Updated: Dec 19, 2018
In a world where everyone strives to get the best cinematic shot in any project, one piece of equipment will change the world. Ok, not the best written imitation of Don LaFontaine but it's a little tribute to his work. Seriously though, we live in world where everyone tries as best they can to get the smooth cinematic shot that you would see on a movie screen but most of us can't afford to get the equipment to get those shots, but there are cheaper alternatives that have recently come out that is sweeping the globe.
Gimbals have quickly become one of the most sought after pieces of equipment in recent memory. They've taken on many forms, I for one own 3 different versions, and each one has it's advantages as well as disadvantages. Let's start with the one that is the most mobile. DJI has come out with an amazing gimbal called the Osmo. I actually used the Osmo for the Armstrong music video. The shots that come out of this little device really surprised me and made the band extremely happy. The thing I love most about it is that it's lightweight and you are free to roam wherever you want. The only downfall is that the batteries don't last very long. Similar to the DJI drones, I got about 45 minutes per battery before I ran out of extra batteries to use. Luckily, I knew what shots I was doing so I didn't have to worry too much about it. Check out the music video here!
DJI Osmo $359.95 (Amazon) (affiliate link)
There's a new version of this device. You can see it here (affiliate link)!
Another type of gimbal is basically a copy cat of the DJI but it is made for DLSR's. Kind of cool if you ask me because most filmmakers don't want to let go of the DLSR look. While there are tons of options to help stabilize your DLSR, this one is by far the easiest to work with. It's just as mobile and compact as the DJI, besides the giant camera sitting on top, and it gives you the same stabilization and control.
Zhiyn-Tech Crane $499.00 (Amazon) (affiliate link)
One thing that I still find pointless is the gimbals for the phones. Yes I know, I complain about this a lot, but I've already said my piece(s) about it. This gimbal would be fun for recreational use and can give you some good stabilization for your phone. Just don't claim to be a filmmaker with a phone gimbal.
DJI Osmo Mobile $199 (Amazon) (affiliate link)
They even now have a 3 axis handheld gimbal. DJI comes out with another stabilizer that is sure to make users feel more in control with their equipment, but this is also if you know how to stay stable in your own movements.
DJI Ronin-M 3 Axix Handlheld Gimble Stabilizer - $849 (Amazon) (affiliate link)
While it may be true for anything you use, you need to be extra careful with these because if you don't know how to walk smoothly, it doesn't matter how much you spend on a stabilizer, you'll still see your steps in the shots. It may make it a little smoother than usual, but any pro steadycam flyer will tell you that you need to know how to roll your feet. Sure, you can use a "hover board" but you can't use those everywhere so you'll have to learn how to do it the right way eventually.
There's so many things that you can do these days with cameras (and phones unfortunately) that tools like these will help you get the shots you've always dreamed about getting. If you have the money to spend on this stuff, then I would suggest you get it ASAP. It will make a world of difference and it'll step up your game.
Do you like my suggestions? Let me know in the comments below!