By Matt Lyne
The Autocue Motion Pro camera stabiliser is a brilliant piece of kit for getting high movement shots whilst also maintaining the ability to pan/tilt with ease. It is light compared to similar functioning stabilisers however prolonged use will quickly tire out your arm due to the manner in which you hold it with one hand at almost arms length but that said, it’s far less tiring than similar steadicams such as a Glidecam.
One of its greatest benefits is its compact nature allowing you to transport and store it with ease as when it is not in use, it is easily folded in on itself. The build quality is excellent and feels like it’ll last for a while and won’t break at the first opportunity, the handles provide extremely precise adjustments to get the correct balance however this does lead into the main problem which is that the camera does take a long time to set up. Whilst I’m sure this could be significantly reduced with a large amount of practice, it can take anywhere from 5 minutes for a workable balance, to 30 minutes to get it truly perfect. It is also easily offset especially after transport so it isn’t a simple matter of setting it up once and then leaving that setup for all future shoots, which can be a pain if you’re shooting to a schedule and don’t want to have people waiting on you to finish balancing your camera.
Any additional attachments such as an external monitor will obviously completely offset the kit meaning you will have to completely set up the kit again. I’ve had the best results out of this with DSLRs such as the Canon 600d and Canon 7d, whilst I have attempted to put larger camcorders onto the kit, the additional weight makes it far more difficult to stabilise and I had to call it quits before wasting too much time. Again, with practice this could be achieved but you’ll be looking at several months of practice to really master this kit.
I’d recommend the stabiliser for shots that require a lot of sweeping movement and whilst it does have an extremely difficult learning curve, with some practice you could pull off extremely smooth moves whilst maintaining control over everything such as being able to pan or tilt when necessary. After getting over the initial pain of setup I was really impressed with the shots achieved especially in situations such as going up and down stairs where many other stabilisers would struggle with. In my opinion the kit would be best suited for wedding videographers, music videos, and other small crew shoots.
I’m a freelance editor and camera op currently specialising in documentary style shooting and looking into progressing into the filming of weddings and music videos. I shoot primarily with DSLRs and HD Camcorders and am currently in the process of expanding my kit. The Autocue Motion Pro will definitely be part of my go-to kit for any moving shots, however I’ll probably also look into a shoulder rig for less moving shots due to the shoulder rig’s accessories ability, quicker setup and easier to use for extended periods of time.