I’ve been meaning to do a post about this for a while. Over the summer I picked up one of these gimbals for use with my 5D3. It’s a seriously fun bit of kit. I’ve longed for a decent camera stabiliser for some time and have had limited success with a couple of different manual (counter balanced) steadicams. The manual variety require a lot of patience to balance and a good amount of practice to master (something I’m a long ways off achieving). They simply fail in many situations such as low camera angles or trying to use them outside in the wind.
I’ve been impressed with footage shot with the MoVI by Freefly Systems but unfortunately they fall outside my enthusiasts level reach. So when I started reading positive reports about DIY kits using off the shelf controller boards and carbon fibre parts, I started doing some research and settled on the Came-TV. The Came-TV 7500 is an electronic camera stabiliser that instead of using counter weights, uses brushless motors to counteract movement from your hands. A controller board in tandem with sensors around the rig (accelerometers) tell the motors how to correct motion. It’s an incredible symphony of technology which would have been unthinkable just a decade ago and the effects are amazing particularly when shooting with a wide angle lens.
They’ve since replaced the 7500 with the 7800 which has an improved handle design and quick release. I’ve already modified my 7500 to use a quick release so probably won’t bother with a 7500 to 7800 conversion. I paid a total of $1200 USD for the 7500 which is still a fair chunk of change but I’ve been really pleased with the results. A word of warning…tweaking the controller board is not for the faint of heart and you can easily trash the settings and end up with a confused gimbal. I was able to modify the stock settings and fine tune the dampening behaviour, creating my own presets.
I’ll do a more thorough write up about the gimbal later on including the modifications I’ve made to it and some of the third party accessories I’ve been using to make it more functional. For now, here’s another quick test I made with my son last year. Everything is shot hand held with the gimbal using a Canon 5D3 and 17-40mm L zoom.