Tag Archives: diy gimbal

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diy-freefly-movi-pro-cinemilled-pro-ring-fig-rig

So the new Freefly systems Movi Pro Gimbal basically sits inside of a Fig Rig (as seen in top left photo). If you're looking to get similar functionality with your Came-TV Gimbals, they all come w/ Quick Release Adapters so that you can mount those gimbals to just about anything. Here's a basic PVC frame you can build for your small Optimus Gimbal or Mini-3 Gimbal that can offer similar function.

DIY Gimbal Fig Rig Stabilizer  Frame
DIY Gimbal Fig Rig Stabilizer Frame

Using 1/2" PVC, the corners are made up of (2) 45 Degree elbows. Top handle is a T connector + (2) 90 Degree Elbows. The feet to keep it standing are (2) T connectors and some scrap PVC capped off. Basic bike grips used on sides and on top handle (bike grips work well on 1/2" PVC). No balance stand needed to set your gimbal down, and you still have a top handle and dual side handles. Decent for those smaller gimbal systems to allow you to hold and operate your camera as you would a Fig Rig stabilizer.

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Inverted mode on a gimbal comes in very handy, but it may not be ideal when using cameras with an HDMI Recorder or Monitor. Here's some tips on how I've modified the handles around Tiyaga DIY Mini Gimbal Frame to achieve the same benefits of lowered handles below the camera and built a setup that requires no Gimbal Stand for placement or balancing of the system.

A photo posted by Emm (@mrcheesycam) on

A photo posted by Emm (@mrcheesycam) on

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I didn't really have anything interesting to shoot today, but I just thought I would throw up a quick sample from the latest 3-Axis Mini Gimbal I put together using the Tiyaga kit. Just in case anyone was wondering if it actually works, here's a straight 2 minute+ uncut video sample (no image or post stabilization) right out of the camera.

The great thing about working with a lightweight stabilizer is that you can pretty much shoot all day with little fatigue. Since I was walking around indoors, my favorite ultra-wide angle setup is with my GH4 and Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye lens. I shoot in 4K then de-fish the footage (using this plugin) down to 1080p.

tiyaga minigimbal frame kitminigimbal
find-price-button MiniGimbal 'Tiyaga' 3-Axis DIY Gimbal Frame Kit for Small Cameras

Rokinon Fisheye MFT Micro four thirds fish eye lens cheesycam GH4 defish lens
find-price-button Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye Lens for MFT Cameras

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I'm a fan of working with many of the smaller camera systems like the GH4, Sony A7s, BMPCC, and also a fan of 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizers. Yet when it came to an ultra portable one that offered tool-less adjustments and a full range of pan and tilt, there had been a gap with current products on the market.

Some of you may know that I had been making my own mini custom gimbals out of random parts found online. The small systems make it easier for me to travel and operate handheld for a long long period time without fatigue. As others seemed to be interested in the build, I decided to work with a few friends to make a frame kit available for others to build as well.

This kit which has been a work in progress has been designed to allow small cameras full range of motion, easy to balance, incorporates a camera QR system, and easy assembly disassembly. The frame kit is finally available and here's the latest update video.

Note: The frame has been revised with new motor housings and additional bearings that allow for better support and stability, but here are a few other (older) videos showing some of the features of the mini gimbal.

The 'Tiyaga' is a kit that requires assembly and a few additional parts to finish the build, but what you end up with is an affordable 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer for small cameras around 2.5lbs. There is a discount price for Early-Birds, and only a limited amount of kits will be made. You can find additional information over at the website http://MiniGimbal.com.

tiyaga minigimbal frame kitminigimbal
find-price-button MiniGimbal 'Tiyaga' 3-Axis DIY Gimbal Frame Kit for Small Cameras

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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.

As an example, check out all of the sweeping footage shot in this San Francisco Car Show video {below}. These shots were captured using the CAME-TV 7500 3 Axis Gimbal by SatoStudios.

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).

CAME-TV CAME 7800 GimbalCAME-TV Gimbal Stabilizer Quick Release
find-price-button NEW CAME-TV 7800 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

CAME-TV Gimbal Stabilizer 7800 new
find-price-button NEW CAME-TV 7800 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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Lensse-DIY-GImbal

When I first started messing around with DIY builds, one of the most difficult projects to try and tackle were the Stabilizers a.k.a. or what most people associate with 'Steadicams' (that's actually a brand name). Piecing together a stage and a set of counterweights was the easiest part, but trying to locate an effective off the shelf 'Gimbal' handle was always the biggest hurdle.

Lensse-DIY-Brass-Gimbal

gim·bal (n.)
A device consisting of two rings mounted on axes at right angles to each other so that an object, such as a ship's compass, will remain suspended in a horizontal plane between them regardless of any motion of its support.

Lensse-DIY-Big-Brass-GImbal

Here's where Lensse steps in. I think this could be officially the first DSLR equipment company marketing Gimbal handles for DIY stabilizer projects. This is another move for companies to get attention from the DSLR community. IGUS stepped in after finding many of it's Linear Guide Rails were being used as Camera Sliders, and even JuicedLink offers basic accessory brackets also named DIY*. These three new Lensse Gimbals designed for Light cameras to heavier loads, are all machined from Brass sockets. Brass is a metal with lower friction qualities, but still hard enough to last for years. If you're working on a DIY project that requires Gimbals, including Cable Cams, and Helicopter Mounts, check out some of the Lensse gimbals.

Lensse-DIY-GImbal Lensse-DIY-Brass-GimbalLensse-DIY-Big-Brass-GImbal find-price-button Lensse DIY Brass Gimbals for Steadicams

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Many of you have probably already seen this video. It was posted up over a year ago as Part 1 of 2. I know i've had my eyes on it for quite a while waiting for the follow up, but Part #2 of this project doesn't look like it will happen anytime soon. This one is based on the Gimbal Handle that is used on the Glidecam series stabilizers. There seems to be a million ways to make a Steadicam Merlin gimbal handle, but little ways to make a decent Glidecam type gimbal handle. In this interesting video, there's some really nice techniques in mounting several bearings into some cheap PVC making it into a full 3 axis gimbal. It's been a year already, and there's some really good ideas in here to just let this sit back without being tackled by someone. Since video #2 hasn't been released to follow up on this, i'm curious if anyone has attempted this DIY project, and how far did you get?

If you're not familiar with what a Glidecam Stabilizer is capable of, check out my HD1000 video demonstration here: http://cheesycam.com/glidecam-hd1000-dslr-video-stabilizer-demonstration/

glidecam-hd-1000
click image for pricing on Glidecam HD1000 Stabilizer System

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