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10-20-2020, 03:13 AM   #1
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Gimbal/Stabilizer experiences with Pentax DSLRs?

Hi,

I'm wondering if any forum members have had any experiences with using gimbals / stabilizers with Pentax DSLRs and their functionality. I can understand that most gimbals will work as long as I stay within the dimension and weight limits, but I was also wondering whether more advanced functionality such as stabilizer/rig based focus tracking modules such as the one found on the DJI RS2 Lidar.

On a side note, I'm really hoping K-new will have half decent video output because I can't imagine giving up the ergonomic experience of Pentax for other systems. I'd appreciate any suggestions for gimbals/stabilizers.

Cheers

10-20-2020, 05:29 AM   #2
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I've encountered two problems. First is really a tripod issue - I had to put red loctite (similar to superglue*) on the threads to keep the thing from loosening up and getting wobbly, and second, the angle of the mounting arm of the gimbal is too big for a camera with a battery grip installed. I did come up with a solution to that problem as well, though it involves the use of a relatively inexpensive "macro rail" (no gears, slide it where you want it kind of thing) which I have and will be continuing to document today in another thread.

BatteryGrip/Gimbal Problem Solved! - PentaxForums.com

* (Red Loctite is a thread-sealing compound used in heavy duty automotive applications, like the bolts that hold the ring-gear in place in a truck's differential. That means the "repair" is permanent, it would take a 1200F degree torch to get it loose, and of course the threads are concealed from any such access. So if you ever want to remove the head from the tripod ever again, use blue (strong but removable by hand) Loctite, not purple (medium strength - tools required for removal) or red (permanent).)
10-20-2020, 09:33 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by dlh Quote
I've encountered two problems. First is really a tripod issue...
I think they were wondering about doing hand-held video using something similar to a steady-cam.


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10-20-2020, 10:04 AM   #4
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I don't have a lot of experience using my Pentax cameras with a gimbal, but we have Tilta GH-2 gimbals at work for use with our Lumix GH-5s cameras. The Tilta works well once you get it balanced out, but I found that having my camera in a cage seemed to screw up the weight distribution and made it hard to get it balanced right. We don't have a lot of time for our shoots so using the gimbal needs to be something I can do as easily as switching lenses. I found myself not using the gimbal because it just took too much time to set up. I tried using my Pentax K-01 instead so that I could pre-balance the gimbal, but since it doesn't autofocus when recording, I had to be very careful about my distance to my subject. I bought a Lumix GH-4 with the intention of dedicating it to the Tilta gimbal and leaving it on there all the time, but haven't yet done that because I keep using the GH-4 for other stuff. More recently, I bought a GoPro Karma gimbal to use with my GoPro Hero 5 Black and I really like that combination. It's so easy and handy to use that I've almost stopped trying to make my big gimbal more useable. In addition to tamer situations, I've used the Karma while speeding across a lake in a bass boat, as well as when I was on horseback on a trail ride, and it's given very steady footage. That said, it's only marginally better than the built-in stabilization in the GoPro Hero 7 that I have for work. The video quality of the Hero 7 is better, too, I think. Price-wise, it's probably a wash. I paid about $105 for my used Hero 5 on Ebay...and $100 for the Karma gimble, new. For around that same $200, you could probably find a Hero 7 now that the Hero 9 is out. Now you know pretty much all I know about gimbals. How were you thinking of using your set-up?

10-20-2020, 12:30 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
I don't have a lot of experience using my Pentax cameras with a gimbal, but we have Tilta GH-2 gimbals at work for use with our Lumix GH-5s cameras. The Tilta works well once you get it balanced out, but I found that having my camera in a cage seemed to screw up the weight distribution and made it hard to get it balanced right. We don't have a lot of time for our shoots so using the gimbal needs to be something I can do as easily as switching lenses. I found myself not using the gimbal because it just took too much time to set up. I tried using my Pentax K-01 instead so that I could pre-balance the gimbal, but since it doesn't autofocus when recording, I had to be very careful about my distance to my subject. I bought a Lumix GH-4 with the intention of dedicating it to the Tilta gimbal and leaving it on there all the time, but haven't yet done that because I keep using the GH-4 for other stuff. More recently, I bought a GoPro Karma gimbal to use with my GoPro Hero 5 Black and I really like that combination. It's so easy and handy to use that I've almost stopped trying to make my big gimbal more useable. In addition to tamer situations, I've used the Karma while speeding across a lake in a bass boat, as well as when I was on horseback on a trail ride, and it's given very steady footage. That said, it's only marginally better than the built-in stabilization in the GoPro Hero 7 that I have for work. The video quality of the Hero 7 is better, too, I think. Price-wise, it's probably a wash. I paid about $105 for my used Hero 5 on Ebay...and $100 for the Karma gimble, new. For around that same $200, you could probably find a Hero 7 now that the Hero 9 is out. Now you know pretty much all I know about gimbals. How were you thinking of using your set-up?
Thanks so much for the info, I'll look up those gimbals and research a bit more.

As for my own setup, that's a complicated question. I've been very happy shooting my K-1 Mark II for fashion work - the ergonomics, ease of use, and editing latitude when shooting RAW can't be beat - but lately video has become more and more important, so I'm trying to look for a setup where I can keep using Pentax. Otherwise there's a fair chance I will have to migrate to another system.
10-20-2020, 03:57 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by someasiancameraguy Quote
Thanks so much for the info, I'll look up those gimbals and research a bit more.

As for my own setup, that's a complicated question. I've been very happy shooting my K-1 Mark II for fashion work - the ergonomics, ease of use, and editing latitude when shooting RAW can't be beat - but lately video has become more and more important, so I'm trying to look for a setup where I can keep using Pentax. Otherwise there's a fair chance I will have to migrate to another system.
If you're going to leave the K-1 dedicated to stills and use a second camera for video - it could be in a cage, have a field monitor attached, or be in a rig or whatever - it can easily be another brand. Especially if it's professional work, just the cost of doing business.

You'll be able to do moves with a small body like the Sigma FP that you wouldn't bother with your 'real' stills body.
10-21-2020, 11:18 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
If you're going to leave the K-1 dedicated to stills and use a second camera for video - it could be in a cage, have a field monitor attached, or be in a rig or whatever - it can easily be another brand. Especially if it's professional work, just the cost of doing business.

You'll be able to do moves with a small body like the Sigma FP that you wouldn't bother with your 'real' stills body.
Yeah I can appreciate the benefits of having two systems in terms of production quality. FWIW I think the Sigma FP is a great concept with huge potential - especially if they come out with a sharp high quality pancake lens so I can also use it as a daily camera for street photography and also build a cage around it when I'm doing paid work. I'm not too psyched about contrast detection AF though. With these downsides and a small shooting crew I'll need the AF performance of more mature systems as I cant have so many people to pull focus. (also another reason why I'm asking if anyone has experience with the external AF modules of gimbals/stabilizers)
10-21-2020, 02:57 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by someasiancameraguy Quote
Yeah I can appreciate the benefits of having two systems in terms of production quality. FWIW I think the Sigma FP is a great concept with huge potential - especially if they come out with a sharp high quality pancake lens so I can also use it as a daily camera for street photography and also build a cage around it when I'm doing paid work. I'm not too psyched about contrast detection AF though. With these downsides and a small shooting crew I'll need the AF performance of more mature systems as I cant have so many people to pull focus. (also another reason why I'm asking if anyone has experience with the external AF modules of gimbals/stabilizers)
I couldn't shoot with just contrast detection AF either. I could never have a Sigma FP or any kind of Panasonic as my only camera, it's not up to the tasks.

10-27-2020, 12:34 PM   #9
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Any gimbal that handles the GH4 or GH5, should be more then enough to handle a K-3iii with it's 4K, and a KP or K-01.
I've had my K-01 on the Zhiyun Crane and found it to be well suited, especially if used with a lens wide enough to be able to use Infinity Focus and beyond Hyper-Focal Distance subjects - so on the KA 24mm F2.8, wide open, once the subject is a little over a meter away, you don't need to worry about focus at all while tracking them with camera on gimbal.
10-27-2020, 12:57 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by PiDicus Rex Quote
Any gimbal that handles the GH4 or GH5, should be more then enough to handle a K-3iii with it's 4K, and a KP or K-01.
I've had my K-01 on the Zhiyun Crane and found it to be well suited, especially if used with a lens wide enough to be able to use Infinity Focus and beyond Hyper-Focal Distance subjects - so on the KA 24mm F2.8, wide open, once the subject is a little over a meter away, you don't need to worry about focus at all while tracking them with camera on gimbal.
Do you have any samples or more specific info about your current setup? I'm really interested to see what kind of results are possible.
11-07-2020, 10:25 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by someasiancameraguy Quote
Do you have any samples or more specific info about your current setup? I'm really interested to see what kind of results are possible.
My current setup is an AJA Cion Cinema Production Camera,.... it doesn't fit on one of the gimbals for a DLSR/MILC

Does wear Pentax lenses rather well though.

I'm archiving footage during lockdown, if I spot one of the Gimbal mounts samples, I'll post it up somewhere.
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