Tag Archives: cametv gimbal

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Once you start shooting with a camera that has quality like the BlackMagic Design URSA Mini 4.6K, you'll want to be able to use it as much as you can. But because of it's size and weight, it's not an easy camera to fly on a gimbal for more than a few minutes. So it's time to add a Gimbal Support System to the mix.

While there are many different types of vests available, I decided to try out the Tilta Armorman 2 Exoskeleton Vest. While I prep this gear for an upcoming project, I thought I would share how the Tilta Armorman 2 (version 2) works, how the arms can be enabled / disabled during use, and how versatile it is to move a large gimbal around like the CAME-TV Prodigy.

If you're wondering why I chose the Tilta Armorman2 system, it's not that I believe it's better than anything else on the market, but it does work differently. You'll find a few systems that hang gimbals over your head. This may or may not cause more stress to your neck, shoulders, and lower back as it pulls you over.

The design of the Armorman 2 on the other hand have ISO arms that sit low and wraps around the sides of your body. Waist pads sit over the Pelvic bones transferring the weight to your hips similar to a Steadicam Vest (Your vest should sit more on the hips and not hanging from your shoulders). This has been a good standard for Steadicam operators for decades offering better posture and again transferring most of the weight off the lower spine.

Again, I can't say if it's better than other support systems on the market, but it's the one I prefer to use at the moment. Remember this is Tilta's version 2 Armorman, which was completely redesigned and easy for one person to manage. You can get more information about the Tilta Armorman 2 Gimbal Support Exoskeleton (here).

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Learn-More-sm Tilta Armorman 2 Gimbal Support Vest Exoskeleton

For large camera setups, the new CAME-TV Prodigy Gimbal has more height, more width, and a deeper frame than a full size Ronin. I can easily fit the Ursa Mini 4.6K with a V-Mount battery mounted on the camera. You can find the new CAME-TV Prodigy (here).

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Learn-More-sm CAME-TV Prodigy 3-Axis Gimbal 32-Bit w/ Encoders

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The new Prodigy Gimbal is one the largest gimbal on the CAME-TV lineup. Larger overall frame (width, height, and depth) means you can fit bigger camera setups, balance longer lenses, and have room on the sides to access SDI out or media slots. Find out more: http://CAME-TV.com

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There's been a recent change with the CAME-TV ARGO and MINI 3 Batteries. These stabilizers have now moved to 'Battery Cases' that hold popular and easily available Samsung 18650 Batteries. This is a big bonus for many as you no longer have to purchase a proprietary battery if you want extended run times. Here's a video of what it looks like, and what's included.

The one thing CAME-TV has mentioned is that it's important to remove the 18650 batteries from the battery cases when not in use. Otherwise it's possible the batteries can drop down below a voltage that most chargers see as a possible bad battery. Then you'd end up having to replace the Batteries. This is common for many types of batteries as it could be an indication of a bad cell, or bad battery. If the battery is good, it's more like 'sleep mode' and it's possible to recover a good battery from this if you know how (i'll let you do research on that).

So if you're looking to stock up on extra power, here's an example of these 18650 Batteries that customers seem to have positive reviews with:
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Learn-More-sm Samsung 18650 Rechargeable Batteries

And you can find additional information about the CAME-TV ARGO and MINI3 Gimbals at the CAME-TV website (here).

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Learn-More-sm CAME-TV ARGO and MINI3 Gimbals

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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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A few months ago CAME-TV designed the CAME-MINI 3-Axis gimbal, which was a great compact Alexmos based stabilizer but was a bit tedious if you had to rebalance for different setups.

Recently they've released an upgraded version of this Mini Gimbal that now includes a quick release system (to dismount your camera), an easily removable top handle, and tool-less adjustments on the Pitch, Roll, and Yaw. Here's a thorough overview video of the new CAME-TV CAME-MINI2 Gimbal.

The new CAME-MINI2 is still offered with a support frame that runs across the front of the camera, but I personally don't know if this is totally necessary. By removing the frame, I think you'll find the system easier to balance if you are using small lenses. If you are using a GH4 + 12-35mm, the front frame can remain on the system without interfering.

Many will try to compare this new MINI2 to the DJI Ronin-M Gimbal. Don't get me wrong, the Ronin-M is a great gimbal, and people should consider purchasing one if you have a decent sized camera setup, but it's still bigger and heavier than the MINI2.

DJI Ronin-M Gimbal CAME-TV CAME-MINI2 Gimbal
(LEFT) DJI RONIN-M Gimbal (RIGHT) CAME-TV CAME-MINI2 Gimbal

For reference the original DJI Ronin was more than twice the size and more than twice the weight of the CAMETV 7800, which makes the new DJI Ronin-M about the same size as the CAMETV 7800. So referencing the beginning of the video, you could see how the new CAME-TV CAME-MINI2 would still be about half the size of Ronin-M, making it still easier to pack and travel with or a great option with those who have extremely small setups (LX100, RX10, RX100, etc).

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Keep in mind that the CAME-MINI2 is still using the same BasecamElectronics control board, and SBGC Software for tuning. The same equipment many other gimbals on the market are using. What is provided to you is most likely a generic profile that should accommodate most small camera setups (and it seems to work very well). Of course if you really want the best results, or if you want to be proficient at troubleshooting these systems, you should really take the time to learn and understand the tuning process.

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

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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.

CAME-TV Heavy Camera Larger Frame 8000 Gimbal

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.

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Here's a little video showing the CAME-TV 8000 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer.

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.

cametv 8000 gimbal battery

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.

If you haven't already seen their company demo videos, there is some additional information, photos, and more videos at the CAME-TV.com website (click here).

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find-price-button CAMETV 8000 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer BlackMagic 4K RED EPIC

For USA customers that are looking for a local retailer, B&H from New York will now be carrying the CAMETV Gimbals (found here).

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find-price-button CAMETV 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer - via B&H

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The following video is an example of how I choose to configure the different profiles available when using the Alexmos Basecam 32 Bit Gimbal Controller. This is not unique to the Tiyaga MIni Gimbal i'm using, as you can apply the same techniques to your CAMETV 32 Bit Gimbals or Varavon Birdycam Stabilizer.

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

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