Tag Archives: 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

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Yesterday I met up with SatoStudios to check out the new DJI Ronin Gimbal, so I decided to bring out the Varavon Birdycam as well to shoot a few BTS clips. This footage is shot with a GH4 camera and although I find this footage to be incredibly smooth, I believe that I will have to tune up some of the PID settings to get best results on this super lightweight setup.

What you see in the video is still using the existing profile that was shipped with the unit, but it may be time to dig a little deeper. Since the Varavon uses the same Alexmos 32 bit software as the other gimbals, I can create my own custom settings. [BTW, you should not attempt this unless you know what you are doing].


varavon birdycam pre-order
find-price-button Varavon BirdyCam 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

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Now that CAME-TV is offering up several different gimbal options, the popular question right now is whether to go with the 7000 or the 7500 model. The CAME-TV 7500 model is listed as a 'Ready to Run 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer'. Price is just $200 dollars more than the DIY 7000 Kit.

CAME-TV 7500 3 Axis Gimbal Satostudios
@Satostudios BTS with CAME-TV 7500 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

Though it's delivered mostly assembled, many parts are left loose for you to adjust and balance your camera. Once you have your camera balanced, it's a good idea to run through and make sure that every bolt is tightened up. This is VERY CLOSE to the 7000 32 Bit DIY model with a few exceptions. The big difference with the 7500 (as opposed to 7000) is that you don't need to build it yourself.

The CAME 7500 will also come preloaded with a few different profiles that are loaded by clicking on the center of the joystick. [NOTE: The video I share above was an earlier model, so your profiles may be different]. Aside from paying extra for a preconfigured system, they claim the CAME-TV 7500 model is using more powerful motors and also provide a case mounted to the back to protect the control board with an ON/OFF rocker switch. Considering there are not many '32 bit' complete gimbals coming in at this price this is a great addition for those who don't want to build it themselves.

CAME 7500 3 Axis RTR Gimbalcame 7500 ready to run 3 axis stabilizer
find-price-button CAME-TV 7500 32 Bit Ready to Run Gimbal Stabilizer

Now just because the system comes assembled or 'Ready to Run', it will still benefit you greatly to have an understanding of the different parts, pieces, and software configurations in case you need to troubleshoot or fine tune for your different applications. I would suggest that you continue checking in with my sub-website at https://gimbal.cheesycam.com.

For more information about the CAME-TV 7500 3 Axis Gimbal, check out the website (click here)

ready to run gimbal 3 axis dslr canon gh4CAME 7500 Gimbal Stabilizer
find-price-button CAME-TV 7500 3 Axis Gimbal RTR

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Today i've released several videos showing the assembly of the CAME 7000 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer. The videos start from basic assembly to basic PID tuning (very basic), and a few personal tweaks. It's a work in progress but for those who have just decided to pick up a CAME 7000 DIY gimbal kit, it should be a good start.

I've also broken up the videos into several parts, so that it's easier to skip certain sections if you're already half way through your build. As more questions come in, hopefully I will be able to add more and more useful content and refine each of the build instructions.

build gimbal  build came 700 3 axis gimbal  install gimbal joystick  default

In order to keep all of the questions, comments, answers, and other information centralized, i've set up a separate page for the videos and articles at https://gimbal.cheesycam.com.

gimbal cheesycam came 7000 build 3 axis DIY brushless
DIY Build Info 3 Axis Gimbal - visit Gimbal.Cheesycam.com

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One of the concerns with shooting on micro four thirds is with it's cropped view. In addition, shooting at 4K on the GH4 camera will further crop your view. If you follow the blog, you would have seen me testing some de-fishing techniques using a Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye Lens. Though not perfect, i've been able to use this for some smaller projects with acceptable results. Check out the video below for examples.


[Tip: When using this technique with a person, keep a distance and place them in center frame whenever possible. Side distortion is not always flattering..]

Though not a perfect solution, this sub $300 dollar lens defished is still capable of capturing a wider field of view than the $1K 7-14mm F/4 Lumix. Of course with the defish technique your project will look it's best at a final output of 1080p. Here are a few screengrabs showing how much view is lost during the defish process.

fisheye
Original Fisheye View - GH4 7.5mm MFT Fisheye

defish
4K Defished to 1080p - GH4 7.5mm MFT Fisheye

fisheye-master
Original Fisheye View - GH4 7.5mm MFT Fisheye

defish-master
4K Defished to 1080p - GH4 7.5mm MFT Fisheye

The small form factor and light weight also make it easy to carry and perfect for small stabilizers. So if you're shooting with a GH4 and have to work with interior or tight spaces, defishing from a 4K file is an interesting option to be aware of. Definitely a lens GH4 shooters should have in their bag, and available for just under $300 (click here).

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

Panasonic GH4 order stock inventory
find-price-button Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 MFT 4K Camera

Here's another example of a video shot with the GH4 and the Rokinon Fisheye Lens (de-fished).

FCPX has it's own fisheye plugin, but may not work very well for some corrections. You can also check out the FCPEffects Plugin to remove the Fisheye Look (found here).

Fisheye-Removal-Plugin_mediumfisheye plugin video
find-price-button FCPX Fisheye Removal Plugin

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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 https://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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