Question for Freefly re the MCR & the new iPhone 11

Discussion in 'Movi Technical' started by Rorick Edge, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    I wonder whether Freefly, given that Apple sells the MCR and used one to make one of the iPhone 11 launch videos, is able to tell us what what the situation is with balancing the iPhone 11, the 11 Pro and the 11 Pro Max. In particular, which of these phones will require use of counterweights, especially with the 13mm (equivalent) lens?

    Forum participant Rick Bronks was able to get some helpful info from Freefly. See posts 4-6 in the following thread: https://forum.freeflysystems.com/in...iphone-11-and-11-pro-ultra-wide-camera.13278/

    More details would be very welcome, especially by those of us who would like to purchase one of these phones in the near future.

    Thanks
     
    #1 Rorick Edge, Sep 11, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
  2. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    I was ready to order today, but I really want to get this clarified before going ahead. If anyone has further hard info (or even reasonably informed speculation) on this question, it would be greatly appreciated.
     
  3. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    Tonight, Apple uploaded the short film made for the launch event with the iPhone 11 Pro. During the event. It was described as having been made on a Los Angeles “back lot”. I think that the translation is that this was made at a studio with completely controlled lighting.

     
    #3 Rorick Edge, Sep 13, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  4. Rick Bronks

    Rick Bronks Active Member

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    The issue seems to be the ultra wide on the 11 pro and Max. Seems like the lens will pick up the MCR - so it has to be pulled to the left which then throws the balance - and then we're back on counterweights.
     
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  5. Darrin Altman

    Darrin Altman Member

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    We’ll know more tomorrow, I will test this out of course. For sure I won’t be able to mount my microphone on the hoodie anymore. As it is now with my XS Max, it appears when panning far right.

    I know balance is important, but I many times have just not balanced the MCR and my phone for one reason or another and the MCR worked fine. I don’t have any problems with the MCR either. I personally don’t find perfect balance critical.
     
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  6. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    Steve Chan of DSI Pictures, who does nice videos showing sample footage from new cameras, has just uploaded one for the iPhone 11 Pro:



    In comments, Chan says that he didn’t use Filmic Pro because it doesn’t yet support the 13mm lens. He used Apple Standard Picture Profile, 4K, and Film Convert for grading.
     
    #6 Rorick Edge, Sep 20, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  7. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    Based on posts by three new iPhone 11 owners in other threads, it appears that counterweights are required to use the 13mm lens. If it is true that the 13mm lens has no inbuilt stabilisation, the problem is acute. Also, I expect that people will want to use the phone’s ability to record video using the 13mm lens and another lens at the same time. I don’t think that mostly using the 56mm and 26mm lenses, and treating the 13mm lens as a “special case”, cuts it.

    I think that this problem will make the MCR unattractive to new buyers unless counterweights to address the problem are included, and possibly a hard sell even then. I doubt that people will be willing to pay $300 for an MCR, plus an additional $60 for counterweights just to get basic gimbal functionality on a standard-size phone. Will Apple even continue to sell the product in its current form, given that it won’t fully work, out of the box, with any of its new phones, and in particular with the lens that apparently has no stabilisation? An additional question is whether there is an issue with DJI’s new Osmo Mobile 3.

    If I’m missing something, great, but if not It would be helpful to know what, if anything, Freefly plans to do about this problem.
     
    #7 Rorick Edge, Sep 20, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  8. Stephen Hart

    Stephen Hart Member

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    I wish a moderator could combine the threads discussing the iPhone 11 Pro and Movi.

    That said, I did some tests and found the following:

    I compared a video as I slowly rotated in an office chair, so nearly all the shaking would be from my hands, and the speed of motion would be OK. There was no up and down as with walking.
    The 13 mm lens is not noticeably jittery. I can't see any difference in the smoothness of the video between it and the 26 mm lens, which has optical stabilization.
    A video with the Movi, using the 26 mm lens looks smoother, especially in evening out the rotation. Just as you'd expect.

    If I insert my iPhone 11 Pro and slide it over so the Movi motor is out of the field of view, I have to move it about 1.5 inches to the left (moving the lens away from the Movi motor). The Movi wants to hold the camera at about 30 degrees. (We could just call it Dutch Angle and be done!)

    I attached a plastic-cushioned clamp that weighed just about 4 oz. on the roll arm of the Movi and it balanced OK, both statically and while moving in Majestic. It didn't seem to need any fore and aft balancing. I'm sure the location wasn't ideal, but it indicates the iPhone 11 Pro with 13 mm lens is certainly usable with the Movi with some counterweighting.
     
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  9. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    Thanks, very helpful. Did you use the clamp because you don’t have Movi counterweights? If you have a set, is there a reason why you didn’t use them?

    Sounds like you didn’t notice any conflict between the inbuilt stabilisation on the 26mm and the Movi stabilisation. Were you looking for it? If there isn’t any, that’s good news, although there was said to be improvement on this last year anyway.

    Interesting that you didn’t notice jitter with the 13mm. This suggests that the lens is so wide that jitter isn’t very noticeable.
     
    #9 Rorick Edge, Sep 21, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
  10. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    Good camera tests from 07:00 to 15:00 in this iPhonedo video uploaded today:

     
  11. Stephen Hart

    Stephen Hart Member

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    "Did you use the clamp because you don’t have Movi counterweights?"
    Yes. I just looked through my camera drawer to see if I had something to use for a quick test that wouldn't harm the Movi. Freefly engineers could suggest the best location and weight once they have a test iPhone 11 Pro. Maybe one could also make something like a skeleton case, with just two edges extending past the bottom of the phone and a weight between them.

    "Sounds like you didn’t notice any conflict between the inbuilt stabilisation on the 26mm and the Movi stabilisation."

    Correct. As far as I've read, the 26 mm camera is essentially the same as the one in the iPhone Xs, so it should work just as well. I don't know about the inherent problems with optical stabilization and sudden thwacks as demonstrated in the Freefly video series. Maybe I'll let my iPhone 11 Pro age just a tad before I deliberately thwack it. I don't know what the changes in stabilization are and whether they'r hardware or software. And then there's what Apple calls "cinema stabilization."

    "Interesting that you didn’t notice jitter with the 13mm. This suggests that the lens is so wide that jitter isn’t very noticeable."

    I was guessing that's why Apple left optical stabilization out of that camera, but there may be other constraints. I just did another test with the 13 mm hand held walking out of my office then down two flights of stairs. Nothing noticeable, except for overly sudden turns and bobbing on the stairs.

    Of course, the 13 mm is still very wide angle, so it'd probably look best capturing landscapes, rather than interiors of buildings with lots of straight lines to distort.
     
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  12. Stephen Hart

    Stephen Hart Member

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    Here are two more tests:

    In addition to the three main camera settings (13 mm, 26 mm, 52 mm), you can choose a focal length between them. You touch and hold on the lens length button and a dial pops up.

    So starting with the iPhone 11 Pro balanced in the normal position, I dialed from 0.5 (13 mm) upward until the motor wasn't visible. Wouldn't you know, it was at about exactly 1.0 (26 mm).

    But, if I slide the phone to the left until just before it begins to tilt, so the Movi can still hold it horizontal, I can dial in about 0.7, something like 20 mm equivalent. That might be fine for some purposes, though I don't know if it'd be good for the Movi in the long run.
     
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  13. Jason Fish

    Jason Fish New Member

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    But then you're recording with digital zoom.

    I'm wondering about adding a tele adapter to the UltraWide lens. You'd get a normal Wide FOV with zero OIS interference. hmmm
     
  14. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    I was planning to purchase the smallest, lightest phone (iPhone 11 Plus) and hoped that it might be possible to use it without counterweights, which I would really prefer not to use.

    However, it’s clear that there is no longer any difference between the iPhone sizes when it comes to the Movi because the 13mm lens makes counterweights necessary for all three models. Now phone size only makes a difference if one makes a decision to use the 13mm lens, and add the necessary counterweights, only occasionally, a commitment that I’m not prepared to make. Indeed, I’m quite interested in the ability to shoot with both the 13mm and 26mm at the same time.

    The benchmark scores for the A13 are very impressive and iOS 13 apparently offers improved video editing. I’m thinking about editing in the phone for simple, short videos that could be uploaded to social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook). Might be useful for our business and when traveling. This idea makes the Plus Max, with its larger display, attractive.

    Here is the difference in weight between the 11 Plus and the 11 Plus Max:

    11 Plus: 6.63 oz or 188g
    11 Plus Max: 7.79 oz or 226g
    The difference is 1.34 oz or 38g.
     
    #14 Rorick Edge, Sep 21, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
  15. Stephen Hart

    Stephen Hart Member

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    Maybe it isn't digital zoom. The iPhone 11 Pro can record video from two (at least) cameras simultaneously. Apple says it went to a lot of trouble to get the cameras to match color, etc. so you can reframe in post processing. So it's possible that the video zoom functions record both and combine them in software.
    I may be wrong, of course, but Apple's site says "Expanded field of view. iPhone 11 Pro lets you zoom from the Telephoto all the way out to the new Ultra Wide camera, for an impressive 4x optical zoom range."

    A quick and dirty test:
    I took two videos that included books on a bookcase about six feet away, one at 0.7 (20mm) and one at 1.0 (26mm). I sent the videos to my Mac, opened them in Final Cut, saved single frames in Photoshop format and zoomed on those frames in Photoshop to 300x. I could see no difference in the sharpness of the images of cover text on books, and no noticeable artifacts or color shifts.

    At any rate, we'll probably get more information on this as the "real" camera sites dig deeply.
     
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  16. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    My local store has the 11 Pro Max in stock and I’m picking one up tonight. I have a set of Movi counterweights (used with a Sony RX0) so I’ll be able to post what has to be done to balance the phone when using the 13mm lens.
     
    #16 Rorick Edge, Sep 21, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
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  17. Stephen Hart

    Stephen Hart Member

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    Here's a little more from The Verge, which is at pains to tell us the "best" and "worst" of Apple's newest iPhones.

    https://www.theverge.com/2019/9/11/...-worst-camera-battery-life-colors-price-apple

    * iPhone 11 Pro: 2x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out
    * iPhone 11 Pro: record from three lenses simultaneously
    "Another feature of the Pro uses the extra camera to zoom in on subjects in videos based on the source of audio, while video recording can be manually performed by any one of the cameras for more creative freedom around the look and feel of iPhone video. Portrait mode photography can also be captured with either the standard camera or the telephoto one."

    Spoiler alert:
    The Verge’s complaints are “boring color options,” “shouldn't have used ‘pro’ in the name,” “no USB-C.”
    I’m underwhelmed, especially as my Shure MV88 still works.
     
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  18. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    This morning I set up an 11 Pro Max on the Movi.

    The 13mm image does not include any of the Movi when the phone is mounted on the cradle so that the righthand edge of the phone is two or three millimeters beyond (to the right of) the righthand edge of the cradle.*

    I would think that the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro must be mounted in the cradle further to the left. We’ll know for sure when owners of those phones try it. Here is the length of each phone from shortest to longest:

    iPhone 11 Pro: 144mm (5.67”)
    iPhone 11: 150.9mm (5.94”)
    iPhone 11 Pro Max: 158mm (6.22”)

    In other words, the 11 Pro Max is 14mm (0.56”) longer than the iPhone 11 Pro and 7.1mm (0.28”) longer that the standard iPhone 11. From where I placed the phone in the cradle, this places the 11 Pro Max lenses further to the left of the Movi motor.

    To balance the 11 Pro Max it’s necessary to add weight to the right of the phone’s right hand edge. So far, it looks like balance can be achieved using just the two large counterweights, one at the top of the counterweight holder and one at the bottom. I haven’t tried doing it using just one weight.

    The good news is that the balance will only have to be done once for the 13mm, 26mm and 52mm lenses. I don’t need different balance settings for various add-on lenses.

    Freefly has three videos on balancing on its MCR YouTube playlist, two of them about using Movi counterweights: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLlKTld1e-W1yOTSBvvNu59EeJyrl3T1_1


    *When using the counterweight, the phone is usually placed in the cradle so that its righthand edge abuts the counterweight holder. However, the 13mm image includes part of the Movi if you do that. The righthand edge of the phone has to be to the left of the counterweight holder.

    EDIT: See post #58 in the following thread, which shows that the 11 Pro must be mounted in the cradle further to the left. It looks like the 11 Pro Max has a stability advantage due to its 14mm (0.55”) longer length: https://forum.freeflysystems.com/in...ne-11-pro-and-mobile-film-making.13279/page-3
     
    #18 Rorick Edge, Sep 22, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
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  19. Stephen Hart

    Stephen Hart Member

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    "I would think that the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Plus must be mounted in the cradle further to the left. We’ll know for sure when owners of those phones try it."

    See this thread:

    https://forum.freeflysystems.com/in...e-the-mcr-the-new-iphone-11.13280/#post-89004

    I found that the iPhone 11 Pro needs to be about 1.5 inches to the left and then would need some counterweights. It still feels secure in the holder.
     
  20. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    Given that the 11 Pro Max is only 14mm (0.55”) longer than the 11 Pro, I don’t understand why you have to be that far from the righthand edge of the cradle. Odd.
     

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