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Beeon.net » Brushless gimbal for cinema

Brushless gimbal for cinema

This page is dedicated to anyone working on their 3 axis brushless gimbal for DSLR or large cameras in DSLR-like body (BMCC).
Our goal is to have camera remote control (iris/zoom/focus), remote monitor, 3 axis gyro stabilization and remote control, vest arm hookup (Merlin, Glidecam) and jib hookup.

Curently testing EvvGC and VR-Gimbal boards.
Dual Martinez 3.0 board will NOT work – confirmed. But the good news is, that brushlessgimbal.de will have their newly developed 3axis BC soon.

 

Update 1: Pictures of assembled gimbal. EvvGC firmware not ready yet. VR-Gimball works great for 2-axis – yaw stabilization yet to be implemented. I have also preordered Alexis 3axis controller – ETA sometime in September.

 

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Update 2 as of 9/9/2013:

3-axis Controllers:

EvvGC – Open Source – firmware still experimental, but it is getting there. At about $50 for assembled board this will be a great budget controller. Yaw auto follow still require 100kohm potentiometer attached to yaw motor shaft.
Power: 2S-4S LiPo.
VR-Gimbal – Open Source – awaiting firmware update 1.20. At about $160 this will be a middle of the road cost controller. In 2 axis mode I have great results even on unbalanced rig. Yaw auto pan hopefully coming soon in next updates.
Power: 2S LiPo only, but will handle up to 5A spikes per motor.
ArmBGC – Closed Source from SimpleBGC, also known as AlexMos – the king of all 3 axis controllers. Fully mature and professional solution with all the features filmmaker is looking for – yaw and pitch follow, mode switching on the fly, remote control, advanced GUI, etc. At $259 it seems little expensive, but trust me, if you don't want to fool around and just film, this is it. I had one just shipped to me and will use it on my main rig. My prediction is, that some of upcoming premade rigs will have this controller on board. 2.0 Version is available on eBay from Viacopter @ $164, I'll order one to see how it stack up vs the ArmBGC (3.0).
Power: 2S-4S LiPo.

3-axis rigs:

Will be testing one of these pre-assembled rigs in combination with ArmBGC. For extended shooting maybe some load bearing support like a budget steadicam vest with arm. Camera remote control is essential so lanc controller for BM(P)CC or Sony RM-VPR1 for Sony cameras which I'll test with RX100M2.

Cameras for 3-axis rig:

Most budget 3-axis rigs have some/barely visible vibrations that could induce jello. That leads me to use in camera/lens stabilization. My goal here is to avoid in-post stabilization all together as even the most advanced algorithms look unnatural (to me) and kill the resolution.

One of the small and light cameras I am testing is RX100M2. This little gem has great dynamic range (could be extended further with DRo – selective higher ISO in shadow areas), powerful stabilization and is excellent in low light.

My BMPCC is still backordered

GH2 and its lighter replacement G6KK works very well, but as a one man shooter I actually prefer smaller sensor and larger DOF.

Best uses:

Budget cinema, event videography.
To replace headache-inducing shaky shots 😀

What's next to attach to your 3-axis rig?

1. Extended battery – allow camera and rig run for hours. (I better get back in shape 🙂 5Ah 4S LiPo will give little over 70Wh, good enough to power decent rig for half a day. With no light and smaller camera likely 12+ hours.
2. Remote control/monitoring – when filming with SDOF, focus puller or camera assistant may be needed
3. Audio solution – most rigs are pretty quiet, so on rig audio aquisition is possible. Will test this with mounting some isolated booms and/or ZOOM recorder.
4. Light – handle mounted (almost) independent of some camera movement and/or on camera mounted
5. Monitoring – when camera display doesn't cut it. Getting one of these 10" LED/LCD to use with my main rig.
 

 

Notice: we are not planning to sell any assembled gimbals, but will rent locally to support aspiring filmmakers 😉

8 Responses to "Brushless gimbal for cinema"

  1. ron says:

    So where’s the log for the betview gimbal?

    1. Martin says:

      Posted some pictures of the assembled gimbal. Notice the quick release plate – adds only about 70 grams, but allows for quicker balancing when changing lenses.

  2. Gary says:

    Hi

    I too have ordered a 3 axis frame and EvvGC control board. Do you have any advice on how to find/adapt firmware for the control board?

    Any help greatly appreciated!

     

    cheers

    Gary

    1. Martin says:

      Hello Gary,

      I am in the process to test the latest firmware and will post any results. I have not rushed to testing earlier, since YAW axis auto pan was not working well.

      Martin

  3. rafal says:

    thanks for putting this up… can you please list the parts/source for your upgrade of your 2-axis betview to three axis please..

    how are the tests going – happy? how is vibration / motor hum?

    thanks. rafal

    1. Martin says:

      Another GBM5208 is the best budget choice and it will work well on a balanced gimbal. I had some extra tarrot parts from older cheap gimbal, including GBM4008 currently on the yaw. It still works fine, but the 4008 has loose bearings to hold all that weight directly. Funny thing is, when I feel the movement in the 4008 bearing due to switching weight, the camera is still stabilized by rest of the gimbal, so no harm done.

      No hum or vibrations. Even with almost 2kg worth of camera and lens. 350g camera even work unbalanced without any hum. All tested with VR-Gimbal controller only.

      I hope to post some test videos as soon as the VR-Gimbal get the 1.20 firmware update, which should have the autopan feature.

  4. Fabrizio says:

    Hello Martin, Hello all,

    I have bought this gimbal and added a second motor (same as the others). I am using a 3-axes Alexmos controller with extra IMU frame, this one:

    http://flyduino.net/Alex-Mos-Brushless-Gimbal-BLG-32bit-Basecam_1

     

    I am having VERY big problems to set up the second IMU sensor and in general I have very hard time tuning the PID paramenters. I had a look at the PID numbers from the CameTV 7800

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzA1mPVkef8&list=UU8CpOwfEsl6svBQ1zPU0o9g

    it seems just impossible to match the performance. PID for the cametv 7800 are actually available somewhere from ceesycam and they seems to work for this gimbal too, it is just the motors are difference the frame IMU is different. Well bottom line getting this gimbal to match the cametv 7800 is really hard.

    Can anybody share the PID paramenters? or any idea?

     

    cheers

    Fabrizio

     

     

  5. Fabrizio says:

    Hello Martin, Hello all,

    I have bought this gimbal and added a second motor (same as the others). I am using a 3-axes Alexmos controller with extra IMU frame, this one:

    http://flyduino.net/Alex-Mos-Brushless-Gimbal-BLG-32bit-Basecam_1

     

    I am having VERY big problems to set up the second IMU sensor and in general I have very hard time tuning the PID paramenters. I had a look at the PID numbers from the CameTV 7800

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzA1mPVkef8&list=UU8CpOwfEsl6svBQ1zPU0o9g

    it seems just impossible to match the performance. PID for the cametv 7800 are actually available somewhere from ceesycam and they seems to work for this gimbal too, it is just the motors are difference the frame IMU is different. Well bottom line getting this gimbal to match the cametv 7800 is really hard.

    Can anybody share the PID paramenters? or any idea?

     

    cheers

    Fabrizio

     

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