Gimbal Wars: The New Freefly MōVI XL

The DJI Ronin 2 held the crown for large gimbal systems for nearly 24 hours before Freefly Systems answered with the newest system in their lineup: the impressive MōVI XL. 

MōVI XL. Image Credit: Graham Sheldon

Freefly MōVI XL

The competition is heating up, and there are all sorts of new toys of the gimbal persuasion vying for your stabilization needs. Gimbals are getting bigger… much bigger, and achieving complex, yet smooth shots at even breakneck speeds (100mph!) is now a possibility for a wider scope of productions. With only a 2-second boot-up and a 10-second auto-tune calibration time, the MōVI XL is a gimbal operator’s remedy for on-set harmony. Its 3-axis lens control for focus, iris and zoom and the ability to access a RED camera’s menu remotely are some of the aspects that make it a huge time (and headache) saver.

MōVI XL vs. Ronin 2

Given the history of DJI’s pricing, I venture to guess that when the Ronin 2‘s price tag is revealed, it will be around half of the MōVI XL’s somewhat staggering $22,000.00 sticker. Even though the Freefly video below promotes this system as making the technology more accessible to all sorts of projects, this price point still seems more suited to large production houses rather than indie filmmakers.

The versatility of the MōVI XL’s three control options almost render the DJI Ronin 2 incomparable, and the MōVI XL would likely shred the Ronin 2 for extreme operating conditions in a field test. However, the Ronin 2’s superior intelligent hot-swap batteries, its carbon fiber body and a remote range of over 1 km are all things to keep in mind. Both easily buddy up with jibs, car mounts, and other rigs, and both give you access to camera menus, though both products currently only mention the RED specifically. The MōVI XL can handle 20 more pounds of movie-making magic and has Freefly’s reputation in its favor, but it’s also twice as heavy as the Ronin 2: you’re looking at 25lbs (13.6 kg) for the MōVI XL and 12 lbs (5.4 kg) for the Ronin 2 once you attach the handle.

For all the details, check out this side by side comparison:


If you want to know more about the DJI Ronin 2, check out our full article and interview HERE.

What do you think? Does the MōVI XL have a spot in your future production? Will it be a staple of your kit or a must-rent for specialty shoot days? Comment below!