Today I’ll be reviewing a very interesting product for timelapsers, who also shoot video (so the most of us ;)). It’s Moza AirCross. A small gimbal, mostly for mirrorless cameras (maximum payload of 1,8kg) with some crazy, unique timelapse features, that only Moza has. It’s a new Moza product, a smaller brother to the Air gimbal. Spoiler alert: I really like this small piece of gear! 😉 Currently, you can preorder the gimbal here: PreOrder Moza AirCross
Check out the video review. Please, let me know in the comments if you like this kind of presentation on my blog 😉 Below the video, I’ll write some expanded information from the video, so be sure to check it out too.
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There are several things I really like about the Moza AirCross, and, same as in every gear, some things I don’t like 😉 Here are the advantages for me:
- Advanced motion timelapse feature. As a timelapser I travel a lot. Sometimes I have to go to the locations, that are hard to reach. If I shoot both video and timelapse, it’s great that I don’t have to carry two seperate devices for both. I’ve got everything in my gimbal 😉
- The gimbal size. It’s a small gimbal. Of course, everything depends on what gear you use and what you need. The maximum payload of 1,8 kg (and dimensions of the gimbal) fits my heaviest body+lens combination, which is GH4 with Sigma 18-35mm (which is about 1,7kg). My work in most cases is packing all the gear to the backpack and travel as light as possible. Also, I’m not a fan of one handed gimbals for professional, precise work. I mean, I love that they are so small, but I prefer to hold it in two hands. For AirCross you can buy a nice, foldable dual handle setup. Everything together fits very nicely to my Benro backpack 🙂
- Powering options. The gimbal has some unique features when it comes to powering. In preorder it comes with free dummy battery (for now they have for Sony FW50 and Panasonic GH series). You just put the dummy battery inside the camera and connect it to the gimbal. This way you don’t have to worry about switching the baterries all the time (it’s especially important for Sony :D). Also, you can power externally the whole gimbal while using. I didn’t test that for now, but these two features will be awesome together 🙂 When you’re not using external power for the gimbal, the batteries are still quite nice. Of course, if you power your camera from a gimbal it drains the batteries a little faster. Moza said, that normal battery life is around 12h. With A6300 powered from the gimbal in -5 deg. C wheather I was shooting timelapses for about 3 hours and still get around 40% of battery.
- Quick release plate. It’s very slim quick release plate that works for both Arca swiss and Manfrotto plates. I use Manfrotto, so it fits my needs 🙂 Also, in GH4 I use a Speedbooster, which has ‘built in’ arca swiss mounting, so I can use the GH4 without any plate.
These are the most important advantages for me. Of course, there are a few more, maybe important for you: there is a roll follow mode, which is quite unique. Also, it comes with very nice case. You can start and stop videos and take pictures using the button on the gimbal or thumb controller. The big feature is mimic motion control. It’s really fun to use! 🙂 Other things, like 360deg motors rotation, hidden cables or toolless balancing are standard these days, so I won’t even talk about it 🙂
Every gear has some pros and cons. If someone talks only about advantages, it doesn’t mean there is no disadvantages. Here are some drawbacks I found for now:
- Provided case doesn’t fit the dual handle. I don’t use such cases at all, as I mentioned I use backpack. However I know it can be a drawback for someone. You don’t have any case for the handle, and it gets easily scratched.
- Joysticks, both on the handle and in Thumb Controller work in one direction at the time. I’m not sure if it’s a big deal for you. You can’t do skew movements using the joystick. Just pitch or just pan. However, you can make more complicated movements using the smartphone app control or mimic motion control. EDIT: I heard it could be changed in options, at least for thumb controller
- Charger could be smaller. It’s not custom, but some kind of universal charger, with 4 slots. Moza uses 3 batteries for the gimbal (However I could charge the Aircross battery and a Moza mini C smartphone gimbal battery in the same time – 3+1 :)).
- Finally I can set advanced timelapse mode with Android app! 🙂
There are also some things I would refine in the advanced motion timelapse mode to make it even better, I’ll be contacting Moza with my thoughts and I hope they will add some new stuff 🙂
I got a lot of questions about some comparison between MOZA Gimbal and Zhiyun Crane. I didn’t use Crane, so I can’t tell much about it. Probably, for video work they would work pretty much similar, as every gimbal these days. You should choose that one that’s right for you. Take into consideration the gear you use and the work you do. For me, the features I listed in the advantages are dealbreakers and it would be probably for most timelapsers.
So, is it a replacement for a proper timelapse head? Not in every way. It’s really usefull, but one drawback is that you can’t use it with a slider (well, you can but it’s quite hard ;)). The best 3 axis motion control shots involve a slider. There are also some limitations, for example it’s hard to use it in moving vehicle (for example for a drive lapse shot like this one). Although, it’s that usefull, that I can do pretty most of my timelapse work with it. It’s a great tool to just put in your backpack and find out the shots on the location.
Let me know in the comments what do you think about this gear. Also, how’s my first review on this blog? 😉 Let me know if you want more such content.
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See you next time!