Moza AirCross: A smaller, cheaper, lighter, smarter gimbal for mirrorless cameras
Last year, we reviewed the Moza Air stabilizing gimbal from Chinese company Gudsen, one of several new lightweight, low-cost gimbal options that are popping up to give low-budget filmmakers a steadicam-like experience.
Now, Gudsen has released a new, smaller gimbal aimed solely at mirrorless camera users. Where the Moza Air can handle full-sized DSLR cameras up to 2.5 kg (5.5 lb), the new Moza AirCross is smaller and lighter, and can stabilize up to 1.8 kg (4 lb).
Feature-wise it does what the Air does, including handgrip thumbstick control, multi-mode stabilization, and wireless control, either through a remote unit or through a smartphone. It'll also come in a natty Pelican-style case.
Like the Air, it can handle programmed motion timelapse shots, as well as a series of accessories that include a double-handed grip (which doubles as an accessory rack), a tripod ground stand and a remote control that operates certain features on the camera as well as the gimbal – particularly the ability to start/stop recording and change focus on many camera models without touching the camera itself. There's also the "mimic motion" function, which lets you set up the gimbal on a tripod, and control it kinesthetically by pointing the thumb controller around and having the gimbal follow its movement.
The AirCross also has a few tricks up its sleeve that the Air doesn't. The first is the ability to power the camera straight out of the gimbal battery, using an optional dummy battery for Sony or Panasonic cameras. If you're really burning through batteries, and you can handle the extra weight, you can also clamp a large external battery to the handgrips and keep the whole system topped up.
And, thank the good lord above, it's also got a quick-release plate, meaning that you can theoretically get your camera on and off the gimbal quickly without having to re-balance it every time. That alone could be a huge feature. The system as shipped fits "any quick release plate from 50.5 to 55 mm," including the Manfrotto 501PL and Arca plates, meaning that you should be able to switch the camera back and forth very quickly between tripod and gimbal on the job if your tripod has a compatible head on it.
As part of the effort to reduce time mucking around with balance settings, the AirCross also lets you save up to six different camera profiles, meaning you can set the gimbal up for each lens/camera combination, calibrate it using a new "auto-tuning" feature on your smartphone, and save it such that you should be able to switch back and forth between lenses quickly and easily.
That's a big deal, in our view. A gimbal that's smaller, lighter and quicker to set up, while retaining the features that made the Moza Air such a good thing? Yes please.
It's also US$180 cheaper, the AirCross coming in at $419 (pre-order) against the Air's $599. We'd recommend budgeting extra, though, for a $159 thumb controller and mount, the $99 dual handle, and a $40 dummy battery to suit your camera if you want to take advantage of the external power option.
We'll be getting our hands on one soon to see if it delivers on its promises, but it certainly looks like a great piece of kit for mirrorless shooters.
Source: Moza AirCross