Tag Archives: 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

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Exciting news! The latest Gimbal stabilizer from Varavon is finally available today. We've been teased about this product over the last few weeks, and heard rumors earlier from the NAB2015 show. The new Birdycam Lite may be around 1/3rd lighter than the larger original Birdycam2 and is designed to work with today's ever shrinking cameras. Without the top handle, the Birdycam Lite gimbal frame itself is probably just around 3lbs.

Varavon Birdycam Lite Gimbal Stabilizer Encoders
VIEW-ITEM VARAVON BIRDYCAM LITE 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

They have a small list of suggested cameras that will work well such as the Sony alpha 7, Sony a6000, Panasonic GH3, Panasonic GH4, Canon 70D, Canon XC10, Nikon D3300, Samsung NX1, so you'll get an idea if your camera system will work well on the new Birdycam Lite. There's some really cool stand out features on this new gimbal such as a wireless joystick (included), and the ability to use it with the handles detached. This means mounting the gimbal to a Jib for remote PT (pan/tilt) operation should be a breeze.

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VIEW-ITEM VARAVON BIRDYCAM LITE 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

The camera mount is also Manfrotto plate compatible so that you can quickly move your camera off the gimbal to your favorite Manfrotto accessory. This is something a lot of people have been asking for, and most will try to add a Manfrotto QR base if possible.

Probably the most stand out features for the Birdycam Lite Gimbal is the newly added Encoder hardware. This was a newly supported feature for SBGC gimbals, and is a night and day difference when it comes to efficiency and stabilization. We're starting to see that pretty much every new gimbal will start to incorporate this. Another stand out feature that some will get really excited about is the single arm design that leaves the (left) side of the camera's ports available for adding HDMI cables, Audio, and power cables.

There's a ton of info and specs over at the Varavon Birdycam Lite product page, so make sure to take a look (LINK).

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VIEW-ITEM VARAVON BIRDYCAM LITE 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

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Many times people complain about the horizon being offset, or possibly the camera's horizon may drift over time. This could easily be caused by the 'mode' or 'profile' the gimbal is currently working in, and not necessarily a problem with the gimbal itself. Understanding the profiles, how and when to use them is important if you want to achieve best results. Many of you may be surprised at how much the profiles can affect the results your getting with your gimbals.

This video covers the different profiles on the new tool-less CAME-MINI2 Gimbal, and how these different profiles can influence camera's position during operation. It also covers how to modify the service modes so that you can manage the gimbal and calibrate it without a computer connected. It also covers troubleshooting your Joystick RC Trim if you believe your camera position 'drifts' over time. Keep in mind, that these settings are not unique to this gimbal, but for any gimbal operating with the same SBGC software.

So the next time you're running around operating your gimbal, and things may not appear level or squared up, think about what mode you're working in. Your gimbal may just be following directions, and not necessarily out of calibration. Profile 2 seems to be a good fit for tracking subjects and setting your Joystick to control 'only tilt' will help you manage your gimbal while keeping the horizon level. You can easily change the 'speed' of your joystick so that the camera movements will still appear smooth.

Also, take advantage of your Service Modes by using the Profile 4, Profile 5, and Long Press options. When you're out in the field make it a habit to square up your frame, level your camera, and calibrate your sensors (set a new home position). Unfortunately this video was probably very boring, but hopefully informative in some ways. If you have any questions, leave your comments below.

To find out more, visit the product page for the CAME-TV CAME-MINI2 Gimbal (HERE).

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find-price-button CAME-TV CAME-MINI2 (v2 Tool-Less) 3-Axis Mini Gimbal Stabilizer

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The guys over at XPROHELI (makers of the Silk 3-Axis Gimbal) reached out to share a tutorial video about the new SteadyGim3 EVO GoPro Gimbal. I personally can't speak about the performance of this gimbal (yet), but they mentioned they would send me a unit to test out. I have the perfect opportunity this week to get some great footage, so i'll do my own follow up review after my trip. I'm not sure what more I can add, as their video (below) seems to really cover everything you need to know.

Features:
Sleek elegant design - no wires!
Supplement your GoPro's Battery with the included charging cable
7-12 hours of battery life provides long field use without having to change batteries.
Compatible with the Lumenier Layer Lens and Blurfix Air Lenses for GoPro Hero 3, Hero 4
Plug and Play, Ready to Use out of the box - no software configuration necessary
Comes with four rechargeable batteries and one battery charger. Each battery type is 18650, and rated 3.7 volts @2000mAh.
Supports Remote Control Operation through remote accessory (offered in options above)
Compatible with GoPro LCD BacPac or battery bacpac
High torque motors provide better stabilization for different camera configurations and for high speed applications.
No judder or jerking in 360-degree rotation.

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The SteadyGim3 will work with a naked GoPro (no case), or with the GoPro LCD BacPac attached. Two sets of screws are included depending on the setup you choose. The SteadyGim3 is also strong enough to keep the GoPro balanced even while using Lens Adapters such as the slide on Polar Pro ND Filter, which is awesome to use outdoors. The team even managed to use Garmin's latest action camera and you can see that great video example and a full write-up over at the SteadyGim3 EVO product page (found here).

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find-price-button SteadyGim3 EVO 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal for GoPro HERO3 HERO4

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Remember the versatile Z1 Rider GoPro Gimbal I shared a short while back? Well, the other day I had the opportunity to test it out while mounted to one of my Carbon Fiber Audio Boom Poles. Here are a few examples.

So while the footage may not be perfect, I think the results came out pretty well considering it only took a very minimal set of tools. The GoPro HERO4 is a camera small enough to fit in your shirt pocket, and the versatile design of the Z1 Rider Gimbal allows you to mount it almost anywhere you can mount the GoPro itself.

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find-price-button Z1 Rider Mini 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer for GoPro Cameras

The original shots were done with a DJI Ronin Gimbal and Sony A7s (not seen here). Needless to say the footage captured from the Ronin was better, but with that heavy setup comes additional effort and risk.

Being able to move a tiny GoPro around at the end of a stick while having full three axis stabilization was both easy and fun. About 2:17 in the video even looks like
Aerial Drone footage. Something i'll definitely be experimenting more with, though next time i'll probably choose a different framerate and turn ProTune On for best quality.

The Audio Boom Pole I used could have easily been replaced with a broom stick or cheap Painter's Pole. If you need a rock solid camera tripod mount adapter for a Painter's Pole, make sure to check out the adapter from SeaPort Digital (found here).

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find-price-button Seaport Digital Painter's Pole Adapter with 1/4-20 Male Thread

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varavon wirecam cable cam

Varavon has been teasing their Wire Cam (cablecam) product for a few years now, but they state they will officially open sales starting next week. We'll just have to wait to see. Here's the latest video demo using the BirdyCam2 gimbal placed below the Wire Cam.

The Wire Cam can be used with any 3 axis gimbal stabilizer, or with your camera mounted directly (though it won't be stabilized). You can already find a parts list, more video samples, and additional information at the Wire Cam product page (click here).
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read more button Varavon Wire Cam - Remote Cable Cam

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A few weeks ago I showed both the CAME-TV 7800 and only a short glimpse of the 7500. The 7800 is ready to go out of the box, while the 7500 needs a bit of assembly. I finally had time last night to put it together and set it up for my GH4 with Rokinon Fisheye Lens.

A video posted by Emm (@mrcheesycam) on

The camera and lens combo i'm using was too light and didn't sit far enough forward. I needed to add a QR base plate system to add more weight and allow the camera to be pushed more forward. Because of the plate I had to remove the top bar and relocate the Camera IMU sensor. After recalibrating the sensors and balancing the camera, she seems to be responding really well.

CAME-TV 7800 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer
find-price-button CAME-TV 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizers

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Big Balance is a company that has been showing off a few gimbals over the last few years, but until now the products have not been available for purchase. While i'm not sure when these products will be 'officially' available, they continue to show off a few new additions at the recent 2014 PhotoPlus Expo.


via YouTube Rik Cordero

If I would have to choose one i'm most interested in, it would be the Gibbon pistol grip style 2-Axis Gimbal for cameras like the GH4. With the newly developed dual handle addition, the Gibbon becomes a full 3-Axis stabilizer offering much more stability when walking or running. Many of the products shown in the video aren't yet available on the website, but there is additional information on other products over at the main website at http://bigbalance.com

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find-price-button Big Balance Gimbal Stabilizers

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If you follow this blog, i've somewhat been in tune with several different affordable Gimbal Stabilizers such as the CAME-TV 7000/7500 and Varavon Birdycam2. The simple fact though is that if you wanted to fly any camera larger than a Canon C100 you're most likely looking into the $2999 DJI Ronin. Well CAME-TV has been teasing about a new heavy duty gimbal for a few months. Until recently the new 8000 model was only shown in drawings, but here's an actual demo with a protoype unit by MJIT Berlin.

Keep in mind what we're seeing in the video above is still a protoype unit, but the results so far look very promising. The new images show the CAME-TV 8000 with fine tuning stage, a quick release system, 15mm rail adapter for rod accessories, and a built in joystick (which the Ronin lacks BTW). For a Gimbal capable of carrying a large camera, and with an introductory price $1,000 dollars cheaper than the Ronin, this could be another popular stabilizer in the market. For more information check out the CAME-TV 8000 gimbal over at the website (click here).

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find-price-button New CAME-TV 8000 3 Axis Gimbal for Large Cameras

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The DJI Ronin is one heck of a gimbal, and one of it's stand out features would be the Auto Tuning Software. Well for anyone using SBGC Basecam Alexmos Controllers with their gimbals, the new firmware now offers an 'Auto PID' feature as well. But before you get too excited you may want to take a look at this video demonstration.

So the new firmware offers an amazing set of new features, and Auto PID tuning seems to work. This still doesn't solve the other areas that you need to be familiar with including sensor position, sensor calibrations, gyro calibrations, and motor configurations. Before you can use any of the Auto PID features, you need to properly configure those settings first and balance your camera properly on the gimbal frame.

gimbal auto tuning firmware upgrade

I've heard some people talk about how everything works except for the 'Pitch' or maybe the 'YAW' is buzzing. Using the Auto PID tuning feature with one axis may now quickly solve these issues. Keep in mind that with a sliding scale between Better Stabilization and Better Precision your results could vary. Even though it's 'Auto' there's still a fair amount of trial and error that can be time consuming to use this process.

If you're working with 32 Bit Gimbals like the CAME-TV 7000/7500 (found here) or the Varavon Birdycam2 (found here), the new firmware should be compatible, but you know what they say. 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it'. If you have your gimbal working well, there may be no real reason to upgrade the firmware at this time.

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