Gimbal Calibration Guide

Introduction

For camera enthusiasts and videographers, capturing smooth handheld footage is essential for creating professional-like video. A camera gimbal attachment is a valuable component that helps achieve stabilized shots by providing excellent balance to the camera.

For beginners, the first-time balance tests with different cameras and lens can be a pain in the neck. "Can this gimbal really work with my camera?”, “Is my camera too heavy or light for the gimbal?", "Why does the tutorial never mention that?"...To put those doubts to rest, this post will guide you through the process of calibrating Feiyu gimbals, and some other awkward situations you may run into. Before the quest for other brilliant functions and creative videography, come follow us from the moment you touch on your Feiyu camera gimbal. Don't miss this, because it may really takes you a few hours or even longer to set up your gimbal.

Choose the right gimbal for your camera

1. Is your camera on the compatible list?

When choosing a good pal for your cameras, firstly check the gimbal's compatible list to find if your camera model is there, not just the gimbal's payload. Feiyu has compatible list for dslr and mirrorless, and list for action camera, both of which include mainstream and the latest cameras on market that customers might have, which are strictly tested to be well-stabilized under the payload, and fully operational by the gimbal's control (USB or WiFi). Feiyu compatible list notes which models can only be stabilized, and which can also connected to gimbal so you can easily control some functions of your cam via the gimbal's touchscreen or buttons, like potrait mode, panoramic shots...So if you access and adjust camera a lot when shooting, you can consider a gimbal that can connect to your cam.

And what if your camera isn't on the list? Feiyu continually updates the lists to catch up the popular and new-released models from great brands worldwide, and we are on our way to embrace and develope more. So no worries, just come contact us and we will give you an answer quickly.

2. Not sure about the gimbal's payload and weight distribution?

Stronger gimbal with large payload for heavy lens may sacrifice some portability for more load, while the Mini gimbal is for lightweightness and multi-use. If you do need a camera with heavy loads like lens, microphone, you can go for the Feiyu mainline, and the Pro line (from SCORP and AK series). Sometimes camera too light for the stabilizer may happen, due to the lens much heavier than the camera itself. It's likely to find underweight gimbal is hard to stabilize even it's well balanced. You can level it by adding counterweight or washer on the camera side to compensate the front weight. And if what you really is a portable solution when shooting, like for a mirrorless camera with a light lens, Feiyu Mini line and G6 Max may be a better choice. But still, different gimbals with same payload can vary a lot on their features, you need to know what your preference is before buying.

Gimbal has roll, pan, tilt axes

How to balance and calibrate the gimbal?

Before do the balancing work, make sure the camera and all other accessories are within the gimbal's payload and mounted on the gimbal, and the gimbal is powered off or in sleep mode. It is recommended to hold up the camera to the ceiling first, then move the slide arm, cross arm and vertical arm.

1. Balancing the 3 axes manually

Step 1, let's lock everything off except the tilt axis and slide arm lock. Adjust the tilt axis and point the camera lens right up to the ceiling. If the lens falls to one side, it means that side is heavier, so you need to move the slide arm to the opposite side untill the lens doesn't fall. Then you can lock the slide arm when the camera sits vertically.

Step 2, adjust the tilt axis again but this time set the lens horizontally. If it falls, you move the ARCA quick release plate forward and backward untill it's neutrally balanced and points forward. Then, you lock the ARCA plate and test if it will drop by tilting the camera 45° up and down from horizon. If it doesn't, lock the tilt axis and repeat Step 2 for other 2 axes (adjust the cross arm and vertical arm to make sure the camera lens be horizontal to the desk at last).

2. Horizontal calibration on Feiyu APP

For horizon balance (Step 2), you can also open the Feiyu APP and click on "Horizon Calibration" to balance it more conveniently.

Feiyu Camera Gimbal for DSLR and Mirrorless

Why does gimbal still vibrate after calibration?

1. Gimbal Motor Overload

Gimbal's motor power overload can trigger balancing issue like the shaking. There are 2 situations that usually happen if the gimbal' motor power not on par with the weight of the camera. If the motor power gets too strong, there will be high-frequency vibration of the gimbal arm with constant noice. Once you find which motor needs to be adjusted, you touch on the "Payload Setting - Auto Adaptation - Confirm" accordingly on the touchscreen, then the gimbal will usually automatically settle down. If not, you can adjust a certain motor power yourself on Feiyu APP.

Sometimes it can be the motor power too weak for the gear, when the camera shakes more violently in a way without any noise. You can find out by holding the arm from moving to see if the vibration goes away. Then you can adjust the motor power like above, first do the whole axes auto-adaptation, or do it separately on APP.

2. Calibration Error

Follow from what I said above, doing calibration wrong can trigger malfunction of the gimbal when using. For example, when the pan axis is not well-calibrated, it takes longer on the pan orieantation to get the camera in right position like when shooting in selfie mode or Inception mode, and pan motor has to work harder to perform, which will make the motor overheat, or even damaging the motor completely if possible. And it's suggested to fix and re-balance the gimbal right away.

The sign of the wrong calibration varies when shooting due to different Feiyu models. Sometimes the gimbal doesn't work at all, enters sleep mode directly with the sound "beep", or shut down itself completely. So when this happens, don't panic, it's not something wrong with the gimbal or hardware. Simply doing all the calibration properly again and make sure the gimbal gets balanced. And turn on it to test the functionality to see if it works straight at last.

Do I have to balance the gimbal every time I use it?

1. Balance every time for different gears

The answer for that question is definately a YES if you pair the gimbal stabilizer with different camera, lens and accessories. The whole weight and weight distribution will vary from the last gear you use on the gimbal. A tiny adjustment on the gimbal will result on the movement of the camera and your final footage.

2. Recommend you to balance even for the same gear

To avoid the risk of wasting a precious shooting, we still recommend you to calibrate and balance even you use the same gear since last time.

Final Words

If you haven't chosen which gimbal to be your good companion, hope this post doesn't come late. It's suggest to go over the gimbal's compatible list first, and figure out the max payload of your camera gear to see if it matches the payload. Then go over our official tutorial and user manual to do the setup & calibration accordingly. Run some tests to see if it's well-balanced before using it for formal shooting. Please contact us when you run into some issues you can't solve, we'll always happy to help and improve.

Article credit:FeiyuTech (https://store.feiyu-tech.com/blogs/news/

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