Smooth moving shots are becoming commonplace in videos these days. Steadicams with vests and articulating arms are not only expensive and require endurance and hours of training and practice, as a result they most often appear on high budget shoots with multiple member crews.
If you want to “fly” a camera on a low budget, up until now you had to master a Glidecam or other mechanical gimbal device that can help you achieve smooth moving through space, but they all have drawbacks – mainly as in they're really hard to control. I have practiced with the Glidecam for several years and still have yet to achieve the magical floating moves shown on demo web sites.
The film world was rocked by the introduction of a new type of camera stabilizer – the MoVi “brushless gimbal” device. Held by a shooter in both hands, this new stabilizer achieved amazingly smooth shots, but was priced out of reach for most independent video producers.
Along comes Dave Beaty at DIY Drones showing his DIY version called the JODA Gimbal, a “carbon fiber gyro active stabilized camera rig.” In his video, it's capable of handheld motion and the images are rock steady. All for a bargain basement price. Thanks Dave!
3 Axis CF Hand Held Gimbal for Canon 5D III
From Dave Beaty at DIY Drones:
I'm adding this build log to help others who may be building their own camera rigs inspired by the Movi rigs shown at NAB '13 carrying Reds and full sensor DSLR's. I hope others can follow in my footsteps and improve upon these rigs in a DIY sense. Others will sell you one of these kits built and tested for lots of money. But you can do this yourself if you don't mind a terminator looking device that looks a little scary, and futuristic with lights and wires and carbon fiber buzzing around. After all it is a robot at heart. I am not doing the UAV Flight Controller interconnects, FPV or RC, just the hand held with joystick and onboard monitor.
Me and a buddy ordered a kit from Famous Hobby with the Carbon Fiber CNC parts and gimbal motors and a stand for the rig. It's very similar to the Cinestar gimbals. This one has the 5208 810T iPower motors. No gyro controller or other electronics are included. It did come with a bunch or extra hardware and 4 mounting plates for batteries and PCBs. But you need to get the following:
* Gimbal Controller with 3 axis – I did get the AlexMos and 3rd axis add on board purchased from AerialPixels.com. Came with 2 x JST SH cables for the included IMU.
* Nylon risers, nuts and screw kit – got one on ebay.
* 22 gauge or bigger silicone wire for + – battery power leads. 5-10 feet – I got 20 gauge black and red.
* various small hex nuts and bolts to mount electronics to plates. – got these from ACE hardware.
* JR conntectors with 3 pin kit to make motor power connectors to attach to AlexMos – online or LHS.
* shrink wrap kit with various sizes – online for cheap.
* soldering iron and tools like a set of hobby hex drivers.
See full information at Dave Beaty's Blog
Full Size Hand Held Brushless Gimbal Alexmos Demo
This is a demo of our new JODA Gimbal, a carbon fiber gyro active stabilized camera rig. Able to support cameras up to several pounds, the custom PCBs and firmware allow precise control over all aspects of stabilization, from joystick control, remote operator control, follow mode, hold mode and power.
[ Via Dave Beaty at DIY Drones ]
What do you think of this DIY stabilizer? Have you mastered smooth shots with a gimball device? Let others know using the Forums link below.
(cover photo credit: snap from the DIY Drones)