Tag Archives: gh4 gimbal stabilizer


Over on my Instragram feed I posted up a few images of my homemade custom mini gimbal that I use for my Panasonic GH4 camera. A couple of comments on the feed wanted a bit more information, so I thought I would post this to the blog.

A photo posted by Emm (@mrcheesycam) on

I'm constantly tweaking this homemade gimbal, but here's a video giving you a bit more insight about just how compact the system is and how well it's been working despite how ugly it looks.

The main part of the gimbal started with this 2 Axis Carbon Fiber Gimbal frame for small cameras. I had to modify it to be a 3 Axis gimbal buying random bits and pieces as well as add the controller and motors.

2 axis gimbal frame
find-price-button 2 Axis Carbon Fiber Gimbal Frame

The controller is the latest Basecam 32 bit board with dual IMU sensors.

32 bit alexmos basecam control board DIY gimbal
find-price-button Basecam 32 Bit Gimbal Control Board Dual IMU

The motors are from DYS which are small but powerful enough for the cameras i'm working with.

cheesycam diy gimbal dys gimbal motorsdys gimbal motors cheesycam homemade gimbal
find-price-button DYS Hollow Shaft Brushless Motors

I also purchased my own wiring, crimped each terminal, and purchased each plastic dupont connector. So unless you have the time and patience, it's not something you whip up in a few hours. It could take you several days (or months like me).

The PID settings are my own custom configured, which still needs some work. It's as compact as I can make it while still allowing access to the HDMI output for a monitor, and to quickly change out SDXC cards. The top bar is a #PVGEAR carbon fiber 15mm rail using all quick clamping accessories so that I can take it apart and rebuild it in under a minute. To keep things light i'm using a compact Venom 35C 3S battery to shed weight while giving me ample runtime.

venom 35C 3S battery mini gimbal cheesycam
find-price-button Venom 35C 3S 11V Compact Battery

In the example (below) I was testing the GoPro FLUX (twixtor-ish) fake slo-motion option in the GoPro Studio software. I was literally running behind my daughter and you can see how well the horizon stayed level.

In this next example (below) we decided to take our newly 'inherited' dog out for his first Electric Longboard experience.

While it's certainly not 'dirt cheap' to build your own gimbal, I created this for a few personal reasons. Firstly this allowed me to better understand these systems building one from basically scratch. There's nothing like learning hands on and running into all the problems. Secondly, I wanted something small for the pure convenience of traveling when I want to keep my tools as compact and portable as possible. There was just nothing in the market available for under a few hundred bucks so I figured I would build my own.

For interior shots, the fisheye lens combined with this stabilizer has worked wonders (you Real Estate guys would love it). It's also perfect for guys who want to use a small stabilizer while inside of a car (drifting, racing?). And just to show you how compact the system is, here's what the entire system looks like when it's thrown into a small hard case (including GH4 camera, GH4 Battery Charger, Rokinon Fisheye Lens, and Gimbal Battery Charger). It's pretty much everything you need when you arrive at your shoot.

custom mini gimbal in hard case

I still don't consider myself an expert in any way, but I think i'm a little more knowledgeable about how these things work. While I don't have all the answers, i've always been open to try and help with what little experience I have so far. If you have any, leave your comments below.

Oh and just in case any of you want to dive into Electric Skateboards to match up with your Gimbals, i've owned quite a few over the last 5 years. Here's one I recommend for it's lightweight, long battery life, and inexpensive price.
Yuneec Electric LongBoard
find-price-button Yuneec E-GO Electric Longboard Skateboard

I try to bring my collection of boards wherever I go, and even have one for light off-road use. Here's a few other examples of these boards in use for either follow shots, or as a replacement track dolly.

A video posted by Michael sato (@satostudios) on

A video posted by Emm (@mrcheesycam) on

A photo posted by Rik Cordero (@rikcordero) on

A photo posted by Emm (@mrcheesycam) on


If you've been researching gimbals, you may learn that not every gimbal works well with every camera. Because these gimbals have to be programmed according to the size and weight of your camera you should choose a stabilizer that works best.

XPROHeli XPRO Heli Silk Gimbal 3 Axis Review Demo Sample Video

If you're looking for a Ready-To-Run 3 Axis Gimbal for your new Panasonic GH4, you may want to give the Silk Gimbal from XPROHELI a look. Designed specifically for smaller cameras similar in size of the GH3/GH4/BMPCC/Sony A7s, the new Silk Gimbal seems to offer everything you could want with the ability to expand to more options. Take a look at the video below.

The Silk Gimbal from XProHeli can be mounted to multicopters, stream FPV, and even upgraded to control pan/tilt wirelessly from a remote operator either handheld or in flight.

YouTube member BeTerrific managed to get an interview with the company at NAB2014. The video also shows some very stable footage from the Silk Gimbal.

Keep in mind the Silk Gimbal is specifically targeted to cameras sized around the Pocket Cinema/GH3/GH4/Sony A7s. If all you need is a 2 Axis Gimbal (no pan stabilization) for smaller cameras, and you need something Ready-To-Run check out the CAME 6000.

CAME 6000 Gimbal Stabilizer
find-price-button UPGRADED CAME 6000 2-Axis Active Gimbal Stabilizer

For anyone shooting with a Canon 5D camera or larger your best option for a full 3 Axis Gimbal (and less than half the price of this Silk) is the CAME 7000 (see my video here) [DIY].

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

Now if you're not the DIY type and looking for a full 3 Axis Ready-to-Run gimbal for cameras like the Panasonic GH4, this Silk Gimbal looks like a great product. Made in the USA from a small company with extensive experience in building gimbals is an added benefit for those who think they'll need the customer support. Priced for less than $2K (found here).

IMG_3021_grandesilk gimbal gh4 video 3 axis stabilizer xproheli review demo sample video
find-price-button XProHeli Silk Gimbal 3 Axis Brushless Motor Stabilizer GH4


NAB 2014, we stop in at the Big Balance booth. This company (at this time) is only focused on and entire product line of hand held gimbal stabilizers supporting a range from Smart Phones, Compact Cameras, Mirrorless Cameras, DSLR, and more.

Many gimbal versions from Big Balance include a thumb stick to actively tilt the camera, and some with remote control capabilities when the gimbals are used in distance from the operator. You can find more additional information about these products at the BigBalance.com website (here).

BlackMagic Pocket Gimbal Stabilizer Big BalanceBRENT-MUSTANG-SMALLBROWN-BEAR-580X320-PRODUCT-SHOT1
Big Balance Hand Held Stabilizer Gimbals

NAB 2014 Coverage Sponsors

Camera Motion Research Came_80x80banner Varavon fvlighting