Letus has announced a smaller brother to the Helix, the Helix Jr is a featherweight stabilizer designed for mirrorless cameras that both weighs less, and handles more weight than the Movi M5.
The Helix is a very unique design; a completely different form factor than what we are used to with conventional multi-axis stabilizers. With its under slung design the camera naturally sits closer to eye level, which can be great for reducing fatigue over long use.
This does remove the top bar, so rigging up with wireless links, follow focus power/motors plus additional monitoring becomes much more of a consideration; this is more of a sole owner/operator piece of gear than the hire out with a full rig & 2/3 man team potential a Ronin/Movi has.
This type of design sheds a lot of weight, at 3.5 lbs. (1.6kg) it’s over a pound lighter than the M5 and with a maximum payload of 7 lbs. (3.2kg) it trumps the M5 by 2 lbs. In flymode it’s even lighter at 3 lbs. (1.4kg) which enables you to connect the Helix JR to a multitude of devices (crane, slide, skateboard).
The construction of the Helix JR also contributes to this, made from magnesium alloy that is not only lighter than traditional aircraft grade aluminum, but is said to be stronger.
Letus: “This material is 2/3 less dense than aluminum (read lighter) but even stronger. It has the added benefit of even better vibration absorption. It’s expensive and dangerous to machine but the benefits are worth it!”
Letus state the Helix JR will be available in early 2015, if the Helix is anything to go by expect this to be pushed back a little; since release of the full version Letus is yet to maintain consistent stock. They are taking deposits for the Helix JR at $300; full price is currently listed at $2899.00.