Kit showcase: stabilising gimbal
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Kit showcase: stabilising gimbal

Author: James Cresswell | Posted on: 21 October 2021

In last week’s blog, we shone the spotlight on a simple but effective bit of kit: our panoramic white screen. This time, we turn to something a bit more complicated, but no less essential when it comes to capturing great, eye-catching footage.

stabilising gimbal

What's it used for?

The gimbal is essentially a convenient, handheld support device that can stabilise the camera while it’s moving, thus heavily reducing camera shake and allowing for smooth, sweeping shots. This can be ideal when working on cinematic promos, as the gimbal allows a camera operator to easily and efficiently capture really visually engaging and dynamic shots.

There are also plenty of other advantages to having a camera set up on a gimbal. For instance, it can be a smaller and more convenient alternative to setting up a tripod when filming in a quite tight location. And it’s a great tool for following action: you could liven up a simple piece to camera, for example, by having the camera glide along with your presenter as they walk and talk.

It’s something we used extensively in our video for BCU’s South City Sport facilities; and as a result, we were able to give the edit an appropriate sense of uptempo pacing and activity, while getting a close look at the state-of-the-art facilities and the wealth of equipment available for BCU students to work with.


How does it work?

Essentially, a camera gimbal is equipped with an inertial measurement unit that can detect movement and rotation – this is the same sort of thing used in smartphones to detect whether you’re looking at the screen in portrait or landscape mode. The gimbal’s processor can then use this information to distinguish normal camera movements from the inevitable jolts and shakes, prompting motors that work to counterbalance any unwanted juddering. As Max Hayman, in this article for CaptureGuide, explains in more detail:

“A shaking camera will obviously have random unwanted movement in all three axes [of rotation - known as pitch, yaw, and roll]. However, it is possible to counteract these movements by producing movements in the opposite direction. Essentially, [the gimbal] does the exact opposite pitch, yaw, and roll movements and voila, we have a perfectly stable camera.”

The specific gimbal that we have – the DJI RS 2 – also has a number of other settings that can further facilitate smooth movement when shooting; allowing camera operators to adjust parameters relating to motor speed and to the automated tracking of specific objects in the frame.

Interested in learning more about what goes into producing the content that we work on here at Ember, or how we can help your business? If so, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us via our contact page.

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Author: James Cresswell

James Cresswell gravatar avitar
James is our copywriter and social media manager here at Ember Television. He joined us after studying an MA programme in Film and Television: Research and Production at the University of Birmingham.
Kit showcase: stabilising gimbal



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