Tiffen has announced the Steadicam M-2 modular camera stabilizer, a follow up the companies M-1.
The Steadicam M-2 is designed for both broadcast and cinema applications. It features a sleek, new top stage that integrates the Steadicam Volt horizontal stabilization technology for reduced weight, height, all to create a simplified rig design.
The M-2 is a direct result of operator feedback and is designed to address the needs of the Steadicam community.Andrew Tiffen, SVP of Marketing, The Tiffen Company
By building the Volt technology directly into the top stage Tiffen has been able to dramatically reduce the distance between the top of the gimbal and top of the stage. The Volt electronics, which measure the roll, tilt and pan motion of the camera, are seamlessly integrated into the camera top stage to decrease the distance between the top of the gimbal and the top of the stage as well as reduce weight. Volt controls can be configured on either side of the stage for unobstructed access for the operator.
What is Volt?
For those who may not be familiar with Volt, it was designed to complement rather than oppose normal operating by actively assisting in holding virtually any tilt or roll angle, including a perfectly level horizon. This gentle assistance helps remove the effects of wind, acceleration, or natural body movement in the captured image. The amount of resistance can be fine-tuned to match each operator’s personal preference and provides haptic feedback that emulates the fluid-like friction in a tripod head. The Volt assistance can be engaged or disengaged with a single push of a button.
The Volt works in two parts. A control board is either mounted on the top stage, or directly integrated in the case of the M-2. The control board measures the movement of the camera using an accelerometer and gyroscope sensors and communicates with the Volt motor drive unit mounted on the gimbal of the rig. The motor drive unit applies the desired torques based on the operator’s choice to maintain the tilt and roll angles set by the operator. Operators have the ability to work against this torque to adjust angles on the fly with the benefit that when they release pressure the sled returns to the preset angle without pendulating.
As users would be well aware, rig customization had been a hallmark of Steadicam designs for decades. The “M” in M-1 stands for “modular” and the M-2 takes the concept of modularity to a whole new level. Following in the footsteps of the M-1, the M-2 has been designed to offer a wide variety of choices when it comes to customization so that operators can build a sled that suits their needs.
Rigid carbon fiber posts are available in a variety of lengths and diameters (1.75” 2 or 3 section post 1.58” standard or short post). The sled base can be built with either Gold mount or V-lock battery plates. A hot-swappable 3rd battery mount is available.
The lightweight redesigned quick-release monitor mount uses industry-standard 60mm rod spacing and is compatible with a variety of professional monitors.
Both standard and tilt top stages are available with or without Volt electronics built in.
The monitor mount uses industry-standard 60mm rod spacing and further reduces the overall weight while maximizing viewing angles in either normal or low-mode operation.
Price & Availability
The Steadicam M-2 is expected to be available in mid-summer 2019. Tiffen hasn’t announced any pricing yet.
Steadicam will be offering Test Drive opportunities with the M-2 in Los Angeles, New York, and London for operators to try before they buy. Test Drives are subject to availability and some restrictions apply. Interested users can sign up on the M-2 product page here: www.tiffen.com/pages/m2
Financing options are being developed for those looking to purchase the M-2 directly. Potential buyers should contact their local sales representative to express interest and be notified when they are available.