On the last day of NAB 2016 Steadicam unveiled what I think is one of the most significant products so far this year. Smaller brushless gimbals have become incredibly popular in a few short years, but they don’t have the instant response and tactile feel that a Steadicam’s direct physical control brings. Most brushless gimbals exhibit significant lag when making a move and precise framing can be tricky as a result.
The eVo is a hybrid stabiliser that takes the familiar Steadicam shape of the Merlin and Smoothee, and fuses it with gyro stabilised technology. The result is a stabilizer that has the speed, control and agility of a Steadicam, but with motorised assisted levelling.
The eVo is much easier to keep level than a traditional Steadicam and this should make it suitable for novices as well as more experienced operators. Like the Merlin and Smoothee it folds down for travel and can be set up in moments.
At the moment the eVo is only designed to take a smartphone up the size of a iPhone 6 Plus, but its the technology behind it that interests me. It doesn’t take too much imagination to see that the same technology could be scaled up to future larger models designed for compact system cameras. If Steadicam could make a Merlin sized one of these for a Sony a7 I think it would be an instant hit.
The eVo should be available in the 4th quarter of 2016 for around the $200 US mark.