5 Tips for Choosing a Gimbal for Your Travel Vlogs

10 May 2021

After spending a lot of time at home in recent months, we’re itching to explore new places both near and far. While we wait for the borders to reopen, take this time to rethink your camera kit for travel. If you’re a fan of filming moving footage when you’re abroad, a gimbal can help you take your travel videos to a new level.

Here, we explain why a gimbal is essential for producing professional videos, and how to choose the best lightweight gimbal for your style of travelling.

Firstly, what’s a gimbal?

A gimbal is a device that you attach to your camera so it can rotate smoothly along an axis. In other words, they stabilise your camera while you tilt, pan and roll, which helps you to film smooth, steady video footage — even if you’re moving around. The most popular gimbals are 3-axis, though you can find 2- and 1-axis models, too.

Thanks to their flexibility, they’re a favourite among content creators who want to bring out their inner cinematographer

Before vlog pocket gimbals were invented, videographers had to rely on much heavier equipment, such as dollies and steadicams. Needless to say, this gear was out of reach for most consumers, and not at all convenient.

5 Tips for Choosing a Gimbal for Your Travel Vlogs5 Tips for Choosing a Gimbal for Your Travel Vlogs

How will a gimbal improve my travel videos?

5 Tips for Choosing a Gimbal for Your Travel Vlogs5 Tips for Choosing a Gimbal for Your Travel Vlogs

You might be asking, do I need a gimbal? The best gimbal for travel will help you to capture cinematic-quality video with your camera, leaving you with far more professional travel videos. 

Here’s how: gimbals get rid of any jerks, jolts and bumps in your footage, keeping your camera still as you film. They allow you to effortlessly change the direction of your camera, and they have built-in software that can tell the difference between intentional movement (like panning to take a panoramic shot) and unintentional movement.

If you’ve ever seen travel videos where it seems like the camera is floating in the air, we can guarantee that’s thanks to a gimbal. By stabilising and smoothing any movements, gimbals help you to produce high-end, stabilised videos with your camera, all while filming hands-free. Plus, gimbals for vlogging are lightweight and easy to carry, which is ideal for travelling, and many models can be used for shooting underwater and aerial footage.

With a gimbal in your kit, you’ll be able to create travel videos with a higher production value, which will make your vlog stand out from the crowd of blurry and shaky videos.

5 tips for choosing the right travel gimbal

As great as gimbals are, you want to do your research to make sure you’re buying one that suits your budget as well as the other camera gear you’re planning to pack. There are gimbals that are designed for use with smartphones, and others that are compatible with mirrorless and DSLR cameras.  

To find the best travel gimbal, take these things into consideration:

  • Compatibility. This is the first deciding factor, so think about the camera equipment you’re bringing on your trip. For example, if you want to use a smartphone gimbal, it’ll need a mount that fits your exact phone model. On the other hand, a DSLR gimbal will need a completely different mounting point.
  • Max payload. Next, look at the maximum amount of weight the gimbal can handle and still function safely and accurately. Most gimbals can carry between 2kg and 4kg of weight, and you can also find lightweight gimbals for mirrorless cameras.
  • Portability. Since you’re travelling, we suggest choosing the most compact gimbal that can support the weight of your gear. Modern folding gimbals are brilliant, because you can fold them down to a smaller size when you’re done shooting.
  • Quick balancing features. After you mount your camera on a gimbal, you’ll need to sync it to get the smoothest footage. To save yourself time when you dismount and remount your camera, look for a model with a fast and automated balancing process.
  • Battery life. While most gimbals have generous battery life, it’s worth looking closely at this feature — especially if you’re heading to remote areas with limited access to power for recharging.
5 Tips for Choosing a Gimbal for Your Travel Vlogs5 Tips for Choosing a Gimbal for Your Travel Vlogs

How to make the best use of your new travel gimbal

Ready to elevate your travel content? Spend some time playing around with your gimbal before you jet off on your next adventure.

Work through this checklist:

5 Tips for Choosing a Gimbal for Your Travel Vlogs5 Tips for Choosing a Gimbal for Your Travel Vlogs

Balance the gimbal properly. Ideally, your gimbal will have an automated balancing process. But either way, read through the manual to find out if there’s anything you need to do ahead of filming. If your gimbal isn’t properly paired with your camera, it won’t work as well and you may end up reshooting your footage.

Experiment with the movements. It might take you a while to get used to the scope of your gimbal’s movements, especially since you may not use all of them in everyday shoots. Practice makes perfect though, so go through each movement and think of ways you can put it to use for your travel videos.

Hold your gimbal correctly. Gimbals are there to make handheld shooting easier and more comfortable, but remember, they add weight to your camera gear. So, if you’re holding your camera and gimbal at an arm’s length, you’ll definitely feel the strain! Aim to hold the gimbal close to your chest and stomach, and let it move for you.

Don't overdo it. As tempting as it is when you start out, not every scene needs to include 360-degree panning and similar effects. Use these techniques sparingly, and only when you want to add a cinematic effect to your footage. That way, they’ll have more impact.

Browse our Gimbal collection

Shop the best travel gimbals for professional footage

A gimbal is a must-have for travel. Along with allowing you to shoot hands-free, it will leave you with fluid, smooth footage that has a cinematic feel to it.

To elevate your travel videos, go to your local Ted’s Cameras store to check out our selection of gimbals and speak to our experts in person. Otherwise, shop camera accessories online and earn free shipping on all Australian orders over $100.

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