Are you ready to take your videography game to the next level with a 3-axis gimbal?
While they may seem intimidating at first, mounting and balancing your camera on a gimbal is actually a pretty simple process.
Sure, different gimbals have different systems, but they all follow the same basic principle.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps to get your camera and gimbal perfectly balanced.
The Importance Of Balancing Your Gimbal
Properly balancing a gimbal is essential for capturing smooth and stable footage. An unbalanced gimbal can cause jerky or unstable movement, leading to poor-quality shots. Balancing a gimbal involves adjusting the camera and counterweight positions to ensure levelness and centring.
When balanced correctly, gimbal motors work more efficiently, resulting in smoother footage and preserving battery life.
It’s important to take the time to balance your gimbal before each use, following the manufacturer’s instructions and considering the weight and size of your camera. It may take some practice, but balancing a gimbal is a necessary step to achieve professional-looking footage.
Balancing Your Gimbal
Step 1: Assemble the Gimbal
The first thing you’ll want to do is assemble your gimbal. Once it’s put together, lock the axis and place it upright on a table. Some gimbals may require you to install a foot attachment in order to place it upright.
Step 2: Remove Any Extra Weight
Next, you’ll want to remove any extra weight from the camera. This will make it easier to balance later on.
Step 3: Mount the Camera
Now it’s time to mount the camera on the mounting plate. The key here is to use as many plates as you need to get the center of gravity as close as possible to the center of the mounting plate.
Step 4: Insert the Plate and Camera into the Gimbal
Once you’ve got the camera mounted, it’s time to insert the plate and camera into the gimbal. Most gimbals require you to slide it in from the front, but there are also drop-in gimbals available.
Step 5: Balance the Tilt Axis
This is where the real balancing begins. Locate the Unlock/Lock trigger on the tilt axis (it can usually be found under the camera) and slide it to the unlocked position. Hold the camera steady while you release the weight slowly. You’ll feel the camera start to tip forward or backwards. If it’s falling forward, loosen the tilt access and move the camera back, then relock. Test the balance again by releasing the camera. Keep adjusting the camera in the opposite direction that it falls until it finds a balance point where it stays level. Congratulations, you’ve just balanced one of the three axis of the gimbal!
Step 6: Balance the Roll Axis
Next up, it’s time to balance the roll axis. This is the axis that lets the camera move from side to side. Unlock the tilt access (usually to the right of the camera body) and repeat the process. The camera is balanced when it floats in space and the smallest gesture causes it to orbit.
Step 7: Balance the Pan Axis
Finally, it’s time to balance the pan axis. This is the axis that lets the camera move up and down. Pick up the gimbal (still turned off) and aim it forward like a flashlight. Unlock and balance the pan axis so that the camera doesn’t tip in any direction, but stays where it is. This can be the most challenging, but once it’s done, your camera should be perfectly balanced.
Step 8: Turn on the Gimbal
You’re almost there! Once the gimbal is balanced, place it back on the table and firmly hold the handle. Turn it on and wait for it to test its motors. If everything is good, your gimbal should give you some sort of indication. If not, you will need to repeat the steps above.
- Assemble your gimbal and place it upright on a table before mounting your camera.
- Make sure to remove any extra weight from the camera before mounting it on the plate.
- Keep the center of gravity of the camera as close as possible to the center of the mounting plate.
- Use the Unlock/lock trigger to balance each axis of the gimbal one at a time.
- Start with the tilt and roll axis, then move on to the pan axis.
- Take your time and don’t rush the process. The first time can take up to 20 minutes, but with practice, you’ll be able to balance your camera quickly.
- Remember to turn on the gimbal and let it test its motors before using it.
- If you’re having trouble balancing your camera, try adjusting the position of the camera on the mounting plate or adding or removing weight.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with different mounting options and techniques to find what works best for you.
- Have fun and enjoy the smooth footage you’ll be able to capture with a properly balanced camera on a gimbal!
Camera Not Staying Level
This is likely a problem with the balance of the gimbal. Go through the steps of balancing each axis again, paying close attention to the center of gravity of the camera. Make sure the camera is as close to the center of the mounting plate as possible.
Gimbal Making Noise
This could be a problem with the motors or the calibration of the gimbal. Make sure the gimbal is turned off and check for any loose parts or debris that may be causing the noise. If the problem persists, refer to the manufacturer’s troubleshooting guide or contact customer support for assistance.
Gimbal Not Turning On
This could be a problem with the battery or the power supply. Make sure the battery is fully charged and the power cable is securely connected. If the problem persists, refer to the manufacturer’s troubleshooting guide or contact customer support for assistance.
Camera Not Staying Stable
This is likely a problem with the calibration of the gimbal. Try recalibrating the gimbal by following the steps outlined in the article. If the problem persists, refer to the manufacturer’s troubleshooting guide or contact customer support for assistance.
Camera Not Staying In Place
This is likely a problem with the lock mechanism on the gimbal. Make sure the lock is securely fastened and check for any debris that may be preventing the lock from functioning properly. If the problem persists, refer to the manufacturer’s troubleshooting guide or contact customer support for assistance.
Gimbals Motors Not Responding
This is likely a problem with the motors or the calibration of the gimbal. Try recalibrating the gimbal by following the steps outlined in the article. If the problem persists, refer to the manufacturer’s troubleshooting guide or contact customer support for assistance.
More Gimbal Resources
- Is Your Gimbal Perfectly Balanced? How To Know
- Why Is My Gimbal Shaking? Causes & Solutions
- 5 Best Gimbal Training Courses: A Guide
In conclusion, mounting and balancing a camera on a gimbal can seem daunting at first, but with a little bit of practice, you’ll be able to do it in no time.
Each gimbal is slightly different, so be sure to consult the manufacturer’s instructions and take your time the first time around.
With the right setup and balance, your camera will be able to move smoothly and capture stunning footage.
Remember to always keep safety in mind and never leave the gimbal unattended while it’s powered on.