A gimbal is an apparatus that holds a camera on the drone. It also serves as a stabilizer, holding the camera steady while the drone is in motion. The gimbal allows the camera to take photos or video while the drone is moving and without resulting in shaky videos or blurry photos.
Hello folks! My name is Lavelle and I am a drone pilot and long-time drone enthusiast. Over the past decade, I have used my drones for recreational and commercial uses, taking both photos and videos using gimbals on my drones.
In this article, I will discuss the types of gimbals used on drones and explain who needs to use them. I will also provide some helpful tips on how to choose the right gimbal.
- Key Takeaways
- How Does Gimbal Work
- Types of Drone Gimbals
- Who Needs a Drone Gimbal
- How to Choose the Right Drone Gimbal
- The Best Drones with Gimbal
- Final Thoughts
- By minimizing vibrations, drone gimbals can ensure smooth video footage and precise control of the drone.
- There are four types of drone gimbals.
- Drone gimbals are not necessary but add great value and provide smooth and stable footage, enabling users to capture better-quality aerial footage.
How Does Gimbal Work
The gimbal works by detecting the motion and direction of your drone’s camera. Once it detects the camera’s motion and direction, it then uses a parallel axis to keep the camera focused on its intended subject. The gimbal also works much like a spring, helping to keep the camera steady while the drone moves.
Types of Drone Gimbals
There are four major types of drone gimbals. Here are descriptions of each type.
1-axis Drone Gimbal
The first type of drone gimbal is known as a 1-axis gimbal. This particular model also referred to as a single-axis gimbal, has only a vertical tilt on it. The limitation of a single-axis design is that it takes away some cinematic options but the advantage is that it is very durable.
2-axis Drone Gimbal
The second type of drone gimbal is the 2-axis gimbal. This one is relatively lightweight and does not impact the battery life of your drone. It does provide more stability for the camera than the single-axis gimbal, however, it can sometimes create a horizontal vibration that may cause blurry pictures or shaky videos.
3-axis Drone Gimbal
The 3-axis gimbal is the most stable of the options, providing great stability to the camera while the drone is flying. The 3-axis design works very well with wind gusts and other sharp movements of the drone. This is the most popular model and is even used by Hollywood professionals for movie production. The downside of this type of gimbal is that it is expensive and can drain the battery on your drone because of its heavy weight.
A servo gimbal is an inexpensive type of gimbal that is lightweight and uses a brush motor. This type of gimbal is an alternative to the typical brushless motor.
Who Needs a Drone Gimbal
A drone user normally needs a gimbal if the drone is being used for photos or videos. The benefit of using a gimbal is that it allows for better photo and video quality.
However, the disadvantages include the drain it puts on your battery because of the extra weight and it can slow your drone down from its normal operating speed.
How to Choose the Right Drone Gimbal
Choosing the right drone gimbal is important when working toward a specific goal for the use of your drone.
The Gimbal Type
Whether it is a single, double, or triple-axis gimbal, the main concern should be how the drone will be used. For professional-quality videos and photos, the 3-axis gimbal is preferred. For good quality and lightweight, a 2-axis gimbal is a solid option. The single axis or servo gimbal should only be used when photo and video quality are not a concern.
Depending on the type of camera you are using with your drone, you want to provide the most stable support possible. Again, the 3-axis gimbal provides the most support, however, the 2-axis gimbal does work well under the right conditions.
It is usually best to buy a drone gimbal that is pre-calibrated. Calibrating the gimbal can sometimes be challenging, especially for beginner drone operators. The pre-calibrated gimbals are a plug-and-use setup.
Gimbal Weight and Payload
The weight of the gimbal, along with the weight of the drone, the size of the motor, and other technical specifications, make up the drone’s payload. For instance, a DJI Mavic 3 has a payload of about 899 grams while the DJI mini has a payload of approximately 249 grams.
Remote Control and Other Additional Features
When choosing the perfect gimbal for your drone, also consider the remote control and other additional features like the FPV option. These features impact which gimbal is best for your intended use and drone model.
The Best Drones with Gimbal
Here are some of my top picks for drones with gimbals and including the camera resolution, gimbal type, and estimated price of the drone with the particular gimbal.
|Drone Model||Camera Resolution||Gimbal Type||Estimated Price|
|DJI Mavic Air 2||4K video; 48 MP camera||3-axis||$798|
|DJI Matrice 300 RTX||4K video; 24 MP camera||3-axis||$2699|
|DJI Phantom IV||4K video; 1080P camera||3-axis||$2999|
|Autel Robotics EVO||2.7K video; 4K camera||3-axis||$949|
|Drone X Pro||4K video; 4K camera; live video wifi||3-axis||$749|
Here are a few answers to some of the frequently asked questions about drone gimbals.
Do All Drones Have Gimbals?
No, not every drone has a gimbal. Drones may be purchased without or with cameras and gimbals. You may also purchase a gimbal for any drone separately from the drone purchase.
Can You Shoot a Video Without a Gimbal?
Yes, you can shoot a video without a gimbal. However, the quality of the video may be low. The gimbal allows for stability while shooting.
What Is the Advantage of a Gimbal?
The advantage of a gimbal on a drone is primarily stability. The gimbal provides a stable platform for videos and photos to be taken while the drone is moving.
While gimbals are not necessary, they certainly add value to photography and videography efforts. The stability and smoothness that the gimbal provides, allow for high-quality, professional shots or video footage. Choosing the right type of gimbal and understanding what you intend to use the drone for are important considerations.
Have you ever tried operating a drone with a gimbal? Would you like to share your experience with other drone pilots? Feel welcome to leave a comment below.