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Gimbals... What to look for?

Balu

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Staff member
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#1

Snarls

Gravity Tester
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#3
Oh man I was going to reply, but got busy and forgot. One of the gimbals you linked is only 2-axis so I would toss that out of consideration. The two most important factors I look for in a gimbal are: the control board/firmware and the build quality. You want a firmware that is reputable for producing stable footage. Alexmos is probably the best, but it is hard to get a gimbal with alexmos for cheap. The next best is Storm32 which is what the first and second gimbals you linked use. Preferably the manufacture figured out the best PIDs for a GoPro and tuned the gimbal accordingly, but that is unlikely with these cheap gimbals. Running Storm32 you not have a hard time tuning to an acceptable state.

In terms of build quality you want to see if the gimbal was well thought out. A good design is compact, does not have wires tangled all over, and is light but rigid enough to prevent vibrations and slop in the system. The hollow shaft motors are nice for preventing wires from tangling. Slip ring motors and encoded motors are even better, but then your gimbal is no longer cheap :p.

The first two gimbals you linked look pretty much the same to me, except for the price tag. I do not like how they mount the camera is such a way that requires you to balance the gimbal every time you remove and replace the camera. Overall out of the three I would go with the HAKRC one. There may be some better options out there that I am aware of, but the price is good on that one. You can always reuse the parts and make your own gimbal frame later.
 

Balu

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#4
Thanks for the detailed answer, Snarls.

I wasn't just looking for "cheap" even though I just listed the GearBest gimbals. It was just the easiest way to have a few different options to find "differences". I missed that the first one was only two axis, so thanks for pointing that out. What confuses me a little that the one gimbal has a "regular price" of 218 EUR which would make me think it's better quality even though they've discounted it that much.

For the mounting part I might be able to 3D print some mount that allows the camera to be mounted at the same location each time.

What are your suggestions for more expensive, but better quality ones?

This one seems to be Alexmos and the mount looks more "fixed" and the motors explicitely say "BL Gimbal motor" whatever that means :)

http://www.gearbest.com/multi-rotor-parts/pp_184684.html
(It's even cheaper at HK: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/...mbal_with_AlexMos_Control_Board_BaseCam_.html)
 

Revere

New member
#5
BL Gimbal motor = (B)rush(L)ess motor
Brushless motors are the way to go, they are much smoother and do not lag like most of the servo motor versions but are usually more expensive.
Banggood have a large selection of decent brushless gimbals cheap (but check first to see that they come with a control board as some do not).
 

Snarls

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#7
If you're not using brushless motors for a gimbal then you are stuck in 2013. At this point BL is just fancy marketing trickery. Here's some nice gimbals I found on HK. FeiYu Tech and Tarot are known for making good gimbals, the others I'm not sure about. It looks like all of these have some kind of slip ring with the motors so that the wiring is concealed and doesn't tangle.

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/...less_Gimbal_for_Multi_Rotor_and_Aircraft.html
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/...PRO_T4_3D_3_Axis_Brushless_Camera_Gimbal.html
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/...ible_with_GoPro_Hero3_type_Action_Camera.html
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__86327__GH3_3D_3_Axis_Camera_Gimbal_Black_.html