10 Things to Consider When Buying a Gimbal
If you’re a serious videographer, a gimbal is a must-have tool. It gives you the ability to create super-smooth, cinematic footage that makes your projects stand out. A gimbal is essentially an electronic stabilization device that’s mounted on a frame and attached to a camera or smartphone.
The frame has three axes (pitch, roll, and yaw) that allow the camera to move in any direction while maintaining its original position relative to the surroundings. This means it will stay level even if the operator moves around or goes up and downstairs.
Plus, it makes it easy for one person to shoot video by themselves without having someone else hold onto their arm for support (which can get tiring after a while).
It’s all about the brand.
When it comes to choosing a gimbal, you want to know that you can trust the brand behind the product. Sure, there are plenty of small companies offering cheap alternatives to the market-leading gimbals from brands such as DJI and FeiyuTech, but will they live up to your needs? The most reputable brands in this industry have their reputations on the line with every sale and will therefore go out of their way to ensure high standards of quality in their products.
But this isn’t all about the material quality of your gear; it’s also about having a team available who can assist you when things go wrong. If you’ve spent hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars on a piece of kit, chances are that you’ll need help at some stage during its lifetime. You’ll be glad then that you chose one of the best brands in town with dedicated customer support teams who know everything there is to know about dealing with gimbals!
What’s its weight rating?
Larger DSLR and mirrorless cameras can be heavier than gimbals are rated to carry, so remember to factor in the weight of all accessories you intend to mount alongside your camera.
If you exceed a gimbal’s weight rating, it will have trouble keeping your camera balanced and stable—and over time, excessive weight may contribute to overheating or performance issues because your gimbal is working harder.
It’s best to go 3-axis.
You’re going to want a 3-axis gimbal. They are more stable and have a better pan and tilt than 2-axis gimbals, which only allow for side to side movement. Additionally, 3-axis gimbals will be easier to use when you add accessories like a shotgun mic or LED light. The one downside with this choice is that they’re more expensive than 2-axis models, but we think it’s worth the extra cost.
Pick a good battery
Not all batteries are created equally. The battery is the most important feature because it is the thing that powers your gimbal. There are four main things to consider when looking at batteries: capacity and discharge rate, chemistry, brand and size. Capacity (mAh) represents how much power the battery has in reserve but if you need more juice than what one battery can provide, you can get multiple batteries or perhaps a high-discharge-rate (C rating) battery for some extra push.
Chemistry determines how quickly a battery can discharge its energy; LiPo batteries are known for their robust discharge rates but they also have some drawbacks like being sensitive to heat, short charging cycles and limited lifespans.
There’s also the brand of the battery – some companies make good quality products while others produce faulty goods so be wary of cheap deals. And lastly, there’s size – if you want to use your gimbal in places with limited space then a smaller sized battery will do, however, you might need something beefier if you’re planning on using it for long periods of time or recording longer videos (or just really really really cold weather).
You get what you pay for.
The more you’re willing to spend, the more features, higher quality and better service you’ll be able to afford. While it’s true that you can get some great deals on gimbals, if it seems too good to be true then there’s probably a reason for that. Make sure any warranty is solid before you buy.
A good gimbal has lots of features.
It’s common for modern gimbals to offer multiple modes of operation. Some models feature a button that allows you to switch between modes, while others require you to use the smartphone app. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but having the ability to switch between modes quickly and easily is a sign of a good design.
Here are some examples of useful gimbal modes:
- Pan Follow mode lets you control the pan axis (left/right) movement independently from the tilt and roll axes (up/down & rotation). This allows you to smoothly follow subjects as they move across your frame without any unwanted camera movements.
- Lock Mode freezes all three axes so that your camera is held in place at whatever angle it was last positioned. This can be useful when shooting on uneven or sloping ground or when mounting your gimbal in an unusual position such as upside-down or on its side.
Choose one that can be controlled remotely
Choose one that can be controlled remotely. Depending on what you are shooting, you might have to get yourself into some awkward positions. No one likes contorting themselves in order to see a screen, so buy a gimbal that can be controlled via remote or through a camera mounted joystick. You will be able to get the shots you need without having to compromise your spine or comfort! You’ll also save yourself the extra hassle of having to move back and forth between your camera and your gimbal, which is just an added bonus if you ask me!
Get to know your phone’s camera model and specs
When it comes to buying a gimbal, there are a couple of things that you should consider. First, do you want a 3-axis or 2-axis gimbal? Do you even know the difference between them? There’s also stabilization and whether a gimbal can double as a tripod to think about. That’s all before you start looking at budget and which one will give you the best bang for your buck.
Watch videos to see if your model can work with your phone
Before you start looking at gimbals, it’s important to consider the purpose of your camera stabilization system and how it will be used in order to determine which type of gimbal is best for you. You will want to consider whether you are shooting stills or videos, as well as if your camera has a mirror. The primary benefit a gimbal provides is that the device removes extraneous motion from images, including unwanted shakes and vibrations.
Regardless of your setup, take some time to review sample footage taken with different phone models paired with the same gimbal model you are considering purchasing. Viewing footage from other users is an excellent way to see firsthand what kind of results you can expect from your own setup before making the commitment to buy a new product.
Buying a gimbal requires knowledge, so gather information first before buying one
You won’t be able to capture smooth videos with a shoddy gimbal, which is why it’s important to read reviews and do your research before buying one. If you’re trying to decide between two models, look up videos on YouTube of them being used with the phone you will use them with. Some gimbals are not compatible with some phones; it’s only by doing your due diligence that you’ll have a good time filming your next video project.
If you’ve read through this guide on buying a gimbal, you should have all the necessary information on what to look for. Gimbals are one of the most popular accessories for smartphone video and image creation, so we wanted to make sure you were able to pick the best one for your use. The best phone gimbals will become an indispensable part of your camera bag, making sure every shot is smooth and stable and every video keeps its audience engaged!