Stability Now! In the Field with the Moza Air 2 Handheld Gimbal

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Gimbal stabilizers changed indie film production, and now it seems that they are going through their own revolution, becoming more affordable and more feature rich. The Moza Air 2 is one of the latest releases and is just compact enough to be easily handheld, while being powerful enough to support DSLRs, mirrorless, and some smaller cinema cameras. We experimented with this stabilizer for a few days and found that its useful features, well-thought-out design, and compatibility with plenty of modern cameras make it one of the best affordable stabilizers you can get today.

Easy Setup and Outstanding Feature Set

Now, I know it can be difficult to find the right gimbal. We have had about half a dozen show up in the past few months, at least, so what separates this latest release from the pack? Quite a bit, in fact. This is one of the stronger one-handed stabilizers in its class, with a payload of more than 9 lb. It also keeps its own weight down to just 3.5 lb and will run for up to 16 hours using four rechargeable 18650 Li-ion batteries. This setup is a part of the SPARK power supply system, providing four different ports for keeping your camera, lights, follow focus, and monitor juiced up. A Battery Management System makes sure power consumption is optimized for maximizing battery life.

I greatly appreciate the simplicity many current gimbals offer when it comes to balancing your camera. No screws—just loosen, adjust, and tighten up. If you do it in the specified order, it should take no time at all to get set up. This is a three-axis gimbal, though the manufacturer does claim a fourth “axis” with its integrated smart wheel. When paired with a compatible camera or the optional iFOCUS Follow Focus Motor, you will be able to control focus or zoom via this wheel. One nice touch to the balancing setup is a hard stop in the quick-release system, which accepts the Manfrotto-style plates. This means you can slide your camera on and know it’ll stop right where it needs to, for perfect balance—no need to rebalance each time.

One aspect of this gimbal that makes it suited to professional use is that nearly every major function can be set up and tweaked via the onboard controls and display. There is no requirement to use a mobile app. One does exist for those interested, and unlocks select features, but if you want to use this as a workhorse stabilizer that can reliably turn on and get the job done, it is well suited to that. A couple of quick shortcuts via the buttons on the handle can get you into various modes with ease. This includes Inception, Selfie, Vertical, Flashlight, Underslung, and a couple more. Once you get into the app, you can access advanced shooting modes, such as Smart Time-Lapse, Zoom Time-Lapse, and others that involve control over a connected camera, as well.

The Moza Air 2 features a camera-control function via a USB cable. A few are included so you have support for most major offerings, such as those from Canon, Panasonic, and Sony. Depending on the brand and model, you will have specific compatibility, which you should confirm with Moza’s site before expecting anything specific. Most will give you start/stop recording and some basic control over exposure, while others may offer full electronic support of focus and zoom. With all this available functionality, the Moza Air 2 is looking to be a complete gimbal for pros. 

In Use

Getting my Sony a7R III balanced up top with a Zeiss Loxia 21mm and the follow focus was very easy—accomplished in just a couple of minutes. Next, I made sure to connect all the cables to and from the various devices. And now for batteries: I’m glad these batteries last a long time, because they take forever to charge with the included charger and a standard wall charger, so be prepared for that. Once it gets turned on, the Moza Air 2 kicks into action and has the camera stabilized very nicely. Pick it up and it is nearly instantly ready to go.

On the back of the handle is an OLED screen that provides all the essential info and menu settings. You can tweak things like pan, tilt, and roll speed, set what camera brand is in use for compatibility, and check what mode it is in. Other things found on the rear of the handle are a joystick for control, a control ring, and a few buttons. While not always the clearest indication on the screen, you can take a second to learn what different indicators mean. Using the control ring and menu, you can program speed and follow locks for each axis. It can be super-precise because you can select increments of one from 1-100. I recommend slower for more cinematic effects and faster for sports/action.

The other side of the grip has a gimbal standard: the trigger. Holding this will lock everything down so you can make exaggerated moves and keep the camera stable. A trio of taps will then put it into Selfie, or FPV, mode, perfect for vloggers. A double tap will bring it back to normal. Among the most fun things to do with this gimbal is to put it into Inception mode. For anyone unfamiliar with the Christopher Nolan blockbuster, the dream worlds constantly twist and turn, messing with your perspective. One effect that is mimicked via the Inception Mode is the rotation while facing straight ahead. A triple tap of the “SPEED” button will put it into flashlight mode and cause side-to-side movement of the joystick to rotate it at will. It can be quickly reconfigured back to upright and then to underslung, if so desired, for low-angle shots.

Something I didn’t spend too much time messing with was the Smart Time-Lapse function, though I do still want to point out its benefits. Using the Moza app, you can easily set up control over the gimbal and connected camera. Time lapses can be surprisingly complex, with a supposed 20 different types available to users. Some of the most intriguing are the ones that involve adjusting camera’s focus or zoom in tandem with movement to create unique effects and perspectives.

Overall, the Moza Air 2 is an impressive gimbal. It has all the features and functions a pro would want, but it stays relatively lightweight and affordable. While I only used an a7R III, I have no doubt this could hold a bit more, probably even an FS5 II. It’s slightly larger build makes it compatible with more cameras, including Blackmagic Design’s Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. When you need a break, the base has 1/4"-20 and 3/8”-16 threads for attaching to nearly any standard support out there. A mini tripod is included to help elongate the grip, for comfort, and serve as a stand when it’s not in use.

At release, the MOZA Air 2 will be exclusive to B&H so be sure to drop by the SuperStore or check it out on our lovely website. Have any questions or thoughts on this gimbal? Make sure to leave a comment below!

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