I’m sure you’ve heard of the MōVi. Well, if you can’t afford to buy it, you can maybe build one yourself. Here’s a video about how I did it. Watch it, then read my detailed notes below.
So, the first thing you need to get is the gimbal itself. The best and cheapest one that I found was from a solid Chinese company FoxTechFPV. They specialize in all sorts of RC flying gadgets: multicopters, video transmitters for first person point of view flying, as well as the FALCON GIMBAL. That’s the one I’ve used. You can get it HERE.
After that, you can make your own handle to hold it, or just attach it to a cheap but good shoulder rig like the one I reviewed in this tutorial. If you opt for the latter, you’ll be able to also use it as a stand alone shoulder rig for your camera.
You Can buy the shoulder rig at eBay:
To attach the gimbal to the shoulder rig, I just used some Velcro tape that I bought at Home Depot. This way I can easily take it off and still use my shoulder rig without the gimbal. I also used the Velcro to attach the battery and the RC Receiver (Rx). Just check out the pics below for a more detailed look of my setup.
Another thing you should get (even though the gimbal works without it too) is an RC transmitter/receiver combo. I got a good one that I use for all my other RC gadgets. But it’s way an overkill for this. Plus it’s just too big and bulky. Mine cost only $50 but you can find simple 2 channel transmitters for way less at your local hobby store. You can also buy all sorts of cheap RC transmitters on different websites. My favourite is Hobby King.
Once you’ve connected it all, just follow the instructions for the gimbal on how to adjust the balance. The guys at FoxTechFPV have a lot of great videos on how to do that. Plus, check out their forum page for even more info about the gimbal.
A word of warning – the gimbal sensor or the IMU don’t work well in cold situations. I learned that the hard way while trying to use it on a music video. While shooting at night on a rooftop where the temperatures were around 10ºC/50ºF (so not that cold), the sensor started to act weird and then it just stopped working all together. As soon as I warmed it up again, it worked. After that, I simply covered my IMU with a little Velcro tape. I love that VELCRO! :) Again, check out the pics below for how I did that.
The last tip I can give you is to just figure out what camera you will be using with your rig and then adjust the gain settings in the gimbal software accordingly. I didn’t do it and noticed it sometimes wobbled a bit. After playing around with the settings, I can already see some improvements. If any of you guys is an RC hobby expert and has any other suggestions, then please leave me a comment below. Thanks!