Random Thoughts

Freefly Systems Pilot

Thanks to Brian over at Freefly, I got a chance to check out the all new Pilot which offers full FIZ control as well as a force joystick that can control pan and tilt. There's a ton of features and options with this piece of kit and I couldn't believe how easy/fast it was to set up, map my settings and get to shooting. 


One thing I didn't realize before getting this was the integration with Canon lenses when attached to a Red camera. I am able to control focus and iris via the RCP cable... with no motors!!! There's been other integrations of this, but never this smooth. Never have I been able to smoothly and slowly rack focus on an L series lens without a motor. There's no substitute for a professional cinema lens, but when budget limits options, this feature makes the Canon lenses a lot more valuable. 


I really wanted to see how this worked with the MōVI Pro attached to a car. I slapped the rig wheels cloud mount on my hood, mounted a monitor inside and we were off. I was surprised on how simple this all was. With the Pilot being controlled by a mimic, I had full control of my Red including start/stop record, white balance, ISO, frame rate... you get the point. The slider on the left side took care of Iris and focus wheel took care of focus. The force joystick is defaulted to zoom but I changed to control pan and tilt.

The joystick felt great, but takes time to dial in the best settings. I see myself having different sensitivity for different shots. Once you get a feel for it, it's great but not something you will perfect instantly. There's also a way to calibrate the Pilot (seen in the manual) which should be done before any shoot.


This is the ultimate FIZ control for the MoVI. The fact that I can control all my Red settings, 3 motors, and tweak my MoVI settings from one controller makes this a great tool to have in your kit. What will the people at Freefly come up with next!?

Rob Ruscher