DigitalFoto Thanos Pro 2 Steadicam with DJI RS2 and BMPCC4K
by Samuele Lilliu | 21 October 2022
First impression of DigitalFoto Thanos Pro 2 with BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K (+ raven eye and lidar module).
- Client: DigitalFoto
- Budget: £2000
- Location: Cavendish Laboratory University of Cambridge
- Producer: Samuele Lilliu
- Director of Photography: Samuele Lilliu
- Camera operator: Samuele Lilliu, Miro Alleyne-McCarthy
- Software: Davinci Resolve, Premiere Pro, Audition
Why would a digital marketing agency focussing on video productions buy a Steadicam if they already have a gimbal?
A steadicam is a device that allows a filmmaker to capture smooth, steady footage while moving around. It consists of a camera mount attached to a vest worn by the operator, and a balancing arm that helps stabilize the camera. In general there are several reasons why a filmmaker might want to consider purchasing and using a steadicam:
Smooth, stable footage: One of the primary benefits of a steadicam is the ability to capture smooth, stable footage while moving around. This can be especially useful when shooting action scenes or following a moving subject. With a steadicam, the camera operator can walk, run, or even climb stairs without the footage becoming jittery or shaky.
Increased mobility: A steadicam allows the camera operator to move freely and capture footage from a variety of angles and perspectives. This can add visual interest to a film and make it more dynamic.
Greater creative control: Using a steadicam gives the camera operator more control over the movement and composition of the shot. This can help the filmmaker create the exact look and feel they want for their film.
Time and cost savings: In some cases, using a steadicam can save time and money on a film shoot. For example, if a scene requires a lot of movement, a steadicam can capture the footage in a single take, rather than having to set up multiple camera angles and do multiple takes.
Overall, a steadicam can be a valuable tool for any filmmaker looking to capture smooth, stable footage and add visual interest to their films. While it may require some practice and skill to use effectively, the results can be well worth the investment.
For me, the main reason was transferring the weight of the camera rig from my arms to my body essentially. So being able to film for longer.
A steadicam isolates the camera from the operators movement, and this is something you partially achieve with a gimbal. But with a Steadicam plus gimbal, you get extra stability, especially when the steadicam is connected to a vest with an isoelastic elastic arm. So isoelastic arm includes two tough springs, which further stabilize motion along the vertical axis.
Because the operator is wearing a body vest, all the weight from the camera is transferred to your body instead of just your arms.
Steady camera systems like the Arri Trinity are really expensive. But luckily, there is a company called DigitalFoto, which makes a really good steadicam system, which is something like 40 times cheaper than the Arri Trinity.
In this review, I’ll show you my first attempt to operate the Thanos Pro II. The reason why I filmed this is because I wanted to give you a taste of how easy it is to set this up even if you’ve never used a steadicam before. In the second part of the video, I’ll show you a field test.
What I really liked about this setup is that for tracking shots, you don’t need to walk backwards, but you can simply rotate your camera and walk forwards. So here I’m using my mobile phone as a monitor. And the connection is done wirelessly through the DJI Raven Eye. So overall, I’m really impressed with the build quality. And given that this is being sold for as little as £1000, it’s really worth getting it.