UPDATE August 4, 2014: There is a new & improved version of this gimbal. More info here: http://tomantosfilms.com/4452/came7500/
If you ever had problems using steadicams, then you should consider getting a digital camera gimbal. It’s the next big thing that is about to revolutionize the film industry. Such a rig is easy to operate and always produces smooth shots. Up to now, though, they have been too expensive for most indie filmmakers. MoVI for example costs $15K.
Well, the Chinese company CAME has just come out with a 3-axis gimbal under $1K and I had a chance to test it out. Here is a quick review I did.
And here is the raw unedited footage I shot with this gimbal so you can judge yourself how it performed.
You can also get this camera stabilizer on
This gimbal uses an open-source software and circuit board by Alexmos. To find the latest software, including the firmware, visit the official Alexmos website. Check out the forums to see how to tune the settings of your gimbal.
In the video I talk about the importance of having a good monitor on such a rig. Here are a couple of excellent options.
Also, here is a stand to be used when balancing a 3-axis camera gimbal. This accessory is really a must.
Black Glass Fiber/Aluminum Debugging Test Frame Holder for Camera Gimbal on eBay
If you want the PID Alexmos Board Profile settings that I used in my gimbal, you can download them here.
These settings are for the SimpleBGC_GUI_2_3b4 version of the software with SimpleBGC_2_3b5.enc.hex firmware, which you can download here. Also make sure to read the full manual so you understand what each of the settings does. You can download the manual here.
To use my PID settings make sure that you mount the board and sensor exactly in the same position and orientation as I did in the pictures below. Also you have to do a 6 point IMU calibration. If you are not sure how to do that then follow the instructions in THIS VIDEO.
If you have any questions regarding the 3-axis gimbal, please leave them in the comments section of this post. I am receiving a lot of questions regarding this and it will be to everyone’s benefit if my answers are in one place and visible to all (rather than answering individually by email, for example).