Features of gimbals
How well a gimbal stabilizes depends on the number of axes alongside it moves to correct horizontal and vertical movements. This is also known as a cardanic suspension. An example of horizontal and vertical movement is a walk with camera held in a gimbal that you keep in your hand, correcting the up and down movement. This creates a 'smooth' recording of the walk. Many suppliers of gimbals provide an app or control panel with the gimbal, which gives you a lot of extra options. For example to fix or 'lock' 1 or 2 axes. You can also 'track' objects or subjects: the gimbal uses built-in image recognition technology to make sure that the subject always remains in the frame by rotating during the movement. On this page you will find owners of different gimbals which you can rent, each with their own set of functions.
Rent gimbals from different brands
Nowadays there is a lot of choice from the various gimbals brands. Think of DJI, Feiyu-Tech, Zhiyun, Moza and Freefly. Now, what is the best gimbal? It all depends on the type of camera, but also the usage situation. Do you use a gimbal for professional video recordings or movie productions, or do you take it with you on holiday? Do you want to test which gimbal suits you best? You can easily try them out by renting it temporarily.
The difference between gimbal and a dolly or steadicam
In Hollywood and other places where a lot of film productions are shot, film producers often used very expensive dollies
to get smooth, balanced recordings. A dolly and steadicam work fundamentally different from a gimbal. Steadicams contain physically moving parts to keep the film camera stable. There are no computer-assisted movements and electronic corrections. The steadicam operator must therefore be very adept at using it. With dollies, moving platforms on which the camera is mounted, it is very important that the surface is completely flat so that the recordings remain vibration-free. Sometimes special rails or tracks are also used for this. A labor-intensive and expensive way of avoiding vibrations in your video content, which can therefore only be used by professional film studios. Usually you see that in those situations people work with very heavy camera equipment.
Gimbals, on the other hand, are more modern light-weight "digital" miniature stabilizers. They are equipped with a computer unit and use advanced brushless motors to compensate for the unwanted camera movements of the videographer or camera operator. They perform, as it were, a 'countermovement'. Gimbals are much better suited to lighter camera types.
The technique behind a gimbal
An object can move in 3 dimensions: the x-axis, y-axis and z-axis. In the film world this is also called pitch, yaw and roll. Pitch is also known as Tilt, while a yaw movement is also known as panning. If you're familiar with adjusting camera tripods, you probably have experience making adjustments on all three axes to get that perfectly aligned shot. A moving camera has random movements in all 3 axes. But it is possible to counteract those movements by moving in the opposite direction. How? Exactly that is done by the motors of a motorized gimbal. The gimbal's built-in sensors measure the amount of natural motion, and the computer in the gimbal calculates how much countermovement is needed to stabilize the shocks. The result is an extremely smooth, shock-free recording. Of course, the camera man also performs movements deliberately. Advanced algorithms in the gimbal software can tell when the movement was meant or not.
Rent 2-axis and 3-axis gimbals
Most gimbals are either a 2-axis or 3-axis gimbal. You can probably guess that a 3 axis is the best solution. However, a gimbal with 3-axis stabilization is more expensive. A dual-axis gimbal corrects a camera that tilts back and forth or rotates from side to side. A three-axis gimbal, on the other hand, corrects unwanted vibrations across all 3 axes, resulting in even more stable images.
A 3-axis gimbal also has a drawback. The extra pivot and the extra motor make the gimbal heavier. In some cases this may be undesirable, for example with a drone
where every gram counts. In addition, an extra motor also requires extra power, so that the battery of the gimbal lasts less long on a single charge.