3 Axis Gimbals update
I wanted to write another post on 3 axis gimbals as I just love these things!
Smooth camera movement has always been difficult to achieve. The original Steadicam was an expensive piece of kit requiring an expensive skilled operator to use. Stanley Kubrick and Martin Scorsese (both masters of camera movement) immediately recognised what you could achieve with this device – take the restaurant scene in Goodfellas and the tricycle shot in the Shining. Two of the earliest but two of my favourites. Another truly great opener is Boogie Nights – check out the use of the Steadicam on this film scene (the operator gets off the crane and then follows the action).
Having seen what can be done, you’ll see why film makers have always looked for easy-to-operate devices to make lower budget productions more cinematic. Personally I bought about 5 of the cheap manually balanced stabilisation devices but never got them to work that well. When Movi introduced the first hand-held 3 axis gimbal – a whole new set of tools was introduced. Wikipedia defines the gimbal as “a pivoted support that allows the rotation of an object about a single axis. A set of three gimbals, one mounted on the other with orthogonal pivot axes, may be used to allow an object mounted on the innermost gimbal to remain independent of the rotation of its support.” What does that mean? Quadcopter HQ says “…. to boil it down to its elements, a gimbal allows you to keep your video recording device stable and fixed. It will aim at the same direction, regardless of whether the craft holding it is pitching forward, left, right, etc.”
3 axis gimbals are now at the centre of handheld stabilisation including drones such as the new DJI Mavic – set for release this month. Flick currently has three 3 axis gimbal systems including a 4K DJI Phantom 4 drone, Came TV single 3-axis stabiliser and the Came Prodigy. I have to say these devices are simply phenomenal and deliver incredible smooth stabilisation. Have a look at a couple of films we made recently using these devices. The Rimigliano Estate promotion, and Naturalmat are two good examples.