This article was written by Nabil Ould-Brahim.
Have you ever stopped watching a video on YouTube because it was shaking too much? I, for one, have definitely closed a tab or two… or three.
Meet the Gimbal! This little gadget is the best-kept secret in the DIY video space.
What is a Gimbal?
Cellphone cameras like the iPhone have springs and magnets to keep the camera stabilized when you are taking a picture. This stabilization, just like a phone, is very small and compensates for the tiny movements when you try to hold something in place.
A Gimbal is a device that stabilizes your camera for small to big movements.
Why You Need A Gimbal
If you regularly make written content for a blog or social media, you should think about video content to help engage your audience.
Most new creators will try to hold a phone in the middle of the air while recording a live stream or mount it on a fixed tripod (and hope that they stay in the frame). Well, you can fix these first-time pitfalls and many more… with a gimbal.
A Gimbal will use motors and sensors to automatically stabilize your video for you. You will have stable videos that look like a studio recorded them.
Which Gimbal Should I Buy?
From my personal research and experience, the easiest one to get up and running is the DJI Osmo Mobile 2. It works great, portable, with an absurd amount of feature and a very long battery life.
You can certainly find other ones out on the market, but this is THE industry champion and for a reason.
What Can I Do With The DJI Osmo Mobile 2 Gimbal?
With a whole host of features, it can do pretty much anything that you need for blog content, live streaming, and general videos.
Here is a list of a few of my favourite features:
- Face Tracking: It has built in software that will rotate the camera so that your face is always in frame.
- Time Lapse/Hyper Lapse: Have you ever seen those videos of an airport where all the planes are moving super fast and the people load and unload in a matter of seconds? That is a time lapse video. You can use these to great effect and entertain your audience if you are assembling, building, drawing… etc.
- Slow Motion: This one is the opposite of time-lapse. Everything is slowed down.
- Panorama Pictures: Have you ever struggled to get a panoramic photo on your phone by holding it and moving it just right? Let the gimbal do all the work for you. All you have to do is press a button and the camera will rotate, take photos and stitch them all together into one image.
- 360 Degree Picture: This is like Panorama except it takes a full view all the way around. Be sure to move out of the way or hold it up high.
- Live Streaming: I combine the face-tracking and the live-streaming functionality directly to Facebook right from the application.
- Video Editing: The application that comes with the Gimbal has video editing functionality. It is super easy to use and has plenty of transitions, text, and royalty free music built into it.
- Battery Life: 15 hours according to their website, at least 8 with my usage.
- Cell Phone Charger: It has a USB port on the back so that you can use it a portable battery charger for your phone. How awesome is that?
Here are my first videos that I made using the device:
Top Tips For Using A Gimbal
Here are a few suggestions when working with a gimbal or the DJI Application on your phone:
- Bend Your Knees!
If you are walking, try bending your knees. Yes, it is tiring but the result comes out great on video!
- Selfie Light To The Rescue!
Improve your lighting with a Selfie Light like this one
- Watch the Tutorial Videos from DJI
Here is the DJI Support YouTube Playlist for how to use it.
- Balance Your Device
The better balanced your device is on the Gimbal, the smoother the motion and the longer your battery. Watch the setup video from DJI to learn more.
- Clean Your Lens!
A dirty lens can cause the camera to lose focus