Reviews |Manfrotto MVG220

Manfrotto MVG220 Review

Manfrotto MVH220 Gimbal
Review

Price when reviewed

£314.95

$359.99
Check current price

Our Verdict

While the Manfrotto MVG220 has nice build quality, seems solidly made and can enable stable footage, its performance is rather unpredictable. There were several clips that I had to reshoot a few times because I could see the gimbal moving the camera instead of keeping it still. It feels like a product that needs a bit more testing and a firmware upgrade.

For

  • Lightweight
  • Detachable second handle supplied
  • High quality finish

Against

  • Occasional unwanted movements
  • Motor locks not rock-solid

What is the Manfrotto MVG220?

Not too long ago motorised gimbals were big, heavy and incredibly expensive, but these days there are models that are accessible to enthusiast videographers, not just those working on Netflix.

The Manfrotto MVG220 is a case in point, coming in at under £320/$300 and weighing just 1.1Kg. It can also cope with a payload of up to 2.2Kg, which makes it suitable for a wide range of DSLR and mirrorless cameras.

Specification

  • Product type: 3-Axis motorised gimbal
  • Maximum payload: 2.2Kg
  • Tilting angle: 230°
  • Rolling angle: 360°
  • Panning angle: 360°
  • Power: Rechargeable Li-ion batteries
  • Battery life: 7hours
  • Battery charging time: 1.5hours
  • Charging mechanism: USB
  • Dimensions: 7.1 x 20.9 x 35cm
  • Weight: 1.1Kg

Features

As usual, the Manfrotto MVG220 is a 3-axis gimbal, which means it has three motors to correct for accidental camera movements in three directions. Those motors can also be used to move the camera deliberately with control being afforded via the pad-like joystick on the handle or the free smartphone app.

A small touchscreen on the back of the gimbal handle allows the stabilisation mode to be switched quickly between All lock, Pan, Follow and All Follow mode. There’s also a trigger on the front the handle that can be used to set the gimbal to follow mode or to reset it or turn the camera around to selfie mode.

Manfrotto supplies a selection of cables to connect the camera and gimbal, follow the link to check the camera compatibility list.

 

Manfrotto MVH220 Gimbal

Build and Handling

Manfrotto is widely known and respected for its extensive tripod range, and while I suspect that the company hasn’t developed the MVG220 in-house, it has a high-quality feel that is in keeping with the brand.

The grip feels comfortable and secure while the additional handle, which you can choose to attach or not has a very solid feel. The controls also seem well made and are responsive.

In fact the only disappointment in this area is the axis locks. These are designed to hold the gimbal firm when it’s powered off. It means you can carry it between shots with the camera mounted and not have everything swinging and twisting around. The problem is that the locks allow a small amount of movement so there’s constant chatter as you walk. None of the locks ever unlocked, but the movement doesn’t match the high-quality of other areas and the noise gets annoying.

As usual, the first step in using the MVG220 after charging the battery is to install the camera and balance everything. The more often you do this, the easier it gets but it’s just a case of working your way around the three axis and ensuring that the camera is balanced.

Manfrotto has used good-quality lever locks which aren’t obtrusive but are large enough that you can apply adequate pressure to lock them in place. In a nice touch, if the lever is sticking out awkwardly, you just need to pull it to release it and then rotate it to a better position without unlocking anything.

Manfrotto MVH220 Gimbal

Performance

After using the MVG220 with the Sony A6600 with the E 18-55mm f/2.8 G mounted (total weight 997g) I have come to the conclusion that it’s better at correcting movement when it is itself moving – shooting run and gun style. It delivers good footage when following a subject and walking/running alongside it for example.

It can also produce nice reveal shots, when the camera is lifted from behind something, for example, to reveal a bigger scene.

Where it disappoints, however, is when it’s stationary. There’s more jitter than I’d expect. It’s generally better than hand-holding the camera without a gimbal, but it’s not as good as I’ve experienced with the similarly-sized Zhiyun Weebill-S or the beefier Zhyhun Crane 2S for example.

What is particularly annoying, though, is the occasional movement that the MVG220 seems to throw in for no reason. There were a few occasions for instance, when the gimbal shifted the camera from side to side like it had anticipated a moment and then realised that there was nothing. It’s like a nervous twitch or muscle tick.

I think this is something that can be improved with firmware and I have checked a few times over recent weeks to see if there’s an upgrade, but at the timing of writing, there’s been no change since I first set-up the gimbal.

Manfrotto MVG220 Sample Video

This video was shot on the Sony A6600 in 4K 25p with the E 16-55mm f/2.8 G lens mounted, all well under the 2.kg payload of the Manfrotto MVG220 gimbal. The gimbal was set mainly to Pan mode.

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