I couldn’t not have a gimbal in my filmmaking toolkit now. I don’t always use it, but when I need it, there’s really no other substitute. They’re quick to set up, and if you’re moving around a lot, especially over rough terrain, they help you to get a pretty stable shot very easily. But they have one big problem. Z bounce.
It’s not so much a design flaw with the gimbal, but the inherent structure of humans. People naturally bounce up and down when we walk, and so does anything we’re holding. It’s referred to as the Z-axis or 4th-axis bounce. And Steadicam has a solution to help eliminate it!
The Steadimate-S is an adapter that lets you mount your handheld gimbal onto their A15 or A30 arm & Aero or Zephyr vest. It separates your vertical movement from the gimbal to help you get smooth steady shots without bounce. As the name might suggest, the Steadimate-S is specifically designed for the DJI Ronin-S gimbal, although it is also compatible with the Zhiyun Crane 2.
As well as keeping your shots level and steady, the system also helps to remove some of the weight of having to handhold the gimbal with big DSLR on top of it. The two Steadicam arms to which it mounts, the A15 and A30, have payload capacities of 15lbs (6.8kg) and 30lbs (13.6kg) respectively.
- SDMS-GIM Dimensions:
– Gimbal Collar/Yoke: 10.5” L x 5.1” W x 1.2” @ 1lb
– Weighted Base: 9.7” L x 3.9” W x 1.5” H @ 5.7lbs (all weights attached)
- Arm Capacity:
– Steadicam A15 Kit: 15lb / 6.8kg
– Steadicam A30 Kit: 30lb / 13.6kg
- Handheld motorized gimbals compatibility:
– DJI Ronin-S
– Zhiyun Crane 2
- Compatible with Ø½” stabilizer arm posts
- Weighted base utilizes Ø15mm x 60mm rods
- ¼-20 accessory mounting holes:
– Gimbal Collar/Yoke handle
– Weighted base clamp knob
– Weighted base rod ends
If you already own a Steadicam system, the Steadimate-S package includes the Gimbal Collar/Yoke, a weighted base, an adapter pad set, 1/2″ balance spud, 3mm Allen key, instructions, six 1/4lb and six 1/2lb balance weights and can be pre-ordered now for $295.
For those who haven’t already bought into a Steadicam and want to pick up a complete kit, there are two available. One is based around the Steadicam Aero vest and A15 stabiliser arm for $995. The other is a much heavier duty package containing the Steadicam Zephyr vest and A30 stabilizer arm for $2,495.
This isn’t the only solution out there to fix vertical bounce in your gimbal shots. There are a number of other options out there, including 3D printed solutions you can make yourself, and just practising will help a lot. But Steadicam is the oldest name in the business when it comes to this kind of stuff, so it’s probably going to be pretty good.