Using the Movi with a Sony RX0 or a GoPro

Discussion in 'Movi Technical' started by Rorick Edge, May 11, 2018.

  1. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    When my Movi arrives tomorrow or Monday, one of my priorities is to figure out how to use it with a Sony RX0.

    I want to invite other RX0 users, and GoPro/action cam users, to participate in this thread so that we can share ideas.

    Before someone says it can’t be done, let me say that I’ve already raised this with Freefly. The response was that while they don’t intend to actively support the idea, it should be possible to create a custom mount for the clamp.

    As much as I am a proponent of using a mouth mount with these cameras, an idea that comes from the Parkour crowd (surfers also use them), the Movi is very interesting and I suspect that I won’t be the only person who would like to get the RX0 and the Movi working together.

    On the upside, the RX0 weighs only 110g/3.9oz including battery.

    There are three challenges:

    The Movi clamp has appropriately V-shaped top and bottom holders, whereas the top and bottom of the RX0 is flat.

    The Movi clamp apparently has a minimum iPhone width of about 60mm, leaving the RX0 about 15mm short.

    An iPhone is a hell of a lot thinner than an RX0, leaving much of the RX0’s weight in front of an iPhone’s weight.

    There is also the reality that most Movi modes apparently won’t work with this arrangement, but personally I’m OK with that if the Movi will perform its basic functions.

    How do you see the RX0 display? Not convinced that it’s essential, but here’s one idea: mount an iOS or Android smartphone, showing the RX0’s display via Sony’s PlayMemories app, to the Movi Hoodie, using a basic smartphone tripod mount.

    My intention is to use gaffer tape, rubber bands, tacked on small weights, etc. to figure out a balance point, and then refine the idea.

    If you’re a designer with 3-D printing skills, which is apparently how the Movi Hoodie was developed, your advice could prove to be invaluable, and maybe even profitable. I’d be happy to pay for a simple, reliable RX0 mount, and I suspect others would too.

    P.S. If you want to evaluate how the Movi might be used with the RX0, here’s Sony’s YouTube RX0 playlist (e.g. Parallax was shot in part using a gimbal): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLeo9hMYX7IBzk-5eLsQLxKEMhUePCV3n6

    Cheers
     
    #1 Rorick Edge, May 11, 2018
    Last edited: May 12, 2018
  2. John Chu

    John Chu Active Member

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    Amazon sells adapter plates (like a iPhone size) for $8-22 for GoPro cameras which can then be clamped by gimbal stabilizers. Might be a good starting point? http://a.co/hiGBGlg
     
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  3. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    Hi John,

    Thanks a lot for pointing out this adapter. You’re right, it’s a great starting point. It has been the subject of several YouTube videos and has very mixed reviews.

    The design objective appears to be to make the display on the back of a GoPro visible by moving the GoPro to an extreme position so that its display isn’t obstructed by the clamp. To use a Polynesian canoe metaphor, it’s like turning the camera into an outrigger.

    I think that this is why this adapter is based, in the first place, on a plate the size of a smartphone, and of course the plate adds weight and introduces a balance issue.

    I think that an RX0 or GoPro can be mounted to the Movi without any need for a plate the size of a smartphone, and that visibility of the camera’s display can be achieved by using the Movi Hoodie to mount a mobile phone connected to the camera. Admittedly, this assumes that the Movi Hoodie, which I have on order but haven’t actually seen yet, will comfortably support the weight of a smartphone.

    Note that this can’t be achieved on competing gimbals, for which the Amazon mount is designed, without purchasing and using dual arms, or at least rigging an additional mount to a side 1/4” screw hole, if it exists.

    With the Movi, I suspect that the solution is to mount the RX0, or a GoPro, squarely in the clamp, with a counterweight, if necessary, to take into account the RX0’s/GoPro’s more forward weight.

    A mount that would give a clear view of the camera’s display would be nice enough, but I have my doubts, having used both the RX0 and the GoPro Hero 6, about how useful the displays on these cameras are in the first place.

    That’s just a gut reaction on my part, and it is entirely possible that I’m missing something :)
     
    #3 Rorick Edge, May 12, 2018
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
  4. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    I received a Movi yesterday and discovered that the RX0 1/4" tripod hole makes it easy to expand the height of the camera so that it will work with the Movi clamp. I added the RX0 Cable Protector accessory, which screws into the hole, and this expands the height of the camera enough that the clamp works fine, except for the fact that the RX0 is quite a bit fatter than an iPhone. It's also easy enough to simply tape the camera to the clamp.

    Also, I discovered that one can use an iPhone other than the one in the clamp to control the Movi and its modes. I have to investigate this more thoroughly, but it raises the possibility that an RX0 or a GoPro could be used with the Movi's "Ninja" modes.

    There are two main issues. First, the RX0 tilts toward the operator because it is thicker than an iPhone. It's the opposite problem to adding a Moment lens, which causes a tilt away from the operator.

    Secondly, when the RX0 is in the clamp, there is a pronounced tilt to the right. This means that there needs to be a counterbalancing weight to the left of the operator. The question is whether this can be addressed by adding weight to that side of the camera/clamp, or whether the solution is something akin to the Amazon accessory mentioned by John Chu above.

    As part of this exercise, I'm trying to get a better understanding of Movi tuning. There isn't much info on tuning the Movi Cinema Robot specifically, but there is information in relation to other Freefly System products. On this, the Movi Cinema Robot Knowledge Base says "For advanced users, Movi comes with the same autotune technology that Movi Pro and XL uses."
     
  5. Steve Huether

    Steve Huether Member

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    Great info! I'll be following this for sure.

    Do you have the counterweight kit? From looking at the videos, it might be able to compensate for the rear tilt the RX0 is creating. Though due to counter weight installing on the right side that would mean you's have to move the RX0 farther to the left in the clamp and/or use one of the adapters like the GoPro ones.

    On a second note, how do you like the RX0? I've been thinking it would make a great compliment to the Hero 6 as far as small tough cameras go, but most reviews I've seen are video focused. I'd like to see how it does as a still camera for time-lapse and night shots.

    I've just ordered the Movi to replace the Osmo+/Mobile combo I had. I used the Osmo Mobile with one of those GoPro adapters from amazon with my Hero 6 a lot and got some great footage. Only nuisance was having to keep it in flashlight orientation to keep the gimbal motors out of the shot. I'm hoping to use the Movi in the same fashion, but I think I'll be able to have the adapter slid far enough left (with counterweight) to allow it to work as well or better than the Osmo did. I have a friend who has a 3D printer and we were in the process of making an adapter for the Hero6 but got busy with other things. I think we'll revisit this once the Movi arrives(2-3 weeks they say).
     
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  6. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Steve: I've written a FAQ entry on tuning. Please see FAQ #22 here.

    Hope that helps.
    Andy

    Forensic Software & sUAV / Drone Analyst : Photographer : Videographer : Pilot (Portland, Oregon, USA): Trees=2, Ground=1, Props=11. :(
    The Ground Is The Limit™
    ---------- Forensic Drone Analyst : Forensic sUAV Analyst : Forensic Unmanned Aircraft Analyst : Forensic Drone Expert
     
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  7. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    Hi Steve,

    The RX0 is thicker than an iPhone and sits in front of the clamp. That's why I said that it creates the opposite issue, in terms of tilt, to a Momentum lens.

    I’ve used GoPro cameras and I purchased a Hero6. I decided to return it to get the RX0. The RX0 is in a different league. If you want to see what the camera is capable of, check out Sony's RX0 playlist. There's a link at the end of the first post in this thread. The short films PARALLAX and Angles of Adventure (shot in your neck of the woods, at Banff) are good intros with very different styles.

    The RX0 is basically an RX100 in a small package. With a few exceptions, due to such things as the RX0 having a fixed focal length and aperture, the Menu options are the same as you'll find in any Sony mirrorless camera.

    Being new to Sony cameras, this did mean that I spent quite a lot of time learning the Menu and Sony's Picture Profile system. The camera can be used easily out of the box, but learning the Menu is well worth the effort. Those who already know the Sony Menu will find themselves right at home.

    For still photos, the RX0 produces similar quality to the RX100. Sony no longer supports its PlayMemories timelapse app, so timelapse isn't an option, at least not natively. If you want to make a true photo-based timelapse, also note that the minimum shutter speed is 1/4 second. Like the RX100, the RX0 has a 1" sensor. It's better than a GoPro for night photography, but a 1" sensor is very much a handicap when it comes to shooting at night.

    The main knock against the RX0 is that it doesn't shoot 4K video internally. Personally, I think that its 1080p video looks better than GoPro's 4K. I also have a Video Devices 5" monitor/recorder, which works extremely well for shooting 4K. At NAB, Atomos announced that it will be releasing a 5" monitor/recorder in the coming months, which should also be a good option.

    If you and your friend develop a Movi adapter for the Hero6 that could also be used with an RX0, I'd be very interested in purchasing it. The main physical differences between the two cameras are that the RX0 lens is centred rather than offset, and it has a standard 1/4"-20 tripod thread on the bottom.

    If you are thinking of purchasing an RX0, you may find the following video useful. It's long, but has a lot of information on working with the camera with neutral density filters, lens hoods, etc. If you watch the video on YouTube, there's an index, with time links, to subjects covered in the video:

     
    #7 Rorick Edge, May 18, 2018
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
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  8. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    A comment, arising from the exchange above with Steve Heuther, on using the Movi and the RX0 for 4K recording, assuming that I am right that the two can be made to work together...

    Doing this would require running an HDMI cable from the RX0 to an external 4K monitor/recorder.

    When using the Movi with an iPhone, I’ve decided that I’ll be recording audio separately because I don’t like the impact on Movi/iPhone balance when an audio cable is connected to the phone.

    However, Freefly makes a relatively thin and flexible HDMI cable that just might make it possible to connect an RX0 on a Movi to an external monitor/recorder without creating a balance problem.

    The external monitor/recorder that I’m using is quite small (Video Devices PIX E5H) and can be easily carried in a small shoulder bag, around the neck on a lanyard, or on a belt clip (works really well with the Peak Design clip).

    No huge deal if this doesn’t work. As now, I can just hold the RX0 with my teeth (mouth mount, such as a GoPro QuickClip plus a GoPro Mount > 1/4”-20 adapter), and carry the recorder on my belt or in a shoulder bag.

    But it’s worth a try :)
     
    #8 Rorick Edge, May 18, 2018
    Last edited: May 18, 2018

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