3-Axis Electronic Gimbals Are Great!
Check out the test video I shot using this gimbal for the first time here.
I recently invested in my latest piece of gear which was my first 3-Axis Gimbal! Prior to purchasing this I had a Glidecam HD-4000 which was overkill for my 2 pound mirrorless Sony A6300. I bought the Glidecam about a year ago, back when I had a Blackmagic Cinema Camera. The heaviest (vestless) combo out there, I might add. Nevertheless, I recently decided to cash in the glidecam for a nice and affordable 3-Axis electronic gimbal. I did my research and ultimately made the decision to buy the FilmPower Nebula 4000 Lite.
The FilmPower Nebula 4000 Lite
Let my preface this section of my post by saying this thing is really Chinese. When it first came in the mail, I was so excited to use this thing that I actually left in the middle of class just so I could sign for the package. Because God forbid I wait one more day. I opened the box like a kid on Christmas, and almost immediately, I powered it on. The thing went absolutely berserk, and I was nervous that I just purchased a dud off eBay. Nevertheless, I put the gimbal back in it's box and returned to class, with intentions to actually read the manual later. The manual ended up being pretty useless. So I took to YouTube to see any tutorials, unboxing, etc. videos that I could find. And to be honest there really isn't much on this piece of gear. After a long time balancing my camera, and trying to figure out the EXTENSIVE settings, I finally [somewhat] got it to work.
To be honest, the settings take a LONG time to get just right, and frankly, I don't believe mine are dialed in to where I'd like them to be just yet. But that's all part of the process with new gear.
Real-World Shooting with the Nebula 4000 Lite
Since I got the gimbal, I've pretty much shot everything with it, with the obvious exception of static tripod shots. Why? Well it can be extremely irritating to constantly take the camera off the gimbal, then have to rebalance when putting it back on. This was especially annoying at first when it took me forever to get the thing balanced; but now I can do it in just about 5 minutes. I remember a YouTuber saying that and my initial thought was that I'd never see the day that I could balance that thing in 5 minutes, but here we are. My current settings are free moving in profile 1, locked y-axis in profile 2, and locked x & y axis in profile 3. These profiles have been pretty good to me lately and I wish I had them from the start. Should I ever need to change anything, I usually bring along my old Android with the gimbal's app (SimpleBGC) installed on it, so that I could make some tweaks. The mobile app is far less extensive than the desktop application, but still pretty complicated. One thing that I think is cool about it is the ability to control all axis from a phone, so if the gimbal is mounted on a tripod somewhere high or far, the direction of the camera can be controlled remotely. It's a feature that I'll probably never use, but it's certainly cool one, and who knows, it might come in handy some day.
The Zhiyun Crane V2 (September 2017 Update)
After spending a summer in Alaska using the Zhiyun Crane provided by the company, I knew I had to purchase it. I ended up purchasing the one I had used all summer and then sold my Nebula 4000 Lite on eBay. The Zhiyun Crane was about $650 at first and has dropped significantly in price since its inception. Especially because they recently released an even newer version with some really sweet features. Nonetheless, this piece of gear is extremely advanced and worth every penny.
Feel free to purchase it down below!
Tip Of The Day: Make sure you really take the time to get to know your equipment. You may not score on the first date, but don't get discouraged! Get motivated to learn the new gear and get that million dollar shot :)