If you are interested in photography, it is likely that video will be too (and vice versa), since they are two close disciplines that share a lot of theory 🙂 . If so, chances are you’ve already heard of gimbal.
Gimbals are stabilizers for recording video, which some time ago had quite prohibitive prices and were more oriented towards a professional profile, but today, they are much more popular and are found at more affordable prices.
Surely, due in part to the revolution in Smartphones, drones and other cameras that increasingly allow video recording with good results, amateur users are becoming more and more interested in video. And it is entering the world of video and the gimbal theme appears.
Do you want to know exactly what a gimbal is, what uses you can give it and some recommendations? You are in the right place because we will dedicate this entire article to answering your questions 🙂 .
INSIDE THIS ARTICLE… 📖
What is a gimbal?
A gimbal it is an external stabilizer to make recordings. This accessory allows you to correct vibrations and obtain smooth and fluid movements when we move the camera during a recording.
Gimbals are mainly characterized by being manual or not and by the number of axes they have:
These stabilizers can be mechanical or manual, the latter being cheaper, but also more difficult to use. They are mainly intended for DSLR or Mirrorless equipment, since they use the equipment’s own weight to stabilize.
However, you can find them adaptable to most cameras, including smartphones and GoPro-type action cameras.
This type of stabilizers can be shoulder, one handle, or two. In the image you have an example of an adaptable model for smartphone, reflex or mirrorless camera and action camera.
These types of stabilizers work with battery, motors and smart sensors to stabilize the camera. They are the most efficient when it comes to stabilizing any type of camera, but they are also more expensive than manual ones.
3. Gimbal according to number of axes
Depending on the number of axes your gimbal has, you will be able to make a series of movements or others. Those with three axes allow the image to be calibrated for the following movements:
Tilt: It moves from top to bottom and bottom to top.panning (bread): It moves from right to left and vice versa.Rotation (roll): Calibrate the movement.
Those with two axes calibrate only the horizontal axis (panning) and the vertical axis (Tilt), but they are cheaper than the previous ones.
How to choose a Gimbal
When choosing a gimbal, I recommend that you take into account the following aspects:
Budget: As for any type of equipment that you plan to acquire, we always recommend that you establish a maximum budget and that you do not move from it.Number of axles: The more axes, the more types of movement you can do in a stable way. gimbal weight: The weight of the gimbal itself is something to take into account, since you have to add the weight of the camera itself, lenses and other accessories that you may need. Loading capacity: As when choosing a tripod, it is important to know what is the maximum weight that the gimbal can carry. We always recommend that you calculate the heaviest combination of your team and add something else.Battery duration: These types of stabilizers use a lot of battery, so it is important to know what the maximum duration is, as well as what type of battery they use.
How to calibrate a Gimbal?
Correctly calibrating a gimbal is very important. If you don’t, the motors will constantly work to try to correct the destabilization, causing it to consume much more battery power or even cause the motors to heat up excessively, sometimes damaging it.
To calibrate a gimbal you must take into account the following:
Do it with the camera placed on top, with all the equipment you are going to use, on the contrary, if you add or remove something, you will destabilize it again.Remove the strap from the camera so that it does not get caught.Calibrate axis by axis.Take your time .
Here is a video that explains how to calibrate a gimbal very clearly:
If you’ve calibrated correctly, the camera should hold up in all situations.
TRICK!!! If you always use the same equipment, you can make marks on the gimbal itself with the camera balanced, so that you can always start from an approximate point.
How to use a Gimbal?
As we have already mentioned, depending on the number of axes your gimbal has, you will be able to make a series of movements or others.
modes of a gimbal
A gimbal has different modes to work with, and these can vary from one model to another. The most common are:
Follow or tracking mode: allows you to follow the protagonist on both the vertical and horizontal axis. Pan Follow or horizontal follow mode: Follows the protagonist on the horizontal axis but not on the vertical.Lock or blocking mode: In this case, the gimbal stays in the same position, correcting neither vertically nor horizontally.
The most complete gimbals, however, have other added stabilization modes that you can see in the following video in a very complete and clarifying way:
To use this type of stabilizers, it is very important to think in advance what movements we want to achieve in the recording and choose the best mode of use.
Top Best Gimbals
Here I leave you with some of the most recommended stabilizers to record video. You will find options for GoPro (or similar), Smartphones and DSLR and Mirrorless cameras.
Zhiyun Crane M2 Gimbal
One of the most complete stabilizers at a very affordable price.
3-axis stabilizerSupports a maximum weight of 720 gCompatible with action camerasSmartphonesCompact camerasMirrorless cameras of low weightAutonomy of 7h (with a charge of 2h)6 operating modesOLED screenWeight 500 gFull specifications herePrice Price €199.00
Zhiyun Crane 3S Gimbal
A gimbal for SLR, mirrorless or cinema equipment of a good size, since it supports very heavy equipment. This stabilizer is designed for professional use due to its features and price.
3-axis stabilizerSupports a maximum weight of 6,500 gCompatible with large camerasAutonomy of 12h (with a charge of 4h)Weight 4,400 gJoystickDirect power supplyModular armPossibility of adding external batteryTransMount wireless receptionFull specifications hereList of compatible camerasPrice €769.00
Here you can see it in action:
Gimbal Ronin SC
A 3-axis stabilizer for DSLR or mirrorless cameras with a total weight of less than 2 kg.
3-axis stabilizerCompatible with SLR and mirrorless camerasSupports a maximum weight of 2,000gAutonomy of 11h (with a charge of 2.5h)Weight of 1,100gRotation arm without obstaclesUnlimited rotation axisFocus controlFull specifications herePrice €359.00
Next, I leave you with some specific models for Smartphones, these gimbals are light, small and easy to transport.
if you are looking for a gimbal for Xiaomi, a gimbal for iPhone or for any other brand, you should look at the maximum thickness and weight that the stabilizer accepts.
Gimbal for mobile DJI OM5
A very compact and foldable 3-axis mobile gimbal.
3-axis stabilizerFoldableShutter controlGesture controlFace trackingExtendable armMagnetic designWeight 292g6.4h battery life (on a 1.5h charge)Available in 2 colorsFull specifications herePrice129.00€
Zhi Yun Smooth 5 Smartphone Gimbal
Another stabilizer for, mobile with 3 axes and very complete specifications.
3-axis stabilizerMaximum supported weight of 300 gAutonomy of 12h (with 3h charge)Weight 615 gHighly compatible with most smartphonesFocus and zoom controlSmart follow technologyGesture controlFull specifications herePrice €179.00
Hohem iSteady V2 Smartphone Gimbal
A very compact, lightweight and foldable 3-axis stabilizer.
3-axis stabilizerGesture controlBluetooth connectivityAI Face Trakking9h autonomy (2h charge)Weight 263 gAvailable in two colorsFull specifications herePrice €115.14
If what you are looking for is a Gimbal for GoPro-type action cameras, here are some suggestions:
Gimbal for GoPro Hohem iSteady Pro 4
A stabilizer compatible with most action cameras with a great value for money:
3-axis stabilizer Shutter control (for GoPro Hero 10,9,8,7,6,5)Water resistant14h battery life (with a 3.5h charge)360º rotationTimeLapseWeight 365 gCompatible with GoPro and other action camerasTo read the complete specifications, click herePrice €92.64
Gimbal for GoPro Feiyu Tech G5
A three-axis Gimbal compatible with GoPro action cameras and others of similar size.
3-axis stabilizerSplash resistant8h autonomyTime LapseWeight 271 g without batteryBlack colorComplete specifications herePrice €136.26
Is it worth having a Gimbal?
If you really like recording on video beyond the typical home videos of walking around the house that we all do, if you want to give your recordings a professional touch, or if you are interested in entering the world of video in a more professional way, then yes. , it is possible that in the long run you will need a gimbal to finish giving your videos that smoothness and play that is only possible with a stabilizer of this type.
If yours, on the other hand, are home videos with smartphones that do not intend to go beyond a simple memory to send to your friends/parents/grandparents, you are not going to edit them or do much with them, then no, I don’t think so that you are going to need one more accessory in your closet 😉 .
cameras to record video
If before a stabilizer what you need are recommendations of good cameras to record video, do not miss our recommendations.
So far this immersion in the world of video stabilizers. I hope I have helped you get to know them a little better 🙂 .
It is true that they are not the cheapest accessories on the market, especially those intended for heavy equipment, but if video is your thing, you will end up falling yes or yes. I hope that when that time comes, this article has been very helpful to you.
Thank you very much for reading this far and see you in the next article. Oh, and don’t forget to share with other video lovers, maybe the gimbal they were riding was right here 😉 .