A gimbal isn’t much use if you don’t know what to do with it.
In this weeks episode, 4 Minute Film School: 7 Essential GIMBAL MOVEMENTS, they cover 7 common camera movements with examples in many of today’s popular films, but also what psychological purpose they serve in your storytelling efforts. These movements are essential in the storytelling efforts and can be accomplished by you with a proper gimbal setup.
Guy Noffsinger on location in Micronesia filming a documentary, Hunt for the Lost Clipper
Forget using expensive dolly tracks or handheld gimbals to pull off beautiful camera moves. You’ve got a car, right?
Admittedly, using cars to get these shots is kind of an old school technique that indie filmmakers have been using for a long time, especially before handheld 3-axis gimbals came along. (In fact, you can get some amazing shots using a car and a gimbal in tandem.) But since gimbals are becoming more ubiquitous (though still spendy), it seems like now’s as good a time as any to remember one cinematic tool that you might’ve forgotten — or hell, maybe you never knew!
Two Amazing New 3-Axis Powered Stabilizers for Smartphones and GoPros
Never before have 3-axis brushless motor-driven handheld stabilizers been more needed than with release of the latest smartphones and GoPro cameras! I’ve had a chance to test both of these products from DSLRPros and give you a sample of how they work and what kind of results you can expect from them.
DSLRPros 3-Axis Smartphone Stabilizer
When I first shared the news about the DSLRPros 3-Axis Smartphone Stabilizer on PVC back in April, 2014, it was a while before I actually got a unit to test myself. We had a chance to give away a few at my Drone Workshop on CreativeLive when it aired back in July but I’ve since had a chance to test it with a couple different phones – including the iPhone 5 and iPhone 6*.
It works just like a 3-Axis gimbal like you’d find on a drone or other electronic stabilized system for larger cameras, such as the DJI Ronin. Only this small stabilizer is perfectly balanced to cradle a smartphone with it’s spring-grip clap design that easily adjusts for a variety* of phone sizes. (*Note: will not accommodate the larger smartphones like the Samsung Note or iPhone 6+)
Filming the documentary “The Lost Clipper”
For much more on this article including helpful comparison videos,click here.
AirDog is a small, agile, foldable quadcopter, especially designed for filmmakers and action sports enthusiasts who use GoPro cameras.
Like its canine namesake, AirDog automatically follows you wherever you go, whatever you do. It’s not bothered by pelting rain, freezing temps, massive waves, or freaking insane places. AirDog doesn’t say “no.” It just follows, flying right along.
AirDog is your sidekick, just in case you can’t rent a helicopter plus professional photographer to take a video of your black diamond run. AirDog is your personal training assistant, allowing you to review what you’re doing right, and where you need to improve. AirDog can transport you to views that you never thought possible. AirDog can persuade others to join you in your extremes.
Just strap the AirLeash (tracker device) on your wrist or helmet, and the AirDog is ready to follow you.
Inside, AirDog is really complex technology. But using and controlling AirDog is really simple.
Here’s the basic idea
AirDog follows a signal from the programmable tracker – AirLeash. We could use a smartphone, but you need more precise tracking for actions sports. So we designed AirLeash.
The AirLeash is a small waterproof computerized tracker with clever software and sensors inside. It sends signals to the AirDog, indicating exact movement trajectory.
It may look bulky now, but as soon as we start production it will be half the size and with multiple attachment opportunities (helmet, snow-googles, wrist, bike handle-bar, etc)
The drone performs inflight calculations to correct its flying pattern, and points the camera at the user wearing AirLeash.
Takeoff and landing is completely autonomous, freeing you to focus on your performance. It will land at the end of your track, or return to the takeoff spot when the battery begins to run low.An alarm on the AirLeash tells you when AirDog’s battery is too low to continue.
We spent countless caffeine-fueled hours, hacking intelligent flight code algorithms. The result is functionality that allows AirDog to follow you while you’re riding down the slope or flipping around on a halfpipe. You don’t have to worry about controlling the camera.
Strap it on, cue it up, and do epic things.
There are six Follow modes that you can configure and control with your AirLeash and smartphone app. Each one is a great choice and will deliver stunning results, regardless of your sport. You’ll probably want to use all six.
1. Auto-follow. Will work with almost any sports. In this mode AirDog will follow you repeating exactly your movement trajectory while maintaining its position in preset distance and altitude from you. It will follow you at speeds up to 40 mph.
2. Relative position follow. In this mode AirDog will maintain constant offset relative to magnetic north from the rider. For example, you can set it to keep a 10 meter distance at 4 meters high to the east from your position. Even when you change your direction, the AirDog will stay at the same preset angle from you. We suggest this mode for straight line wakeboard cable parks, surfing, and some other sports.
3. Follow track. This is the safest way to operate AirDog. Simply go for one lap with AirLeash and it will record your track. Then adjust AirDogs trajectory to your liking in smartphone app. AirDog will repeatedly fly over the exact set trajectory and the camera will be continually adjusted to aim at the rider.This is the most creative mode where you can become a true director of your movie. Adjust AirDog’s trajectory to avoid obstacles like buildings or trees. You can even make it to shoot you from different angle on different spots/kickers in the track. It might sound complicated, but its a simple few tap process in AirDog smartphone app.
4. Hover and Aim. The Hover and Aim setting allows AirDog to stay in one position above the ground, but constantly directing the camera at the AirLeash. This setting is perfect for tight places such as smaller skateparks, narrow forest trails, or for activities such as bungee jumping or base jumping, where clearance from equipment is important.
5. Circle. In this setting, AirDog makes circular rotations on a set radius and altitude, keeping the camera aimed at the AirLeash. This for slow speed or static shots to show impressive view around you.
6. Look down. The most simple mode but can produce very stunning results. Simply “walk” your AirDog above a ramp or kicker where you are about to throw some epic tricks and with push of a button it will freeze its position and aim camera straight down. Now make sure you don’t go too high.
Not satisfied with all these amazing options? No worries.
We’ll always be adding new flight modes through firmware and app updates. We depend on user feedback to continually develop Airdog into something that’s jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring.
The AirDog is designed to go farther and higher than you thought possible. If you’ve ever wanted to shoot an edgy music video from off a cliff, the AirDog is your solution. If you’re shooting an indie movie, and want some clutch aerial shots for the car chase scene, the AirDog is happy to oblige.
Thanks to Rodney Mitchell of the DCMV Creative Pro User’s Group for posting this article!
Via NAB, the new G3 Steadycam two axis handheld gimbal allows you to use your little GOPRO easy to shoot the videos and photos as smoothly as movies, let you share your life with your relatives and friends in anytime and anywhere. You will always be the focus of the life no matter when and where you are, let the multi-angle, smooth and clear records to become the eternal memory.All of this will easy to realize in your hands. Soon it will become your travel must-have items.
Steadycam, by Steady+ cam (the first three letters of “camera”) make up, G3 Steadycam handheld gimbal is light weight, easy to carry, simple to use, power-and-go,also has electronic slow to follow mode which a mechanical stabilizer cannot do that, and it can steady the up and down before and after. Compatible use with GOPRO3 , GOPRO3+.
Convenient and practical power switch design, integration lightweight design and delicate appearance. It can help you easily to achieve the shooting of fast moving, chasing, steering, and low angle.
It equipped with four batteries and one battery charge. Each battery type is 16340, and capacity is 1800mAh. You just need to use three batteries and one can be used as backup. The use time is over 2 hours.
Feiyu tech kindly remind you: You should first amount the GOPRO to gimbal, then put on the batteries and power on. Otherwise it will cause the phenomena of gimbal disorderly shaking.
Glidecam started shipping its new iGlide, a $149 handheld camera stabilizer designed for the tiny likes of GoPro cameras, the Canon Vixia, and—with a $49 iGlide Adapter, the iPhone. If you’re looking to get the most out of an inexpensive camera, that’s a pretty cheap way to help your footage look not quite as cheap.
The iGlide is designed for cameras weighing between four and 14 ounces and consists of a foam-cushioned handle grip attached to a free-floating three-axis gimbal. Axis convergence is adjustable, and the camera mounting platform can be moved back and forth to adjust horizontal balance. Vertical balance is controlled using small counterweights that attach to the base platform or by adjusting the telescoping central post.
The iGlide weighs 13.6 ounces and is available in blue, orange, and green alongside the basic black.
There are many options when it comes to stabilizing your camera, but sometimes, even when money’s tight, you don’t want to sacrifice some essential customizations that’ll make your rig truly your rig. About 3 years ago, DSLR Video Shooter’s Caleb Pike shared a video explaining how to build a rig using the CowboyStudio Support Pad, and this week he has updated the whole thing by replacing the old hardware with newer hardware. So, if you’re ready to invest in some descent stabilization, but are scouring your couch cushions to do it, check it out.
Now, if you’re a professional filmmaker or videographer, a rig that offers more versatility, as well as stability (and a larger price tag) is probably what you’re looking for. But, if you’re just getting into filmmaking and wanting to experiment with something inexpensive, Pike’s rig seems like a quick and easy way to do that.
From what I could see from the video, Pike’s rig looks simple to assemble and easy to operate the camera once it is. I have heard that the downfall of the CowboyStudio Support is that it isn’t really designed to be walked around with much, but for static handheld-looking shots. However, for the money, you’re looking at some pretty decent image stabilization.
Here is a video showing some footage shot with Pike’s rig:
So, depending on how you customize your rig, the final cost will range from $250 – $375, which is a pretty decent deal given the add-ons. It’s easy to look at the latest technological advances in camera stabilization, like the MōVi and other 3-axis gimbals, and drool over the results, but sometimes you just need something easy and inexpensive to put together in order to start making films.
What do you think about Caleb Pike’s rig? Feel free to share any insight into adding modifications and accessories onto shoulder-mounted stabilization systems.