How Does A Gimbal Work In A Camera Stabilizer?

INTRODUCTION

If you’re a videographer or a cinematographer or are aspiring to be one, you’ve probably used a gimbal before. If you haven’t just get a gimbal for your camera, because a gimbal is a pivoted support that can rotate along at least one axis and they are handy while filming a moving shots. So now I'm going to explain how does a gimbal work and how it's help cameraman while filming.

Videographers or cinematographers generally use a 3-axis gimbal. A 3-axis gimbal allows a camera to be independent of the movement of the one holding the gimbal. The three axes are called pitch, yaw and roll.

how does a gimbal work
  • Pitch or Tilt: It refers to the up and down movement of the subject. This axis is useful when you want to capture objects that are falling, or a subject coming down the stairs.
  • Yaw or Pan: This refers to the left to right (or right to left) movement. It is useful for capturing objects that are moving horizontally.
  • Roll or Dutch Angle: This axis allows you to capture objects with off-centre or unlevelled angles..

It is these three-axis gimbals that ensure that a camera’s movement is stabilized regardless of the motion of the person holding the camera.

Note: Check the how to use a camera stabilizer article to pair the camera with gimbal for the perfect and shake-free shot.

HOW DOES A GIMBAL WORK?

how does a gimbal work

The main purpose of a gimbal is to negate or counter the effects of external motion. Gimbals make use of a complex system of electronics, sensors, and motors, and of course, physics.

If you have a 3-axis gimbal then you have to know how does it work. You will see a motor placed on each of the three axes around the camera. Gimbals counter external movement by rotations in the axes.


The sensors detect shakes, bumps and jolts on the axes. And the motors (electric brushless motors) work instantly to counter those movements. that's how gimbal works to stable the camera, the camera maintains its level and position with respect to a particular direction.

Gimbals can be classified on the basis of the number of axes they have. We can have 4-axis, 3-axis or 2-axis gimbals. 2-axis gimbals come with two rings and two motors while 3-axis gimbals have three rings and three motors.

Also, gimbals don’t need to be using brushless motors. They may also use servo motors. Servo motors are cheaper and lighter, but their weight load capacity is limited. Brushless motors, however, give better results and can be used with heavier cameras.

HOW ARE GIMBALS DIFFERENT FROM TRADITIONAL STABILIZERS?

HERE ARE A FEW DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A TRADITIONAL STABILIZER AND A GIMBAL: -

  • A stabilizer uses the principles of counter-weights, whereas, gimbals don’t need counter-weights.
  • Traditional stabilizers are not very sensitive to external forces such as the wind or inertia. These factors can cause the stabilizer to sway considerably before it finds its balance. Gimbals, on the other hand, are highly sensitive adjust to these factors almost instantly.
  • In situations like shooting from a moving car, a tripod or a stabilizer will cause the footage to be too shaky. Gimbals are ideal for this situation as they are compact, more comfortable to handle, extremely sensitive, and have a faster reaction time.
  • Gimbals also come with a shorter learning curve compared to stabilizers. Gimbals are incredibly easy to use.
how does a gimbal work

CONCLUSION

So, gimbals work by countering external motion with the help of sensors, motors, electronic parts etc. Its primary function is to provide more stable and smooth footage or shots. They are essentially better than traditional stabilizers and provide you with smoother movements and transitions.

If you enjoy videography and haven’t used a gimbal yet, please do. You will see the vast difference that it makes to the videos.

Xavier
 

I'm Xavier. I am a professional writer and blogger. It all started when I fell in love with my camera, which was presented to me when I was ten as a birthday gift. Since then, I wanted to become a cinematographer and also succeeded in that. So I am here researching and reviewing the filmmaking gadgets and giving out my top gadgets from the market.I hope you find my review articles interesting and helpful.

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