Remember those old home movies that your parents would take of the family? Do you remember the shaky, blurry footage? Well, now instead of shaky video footage that causes headaches, you can actually shoot videos that are clear and professional. The good news: the stabilizing technology that was previously exclusive to Hollywood is now available to the masses. From consumers to cinematographers, gimbals are now providing better control and stability for video shoots.
There are a variety of gimbal stabilizers ranging from products that are more consumer focused to those that are more suited for high end cinema work. Ikan provides a whole line of gimbals that are suited for novices up to the pros. Trying to figure out the best gimbal for you? We break it down below to help you choose the best gimbal stabilizer from ikan’s complete line:
Consumer and Enthusiast Handheld Gimbal Stabilizers
A handheld stabilizer is great for the everyday consumer, but it can also be beneficial to professionals. TheFLY-X3-GO and the FLY-X3-PLUS are both great gimbals for consumers or video enthusiasts.
This handheld stabilizer is great for GoPro owners and enthusiasts. It is also a useful tool for people that host livestreams such as Periscope users. Since the FLY-X3-GO is designed specifically as a gimbal for GoPro, it has unique features such as the ability to detach the handle and the gimbal cradle. By detaching these two parts, you can mount GoPros throughout a car and still be able to control all of them from the backseat through a cable.
The gimbal stabilizer for GoPro has 3 modes: Follow, Semi-Follow, and the Lock mode. The Follow mode will move in the direction of the user’s wrist. In the Semi-Follow mode, the FLY-X3-Go will pan from side to side, but won’t tilt the GoPro up or down. The Lock mode will keep the GoPro pointed in the direction that it has been locked in.
The FLY-X3-PLUS gimbal stabilizer is perfect for bigger phones. Although it’s mainly a smartphone stabilizer, the FLY-X3-PLUS can also be used with a GoPro. This gimbal only has 1 mode – the follow mode. If you’re a journalist or vlogger and you need to shoot a video that doesn’t need to be overproduced, the FLY-X3-PLUS is a great tool. It’s a simple system that isn’t hard to learn. Film Riot made a video showing off the FLY-X3-PLUS that can be viewed here or below.
Budget Friendly Handheld Gimbal Stabilizers for Pros
The next category of handheld gimbal stabilizers are for cost-conscious video professionals. Depending on what kind of camera you have and the size of it, you can choose between the MS1 and the DS1.
The MS1 is a 3-axis handheld camera stabilizer designed for point and shoot and mirrorless cameras to achieve smooth, stable footage. It works well with small lightweight cameras such as the Sony a7S, RX-100 and NEX series, Panasonic GH4, Samsung NX500, and Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera. These gimbals are suited for those that are cost-conscious, independent shooters, event videographers, DIY videographers, or for anyone that needs to produce video. Want to see the MS1 in action? Check out some of these YouTube videos.
The users for the DS1 would be the same ones as the MS1 with the exception that these gimbals support heavier cameras: DSLR and larger mirrorless cameras. Some cameras that are supported include the Sony a7S, Panasonic GH4, Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, and Canon 5D Mark III. The DS1 can be a bit more expensive than the MS1, but you can make more adjustments and fine tune the balance better. To learn more about the DS1 and to check if your camera is compatible with it, check out the blog post, All About the Beholder Gimbal DS1. You can also see videos of people using the DS1 here.
Pro and Cinema Gimbal Stabilizers
Now we’ve gotten to the high-end professional level and cinema gimbal stabilizers that are catered to cinema professionals and bigger productions. This section will cover the MD2 and the Gravity.
Made by WenPod, the MD2 is for the DS1 user who is looking to upgrade. This lightweight professional gimbal stabilizer performs better than the DS1 and is designed to support a variety of cameras including mirrorless cameras, DSLRs, and cinema cameras.
The MD2 has two handles with full joystick gimbal operation control and utilizes intelligent stabilizing A.I. algorithms, which allow the gimbal to adapt to the camera that you have. These are great for all-in-one shooters or independent shooters.
The Gravity gimbal made by Tilta is best suited for cinema professionals. It can hold up to 33 pounds and is compatible with the RED EPIC, SONY F55, SONY FS7 and ARRI MINI. With a unique gimbal adjustment design, you can easily find the right balance in minutes. This cinema gimbal stabilizer works well for a full production and can support a variety of accessories such as the PD movie system, wireless lens control system, a matte box with filters, and even monitors. It has professional controls and pairs well with the Armor-Man 2. To top it off, the Gravity has an app that allows you to calibrate the gimbal’s settings. You can see a guide on how to use the Gravity in the video below: