Although this CAME-OPTIMUS Gimbal i'm working with is an early prototype, it's been a solid workhorse. I've been putting it to the test on several Real Estate listings shooting up to 6 hours a day on a single battery.
I'm using the CAME-OPTIMUS Gimbal mainly with the GH4 or Sony A7s and have not had any issues so far. For small mirror-less cameras like the GH4 or Sony A7sII with native lenses, I'm guessing this could turn out to be a very popular item.
When Encoders are used, gimbals are several times more stable, motors are tracked more accurately, and battery life is several times more efficient. On this GoPro gimbal, you might expect to get up to 6 hours of battery life between charges.
Many small GoPro gimbals run their own software which means you can't modify or tune the settings. I'm not sure if 'tweaking' will be encouraged by CAME-TV, but this new Gopro gimbal operates on the latest 32 bit SBGC. So someone like me can easily customize profiles, service modes, etc.
Here's a video going over some of the feature of the new CAME-TV CAME-SINGLE, PilotFly H1+, and Nebula 4000 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizers. Let me start by letting you know there are no sample videos from these gimbals. So you don't have to waste your time here.
At this time, I see no reason making a comparison video for each one since each of these are very capable of providing very stable footage. It depends highly on your camera + lens choice, PID tuning, and balance. So regardless which gimbal you choose, you can technically end up with similar results. In this video i'm mainly going over the design and features of the CAME-SINGLE and PilotFly H1+.
If you're looking for something more current, and running the latest gimbal software, your best bet would probably be between the PilotFly H1+ and CAME-SINGLE, so let's first go over some of the similarities.
Both gimbals are running 32 Bit Dual IMUs and full 3-axis stabilization. Both offer an On/OFF button and a separate button for you to change modes / profiles. You can customize your profiles through the Basecam software.
Both the PilotFly H1+ and CAME-SINGLE have a threaded mount under the handle for you to attach the system to a monopod, which is handy when getting elevated shots. The H1+ has a single 1/4" thread while the CAME-SINGLE has both a 1/4" and 3/8". The CAME-SINGLE also has one more 1/4" thread on the side of the handle for mounting an additional accessory such as a monitor.
The Pilotfly H1 comes with a soft custom foam cut case. The CAME-SINGLE comes with a medium sized custom foam cut Hard Case.
Comparing the physical size of the gimbal frame, the CAME-SINGLE is capable of supporting larger cameras than the H1. So if you have a compact camera, the Pilotfly H1+ looks like a great option. If you want to play around with different camera and lens combinations, the CAME-SINGLE would be more flexible. The CAME-TV is about 14 ounces heavier than the PilotFly H1+.
CAME-SINGLE (left) vs PilotFly H1+ (right)
The PilotFly can be used 'inverted' (upside down), while the CAME-SINGLE cannot be used inverted. The handle must remain below the gimbal frame.
The PilotFly has Bluetooth built in so you can change the PID wirelessly with an Android device. The CAME-SINGLE does not have bluetooth, and needs to be reprogrammed using a USB cable to a computer or Windows Tablet.
The PilotFly H1+ requires a hex tool to make adjustments while balancing, while the CAME-SINGLE is completely tool-less and also offers a quick-release camera plate.
The PilotFly H1+ has an internal rechargeable battery which should be fine if you don't need to fly all day and have the down-time to recharge. This could be a problem if you can't afford to set the H1 aside to recharge during the day. The CAME-SINGLE uses (2) 18650 rechargeable batteries, and allows you to swap them out as needed so you have no limitations. The system comes with (4) batteries so you'll already have one spare set.
The PilotFly H1+ only offers a Single-Axis Joystick so you can only control one axis (Pitch, Roll, Yaw) at a time. The CAME-SINGLE offers a Two-Axis Joystick so you can choose to control two different axis (Pan + Tilt, Tilt + Roll, Pan + Roll, etc.).
The CAME-SINGLE has encoders built in with the motors. This is similar to how the DJI Ronin tracks it's motor positions. This feature is new in 2015 for Alexmos based gimbals, and the CAME-SINGLE has this already built in. The ability to quickly change camera position on the CAME-SINGLE can be handy in the field, especially when you need to adjust your horizon. To adjust the horizon on the H1 would take a bit more effort. The software for gimbals with encoders could only get better for more stable systems. Since the PilotFly H1+ does not have encoders built in, future firmware improvements cannot be applied to the H1+.
Overall the CAME-SINGLE has more advantages except for the fact that it's 14 ounces heavier, and cannot travel as compact as the PilotFly H1+. Essentially you can achieve similar results between both. For those working with smaller and lighter camera setups, the H1+ may be more appealing. Keep in mind that smaller setups can be used with either system, if you don't mind the size difference. Larger camera setups should definitely look more towards the CAME-SINGLE.
Here's a step by step balancing video I shot when the CAME-MINI Gimbal first arrived at the studio. The first camera I attempted to balance was the GH4 + 12-35mm F/2.8 Lens. Without tool-less adjustments and a super compact frame, balancing a camera for the 'first time' may take at least 10-15 minutes.
Now that i've had CAME-MINI Gimbal for more than a week, it's pretty much everything I expected. Feels like great build quality, works very smooth, super portable, lightweight, and compact. But of course with such a compact gimbal, you'll naturally run into limitations of what camera and lens you can actually use. Even though the front mounted frame can be removed to support a slightly taller camera, and a larger lens, this doesn't mean this will be the ideal gimbal for that setup.
Now i'm sure there will be people attempting all types of heavy setups, and maybe you can prove me wrong, but my general recommendation is that if you have to use a lens adapter this is probably not going to be a good gimbal for you. If you're working with a GH4 | A7s | BMPCC body with a lightweight native lens (that you don't have to swap often), the CAME-MINI Gimbal makes for a great compact stabilizer.
Unlike the even smaller handheld systems, this is of course a 32 bit Dual IMU Sensor gimbal. So it's got all of the latest and greatest firmware for stability and PID tuning. If you have to travel with a more compact size, the entire top handle can be removed from the lower frame, the top handle can be removed, and the side handles can be removed as well.
The system uses 18650 Batteries, and while I thought this might be a task to get spares, I purchased this set of 18650 Ultrafire batteries + 2 chargers, and they work perfectly. The system runs for about 1 hour on stock batteries, but my set of batteries have double the capacity and i'm hoping they will run for about 2 hours.
The physical dimensions of the smaller CAMETV 7800 Gimbals mean you can't fit a Canon C100 or Blackmagic 4K camera, so the CAME-TV 8000 frame was designed from the ground up to support physically larger and heavier cameras.
The new CAMETV 8000 also incorporates 100% tool-less adjustments to quickly get your camera balanced perfectly. A QR plate system lets you do quick adjustments as well as quickly mounting and dismounting your camera from the system.
The CAMETV 8000 Gimbal comes with a molded carrying case that adds enough protection for casual transportation, but I would not suggest using it for airline check-ins or if you plan to stack equipment onto it.
The balance stand works very well with independent feet that can be adjusted to level the stand. Though you need tools to disassemble the stand if you plan to put it back in the travel case. The battery for the CAMETV 8000 is a standard 3S Lipo 11V (similar to the 7800 gimbal), but because it needs to hide in the top handle, you must make sure you are using one with the same (or smaller) dimensions if you plan to buy spares.
In terms of build quality, the motors are powerful, and the Gimbal Controller is the latest 32 Bit Basecam (Alexmos). There is almost no exposed wiring for a clean look and balancing is extremely quick. I think the threaded handles could have been designed differently, but shouldn't be a problem unless you're doing some pretty wild movements.
Even though it is intended for larger cameras, you can still tune the system to work with smaller and lighter cameras as well. I still have to find the time to take the system out when the weather is better, but should you have any questions about the CAMETV8000, leave your comments below.
With the Joystick installed, I can remain static and allow the gimbal to perform Pan or Tilt moves much like a tripod with a fluid head. Or I can enable 'Follow Mode' to which I control the Pitch and Tilt simply by maneuvering the handles. One profile allows me to disable follow mode completely so that I can track a subject straight on without drifting. I'm also able to calibrate the entire gimbal on location without the need of software by reserving Profile 4 & 5. My long press option is reserved for Inverting the Gimbal Frame which can be handy when I want to place the handles below the camera and when not using a monitor.
Here's a rundown of the different profile settings i'm using.
Profile 1: Follow Mode ON Pitch + Yaw
Profile 2: Follow Mode ON Yaw | Pitch OFF
Profile 3: Follow Mode OFF Pitch + Yaw
Profile 4: Calibrate ACC (sensors)
Profile 5: Calibrate Gyros
Long Press: Invert Gimbal Frame
CAME-TV has a lineup with some of the most affordable gimbal stabilizers available, but the low cost tradeoff is that they may lack some of the conveniences like tool-less adjustments of more expensive systems. Of course since they operate using the same Alexmos / Basecam 32 Bit control boards and Dual IMU sensors, and are tuned using the same software as more expensive gimbals, the CAME-TV still provides incredible camera stabilization.
CAME-TV's first DIY 7000 Gimbal Kit started with an 8 Bit controller and later was upgraded to a 32 Bit controller with Dual IMU sensors. Following the success of those two models, CAME-TV followed up with a new 7500 (RTR) Ready-To-Run model. If you have the time and patience to learn how to properly balance and tune, the CAME-TV gimbals can offer some amazing dynamic camera movements.
And now the most recently improved product release in the ‘7000′ series from CAME-TV is the new 7800 model. The 7800 gimbal is based on the RTR 7500 model but now adds a slim camera Quick Release along with modified side and top handles (finally all black in color). The new 7800 gimbal ships mostly assembled, pre-configured with profiles, and is available now at a (currently discounted) price of $1280 US (click here).