We are sure that you have seen or heard about a Gimbal and have watched a video of it in action. The Gimbal is so levelheaded and smooth that you would think it has a mind or artificial intelligence. In this blog, We will be exploring the mysteries of How Does Gimbal Works? and why it is so incredible!
What are Gimbals?
Image Stabilization (IS), is a technique that reduces blurred photos by moving the camera lens automatically to compensate for camera shake and vibration during photography. Two common methods for image stabilization are:
- Software electronic (Electronic Image Stabilization – EIS)
- Optic image stabilization – OIS (hardware optical)
To improve image quality, electronic image stabilization employs a sophisticated software algorithm.
Optic image stabilization (or optical image stabilization) is a hardware solution that eliminates image blur due to camera shake or jitter while shooting. It is important to know that OIS doesn’t completely eliminate camera shake, but it does partially mitigate its effects. OIS won’t operate if the device shakes too much.
Electronic stabilization has the advantage that it requires only software to operate. OIS requires additional hardware components. Both image stabilization technologies can be used simultaneously.
It is common to believe that high-resolution cameras will produce a great image. Professionals can actually see that the cameras are attached securely to something, which prevents any sudden movements and shakes. Electronic stabilizers are the latest version of such a system for manual recording. These electronic stabilizers compensate for rotation due to the integrated electric motors.
How Does a Gimbal Work?
Blurring in photos can be caused by the shifting of the optical path between a focal length lens and the center sensor.
Adjusting the optical path of an image sensor to achieve the desired result by tilting or moving the lens to neutralize or compensate for the user’s movement can be done. There are two methods.
- The lens shift method was used previously. This is where the lenses within the cameras module are able to make small shifts. It does not allow for changing the optical path.
- The second, more modern method involves moving the entire module, including the image sensor, lens, and cameras This is how photo stabilization happens.
Optic image stabilization employs a variety of sensors to determine the offset along the coordinate axes X and Y. Sensors can also detect deviation and oblique displacement. All data is used to determine how big a shift in the lens position is necessary to ensure that the optical path is aligned with the center of an image sensor.
Although electronic image stabilization can achieve a similar result to analog, it isn’t enough for professional use due to its poor image quality.
Gimbals can use either EIS or OIS to fix these issues.
Two frames are used to connect any gimbal. The cameras and the handle are held by the frame. Three hinges powered by electric motors are located between the frames. Each electric motor stops the cameras from rotating on one of the three axes. A gimbal, also known as an “axis gimbal,” is a device that prevents the cam from rotating along with one of three axes. These three axes are often referred to as:
- Pitch – Up and Down movement
- Yaw – movement from side to side
- Roll – A circular movement that is either anticlockwise or clockwise.
Gimbals can also be equipped with gyroscopes that control the rotation of the cam around these axes.
Gimbals and all the features that come with them can stabilize your cams, prevent it from shaking, and produce a smooth recording and excellent photo quality.
All this proves that the electronic stabilizer, even in its most basic form, is a highly-tech device whose capabilities can only have been used for a lot more money in the past.
How Does Gimbal Work in Camera Stabilizer?
Gimbals used in cam stabilizers are not only physics but also rely on complex electronics, sensors, and motors. The goal is to cancel out any external motion. This is to ensure that the cam has a stable platform.
If you have a 3-axis camera, you will find a motor on each of the axes. The sensors detect vibrations and bumps on the axes. Electric brushless motors counteract these movements almost immediately. The cam maintains a straight line in relation to one direction even though there are many activities.
Gimbals are more stable than traditional stabilizers, which use the principles from counterweights. Gimbals are less sensitive to external forces like wind and inertia caused by a sudden break. Traditional stabilizers can be affected by such external forces, which can cause the stabilizers to shift significantly before it regains their equilibrium.
Gimbals are the ideal stabilizer for cameras when shooting in moving vehicles. A tripod or traditional stabilizer won’t operate in such situations. It would be too unstable! A gimbal is a great tool to improve the footage of a moving vehicle. Imagine how stable and smooth your clip would be in normal conditions.
Some gimbals allow the cam to follow a target. The subject will remain in the frame regardless of how the holder is moved.
Do You Need a Gimbal?
- Stabilization innovations are being developed by smartphone and cam manufacturers. Many smartphones, lenses, and top-of-the-line phones offer optical and/or electrical image stabilization. Motion stabilization can be added to post-processing.
- These technologies are limited in their capabilities. They are less effective because they are restricted to a small area. A gimbal is essential if you plan to do a lot of handheld videography.
Different Types of Gimbals
Different cameras can be used depending on the task and budget to shoot videos or photos. Because the cameras weigh different, the maximum load of the gimbals will vary.
Gimbals for Action Cams
The stabilizers are small and compact for action cams. Monopod extensions can be added to make them a “selfie stick” with advanced features.
Although they were primitive by today’s standards, the first action camera gimbals were very popular. Action cameras are a dying breed, so the upgrade to the original primitive models was not as impressive, unlike the gimbals that can be used with smartphones and DSLR camera.
Gimbals for smartphones are becoming more popular and more in-demand. Everyone has one, and there is an ever-increasing need to take photos and videos.
Professionals are unlikely to record on their smartphones, but amateurs may use them as their main recording device. Modern smartphone models allow for high-resolution recording.
Phone gimbals are improving in functionality and performance. The best smartphone cameras can be used with the latest phone gimbals to produce amazing results.
The stabilizer attaches to the smartphone and they are then connected via Bluetooth. You can easily take photos with the gimbal stick’s control buttons. These buttons control:
- Turn on power or turn it off
- Photograph shooting/recording
- Switching between modes
Gimbals for DSLRs and Video Cameras
Professionals are using DSLR and mirrorless cameras for all purposes, so their gimbals should be the best. The Gimbal is essential for professional filmmakers and rising YouTube and Instagram content creators.
There are many gimbal manufacturers on the market, all of which produce amazing gimbals. Zhiyun and FeiyuTech are the most prominent companies.
These can be used to create any shot you want.
What Are Gimbal’s DrawBacks?
Brushless gimbals have their advantages and disadvantages, just like any other tool. You need to consider these when deciding if it is right for you. These are the downfalls of using a gimbal to shoot.
Power is required
Motors, sensors, and controllers all require power, so make sure you have enough to last the duration of your shoot.
It takes time to find the right balance.
You will need to balance the cam on the Gimbal every time you change lenses or cameras.
Tired of using
The Gimbal’s shape requires that you hold it in front of your face with both hands when you shoot, which can strain your arms and shoulders.
Gimbals are not something that you can just grab and start using. To get the best results, you need to be familiar with its controls as well as its different modes of operation.
The rigid frame and wide handlebars of a gimbal make it difficult to transport and use in tight spaces, compared to the compact GH4 or a small handheld rig.
Capacity for Weight
The Gimbal should be capable of supporting the cam and lens you plan to use. The GH4 and small lenses can be handled by the Gimbal, which should weigh at least 1 kg.
Adjustments that are not made with tools
The Gimbal has tool-less adjustments that allow for the adjustment of the position of the cam sled in the Gimbal. This will make it much easier to balance the camera.
The software can provide better performance and control than older 8-bit controllers.
Camera plate Quick-Release
It is crucial to be able to quickly mount and remove the camera from the tripod.
Make sure you choose a gimbal that uses standard Lithium batteries. Eighteen thousand six hundred fifty lithium batteries are easy to find and inexpensive. Stay with trusted brands and avoid any brand that uses the word “fire” in its name. These Chinese batteries can be found on Amazon and eBay.
Other Things You Need to Know About Gimbals
- Gimbals are easier to learn than counterweighted stabilizers.
- Gimbals are classified according to the number of axes they have. You can have gimbals with 2 axis, 3 axis, or 4 axis gimbals.
- Two motors and two rings are used in 2-axis gimbals. This means that the camera can be moved in a specific direction by rolling or tilting the camera holder. However, the camera will still follow if it is moved to the left to right.
- Three motors and three rings make up a 3-axes gimbal. The stabilizer is capable of maintaining a stable position in roll and tilt shifts. It can also be panned or moved sideways.
- 3-axis gimbals can be converted to 2-axes by locking the third. The versatility of 3-axis gimbals is evident.
- Gimbals can have either a servo motor or a brushless motor. Although servo motors are cheaper and lighter, their weight-load capacity is very limited. Brushless gimbals offer professional results and can handle heavier cameras.
- Gimbals need the power to function. You should always have extra batteries in case you need them.
You can refer to some gimbals for your devices here if you want to buy one:
1. What’s the difference between a stabilizer and a gimbal?
Complexity – Gimbals have more moving parts and require a charger, battery, etc. The stabilizer is easier to use but still requires ‘balancing’ both
2. Is a Gimbal considered a Selfie Stick?
Share All sharing options: DJI’s smartphone cam gimbal now and a selfie stick. DJI has just released the DJI Osmo Mobile 5 phone gimbal. It includes a telescoping selfie stick (okay, there’s an extension rod) built into the handle. This year, the Gimbal is smaller and lighter.