Are you looking for ways to stabilize your camera? Here we will compare Glidecam and Gimbal, two well-known camera-stabilization devices.
Professional filmmaking requires the best results from the camera, and having a non-stabilized videography experience can be demotivating.
Nowadays, even though many DSLR and mirrorless hybrid cameras come with a built-in stabilization feature, they are still insufficient to meet professional requirements.
Image stabilization systems in digital cameras help minimize camera shakes’ effects and produce clear photos. However, additional stabilization accessories are also widely used in photography and videography to enhance quality. The Glidecam and the gimbal are two pieces of stabilizing equipment often seen together because they complement each other.
When you finally decide to get the external stabilization solution, the next big concern is which stabilizer to choose between the gimbal and glidecam.
This blog post will compare and contrast the similarities and differences between Glidecam and gimbals.
What is a Glidecam?
A glidecam is a mechanical stabilizer that can balance the camera with a counterweight in different positions, eliminating camera shaking problems and producing natural and crispy look pictures and videos. It is a handheld device that allows your hands to control the camera’s stabilization, thus eliminating the need for a motor or battery power.
A glidecam is helpful for people who want to make high-quality videos and snapshots. It holds about 10 pounds of camera weight, which makes it perfect for anyone who wants to take professional-looking photos. The Glidecam HR PRO, Glidecam 2000, Flycam HD-5000, and Glidecam Devin Graham signature series are some of the best systems for creating professional-looking videos.
The Glidecam, a device that allows filmmakers to capture smooth, steady shots without bulky camera equipment, uses counterweights and then balances the camera on a short pole around a center axis. In the case that the camera and lens are heavier than the Glidecam can handle, you will need to add weights at the bottom to keep things steady.
A Glidecam, as you may have guessed, does not come with any electronic parts. This means that it relies entirely on the user’s gravity and movement for a smooth shot. Using a glidecam takes longer than you might think, and mastering it is much more complex than newcomers imagine.
Glidecams can be used in a variety of ways, and different kinds can be mounted on the user’s body using special harnesses, making them much easier to use.
- Lets you capture smooth handheld shots
- Supports up to 10 pounds
- Need a lot of practice to master
- Long use is fatiguing
- Take a bit time to configure
- Some added accessories needed
What is a Gimbal?
A gimbal, a pivoting device that allows filmmakers to spin the camera along one axis, is more impressive than a Glidecam for three-dimensional filming. Three-axis gimbals are used to record videos in three dimensions. These three axes are pitch (up and down), yaw (left and right), and roll (tilt).
The gimbal, an attachment for a camera or cell phone, allows viewers to move the image in any direction. Long-distance shots can be achieved by using the ‘roll’ axis. The footage will appear stable, which is perfect for action movies.
A gimbal is compact, robust, and gives much comfort to the camera operator. It can hold less weight than a glidecam but is better for certain shots. The DJI Ronin SC, DJI RS 2, Zhiyun WEEBILL S, and Zhiyun CRANE 3S are high-quality 3-axis gimbal stabilizers that are widely considered to be the best of their kind.
If you are looking for a smooth filming experience, a gimbal is a tool that will get the job done. However, it is essential to know that gimbals require a lot of battery life and other options. When deciding on a camera gimbal, it is essential to consider whether you want to use it for heavier camera rigs or lighter camera rigs.
- Ease of use
- Slow-motion shooting
- Weight restrictions
- Can be time-consuming
- Not distinct
Glidecam Vs. Gimbal Comparison Table
|Load Capacity||5.5 Pounds||10 Pounds|
|Battery Life||12-18 hours||No applicable|
|Charging Time||3 Hours||Not applicable|
How To Use Glidecam Stabilizer For Best Results?
If you already possess a Glidecam stabilizer, you need to know how to use it for the best results. Here are some tips on how to properly use the Glidecam:
- The Glidecam works best when you’re holding it with both hands.
- If you’re right-handed, put the Glidecam in your right hand and use your left hand to hold the camera to balance it out. If you’re left-handed, do the opposite.
- Press down gently on your left hand with your thumb and middle finger so that the camera’s weight is evenly distributed between both hands. This will help you avoid shaking from side to side or up and down and ensure that nothing falls off the camera during filming sessions.
- Adjust the weight distribution by moving weights from one side of the glidecam to another until it feels balanced over your shoulder and doesn’t strain your muscles too much when you lift it into position. Uneven weight distribution will cause problems with your shots because there will be more strain on one side than another when you try to pan smoothly across a scene with this kind of setup.
How To Use Gimbal Stabilizer For Best Results?
Gimbals are typically used by professional videographers who are looking for a more stable shot. However, they can also be used by amateurs who want to improve their videos’ quality.
Here is how to use a gimbal stabilizer for best results:
- Ensure your camera is adequately secured on the gimbal’s base plate or handle grip.
- Connect the camera’s tripod mount to the base plate or handle grip so it will not fall off during shooting.
- Set up your camera on a tripod or any other platform that can hold its weight so that you do not have to hold it up using your hands during shooting time.
- Gimbals are frequently more mechanical in motion than Glidecams since they are handled in this way. Glidecams can be more directly controlled.
- You should still practice using a gimbal if you don’t want your movie to look like it was taken while swimming.
Glidecam Vs Gimbal: A Detailed Comparison
It might not be easy for a newbie to distinguish between the Glidecam and Gimbal stabilizer. However, a few factors can aid users in deciding between the two.
1. Stabilization of Images
Gimbal stabilizers use gyroscopes for image stabilization, while Glidecam stabilizers use off-balance weights.
In simple terms, this means that gimbal stabilizers are more reliable and are less likely to fail during operation. However, if you have experience with Glidecams and know what you’re doing, you might get better results than a gimbal stabilizer.
The Glidecam is approximate twice the gimbal payload, but it does not make it superior to Gimbal. The main goal of using a stabilizer in videography is to provide image stabilization and increase image quality as much as possible.
The image stabilization offered by the gimbal blows the image stabilization provided by the Glidecam, even if you use a camera rig weighing around 5 pounds on the gimbal (which is too much compared to its maximum load capacity). The same 5-pound camera rig on the Glidecam, which is around half of its maximum load capacity, still won’t be able to record better than Gimbal.
If you have to carry those big DSLR camera rigs, you can go for something like the Moza Air 2, which is even cheaper than the Glidecam HD-4000. The Air 2 has a similar payload capacity and better image stabilization for your video footage.
When panning, glidecam is superior to Gimbal Stabilizer. The Glidecam has a more natural feel to it than other cameras. You don’t need to use any effects to give your movie a natural panning look. Professional filmmakers can use a manual pattern to mimic the Glidecam’s panning effect.
Most amateur and non-professional photographers do not have the time or patience to build patterns. As a result, it can be challenging to grasp the fundamentals of your stabilizer. However, even if you’re not a professional, it’s worth it to save time with your Glidecam.
Many of the newer 3-axis gimbals have modes that create a similar pan effect and additional effects. It’s worth looking into innovative equipment if your budget allows it.
The Glidecam is designed for panning 360 degrees while still being able to move the camera up and down when necessary. It also has a Pan-Tilt head which is used to control the movement of your camera. On the other hand, the gimbal stabilizer moves around all three axes (X, Y, and Z), making it more difficult to navigate obstacles and make smooth transitions.
When it comes to performance, glidecams and gimbals are actually quite similar.
They both have three axes of stabilization that allow you to capture stable footage even if your arms are moving around or the camera itself is being moved around. This can be particularly useful when filming fast-moving objects or 360-degree videos — where you want every angle to be smooth as silk.
On the other hand, gimbals tend to be more robust than glidecams in terms of what they can handle. Many high-end gimbals are designed with larger cameras like DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. In contrast, most glidecams are best suited for small cameras or smartphones.
Glidecams are designed to be used in various ways, allowing the user to quickly achieve smooth, professional-looking shots. Glidecams also have a longer lifespan than gimbals, which means you can use them for years without having to replace them (or repair them).
Gimbals are generally used for only one kind of shot: walking shots. They have a shorter lifespan than glidecams and are not as flexible as glidecams when controlling your shot.
Changing lenses on your Glidecam can be tricky. Re-centering takes a long time. Heavy lenses and cameras are compatible with the Glidecam. However, because of its complicated functionality, videographers should avoid it.
You may be aware that some videography scenarios necessitate longer lenses to capture the exact footage you require and produce the finest image quality. In this regard, the Glidecam falls short. The gimbal lets you rapidly and conveniently swap lenses on your camera equipment. On the other hand, using a heavier or longer lens does not affect the basics of how your gadget operates.
It can be challenging to update the Glidecam to work with a new lens you’ve installed on your camera. This can result in a waste of time and complications. Depending on the model, you may need to change how you hold the handheld stabilizer.
4. Battery life
Battery life plays a vital role in buying any new device. Therefore, battery life may influence your decision if your scale is heavier than the gimbal.
The Glidecam allows you to hold a double the size camera without running out of battery. There is no need for an external power supply because the Glidecam holds the camera while you do the main work.
It is not only cost-effective but also great for longer shooting hours. When using a gimbal, you’ll have to stop shooting if the battery runs out, but with a Glidecam, you can keep filming for as long as you like. You may not even mind the manual labor if your camera is lightweight.
Gimbals rely on rechargeable batteries to power their motors and gyroscopes, meaning users must be sure to plug them in before every use. This may not be an issue if you’re shooting a lot at once or outdoors. However, if you’re filming anything close to a full day or if you need to be mobile with your footage, then this could become problematic.
Glidecams don’t require batteries at all — they draw power from the user’s body weight as they walk around with them on their shoulder. This makes gliding stabilizers ideal for those who want to keep going without having to stop every few minutes to change out batteries.
5. 360 Degree video shootings
One of the significant differences between these two is their ability to capture videos from all angles.
A gimbal stabilizer has a camera mount that can rotate around its axis while keeping your camera steady. This means you can easily shoot videos from different angles without manually adjusting your camera’s position every time you want to take a shot.
On the other hand, glidecam stabilizers don’t have this feature and hence cannot be used for 360-degree shooting.
Glidecams must be manually rotated for a 360-degree shot, making them less accurate than gimbals in these kinds of shots. Gimbals are automatic and, therefore, much more stable and smooth when shooting video in 360 degrees.
6. Changing Lenses
The Glidecam allows you to change lenses faster than a gimbal stabilizer does. This is because it has a quick-release mount system that lets you remove your camera from the rig quickly and easily. It also has a ball head that helps with panning, tilting, and rotating while filming or taking pictures.
On the other hand, gimbals usually come with one attachment point for your DSLR or mirrorless camera, which makes it impossible to swap out lenses without affecting stability.
How Do You Choose The Right DSLR Stabilizer? Which Stabilizer is Best For You?
DSLR stabilizers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. All of these stabilizers are intended to assist you in carrying your camera around while filming without causing the shot to appear unsteady.
The design of each DSLR stabilizer is unique. This allows the user to take the photos they desire while utilizing the camera and equipment of their choice.
Several variables should be considered before deciding on the DSLR stabilizer.
The first and foremost thing is to check which device is compatible with your camera. For example, ensure the stabilizer you’re planning to buy is compatible with the DSLR. Some brands ensure that their goods are compatible with specific camera brands, while others include all of the required features to function with cameras of any brand.
Switching between your stabilizer and other equipment is another example of compatibility. With their cameras, filmmakers employ multiple stabilizers. Monopods and tripods are some of them. You can switch between them, which will help you determine which is best for you.
When investing in a DSLR stabilizer, you will want to make sure you purchase one that can withstand the abuse of commercial videography. Your equipment are more susceptible to bumps and drops from moving around, so make sure the stabilizer can withstand them regularly.
If you are a beginner, your main concern is functionality.
You want something that will help you improve your skills and take better pictures while keeping costs as low as possible. The best thing about entry-level stabilizers is that they offer great value and perform well even in tough conditions. This means that they are ideal for learning how to use a gimbal and how it can improve your photographs. That’s why we recommend starting with an entry-level model and upgrading later on if needed.
Although the most expensive products tend to have the best features and materials available, not all costly products are created equal. Though the newer models of stabilizers are more expensive, they do not perform as well as the older models and have a much higher price difference.
Timely products can become outdated quickly and be replaced with newer models. A lower price on older items does not necessarily indicate poor quality or performance since this could be a ploy to boost sales of products that will likely decline when newer ones are released.
Don’t be fooled by low prices, especially if a reputable company offers the product. These products may perform better than those offered by lesser-known brands, which may not be as reliable.
Is Glidecam Better Than Gimbal?
Many people often ask us this question, and we know that many of you are going through the same confusion. The answer is straightforward.
For anyone with a heavier camera, especially astrophotography cameras that are on the heavier side, Glidecams are an excellent choice. If you are also interested in shooting time that is longer than five seconds, a Glidecam is the better option because it does not come with any batteries that need to be charged, so you will never be without power.
That being said, gimbals offer greater flexibility, are more stable, and deliver better performance than other camera-stabilization systems. They are also easier to learn than other systems, so you can start filming with them more quickly.
In most cases, gimbals are better because they follow the simple principles of plug-and-play. Many people always look for this kind of convenience and ease of access. Gimbals are better than Glidecams and are used widely in filmmaking because they are more reliable and do not suffer from the same issues.
In short, the Glidecam and the gimbal are handheld stabilizers that work similarly in that a three-axis system controls both. This allows the equipment to follow the operator’s movements, resulting in steady footage.
Glidecams are ideal for people who have heavier cameras and long shooting hours. Gimbal stabilizers are preferable if you want to relax and enjoy the game because they offer superior performance and flexibility.
We hope that this comparison between Glidecam and gimbal was helpful for you in making your final decision. Because the price is almost the same, your choice will depend more on your preferences regarding labor versus budget.
MOZA AirCross 2 3 Axis Handheld Gimbal