Nebula 4000 Lite Wedding at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Stabilizers (Steadicam etc.)


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 9th, 2015, 06:58 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Belfast
Posts: 823
Nebula 4000 Lite Wedding

Whilst I simply cannot recommend the company, and have serious doubts over the product due to my experiences, I may as well give the full story. Here is some wedding footage I took on Friday all with the Nebula 4000 Lite (My third model - First two broke). I'm very happy with how useful it is to me, and I'm very happy with this out-of-the-box performance (not tweaked settings yet).

BUT, and it's a big BUT. I'm still living in constant fear that it could break like my previous two - any day, and with very poor customer service to fall back on.

Shot on a6000 in autofocus mode. Stays in a bag hanging at my waist. Easy access and bootup. Super to be able to set down my A7s and take a quick bit of steadycam footage.


Password: Nebula
Clive McLaughlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 9th, 2015, 07:27 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Re: Nebula 4000 Lite Wedding

Hi Clive

Nice footage but I still don't like them at all ... it totally lacks the natural smoothness of a stedicam move and it looks like framing is difficult to maintain. Mine was only a two axis unit so it jittered with some movement but regardless I went very quickly back to my stedicam where you have a bit of mechanical dampening so the footage is much smoother and top frame is deadly accurate. Is there any reason why the movements are so fast (or did you speed up the footage) the camera movements almost look like you are trying to get the sequence over as quickly as possible so there is hardly enough time for the viewer to appreciate the shot ..or it that how you have to use these gimbals?

I do agree they are way too delicate for weddings ..I got rid of my one super fast!!

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 9th, 2015, 07:33 AM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,064
Re: Nebula 4000 Lite Wedding

Looks great Clive, I have a mini stabilizer for a gopro but also had some issues with it and had to send it back for replacement as well. I personally love the level of control these devices provide but I have the same fear of electronics failure to use such a device during moments where you don't get a second chance. In such a case I trust my normal steadicam much more.

I had plans to get the nebula but decided to postpone to see how these will develop further.
Noa Put is online now   Reply With Quote
Old March 9th, 2015, 07:41 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Belfast
Posts: 823
Re: Nebula 4000 Lite Wedding

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Hi Clive

Nice footage but I still don't like them at all ... it totally lacks the natural smoothness of a stedicam move and it looks like framing is difficult to maintain. Mine was only a two axis unit so it jittered with some movement but regardless I went very quickly back to my stedicam where you have a bit of mechanical dampening so the footage is much smoother and top frame is deadly accurate. Is there any reason why the movements are so fast (or did you speed up the footage) the camera movements almost look like you are trying to get the sequence over as quickly as possible so there is hardly enough time for the viewer to appreciate the shot ..or it that how you have to use these gimbals?

I do agree they are way too delicate for weddings ..I got rid of my one super fast!!

Chris
Chris, I've starting slowing down quite a few scenes. These all shot in 50p and designed to be half speed in timeline. I didn't do it in this video as it may appear like cheating!

If you mean I pan around the subject too quickly - yea maybe thats just because I'm worrying about pissing off photographers who want a clean shot. But as I say, slowed down it wouldn't look so rushed.
Clive McLaughlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 9th, 2015, 08:45 AM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Re: Nebula 4000 Lite Wedding

It would definitely look more natural at half speed ..great movements if it was a fast dance .... I love doing weddings with my own photog ! It makes life so much easier ... she just stays out the way then moves in to take the stills.

Purely for interest, what does the Nebula weigh complete with the camera on it? What worried me with the bigger rigs was it gets a bit tough on your arms! That why I liked what Noa uses as it is truly featherweight and you can use it continuously for a decent amount of time. But as Noa says the electronics on the mini gimbals are awfully fragile ... I can be pretty rough on my stedicam sled and I know it will withstand a beating!!

Have you done any footage on really uneven terrain like a soft sand beach?? I found my gimbal struggled with uneven sand at the beach and got the jitters trying to over compensate.

All that being said, it certainly adds some neat special footage to your weddings that the brides will love!
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 9th, 2015, 11:47 AM   #6
New Boot
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Bellevue
Posts: 10
Re: Nebula 4000 Lite Wedding

Clive - I think your shots look great. I agree the speed is a bit rushed, but that is also a personal preference.

May I ask what failed on the first two Nebula units you've had? I'm seriously interested in getting a gimbal for my GH4, and the compact size of the Nebula is very appealing. Most of the footage I have seen shot with the Nebula looks quite good, but I am concerned about investing in any gear that may not hold up over time.
Dave Patterson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 9th, 2015, 12:35 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Belfast
Posts: 823
Re: Nebula 4000 Lite Wedding

Whilst theres no doubt you have to treat the Nebula like you would a newborn, I can't say that the first two failures were much to do with the fragility of the device. I was very careful with it. They claimed the first unit had wire damage due to over rotation which I'm fairly sure I did not allow to happen. Second instance, they never gave me an explanation. they believed me to me somebody who worked for DJI and intentionally breaking my products and spreading anti-Filmpower propaganda online! They refused to send me a third replacement and instead refunded my money (plus extra).

By then, they had a UK distributor, and I bought my third from them.

I see that Pilotfly are now following suit and are showing teasers of there version for mirroless size cameras.

Its a great size, and great for weddings, but my advice is wait a few months and see what other's produce.

https://www.facebook.com/pilotflytech
Clive McLaughlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 9th, 2015, 12:57 PM   #8
New Boot
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Bellevue
Posts: 10
Re: Nebula 4000 Lite Wedding

Clive - I found another thread describing the saga of events you endured with FilmPower. As popular as the Nebula currently is, bad customer support stories will surface and FilmPower will lose in the end. Sorry to hear about your troubles.
Dave Patterson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 27th, 2015, 05:13 PM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,064
Re: Nebula 4000 Lite Wedding

I just have received a Nebula 4000 and have used it for a very short test period and plan to put it through it's paces next week. While I don't have anything negative to say right now about how it functions there is one bigger point of concern.

The supplier (filmpower) warns about not turning the gimbals to much around as that might cause the internal wiring to break and since the supplier seems to report that sometimes malfunctioning units are because of broken wires it certainly looks like the most important part to take into consideration. . The big problem is that there is nothing to prevent the gimbals to keep on spinning. My Feiyu g4 for instance has hard stops to prevent you to turn the gimbals further then 360deg so it's impossible to keep rotating so the wires never break.

The Nebula doesn't have that safety build in, only on the handle you can see the wires coming out which gives you a indication if the wires are not too much twisted but you can't see that for the other 2 gimbals, it's particular the gimbal that holds the camera that worries me. When placing the unit back without a camera and taking it out of the bag you might give it a extra turn without having any clue and after a few months of use that might add up to many turns causing the internal wiring to break so you really need to be very careful that it stays in the same position all the time.

I have been looking if there is any way to lock the handle and the part that holds the camera into a fixed position when there is no camera on it and when it's being stored inside a bag, in that way I could assure that every time I put a camera on or off that the handle and the camera support stay in the exact same position, not sure yet how to do that.
Noa Put is online now   Reply With Quote
Old March 27th, 2015, 06:25 PM   #10
New Boot
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Bellevue
Posts: 10
Re: Nebula 4000 Lite Wedding

Would there be a way to attach some kind of crude clamp or something to restrict the movement of the Nebula's gimbals so they can not rotate fully? I know this means potentially limiting the already limited movement range of the Nebula, but I have read about a few cable failures with this unit. I suppose at this price point FilmPower isn't using the highest quality cables or reinforcing them at points of failure.

I'm hoping NAB will reveal some new options for low price gimbal stabilizers. I'm in the market, but a bit gun shy at this point.
Dave Patterson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 28th, 2015, 01:48 AM   #11
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Romsey, UK
Posts: 1,105
Re: Nebula 4000 Lite Wedding

I was really interested in the Nebula when it was first announced, but talk of how fragile it is has put me off. Fine for personal work when I can spend time being gentle with it, but Weddings, my equipment rarely gets the softly treatment. Still good news, like most new products, it's getting competition. So one of them or even a potentially revised Nebula will one day sit in my camera gear. Just have to be patient and wait.
Steve Burkett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 28th, 2015, 03:19 AM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,064
Re: Nebula 4000 Lite Wedding

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Patterson View Post
Would there be a way to attach some kind of crude clamp or something to restrict the movement of the Nebula's gimbals so they can not rotate fully? I know this means potentially limiting the already limited movement range of the Nebula
There is no problem while operating the Nebula, the problem can occur after you remove the camera and put it in a bag or when you take it out of the bag and attach the camera, during those movements I can see me accidentally giving the handle tor the piece that supports the camera a wrong twist.

It actually should be fairly easy to solve with some kind of clamp like you said to fix the handle and camerasupport part before the camera is taken off, will look into that the following days.
Noa Put is online now   Reply With Quote
Old March 28th, 2015, 03:29 AM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,064
Re: Nebula 4000 Lite Wedding

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Burkett View Post
but talk of how fragile it is has put me off.
For weddings I prefer to use my blackbird steadicam because I know it will not fail me for those shots I cannot repeat but any electronic gimbal would make me very nervous, there was also a post here about failing Ronin which is not a very cheap unit so it just shows how sensitive these are.

I intend to use this gimbal steadicam on my personal projects and maybe during a wedding photoshoot but not sure yet how to transport it in the best way. My Feiyu g4 is so small and light it' fits in a very small bag and I don't even notice that it's there, I only don't like the fact that I cannot lock exposure on my gopro which is the only camera that fit's on it.

I"m looking forward though to test it the next days, just need to find a good location.
Noa Put is online now   Reply With Quote
Old March 29th, 2015, 05:50 AM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,064
Re: Nebula 4000 Lite Wedding

I found a simple solution that prevents the handle and the part that supports the camera from turning the wrong way, it's far from ideal and looks a bit silly but it does the trick. I attached a clamp to the handle and attached a handle that came from a dslr rig onto the clamp and that handle extends into the arms that hold the camera, that handle and clamp has a soft rubber grip so it doesn't scratch any parts from the Nebula.

When I stop using it I can attach the clamp onto the handle, remove the camera and store the Nebula, next time I will be using it I can be 100% sure I won't turn the handle in the wrong direction, same goes for the support plate. I can also use it while the camera is on the support plate when I move between locations, just clip the clamp onto the handle before I put it into a bag and this while the camera is still attached, this again will prevent me turning the handle into the wrong direction when I use it again. The plate holding the camera is not an issue for me when the camera is attached because it will prevent it to turn all the way round.

After looking more into these parts and how they accidentally can turn into the wrong direction I find the handle equal sensitive to problems, eventhough you can see the wiring but you can't see how much they have twisted inside.

It should be fairly easy for the supplier to custom make something that attaches to the handle and camerasupport plate and fixes both from moving using the Nebula's frame to keep them in a fixed position while you are storing or transporting the unit. If they are that worried about the cable breaking that should be their first priority to produce because it applied right, there should not be any risk of a cable that breaks off and if there is, then there is no discussion it's caused by the user. Or, even easier if they decide to make a V2 unit to include hard stop like on the Feiyu g4 so it can't make more then one cycle.

What do you guys think, a stupid idea? :)
Attached Thumbnails
Nebula 4000 Lite Wedding-nebula-1.jpg   Nebula 4000 Lite Wedding-nebula2.jpg  

Noa Put is online now   Reply With Quote
Old April 3rd, 2015, 02:06 PM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,064
Re: Nebula 4000 Lite Wedding

Finally found more time to go out on a shoot with the Nebula 4000 (video below), it has been raining the past days and just when I started to shoot outside it started to rain again but was able to get some quick shots. I went to one of the largest churches in our country in Brussels.

Compared to my feiyu g4 the nebula causes a lot less "jitters" in the image but often I got minor vibrations when moving forward but worse vibrations when moving sideways, the problem with this unit is that it has to be perfectly balanced, like with any steadicam, but you can (or actually have to, also dial in your own settings to finetune it.)

I"m also certain that once you finetune the motors to work best with the camera you place on it (with the software filmpower provides with this gimbal to install on your pc or as an app on your phone) there should not be any unwanted vibrations. It is ofcourse a guess as I cannot confirm this since I only did the balancing of the camera so any problems I mention can be because of something I did not right yet.

A few issues I encountered:

Sometimes when I startup the unit it pans sideways a bit and doesn't remain in line with the handle, this is a bit annoying, I then manually turn the handle but hold the cage so it's in line again but it doens't like to be touched once active and that can result in heavy vibrations.

A few times after start up when I tilted up it panned to the right, when I tilted down, it panned to the left. When I restarted it, it functioned ok again.

I have one shot where I walked sideways and only this particular shot had lots of vibratrions and was useless in post because the Edius stabilizer was not able to filter that out.

A few times when I started the unit it went haywire, vibrating and shaking excessively but a restart each time fixed it.

And a few times my camera did not level but slanted a bit to one side after a startup.

I used it about 3 hours and in general it functioned well, not taking these few quirks into consideration.

I"m having some doubts, the Nebula was given to me as a try-out and I still can decide to buy or not. The reason why I like this unit is because I can put a camera on it with more controls then my gopro and I can make movements that are impossible to do with my blackbird steadicam but there are a few things that are holding me back.

the first one is size, eventough it's small it's a lot bigger then the feyiu g4 which is normal, especially once the camera is mounted it's a lot less portable then the feiyu, I can put that stabiliser and gopro inside my jacket pocket. I took the feyiu on a photoshoot once and I didn't even notice it was there, it's also something I definitely will be taking with me on holiday. The Nebula however requires a much bigger bag to carry it which for me is already too much balast to take along when I move from location to location. It's also not something I would plan to take on a holiday because it's a little big too big eventhough it's very small compared to a real steadicam.

The second one is reliability, not saying the nebula is unreliable but I get nervous when using these electronical stabilizers, there have been several user reports of small to larger gimbal stabilizers, like the Ronin, that just stopped working.

The third one is the fact that there is no hard stop on the gimbals to prevent them from turning too much causing the wiring to break. I tried that simple solution I talked about but it didn't work out well in the field so I just used it as is. There have been several times I took the stabilizers out of my bag to see the handle was facing the wrong side and I didn't know if I turned it to the left or right side when I placed it in the bag.
This really worries me because in a few months time that can add up to several twists into the wrong direction.

And the last one is the time you need to spend to adjust the settings in the software, it looks very complicated and I have not been able to find a decent manual, my problem is that I don't have the patience to do something like this.

As much as I want to have such a stabilizer I"m probably going to return it. Have to think about it a couple of days as when it does what it has to do, it can create some awesome looking shots.

Here is the video, all shots have been mildly stabilized in post with Edius own stabilizer. If anyone has any questions, shoot.


Last edited by Noa Put; April 4th, 2015 at 04:29 AM. Reason: typo
Noa Put is online now   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Stabilizers (Steadicam etc.)

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:13 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network