October 19, 2015 at 3:48PM

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Pistol Grip Gimbal + BMPCC - Thoughts and Results

Hello all! I wanted to share a video I made that recaps a road trip I took, where I brought along a fun new toy!
The Team Rebel Design Beholder DS-1 (upgraded from their previous MS-1).
https://vimeo.com/142821908

There is only SLIGHT post - stabilization in about two shots. The rest is straight from the gimbal. I"m still learning to use it, but so far I am VERY happy with what I'm getting.

All I did was prop my BMPCC on top with a Metabones and Tokina 11-16, balanced it, connected a battery to the BMPCC so it'd run longer, and I was off and running. No tripod, no slider, no dolly; just the camera and gimbal in my backpack the whole trip with extra batteries on deck.

Was such a light and friendly package! Not intrusive at all, people barely noticed, and I could go anywhere with it and get great smooth shots.

Really enjoyed the gimbal...honestly for 700 bucks I feel like it's a steal. And if you want, using the screw point at the bottom, you can kind of deck it out into a full production gimbal if you want, with some handles, a monitor, audio, etc. If not, you can just prop your smaller camera on top (3.7 LB limit, which is very high for a pistol grip), and you're off and running.

Just wanted to share and discuss the benefits of such gimbals!

Also feel free to comment on some of the shots. Went to the Grand Canyon and a couple of very visually pleasing festivals, so some cool stuff in there. Still was getting used to the gimbal, so it's not perfect, but there are some gems here and there :).
https://vimeo.com/142821908

19 Comments

Hi Ben,

Just out of curiosity, why did you choose this brand of gimbal ?
( I haven't heard too much about this brand before )

October 19, 2015 at 4:06PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30240

It just hit all the points for me. Biggest payload (in case I wanted to go with slightly bigger lens or camera), folds up easily, 32 bit system, locking points so no wires get tangled, great shooting modes (inverted, locked off, joystick, etc.). Batteries take it for 3 hours running and are easy to charge and cheap. Also toolless, which is great! Makes set up so easy. It just really had the best features of all the main ones combined.
The test footage I saw was also very nice, and once I got it working right (first time ever with a gimbal, so took a bit of learning, and still more to come I'm sure), it gave me awesome results.
Pilot Fly was 2nd choice, but light payload and 1 hour battery life just wasn't what I was looking for.
Came-TV has a crazy long battery life but it's a bit expensive and bulky.
Nebula I just heard some bad things and that is malfunctions or wires get tangled.
For 700, the DS-1 came out on top and hasn't let me down yet! Highly recommend. For something like a wedding or event, or very run and gun shoots, this thing is golden.

October 19, 2015 at 4:13PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1160

Checking out your footage, I suspect that you could improve on the grading. I know that the BMPCC can produce absolutely gorgeous images ( and yours look quite good ), but my gut feeling is that there is more untapped potential in the footage you shot.

The Nevada RISE festival must have been mind blowing to see all those lanterns rising in the night sky.

October 19, 2015 at 4:31PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30240

Thanks, Guy! Anything specifically about the grading? It wasn't for a client or anything, so I admittedly did do more of a simple saturation and curves just to bring the color back from the LOG footy. But, yes, untapped is the perfect word; there is SO much you can do with the bmpcc image. It's fun to mess around with, but I was worried of going overboard haha, so I kept it simple.
And yes...no camera could do justice to all three of these places. Each was so visually impactful on such a large scale, so much fun!
Always appreciate your feedback :).

October 19, 2015 at 4:46PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1160

>>>Anything specifically about the grading?

I am being picky, but...

I like to see shadow detail, especially when I know it's there but has to be brought out. There were a few shots where the blacks felt a little bit crushed to my eye.

I would have to watch your video a few more times, but there were times where some shots had a different color cast to them, so I think these could be better matched when you cut directly from one shot to the next, so they would feel like they belong together.

Otherwise, you've produced killer footage. :-)

October 19, 2015 at 5:54PM, Edited October 19, 5:56PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30240

Totally makes sense! Some blacks were definitely almost crushed, and I noticed on my MAC screen they were definitely crushed. Always forget to grade according to an average of different possible screens :p.

But yeah that's great feedback, thank you Guy!

October 19, 2015 at 6:03PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1160

Does this work if you're running with it? I shoot a lot of sports features for my job, and have been looking for an option to get smooth shots while running along with an athlete (during a practice, or staged). The DJI Osmo paired with an X5 is an intriguing option, but is very expensive. Would be very into this at the price, paired with my a7s.

October 19, 2015 at 11:09PM, Edited October 19, 11:11PM

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Tom Purvis
Cinematographer.
88

Definitely works while running. Did some running tests and was VERY surprised with the result...especially considering with more practice I can get even better at it. The OSMO is so cool, but there's something nice in being able to choose your own camera, own lens, own look.

October 19, 2015 at 11:14PM, Edited October 19, 11:14PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1160

Great stuff man, couldn't agree more. I like the idea of the Osmo too, but as far as having that creative control in choosing your look, it would be a bit limiting. Thanks man, and thanks for posting your video. Really awesome stuff. The part where you kicked up the music as the lanterns were fully in flight was pretty cool.

October 20, 2015 at 12:14AM

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Tom Purvis
Cinematographer.
88

Thanks Tom! That was my low budget IMAX look by opening it back up to 16:9 hahaha.
Appreciate the kind words!

October 20, 2015 at 11:40AM, Edited October 20, 11:40AM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1160

Love it man, beautiful shots and love the gimbal work. Makes car rides look so much better.

October 21, 2015 at 7:15PM

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Graham Uhelski
Director of Photography/Video Editor
343

Thank you! Yes haha can get some epic car ride shots!

October 21, 2015 at 10:15PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1160

Hi Ben,

Thank you for this. Your footage looks pretty great. So you know, based on your video and my own poking around online for the right "stealth" gimbal for use with BMPCC, I just went and bought a MS-1.

Patrick

October 21, 2015 at 9:33PM, Edited October 21, 9:33PM

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Patrick Ortman
I tell stories. Sometimes for money. Sometimes, not.
655

Thank you Patrick and great choice! You know I bet you can get similar performance out most pistol gimbals but bang for buck the Team Rebel Design ones rock.

October 21, 2015 at 10:17PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1160

Agree, but like you I have not heard good about the Nebula. And tool-less is pretty great. Mine shows up in a few days- I'll be using it on a film for BMW, I think :-), but mainly... the idea of being so incognito... that's awesome on a stick.

October 22, 2015 at 1:35PM

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Patrick Ortman
I tell stories. Sometimes for money. Sometimes, not.
655

Right!? No one was paying attention to me practically at all. I took it everywhere and got pro shots in stealth mode. If anything, since the pocket cam is so small, too, people just thought it was like a glorified selfie stick or something haha. Fit right into my backpack ready to go the whole trip. Game changer.

October 22, 2015 at 2:05PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1160

It really is. Mine arrived yesterday. Only took a few minutes to balance it, very cool. Thanks, Ben!

October 25, 2015 at 12:51PM

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Patrick Ortman
I tell stories. Sometimes for money. Sometimes, not.
655

Ben, all other comments aside -- this gimbal makes the video very professional. There are no cameraman distractions so the video becomes about content. Great Job! With regards to style and preference: what you've done grading wise looks great. I kept expecting this to turn into like a national geo narrative :)

October 22, 2015 at 12:05AM

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Alex Zakrividoroga
Director
3919

So nice of you to say Alex, highly appreciate that!!!!!! Thank you :).

October 22, 2015 at 12:33PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1160

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