The advent of gimbal technology in filmmaking is relatively new, especially when you compare it to well-established camera stabilization systems such as Steadicams, cranes, dollies and other similar filmmaking tools that have become the industry standard and have been extensively utilized by professionals on set for decades.
As technology advances and prices drop, however, the adoption of gimbal stabilizers has increased dramatically over the recent years – from consumers to prosumers alike. The fluid motions and isolation of unwanted movement have made gimbals a widely popular tool in filmmaking. Here’s another excellent example showing off how you can take advantage of the advances in gimbal technology and emulate a smooth slider shot by using only a gimbal.
This technique is actually very handy as the use of a small gimbal replaces the need to bring a large slider, which only slows down production and would make it very difficult for run-and-gun shooters to get the cinematic shots they need.
In order to get the smooth slider-esque shot, you simply need to attach the gimbal to your tripod. Afterward, position the gimbal facing forward and through your gimbal’s settings, lock it down. By doing so, you prevent the gimbal head itself from moving. Now if you move the gimbal left and right via the tripod, the camera will remain facing forward, mimicking the motions of a traditional camera slider.
It’s that simple! As a bonus tip, you could potentially mimic the movement of a camera crane/jib using the same technique. Lock the gimbal head and rather than panning left to right, tilt your tripod up and down. This technique is perfect for short subjects and adds overall production value to your shots.
Although the gimbal trick is simple to pull off, it is worth noting that this ‘hack’ only applies to small, handheld gimbals as trying to attempt this trick with something as big as a DJI Ronin-MX would be much more challenging due to weight, size, and build.