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Old November 5th, 2014, 07:45 AM   #1
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Portability with a 3-axis gimbal

Ok guys, here's my question.

I've always had difficulty with my steadycam at times during weddings. The problem being that I want a mixture of steadycam shots and regular filming. When I would go with the B&G and the photographer for couple shots for example, I had to carry both with me, and set the steadicam down on the ground in order to do regular filming.

This severely limits my ability to shoot instantly when I see something whilst walking. A steadycam cannot just be thrown down for obvious reasons.

Also, my steadycam nearly always needed fine tuning every time I would mount the camera on it.

The 3-axis gimbals on the other hand require no fine tuning - turn on, and let the computer do its thing for two seconds then shoot. How cool would that be!

But of course, the portability remains an issue, if not more so. When turned off, these gimbal devices become 'limp' and have no 'base' at the bottom. Setting down is then a worse problem than before...

My question is this - does anyone reckon it is feasable to strap the gimbal onto a backpack for example. Perhaps using some velcro loops to hold all the limp parts together during travel?

My plan of course is to buy a smaller camera like an RX10/A6000 or an LX100, that would remain on the gimbal full-time ready for use.

I know Noa is waiting on his GoPro4 to try out the stick type 3-axis gimbals such as FeiYu or Pilotfly make. Whilst I'll be watching with keen interest, I'm still rather reluctant to use GoPro standard video. Anything less than full outdoor light just looks sub-standard IMO. I wish there was something similar for weight loads of 300-500g. The Gazer MD1 looks to be a pile of crap sadly!
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Old November 5th, 2014, 08:08 AM   #2
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Re: Portability with a 3-axis gimbal

Hi Clive

Look at my thread about 2 axis gimbals. Paul posted a video with a gimbal strapped onto a stedicam but it looks fairly beefy!! It looks like a drone gimbal but much bigger!!

I tried my little SJ4000 at the last wedding reception just doing a few fun shots holding the cam in my hand and the low light blows my GoPro away and it's 1/4 of the price! Then again don't expect A7S footage from little action cams. I don't think you will get the quality you want from even the GoPro 4 but for me it will work perfectly with a hand held gimbal during bridal shoots.

Chris
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Old November 5th, 2014, 09:28 AM   #3
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Re: Portability with a 3-axis gimbal

The gimbal part of my FeiYu looks very fragile, I definitely need to cut out some foam to place it in a secure position inside my backpack, it comes packed in pre-cut foam but it's a bit sloppy made plus I need to consider the size of the gopro as well so will be custommaking something myself.

That Gazer MD1 looks much better build with no wires hanging out but was it this one that received that negative review from a user on vimeo? It appears they have something new out:

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Old November 5th, 2014, 10:23 AM   #4
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Re: Portability with a 3-axis gimbal

The negative comments come from the guy in the comment sections of this video. And he seems to be a very accomplished filmmaker, so I would trust his negativity. Gazer make no attempt to resolve the bad press.

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Old November 5th, 2014, 05:53 PM   #5
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Re: Portability with a 3-axis gimbal

I put mine down flat on the ground all the time, or invert it and let it sit on the middle and side bar, no problem. Why do you think it is a problem?
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Old November 6th, 2014, 02:18 AM   #6
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Re: Portability with a 3-axis gimbal

That's good to know Khoi - I just always felt they were somehow fragile, especially when turned off.

Its kind of annoying though, it's because they have been developed from the original drone concept I guess, but I really don't see how the frame can't include a base. It wouldn't really interfere with the filming FOV...

Khoi, it still is a portability issue...

I'm thinking of sewing two velcro straps to the front face of my shoulder bag which hangs at my hip. These two velcro straps would wrap round the horizontal bar...
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Old November 6th, 2014, 02:57 AM   #7
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Re: Portability with a 3-axis gimbal

The question is, what kind of stabiliser do you want, that one in the image is a large one and then you might as well get a normal small steadicam like the glidecam hd1000 if you want small and portable but previously you where talking about basically a stick with a small gimbal attached to it, like that gazer md1.
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Old November 6th, 2014, 03:59 AM   #8
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Re: Portability with a 3-axis gimbal

Yea true, I could use velcro straps for my steadycam - but after walking around for a while with my bag bouncing around on my hip, I'd be fairly sure that some one of the many moveable parts on my steadycam would have slipped. At least with the 3-axis gimbal I wouldn't have that problem so much (or would i??)

You mentioned creating custom foam for your FeiYu Noa, It would seem you agree that these things are too fragile to just keep in a bag and pull out on the fly?

For what it's worth, I asked the guy with the negative feedback on the Gazer if things had improved, and he said that Hong Kong were able to give him some better balancing guidance and he feels he has got it working OK now.

That said, it appears that it is not available for sale right now. Either producing a second batch, or working on a newer improved model.

The MD2 model is available, but costs 2000 which is idiotic considering its only designed for smaller cameras...
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Old November 6th, 2014, 04:40 AM   #9
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Re: Portability with a 3-axis gimbal

There is a Belgian online retailer that sells the JOBO GYROpod MD-1 for 700 euro with a 2 year warranty but it's out of stock currently, about the FeiYu, yes, it looks too fragile to me without protecting the head with a foam insert during transport, once powered up it can take some beating as in their demo videos you see it mounted to a helmet of a motorrider, but when it's not powered on the head flips in all directions. This is not that much of an issue but there are thin powerwires exposed on each gimbal which might get caught behind something and become detached.
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Old November 6th, 2014, 05:04 AM   #10
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Re: Portability with a 3-axis gimbal

When my quadcopter 2 axis gimbal is switched off, it flops about all over the place because of the low friction bearings on the motors. if it was constantly banging about like that I would be worried about damage to the bearings and the thin wires.

For transportation, I just put a wad of bubblewrap in the mechanism which stops it moving very effectively. As the hand held gimbals use the same mechanisms, the same method with bubblewrap or thin foam should work perfectly well.

Roger
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Old November 6th, 2014, 05:44 AM   #11
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Re: Portability with a 3-axis gimbal

Great idea, simple yet effective
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Old November 6th, 2014, 08:25 AM   #12
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Re: Portability with a 3-axis gimbal

I just found this, even more interesting once it is released:

SteadXP | New video stabilization solution
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Old November 6th, 2014, 09:03 AM   #13
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Re: Portability with a 3-axis gimbal

I'll have to say I was impressed with the Ghost Stabilizer we used a couple weeks ago.

It was originally set up for a Canon 7D, but after a while, my buddy put his a7s on it, and it just a minute or so, it was ready to go. Pretty awesome.

In our experience it wasn't quite as smooth as a steadicam, but a lot of that was probably related to the fact that we had never used it before.

We were able to get a "pass through the window" shot that would have been impossible with a regular steadicam. Cool from that aspect.

We set up a staging area at the reception hall for all our gear. The Ghost comes with a stand that you put it on when not using it. I don't know about strapping it to you though.....
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Old November 6th, 2014, 09:29 AM   #14
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Re: Portability with a 3-axis gimbal

I don't think velcro and hanging it like that is good idea, it will get bang up, I put mine in a bag with camera on it already going to the job, all it takes was take it out of the bag and turn it on and shoot, if I need to lay it down, I just put it on the ground, don't even mess with the stand because I don't want to carry the stand whereever I go, but I thought someone said the movi m5 you have to use a stand or it will mess up so I guess it depends on which one you are getting.
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Old November 6th, 2014, 01:02 PM   #15
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Re: Portability with a 3-axis gimbal

What type of stabiliser do you have Khoi?
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