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  • Writer's pictureBlake Calhoun

RIP Movi Cinema Robot

I learned recently that my favorite smartphone gimbal - the Movi Cinema Robot from Freefly - has been discontinued. And I have to say I was super bummed to hear this.

From Freefly:

Movi has been rocking and rolling in the mobile filmmaking world since we started shipping in late March, 2017. So many awesome clips and films were created with it and people love having the Movi as a part or all of their filmmaking/memory capturing kits!
To provide a great experience for customers for 3+ years for a mobile phone accessory is a great run but all good things must come to an end eventually. We are sad to say, as of early January 2021, the Movi Cinema Robot is discontinued, permanently.

The Movi has been my go to gimbal (by a long shot) since its release. It just worked and was VERY SMOOTH right out of the box. Very disappointed to hear of its demise.

Here's my original first look at the gimbal:

I can only assume that it didn't sell well, otherwise Freefly would have certainly made a Version 2. But that would be odd because the videos I did about it on my YouTube channel were (and still are) very popular. Perhaps price was a factor though as it was the most expensive smartphone only gimbal (by a long shot).

I aways felt if they had lowered the price to under $200 it would have been a better deal, however, in saying that the tech it employed was amazing and it performed like a professional gimbal. Though it did not have the (gimmicky) vertigo or similar effect features, it did have some unique ones that I used on occasion. But truth be told I rarely if ever use native gimbal apps to shoot video as it is not nearly as good as compared to using third-party apps like FiLMiC Pro. And of course the Movi was integrated within FiLMiC Pro too (not all the features, but many).

The one feature they kept promising to add that never came was object tracking. That is a nice feature, but again, using the gimbal app is less than desirable and so I didn't miss it. The main things I use gimbals apps for are calibration and firmware updates, otherwise I don't really use them at all.

Last bit of speculation would be that Freefly discontinued it in part because you can now get what I like to call "hybrid" gimbals for about the same cost ($250 range), and these gimbals are more versatile as they will work with a variety of cameras. So in practical terms they are a better buy.

But that doesn't take away from the fact that I am truly disappointed that there won't be a new Movi for smartphones. At least we got one from them (Freefly was the original company to create 3-axis gimbals) and I'll continue to use it for as long as I can.

P.S. By the way, it does work with the latest iPhone 12 Pro Max...

P.P.S. No, I'm not selling mine. :) I've actually had some folks inquire!

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