February 10, 2014

Check out the GimbalGunner; a Hybrid Brushless Gimbal/Shoulder Rig Stabilizer

It only took a few short months for the gimbal stabilization market to be saturated with rigs with varying designs and prices. However, a unique rig has been made available by Dutch filmmaker Georges van Wensveen. The GimbalGunner combines the stabilization technology of a brushless gimbal, but the added comfortable ergonomics of a shoulder rig. Though a bit pricey for many independent filmmakers, van Wensveen's stabilizer offers something pretty unique and worth checking out.

This hybrid rig was designed with DSLR's and larger cameras in mind. It can handle cameras like the Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 1DC, Red Epic, Sony F5, Sony F55, and BlackMagic Cinema Camera. The rig itself is made out of carbon and aluminum. Here's a bit from the Facebook page:

The GimbalGunner is designed by a filmmaker. The device is made out of the best materials and with the latest techniques. Carbon and aluminium are used to make it as strong and light as possible. Moreover, brushless motors are applied, just as the latest ArmBGC controller with open source AlexMos firmware. Van Wensveen developed integrated controls on the hand bars in order to focus on the subject rather than handling the camera. The GimbalGunner can be disassembled into a small, easy to carry along, package.

Van Wensveen uploaded several videos to his Vimeo channel to show what the GimbalGunner can do:

Technical Specs:

Technical specs:

  • Carbon fiber, with aluminum camera frame
  • ArmBGC V3.5 two axis AlexMos brushless gimbal controller with the latest firmware upload possibilities any time by onboard USB.
  • Extra USB connection outside.
  • Motors: two iPower Gimbal BL Motor GBM80187-120T.
  • Total weight of the whole gimbal: 3.8 kg (8.4 lbs)
  • Max. loading capacity: 4 kg (8.8 lbs)

The GimbalGunner costs €4.995, or $8201.29, and are made to order and customized for specific camera models. Like I said before, the price tag is going to be restrictively expensive for most, but if you're in the market for a gimbal stabilizer with added stabilization, and are willing to make a substantial investment, the GimbalGunner is another option for you.

Links:

Your Comment

38 Comments

This should have been a huge duh from the get go.

February 10, 2014 at 11:34PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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gordon

Getting the weight on your shoulder will make this a winner in my eyes. All the stabilizers that force you to hold the camera in front of you will break your back in the long run!

February 11, 2014 at 12:15AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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LIGHTHEADED1

This is a really nice design. It definitely answers the few issues I have with the Movi design.

February 11, 2014 at 12:21AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Coty

Lacks the 3rd axis...easily noticed the lack of it....once you are used to the 3rd axis can´t see 2 axis anymore.

February 13, 2014 at 7:39PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Augusto Alves d...

Someone needs to come in and spank that little greedy over-priced Movi ass.

This is a good start.

February 11, 2014 at 12:43AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Tom

Beautiful design and great concept. only thing I found odd was that the video of him operating the GimbalGunner on the open water was already considerably stable, and from the looks of it was shot on an iphone, so it kind of kills the wow factor. lol.

Still, this looks like a really top quality set up. Bravo to them.

February 11, 2014 at 2:01AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Ben Howling

That was my first thought: shooting on a reasonably big boat in still waters like this is really stable in itself. Put a tripod on that boat and you'll already get insanely smooth movement, no need for any stabilizers here!

February 11, 2014 at 3:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Heiko

Why not go straight with a 3-axis system to reduce more movement?
Looking forward to see some feedback about the usage of the AlexMos controller. They are good but still have some flaw with gravity forces in fast movements.

February 11, 2014 at 2:26AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Love it! That shot of him hanging out the back of the car shooting the Alfa - we do a ton of that.
Not too bad price-wise either. Very very interesting.

February 11, 2014 at 2:51AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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marklondon

im surprised, found it a tad jerky on short sharp pans and tilts

February 11, 2014 at 6:41AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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jojo

That low level car to car stuff is what I meant.
Most times we use a camera car, but we also do a lot of handheld, mainly using the small Kenyon gyros which are nice but difficult to handle. The footage of the Alfa 4C in a tunnel is exactly what we shoot. Being able to do a few passes this way would rock. The Movi is nice but a little too big.
As I say, for me very interesting.

February 11, 2014 at 12:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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marklondon

looks good, very nice! In the closing shot, there's a wiggle in the camera movement in the BTS that shows the (off course) same wiggle, I am very curious if that has to do with the gimbal or if it was just something Gimbalgunner overlooked. Nothing to wine about, normally, but since he puts it in the reel it caught the attention.

February 11, 2014 at 3:06AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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This looks great! Still I think it's only halfway there - all the weight is still on the front. Until they bang a counter weight to balance it over the shoulder it's not really going to be that big an improvement for fatigue. Still though... baby steps eh :)

February 11, 2014 at 3:12AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Kraig

Nice alternative to Movi but a shame it's only a 2-axis not a 3-axis gimbal.

February 11, 2014 at 3:52AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Jon Lindsay

One could just use a MoVi (or its imitators) with an EasyRig (or its imitators). Something like this -
[ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMhcbRm-UI4 ]
or this [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2igbqv8kjg ]
.
Ultimately, for shots not requiring running/rapid movement, all of the camera weight should be on the support rig and not the stabilizer or an operator's arms. For running and some hand-offs, you can just take the camera off this support. For heavier cameras, I would be interested in seeing a contraption similar to the EasyRig but with the dual cord/spring suspension (i.e., off both shoulders) holding the camera cage, which movements then can be controlled by a single hand, with another free for the follow-up focus or whatever else. The line of sight won't be obscured then either.

February 11, 2014 at 4:16AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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DLD

I've tried the Movi a bit - its great for Steadicam stuff but we tried it car to car 'handheld' and it was just a tad 'big' for me.
Great unit, but I like the compactness of this design.
With the BM and GH4 out I'm guessing I'm going to get my perfect size rig soon :-)

February 11, 2014 at 12:41PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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marklondon

I wonder what the customization is like. If it's hard to customize to different cameras.

February 11, 2014 at 5:09AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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bryan

I`ll wait a version from Chine!

February 11, 2014 at 6:56AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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peter

Looks good...

But seriously? I've shot a decent amount of stuff out of cars before, but never in a way (I hope) that puts other road users at risk. I love shooting run 'n' gun and in a low budget/low impact way, but this doesn't look too clever - at the very least, use some safety cables (I couldn't see any here when he reached out with the camera). One little slip, and that's a camera rig bouncing down the road into the path of other vehicles - or at least, it's a massive distraction for other drivers. There are other ways to do these shots without putting other people (who presumably weren't part of your team) at risk.

February 11, 2014 at 8:10AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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+1

February 11, 2014 at 1:10PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Mr.Floppy

What is with this crazy pricing lately?? Also its very obvious that the first video has been stabilized in post. You can see the frame shifting. C'mon son.

February 11, 2014 at 8:17AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Santa Clause

+1

February 12, 2014 at 3:24PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Rob

So, the only negative comment comes from Santa. I have to agree with the price. Seems like the image jumps when panning. Don´t know if the video has been stabilized in post or not, but it looks like a bad stabilization.
Keep in mind that he uses some wide angle lenses there, wonder how good the stabilization system is with some telephoto lenses. Anyway, shut up and take my money.

February 11, 2014 at 9:32AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Rudolf

This system doesn't have a pan axis, walking down that ramp in that first video was really shaking compared to my BeSteady, great for tilt shots

February 11, 2014 at 9:36AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Dallas Currie

I really like the design, but not much more.
The footage doesn't look so good.

February 11, 2014 at 1:12PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Mr.Floppy

hmmm. at that price point one should consider investing in a full vest stabilization rig. the actioncam raptor comes to mind. Last year they had a group buy for under $7k.

February 11, 2014 at 1:21PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Sid

I think it's brilliant. It looks designed by a cameraman and not a helicoptor operator. Harsh crowd for something that still seems in development.

Many here are saying why not just use steadicam or an Easy Rig? That defeats the purpose of designing something compact and portable. I work as cameraman on TV/Movies and most of us hate having to put on Easy Rigs as well as the turn over time for Steadicam to the point we rent another body to reduce rigging time. And once you put a Movi on an Easy Rig, I'm thinking why not just get a steadicam?

I also get why the GG has two axis as the pan axis is the one that least gives away to instability. With a Movi, without a separate operator you have a pan delay in "majestic" mode. Not great when you need to react to unpredictable situations (improv, doc work, etc). I think it's worthwhile trade off. One of the drawbacks with a movi is the extra operator is labor that has me now thinking perhaps we budget for steadicam instead.

Perhaps a 3 Axis where you have a button that allows you to lock or feather the resistance on both pan and tilt axis.

February 11, 2014 at 4:15PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Whoops. My mistake. Looks like it's already for sale. Missed that part. Price seems a bit high. On that note, I amend my assessment. Pan stability does look somewhat compromised. In short, keep the design, add a third gimbal that can be controlled on the handles. Also, the elephant in the room with all these gimbals is tilting up and holding without an extra operator. Let's solve that riddle.

February 11, 2014 at 4:22PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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You can use all the gimbals in follow mode, and not need any other operater

February 11, 2014 at 4:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Dallas Currie

*Operator

February 11, 2014 at 4:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Dallas Currie

Tim, this is a "horses for courses" scenario. If you're running and crawling with the camera and whatnot, you want as light a package as possible (including a light enough camera). A lot of times, however, a gimbal based stabilizer is essentially a replacement for a dolly track indoors and you don't have a ton of down time in between the takes but rather have to keep operating in a continuous mode. Add a fully equipped rig into the equation and your arms will be falling off very quickly. Spreading the weight via a support vest/brace makes the shoot far more operator friendly. They are people too, you know.
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PS. The new Sony A6000 (a $650 mirrorless, no less) that was just announced yesterday has one kick ass auto focus even at a wide open lens (I saw a sample clip at F1.8). Now, that's something you can use with a very light gimbal almost anywhere.
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But if someone seeks more stabilizers - http://cinescopophilia.com/comodo-orbit-camera-rig-drops-in-under-10-days/

February 12, 2014 at 5:32AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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DLD

Great idea.

February 11, 2014 at 8:28PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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maghoxfr

Someone needs to come in and spank that little greedy over-priced Movi ass.

This is a good start.

February 12, 2014 at 12:28AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Alex and Tom

But can you walk with it in on your shoulder? if not, looks like extra weight for no real reason.

February 12, 2014 at 5:45AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Very nice rig!

You have to understand that if a gimbal setup is well balanced the lack of a yaw motor won't be that noticeable in your footage, you just have to be a bit more careful, use your body for panning and cushioning, and plan ahead your movements to avoid any yaw vibrations. You don't always need a 3 axis, it helps yes, but sometimes you can do just fine with 2 axis. We have one similar to theirs which we'll have in stock soon (though not as aesthetically pleasing as the GimbalGunner, but still works great) for SLR's with 2 or 3 axis, and when we used a small DSLR on it we were able to get pretty good usable footage, therefore you should get much better results with a heavier unit like theirs.

Good job folks!

February 13, 2014 at 2:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I like it but too expensive! Maybe Something like this would be in the budget.
Yeah is about the balance! Checkout this one
http://youtu.be/w840F79mn0I
http://youtu.be/_T9Or_hCOAg

February 13, 2014 at 5:41PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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REN

ShadowCam did this first - and better!

April 22, 2014 at 2:58PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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John

Looks nicely made, but the facebook page seems down, I would prefer to fly these things from a steadicam arm, first time i've seen this GimbalGunner, was working on my own design at christmas of last year, using a couple of L-brackets.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2fMRzBwwPU?rel=0&w=640&h=360]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2fMRzBwwPU

April 29, 2014 at 5:04PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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