What is a gimbal?

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A gimbal is a device that uses three axes to keep something (usually a camera) level and balanced. This can be used for video, still shots, and live streams.

They come in many different shapes and sizes – from hand-held devices to wearable rigs with multiple arms.

Gimbals are most often used on drones or other aerial vehicles to provide stable footage of the ground below as the vehicle moves through space.

Why would you use a gimbal

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There are many reasons to use a gimbal. There is no single answer to this question because it all depends on the needs of the filmmaker or photographer. 

Some people use them when they need their shots to be incredibly steady and smooth, even if there is movement in what they’re filming (such as an actor walking).

This can allow for some really beautiful, flowing shots.

Other people use them to capture things that are far away or very close up, and it looks like everything is being viewed from the exact same distance, making objects feel more equal and balanced with each other.

This can be especially helpful when filming interviews where two speakers are sharing the same shot.

Yet other people use them because they’re fun to play around with!

They are pretty intuitive, which makes it easy for many different types of filmmakers to pick up and learn how to use them quickly.

And that’s what filmmaking is about – having fun while telling stories through moving images!

How does a gimbal work

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Two types of Gimbal are available for purchase: mechanical and electronic. 

A mechanical gimbal works by using a series of gears to create the balancing motion in all three axes at once, based on certain angles that you set up when mounting your camera/device. They’re usually built to be pretty sturdy and rugged, so they can handle being moved around a lot.

Electronic gimbals are the ones that have become more popular in recent years because they’re easier to use, lighter weight, and allow for smoother motion (which means better-looking footage).

They work by using three distinct motors that send power into different axes at the same time, which helps keep your camera stable.In order to do this, the Gimbal needs a way to communicate with your camera – which means you’ll need some stabilization software that can talk directly with it.

These are typically designed for specific devices (such as cell phones or mirrorless cameras), but some universal ones are also available if you have something else.

Where can you buy one

You can buy a gimbal from online retailers or local photography stores. 

You want to get the best deals and have one delivered as soon as possible, it’s probably better to look on Amazon.com – but if you’re lucky enough to live near a big city, then maybe there is an awesome camera store that has what you’re looking for!

Besides the retail options, you could also purchase a DIY kit and build one yourself. Many different places sell kits online if this is something you’re interested in learning more about. Some even have instructional videos or guides to help along the way, too – so it’s definitely possible as long as you take your time and don’t rush through it.

Different types of gimbals and their uses

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There is a lot of variation when it comes to the different types and uses for gimbals

Common categories include

  • Hand-held 
  • Wearable
  •  multirotor (drones)
  •  brushless motor (e.g., cars or bikes)

    If you’re looking around at what’s available, it can be helpful to break it down into these smaller groups because it will make narrowing your choice easier.

    For example, you might want something that is really easy to use with both hands (such as a wearable gimbal) – or perhaps you need something very compact and lightweight so it can be mounted on top of an action camera or drone.

    You can get really specific about what you want and how it will be used, which makes the process of buying a gimbal much simpler.

    If you’re looking for something more complex or advanced, though (like if this is your first time purchasing one), then we recommend contacting some local professional filmmakers and asking them where they got theirs and what they think about it.

    They might even be able to demonstrate the product for you, which is always an awesome bonus!

How to choose the right Gimbal for your needs

Some features, specifications and benefits that help you to get the right Gimbal for you:

The Gimbal's weight

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Some gimbals are much lighter than others, and the ones that have heavier builds typically will be a little bit sturdier.

If you’re going to be moving around a lot, then it’s probably better to get something with a good build quality because things can go wrong quickly when you’re filming on your own.

The number of axes

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Omnidirectional gimbals (the ones that can move in all three directions) tend to be more expensive than the two or one direction versions, but you get a lot more versatility out of them if they are designed correctly.

They also have an easier learning curve because there is a lot less you have to worry about in comparison.

The ease of use

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 There are three main types that the Gimbal can fall into – joystick, one-touch and automatic.

Joystick control is just what it sounds like, where users must toggle an on-screen directional pad with their fingers in order to move the camera around.

The design

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 Some gimbals are bulky and heavy, while others can be small enough to fit in your pocket.

There is also a lot of variation in the type of materials used for these devices – so it’s important that you know what will work best for all the places where you plan on taking yours.

The price

Price is often the biggest factor for most people when it comes to making a purchase like this, but that doesn’t mean you should go with whatever has the best value. Sometimes, extra features in less expensive models (like joystick control) can save time and make your life easier in some situations, so keep that in mind.

The warranty

It’s not a bad idea to purchase an extended warranty for anything you plan on using heavily, and gimbals are no exception either.

You never know when something will go wrong with your equipment, so you might as well take some precautions.

FAQ'S

Is a gimbal better than a tripod?

They’re great for adding movement without shaking; they’re also good for run-and-gun documentary work when lugging a tripod slows you down.

You can use a wide lens to shoot close up to the action when you’re in the thick of things.

Is a gimbal a Steadicam?

Gimbals (motorized Gimbals) have moving parts, require batteries and chargers, whereas Steadicams require physical work to balance out and make the perfect moving clip.

How can I stabilize my camera without a Gimbal?

  1. Pull your camera’s strap tight against your neck to keep it steady.
  2. You can create a base using a string and your feet.
  3. Place your camera on sturdy things around you for an easy tripod.
  4. Make use of your tripod’s centre bar as a makeshift monopod.