Today we are taking a look at the upgraded Moza Air 2S gimbal by Gudsen. This is a heavy-duty gimbal with a number of improvements and innovations over its predecessor.
The Moza Air 2S gimbal is part of Gudsen’s professional line, as it is designed to support setups up to 4.2 kg. This upgrade boasts a powerful battery, a new control wheel for precise movements, and other hardware and software additions that promise to make this an all-around high-performance tool.
In the box
In our box, we received the gimbal in a semi-hard carrying case, a metal table tripod, and a small case with mounting accessories and camera control cables.
First impressions and build quality
From the very first look and feel, the Air 2S impresses with its sturdy construction. It features an ergonomic grip that’s long enough to hold with two hands. (because of the weight, you kind of need the second-hand support) It’s an all-metal construction with rubber padding on the handle.
The design is clean and the shape of the handle should make it easy to hold for extended periods of time, although we feel that the support bumper could use some extra padding or extend more towards the back for an easier hold.
An improved version with several new features – Moza Air 2S
Size and weight
Folded up, the gimbal is about 48 cm tall and 25 cm wide. With the tripod attached, it weighs in at just under 2 kg.
The Air 2S in the hand
The Moza Air 2S uses a Manfrotto 501 style base plate to quickly go from the gimbal to a tripod. This upgrade includes a quick release system to easily return the camera to its balanced position after temporarily taking it off the gimbal.
This positioning plate features a double stopper to return the base plate into place and a lock system to prevent it from moving. We had some trouble with the locking mechanism. It seems that when you tighten it too much, it stops working.
We are not sure if it’s just our unit or this is a general problem.
In all, this system is a pretty good idea, but in practice, it’s not ideal for every camera setup. In our setup, once you take the camera off the positioning plate, you can’t fold the gimbal for transporting, because the roll arm is in the way. You have to reposition it, and the balancing is lost once you do that. In all fairness, you could remember the position based on the markings, but we feel like this system still needs improvement.
The 501 style quick release plate mechanism
Moza Air 2S New features
Among the new features, the Moza Air 2S includes a beefy 3200 MAh battery that promises up to 20 hours of usage. In our testing, we used the gimbal on two shoots and the battery indicator was still showing 4 of 5 bars.
Another useful feature of this battery is fast charging through an independent USB interface that gives the Moza Air 2S use-while-charging capabilities. You can plug the gimbal into a fast power bank and basically get unlimited use time.
The chassis of the gimbal comes with a variety of mounts for accessories. On the back, above the trigger, there is an Arri Rosette for attaching arms, holders, and brackets. On the right side of the handle, there is an M4 mount to securely attach a monitor. Just make sure you have the right type of rig for this, or it will spin.
Another useful addition to this gimbal handle is the integrated cold shoe mount that’s perfect for placing a microphone.
Moza added a new prominent feature on the left side of the gimbal that they call the Smart Micro Handwheel. You can assign pan, tilt, or roll to this wheel and precisely and smoothly control the movement of the gimbal.
This wheel also works with the optional follow focus attachment, but our kit didn’t include it, so we weren’t able to test it out.
Built-in 20h battery
Using the Screen and buttons
The Moza Air 2S features a small OLED screen to access the menu. It’s pretty clear even in bright sunlight. You can navigate through the menu with a jog wheel. At first, it seemed counterintuitive, and we had to get used to entering into subfolders by clicking the right side of the jog wheel, and not the center button, which only works for pulling up the menu and going in and out of sleep mode when long-pressed.
The default look of the screen shows the motor’s settings and their modes. You can change the modes by double-clicking the jog wheel. Double click up controls the Tilt mode. By repeatedly double-clicking up on the jog wheel, you change from locking or freeing the Tilt axis.
Double click down on the jog wheel to control the Pan axis. And double-clicking to the left controls the Roll axis. You can optionally switch into Sports Gear Mode for the Pan axis, which allows for quick controlled pan follows. Hold down the trigger for the Sport mode. A short click of the S button to the right of the jog wheel will also change into Sport mode and back, without using the trigger.
The front screen
The S button also has other options. A double click changes into Inception mode. A triple-click goes into FPV mode, which frees all the axes.
These controls are different than on some of the other gimbals that we have in the studio. This configuration allows for quick customization but takes a little getting used to.
To the left of the jog wheel, there is a mode button that quickly changes the handwheel function. By repeatedly pressing the M button, you can scroll Pan Mode, Roll Mode, Tilt Mode, and Zoom and Focus modes.
Below the jog wheel is the power button. When long pressed, it turns the gimbal on and off. When the camera is connected to the Camera Control Port on the back of the baseplate, a short click on the power button captures still images, and a double click on the power button starts the video recording.
There are other options available for select camera models to control camera settings, like ISO, Aperture, and Shutter speed. We weren’t able to test these out, since none of our 4 cameras are compatible. Hopefully, future firmware upgrades can include more camera models, since this can be a very useful feature, especially working through the app.
Moza Air 2S Menu
The menu is pretty clear to understand. It lets you customize gimbal operations and assign camera control. Some of the most interesting options in the menu are balance check and autotune. Once you balance the gimbal, turn it on and access the menu, the Moza Air 2S allows you to check how well it’s balanced.
The balance check function is in the advanced subsection of the menu. The gimbal performs the check and gives you a readout on the screen. It only checks the Roll and Tilt axes. Then the gimbal automatically goes into sleep mode while it waits for you to check the Pan axis. To wake the gimbal up, long press on the menu button.
The Autotune function sets the motor strength automatically. For a shortcut to the Autotune function, long-press the S button. The process is quick, but the menu makes it a little confusing. In our testing, we weren’t sure that these settings were actually applied to the motors.
When you perform the autotune, the screen will show the best settings for motor strength. But when you return to the home screen, the motor settings are different, and there is no way to customize these values. It looks like a firmware issue.
Another useful feature in the Moza Air 2S menu is the presets. You find them in the configuration subfolder of the general menu. Here, you can save the settings for a specific camera/lens combo and load them when you switch from one camera to another. The only thing we would change here is a way to name the presets, so you don’t have to memorize which one is which.
Air 2S App
The Moza Air 2S comes with a Bluetooth 5 connection, allowing for more secure connectivity with the app. All of the gimbal menu settings are available through the Moza Master app. Here, you can upgrade the firmware and control the gimbal movement and camera functions.
To enter firmware upgrade mode, turn the gimbal off, long-press the menu button and the power button until the screen reads “Boot Mode”. In the app, connect to the gimbal and follow the instructions. When done, the gimbal screen will read “Upgrade Complete”.
The app also features Mimic Motion Mode. The Moza Air 2 S can either mimic all three axes or any of them individually. You control the movement of the gimbal by turning the tablet. This can be very useful in tight spaces or simply to eliminate the need to hold the gimbal.
Another interesting feature in the app is Object Tracking. Moza has an optional clamp available to set up your phone on top of your camera. We didn’t get this clamp in our kit, but we were able to use a different clamp.
Once the gimbal is balanced, enter the creative video submenu in the app to assign what object to track. The idea is pretty interesting, but not without flaws. Its limitations depend on the lens you use on the camera. If it’s not as wide as the phone lens, then it’ll be hard to position the tracker exactly where you want it.
This feature works best on moving subjects in the frame, rather than keeping an object in position as you orbit around it. In our test footage, you can see how the gimbal’s roll arm limitation gets in the way and starts shaking. This feature is really meant for setting up the gimbal stationary in an upright position.
Hands-on with the Moza Air 2S
The actual operation of the gimbal is pretty smooth. Its motors are strong enough to handle the weight and control the movements. On one of the shoots, we were surprised to see how well the gimbal handled the camera shake. When reviewing the footage, you can’t even tell that I tripped over a rock on the beach.
There is one configuration that seems to present a problem. In an underslung position with the Pan axis locked, when you try to follow a subject, the roll arm gets in the way of the motion, and the gimbal will temporarily freeze. You return the unit upright, and it works fine again. We tried this with different camera setups, and it doesn’t seem to help this limitation.
Limitless battery life with USB-C charging
The Moza Air 2S is a solid gimbal with plenty of features to make it easy to handle and get some steady shots. Its long-lasting battery and ergonomic design will definitely be a big help on long shoots. Hopefully, Moza will solve some of the camera control issues with coming firmware upgrades, and that will make this gimbal even more practical.
Heavy-duty robust gimbal – Moza Air 2S
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