If you have a slightest of ideas about capturing photographs with shaking hands, then you must also draw from it valuable information regarding a drone that is being flown without a drone gimbal. You are likely to suffer plenty of setbacks and the pictures that you will be capturing are going to end up being distorted due to jerks and vibrations. This is exactly the reason why capturing high quality aerial videos and photographs is not possible without a good quality drone gimbal mounted on your device.
The principle and theory behind the working of a drone gimbal is quite fundamental and does not involve a lot of complexities. A drone gimbal basically consists of rings that revolve perpendicular around the camera; thus ensuring that the machine remains stable during its flight and vibrations are damped down to the maximum extent possible. Drones are being used across the globe for myriad purposes. Hence, in order to ensure high quality photographs, it is mandatory that your device is equipped with a good quality drone gimbal.
Similar to a number of drone models out there in the market, there are a lot of drone gimbals. Some of them have been designed specifically for professional grade aerial cinematographers and photographers while others provide exquisite first person view to drone aficionados who love flying these lovely devices.
Types of Gimbals
Drone gimbals can be divided into a number of different categories as mentioned above. In this article, we will have a close look into some of these types.
2 Axis and 3 Axis Drone Gimbals
Drones commonly come with either 2 axis or 3 axis drone gimbals for cameras. Both of these two types of gimbals have their own advantages and disadvantages. You can choose any of these two types by weighing your needs and requirements.
2 Axis Drone Gimbal
This type of gimbal is dedicated to ensuring that the video feed from the drone camera remains steady and smooth along the two axis; mainly pitch and the roll. A prominent chunk of the horizontal motion can be observed when the 2 axis gimbal is being employed. This type of gimbal is quite light in weight and can be carried from one place to another with relative ease.
It ensures that the camera stays in the desired position without any trouble. If you are someone who takes a fancy to enjoying the First Person View feature, then the 2 axis drone gimbal is a pretty smart choice for you. This type of gimbal, as discussed above, is very lightweight, does not require lots of battery power and can provide its services for longer durations of flight times. Moreover, since such a gimbal has a sleek framework, the drone is able to stay as agile as always.
3 Axis Gimbal
This kind of drone gimbal is a lot bulkier as opposed to the 2 axis one and is a bit more expensive as well. But it offers one crucial advantage. Such a gimbal is able to provide stabilization along three axis namely yaw, pitch and roll. The gimbal is equipped with an additional type of motor that absorbs all the undesired movements in the drone’s flight. Hence, all sorts of horizontal movements are fully exterminated. Such a drone gimbal is an ideal choice for aerial photographers and cinematographers. With a reduced overall flight time notwithstanding, this gimbal provides crystal clear and highly stable videos. You will certainly be needing additional batteries in case you resort to using the 3 axis gimbal.
Servo Gimbal and Brushless Gimbal
This kind of drone gimbal is primarily used since it is very light in weight, ensures that the drone remains as agile as ever and is available at affordable prices. Hence, it is a decent option for you if you are suffering from some budgetary constraints. Moreover, you can also attach this gimbal directly onto FC while staying carefree about other controllers.
However, the video captured with the help of such an assembly does contain quite a few unwanted vibrations because of the extraneous movements involved. This is because of the mechanical restrictions that are associated with a servo gimbal. It is quite slow to react and also records overshooting movements. However, if you are someone who is more interested in the First Person View and the least concerned in the video quality, then a servo gimbal is a good enough choice for you. Besides, a servo gimbal is able to serve those photographers who are more inclined towards capturing good quality aerial photographs.
Brushless Camera Gimbals
Brushless camera gimbal is another kind of drone gimbal that is available. Clear picture is an area where a brushless camera gimbal takes an unassailable edge over the servo gimbal. The videos that are recorded with the help of such a gimbal are void of any jitters and unnecessary noise. This is due to the swifter reaction time making the gimbal agile and hence producing steadier drone movement.
Those of the professional grade cinematographers, who want top quality videos and films to be recorded with their drones, should opt for the brushless camera gimbals. These produce steadier and smooth videos. However, they fall at the more expensive end of the price scale. Hence, one needs to be quite determined about the purpose before venturing out to purchase this kind of drone gimbal.
Top 5 Gimbals on the Market
Walkera White Plastic Version G-2D Brushless Gimbal
The first drone gimbal that has been able to make its way into our coveted list has been manufactured by Walkera. This is one of the most attractive designs and reliable models to have been produced over a significant length of time. This is a 2D gimbal that has been developed especially to provide support to the GoPro action camera series on your drones. Some of the cameras supported by this drone gimbal include the GoPro Hero 3 and GoPro Hero 4 in addition to other cameras produced by Sony and other manufacturers. This device will ensure that your camera remains as steady as ever when your device is set whizzing into the air.
If you are interested in capturing stable aerial photographs and videos, then this drone gimbal is a good choice. It also comes with a separate video auxiliary output and a set of 2 rotor sensors. These sensors include the dual axis MEMS gyroscope rotor and the MEMS accelerometer rotor. This assembly is also incorporated with a dedicated short circuit and voltage fluctuation protection mechanism that ensures that no mishap of this kind affects the camera. The drone gimbal is made of plastic and hence is quite durable. Therefore, even if your drone comes across some inevitable crashes, the gimbal will not suffer threatening damage.
Moreover, it is very easy to mount this assembly onto your quadcopter. It can be ported from one place to another by even rookie dronies. If you like what you have read about this superb product, you can check its price out here.
Andoer 2D Light Weight Silver Brushless Motor Gimbal
This specially designed drone gimbal has been developed keeping in mind the DJI Phantom series. It is a simple assembly that does not involve a lot of complexities. One of the greatest attributes of this gimbal is that it is very light in weight. Generally, the camera attached to the drone is quite bulky which tends to increase the overall weight of the drone. This makes it difficult for the drone to fly around and stay agile. Hence, if you have a drone gimbal that is very light in weight, the overall weight of the machine is greatly reduced. The light weight is mainly due to the CNC Aluminium framework of the entire assembly.
Secondly, the camera remains steady when the drone is set into the air. The gimbal ensures that all kinds of vibrations and movements are absorbed by the anti-vibration rubber balls. It is compatible with GoPro Hero 3 and Hero 4 action cameras. The original packaging includes an aluminium gimbal alongside some cables and screws. According to the user reviews, the gimbal provides seriously stable photographs and videos. The assembly includes the Velcro strap; thereby providing an assembly that is very adept at holding the camera safely. However, the instructions manual that comes with it does not delineate the installation instructions clearly. Hence, installing this assembly does take its time and effort. If you think you have taken a fancy to this device, you may check it out at Amazon.
Qiyun Shock Absorbing DJI Phantom GoPro 2 3 CNC Metal Brushless Camera Gimbal
This is a drone gimbal that has been designed keeping in mind the dronies with some budgetary constraints. This drone part is compatible with the DJI Phantom series. The brushless camera gimbal is very light in weight and consists of the CNC metal body. Its total shipping weight is around 4.2 ounces. It is also very easy to fly in the air. The overall assembly needs a couple of pieces of 2208 motors and a brushless gimbal controller. This device, as mentioned above, provides support for the DJI Phantom series. It dampens the vibrations down and boasts a structure that ensures that the camera remains in place while the drone is in flight. It is one of the most stabilizing frameworks in the market. Hence, the videos produced are free of any jerks and unwanted noise despite the camera being in motion. This brushless motor gimbal has struck the right chords among drone enthusiasts. It provides support for GoPro 1, GoPro 2 and GoPro 3 action cameras. Do you like this fabulous article? You can buy it at Amazon. Do note currently this gimbal is not avaialble, however we have an alternative for you, check out below:
Feiyu Tech FY-M3D Mini 3D Pro 3 Axis Air Gimbal
This drone gimbal has been developed by Feiyutech. It offers omnidirectional panning support and is compatible with a number of cameras such as GoPro Hero 4, GoPro Hero 3+ and GoPro Hero 3. It is also quite compatible with other cameras boasting similar dimensions as the ones mentioned earlier.
This gimbal is quite a handful in the aerial photography domain especially when the drone is equipped with the First Person View feature. The important thing that is to notice here is that this drone gimbal boasts a completely revamped designed which ensures that the installation process is rendered incredibly simple. The entire assembly consists of a metallic framework; thereby providing an extremely safe and secure setup. The camera remains unbelievable stable during the drone’s flight.
The dronies can manipulate the various operations of the drone gimbal manually such as pan and tilt movements simply by connecting it to the remote controlled receiver. Moreover, this gimbal can also work in isolation with the drone. It requires a separate battery in this independent mode to ensure that the drone camera stays in the desired position. This gimbal is quite durable, reliable and efficient and is definitely a good option.
If you are of the view that this product can help you achieve your purpose, you can buy it at Amazon.
3DR Solo Gimbal
3D Robotics are a household name when it comes to the world of drones. Our last drone gimbal in our list is the 3DR Solo Gimbal which is a 3 axis brushless gimbal that provides access to very smooth and jitter-free aerial photography and videography. The camera stays incredibly stable while the output is fantastically clear and smooth.
Just to give you a perspective into the strength and stability of the gimbal, here’s an interesting fact for you. This gimbal offers 0.1 degrees pointing precision which portrays how clear the picture captured with it is. It ensures that the photographs taken are very smooth and fluid and void of any noise grains.
As is evident from the nomenclature, the drone gimbal works best with the 3DR Solo drone which is quite famous among dronies because of its smooth flight and outstanding camera capabilities. Some of the eye-catching camera functions include Selfie, Orbit, Cable Cam, Follow etc. The drone gimbal provides great support for all these advanced features. You can attach this gimbal to other drones as well but you are likely to face variations in controls and might not get efficient performance. As far as the price is concerned, it is a bit a expensive choice. However, considering the fact that is will be a one-time investment, you should not hesitate to spend your hard-earned money on this awesome product.
Do you think this product serves the purpose you are looking for? You can get it at Amazon!
Buying Guide: What to Look for in a Camera Gimbal
When you set out to buy a drone gimbal for the camera fitted in your beloved device, you might think of it as a herculean task, and rightly so! Buying a drone gimbal needs a number of factors to be considered. You should keep in your mind the features that are incorporated in your machine along with the purposes you are looking to use your drone for. Let’s get a sneak pee!
Those of you who do not have a lot of money up their sleeves, they will have to make the right decision. A servo gimbal is a pretty handy choice in such circumstances. The video quality will not be as good as one would want it to be, but it’s pretty good for drones equipped with the First Person View feature. However, if you do have some savings in your bank account and you are willing to invest in buying a drone gimbal that provides top quality videos and images, brushless gimbals are the way to go!
Photography or Filmmaking
This is yet another crucial aspect to be considered when purchasing a camera gimbal. Servo gimbals can help you take standard quality images and videos since they are light in weight and not very expensive. You can cater for the undesired movements by ensuring the drone remains as still as possible while capturing images. This can reduce undesired vibrations in your images. However, when you are looking to record videos, you need a stable gimbal that exterminates and absorbs all the extraneous jitters and vibrations. A brushless gimbals is a good choice in such a situation.
Here’s an important question to ask yourself: how long do you want your mid-air adventures to last? Even the most well-equipped drones do not provide their claimed flight durations when carrying payload in the form of a bulky gimbal that puts a lot of load on the battery. Let’s consider the brushless gimbals here only.
A 2 axis gimbal might not provide you with a better quality video. But when it comes to battery consumption and flight time, such a gimbal is a great choice. This drone gimbal is a good option for those who are interested in the First Person View feature and dronies who are not predilected towards capturing high quality videos and images.
However, if you want to get top notch videos and photographs, you will have to for a 3 axis drone gimbal and compromise on battery power and flight time. Such gimbals will consume more battery and will provide you with lower flight times.
This is one of the most important factors to look for when buying a drone gimbal. If you want to record videos that are free of any vibrations and undesired noise grains, you should go for the brushless gimbal. The videos captured with a 3 axis gimbal are a lot more smoother and clearer than the ones obtained with a 2 axis one.
However, most of us are hampered by a number of other considerations such as price, battery consumption and other factors. If we ignore other variables and decide on the basis of picture quality alone, the 3 axis brushless drone gimbal is a great choice that provides stability along three axes. It also ensures that the camera is held as still as possible for seamless aerial photographs.
As has been discussed in the entire post, the drone gimbals are designed to mitigate vibrations and undesired movements from the camera during your mid-air flight adventures. Hence, an ideal drone gimbal should provide optimum precision, top picture quality and less battery consumption.
A drone gimbal ensures that enhanced quality photographs and videos are captured since the camera will remain stable and locked in right positions at high flying speeds. Different kinds of gimbals can be mounted on different drones depending on the kind of camera installed in them.
The market has been bombarded with a number of drone gimbals. You must base your decision to purchase the right gimbal on the use you want to put your camera to. Here’s an analysis into the pros and cons of the drone gimbals:
- Camera Field Stabilization: This is one of the key advantages that you get by using a drone gimbal. In spite of the fact that the drone is moving in any direction whatsoever and it is making those sharp and quick turns, the camera always points in the desired direction. Hence, you get clear and jitter-free images with no vibrations or movements.
- Better Pictures in bad Weather: The drone gimbal ensures that you get crystal clear images even when the drone is flying inclement weather conditions.
- Usage of Long Lenses: When you mount a gimbal to your drone, you can make use of longer lenses for your camera. This ensures that you take a wider array of photographs and is an added value to the professional grade photographers.
- Shooting the Sides: With a drone gimbal in place, you do not have sweat over keeping the drone in the right direction for capturing perfect images. The drone gimbal ensures that the camera can capture images and record videos left and right of the device. You can focus on flying your device just with the wind and the gimbal will help you capture good quality images.
- Power Consumption: A decent quality drone gimbal tends to put lot more burden on the drone battery and the battery gets drained out of juice rather too quickly. Hence, you need to keep on recharging the batteries or keep a lot of spare drone parts in your armory.
- Reduced Flight Times: Excessive power consumption by the drone gimbal implies reduced flight times for your mid-air flight adventures.
- Price: Some drone gimbals are placed a the higher end of the price spectrum and further add to your expenses allocated for your drone.
So, now you have been introduced to the best drone gimbals that will ensure that your camera remains steady for your photography and videography itineraries. Which one of the above devices are your planning to buy then? Let us know in the comment section below.