CAME-TV CAME-MINI 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

This package arrived earlier today. So far i've had the chance to unbox the CAME-MINI 3-Axis Gimbal and balance a Panasonic GH4 + 12-35mm F/2.8 OIS Lens. I've also managed to balance out my Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye lens which is my personal little compact setup with this camera. I'm still working on a video about my first initial impressions, but if you have any questions, now is the time to ask.

The CAME-MINI feels solid, and you'll immediately notice the excellent build quality. To balance a camera on the CAME-MINI, it requires a hex tool for almost every adjustment, and the small frame means this will not work with heavier camera setups. Example: If you're thinking speedbooster and a Canon EF lens with a Sony A7s, this is not going to be the gimbal for you.

On the flip side, if you plan on using this with a GH4 and a small Lumix Lens like the 12-35mm it will work perfectly. Hopefully i'll have a video up after the weekend, but for more information take a look at the CAME-TV.com website (click here).

CAME-Mini Mini Gimbal 3 Axis StabilizerCAME-TV CAME-Mini Mini gimbal sony a7s
find-price-button CAME-TV CAME-MINI 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

 87 Comments





87 thoughts on “CAME-TV CAME-MINI 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

  1. Jeff

    Today, I used the Came Mini for a bit and smelled something. I turned it off and checked the battery which was was extremely hot and burnt on top. Switched them out for new ones and now the gimbal is twitching all over. It was working fine for 4 months, now it's not usable. Has anyone experienced this? I fear if I would have left the batteries in, a fire would have started. I wrote the company today on it.

  2. does enyone have better PID settings then the standerd settings?
    Can you please share them.
    I don't like the standerd settings! The gimbal is not stable.
    I just the panasonic gh4 with the 12-35 lens

    Thank you

  3. JH

    I've completely given up on this and sending it back today. Tried for days to configure this using BGC Simple GUI and now it won't even connect. I appreciate all the help I've had but this has simply not been worth it. I had such high hopes for this product. Definitely going to do what I thought I should of done and buy a tool less Movi M5.

  4. Chris

    was getting some funny results, beeping etc - may have tightened joystick screws too much, red LED's on all the time, have now backed off a bit, LED's off, behaviour now back to normal

  5. Jeff B

    Hi Emm, I was wondering how big the Tiyaga is compared to the CAME-Mini? Size and weight? Thanks!

  6. Emm

    Post author

    @Joachim Lindenmann - If you hold the button down, it should beep once and then go completely limp. At this point you have to hold the camera as level as possible until it's done and then it will go back to normal. The CAME-MINI gimbal does not have Inverted Mode setup in the profiles from the factory. When you use inverted mode the sensors know that the system is upside down. Because you don't have inverted mode and you flip the gimbal upside down, it's going to be unstable. If you want to do inverted mode, you have to add the option as one of your profiles.

  7. Hi, I have recieved my Came-Mini just today and balanced it like in your video. That worked. But I have two problems.

    1. If I hold the mode button to calibrate nothing happens, only a single BEEP after 2 seconds or so. Is there something wrong?

    2. I can't get the gimbal to work in the upright mode (camera above the handels) The Camera always starts to wobble and looses calibration when I try to get it look upwards or downwards. Panning works.

    Thanks in advance!

  8. JH

    @Emm *restoring defaults.

    If you could do that after NAB that would be amazing. I'm hoping CAME-TV come through this week.

    Anyone else out here got a profile I could load for a GH4 w/12-35mm before then? I've had some luck in tweaking settings and not getting it to go quite as mad so hoping it's a profile setting fix??

  9. Emm

    Post author

    @JH - I'm not sure what you mean by redtoring defaults. There is no default option except to reset the software completely. If somehow you reset the software it would have wiped out all of the settings. I'm at NAB this week so I won't have a profile for from that unit until next week for you.

  10. JH

    @Emm I have been using GH4 and 12-35 lens the whole time. I had it working fine before for some unknown reason it started drifting clockwise when switched on. I took it off and re-blanaced it after watching your video so it should of been as close to perfectly balanced as possible.

    I then followed the instructions using the BGC software and that's when it started the vibrating and not being able to level itself.

    I have held it in place as the CAME-TV blog shows and then done a gyro and acc calibration. Still nothing.

    I tried restoring defaults. Nothing.

    I have auto calibrated the motors and PID and still nothing. Just vibrates and can't level itself.

    Same thing over and over upon writing, disconnecting and switching on. Aggressive vibrating...

    Could you send me a profile that I can write to resolve this? Or I can screen shot you my settings and send a video to show you what's happening? I really would appreciate any help in resolving this. I have emailed CAME a video of what happens when switching on and waiting to hear back - I emailed over the weekend so should hear later today I hope.

  11. Emm

    Post author

    @JH - You said it worked one day. Did you change your camera and lens setup after that day? The first thing you should check is if you have perfect balance on Pitch, Roll, and YAW. If you're not perfectly balanced, it's going to struggle.

    VIbrating aggressively is typically because your PID settings are too high or too low (most likely too high). You didn't specify what camera and lens you are using right now. When trying to do your calibration, did you change anything else in the menu?

  12. JH

    I just went through an entire calibration process, following the link that Came TV sent me and Emmm. I auto calibrated the PID controller, the gyro, the acc and tried the motor. It just vibrates aggressively trying to centre itself.

    @Emm @anyone!!! can someone help me here please? It worked fine for a day, then it started to drift constantly, trying to right that messed it up very badly. Now having repeated the processes as instructed it's still vibrating badly.

    I really want to be able to use this and not have these issues and believe it can be fixed. Someone please prove me right!!!

  13. Jeff B

    @ JH - I think I may just get a refund and wait out the SteadXP… it's pretty unbelievable. It supposedly will work on any camera, and I have a Kinemini that I would love to stabilize, but don't want to lug around a 20lb rig and vest, that's why I got a GH4 and a Came-mini. But the SeadXP looks like it's worth the wait.

  14. JH

    @Jeff I agree. I'm going to give it one last shot today and then yeah sending it back. Came-TV have been semi helpful but not solved anything and yeah this is way too much hassle. I'd rather spend the extra on an M5. I had high hopes doe this...

  15. Jeff B

    @ JH-maybe you should just send it back. It sounds like a lemon, like the one I got. It's too expensive to be such a hassle, so send it back and get a new one. If my second one doesn't work or fails after a week or 2, I'm getting my money back and building Emms gimbal.

  16. JH

    Is there a link to a tutorial on how to use the software? I'm struggling! I'm also not getting the virtual COM appear in the Connection list. Having run the terminal command lines I seem to be able to connect on a new menu item 'Dev/cu.SLAB_USBtoUArt.

    My Came is totally useless right now. It's all out of sync and going crazy.

  17. Emm

    Post author

    @JH - Yes check out the software and see what's going on. Also make sure you have a full set of batteries. When mine was running low it was acting a bit odd until I changed the batteries.

  18. JH

    So I've found that the mini is now not balancing correctly when switched on and is continually oanning left and no longer plays a tone to show it is correctly set up. Suggestions before I send this back out of frustration?! I guess I need to download the software mentioned above and calibrate through that? It was working perfectly fine for a day!

  19. Jeff B

    @ JH - I wrote CAME-TV yesterday after posting here, asking them to take my unit back and exchange it for another, since I don't have time to help them figure out how to fix it through videos… seems pretty time consuming. This morning they wrote me back, giving me the return info, so it doesn't seem to be the big hassle I thought it would be. They will ship me a working unit when they receive the broken one(or they're fix the one I send them). I guess I'll have to pay for shipping, but it's worth it to not have to trouble shoot it. Maybe they'll give me an extra set of batteries for the hassle…

  20. Emm

    Post author

    @JH - The front frame is mainly to prevent the camera from twisting. It's not necessary for these small cameras, not sure why we really need it. I would prefer to just leave it off.

  21. JH

    @Emm - the arm is definitely loose, I undid the screws all the way and carefully removed it (very carefully! The wires are all housed in here). I can see the two screw holes but it's either a poorly fitting arm or a faulty production arm. Either way its not the motors. This is very noticeable. Thanks for your advice on the 12-35mm, I'll try that today. I actually have been testing it without that piece and not sure I can understand what purpose that serves.

    @Jeff B - I have emailed Came TV about this and have found them very responsive and helpful so far although they also asked me for a video which I'll do today. Keep me up to date with your progress and I'll do the same! Hopefully this will be sorted with a new unit and not much hassle!

  22. Jeff B

    @JH and Chris, mine won't turn on either and the camera bracket doesn't fit the lenses I've tried either... It seems pretty useless anyway, just adds more weight. CAME-TV finally wrote me back today, after writing them last week. They asked me to make a video of the gimbal not turning on, instead of sending me info on how to return it and get a replacement. I have a feeling this is going to be a hassle…

  23. Emm

    Post author

    @JH - Are you sure it's movement from the connection or from the motors themselves? The motors may have a little play but it should not be much.

    To get the 12-35mm with a GH4, move the front frame over the Power OIS button. Don't try to push the frame up against the camera body.

  24. JH

    Hey there,

    I received my Came Mini today and have encountered a couple of issues.

    I can get it balanced and working well. However, the main arm that runs from the GPU box by the spirit level up to the short arm that joins with the top axis close to the handles is loose. This is secured by two small screws that use the smallest hex key supplied. Tightening these does not stop this from moving and it will affect any fast motion as the arm will jar and then jar the camera platform. The same thing is happening although to a lesser extent with the top axis. Any suggestions? I have emailed Came about this.

    Also I can't get the camera bracket on the 12-35mm lens. It seems to be way too small and no camera position seems to allow for this to be mounted. Help would be much appreciated.

    Thanks,

    JH

  25. Emm

    Post author

    @chris - Are you sure the batteries are in the right direction? The positive side of the batteries point towards the On/Off Button, and on the opposite side is the same. So the negative is facing outwards on the side with no on/off button. Then press the button to turn on.

  26. chris

    Hey Emm,

    I have my Came Mini but I can't even get it to turn on. Has anyone else had this problem? I have 2 sets of batteries. I've made sure that they are charged and I can't get anything to happen.

    Also mine did not come with any sort of manual whatsoever. Any help would be greatly appreciated, I'm thinking I might just have to return it.

    Thanks!

  27. Zak

    Emm, am I correct in thinking it runs off AA batteries? If so this is huge, especially for remote work, aa batts are easy to source if you don't have a charger.

    Would the pocket cam and 12-35 work on this? Or is there another pocket cam config that will work?

    Thanks!

  28. Jeff B

    Yeah, it's pretty weird… I'm using the cable from my DVD player, so I think it's a good one to use. Maybe a wire got pinched inside the gimbal? Hope I don't have to send it back.
    Thanks again, Jeff

  29. Emm

    Post author

    @Jeff B = Hmm not too sure. Just double check you are also using a good USB 'data' cable. Some USB cables are only meant for charging, not for data transfer.

  30. Jeff B

    Hi Emm,
    I downloaded the software and driver. When I try to connect, the software says connecting, but it never actually connects? It seems like something is messed up… it shouldn't be this difficult to get the thing turned on. Hopefully CAME-TV will get back to me. Thanks a lot Emm, for all your help! Jeff

  31. Lou

    Just purchased Came Mini about 2 weeks ago. Worked perfectly for
    about a week. Started to drift ,wouldn't stay level. Company pointed me to Basecam software. Not technically proficient at running software, might have messed up internal settings. Is there any sights that can get me on track to set up gimbal from scratch.

  32. Jeff B

    Hi Emm,
    I plugged it into a pc and a mac and neither launched. Maybe I'm not doing something? Should the software launch automatically? Thanks, Jeff

  33. Emm

    Post author

    @Jeff B - I would plug it into the computer, launch the software and see if it beeps when the USB is connected. Make sure to turn the gimbal on with the batteries too. Then check the profiles and see if you can hit the button on the lower left corner (above message window) that says 'Motors On/Motors Off'.

  34. Jeff B

    Hi Emm,
    I just got my CAME-Mini yesterday, but the joystick doesn't seem to be working. After balancing it, and making sure the batteries were charged, I turned it on, and the only thing that happened was a little red light on the box at the back of the gimbal turned on. When I pressed the joystick button, nothing happened. The joystick was not fully attached when I first opened the case… it was missing a screw. I found the screw in the case and re-attached it. Do you have any ideas for troubleshooting? I wrote, CAME-TV, but they seem to take a while to respond sometimes. Thanks, Jeff

  35. david b

    HI. im looking forward to your review. I guess smaller cameras such as the Panasonic Lumix LX100 will fit just fine?
    thanks for your time.

  36. Roman

    Deciding between this and the Nebula 4000. Always something better around the corner. I wouldn't mind paying a bit more for something that will last. Does the came mini pack small? I'm looking for a run and gun gimbal with good battery life and a quick release plate.

  37. Boz

    Hey emm
    I wonder if it is possible to buy ratcheting wing nuts that match the thread of the hex nuts to make it tool less?

  38. Kevin

    Mr. Cheesy Cam
    Did you say a small Manfrotto quick release plate (female) cannot be placed in the carriage with an A7S?

  39. Rob

    Hey Em, this one just arrived for me too, but there's no instruction manual! I was also upset that it doesn't come apart like they said it would. Should I try the videos for the 7800 to help get it set up?

  40. Emm

    Post author

    @Bob - I know what you're referring to, but ince it became available thise illustrations are gone. Check out the product page, there is no removeable top bar.

  41. Bob

    Emm, rather, I meant detaching the entire top assembly, as they've indicated in illustrations.

  42. Emm

    Post author

    @Bob - Even if you don't want to take the handles off, the handles can be rotated 360 around the post. Exactly like the DJI Ronin. Some guys like to adjust the handles more horizontally for low mode flying, or trun both handles around when in inverted mode.

  43. OldCorpse

    I hate to say it, but there is just no way I'd be even looking at this gimbal. It has "version one, not ready for prime time, to be outdated with a new model very very very soon" written all over it. I mean no tool-less adjustments? I think everything is moving in the tool-less direction for gimbals, and anything that demands very long setup times and tools to keep track of is just a dinosaur even today... after all even the new CAME-7800 is now almost tool-less adjusted, and I cannot see things going back. Also, this is a pretty limited gimbal in the camera and lens range it supports - I mean, if you are absolutely SURE you will never need to use it outside of those narrow ranges, fine, but my suspicion is that really this is a *supplemental* gimbal, in other words, it's a fine gimbal to have for your smaller setups - and even a fantastic gimbal to have for those purposes, but it cannot be your ONLY gimbal. Someone who does a lot of shooting with moving subjects or needs movement, will need many gimbals - it's like a shooter needs many lenses, you cannot just get by with one lens or one gimbal. And for those special situations where you need a crazy wide angle, well, that's what fisheyes are for, and if you need to get into a tight space with a small camera, well that's what mini-gimbals are for.

    So definitely I see a market segment for small gimbals - no question about it! But is this CAME-MINI the gimbal to have for that niche... I have my doubts. I am 100% sure that for my purposes, I'd rather wait for something better... more along the lines of the gimbal Emm helped develop: tool-less, hassle-minimum, reliable, light and small. CAME-MINI doesn't pass the smell test for me. YMMV, of course.

  44. Emm

    Post author

    @Orlando - There really is no comparison. The Tiyaga is 100% tool-less and can support larger bodies, and larger lenses. It also offers up a quick release system for getting the camera on/off.

    This CAME-MINI works great, but inly if you use it for what it was intended for. The CAME-MINI requires a hex tool for wvery single balance option, and even battery swaps is not so simple.

  45. Bob

    I'm impressed that it can do inverted - still a bunch of gimbals that cannot without flipping the image in post. One thing this seems to have over the G2x is that the joystick/throttle is included - the G2x makes you buy it separately and it's not cheap.

    I'm confused what the point of having the detachable handle is if the (proprietary) power supply is in the handle. Seems like that has very limited (or no) value in actual use.

  46. Bob

    what is with these cases all the chinese stuff is shipping with lately. That's the same style case I got my fotodox flapjack lights in (I tossed them because you can fit the lights into something less than 1/4 the size) and it's basically a soft version of the Inspire 1 case.

  47. Florian

    Im curious about the resulting footage...
    If it comes to a small gimbal like this its all about portability and quick access... Is the case big enough to leave the GH4 in there with lens attached? So basically you pull it out, turn it on and its ready?

  48. RG84

    Uhmmm a came mini after you put out a min gimbal? How does it feel compared to the one you made?

  49. Emm

    Post author

    @Steve M. - I'll personally say it's all about Operator Experience. The operator must know how to properly balance and Fly a Steadicam, and a Gimbal Operator must know how to properly Tune and Fly a Gimbal Stabilizer.

  50. Emm

    Post author

    @Kevin - I think the CAME-MINI is shipping already. I'm pretty sure there will be a version 2 at some point, just no ETA when.

  51. Emm

    Post author

    @7hau - Yes if you try to pull the bracket too far back it will hit the OIS switch. You have to move the front bracket more forward.

  52. 7hau

    Does the gimbal front bracket touches the 12-35mm lens? coz I oso tried GH4 and 12-35mm lens and found that the front bracket size seems a bit tight for the lens.

  53. Hey Emm, my question would be what are your thoughts on the differences between all these gimbals and a traditional Steadicam. I realize you have a lot more freedom with a gimbal, but I've also heard a gimbal shows more up and down movement of walking? If you'd never owned a Steadicam, nor a gimbal, which would you adivse on one starting out with?

  54. Kevin

    Interesting, I had no idea. Thats helpful. You are right, a 4 to 6 week wait might be a deal breaker for many people.

    Whats the wait/ship time on a Came-Mini?

    Will they make the Came Mini tool-less like the Came 7800 eventually?

  55. Emm

    Post author

    @Kevin - I'm familiar with it, but it's not a gimbal that's easily available so I don't think we'll see a comparison anytime soon. The CAME-MINI is designed for just small camera bodies and a certain size lens. The Defy may be able to carry more, but it really sucks that they lock down all the profiles. You can't really tailor the system at all. The Alexmos gimbals have come a really really long way and if you can create custom profiles the gimbals are much more versatile.

  56. Kevin

    MR. CHESSYCAM,
    I am not sure how familiar you are with the Defy G2 X, but if you or someone else has experience with the Defy G2 X (very new), a comparison to the Came-Mini would be helpful for me and probably many others? I am familiar with the companies listed specs for each unit, a real world comparison is what I'm looking for.

    http://defywithus.com/collections/all/products/g2x-gimbal

    Kevin

  57. EXCELLENT...THIS is what I've been waiting for...small size nice price and as long as it has a payload of 1.5 kg...it will be good to go with an a7s and the 16-35 f4...

  58. Emm

    Post author

    @Dan - There are four batteries in the top horizontal bar. Two on each side covered by screw on caps. Not sure about run time right now.

  59. Hi,

    It would be interesting to hear what lenses you would recommend with the A7s on the came mini.

    So far, ive been using the canon 17-40 with the commlite, but that would be to long/heavy I assume

  60. Daniel

    Hey Emm,

    I know you mentioned about lumix's own lenses, how about heavier m43 lenses like the Voigtlanders? Will this gimbal support these lenses aswell?

    Thanks!

  61. Kevin

    Emm,
    Thanks for getting on this so quickly. It is too bad that the Mini is not tool less. I have been waiting on the sidelines until this market settles down and the innovation steadies out. Now seems to be a good time to buy. For me an A7s owner, it is between Cam TV Mini & the Defy G2x. It is a tough call. Your review should help me a lot.

    I love the fact that Defy answers the phone and is willing to answer questions. They have been great so far. All things relatively equal, I have no problem paying a few hundred extra for a product in order to gain the piece of mind that you can get an American on the phone within minutes if I have a problem. In this case $800 extra? Hmm? Here are some key specs to compare.

    Product Cost Weight Load Capacity
    Cam TV Mini $1,188.00 2.42lbs 3.3 lbs
    Defy G2x $1,995.00 4.5lbs 3.5lbs

    For a minimal weight total, with my A7S lens combo (Sony Zeiss FE 16-35 or FE 24) , I like the Mini. Other then that I like the G2x. I spoke with Defy yesterday, and they said there is a 4 to 6 week wait. Ouch!

    Gonna wait until after Nab to pull the trigger, Maybe there is another gimbal in this class that will change my buying decision. Right now I like these 2 choices for my needs.

  62. Derek McCabe

    I have been looking for a small 3-axis gimbal stabilizer for my Sony AX-1000. I like using DSLRs, but on a stabilizer it is impossible to change focus while moving, so I prefer autofocus type camcorders.

    I see on the CAME website there is 75mm of clear space from the mounting bolt to the back of the stabilizer arm. ugh. Most small camcorders need just a little bit more space. The Sony AX-1000 needs 120mm to be able to balance properly.

    I wish CAME would make a product specific for small 4K camcorders.

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