Defy claims that “the DEFY G2x is the lightest, most powerful gimbal in its class.” Weighing in at 4.5lbs, the G2x certainly has other gimbal’s beat when it comes to operator usability. As anyone who runs around weddings with the Glidecam have surely experienced, weight can quickly become a problem on longer shoots.
What We Liked
Not only is the G2x light, it can also be operated with two hands, effectively halving the stress you need to put on your arms.
The G2x is also quite compact, as advertised, and fits neatly into the custom fitted shipping box along with all its accessories. This makes it a more discreet choice if you're shooting without a permit or want to ward off all those nosy wedding guests who want to ask you about your gear. We wouldn’t recommend trying to sneak it into Disneyland, but the G2x’s form factor certainly opens up more possibilities for discreet shooting.
The G2x also allows for quick calibration based on the weight of your camera. Toggling through the three weight settings allow you to tell the gimbal how much weight you're throwing at it, and allows the gimbal to better smooth out your pans and tilts. The G2x also automatically senses its orientation — inverted or upright — and adjusts itself accordingly. These are huge timesavers and should help you to complete your permitless shoot before the cops show up.
Another neat jail-time avoidance feature on the G2x is the ability to use the side handles to create a makeshift stand which makes balancing cameras a lot faster. However, and especially for first-time gimble operators, we recommend you do all of your gimbal setup before you get to your shoot. More on this later.
The Defy G2x comes with the gimbal itself, two batteries, one battery charging station and a custom fitted box with plenty of foam for protection.
What It Isn’t
The G2x is not for designed to handle camera-lens combinations over 3.5 pounds. So don’t buy this gimbal if you're looking for something that’ll handle the Canon 400mm with your Arri Alexa. A7S, GH4 and other MILC owners will have no problem staying well under the weight envelope. DSLR owners will need to be a little more careful. We attached our 5D MKII and 50mm 1.2, and while the motor stabilized simple motion just fine, we did notice some sudden motor jumps when performing quick pans.
The G2x’s Tightening knobs are small and are difficult to lock down securely. Unless you are a seasoned gimbal operator and can handle the tediousness of first-time setup, you’ll want a set of gloves to prevent your fingers from blistering. Chances are, you’ll be spending the better part of an hour tightening and untightening to get your camera properly balanced. You may find yourself experiencing debilitating Glidecam setup flashbacks. Like the Glidecam, this is a device that you’d be well advised to leave alone after fine tuning. And it’s certainly not a device you want to be manipulating in the field after a lens change (zooms not recommended). Maybe it’s just our lack of gimble experience, but we’d pay good money to see a pro balance the G2X in three minutes as the folks at Defy claim is possible.
The charging apparatus is unrefined. When we first laid out all the pieces, the charger looked more like a “my-first-circuit” toy than a purpose-built battery charger. The menu system on the charger brain took a while to figure out, and we had to do some research to figure out the settings we needed to charge the included batteries. On the plus side, once we had them charged up, they lasted an impressive, and as advertised, 120 minutes, which was a surprise considering how much work the little motor was doing to keep things nice and steady. The Defy G2x was successful at helping us achieve some pretty amazing camera moves. However, at the end of the day we were hoping for a bit more fit and finish considering the $2,000 price tag.
- Compact Form Factor
- Light Weight
- Ease of operation
- Tightening knobs are difficult to lock down.
- Long Setup time
- Unrefined Charger
Weight – 4.5lbs
Load capacity – 3.5lbs
Power and Battery:
Powered by 4cell Lithium polymer 2250mAh 14.8v
Smart Charger via 110V wall outlet (accurate and fast charge)
Operational Time per Battery: 120 minutes (two batteries included)
32bit US Manufactured Controller Board
Mini-USB and Bluetooth connectivity
Port for Throttle Pan/Tilt Controller (sold separately)
Port for Radio Pan/Tilt Controller (sold separately)
Cameron Farboud is a documentary, wedding and narrative filmmaker and photographer.