One tool I was still lacking and I know how useful this tool is for filmmaking. That is the stabilizer. Whether you are doing wedding, short film or any event, a stabilizer is super useful.
Until I think last year, most indie filmmaker were using those mechanical stabilizer. These have been there for decades. They are effective and last forever.
Although they are great, they need a lot of practice to master. but the result won’t be perfect stable anyway.
The emerge of pistol grip 3 axis gimbal totally brings a new level of profession to this field. They are small, not very heavy and easy to use (once you balanced it), They are electronic drive, so they can produce some really smooth and stable footage. You will be amazed if you only used mechanical stabilizer before.
Starts last year there are already a few brands making it now. There will be more and more brands making this tool.
These all cost under $1000. The one I bought is called Beholder MS1. cost only $499. Ikan rebanded cost $599. But they are the same thing.
I use it with my Sony a7s and Panasonic GH3. works great with light lens. The max payload is 1000 gram for this model. Camera body around 500 gram. so I have under 500 gram reserved for lens. Most prime lens would works for this weight. and usually we use wide angle lens.
The balance is easy. The main trouble people facing might be if the camera is too light, then it is hard to balance. For the model I bought, they give an extra plate to mount on your camera. It is for light weight camera. so it raise the camera position. and it will be fine. Watch youtube video of how to balance for your brand and model of gimbals. These videos are very very helpful. Must watch if you are new to gimbal.
There are also other troubles like vibration and noise when turn on the gimbal. Not stable footage. For these troubles, we need to go to the software and fine tuning the setting. Again there are many videos online can help you. The thing about these gimbal is that even though they are called pre-calibrated. We still need fine tuning the setting or it won’t work great for you. Every body use different camera body and lens combination. How does company knows what is the right default setting for everyone? The defualt setting for my camera and lens does not perform very stable. I adjust the number little by little. doing test over and over. eventually I find one setting now works pretty damn good. I want to say going to software adjust setting is most likely needed. be prepared. Once everything is set, it is so easy and so much fun to use this tool. I can give to anybody who first time use it, they can perform just as stable as me. No kidding. And they love it. so much fun.
Ok enough words. Two of my so called test footage. You can see really stable. and bring so many potential to indie filmmaking.
Below is my very first test. Not as good as the one above. I can do better job now.
This tool is still new but it will eventually be in every filmmaker’s bag.