The ShadowCam S-3 was the first modular single-arm stabilising gimbal for high-end, pro series cinema cameras. Two of its main features were that its operating size was almost half that of conventional gimbal systems and that it could be easily adapted to work with any 3rd party equipment. It incorporated many industry standard features such as 15mm rails, 1" diameter carbon fibre tubing, Manfrotto's 501PL camera mount system, and two integral sensors for greater stabilisation. Added to this, the gimbal can be controlled by a Bluetooth remote, Android device, 3-axis Analogue joystick, Spektrum, S-BUS and has Flight Control connectivity for use on a drone.
The ShadowCam S-5 ‘add-on’ however, took things even further by being the world’s first hand-held system that dampened movement on the vertical and horizontal planes. Additionally to that, it could be used as a stabilised shoulder rig, a tripod, and folded flat and packed away whilst having the camera remaining attached.
Since its inception, the ShadowCam S-5 hasn’t changed much but is now known as the 'plus2' whilst the S-3 gimbal has evolved considerably to become the 'FreeRunner', featuring a stronger, lighter and more rigid frame, an integral power supply for powering a follow focus, light or camera, internal wiring to prevent snags, and may be controlled via analog joystick, bluetooth or RF.
These are just a few of the features that sets the ShadowCam FreeRunner apart from its competitors and makes it one of the most advanced digital camera stabiliser system in the world.
For the FreeRuner gimbal, we offer a host of accessories. Whole-handle systems such as the +2 may be used as a fully adjustable shoulder rig and tripod, whilst the CrossBar is the static invertible twin grip commonly associated with this kind of gimbal, has the additional feature of an easily removable top handle and 45° incremental tool-free adjustable grips.
Other accessories include additional grips for the +2 and CrossBar systems; bolt-on adaptors for cranes/jibs, wall or vehicle mounting; and a camera mount which enables you to swap the camera from the FreeRuner gimbal to your own shoulder rig in seconds - and without having to change adaptors.
With these accessories, you have the freedom to build any setup you require for your shoot. But if that still isn’t enough, we can work directly with you to develop an adaptor or mounting method to ‘precisely’ suit your needs, so get in touch!
Simple in form, but advanced in its development history, the ShadowCam S-5 wasn’t a solution ‘off the shelf’, but an evolution over time. Looking back, it’s clear to say that some of our early designs were a bit ridiculous - heavy, overly complicated, weak and would have been expensive to produce. But one thing we did not want to do is rush to market a product with a flawed design, so we waited until the design was right.
Over the last few years, many ideas for the different components that made up the original ShadowCam have been engineered, built, tested, then re-engineered, built again, then tested again until destruction. The frame’s design underwent many variations, with many factors having to be considered from an early stage - from the choice of materials, motors, colours and finishes, to the type of glues, screws, nuts and bolts to be used.
Along the way, we also researched and tested many electronic components before settling on the AlexMos controller. This meant that our original ethos would be upheld - to keep its design ‘open-source’, in a matter of speaking, which simply means that its design doesn’t tie you to us for accessories. Its modular design enables you, the user, to modify and expand upon the ShadowCam with existing industry standard components. This extensive research enabled us to develop and realise the perfect method for its construction and function as a finished product. And for the ShadowCam to function as well as it does, new technology had to be invented, and with that came the filing of multiple patents - from the VH1’s two-way shock system and auto-lock camera mount to the adjustable grips, shoulder support add-on, and its fold-flat design - all unique features, and exclusive to the ShadowCam FreeRunner and plus2.