DJI Osmo Mobile 2

DJI Osmo Mobile 2

I am going to be working on a project for the church to produce a nice, slick (well, not too slick- it is us after all) video about us, and so I have been starting to shoot B-roll footage to use so that we can build up a nice library to dip into when we’re ready to start putting it together. However the problem is that while my Canon 7D2 (and the new A7iii- coming soon!!!) both shoot excellent video it is almost impossible to get smooth video shooting handheld, and most of the time it’s going to be pretty much run-and -gun to get this footage while going about my usual business- no time to set up a tripod and do it properly! I tried to shoot some video of our Pentecost procession this last Sunday, and the video is unfortunately pretty much unusable- even though I had the camera on a poor-man’s steadicam 🙁

You can stabilize the video electronically, but it’s doesn’t always work perfectly, and you always lose a little Quality.

I was chatting about this with Josh, a friend and parishioner who’s agreed to help with this project, and he suggested that we might be able to incorprate some phone footage as the cameras on phones have got so good. He’s right- the camera on my Note8 shoots all the way up to 4K and the quality is amazing, you do lose some of the cinematic qualities of being able to do shallow depth of field shots and obviously a DSLR or mirrorless camera with a good lens is going to be much better, but for B-roll it should be fine.

So, after a little research I discovered that DJI, the clever buggers who made my drone, have just come out with a very affordable gimbal for mobile phones- the $129 Osmo Mobile 2. Now a gimbal is a clever device that you clamp your phone into, and it keeps the phone steady and isolates it from your movements; it can be locked to stay in one direction or it can be set to follow your movements but smooth them out for you. They make gimbals for DSLR cameras, but they are thousands of dollars, so I figured this was worth a shot- and it’s great! Here is a quick video I shot yesterday right out of the box- I need to fine tune it and calibrate the horizon etc. and learn to glide rather than walk, but it is a huge improvement over the handheld DSLR footage!

And for even more fun- it lets you do fun stuff like timelapses, and motion timelapses 🙂 Here is one I shot this morning: 20 minutes in the church parking lot compressed into 40 seconds- it’s amazing there aren’t more accidents!

It annoying focused on the window a bit, but this is the first one I’ve done and there is much to learn 😉

Watch this space for more- this is gonna be fun 🙂

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