Just got my DEFY G2X gimbal in after waiting for months. It seems DEFY had trouble delivering them and there was no communiation about it. Not a good start but glad it arrived and with express service when it was finally ready.
My first impressions here for others considering this gimbal. It is also for rent in the Netherlands if someone wants to test or use it.
It comes in a cardboardbox with some foam. Not a serieus quality but will do for a while if you are careful. I noticed the size fits exactly in my Peli-Storm case M2500 so that is an easy transfer to a solid solution. Might use the original insert for a while and copy it to a more sturdy solution.
The setup is quick and easy. The compact size helps a lot, every thing is within reach and because of the 'top' loading style it is easy to balance on a table. Most gimbals need a stand or hang on the edge somewhere. The small size also keeps everything more close when balancing. Overal it is 5-10 minutes exercise the first time, then it becomes a matter of minutes. Very simple and quick. Storing is as equally quick. No loose parts, so just take of the camera and battery and store.
I have tested it with my lightest setup, a bare Blackmagic pocketcamera with a 14mm which makes the total weight not even 3 kg. Certainly something you can work with for hours. My more regular setup is a BMPC with a 'Woodencamera' cage and the 7-14mm. Both need to be set to the 'lightest' setting (of 3) or the rigg starts to tremble.
There is clearly rooom for a heavier camera so I tried my Canon 7D with my 'holiday' lens (18-200mm) which also works well but needs position 3. It means it is possible to use a whole range of compact camera's but you will need to experiment with the settings and hope it does not fall in between. Something I experience before with the BMPCC being too light for other DEFY systems.
In general I like the 'up position' a lot. It feel much more natural than the underslung version. When shooting people it is also less of a 'threat' to have such a small and compact system in front of their nose than a whole rigg that also needs to be lifted higher then they are. Working above your head is not something to do for a long time. Not to mention the extra shadows it might make on subject. This is the perfect setup to do long interviews or conversations walking around.
For me absolute the main reason to choose this gimbal. You can keep the rigg ultra light because you are able to use the monitor on the back of the camera and that really works. Eyelevel shots are soooo much better to do now.
Switching to underslung is also easy and means sliding another handle on, flip the camera over and go again. No rebuilds or rebalancing but you will need an external monitor. (needs a seperate holder to mount).
Battery life also seems to be good and with the two standard batteries that come with the set you can shoot a few hours. (as BMPCC user I am used to switch everything off between shots)
The handling of the rigg is the most important part and the DEFY has no way of adjusting it's behavior like the Movi's. It is something you have to live with and the 'feel' is pretty ok I must say. After a while you get connected and know when to turn and how fast to move to get the right framing on time. It means more anticipating on upcoming corners and following fast moving objects is less precise. I found the Movi gimbals more subtle and predictable in their move and reaction to mine but after getting used to the G2X I can live with it considering the price. In the end with the Movi you also try to find a setting and leave it there forever.
Biggest issue I got is the handles.They just don't lock well on the carbon. One does better than the other but I had the whole rigg tumble over a few times. Not good. When you put a more heavy camera on it becomes unusuable because of this. Not sure it is a early production issue but I will need to make some kind of lock to work safely. I do have strong hands and they are tightend to the max, without any extra option to lock it further. I think it is a bit too optimistic to only clamp and not secure the handle positions with so much top weight.
The other parts are well made. Everything feels and looks good. No sharp edges or screws sticking out. Well designed overall, although I will never get used to those fragile battery plugs. Normally only used inside computers they now seem to become 'standard' for gimbal batteries. Wonder how long that will last. The charger itself is also a nice piece of work. Noisy ventilator but nice compact shape, and very clearly showing the steps in the charging process. Pretty quick with charging too.
The gimbal is also completely silent in operation. Even with pretty wild moves you will have a hardtime hearing the motors. This makes it even more suiteable for walking interviews etc.
Pro's: Size, weight, top position, silent, charger, price.
Con's: no adjustable movement settings and very slippery handles.
TIP for EU customers: Use http://www.prokit.com/ to order and avoid sudden tax and transport charges from ordering in the USA. Helpfull support and customer service.
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