The gimbals that i've personally used in this blog were all preassembled and pre-balanced. When it comes to assembling and programming one from scratch, i'm totally inexperienced. Last week we decided to tackle the CAME 7000 3 Axis Gimbal Kit, and in a few days we were up and running. We probably could have finished sooner, but we wanted to clean up our build by running the wires through the frame and adding a project box (watch the video below).
Looking at the kit in pieces can be intimidating, but it's possible if you have the time and the patience. So here's a short video look at our fully assembled version along with some test footage shot by an inexperienced operator (my wife).
For a first time user without even a monitor to frame with, I think my wife did quite well. The flooring was very rough and so you may notice a bit of 'jumping'. Unlike a Steadicam Vest with ISO (isolation) Arm there's no stabilizing complete vertical up/down movements. My guess is that an EasyRig could solve that. Outside of that I felt Pan, Tilt, and Roll was stabilized almost perfectly to keep the horizon level. When you're just casually walking the unit works very smooth, even for a first time operator to manage. We were all very impressed with the performance for a 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer under $1K.
While you don't need to be very skilled to operate a 3 Axis Active Stabilized Gimbal, you SHOULD BE skilled at balancing one. Not just balancing a camera physically, but also understanding the software, and troubleshooting. The software settings should be configured to work with different weight cameras. If you plan to balance a Canon 5D Mark III you can create a profile. If you want to balance a lighter camera, you should make a profile for that one.
When it comes to troubleshooting, you can easily run into situations where the camera does not want to sit straight. This could be a combination of software calibration, or physical hardware. I'm not an expert but i'll be sharing my 'what not to do' experiences in another video.
As far as putting together instructions for assembly, i'm currently working on that. There's no way I could have documented my progress as there were several instances where we did things incorrectly and needed to take things apart over and over again. Other times we found a better way to assemble the pieces and also needed to take things apart again. Now that I feel a bit more comfortable about the process, i'm going to work on a dis-assembly video which should make more sense seeing the end product and working backwards.
If you don't want to wait around for my assembly videos, there are currently several videos on the product page to get you started. Once you have your product assembled, follow my instructions on balancing your camera on a Gimbal (seen here), and then install my profile i've configured for the Canon 5D Mark II (download here). You may just need to tweak your RC sub trim or Follow Pitch Offset Trim. Regardless, this profile should get you very close to flying most DSLR camera bodies.
The software you install on your camera will only work if it matches the firmware on the controller. You would need to download the 2.3b4, 2.3b5 GUI software for it to work with the board. (DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE HERE).
Don't forget to calibrate your IMU (sensor). Here's a video on how I chose to perform the 6 point calibration.
I suggest grabbing these leveling cubes with 3 bubble levels built in (click here)
Hot Shoe Cube 3 Axis Bubble Level
Also for your computer to see the board you will need to install the Driver found here: (DOWNLOAD DRIVER HERE).
You can check out the other instructional videos for the CAME 7000 3 Axis Gimbal Kit at the product page at http://Came-TV.com
CAME 7000 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer