This is a tutorial type blog for wedding or commercial film makers operating CAMETV Gimbals. Here in Nova Scotia, Canada not many independent freelance commercial and wedding videographers use gimbals and even fewer really know how to make the most of them. It may be different in your market but either way I hope this blog will be a nudge in the right direction for those who have just started working with brushless gimbals.
You may remember when you first bought your gimbal it might have come with a little note somewhere that says some non sense about not connecting the gimbal to your computer and tinkering around, but that only applies to babies. If you are a big kid you can get in there and jigger this thing to do some super interesting shots!
Please note that this only applies to CAME TV gimbals and uses a GUI called SimpleBGC. If you don’t already have the SimpleBGC GUI you can get it here. The creator of the software now started a company called basecam electronics. It’s pretty cool. Anyway just make sure it is the correct version for your particular gimbal (ie 8bit vs. 32bit, etc.)
Once you have the GUI installed all you need to do is plug in your gimbal and it should install its drivers and such automatically. Then simply open SimpleBGC and your off to the races.
In here you can set up your roll axis to be controlled either by following or by way of the joystick OR if you’re really a rockstar you can rig up a bluetooth controller – but that is beyond the scope of these instructions.
When SimpleBGC opens up there is a button in the top left of the GUI that says “connect” and a drop down list of different connections available. With your gimbal plugged in, it should default to the correct one. I have found it’s usually the 3rd one down if you only ever connect one gimbal.
Now hit the connect button.
One of the great things about most CAMETV Gimbals, and you’ll notice this right away in SimpleBGC, is that it’s easy to dial in some roll settings. In case you don’t already know you can have multiple “profiles” aka settings on your gimbal and switch between which ones you want to use for different types of shots on the fly! (no pun intended…actually, no, I did intend it)
You can switch between which “profile” you are adjusting with the GUI in a drop down menu in the top right corner of the GUI
Now your ready for the fun stuff!
You will see there are a series of tabs titled basic, RC, Follow, etc. etc.
For accomplishing the rolls you just want to look at the RC and Follow tabs and the settings in there.
For pitch , yaw and roll in the Input mapping area there will be drop downs for what your options are, if you are using the regular joystick from the factory you will have two options called something like “analog1” or “analog2” it varies which one corresponds to up and down on your joy stick and which one is right and left. This is probably a good time to mention that you should definitely always take screen shots as you go with the date and time in the file name so you can always back pedal and experiment with new settings ( you don’t want to turn your gimbal on with new settings and have it bug out and forget how to get it back! )
In some of my favorite settings what I will do to control all 3 axises is set the joystick to control pitch and roll and then use the follow settings for the YAW (Pan) But the sky is the limit! The best way to do this is to write different settings for roll and figure out what works best for what you are trying to achieve.
You can also go into the “Follow” tab and set up your gimbal to follow your rolls. There are different offset values you can set to for following that basically tell the gimbal how much you can move before it will ease into the follow.
Here are some pictures to help
If you are having struggles or have any questions ask them in the comments and I will answer them as soon as possible!
I love my CAMETV 7800 Gimbal and the more I use it and get accustomed to the settings the better shots I am able to achieve, it expands the creativity I can pour into my wedding videography and commercial video productions here in Halifax, Nova Scotia and it definitely makes me a better film maker in general.
“The gimbal and it’s settings must become an extension of your body.”
Good luck grasshopper!