Rocket Science

Devon Els of OV&P with Panasonic Camera and Osmo

Without doubt, one of the most exciting bits of tech for video makers over the last 5 years has been the 3 axis video stabilising gimbal. Video Gimbals have been around for quite a while, but they were often huge helicopter based monstrosities that cost an arm and a leg. They still have an important role to play where large distances have to be covered and the client has the budget, but since aerial drones have turned the filming world upside down because of their compact size, affordability and manoeuvrability, gimbals have provided the silver bullet to these amazing filming platforms.

The silver bullet is rock steady footage irrespective of how the drone is being buffeted by the wind and other elements. Drone gimbals have been miniaturised to weigh next to nothing, but have powerful 3 axis motors that are extremely sensitive and neutralise any undue movement by the drone. The camera is mounted to the gimbal and it is quite unbelievable how precise this stabilised filming platform is. The latest development in the video gimbal universe are hand held gimbals which vary in size depending on the size of the camera being mounted.

DJI have raised the bar once again by simply taking their drone based camera and gimbal unit and mounting it on a high tech “Hand Grip” with all sorts of amazing functionality, and they have called it OSMO (which our OV&P intern Devon is holding in the photo above). The beauty is that it is really small and achieves truly professional results, is affordable and will not tire your arms out like its bigger brothers, which are the DJI Ronin range of hand held gimbals. These are designed to carry bigger DSLR type cameras, but there is one down side to these puppies, because unless one has an Easyrig Steadicam Vest to take the weight off your poor arms and shoulders, you are going to find out how strong and fit you are, or are not!

The last bit of kit I want to talk about is the good old shoulder mount for your heavier video cameras. A shoulder rig (as demonstrated by Devon) is simply a tool to mount your camera to with a moulded shoulder pad and a counter weight that hangs off the back of the rig to neutralise the camera’s weight, resulting in a fairly comfortable, fairly stable platform for shooting video for extended periods of time. Another nice thing about a shoulder rig is that you can add all sorts of accessories to them like monitors, mics, lights and the like.

In closing, our world of video production has become a whole lot more fun in recent years with all this tech available to us, enabling us to provide stunning, unique perspectives for our clients that were not possible before, and it gives us great pleasure to fulfil our clients requirements with excellence.

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