Stabilizing Your Camera Movement: Gimbals vs. Steadicams

first_imgEvery cinematographer knows the quest for smooth footage. Let’s take a look at two of the primary options for stabilizing footage during production.Both the Steadicam and Gimbal (like the Movi or the Ronin) will eliminate the shake from your camera shots. They do so in very different ways, and at different costs. So, let’s take a look at the differences between them and how best to use each type of stabilizer.The Steadicam was invented in 1975 to free the 35mm film camera from a dolly or a tripod. It quickly won an Oscar for technical innovation, and it still shows up on film sets 45 years later. It’s a mechanical solution, and because it relies on inertia, it needs a heavy payload for smooth motion. The part that holds the camera — the sled — also holds the monitor and batteries.An operator wears a vest to distribute the weight to his or her shoulders and hips, and connects the camera sled to an Iso-elastic arm (with a series of springs) that isolate his movements from the camera.Enter the GimbalThe gimbal, first popularized by Movi in 2013, is an electronic solution. The technology appeared years before in helicopter mounts and crane arms. However, it wasn’t until digital cinema cameras under 10 pounds appeared that a handheld gimbal became viable. The camera gimbal works by measuring the camera’s position hundreds of times per second, and when it detects a movement, it engages motors to move an equal degree in the opposite direction, thereby negating the shake.Image via Movi.Like a lot of gear that relies on computers, brushless gimbals have lots of points of failure, but they also have a quick improvement curve. Gimbals get lighter, stronger, and more capable every year, whereas the Steadicam is still basically the same four decades later. So, what are the relative strengths and weaknesses of each one?Gimbals are cheaper, quicker to set up, and easier to use. You’ll notice I said, quicker and easier, not quick and easy. They still have a learning curve. It takes time and practice to become proficient with one, especially with heavier cameras. A Movi Pro or Ronin 2 will cost you around $6,500. You might also need a few other accessories, like batteries and mounts, but you’ll probably spend less than $8,000. A full Steadicam setup will set you back $45,000, but you can hire an operator with their own rig (in most cities) for $1,000/day.One thing a Steadicam compensates for — and a gimbal does not — is the up-and-down movement of walking. When walking with a gimbal, you need to bend your knees and do what’s commonly referred to as the “duck walk” — a shuffle that limits vertical bobbing. This limits just how fast you can move, while keeping the motion smooth.The Right Tool for the JobA Steadicam — despite being more expensive, taking longer to set up, and requiring more skill to operate — has advantages over the gimbal. Because the Steadicam isn’t supported entirely by the operator’s arms, the shots can be longer, and the operator can do more takes in a row before their performance starts to suffer. Famous Steadicam takes are minutes long, and a trained operator can do take after take without needing a break.Image via Steadicam.The Steadicam, being mechanical, doesn’t need batteries, and it doesn’t have electronic issues, like firmware updates. Many a gimbal shoot has ended in tears when the gimbal software crashed and couldn’t be restarted.A Hybrid FutureI should mention that hybrid systems have appeared in recent years that try to combine elements from both stabilizers — a gimbal on a Steadicam like an arm. These give you the best of both worlds, but also the worst of both worlds. They are more expensive and need much longer to set up than either system alone. But once they do work, they can deliver shots that were once thought impossible. ARRI has a system called the Trinity that can do amazing things. The price: $65,000.Both systems have different strengths and weaknesses. Thus, the more you pre-plan your shots and know what kind of motion you’re after, the better. If you want to fly a heavy camera or use long take times, you’re looking at hiring a Steadicam operator. If your camera is smaller and lighter, and you can plan to shoot for a minute or less, you can save money by renting a gimbal and learning to use it yourself — or hiring one that comes with an operator.Cover image via United Artists.Looking for more cinematography and filmmaking articles? Check these out.The History and Power of Sound Design in the Film Industry6 Slow Motion Cameras You Can AffordProduction Tips: Working With a Color Checker on Your Next ShootAdd Flavor to Your Footage by Implementing Color ScienceFilmmaking Fads and Trends: Don’t Let Them Bother Youlast_img read more

Citizenship Bill won’t directly benefit NRC excludees: Home Ministry official

first_imgNon-Muslims excluded from the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam would not immediately or directly benefit from the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, a senior Home Ministry official said.The comment by the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, comes as the Centre faces a backlash in the northeast, including in BJP-ruled Assam, over the Bill. Those vehemently opposed to the Bill fear that it would make it possible for the government to grant Indian citizenship mostly to illegal Hindu migrants from Bangladesh in Assam, who came after March 1971, in violation of the agreement of the Assam Accord, 1985. Almost 40 lakh people were excluded from Assam’s final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) that was published on July 30 last year. The NRC is a Supreme Court monitored exercise that was carried out in the backdrop of the Assam Accord. Almost 30 lakh of those excluded from the NRC have filed claims to be included in the list of citizens. Government officials would now examine these claims and the final NRC would be published later.The future of those people whose nationality was “indeterminate” was yet to be decided, the official said.“Those who will not make it to the final NRC, does not mean they will immediately get citizenship,” the official asserted. “There will be legal hurdles because in their application for NRC they claimed to be Indians. You cannot suddenly change your stand. There won’t be a blanket citizenship offer.”The Intelligence Bureau (IB) told a joint parliamentary committee on the Citizenship Bill that those who have come to India from the three countries under reference due to religious persecution but have not declared so at the time of their arrival in India “will have to prove that they came to India due to religious persecution, if they had not declared so at that time of their arrival in India.”The law seeks to grant Indian citizenship to members of six communities — Hindus, Christians, Parsis, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs — who came to India till December 31, 2014. It also reduces the mandatory requirement of 12 years stay in India to seven years to be eligible for citizenship if they do not possess any document.“The Bill is not only for Assam, it’s for the entire country. There are many people who came from the three countries due to religious persecution,” said the official.The official added that the application for citizenship would be approved only after the concerned State government cleared it.last_img read more

Vitol Buys Majority Stake in LSC

first_imgzoom Vitol Netherlands has acquired 19.62% of the total voting capital of Latvian Shipping Company (LSC), LSC said citing a notification from energy and commodities company Vitol.This is equivalent to a total of 39,249,118 shares in the tanker shipping company.The sum Vitol paid for the shares was not disclosed.Since 2002, the largest shareholder of LSC has been Vitol’s subsidiary JSC Ventspils Nafta, owning 49.94% of the share capital.Given that Vitol’s existing shares in LSC amount to 99,880,361, the group’s total shareholding is now equivalent to 69.56% of the voting capital of LSC, the shipping company said in a statement.Currently, LSC’s fleet is comprised of sixteen Handy and MR ships with carrying capacities from 37,211 to 52,684 tons.last_img read more