Air Tripod

Hipsters not included

Hipsters not included

You can't pronounce it

You can’t pronounce it

But still … Very useful!

What is it? A DJI Osmo mobile 2 smartphone gimbal.

What is it for? Well, did you see the video in the last post? It’s a montage of still photos, follow cam shots and a take combining a time lapse with a pan (DJI calls this “motion lapse”, which is not really elucidating). I took the still photos with the Leica M monochrom, while the moving segments were made with an iPhone X on the gimbal, using DJI’s “Go” app. Editing in iMovie, simple!

The iPhone will take up to 4K / 30 fps with DJI’s software and up to 4K / 60 fps with Filmic Pro. That’s astonishing video quality for a smartphone! In the boardwalk video you can see that it doesn’t match the Leica’s picture quality (hardly anything does …), but if you use the differences while editing I think it integrates well.

Doing another motion lapse

Doing another motion lapse

So, let’s get a handle on the gimbal. 😉 It has one and on top of it a three-axis support with motors in each joint. Add some miniature sensors and one of the apps mentioned above and you get a host of features. The gimbal on it’s own stabilizes and either holds the camera’s point of view or smoothes out pans and tilts. These are two modes and you can even walk or run in these modes and the video will be as smooth as if Aladin shot it from his flying carpet. Therefore: air tripod!

The apps programmatically provide further capabilities like slow-mo, time lapse and the enigmatically named hyperlapse. I just know I’m going to imitate the night scenes in “Koyaanisqatsi” with the latter mode … Plus, they serve as remote controls for the smartphone video camera’s adjustable features. Some of these get routed to the buttons and joystick on the gimbal’s handle. There is a learning curve involved, but not as much as with a proper video camera.

With this, I can see myself combining still photos and video more often. A fun, mixed media way to create!

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