Some final thoughts from Helsinki International Boat show

First of all I like to thank Messukeskus for providing me a Bloggers pass providing free access to Helsinki International boat show and press room. It was a really nice week shooting test videos, editing them and meeting plenty of people. Many just stoping me at the floor and asking “Hey, what is that” The LeViteZer gimbals drove much attention and I was always happy to explain what it is.

I learned many things when making the videos. My previous gimbals for GH4 where big, now I have two small one with CP and BaseCam boards. The small ones make it possible to hold the gimbal on one hand when walking and that provides much better result, I learned this when editing the BaseCam videos, so in many of them there is much more up and down movement because held with two hands close to body. I also learned that on both of the systems attention is needed on the follow mode parameters, both need tuning on that area, and different situations and different focal lengths need different tuning also. Looking the videos now afterwards, it is evident that also camera settings would have needed a bit more attention, like white balance...

A week at Helsinki International Boat Show in one video. Taken with Centrepiece and BaseCam controllers, with and without encoders, with inexpensive Samyang 8 mm and less so SpeedBooster and Canon 8-15mm. Does not really mater after the shots are taken, difficult to tell afterwards what was used.

Thanks for music The Bomb Busters, the song is “Paranoia” , more info on the Vimeo description.

Phobotic Centerpiece test videos

Some videos taken from Helsinki international boat show with Phobotic Centerpiece (CP) controller on small LeViteZer gimbal for GH4 sized cameras.

Thanks Phobotic for providing me the controller to be tested and reviewed. This was the first time I was really using the controller and on these videos follow settings where not optimal for close up shots, so the videos inside boards look a bit shaky.

Moving on wide space these follow settings worked quite ok though.

Some more tuning on follow settings is needed.

There will be an updated review of CP controller when the new firmware 1331 is out and I have a bit more experience with CP, for now, tested with 1330, I would say it is like high-end audio system, provides excellent result, but many would debate is there true differences that justify the higher price. As many High end systems it is limited on functionality and it takes time to get it operational, like powering up a tube amplifier.

The setup is however easy, this is where the CP shines. I had some problems before realising that it takes a minute to star etc. but with patience on waiting and following the LEDs, the tuning was really easy.

What I really miss on CP is users manual and detailed explanation of all the parameters. If it is shown, it should be explained. Also examples for setting the follow mode for different situations and some graphs explaining what the parameters are truly doing would be very welcome.

Where CP does not shine is the delays and reliability on handheld use. It takes too long to start even from standby, it takes too long to recover from disturbance, especially if gimbal is not operated in level position, because of these I missed many opportunities and moving inside boats and trying to control the situation so that no-ones face is on close-up-shot was very stressful. (because being all the time afraid of disturbing the gimbal and also because disturbing the gimbal and waiting)

It is to be noted that according Phobotic the current functionalities are focused more for aerial use and the upcoming firmware releases will address the handheld use.

Waiting for the CP firmware 1331 to be released, should be soon...

BaseCam test videos

I was yesterday testing the LeViteZer small gimbal for GH4 using BaseCam 32 bit board (FW 2.44b4) without encoders. Both BaseCam board and gimbal worked flawlessly basically all footage was technically usable, but my moving is not as smooth as it could be, so there is some jumping up and down. The lens is Samyang 8mm fisheye, a really nice lens. Anyway, the test videos. All videos are take 4K and no post stabilisation unless mentioned.

Anytech stand, the last clip is played back at half speed and optical flow has been used on it. Should have used higher frame rate.

Buster stand, this is on purpose long clips and fast moving to show the gimbal capabilities. It is light gimbal, easy to move around.

Celeri, a nice boat, looks like wooden boat but is mostly made of aluminium and class fibre. Speed reduced to 95% and optical flow used. A bit smoother maybe, but some side effects also (missing frames).

There was also some classics, especially the first one on the video a real beauty.

Williams stand

Nord Star 37 patrol.

Targa 44, on the last clip starting at about 2:10 the speed has been reduced with optical flow setting, to match the music ending.

Targa 27, on this one FCP auto stabilise has been used, no particular reason, but testing, maybe there is some improvement but not much.

Big thanks for Messukeskus providing me the bloggers pass, to all the displayers letting me use their boats for making the videos and musicians providing the music. Links to the music provided at Vimeo comments.

Testing will continue at Friday with similar gimbal but Phobotic Centerpiece controller.

Waiting for the boating season

Today was the first day of Helsinki international boat show. Some first shots with the BaseCam encoders equipped LeViteZer handheld gimbal.

This gimbal is somewhat heavy for GH4, but it takes easily Canon 8-15mm fisheye lens with speed booster. Next week much lighter and smaller gimbals with GH4 and native Micro Four Thirds lenses. One with Basecamp 32 bit board, other with Phobotic Centrepiece controller.