Thread: Cineflex vs Shotover

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  1. #1 Cineflex vs Shotover 
    Senior Member Chad Lancaster's Avatar
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    Anyone know the difference between the shotover and cineflex for aerials?

    thanks
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  2. #2  
    REDuser Sponsor CJ Roy's Avatar
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    Here's the basic differences-

    Cineflex Elite is Alexa M only. For Epic/Dragon you need the Cineflex Ultra, although there's a company making modifications to V-14's that will fit the Dragon. Cineflex has very limited payloads/ limited selection of lenses. Cineflex's in general are known to have issues with horizon which usually have to be steered to be corrected. This was supposed to be improved with the Ultra.

    Shotover K1 is the larger system that requires the AF-200 brackets. Shotover F1 is the lighter weight one that can go on a single pole.
    The K1 can handle just about any camera/lens payload except for film. The F1 is a bit more limited due to space, so it depends on the lens/camera but I thought I saw a 25-300 Fuji with a Dragon on one.

    The reports from operators are that while the K1 initially had some issues, those have been ironed out. The F1 is reportedly very nice to operate, and it has the pistol grip controllers that the top aerial DP's prefer to use.

    Later this year we should be seeing the release of Pictorvision's mini-eclipse, which I'm very excited about.
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  3. #3  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    I just shot "a bunch" with both the Cineflex Ultra and Shotover F1. We actually had horizon issues on the F1, but we were able to moderately work it out after full tear down and essembly.

    The F1 is certainly more flexible when it comes to balancing and lens options, though a proper modified Cineflex with a custom made lens weights are very fast to rig and swap glass. Takes a bit of time on lens swaps with F1 however. Both have their strengths and weaknesses in my mind.
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  4. #4  
    Senior Member Mark Toia's Avatar
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    I operate both systems, Cineflex Ultra is great yet only has 5 axis. The Shot over K1 and F1 have 6 axis.
    K1 needs the much larger af200 Heli body mounts and counter weights making the helicopter quite heavy. Less payload less fuel at altitude, slightly different flying capabilities. Some pilots can feel the twist when you rotate the ball to quickly. I have flown with the rig myself as pilot. But I'm to inexperienced to feel the subtle difference. Nothing to be concerned about as an operator.
    The k1 is technically built for 3d usage and able to house twin epics / sony's / alexa's etc with two giant 24-290 Angie,s hanging off them. Quite an amazing system to say the least when it's loaded up.
    The F1 is far more easier when installing on a single pole. Lighter and easier to travel with as is the Cineflex.

    From a shooting image stabilising perspective, both have there issues yet both have and edge over each other.
    Shotover having 6 axis works really well when looking directly down. Your not depentant on the pilot to trying to centre you over a target. Which can be a complete pain in the arse if you want to get precise. With the Shotover systems You can pretty much PlayStation aim at anything with full horizon and vertical control. In short you'll nail the shot with little annoyance to the pilot. It's my choice of stabilised head for a majority of work.
    Now...when and if your trying to shoot lenses of over 1000mm I believe the Cineflex is more stable. If your only shooting up to 300mm with normal cine zoom lenses, you cannot tell the difference. But at 1000 to 2000mm the Cineflex has a small edge. But again. Missing that 6 axis makes the shot over better over all.
    Some operators say the control stick control is more direct on the Cineflex and Shotover is little loose. ... I think both are good to work with, The Shotovers jelly feel makes your mistakes less noticeable and you become less reliant on the pan tilt nobs.
    Over all both will give you superb stabilisation. I wouldn't get flustered over a decision to use one or the other.


    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by Mark Toia; 03-15-2015 at 07:38 AM.
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  5. #5  
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    how do you even become an operator? i guess there isnt a course and noone will let you to do it first time when the costs are big :)
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  6. #6  
    Check out Cinemoves' new head "Oculus" - http://cinemoves.com/equipment/hello-world/
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  7. #7  
    Senior Member Phil Arntz's Avatar
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    Amen on pretty much anything that Mark said. I have a lot less experience than him obviously but have had the chance to use both and talk with our techs who built and service these. The advantage of the Shotover is basically that you can figure it out yourself, change lenses, change camera bodies etc. The Cineflex Ultra always had to go back to get anything changed, like a faulty camera body.

    Look down on the Shotover is amazing like Mark said, this is where 6 Axis is handy. We did have horizon issues here and there but they were fixed after a while. Both systems mounted on the same helicopter, there really isn't much difference when shooting anything up to 400-500mm. I think here it's more about what you're more comfortable operating on the sticks. They both feel very different. I actually thought the overall panel of the Shotover is nicer but they Joystick of the Cineflex was superior. But thats personal preference.

    Cineflex Ultra is the way to go when you're shooting extremely long lenses. That thing is rock solid. I really tested this when we put the Cineflex Ultra on a Polaris Razr on a Dune Buggy and drove offroad over sand. Locked onto a building in the distance and without even touching the joystick, driving in crazy curves and circles, the cineflex held the exact frame incredibly well and super stable. Couldn't see that you were even moving. At 2000mm, the Cineflex Ultra is actually more stable than a pair of sticks with a head firmly on the ground :)
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  8. #8  
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    Hi guys,

    Alex from Cineflex here. You guys are doing a great job covering the bases, let me just add a few things:

    1) All Cineflex systems are 5-axis systems, not 4-axis systems.
    2) Cineflex Elites with the RED Dragon absolutely exist!

    And lastly, we can't wait until NAB arrives to show you what we've been working on..... it may not be as cool to the general audience here as the Weapon (and I am distinctly lacking cool spy shots), but we're pretty psyched!

    I (and my very closest work friends) will be at NAB, come by our booth and chat!
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member Chad Lancaster's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the input.
    Chad Lancaster
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  10. #10  
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    I have a lot of experience with the shotover. (And only as a DP directing another operator with the cineflex).

    I have extensively used the P1. The original prototype. Along with the K1 and F1.

    I have never had horizon issues. Occasionally, maybe once every 45 munutes, I reset horizon by tapping on the top button.

    Look down is amazing, and the more I work with it, the more I appreciate it.

    You can swap out joysticks if you prefer. I tried another operators F1 once. He was a long time cineflex operator and he just change out the joystick from personal preference.

    For me. I am often landing in snow, remote places and doing a card swap or a filter change by myself. Or booting up the system after it has been parked outside overnight in a remote location for a dawn shot. It has always been reliable and made me feel comfortable.

    (If you buy a Shotover, you get to attend a training course for a couple of days).

    I am a little biased as my time with the cineflex is limited. But, I have never had any trouble with Shotover and it has always performed for me.
    Ben Ruffell
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