Imagine if you would, a wrestling match; The Beholder DS1 vs. MS1, which one do you think would be crowned champion? It would seem that Ikan, the American based company that is responsible for creating these two beasts went all out, when it came to the design and functionality these two top rated handheld stabilizers. They seemingly took into great consideration the average filmmaker who needs to create smooth professional looking footage without being weighed down by heavy tripods and dollys, the result of this being incredible handheld stabilizers that can create incredible shots.
This article aims to set the stage for a gladiator match between the two by telling you everything you need to know about the Beholder Gimbal DS1 and the Beholder Gimbal MS1; and how both of them compare to each other. Now the only question that remains is “Are you ready to RUMBLE!!!”
The Beholder Gimbal MS1
On the red side we have the Beholder Gimbal MS1, a magnificent piece of machinery that was designed for on-the-move shooting; it almost completely eliminates shaky footage. It puts its brushless gimbal motors to good use by using them to stabilize the cameras movement on the pan and tilt axes resulting in seamlessly smooth and professional-looking footage. It can hold a maximum weight of about 1.9 pounds, which is actually pretty good for a handheld stabilizer. This means that it is compatible with quite a few DSLR cameras including the Sony a7S, RX-100, Panasonic Gh4, Blackmagic Cinematic camera among others.
The Beholder MS1 handheld stabilizer showcases several exciting features, some of which include:
- A quick release balance plate that allows you to quickly mount and balance your camera in a short period of time.
- A pan and tilt control stick. This handy little feature puts a lot of power at your fingertips by allowing you to control the cameras movement, giving you a filming breadth of up to 40º Roll and 90º Tilt.
- A lightweight aluminium body with a steady hand grip that allows you to shoot with great ease over long periods of time.
Now let’s have a look at some of the pros and cons of the Beholder MS1.
- Its compact and lightweight make it ideal for shooting on the go.
- Its simple design makes it easy to set up and use.
- Long battery life that guarantees you almost an entire day of shooting without having to recharge.
- Brushless gimbals that allow for stable camera movement thus providing extremely smooth shots.
- Its narrow weight threshold limits the number of camera and lens combinations that it can support with ease.
- The batteries take up to 5 hours to charge this might be an inconvenience in case you forget to charge them beforehand.
All things considered the Beholder MS1 is a very capable handheld stabilizer that deserves its place among some of the highest rated handheld stabilizers.
The Beholder Gimbal DS1
On the blue side we have the Beholder DS1, an incredible handheld stabilizer in its own right. It is a true reflection of the Ikan team’s craftsmanship and innovation. The DS1 can easily carry an impressive maximum weight of about 3.7 pounds. This means that it is easily compatible with several larger DSLR cameras including the Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70D, Panasonic Gh4 and many others. The stabilizer is also equipped with several modes of operation which we will discuss in depth later in the article. What this feature does though, is it allows you to take different types of shots adding diversity to your footage. Finally just like the MS1 the Beholder DS1 is also equipped with brushless gimbal motors that stabilize movement on the roll and tilt axes resulting in extremely smooth footage that you would have never thought was possible.
The DS1 has a lot going for it and here is a short list of its pros and cons:
- Lightweight aluminium body that allows for great ease while shooting over long periods of time.
- Compact size that makes it ideal for travelling with to shoots.
- Different modes of operation that allow you to vary your shots as you please.
- Its increased weight threshold that allows you to use a greater number of camera and lens combinations.
- Long battery life.
- It takes a little bit more time and effort to set up and balance your camera.
- Despite the increased weight threshold your camera and lens combinations are still restricted.
The Beholder DS1 vs. Beholder MS1: How do they compare?
We have seen that individually they are both very impressive handheld stabilizers that are well able to hold their own. Now let us see what happens when the gloves are off and the two stabilizers are pitted against each other.
How does the DS1 compare to the MS1 in terms of:
In this category the Beholder DS1 has a lot going for it for example it has a pan and tilt control stick. It also has the option of shooting in various modes which include;
- Follow Mode – This when the camera follows you hand movements and moves accordingly.
- Lock Mode – In this mode the camera is held firmly in place while you move your hand.
If you happen to have the Beholder Dual Grip Handles accessory then this opens up two more modes of operation for you, they are the Inverted Mode and Briefcase Mode. On the other hand the MS1 does not enjoy the multiple modes of operation feature but that does not stop it from taking incredibly smooth footage and vary its shots using the pan and tilt control feature that we spoke about in its desecration at the top.
Size and Weight
Both of the stabilizers are made out of light aluminium metal but the MS1 one is significantly lighter and smaller than the DS1 making it perfect for travelling with since you can fit it into your backpack with your other gear. This also means that you can shoot for longer using the MS1 without putting too much strain on your arm. One the other hand the sturdy DS1 can support a maximum weight of 3.7 pounds easily dwarfing the MS1’s 1.9 pounds. This means that the DS1 is able to carry heavier cameras and support a number of camera and lens variations. Depending on your needs the DS1’s extra weight might be worth it.
The Beholder DS1 and MS1 both come equipped with a convenient 3.8″- 16 thread hole that allows them to be mounted on a monopod and this is especially handy when you want to achieve jib-like movements with your gimbal. They also both have a USB port on the handle which has plenty of uses, it can be used to power your smartphone or GoPro Camera and if your camera has the WiFi “live” mode option then you can easily send your smartphone the signal and easily monitor your footage on your phone’s screen. These features make the Beholder DS1 and MS1 very versatile.
Well, that concludes the battle between these two epic gimbal hand stabilizers. They are both very impressive handheld stabilizers, but in this battle you are the referee and judge, you get decide whether it is the Beholder Gimbal DS1 or the Beholder Gimbal MS1 that will take your film making to the next level and be crowned champion in your eyes.