Gyro Stabilized Camera Guidance Issues

You want to avoid over controlling an inertial stabilized system. You want just enough control to make it do what you want it to do. Obviously a large system will need a heavier hand than a 4lb consumer camcorder.

Consider this increase in control provided by:
1. Finger tips at or near the CG.
2. One hand around the post at or near the CG.
3. Two hands at some distance and symmetrical in line with the CG.

This progression is related to the weight of the system and how much control is needed considering the roughness of the vehicle supporting the rig. Over smooth ground fingertips may be enough control, but over rough ground two hands at a distance might be needed. When rough terrain is encountered and shooting is not possible, the camera has to be protected. After the rough terrain, the operator has to remember to return to lighter control and not continue to hang on tight.

The type of isolation system is also relevant. If the supporting vehicle or operator is on rough ground or in rough air you will need lots of freedom to move in and stronger resistance in the isolation system.

You might consider heavier weight second stage restraint in case the vehicle does a violent move. Light weight isolation for shooting and heavier for safety. Of course shooting would be unusable during a rough section, but the equipment and operator would be protected. Heavier springs, bungee, or exercise tube could be provided to "kick in" if a hard bump or pocket of air was encountered. With support from below the same second stage resistance should be considered.

Some flex in the guidance system hardware is okay, but avoid any flex between the gyro and the camera.

If two hands are used, they should be equally distant from the CG and symmetrical in line with the CG. It is better hands are at right angles to the lens of the camera. If the hands are offset because the zoom control is forward as it is on a video camera, hold the camera with the left hand opposed and to the rear so the line between the two hands passes through the CG of the combined camera and gyro/s. The VX1000 places the hand strap and zoom control in line with the CG, but few other cameras do. If you use an accessory zoom control, it can be placed in line with the CG with various bracketry.

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