Gyro Betacam Type Rig

This is a prototype using an antique camcorder that still works. Adapting any Betacam size camera will be a challenge to get clearance for controls and tape loading. If you use a factory base plate, you will no longer have clearance for your shoulder. Most video cameras are not designed for attaching to things without a base plate. You might provide some attachment on the camera's base by removing existing hardware and using the screws, then gain rigidity and strength by also attaching to the camera's carrying handle. I removed the microphone holder because it was in the way and the noise of the gyro makes an on-camera mic. useless.

Most of the gyro principles are applied here. The gyros were placed above and forward to place the CG near the eyepiece to allow large pan and tilt moves without the operator moving his head much. The gyros are close to the mass of the camera. The zoom control and right hand guidance is not exactly at the CG but close enough. If you use an accessory zoom control, it could be placed on the CG axis which is best. The left hand should hold the camera symmetrically opposed to the zoom control hand, in line with the CG whether remote or in the regular position.

The vertical gyro has an adjusting slot for side-to-side dynamic CG balancing. The angle plates on the sides of the cradle are adjustable for front to back and up and down for CG balancing.

Now that the camera system (camera and gyros) is heavier, the zoom control handle should be used ONLY to guide the camera. The zoom handle should not be used to lift the camera because it is attached to the lens and would put too much strain on the lens and lens mount.

This rig can be hung from above in a vehicle or from a backpack rig for walking. It could be hand held on the shoulder, but at 35lbs. it would soon get tiring. Remember that the gyros loose more stability than they gain by extending them away from the camera. Keep them close!

Horizontal barbell applications will be less stable because the gyros would end up farther from the mass of the camera, but a very narrow rig might work fairly well.
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