As much as I love using my DSLR camera, I love using my phone even more. What is a gimbal? It’s a nifty little gadget that lets you capture shake-free footage right from your phone. If you’re a YouTuber, or creating video for social media, you’ll want to listen up because a gimbal will take your smartphone videos and storytelling to a new level. Here are 5 reasons you need one…
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A gimbal is a hand-held stabilizer that attaches to your smartphone. These convenient devices enable you to create cinematic works of art by using just your phone and a compatible app. Gimbals take the superb technology of an iPhone or Android to turn every-day videos into something extraordinary.
It’s almost impossible to hold your phone steady enough to produce shake-free videos, especially when walking. By using a gimbal, you can take breathtaking, fluid videos by simply snapping your phone into a lightweight, easy-to-operate device. Gimbals are not only handy, user-friendly, but are affordable, as well.
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5 Reasons To Use A Gimbal
Now that you know what a gimbal is, here are 5 ways to use one:
1. Stabilize Motion
Give your tripod a break. Gimbals are easier to use than tripods. They’re more flexible, you can use them while walking, and your videos will be smooth and stable. Tripods are great but gimbals win hands down when it comes to versatility.
Gimbals are great for shooting travel videos, documentaries, and videos for social media. You can get natural-looking pan and tilt shots just by moving your body from left to right, and up and down, without even touching the joystick on the gimbal.
2. Still Photographs
Gimbals aren’t just awesome for producing stunning videos. They’ll also stabilize your still shots. Whether your subject is moving or static, a gimbal’s got you covered. Crisp, stable, still shots look fantastic juxtaposed between fast-moving video footage.
Contrast the relaxing, static feel of a still photo against the high-paced, frenetic movement of video, and you’ve significantly upped the interest factor, making your final production far more dynamic. Grab your gimbal for sporting events, outdoor activities, or memorable home videos.
3. Walk And Talks
Gimbals really shine for creating stable footage while shooting a moving subject. You’ll get the best possible outcome if your subject is in the middle of your camera’s frame as viewer’s eyes typically go directly to that position.
You’ll also get the greatest stability. This ability to track your subject mimics the effect you’d get with a steady cam, minus the hefty price tag and steep learning curve. There’s nothing that brands a video as low-quality more than a shaky video. It’s so terribly distracting that it’s basically unwatchable (hope that’s really a word).
Ditch those cringe-worthy videos immediately by stabilizing your iPhone videos with a gimbal. Although your content may be newsworthy in itself, your viewers won’t be able to receive your message if the delivery method is less-than-optimal.
4. Low To High Shots
A Crane Shot is where you capture a subject from a low angle to a high angle. It’s also called “tilting.” Video heads are great for tilting, as are gimbals. Video heads use the head itself to tilt the camera lens up and down.
A gimbal simulates this motion, only you use your body to create the effect. You can do this by moving from a squatting position, then slowly raising yourself to a standing one, all while filming your subject.
You can also reverse this process to vary the effect. To illustrate tilting, move your head up and down. A gimbal can be used in conjunction with a tripod if you want to create some really awesome sliding movements. Watch the video below to see how it’s done.
5. Dolly Movement
The Dolly Movement, also called a Dolly Shot, is a motion that moves towards and away from the camera, while also swiveling and pivoting around the subject. This technique gives the image a three-dimensional feel rather than the typical two-dimensional one. It’s impossible to pull this shot off without a stabilizing device.
The movement can be done at any focal or frame rate, and is a technique commonly used by videographers. A gimbal lets you create this same cinematic, visual-effect technique, which mimics professional film set productions. And the best part is you can do it without the use of bulky, expensive equipment that takes up a lot of room in your camera bag.
Trucking is another visual technique a gimbal is useful for. With trucking you can capture footage from left to right in a panning movement. All you have to do is move the gimbal from side to side while filming. Slowly move your head from side to side to get an idea of a panning movement.
Features And Benefits
Here’s a list of features a gimbal offers:
- Lightweight and durable
- Small learning curve
- Use in both portrait and landscape modes
- Compact: doesn’t take up a lot of space in your camera bag
- Easy viewing: the front of the camera is always facing the user
- Built-in smartphone charging
- Up to 10-15 hours run time
- Can attach to a tripod
Three Axis Camera Gimbal
I’ve been using the EVO Shift gimbal for a few years now. The compatible app works for both Android and iPhone. If you’re shopping on Amazon, read the reviews on a variety of different gimbals to see which one best fits your needs. The DJl Osmo Mobile 3 is a popular gimbal with great reviews as is the Zhiyun Crane that will support a DSLR. It’s compatible with both Canon, Sony, and Nikon.
The EVO Shift is a 3 Axis hand-held gimbal stabilizer that enables you to capture perfect 180° and 330° panoramic shots, track objects with the Smart-Track feature, and shoot time-lapse videos. And you know the Dolly Movement and Crane shots I talked about above? You can easily capture these types of shots with the EVO, duplicating productions that use expensive equipment.
Control the record and zoom functions right from the handle, while fine-tuning your angles with the touch-sensitive, 4-way joystick. The EVO is multi-functional – it comes with three stabilization modes to choose from for the ultimate in freedom of motion.
It also has built-in phone charging and includes a one-year warranty. The EVO works on both regular and plus-size phones. My initial concern was that it wouldn’t work on my iPhone 8 Plus, but it worked perfectly, and comes with a durable carrying case.
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Pan and tilt, create high-definition panoramics, and mesmerizing time-lapse videos, while stabilizing both your still shots and videos. A gimbal will give you a feel for what seamless, stable video looks and feels like. Now go share your story…
Do you use a gimbal? Can you offer any cool tips and tricks? Let me know in the comments: