Tag Archives: Cheesycam DIY Stabilizer

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Cheesycam Gimbal-5

The gimbals that i've personally used in this blog were all preassembled and pre-balanced. When it comes to assembling and programming one from scratch, i'm totally inexperienced. Last week we decided to tackle the CAME 7000 3 Axis Gimbal Kit, and in a few days we were up and running. We probably could have finished sooner, but we wanted to clean up our build by running the wires through the frame and adding a project box (watch the video below).

Cheesycam CAME 7000 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer Assembly Instructions

Looking at the kit in pieces can be intimidating, but it's possible if you have the time and the patience. So here's a short video look at our fully assembled version along with some test footage shot by an inexperienced operator (my wife).

For a first time user without even a monitor to frame with, I think my wife did quite well. The flooring was very rough and so you may notice a bit of 'jumping'. Unlike a Steadicam Vest with ISO (isolation) Arm there's no stabilizing complete vertical up/down movements. My guess is that an EasyRig could solve that. Outside of that I felt Pan, Tilt, and Roll was stabilized almost perfectly to keep the horizon level. When you're just casually walking the unit works very smooth, even for a first time operator to manage. We were all very impressed with the performance for a 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer under $1K.

Cheesycam Gimbal-1Cheesycam Gimbal-2
Cheesycam Build for CAME 7000 3 Axis Gimbal Wires Run + Project Box Mounted in Rear

While you don't need to be very skilled to operate a 3 Axis Active Stabilized Gimbal, you SHOULD BE skilled at balancing one. Not just balancing a camera physically, but also understanding the software, and troubleshooting. The software settings should be configured to work with different weight cameras. If you plan to balance a Canon 5D Mark III you can create a profile. If you want to balance a lighter camera, you should make a profile for that one.

When it comes to troubleshooting, you can easily run into situations where the camera does not want to sit straight. This could be a combination of software calibration, or physical hardware. I'm not an expert but i'll be sharing my 'what not to do' experiences in another video.

As far as putting together instructions for assembly, i'm currently working on that. There's no way I could have documented my progress as there were several instances where we did things incorrectly and needed to take things apart over and over again. Other times we found a better way to assemble the pieces and also needed to take things apart again. Now that I feel a bit more comfortable about the process, i'm going to work on a dis-assembly video which should make more sense seeing the end product and working backwards.

Cheesycam Gimbal-3
Cheesycam Gimbal-4
Cheesycam Build for CAME 7000 3 Axis Gimbal Wires Run + Project Box Mounted in Rear

If you don't want to wait around for my assembly videos, there are currently several videos on the product page to get you started. Once you have your product assembled, follow my instructions on balancing your camera on a Gimbal (seen here), and then install my profile i've configured for the Canon 5D Mark II (download here). You may just need to tweak your RC sub trim or Follow Pitch Offset Trim. Regardless, this profile should get you very close to flying most DSLR camera bodies.

The software you install on your camera will only work if it matches the firmware on the controller. You would need to download the 2.3b4, 2.3b5 GUI software for it to work with the board. (DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE HERE).

Don't forget to calibrate your IMU (sensor). Here's a video on how I chose to perform the 6 point calibration.

I suggest grabbing these leveling cubes with 3 bubble levels built in (click here)

3D 3 Axis Bubble Level Cube Hot Shoe3D Bubble Level cube Axis
find-price-button Hot Shoe Cube 3 Axis Bubble Level

Also for your computer to see the board you will need to install the Driver found here: (DOWNLOAD DRIVER HERE).

You can check out the other instructional videos for the CAME 7000 3 Axis Gimbal Kit at the product page at http://Came-TV.com

DIY 3 Axis Gimbal CAME 7000 Calibrate Alexmos CAME 7000 3 Axis Gimbal Instruction Setup Program Software Cheesycam
find-price-button CAME 7000 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

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Let me start by saying I do own a Steadicam Merlin Vest and the Glidecam HD4000 stabilizer. These are two high quality pieces of gear that will give excellent results, but total over $2100+ US dollars. If you can afford this combination, you won't be disappointed with the results.

For those who can't afford such equipment, I have had the opportunity to try several different more affordable vest systems and posted a video about this (below) along with an Arm/Vest I recommend for budget shooters.

So If you are a budget filmmaker, this more affordable Vest/Arm with Stabilizer Combination that can work just as well as some of the more expensive kits out there. The dual ISO arm vest is easy to get in and out of, easy to adjust to fit, and the arm has a quick release system and can be found bundled with the Wieldy Carbon Fiber Stabilizer (Wieldy review found here). Below is a sample video of the Dual ISO Arm and Vest with Wieldy Stabilizer flying a BlackMagic Cinema Camera.

Even with the additional weight of the BMCC, the stabilizer works great. This has been one of the best alternative Vest/Stabilizer bundles i've used that can deliver results similar to my $2100+ US dollar setup, and the kit is often found for around $800. You can find this Dual Arm Vest + Stabilizer via eBay (click here)

Wieldy Vest Dual Arm Stabilizer Steadicam Vest
find-price-button Video Camera Steadycam Dual Arm Stabilizer Load Vest

The vest is very helpful for longer video shots, but is not required. You can always purchase the vest at a later time and just start with the Wieldy Carbon Fiber hand held stabilizer. I have additional information and sample video footage shot with a Wieldy (found here). So if you are just looking for the Hand Held stabilizer, that can be found via eBay (Click Here).

Wieldy Iron Triangle DV Pro StabilizerWieldy Stabilizer Cheesycam
find-price-button Wieldy DV Pro Iron Triangle Stabilizer

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A closer look at the Konova video camera Stabilizer Vest and Arm. Let's start here. Pricing? Not very competitive. Everyone knows about my Hybrid setup using the Steadicam Merlin Vest / Arm + Glidecam HD4000. This hybrid setup works extremely well and you can probably put one together yourself for around $2300 or so. The Konova Stabilizer system will still run you over $3K. But if you wanted to compare apples to apples, this is more similar to Steadicam's Pilot system which sells for about the same price.

Pricing aside, what does it have to offer? The larger stabilizer should hold 10lbs on the top fairly easy. That's a bit more than the weight a Glidecam HD4000 is rated at. The unit is all metal, lightweight, and gimbal is very smooth. The top stage adjusts forward/back/left/right to center your camera. To balance the entire stabilizer, the Gimbal can be positioned further up or down the post.

The arm is huge and very well made. It can be positioned either left or right side by flipping the mounting bracket. It can definitely carry some heavy weight, but isn't designed to be fine tuned for light weight setups. (The Merlin vest can be tuned for light camera setups). The Padded Vest is very lightweight, easy to slip on/off and adjust various ways for comfort. From an operator's point of view, the Konova arm is much easier to place into the vest system than a Steadicam Merlin Vest (I just leave the Merlin Arm on all the time) and also easier to remove when breaking down. The stabilizer comes with a stand adapter (attaches to a light stand) to dock the stabilizer when not in use.

Let's talk cons. Well price is one. There are already so many other options on the market with either the same price or cheaper. Unless they can bring the price down, it's going to be a tough market to crack. It offers nothing different than what is already available. This unit is wired, but is missing HDMI. HDMI seems to be a growing trend not just for DSLRs, but for other popular cameras under 10lbs. (i'm going to mod this one with my own HDMI). The monitor that it comes with is outdated too, so I'll be switching that out with the SmallHD DP6. So that's it so far, and i'll be taking it out for a test as soon as I can build it up to my liking. Stay tuned.

Konova Vest Arm
Konova DSLR Video Camera Stabilizer on eBay

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