Using a Sony RX0 with the Movi Cinema Robot

Discussion in 'Movi Technical' started by Rorick Edge, Jun 28, 2018.

  1. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    [Update: There is a Freefly video suggesting that the Movi can handle quite a bit more weight than I assume below, so my weight concern may be overstated. However, it doesn’t matter because weight turned out not to be an issue.]

    I think that a key issue when it comes to using an RX0 with the Movi is to keep the weight at or below the weight when using a Moment Wide Lens, which we know works with the Movi counterweight. The weight for that setup with an iPhone 8 Plus is:

    iPhone 8 Plus: 202g
    Moment Photo Case for iPhone 8 Plus: 46.4g
    Moment Wide Lens: 76.2g
    Total: 324.6g or 11.45 oz

    In comparison, this is the RX0 weight as I plan to test it over the weekend:
    AndyCine gimbal adapter for the RX0: 149g
    RX0 camera including battery & storage card: 110g
    Total: 259g or 9.14 oz.

    So it appears that I'll be under by roughly 65.6g or 2.3 oz. I use 30.5mm neutral density filters with the RX0, so a bit of room is helpful.

    The AndyCine adapter is this product: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078TGXH91/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I sometimes use the RX0 with a 5" 4K recorder/monitor, so I also want to try using the RX0's HDMI port as part of the Movi setup. For this, I've ordered a Freefly Systems HDMI cable that the gimbal sales people at my local camera store (B&H) tell me is particularly flexible: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/prod..._910_00187_lightweight_right_angle_micro.html

    I should have all of the components necessary to test this tomorrow and will follow up on how well it works. My main concern is whether the Movi's arm will show in the footage, but the RX0's 24mm equivalent lens, which is quite a bit narrower than a GoPro lens, should help with that.
     
    #1 Rorick Edge, Jun 28, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018
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  2. Pieter van Roijen

    Pieter van Roijen New Member

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  3. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    Hi Pieter,

    The alternative to the AndyCine adapter or similar is to mount the RX0 directly in the Movi clamp. This means using the Movi backwards. That is not necessarily a problem. However, it complicates balancing because the Movi expects weight to the left of the clamp. I have to test whether this balancing problem can be resolved with use of the counterweight.

    If I go down this route, a cage (lots of holes) could conceivably come in handy as an aid to attaching the camera to the clamp. I do have this cage, which weighs 89g/3.1 oz: http://www.8sinn.com/index.php/products/cages/8sinn-sony-rx0-cage.html

    If you have thought of an approach that I haven't considered, I'd be delighted to hear it.

    I should know as a result of testing tomorrow whether the AndyCine adapter works. Even if it does, I may try mounting the RX0 directly in the clamp anyway.
     
    #3 Rorick Edge, Jun 29, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2018
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  4. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    I am more interested in the Movi as a gimbal for Sony’s RX0 than I am in using it with a mobile phone (although the Movi is bringing me around to the idea of using a phone for video) so the following is mostly good news.

    I did some testing this afternoon and have concluded that the AndyCine adapter design works with the RX0 when used in conjunction with the Movi counterweight. However, the machining is sloppy, with the result that the camera can't be lined up properly with the adapter.

    On a positive note, I found that the RX0 camera does not pick up any of the Movi in its field of view, even when the right side of the adapter is mounted right up against the counterweight. This is the result of the RX0’s 24mm (35mm equivalent) field of view and of its fairly forward placement with this adapter.

    When the Freefly Systems HDMI cable arrives tomorrow or Monday, I’ll also test whether running the cable from the RX0 HDMI port to an external 1080p/4K recorder interferes with the operation of the gimbal. The Freefly cable is designed for use with gimbals, so I’m hopeful. It is supposed to be particularly flexible.

    If I can get the Movi to work with the RX0, plus with a connection from the RX0 to a 5” external recorder, it is a home run compared to alternatives that I was considering.

    I’m not planning on using the RX0 mike jack, and can’t test using it because I don’t own a mike that would work with the jack, but what I learn about the HDMI port may be useful for people who want to plug in a mike.

    P.S. Based on the adapter that I received, and photos that I’ve seen of the two competing adapters, it looks to me that all three vendors of this style of adapter are selling the same product. I ordered from AndyCine because it offered next-day delivery (which I got free via Amazon Prime) instead of three or four weeks. Price was US$20. But as stated above, there is a machining accuracy problem that needs to be addressed.

    Many thanks to forum participant Steve Heuther for directing my attention to this adapter, which in principle is a solution.
     
    #4 Rorick Edge, Jun 29, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
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  5. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    Conclusions after more testing...

    The configuration of the RX0 that I used for testing included the Sony RX0 Filter Adaptor + a neutral density filter.

    The AndyCine adapter seats solidly in the clamp and does not interfere with the camera's battery door, ports or power and record buttons.

    The camera lens does not catch any of the Movi, even with the adapter set flush against the counterweight.

    The AndyCine machining problem can be seen in the attached photos. The 1/4 inch screw is supposed to screw into the 1/4 inch hole on the bottom of the camera. Unfortunately, the screw and the camera hole don’t line up properly. For the moment, I’ve attached the camera to the adapter's shelf and plate with gaffer tape, but this is not a solution. I’ve now emailed AndyCine and I'm awaiting a response.

    When that problem is fixed, this is going to work very well.

    I'll try adding the Freefly HDMI cable into the mix when it arrives on Monday.
     

    Attached Files:

    #5 Rorick Edge, Jun 30, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018
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  6. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    The machining alignment problem that I’ve run into with the AndyCine adapter is clearly fixable. I’ve contacted AndyCine (awaiting a response), but thought I’d add what’s involved in reaching them.

    First, it’s worth noting that these people have product in the US, which is not the case with competing vendors of the same product, and why I received next day delivery to New York City instead of waiting 3+ weeks for delivery from China. Amazon itself is the fulfilment vendor.

    The adapter comes in a box that includes the email address cs@andycine.com. Presumably, “cs” stands for customer service/support.

    Also, the vendor is actually something called CineKam US. If you go to Amazon’s CineKam vendor page, Amazon offers a way to contact CineKam via message, and requests that you give it two days to respond. Also, the vendor page lists a contact phone number in China (country code 00-86).

    I have now sent an email to cs@andycine.com and a message via Amazon to CineKam, both asking for a replacement part with proper alignment between the adapter screw and the RX0’s 1/4” 20 mount.

    Customer comments on the CineKam vendor page are quite positive, so I’m hoping for a swift resolution.

    With the machining problem fixed, this adapter will work extremely well.
     
    #6 Rorick Edge, Jul 1, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2018
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  7. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    UPDATE July 2:

    I awoke this morning to a response from AndyCine/CineKam US. They are sending me a complete new unit from their stock in the US because the piece I need would take a week from China. This was not something that I requested. I just asked them if they could send me a replacement for the problematic part.

    I’m hoping that the machining problem isn’t reflected in all of their current US stock, but in any event I’m impressed with their fast response and commitment to customer service.

    They say that I should have the new unit tomorrow, July 3.
     
    #7 Rorick Edge, Jul 2, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2018
  8. Steve Huether

    Steve Huether Member

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    You're making me crave an RX0 even more! Great to hear its working well, hope you get the machining issues sorted out. I used my hacked GoPro adapter a ton this past weekend and its working great even though its a bit of a nuisance to swap it out for phone. I'm going to look into designing a batter one for the Movi soon.
     
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  9. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    The problem with the AndyCine adapter turned out to be really minor.

    I’ve changed out the 1/4” 20 screw that came with the adapter for one a couple of millimeters longer and the adapter is now working perfectly.

    AndyCine was extremely helpful in sorting this out. I believe that they will ensure that future units include a 1/4” 20 screw of the right length. I would not hesitate to order from them in the future.
     
    #9 Rorick Edge, Jul 10, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  10. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    The three photos below show what will be my standard Movi rig. Indeed, I purchased the Movi specifically to do this, although I've since become intrigued by the idea of using a smartphone for video.

    The photos show the Sony RX0 mounted on the Movi with an AndyCine adapter. The camera is fitted with both the Sony RX0 Filter Adaptor faceplate and a 30.5mm filter. I have a polariser and a set of neutral density filters for this camera, so it's good that the weight of the filter adapter and filters aren't causing any complications.

    The weight of the rig is less than an iPhone 8 Plus with a Moment wide lens.

    The adapter is flush with the Movi counterweight. The RX0 lens does not pick up any of the Movi.


    This view shows the front of the camera:

    movi-front.jpg
     
    #10 Rorick Edge, Jul 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018
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  11. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    This is the rear view showing the RX0 display. All of the RX0 controls and ports are available, as is the SD card slot.

    If I want to record 4k, an HDMI cable can be plugged into the top port on the left. The additional weight of the cable is balanced by moving the top counterweight on the Movi a little bit to the right. I have an unusually thin, light and flexible HDMI cable that Freefly makes for gimbals. It attaches to a 5" 4k monitor/recorder. The latter can be screwed into the 1/4"-20 hole in the bottom of the Movi or carried in a bag or on a Peak Design belt clip.

    I've also considered using the Movi Hoodie to mount an iPhone as I have an app that will let me see the same image as what's on the RX0 display, but larger. However, due to the counterweight, the phone would have to be mounted either vertically or quite far right in a position I consider rather precarious. Plus the Bluetooth connection to make this work is a load on the batteries and generates heat. I'm going to test this, but the idea may prove to be more trouble than it is worth.

    movi-back.jpg
     
    #11 Rorick Edge, Jul 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
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  12. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    This is the top view. The RX0 power and record buttons are both available. To open the battery door on the side of the camera, it is necessary to loosen the screw that holds the RX0 to the AndyCine adapter, but this is not terribly inconvenient. It is a minor issue on a rig that works extraordinarily well having regard to every other significant criterion.

    movi-top.jpg
     
    #12 Rorick Edge, Jul 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
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  13. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    Over the weekend I was able to test the RX0/Movi rig.

    It is working extremely well both at 1080p and at 2160p connected via HDMI to a Sound Devices PIX E5H 5” recorder/monitor.

    I think that Freefly should be promoting the Movi as a stabiliser for the RX0.

    People who are unfamiliar with the RX0 may find it helpful to have a look at Sony’s Alpha Universe RX0 playlist:

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLeo9hMYX7IBzk-5eLsQLxKEMhUePCV3n6

    Of the playlist, I particularly like PARALLAX (there's also a video on how PARALLAX was made):



    For me, the advantage of the RX0 over a phone is that it has a much larger 1” sensor (it is basically a stripped down RX100) and has standard camera controls and functionality. Personally, I just find this easier to understand and control than current smartphone apps. I know what Sony’s menu is going to do (the RX0 menu is fundamentally the same as for any other Sony camera) and I do not have the same confidence in Filmic Pro, etc. That said, I’m looking forward to the upcoming Movi Studio app.

    In relation to a GoPro, I also prefer the RX0’s 24mn equivalent field of view and the fact that its sensor is more than four times the size of a GoPro sensor.

    And there are no stabilisation fights between the Movi and the camera because the RX0 does not have internal stabilisation. The Movi rules, period.

    For me, one of the important features of the RX0 is that it is possible to use standard filters on the camera, especially neutral density filters, and a polariser both for its basic purpose and in its guise as a 1.5 stop neutral density filter.

    Others who are thinking about using the RX0 with the Movi may find it useful to watch this video, which covers the Sony Filter Adaptor. It is a detailed video running 13 minutes. On the YouTube site, there is a timestamp index both in the description and the first post. There are also accurate closed captions:




    Cheers
     
    #13 Rorick Edge, Jul 15, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018
  14. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    I’ve been playing with the counterweight to optimise balance in all three axes.

    Doing this takes patience, time and experimentation, but I agree with Freefly that once it’s done it’s reasonably easy to replicate.

    As people know, the counterweight comes with large, medium and small weights plus a “pan” weight. I think I’m pretty close using a large + small weight on the top and a large weight on the bottom. So far, I haven’t felt the need to include the pan weight. I’ve also moved the AndyCine plate about three millimetres to the left for a bit of fine tuning. This was followed by an Autotune at about 30%.

    I’ll post a photo showing the final configuration and position of the weights when I’ve decided that I can’t do any better and have tested it.
     
    #14 Rorick Edge, Jul 20, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
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  15. Darrin Altman

    Darrin Altman Member

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    I wonder if there’s a way to use an RX100 with the Movi?
     
  16. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    Hi Darrin,

    Given the camera's weight and dimensions it just might work. I think the big question is the distribution of weight in the camera as between the body and the lens. Also, I think you'd need to balance the camera for a specific focal length. Operating the zoom while filming would probably throw off the balance significantly.

    You'd have to make a mount. I'd use the AndyCine mount (see above) as a rough model. A 3D printer would be great, but I think you could probably cobble something together using pieces of plastic and some glue.

    Have a look at the photos attached to this post from Steve Huether: https://forum.freeflysystems.com/index.php?threads/mcr-gopro-hero-4.12392/page-2#post-85698
     
    #16 Rorick Edge, Aug 16, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018

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