A gimbal is a mechanism with the use of motors that allows keeping an object (here used a camera) perfectly leveled in the horizontal plane, that is to say, that although its multi-rotor inclines as it is doing the most diverse maneuvers to gimbal keep the camera always leveled and without vibrations,
There are also gimbals with two axes that are the standard axes that compensate both the horizontal and vertical axes, and recently the three axles began to appear, in addition to the remaining 2, they still compensate the rudder axis of the model, making the filming get much better.
What is the use of the electronic video gimbal?
An electronic video gimbal will compensate the movements on the camera to give an impression of fluidity.
When to use a video gimbal?
When we walk, naturally our movements are transcribed on the video. When running, these movements are amplified. Using a gimbal or stabilizer makes it possible to erase the movements by making them more unnoticed. Equipped with several motors, often on three axes, the gimbal will compensate for unsightly movements.
What are the video modes offered by a gimbal?
The basic role of a gimbal is to lock on a horizontal position. Usually, the gimbal is programmed to film what is happening in front, but when you quickly turn the camera on the right or left, the stabilizer will smooth the movement.
Keep the focus on an object with a gimbal
Keeping track on a position is possible. When turning, the gimbal will always face the object. Some gimbals have an application that allows them to keep track of an object, even in motion, which ensures that the main command is always in the middle of the scene.
In some cases, the gimbals are adapted to the action camera smartphone, SLR, drone or camera 360. Therefore, no need for a harness to carry the material. Most often it will be in the form of a handle (resembling a selfie pole) or even just the central stabilization and a remote handle (connected via a cable).
From the point of view, we will explain here, the case of 3 axes (the most common). It is a swivel bracket that allows rotation around a single axis. A set of three gimbals mounted to each other with an orthogonal pivot connection is used to allow the lens mounted on the innermost gimbal to remain independent of the rotation of the support.
Powered by brushless motors, the gimbals can keep the camera level on three axes and compensate the operator moves to keep the stable image. With the aid of advanced algorithms, the gimbal can see the difference between voluntary movements and undesirable jolts. The inertial measurement unit (IMU) measures several pieces of information to enable the micro-controller to control the motors correctly.
How to use a gimbal?
Gimbals are very easy to use with devices. However, there is a certain learning curve before taking full advantage of all its capabilities.
Before anything else, it is important to never start your gimbal without having mounted your action cam or smartphone in the basket. Indeed, that self-caliber ignition. It is therefore important that the lens is mounted during ignition or damage to your gimbal. Also, it is important to balance the lens in the basket to get the most out of video stabilization.
Be sure to update your gimbal firmware from the manufacturer’s website.
The speed of the gimbal tracking mode can usually be adjusted in the software, and it is important to consider the speed you want depending on the type of shot you want to reach.
If you are doing action sports or walking with a subject that often runs, you may want the tracking mode to be super responsive. But for most shots, the ideal speed of panning and tilting is slow, steady and cinematic.
If your tracking mode is too slow, however, you may have problems with the gimbal not panning fast enough while you are turning. In a motor, for example, every time the car makes a turn, the gimbal will try to pan with you to your new direction. And if it cannot keep up with the speed of the car, your camera can hit the other side of the gimbal, and you’ll lose your shot.
Some gimbals have a mode where the gimbal locks its pan and tilt axis so that the camera keeps its direction forward, no matter if you move it up and down like a jib, or turn the cardan to the left or right. This mode is perfect for keeping a shot straight while walking forwards or backward.
Gimbal technology moves quickly, and there are some gimbals now with more powerful engines, which give you the ability to adjust the level of the camera’s horizon simply by holding the camera in position for a few seconds. This is useful in cars, planes, and helicopters, or at any time the gimbal loses its horizon, and you cannot stop the vehicle to reset the gears. In addition, the more powerful motors allow you to activate the “tracking mode” in the axis of the roller, so that your camera can rotate with you when making turns, simulating an airplane or a point of view.
Now that your gimbal is set up and balanced, you can theoretically go out and achieve smooth footage, which used to make only parts of your dreams. But in practice, what kind of footage is possible for a single operator to perform?
One of the favorites of gimbal owners is to follow the subject, walking with him in the rhythm of being filmed. Start filming him/her from behind, then go around and film sideways, starting by focusing on the feet and parts of your subject that does not show that person’s face. With a gimbal, you can do this in one move, from head to toe.
And then you start filming facing the subject as he walks towards you. This is a bit more difficult because you have to walk backward while operating your camera and the gimbal. Remember safety, look back often to avoid obstacles, or have someone else walk behind you, touching your back to guide you in the right direction. Also, ask your subject to slow down. This usually makes working be much easier.
If you are not following your subject, there are other situations in which gimbal can add very beautiful movements to your footage; or even static takes. For example, you can use a gimbal to emulate a slider or a dolly track. Simply find an angle where there is something in the foreground to emphasize movements, such as a door or an object, and then wiggle your body from left to right, or from right to left. It is OK if the gimbal moves lightly up or down, or rotates around the subject.
You can also use a gimbal to emulate footage made with the help of a crane – without the hassle and work of having to set up and use one. Start shooting with the gimbal high or low, and as you go up or down, tilt the camera so that it stays focused on the subject or in a general area. You can also simulate a more advanced crane shoot by moving from side to side as you go up or down. This kind of footage is really great for making static takes – or boring – come to life, as presentation takes from the outside of a building.
At a short distance, the oscillation of the photographer’s hand can create a motion blur, the latter having a bad effect on the images obtained. To avoid this, it would be necessary to calculate the shutter speed to eliminate this blur. The one to be used by the user must be equal or faster for the shots to be perfect. This requires knowledge on various topics such as the focal length, size and multiplier coefficient of the sensor.
Instead, we could equip a camera and video gimbal. This will then save between 1 and four notches on the proper shutter speed. Indeed, its role consists among other things in:
- Win in brightness
- Lower shutter speed
- Act on angular movements
- Capturing lateral movements at very short distances (some high-end models)
- Dramatically reduce the number of blurry pictures
It should be remarked however that the camera and video gimbal is effective more on immobile subjects. Indeed, devices incorporating this technology work in long poses, the latter allowing them to act effectively on camera shake. This is not the case when the model moves during shooting. The solution would then be to monitor the exposure time chosen by the camera to avoid a motion blur of the subject.
Always to this end, new performances have been added to the compacts of the new generation. The latter can adapt their operation to the movements of the subjects using either stabilization or higher speed. The photos obtained with a higher ISO sensitivity being more granular. The other hand, reading our advice to know how to choose the best camera gimbals?