THE MOBILE GIMBAL

The Mobile Gimbal Presented by James Martini. This is an overview of the mobile phone gimbal in general, who is it for? Is it to the standard in terms of stabilisation of the high end professional gimbals used for mirrorless cameras or larger gimbals that are used in Hollywood films with heavy cameras like the Arri or Red camera? Is the fact that you will be using your mobile phone for imagery be the cause of instant dismissal for most professionals or is there a use for it in some regards such as casual shoots/ clips or vlogging. With apps like Filmic Pro it enables many features pros consider what makes a professional camera, disregarding sensor size of a mobile phone and lack of lens interchangeability, features such as shutter speed control, ISO, WB, focus lock, flat & log colour profiles along with stable footage thanks to the mobile gimbal it is all the ingredients to potentially professional looking footage.

 

Add ons such as an ND Filter or Lenses can really aid this being a very capable set up for film. By no means would this replace a professional camera such as an Arris or even mirrorless cameras but does it have a place in the hands of a professional or simply a decent prospect to the amateur for a cheap set up? Family videos, vlogging etc? Does it make sense to go through all the effort making such settings and adding attachments to make it a culpable set up as the quality just will not be good with the low bit rate of the phone and small sensor size...?

 

Indeed it doesn't make much sense for professionals but neither less it defiantly shows promise for vlogging and behind the scenes footage or possible small clips to compliment professional video if used sparingly in good light scenarios. Its all down to the mobile phone camera, they are improving all the time and everyone has one on them at any given moment. So just carrying this about will allow for what would potentially be unstable footage will potentially become somewhat decent and useable.

 

In its basic use of stabilising footage allowing all on the camera phone to be auto makes the experience somewhat more fun and still is nice looking footage, leaving optical stabilisation on, not fixing focus, WB, ISO or shutter speed and letting it make its own choices sure makes it not look pro for many reasons such as, optical stabilisation will fight the gimbal stabilisation causing slight jitters at times, the iso and ss will change automatically in different lighting not making a nice look. Although in the in-between parts where this isn't happening the footage still will be very usable in part. Its better to use it without the restraints and pro rules as it can restrict capturing the moments. That is what this set up is for, capturing the moments.

I personally think with this ignore the professional rules and use it as it is, all auto with the low bit rate of the normal camera in phone rather than apps that allow the high Mbps (one because the phone over heats and malfunctions and you'll have to wait every 5 mins to let it cool down to be usable again) possibly one of the reasons apple and other phones restrict the video recording to lower bit rates. This is my experience with the iPhone 8 using 100Mbps ('Extreme' option within filmic pro), yes it brings you to the same bit rate as what an A7SII and GH4 can do but possibly pushes the weak codec in the phone too far so doesn't necessarily help the image. Although the standard Mbps is very low something like 25Mbps for UHD and 100Mbps is actually only just acceptable profesionally. There are Other Mbps options in Filmic Pro so maybe go for a medium option to avoid symptoms of the phone but improves on the 25Mbps apple standard.

 

For the gimbal its self it is simply a tool, a pro tool in my opinion for what you get from it with such ease. However its really the phone camera you use that will be of importance to the image and the setting you use. It brings a professional cinematic camera movement to the masses which has never been seen before. Specifically the Zhiyun Smooth 3 has impressed me and has shown very comparable results to my Zhiyun Crane 2 which is saying something.

 

The mobile gimbals are getting more popular and prices are decreasing and they are improving all the time with new models, although I prefer the smooth 3 to the 4 but I don't believe it was listed as an upgrade but rather a different gimbal for different use such as follow focus pulling but doesn't hold the weight of the plus size phones so was a no for me.

 

Do you want to improve your family videos and make them look cinematic or vlog with ease? Then this is the right choice for you. For the Average price of £150 for a decent one and the little space it takes up in the bag it makes sense to ALL to add it to their list of 'to gets'. I could talk forever, any questions pop them in the comments and ill get back to you.

 

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