Artemis MX30 – The Big Daddy of Handheld Gimbals

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Another month and another addition to The Vision House’s ever expanding rental fleet.

We recently took delivery of an amazing bit of stabilising kit. The Artemis MX30 – developed by FoMaSystems in Germany – should really be titled The Big Daddy of Handheld Gimbals.

Announced as a prototype a couple of years ago at NAB, the Artemis MX30 is a rig based gimbal design with an eye on large payloads and varies shooting situations in mind.

The gimbal scene, started in large part by Freefly Systems with the M10 Movi, has gained exceeding popularity in the rental market with the ability for small camera packages to have a controlled floating look, similar to steadicam shots.

One of the main issues with a traditional handheld gimbal is that the motors and frame size dictate what camera package can be used. Generally speaking the cameras used tend to be either REDs or Alexa Minis with a small and light footprint. The next consideration is the lenses with the majority of lenses being used needing to weight below 2kg with a small length to the barrel in order not to throw the balance out on the rig.

The MX30 gets around the limited payload factor by a few different methods. The first of which is it is based around a central ring system that cradles the camera package. This allows a much great range in terms of balancing the camera fore and aft through a slide plate style system. Secondly the MX30 has very high torque range motors.

How high? Well it has been rated to carry a payload of around 30kg at the maximum setting. You read correctly, 30kg – that is not a typo. Whether an operator can comfortably walk around with 30kg is another question but the first thing that will fail will be the human element rather then the gimbal on the shot.

The Artemis MX30 isn’t just rated to a fixed 30kg. It can be tuned down to around 7kg and anything in between.

So the numbers are all great but what does all this mean? Well, you can now comfortably fly an Alexa Mini package with Cooke Anamorphics, motors, wireless transmitter and mattebox/filter kit. Normally this combination would be out of reach to balance on existing gimbals due to a number of factors – a. due to the length of the Cooke Anamorphics the centre of balance is more biased to the aft b. the weight of the Cooke Anamorphics are all above 2kg

The Artemis MX30 takes the above package in it’s stride. It can even take the above lens package if you swap out to an Alexa Classic/XT!

Control of the Artemis MX30 is achieved through various settings. It can be placed in a follow mode – the gimbal responding to the operator’s movement and following the position that it is pointed in. Or it can be set in a remote control mode where an operator or DOP can remotely control the direction of where the gimbal points via a joystick setup or PLC Veracity Control Wheels that control pan, tilt and horizon correction. The third option is to integrate the follow mode and control via joystick/wheels.

The Artemis MX30 can also be easily mounted to a jib, crane or setup on a car for tracking shots. The extra torque in the motors softens the acceleration/deceleration that is sustained on crane/car moves take out any excess movement through the rig.

When it comes to handholding the Artemis MX30 – as with other gimbals – the position of holding a weighted object out the front puts a lot of fatigue on the forearms and shoulders. To get around this we recommend using an EasyRig Vario with a Serene attached to it.

The EasyRig Vario transfers the weight of the package to the hips of the operator allowing for longer takes and more takes due to reducing fatigue on the operator of the MX30.

There is even talk about using the Artemis MX30 with a stedicam arm and vest but we are yet to try it but will hopefully be able to do so soon.

Interested in how the Artemis MX30 works or what it can deliver to your next job?

Give The Vision House a call to come in and have a look.