at their Kickstarter Campaign page.

SteadXP – The Future of Video Stabilization
Campaign Target – €150,000
Campaign Closing Date & Time – Sunday, October 11 2015, 2:59pm AEST.

(cover photo credit: snap from Kickstarter)

Karin Gottschalk

Karin Gottschalk

Karin is a documentary moviemaker, journalist, photographer and teacher who conceived and cofounded an influential, globally-read, Australian magazine of contemporary art, culture and photography. While based in Europe, contributing to the magazine and working in advertising, she visualised a future telling the same sorts of stories with a movie camera and audio recorder. Now back in her home base in Sydney, Karin is pursuing her goal of becoming an independent, one-person, backpack multimedia journalist and documentary moviemaker. Mentorless and un-filmschooled, she is constantly learning and sharpening up her skill set.
Karin Gottschalk

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