November 4, 2014

The Versatile CameTV 7800 Gimbal Stabilizer Just Got a Little More Affordable

There are quite a few handheld gimbal stabilizers out there on the market now, many of which we've covered here, and though many do an incredible job stabilizing footage, they tend to be pretty expensive. But the 3-axis CameTV 7800 provides the acrobatics of the DJI Ronin, as well as a price tag that most indie filmmakers can afford.

The CameTV 7800 is a lightweight gimbal stabilizer that produces stable footage on a budget. I compare it to the Ronin only because of it's multiple operational modes, but really, the CameTV 7800 isn't designed to handle larger, heavier camera setups like the Ronin. However, it does have some excellent features that many filmmakers are looking for -- sure, its low price, but also its ease of use and versatility.

CheesyCam reviewed the 7800 and put together a couple of videos to show you to what this gimbal stabilizer can do:

Features

  • 3-axis gimbal stabilization
  • Multiple operational modes (standard, upright, and briefcase)
  • No assembly required
  • Supports many different cameras, including Canon 5D Mark III/II, Canon 7D, Panasonic GH4, and Sony A7s
  • Max load is 6.6 lbs/3 kg
  • PIDS set up before shipping
  • Switch between modes (follow, lock) easily with joystick
  • Lightweight (4.8 lbs/2.2 kg)
  • Quick release plate
  • Monitor bracket

Check out this video to see how stable the 7800 can make your footage. (This test courtesy of planet5D.)

https://vimeo.com/109263137

The CameTV 7800 is one of the most affordable gimbals out there right now. They've even lowered the price a little bit for the month of November, so you can now get your hands on one for $1298. To learn more about this stabilizer, check out the CameTV website    

Your Comment

23 Comments

I have the iteration before (CAME 7500). Really a helpful piece of kit. If you operate it well (bent knees, strong core, shock-absorbing arms) you can get incredible results. All the motion shots in my reel were made with the 7500: https://vimeo.com/110867070

November 4, 2014 at 6:30PM

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Jon Brumbaugh
Director of Photography
74

Much love to a fellow Colorado shooter. :)

November 6, 2014 at 10:44AM

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Jay Mead
Colorist/Paintball Filmmaker/Colorado
147

*Grabs credit card. Throws at screen*

November 4, 2014 at 8:42PM

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Connor Day
Director of Photography
426

Thanks for that. I'll just go clean the coffee out of my nose now...

November 7, 2014 at 12:46PM

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Bryan Howell
Screenwriter, corporate videographer, and indie filmmaker
293

How does this compare to the Allsteady 5Pro? For $100 more, you can get a similar looking 3-axis gimbal made in Southern California... presumably with better support if anything goes wrong. I've heard some bad stories about CAME's customer support.

November 4, 2014 at 9:32PM

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Sangye Ince-Johannsen
Documentary FIlmmaker
100

I've got one of their steadicam systems. Response to support questions has been rapid but a bit confused, I think they have two teams that see and respond to messages but not sure how coordinated they are.

I agree, if you can buy local, do it, Amurica!

November 5, 2014 at 3:30AM

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Zack Wallnau
Cinematographer & Tinkerer
630

Just ordered the Allsteady 5PRO .. will come next week. After tax and accessory (video mount), it came up to $1600 .. which is still only $300 ... I figured I would pay for support.

Plus.. TurboAce added a smart battery (not the RC LiPo) and some screws were changed to update the gimbal to be toolless... which is great! I thought that is worth $300 more than the CAME 7800

November 5, 2014 at 3:19PM

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Purchased an AllSteady 5 pro a couple weeks ago. I had buyers remorse after a week I bought it. The product had not shipped yet, I sent them an email to cancel it, and they never responded. It was shipped out the following day. I told them I did not want want the AllSteady 5 pro anymore because the warranty policy was terrible. (They give you 30 days warranty on products and only 30 days. CAME is covered for 1 year) I told them I would not open the box, and send it right back in brand new condition. They said I could send it back, but I would be charged a 20% restocking fee. I couldn't believe it, over $300 bucks for an unopened box. They told me I should understand the cost of production with building these units because they are made in America. Lame excuse....Trust me, these gimbals do not look too much different from the other 3 axis gimbals you find on Ebay using the same exact software costing hundreds of dollars less. Turbo Ace is not a professional product. If you are getting paid gigs, avoid it at all cost. Anyway, since they were going to charge me 20%, I thought I would open up the box and check it out. The quality of the AllSteady 5 pro is not up to par with other gimbals. The Birdycam and Ronin offer way better value. Some of the wires were frayed and it looked like they did a terrible glue job on some of the parts. It's a pain to balance compared to the Birdycam and Ronin. AllSteady 5 is not completely tool-less either. The camera tray that slides up and down to balance the Tilt is a pain because it is not tool-less and the plate gets stuck because the plate doesn't slide up and down evenly. You can't make fine micro adjustments without spending a lot time on it. Yes the Ronin is heavier, but offers way better functionality and ease to balance. Same with the birdycam. Customer service from Turbo Ace is GREAT....BEFORE you buy from them. After they have your money, good luck. They don't respond to emails, and they don't completely address your concerns. Save your money and go with other proven gimbal companies. Trust me, it's worth it. You will seriously regret dealing with this company. Another 3 axis gimbal made in America is the GyroVU. Customer service is great, but I have not used the product. http://www.gyrovu.com/.

For me, I'm going with the Ronin. It offers a way better value and functionality then any other 3 axis gimbal in my view. Movi is king though!

November 6, 2014 at 1:46PM

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MV
74

We own an Allsteady 7 and Love it. Andrew, JC, Tom and the rest of the team are wonderful. They answer questions quickly and have addressed the issues that users have identified.

For the cost and value - Allsteady is a wonderful product. US made and a heavy lifter. We switch between the T2I, Blackmagic Pocket and Blackmagic 2.5k.

I have never had an email go un answered. The build quality is excellent.

November 6, 2014 at 3:23PM

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jerry frear
Producer - Elephant Trunk Films
88

that footage wasn't great

November 5, 2014 at 5:38AM

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matt
901

Any recommendations for the BMPCC? I have the Speedbooser, and I typically use the Canon 24mm 2.8 with IS. The IS works better than expected for handheld shots, but I want to be able to run with the camera, as well as get over-the-head shots which are smooth. Allsteady 5Pro vs CAME-TV?

November 5, 2014 at 11:35AM, Edited November 5, 11:35AM

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Joseph Arant
Writer
210

It's the exact same system... so here's how I broke it down as far as my decision

1. CAME-TV
- cheaper $1298 shipped no tax
- comes assembled
- ships about 5 days in US
- comes with software/firmware pre-installed
- monitor mount included
- comes with quick release plate
- support is via email or I was going to rely on Emm from Cheesycam :)

2. AllSteady 5PRO
- cost was about $1600 after tax and an extra battery or monitor mount
- local to me (Orange, CA)
- they will support the product and they seem to be accessible Mon to Fri - 9am - 5pm
- parts came from the same system but some screws were replaced by TurboAce
- does not come with adjustable plate (I have an extra Manfrotto 377 quick release)

I decided to go with the AllSteady 5PRO as I thought that the screws they replaced were probably worth $50 or so... support is definitely worth it when needed. I never know when the firmware is going to crap out on me.

November 6, 2014 at 2:52AM

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Just saw the AllSteady 5PRO has 30 days warranty. It's kind of short for a $1400+ product with a lot of electronics and parts. Makes me wonder.

November 6, 2014 at 4:33AM

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I've been researching 3 axis systems for a while now. I'm on a budget so the MOVi and DJI are too expensive. I have been interested in the Allsteady 5Pro - which as posted below is just $100 more. Has anyone experience with the Allsteady system compared to the CAME? Supporting a CA business rather than an import would be great, but it comes down to which is more capable. Help anyone? Need to purchase a system ASAP for some upcoming shoots.

November 5, 2014 at 2:33PM, Edited November 5, 2:33PM

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Joel Boucher
Photographer & Cinematographer
81

Just put in my order for AllSteady 5PRO yesterday... It will come in a week. I think they get the product and they replace the parts that they added to the DIY system. Then they load up the software then. It will be fun I am sure... Will update everyone further.

November 6, 2014 at 2:44AM, Edited November 6, 2:44AM

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Read my post above regarding Turbo Ace. I have used many 3 axis gimbals. DJI Ronin is more money, but worth it.

November 6, 2014 at 1:49PM

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MV
74

Oh well, it's $18 more than the 'month of October' discount, glad I grabbed one then... still at very good price point now ;)

November 6, 2014 at 1:03AM

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I really think all Gimbal Stabilizer's will continue to come down in price. Like everyone else I'd rather purchase one from a company that I can actually drive to, rather than send my money out of the country.

November 6, 2014 at 11:35AM

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Enrique Olivieri
Film Maker/Writer/Actor
164

Also, someone needs to mix the Sophie test footage above with the SFX from Evil Dead 2.

Make it happen, people!

November 7, 2014 at 12:49PM

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Bryan Howell
Screenwriter, corporate videographer, and indie filmmaker
293

After monitoring CAME-TV's rapid product development from sub-$1000 kit that took a couple of days to assemble to the 7800, with its 32-bit stabilizing system, adjustable/removable handles, quick-release plate to adjust pitch rapidly and easily, I plunged in and bought the 7800.

Admittedly, it had some problems upon arrival, including a broken connector that I had to solder on and a battery charger that didn't work. But after some teething setup problems, it really works.

I took it out on a boat on a lake and the horizon stayed rock solid.

It has a joystick that allows you to rough in pan and tilt, then three modes of stabilization.

Mode 1 (press the joystick in once) has a "follow" mode in both pan and tilt. That is, if you pan or tilt the handles, the camera will "follow" that move with a smooth, ramped correction in that the desired direction.

Mode 2 (press the joystick in twice) allows the follow mode in pan only. This keeps the rig really stable and doesn't let you tilt up.

Mode 3 (press joystick three times) disables follow in both pan and tilt axes. You now point the camera at a target and all motions of your hands are ignored. It's like the camera is on a tracked dolly. You can literally walk toward or away from your subject and it's as if you're on rails.

My 7800 with Panasonic GH4 and 12-35mm lens and a SmallHD DP4 weighs about 8 lbs.

The DP4 mounted on the supplied carbon fiber monitor mount (using a small ball mount) allows me to put my eye up to the monitor's loupe so I can verify focus, exposure, framing and to make sure it's actually recording. It's hard to see the camera's monitor during shooting and the DP4 monitor really helps, especially in bright daylight.

To hold that 8 lbs up for any length of time takes real strength. CAME offers a vest with a crane arm -- not a spring arm like steadicams use -- that looks really well made, but a simple overarm support like that from AtlasCameraSupport.com also works well. With the correct overarm matched to the weigh, the camera becomes weightless, distributing the weight to your back.

You will need an extra LiPo cell or two to power the three motors if you're shooting a lot -- http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000W7WWFW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s0...

a better charger -- LiPo's are fussy about charging, discharging and storage voltage or you will kill your cells or reduce their life -- http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00466PKE0/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s0...

A battery charge indicator helps too -- http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003Y6E6IE/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s0...

Add a fireproof bag to hold the LiPo cells during charging and storage -- http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005Q3VSZC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s0...

An ultra thin and flexible HDMI cable runs from the camera to the monitor that's flexible enough not to drag the motors -- http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006VFOHSY/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s0...

A remote camera trigger attached to the left handle is also handy so you don't have to touch the camera itself to get it to focus or start/stop recording. Focus is always a challenge. The wired remote for the GH4 allows a partial press to focus and a full press to start/stop. (It's possible to use the RF remote capability of the GH4 to your phone or a small iPad that could be mounted on the upper cross bar. The iPhone 6 or 6plus or the Galaxy Note 4 would be a really nice size. Still need shading from bright daylight, though.)

Finally, unless you want to carry the system around in the cardboard box it arrived in, you'll need a good case. If you remove the top handle (a single bolt holds it on) you can fit the 7800 into a Nanuk 945 case for safe transport. http://www.amazon.com/Nanuk-Case-Cubed-Foam--Black/dp/B003JH7ZW2/ref=sr_...

The 7800 is a remarkable piece of engineering and stabilizes lighter cameras up to a Nikon D800 or Canon 5DII very well indeed. I really like it.

November 8, 2014 at 12:07AM

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Thanks for this Dan! There are a lot of ways to screw this up. Your post helps a bunch.

November 15, 2014 at 10:24AM

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Anyone has a different youtube review on this gear? I have been trying to find something on youtube but can't find one.

thanks!

November 12, 2014 at 7:42PM

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I've compiled a page with most of their gimbal info for anyone who thinks may be useful as well. http://www.mdifilm.com/2013/?p=1291

January 25, 2015 at 10:27AM

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Johnny Wu
Director, Producer, Editor
392

I bought this gimbal directly for their site, Once it arrived i opened the box and saw the parts shabbily arranged. I immediately smelled a rat. I had to assemble most of the parts my self even though i ordered a 'pre assembled ready to use gimbal'.
I spent days trying to balance the gimbal and it would not work. I contacted CAME TV and they claimed that i had tampered with the PID settings. I knew that i was going left with a worthless piece of crap when they refused to take the gimbal back, even after uploading 2 videos to prove that their gimbal doesn't work.

I feel duped. Please save your self the hassle and do not buy from this scam company CAME TV.

May 27, 2015 at 8:16PM, Edited May 27, 8:16PM

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Ema18
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