How To Choose The Best Gimbal For Your Drone

DJI H3-3D Gimbal for the Phantom 2 QuadctoperIf you have ever taken a picture you know there are several factors which can either make that photo one to keep, or one to delete. A shaky hand makes for a blurry photograph. If the elements are against you, odds are the photos you are taking are not going to turn out the way you wanted them to. A hard to reach shot such as on top of a tall building may not appeal to an acrophobic, or crawling on less than desirable ground if the weather is not tip top.

That is where drones come in to play. The invention of drones made way for photographers and videographers across the globe, opening up new avenues to get just the right shot.’ Drones with gimbal systems made hard to stabilize cameras with limited mobility and turned them in to photographic liberation.

In order to understand why using a drone for aerial photography, one must understand the mechanical make up. A gimbal is a mechanism that typically consists of rings which pivot at right angles such as a compass or chronometer that keeps an instrument horizontal in moving vessel or aircraft. Despite the object’s movement, the gimbal keeps things upright.

Deciding which gimbal is actually right for your drone, the first deciding factor is what are you going to use it for?
Drones are used in several different fields.For instance, They can be used for mapping and surveying land. This type of work more than likely utilizes still photography to capture images of hills and valleys, and in areas where steep terrain is unreachable by foot.

Search and rescue teams use drones as a way to add extra manpower when time is of the essence. A drone can peer in to spaces too small for someone to reach or fly to places that are too far for another to get to in a timely manner. All these factor when looked at properly will help to identify the best gimbal for your drone

They have been utilized in surveillance operations. When a situation could be deemed potentially dangerous such as a violent protest or to monitor criminal activity at a safe distance, a drone fixed with a video camera would definitely have its advantages.

Aerial Photography is the most recognized when it comes to drone usage. Drones are used in several different aspects of photography. There are different forms of photography from still photos to videography, and each one requires a different set of mechanisms in order to get that award winning shot.

servo gimbal for droneThey are very popular among film makers because they can take the place of several people, allowing for the budget to stretch farther and they are much more portable than bulky filming equipment. Drones have revolutionized the camera angle, allowing a much closer view of its subject making the viewer really feel like they are in the action.
Choosing a type of gimbal will create a certain desired effect when shooting photos or video.
The first type is a Servo Gimbal.

A servo gimbal is a cheap, lightweight gimbal that is good for RC airplanes and quadcopers. Many flight controllers support Servo Gimbals because they can plug the Servos directly in to the FC (flight controller) without worrying about having to add an additional control board.

Next is a Brushless Gimbal. Brushless gimbals are common because the video quality is much better. Brushless motor gimbals are great if shooting aerial photography or video. Brushless motors control the camera position and are designed to fit a variety of different camera styles and weight. Weight is the most important factor with mulitcoptors. The heavier a drone is the less agile it becomes. This is important for the First Person View enthusiast. The lighter the weight, the more flying time the drone has. Some view a camera gamble as a luxury and not a necessity, but again, it depends on what the drone is going to be used for.

When deciding on gimbals there are several factors to take in to consideration. The type of motor is very important. Ipower (iflight) were the first to start producing a full line of brushless gimbal motors. The gimbal’s ability to balance is the key to getting the best results. The camera needs to be balanced on all axes so it puts fewer loads on the motor. The materials have to be strong. People need to be cautious of ones using thin carbon, fiberglass, or aluminum sheets for the arms. The most economical thing to look for is its expandability. It is important to consider whether it is easily adjusted to swap out a 2 axis for a 3 axis and can it swap out the motor if need be on on the drone you buy.

Most brushless gimbal systems come with a 2 axis or 3 axis. Each has their advantages and disadvantages, so we will take a look at both. First, a 2 axis gimbal is great if on a tight budget. Less expensive than a 3 axis, it can operate just as well as a 3 axis and does just as good of a job. The downfall to a 2 axis is it will only stabilize on a pitch and roll axis. The horizontal movement can be jittery and it is more obvious if shooting video.

A 3 axis gimbal, however, has better video stability because it is uses a yaw, pitch, and roll to stabilize. This feature greatly reduces the jello-y effect. The 3rd motor helps to absorb unwanted movement; plus using a 3 axis for filmmaking or aerial photography produces a better quality video. If there is an extra pair of hands operating the camera, it allows for two radio transmitters-one to pilot and one to operate the actual camera. The drawback to the 3 axis is that it is heavier than the 2 axis therefore it will draw more battery life, and it is more expensive than its counterpart.

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