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What's the purpose of a Gimbal?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by CameraGuy, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. CameraGuy

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    Hello all. New to the forum.

    I took delivery of my first Phantom in February, and over the past few months, I have been buying balanced props, and GoPro 3 black, and ISO mounts, and Finally a gimbal.

    Last Tuesday, suddenly, something happened, and my Phantom and all my toys, on a final test flight (I was recording in 720- 120p), the Phantom suddenly turned right, shot 50 feet to the right, and then 30 feet into a lake. Gone.

    So, this week I have started to re order the things I lost. I have a Phantom and battery coming, a new gopro and the ISO mount and balanced props coming. I have not ordered a gimbal yet.

    The reason is, I couldn't really figure out what the gimbal did for me before. I understand it was supose to keep my camera level, but I didn't find it really improved the quality of my video that much.

    Before I drop $300 on the made in China brushless talked about below, I thought I would try and make jello free video with an improved ISO mount - the VGA one people talk about on ebay.

    Can someone give me some meaningful information on why I need the gimbal?

    Oh, I hired a diver to try and find the old one. I hoped to be able to atleast dry out the memory card, and maybe use the props (Graupners) and maybe the gimbal with new servos. He couldn't find it.

    Here is the last video I shot with my previous rig.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y54sN0FuSR8

    Thanks

    Darren
     
  2. Gizmo3000

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    Sorry for your loss, but if you know where it went down and can recover it, you might be surprised at what might still work.
    - there's a good chance that much of it can be salvaged or sold for parts even after submerged for a bit in water.

    the purpose of the gimbal is pretty simple - it keeps the camera level no matter what the craft is doing, producing substantially better video. almost night and day, especially in windy conditions where the Phantom would be bouncing around. (plus it allows you to tilt the camera down in-flight).
     
  3. CameraGuy

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    Thanks Gizmo, I understand it, I just don't think I saw it my first time around. I was using a tppacks gimbal designed for the Phantom with digital servos.

    Would the $300 made in China brushless unit make that much better video?

    Are people having the kind of success they hoped for?

    Is it difficult to properly set up? I had issues with the unit I had.

    So many questions. Too little money since I am doing this again for the second time around.

    Thanks to all who address my questions

    Darren
     
  4. Gizmo3000

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    The brushless gimbals do really well what the servo gimbals attempt to do.
    they're just as easy to install as the servo gimbals, but it appears they can be a bit temperamental.
    some people just bolt them on and they work, others have to dig deep and install the software to help fix the nuances.

    If you're ok with a little tinkering (connecting it up to a PC to run some software and such), the lower cost brushless gimbals do appear to work out ok for people.
    But it really is just the start of the whole brushless gimbal craze. - few people had them last month, now everybody is getting into them.
     
  5. auck

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    first off, sorry to hear about your phantom. the lake in the video you have posted, is it the same one your craft dived into? reason i ask is because it's probably not exactly near where it went into the water. don't forget a light craft as this is will get pushed around by currents, and the props would still try to spin causing it to move under water. so the diver probably has to go in with a bigger search area. maybe use one of those fishing sonar device to assist? just an idea.

    as far as the gimbal is concerned, it really didn't look like your first gimbal did much. the idea behind the gimbal is to be able to have the camera stay leveled so that you can get a good shot no matter if the craft is pitching or rolling (up to a certain degree). so if you have the camera 90 degree to the ground looking straight forward, it would stay that way even if you pitch the craft forward. and if the camera is horizontal to the ground, when you roll your craft left or right, the gimbal will roll to compensate and keep the camera horizontal to the ground. of course the gimbal can only compensate so much and so fast. think of the gimbal as a "steady cam" contraption, only motorized.
     
  6. CameraGuy

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    Yes, that's the lake in the last video.

    It hit the water about 100 feet (30m) off shore in an area that is surrounded on 3 sides. The diver actually went as far as 200 feet or 60m out, and about 35 feet all around.

    He wants to try again, which is fine by me. The water is about 50 feet deep, and cold below the first 15 feet. I just don't have my SCUBA gear anymore (X wife) or I would have spent more time looking. I don't think there is any current.

    I will order a Gimbal, but not for a couple of months. I think I will wait to see the official DJI version, and hope there are a few less bugs in some of the competitive products.

    A local distributor for DJI is also claiming he has one. Not sure if it fits the Phantom, or something larger.

    Thanks

    Darren
     
  7. remvideo

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  8. DomKane

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    From your video, it seems your gimbal wasn't actually doing much at all to compensate the tilting of the Phantom.

    I have a cheap (sub £100) self built brushless motor gimbal and made this on the weekend: https://vimeo.com/67457609

    I'm still not 100% happy with mine, but its getting there.
     
  9. Perfdavid

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    I'm not sold on gimbals. I do see how they can help in some situations but I think steady control is important. Team Blacksheep does not use them and the have some great vids.

    http://youtu.be/ESYr2y-WOeE
     
  10. CameraGuy

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    I just want steady, jello free video

    I think the iso mount does more as does balanced props.

    Maybe I should have asked for tips on reducing jello

    D
     
  11. Gizmo3000

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    the Team Blacksheep video's are neat,. but far from stable.
    trust me on this guys,. the stabilization that these brushless gimbals provide can make a huge difference, especially in the right hands. - and the fact that they keep the camera steady does help reduce rolling shutter (motion induced Jello and cuts back on lens distortion that software stabilization has trouble with.

    the vibration dampers help with the jello caused by vibrations (motor and prop unbalance)

    all the high end pro's use gimbals, along with prop and motor balancing.