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UPDATE: How to do a DIY MōVI? 2-axis digital stabilized camera gimbal from 100$

7/06/2013 ISO 1200 Magazine 8 Comments

The revolutionary stabilizer MōVI has unleashed uncontrolled passions among filmmakers around the world. Definitely Vincent Laforet and Freeflysystems have been able to give a dramatic effect with their video "MōVI", a million hits prove it.

The main drawback of this spectacular image stabilizer is its price, MōVI M10 will sell for approx $15K.

But it's nothing new if you are acquainted with the world of quadcopter.  All amateur filmmakers of aerial videos are excited about this project: "Simple Gimbal Brushless Controller"

The results with these DIY stabilizers are really good, but, make no mistake, Freeflysystems is a company with extensive experience and his products are enjoying of recognized prestige.

The main difference is that “MōVI” is a 3-axis digital stabilized camera gimbal and most of the DIY projects are only 2-axis. Not everything can be perfect.

The second difference is that these projects are designed to GoPro cameras or EVIL cameras like the Sony Nex with 16mm (which I love), not for heavy DSLR

Here an example:

But what is SimpleBGC?

SimpleBGC (abbreviature for Simple Brushless Gimbal Controller). The purpose of the project - to build a high-quality system of stabilization camera mounted on the UAV, using brushless (BLDC) direct drive motors. The main advantages of this solution compared to conventional actuators - no backlash in the gear, the instantaneous response to the disturbance, ease of installation, low weight. The project is focused on the DIY-community. Thanks to a very simple design and the availability of detailed instructions, everyone can try this innovative principle of stabilization in their custom-built gimbals.

The project consists of two parts - closed source (circuit and firmware), and open source (drawings of mechanics, motor rewinding instructions and test data, solutions and samples from other DIY-ers). At the moment, the controller circuit is designed and assembled several prototypes, and beta-version of firmware is written. I am negotiating with manufacturers about the production and sales of controllers and kits for custom build. Complete systems will be available, too. ( via
What is the secret?

The difference lies in the use of Brushless DC electric motor instead of servos. They are synchronous motors which are powered by a DC electric source via an integrated inverter/switching power supply (wikipedia).

How to make your own DIY "MōVI" for only 100$?

I am not going to cheat, to make a stabilizer of these characteristics takes time and requires some knowledge of electronics and computer, but is not impossible.

Image via Widelec (


You can download it from the own page of Stay tuned for constant updates

2. Hardware:

On the hardware side, you can download planes here planes.

Or maybe you want to buy BL gimbal parts. The list of stores

3. The controller

The controller is the most important piece of stabilizer and therefore it is not cheap. Prices range between $ 120 and $ 25 ...... if purchases directly to China

Some models:

a) AlexMos 2 Axis Simple Brushless Gimbal Controller
Price for the controller and IMU is 110 Euro ( via

b)  Yellow Device Store:

Price : 14,95€

Price : 79,95€

c) The cheap version for only 22$

The biggest drawback is that you have to buy on that only sells in China, so you have to get an intermediary. It's not hard and  it is worth .

Brushless-gimbal CUAV +IMU (V3) = $22

More information about cheap components :

4. A list of everything you need ( via Widelec)

Very simple and with a nice finish and  for about $ 100

Would I rather buy it done?

If you are not very skillful, it is not necessary to do it piece by piece. Have several options manufactured  of good quality and adjusted prices

This is what we have found:

1. A truly economical and manufactured version for $ 99 but does not include the controller (25-100$   more).

Camera Types: support GoPro Hero 2 and GoPro hero3, RCTIMER CCHD
More information: =

2. And the commercial version of SimpleBGC for $ 449 you can find here:

More information:

3.Cinestar 2 Axis Gimbal 

If you need a profesional solution:

The CineStar 2-Axis Camera Gimbal is designed for professional aerial cinematography. It is a lightweight, high performance camera gimbal designed to fit on the CineStar product line. As a purpose built cinema camera gimbal, careful attention has been given to ensure the design is as adjustable and functional as possible.

 Camera technology is evolving and changing at an ever increasing pace and the CineStar Gimbal is built to allow for a wide range of camera options. It includes the ability to top or bottom mount the camera and can be adjusted to fit anything from a GoPro to a RED EPIC.

4. The big one..and cheap: Red Epic on Handheld Photohigher Gimbal

Like everyone else, I was completely blown away by the new Freefly Movi videos. My drone is undergoing upgrades so during the transition period, I figured to attach my Red Swat Rail gear to my existing Photohigher gimbal for fun. As you can tell in the video, the PH gimbal has a buzzing noise and doesn't respond nearly as fast as the Movi. This is largely due to the fact that the Movi features some silent brushless direct drive motors whereas most of the current gimbals use servo motors and pulleys (as seen above).

Photohigher has been working on another new gimbal as well (thought not too sure if it is compact as Movi) which I think we will see at NAB. Anyways...this setup requires a two man operation. One person to run around with the rig and the other to control the "pan and tilt" on the gimbal. I took my setup for a test spin to get a feel of whats to come. I'm looking forward to trying out the brushless motor designs coming out at NAB. Seeing the insane shots that they were able to pull off in Movi and Roam definitely makes me super excited about what is to come. Saids  @tonaci | Video via
On line shop: | Price:  NZD$ 1180.00 excl GST ( 994$)

UPDATE: eSteady Camera Rig For GoPro:

The eSteady camera rig for GoPro uses motors to stabilise motion in 2-axis (roll and pitch). This allows quick and jerky movements to become smooth and flowing making the rig excellent at providing many different types of shots.

More information about DIY camera gimbal :

If you have a technical question,  utilize the online resources for multi-rotor aircraft: RC Groups 


Surely this kind of stabilizers will arouse much interest. Thanks to Vincent Laforet and Freeflysystems.

ISO1200 has no business relationship with the companies profiled .

MōVI : Registered Trademark of


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post... It would be very nice to know all the parts for a DIY Movi for DSLR

We like to be useful

Unknown said...

Amazing! Strange that there's so little response to your awesome work!

Matt said...


Maybe this is our most visited post, but the system to comment it is not the best.

Anonymous said...

Would this work to get level picture on a boat on open water?

For still images maybe a Gyro Stabilizers could be better.

We have a post about this:

Gla said...

someone want to save 15000$?
this is the complete project for a 3 axis gimbal for DSLR

Unknown said...

Could the motors used as spindles in hard drives be used with such a build out? I have a number of those laying around and they all seem to be 3 phase brushless DC motors, similar to what I am seeing used for the DIY gimbals.