Do you need a gimbal?

Do you need a gimbal?
Team Member 18 Mar 2018 General

Electronic gimbals have become more and more popular in the last few years. Gimbals were only used by professionals around five years ago. But now if you go to any major city with lots of tourists you are bound to see tourists using gimbals for their own personal travel videos (and/or photos!).

One of the main reasons that gimbals have become more popular recently is because of their cheaper prices nowadays. There are several new companies appearing every year or so with new (and often cheaper) products. The general technology behind gimbals has matured enough that almost any gimbal released recently is definitely 'good enough' to produce silky smooth video footage.

But are gimbals actually worth the money? Should you spend your hard earned cash on these little electronic devices?

Well it depends on a few things:

How much video do you shoot?

Gimbals aren't very useful for taking photos. It can be hard to press any buttons on your camera (every push of a button is going to push against the motors, which isn't good for them!), you have half of the gimbal in front of the camera screen.

You can normally get a cable to attach your camera to your gimbal, and control the camera via buttons on the gimbal handle. This is often just limited to basic functionality (such as start recording, stop recording, take a photo, zoom in/out, and on some gimbals change focus).

But of course for video recording they are great!

What kind of camera do you have?

If you have a huge DSLR with leavy lenses then you will have to spend a lot on a gimbal to support that!

If you have one of the recent GoPros or another camera with good image stabilisation then you won't notice as big of a difference when using a gimbal. Also: it is always recommended to disable image stabilisation on your camera while using a gimbal

You need to pay attention to the minimum and maximum camera payload amounts for each gimbal, and check it is compatible with your camera(s). Remember to include batteries and lenses when weighing your camera.

Do you want to carry even more equipment with you every time you go to video something?

Gimbal cases are often large and awkward to fit into bags.

Airport security sometimes are curious what the gimbal is, causing some slight problems at airports (although once they see what it is they never seem to have any further questions or problems with it).

The added weight of batteries, chargers, cables all add up...

But the most important thing: how important is having smooth, sthbilized videos?

The difference between using a gimbal and holding your camera in your hand is incredibly obvious. Go to Youtube and have a search of gimbal footage. The only question is if it is worth it for you?