Tag Archives: Brushless Motor

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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.

BirdyCam-lite-6-minBirdyCam-lite-4-min_3339a942-4028-4023-893d-a816cca621aa
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).

BirdyCam-lite-14b-min
VIEW-ITEM VARAVON BIRDYCAM LITE 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

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Here's a look at unboxing and setting up the CAME-TV 7500 and 7800 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizers. Touching on the newly updated (7500) version, there are very slight changes but mostly cleaning up the wiring, especially around the battery cable. They consider this system RTR, but there is some small assembly to the top handle and of course you need to balance your camera. To see an original unboxing video about the CAME-TV 7500 (click here).

cametv 7500 3 axis gimbal stabilizer
find-price-button CAME-TV RTR 7500 3 Axis Gimbal

Moving on to the most recent Gimbal Product from CAME-TV is the new 7800 Gimbal. Once again CAMETV is trying to offer up an 'affordable' Ready-To-Run system and has added more improvements over the 7500 version. The 7800 model now offers a monitor mount, quick disconnect side handles, and a quick release baseplate - which makes it even easier to balance a camera.

What I didn't show in the video was how to remove the side handles. The side handles can be removed without tools by rotating to loosen the clamp.

cametv 7800 handles
Remove side handles by twisting to loosen clamp

The top handle I suggest removing from the bottom of the dogbone clamp, so that you can better fit the system into a hard case like the Nanuk 945. The interior dimensions are L 22 x W 17 x H 8.2, which fits pretty snug, but still has lots of side space for your accessories (monitor, batteries, cables, tools, etc).

Nanuk 945 hard case gimbal stabilizer cametv 7800 7500
find-price-button Nanuk 945 Hard Case for 3 Axis Gimbal
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I also suggest getting a better charger and spare batteries if you plan to run all day. I suggest these batteries:

find-price-button 20C 3S 4000mAh 11.1 LiPO Battery

And here's a charger for these batteries. They charge must faster and keep the batteries working great for a long time:
find-price-button Balance Charger for NiMH/NiCD/Li-PO/Li-Fe Battery

Without spending too much time getting super accurate balancing on my gimbal, the 7800 performed very well right out of the box and without tuning any of the PID settings via the software. While you may not have to dive into the software, I still encourage people to at least 'understand' the software.

Now i'm not the only one this week who has unboxed one of the new 7800 gimbals. MDIFilms earlier today left a comment on this blog about their experiences setting up the system with a GH4 camera. They've provided a few different tutorial videos below, and interestingly enough they too did not have to tune PID settings out of the box (for their GH4 setup).

While it still takes a lot of patience and understanding how to balance a camera properly on a gimbal, the design improvements CAME-TV adds to each new gimbal make the 'Out of Box' experience better each time - while still keeping the systems affordable. The CAME-TV 7800 is available now, and is currently discounted for the month of October, 2014 (click here).

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

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The new CAME 6000 2 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer does very well to keep a camera's horizon level. It's dead quiet, and easy to balance small DSLR sized cameras. The brushless motors are covered, the wiring is run internally to the Carbon tubes, battery is covered, and control board is covered. Aesthetically this system looks simple, and is simple to use. For the price, it's certainly not the cheapest when you look at DIY kits, but for some people the RTR (ready to run) convenience is a plus. The biggest downfall is the lack of side handles.

Brushless Motor Gimbal CAME 6000 CheeyscamCame 6000 2 Axis Stabilizer Gimbal DSLR Video
find-price-button CAME 6000 2-Axis Active Gimbal Stabilizer

Only a few hours after receiving the unit from CAME-TV.com, I was already modifying a set of side handles. Eventually my plan is to create a solid metal 90 degree clamp to add a 15mm rail (as seen below).
CAME 6000 15mm Clamp Side Handle Adapter CheesycamCheesycam DIY handles Gimbal Stabilizer
15mm Rail Adapter Concept - cheesycam.com

Until then, i'm using a simple 3/8" conduit clamp attached to a single 15mm rail clamp with a 1/4-20 thread (seen here). A small bolt runs through with a series of lock washers to prevent it from coming loose. Using a 15mm rail opens up new options for adding other industry standard accessories. Additionally i'm hiding the top 1/4" bolt by mounting a mini ball head for a monitor. Not too shabby for the time being..

Cheesycam Axis Gimbal DIY Stabilizer

After configuring the side handles, we took the CAME 6000 2 Axis Gimbal out for a walk with a Panasonic GH3 mounted. [ Note: The video below contains some very boring 5 minute walking material. ]. It's easy for companies to pick out only the best footage of their products in use, so in this video we decided to show UNCUT FOOTAGE and the BTS from this sample.

If you manage to make it through the boring part, you'll see transitions from normal shots, to low angle (doggy cam) footage, and even doing some (rookie) hand offs to another operator as the Gimbal becomes too heavy to manage after a few minutes. Simple moves, but almost impossible to perform with your average stabilizer a.k.a steadicam type device.

Although our technique, skill, and experience with gimbals is far from perfect, this modified CAME 6000 2 Axis Gimbal for the most part did it's job to keep the horizon level. Keep in mind in this example we're continuously walking all in one take - something that may not be too common in your production. Typically we're just looking for an effective way to stabilize hand held video when working off of a tripod, and I think this tool does very well in that sense. In worst case scenarios, there's also the option of adding post image stabilization which will I think will be more effective when shooting 4K video > 1080p (i.e. cropping, leveling horizons, etc.)

I'm a fan of working with smaller tools whenever possible, so I also like how compact this system is. It folds down with a low profile, and we have even managed to fit it into one our cheap hard cases (found here), with room to spare if I wanted to throw in the HDMI monitor, and more.

gimbal hard caseaxis gimbal stabilizer casecheap case cheesycam

Here's an old video for reference on how I go about balancing these gimbals (click here). I do believe that if CAME-TV wants to sell more of this particular stabilizer, they should really look into adding side handles, but until then it's not too difficult to DIY your own. You can find the CAME 6000 2 Axis Gimbal over at their website http://CAME-TV.com or also found via eBay (click here).

2 Axis Stabilizer Gimbal Brushess MotorBattery Gimbal Stabilizer ControllerCAME Gimbal Stabilizer
find-price-button CAME 6000 2-Axis Active Gimbal Stabilizer

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A few weeks ago, I had a comment-chat if a BMCC can fly on a CAME 5000 gimbal. So four of us guys spent over half an hour trying to stuff the BlackMagic Design Cinema Camera into this CAME 5000 Gimbal, but clearly it was not meant to work. The BMCC is just too wide from the center mount, and to compensate we tried adding a quick release plate sideways. After failing, we decided to give it a run with an unbalanced setup. Here are the results.

Surprisingly the horizon stayed just about perfectly level the entire time, but you can see how it struggled with the panning stabilization. Of course if I really wanted to, I can add post stabilization to the footage and it may not be so noticeable. Had I disabled the pan stabilization, I think this would have been a perfectly acceptable run. On lighter camera setups like the GH3, the results have been very good, but I can't suggest the CAME 5000 3 Axis Gimbal with anything more than an average DSLR.

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I'm sure everyone is aware of 3-Axis Gimbal Video Camera Stabilizers surfacing on the Internet. Some people think this is going to be the future of hand held stabilization in cinema. There are literally dozens of versions available today, and here's one of the inexpensive versions that was sent over to me - the CAME 5000.

ViewImage-3.aspx ViewImage-2.aspx

This article is truly my first impressions on the CAME 5000 product, so keep in mind I am by no means an expert in this area. If you are just now looking into these types of stabilizers, hopefully this review should appeal to many of you who are also not experts. First let's take a look at a demo video about the CAME 5000 Stabilizer from the company.

Notice that with fast movements the camera stays pretty level, but with slower movements the camera will 'follow' the direction of Pan/Tilt. This area of operation does require a bit of practice steering the camera in different directions. Now lets take a look at what I was able to achieve with my first tests in this 15 minute video overview (below).

No matter how expensive other systems are, my impressions are that these gimbals are not as simple as they have been advertised to be. Like any other tool it can yield great results or look totally amateurish. It still boils down to skill and experience. Practice and and patience to perfectly balance your camera. Swapping out to another lens on this type of system will take several minutes to re-balance.

Ok, so from the examples I shot as a first time user, I think the unit seems to work pretty well with a Panasonic GH3 camera. The footage has not been stabilized in post, and it seemed to stay pretty level as I rolled the handles around. They state this CAME 5000 model can easily support larger Canon 5D (or similar) DSLR Camera Bodies.

Can this particular system perform even better than my examples? Considering my inexperience and lack of patience to perfectly balance my camera, I think there is definitely plenty of room for improved footage. How much better, I can't really say. Only time will tell as I continue to practice more and hopefully work with many other 3-Axis Gimbals. I'll be revisiting this again shortly as I think I figured out how to better balance my camera...

Further info on the CAME 5000 3-Axis Gimbal can be found at CAME-TV.com
CAME 6000 Stabilizer 3 Axis Gimbal CAME 6000 Stabilizer Gimbal
find-price-button CAME 5000 3-Axis Brushless Motor Gimbal Stabilizer

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