LeViteZer Gimbal test videos.
  • A test video taken today at Helsinki International Boat Show, FW 2.4. Some more to follow.

  • The boat show is the first sign that the spring is coming, but after yesterday it is quite clear that the spring is here


    I did not use any grey filter and had f20, thinking that no need to worry about focusing. I was wrong, the focus was too near in most of the shots.

    This is with Canon 5D II, 24-105 f4 and LeViteZer gimbal using 3 GB85-1 motors and 8bit Bacecam board (2.4b7). I really should learn to walk without going too much up and down at every step.
  • Here is my latest trials, a car selling video

    It is really difficult walking without moving up and down, maybe I should learn to moonwalk ;-)
  • I really like the second test. Having some material you can edit an interesting video. The canon camera is great, but I prefer to use a Nex camera, where you have focus peaking and you know what is in focus and what it isn't. It helps me a lot every time.
    The third test is very useful if you are selling the car.

    The gimbal goes up and down, but the movement is not really annoying. I think the major issue is that it gets "crooked" after a while. Why is that? (I am ignorant about that).

    Anyway, if you have built it, I want to know more :)
  • Hi Dronelab, thanks for your comments.

    Taking these videos has been a learning process and every day I learn something new and feel there is still plenty to explore.

    The first video was taken with a fisheye lens and I experimented some post stabilisation on FCP, but did not like much of the result because as you mention the post stabilisation creates easily "crooked" look.

    On second and third video there is some playback speed changes and I have used optical flow setting to better estimate new frames, but suspect it does some kind of stabilisation also. And I am not sure what YouTube does, (though I have not allowed YouTube to improve the videos.)

    Also the first and second videos where taken at 24 fps, the third 30 fps, I think the later suites better YouTube. On these videos I had an old CF card 133x. I started to have feeling that it somehow skipped frames, or kind of did not always record at constant speed. Now I have a 400x card and that feeling is gone.

    Ps. I am eagerly waiting to get my hands on Lumix GH4 and 32 bit board with 2 IMUs, I think the LeViteZer Gimbal will be ready to revealed before summer.
  • when you shoot video plan your shots. Do the shot many takes then move on to another planned shot. The invention of gear like this is great but it still doesn't remove the need for basic production rules. 3-4 seconds max then edit.
  • I tried to do that somewhat on the second video, but at the same time wanted to demonstrate the capabilities of the gimbal, so some shots are kept long. (and all maybe too long)

    But product videos presenting the product and giving the viewer time to analyse what he/she is seeing, like if the first video would be published by a boat magazine, or the last one selling of a used car, I am not sure the same rules apply. I would not really want anyone thinking that the car is anything else than it is, that would just waste my time when they would come to see the car and disappoint...

    But thanks for the advise, I totally agree the 4 second shots are todays reality and I should learn that. Long gone are the days of Alfred Hitchcock Rope film edited to look like one shot ;-)

  • Ciao Garug!

    When you have movement, it's always better to have more frames per second. When I use my drone, I always shoot at 50 fps because I can get more fluid videos. Plus, I am able to get a nice slow down effect in post production, if I want to.
    The stabilization on FCP is useful, but I use it not to stabilize images, but when I want a more fluid movement from my videos. As you said, you can't always get what you are looking for.

    Do you use your camera in manual or automatic mode?

    The Lumix GH4 is awesome! :)

    I agree with the fact that a customer want to see how the product works, so it's better to show the entire part of the recording. Anyway, for a complete video you can think to prepare an edit that shows all the possibilities :)

    I can't wait to see the LeViteZer Gimbal. Do you have a website?
  • I use 60 fps on GoPro and it is very nice. Only problem is that my 2010 MacBook pro has problems keeping up with the 60 fps. The 5D II does not go over 30 fps on full HD...

    I use the camera in manual mode, but often allow the auto ISO setting.

    I have a website www.levitezer.com, but have not updated it for the gimbal, need to get the gimbal ready enough to show it first. Building now a more steady gage for the camera. It has been like building a prototype, tuning the PID updating prototype, tuning the PID... and it starting to be really good, but still some high tone 'ringing' when the handheld is tilted up 90 degrees and camera in level. trying to get rid of that without needing to lower the PID values.

    Ps. There there is though a bit different stabilisation solution on levitezer.com, a magnetic antiroll and suspension system for very small radio controlled car :-), and those cars go really fast. This was taken with GoPro and 2 axis gimbal

  • Hi Garun!
    About the problem with your MacBook, always try to put the clips on a different drive than the main one (where OS and editing software are installed), like an external drive. I have no issues editing the GoPro and the Nex 5R clips on my iMac 2011: I connected a thunderbolt device. You can try using an USB connection. It's not fast as a thunderbolt connection, but you can try that. Let me know if you have the time :)

    I visited the website. The system is very curious :) I'll check in the future to see if you have finished your new product. But we'll keep updated here on this forum too!
  • I did some HW updates to the LeViteZer Gimbal. It is starting to be pretty good now. No vibrations and it can take almost any kind of position and movement without loosing control, and this is with the 8 bit board.


    The Joystick is a custom made and connected via PPM. Still some coding to do to get smoother response and maybe connect it via RS connection again.
  • The gimbals are often used with wide lens, but sometimes it is nice to have the longer end available too. The LeViteZer gimbal is very stabile and has strong motors, making possible also to use longer lenses even if they are not perfectly balanced at all focal lengths.

    This is demonstrating the use of Zoom (Canon 5D II, 24-105 F4.0), handheld, manually operated and directly as it game from the camera, so no post stabilisation etc.

  • Is it possible to change the headline? I can not find a way, but if possible I would like to change it to: LeViteZer Gimbal test videos.
  • The videos are much smoother on FCP. I have sent them to Youtube directly from FCP with the better quality setting. Is there some trig I should do to make them play smoother on Youtube or should I use Vimeo, would that be better?

    It is strange as sometimes Youtube plays them back quite well...
  • I see the headline was changed, thanks.
  • This is demonstrating using long focal length with LeViteZer gimbal; 105 mm, handheld, manually operated and directly as it game from the camera, so no post stabilisation etc.

    In this shot also the lens I.S. is used. (the railing sound). The gimbal is keeping a bit more than normal noise too as the lens is used with hood and ND filter and the gimbal has been balanced at 24 mm, so the balance is way of at 105 mm, but still the result is quite good.

  • The Finnish archipelago can be quite crowded during summer, but not so during spring. Many islands are habited and the ferries operate trough the year. The ferries are part of the road and free to use (mostly).

    During winter and spring most places are closed and it can be difficult to find a hotel or restaurant, but we found a place to stay over the night anyway, just ask the local habitants, they can help you mush better than searching on Internet ;-).


    more information of the The Finnish archipelago trail at http://www.saaristonrengastie.fi/index.php?page=8

    Ps. It is really irritating that on Youtube it looks like skipping frames, not like that at all on raw material (30 fps). I do not know what I am doing wrong.
  • The LeViteZer gimbal is updated to 32 bit and with 2 IMUs.


    Here is a review of the 32 bit board

  • I have lately been building 3 Axis LeViteZer aerial gimbal for LeViteZer X quadro copter. This is still a prototype and some work still to be done with the vibration dampening.

    Warning: This video may cause dizziness ;-)

  • Just having fun with test videos from last week. Testing GoPro 2.7K video and zooming it with FCP. No post stabilisation added.

  • Hi Garug,

    Loving your videos, great work.
    Can I ask what time line and compression settings you use to output to youtube from FCP? I am having problems producing quality web ready content from FCP. A friend has advised I go to Premiere (I used Premiere 15 yrs ago but have been on FCP for a long time now).
    Sorry, I know not gimbal related but it's been a pain and I would love to get some footage up from my Legacy with 32bit board.
  • Thanks Zeb,

    I am not too happy how it shows on YouTube either. But I suppose the details f trees is not easy for GoPro and even more difficult for Youtube. However it is the fluency of the video at higher resolutions I am especially disappointed on Youtube.

    For this video I used custom resolution matching exactly the GoPro 2.7k video and all the best settings it allow. I think I made mistake with the frame rate using the just bit under 30 fps, when should had used 30 FPS. (first flips where 2.7K natively but later clips 1080P on this video)

    Normaly I always use the native resolution and FPS.

    But I am still learning and thinking of trying Vimeo too. I think the videos I have seen there look better.
  • Yes, we use Vimeo but it too can get a bit jittery sometimes, especially now working with several different native resolutions and all the editing options, it's get's confusing what settings to use. I haven't put anything up from the gimbal or hexacopter yet but check out pebblecoastfilms dot com it's mainly my partner who is a cinematographer (she's the one who knows how to shoot, I'm just the hired help!!)
  • I tried a bit different settings to punch the video a bit and trying to make it more fluent playback. Maybe it is now a bit more fluent, but it seems to be a bit different each playback. The used settings can be found on the Youtube explanations. (the original video is very smooth and fluent playback)


    If someone has good tips how to download video from FCP to Youtube, to get fluent and vivid playback on youtube, they are most welcome

    Ps. nice and high quality films at www.pebblecoastfilms.com , GoPro gets nowhere near in video quality. My next build is a compact GH4 gimbal, but have not quite decided if I also build big enough multicopter to lift it...
  • I did not find any solution to improve the playback smoothness on Youtube, so I created a Vimeo account and IMO it plays it back much better, what do you think?

    Note: Colours and exposure have been edited from the previous, for best playback choose HD and playback at Vimeo.
  • The new LeViteZer GH4 gimbal is starting to be ready for testing, still few things to fix, but starting to look good.

  • Marcelo ( www.mborja.com ) made couple of short films with making of with the LeViteZer Gimbal for RED prototype. Thanks a lot Marcelo:

    This gimbal is with Flyduino 32bit board with integrated frame IMU. There was a bit challenge to get the long IMU cable working without I2C errors, but it is fine now. All cables are router so that the gimbal can move freely during normal operation, including power for camera and video monitor cable.
  • I finally did very careful 6-point calibration on both IMUs on the LeViteZer Aerial Gimbal with BaseCam 32bit board and installed the IMUs as accurately as possible.

    Also now the Gyro calibration is always performed at startup.

    These steps made a huge difference on the Horizon drifting. I am starting to be happy to this gimbal.

    There is still some vibration and jello effects, this is probably mostly because the PID settings and there was some slop on the vibration dampening system... so after all always something to improve.

    This video is taken with GoPro 2.7k 30fps and Protune setting activated. The original file size after editing is 13 G and on Vimeo only 160 M, The original file looks really good. On Vimeo there is a lot pixelation. Still some learning with colour and exposure settings.
  • A short tutorial to how to use filters http://levitezer.com/styled-2/blog-2/index.html

  • Couple of elks

    Taken handheld with LeViteZer gimbal (32 bit board) and GH4 4k with speed booster and 105 mm and finally cropped. Effectively maybe 200 mm optics. There is some work to be done for adjusting follow mode for this long lens.
  • Autumn in the countryside

  • Testing handheld gimbal with encoders.

  • Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2015!
  • Yesterday there was a good change to test the new platform, how it takes high speeds and performs on fast decent etc.

    There is some strange sound indicating that the flight controller needs to be retuned for this platform, but it flies nicely and the vibration dampening has no problems.

    The gimbal electronics had some strange problems. The gyro had lost its calibration, and when recalibrating the new FW 2.43b9 acted strange, it was really confusing what is the Z-axis, the physical or GUI indicated Z-axis? This was solved by temporarily setting the axis to defaults for the time of the calibration. It uses 'estimate angles from motors' and I forget to perform the follow offset calibration, that was probably the reason for that the horizon is badly off on the video. As the main thing was to test the platform and days are short no time was used sorting this problem out at this time.

    Usually the board is installed on a protective box even on the prototypes, but this was an exception with an unlucky result. A metal speck went to the professor pins and caused the board to die. The red flashes constantly and no connection to the board, not even the flash pin connected. Probably the reason the board was finally killed, was also the reason for loosing the calibration.

    It was because the board was not protected and there is no warranty claims for this board as it was clearly my fault, but I have a proposal for the board sellers who would like to have happy customers and probably more customers because of their practices. Why not offer a repair service. In this case probably a new board is needed, but the SW license should still be legitimate, so hopefully it would not need to be repaid if the board HW is repaired or even if the board is replaced. Most customers would be happy if this service would cost 70 euros, even 100 euros, it would still be less expensive than the new board.

    Ps. the first 2 clips are 1080 30P, the rest 2.7K 30P, GoPro 3 Black ProTune.
  • very stable! what are your pid settings? Autotune?
    Maybe FC Gain is a bit too high? But video looks fine.
  • Thanks.

    This was two first flights with the new platform, that is bigger than the previous and new ESCs too. I had not time for FC tuning at this time, just moved the FC from the old platform to this, It definitively needs to be tuned.

    The PID are 'manual auto tuned' that is I tune one axis at time on the position it vibrates worst 1/4 up from the best stability setting. I am not quite sure, but if I remember correctly no manual PID tuning was needed on this gimbal, but there is always couple of tuning iterations to find good power settings and one filter was used for Pitch.

    Though these test flights had horizon problems and ended with dead gimbal board, I really could not be more happy about the result, it shows the concept works great.

    This Platform platform is with Avroto 2814 motors for GoPro gimbal. I already have T-motor U5 motors to build similar platform for bigger cameras...

  • Testing the temperature calibrated BaseCam 32 bit IMUs. on the 40 minutes of test flights the horizon was ok for me over 95% of the time (estimate, but it was ok) . On some situations like at the start of the video, or flying fast sideways and yawing to flight direction etc. movements temporally disturbed the Horizon, but it was soon levelled.

    on these flights I used skip the gyro calibration at startup.
  • Yesterday was the first day of Helsinki international boat show. Some first shots with the BaseCam encoders equipped LeViteZer handheld gimbal.

    This gimbal is somewhat heavy for GH4, but it takes easily Canon 8-15mm fisheye lens with speed booster. Next week much lighter and smaller gimbals with GH4 and native Micro Four Thirds lenses.
  • Yesterday was a testing day for the small LeViteZer gimbal for GH4, today editing and here are the results.


    I must say I am pretty happy how the gimbal and controller are working, but I would need some practise on smooth moving and patience to move slow enough, maybe, or what do you think?

    One thing I learned that the result is better when not supporting both hands on body, actually best keep the gimbal far from the body with one hand, but that is not possible for long periods. How do you hold the gimbal when walking?
  • Taken with small LeViteZer gimbal for GH4 with 32 bit board, but no encoders and with Samyang 8 mm lens.

    I like this gimbal a lot because of its size and weight. It is easy to hold in one hand and for me that provides much less up and down movement.

    This is taken with encoder gimbal, it is much bigger, need to hold it with two hands close to body. This gimbal could take RED, but was now used with GH4 , SpeedBooster and Canon EF 8-15 mm.

    On many shots there is much up and down movement and lateral movement. I just can not move well enough.

    The EF 8-15mm was also much more difficult to focus than the Samyang 8 mm and because of that there was plenty of out of focus shots with the EF lens.

    My point, just that there is many things to consider. For this event I much prefer the small gimbal with inexpensive lens, even without encoders. (The Small gimbal will get encoders.)

    This kind of continuous in boat videos would not have been possible with the bigger gimbal. (but one could of course cut the videos, I just wanted to make continuous video)

  • Hello Garug,

    Your video's looking great :-)
    And yes, a Gimbal (without a harness) is for a long shoot not the best option...
    I'm also still practising how to get the best results.
    When I'm walking close to something, I will go down a bit by my knees, so I get more damping in the Z-axis (Up/Down).
    This is also a bit more heavier as normal.

    For the most long shoots, I will hold my Gimbal upside-down.
    (Camera stays at top and is levelled around my shoulders)
    This makes it possible to keep the Gimbal closer to my body and I can use the display from the camera.
    Sometimes I play a bit more with the Deadband, when I'm using the Follow Mode.
    Normally I set this at four degrees and with a long shoot, I will make it a bit bigger to give me more freedom.
    I've done a shoot from almost 90 minutes with four small breaks.
    BTW: I'm not a full-time camera operator, it's just for fun and making some nice shots :-)

  • Thanks Marten.

    I often use the gimbal handle tilted 90 degrees backwards (but not on these videos) It also makes possible using the screen. I think I must try more the upside down.
  • With a Upside Down Gimbal, I'm sure you get more comfort during a long shoot ;-)
    And it gives you more freedom to move all the way around and above your head.
    Above your head can also be nice, when it's to busy around you.

    When you hold your Gimbal handle tilted 90 degrees backwards...
    Are you activating a special Profile with some special settings ?
    Because the normal Yaw axis must be react like a Roll axis and the Roll axis as a Yaw.
    Or I'm wrong ?
    (I will also try this one of this day's)
  • No special things needed, it will just work. But joystick is needed to tilt the camera 90 degrees down if using follow mode.
  • A week at Helsinki International Boat Show in one video. Taken with different gimbals, with inexpensive Samyang 8 mm and less so SpeedBooster and Canon 8-15mm. Does not really mater after the shots are taken, difficult to tell afterwards what was used.

    Thanks for music The Bomb Busters, the song is “Paranoia” , more info on the Vimeo description.
  • Testing LeViteZer X platform and gimbal. Fast up and a bit too fast down. Nothing was broken from the hit to ground, but after the bounce it landed on propeller and broke it, no big deal.


    The gimbal was still working after turned around, but it had serious drifting problem, apparently the hit was too much for the gyro. Also it was ok after restart.

    Crash testing - done :D
  • It was a rainy day, just after the winter, The Forest and the Trees.

  • Me gusta el video. Muy buena estabilización. que version tienes.

    Muchas gracias
  • Thanks Josemari,

    Sorry, I do not speak Spain, so I will response in english.

    It is a LeViteZer gimbal and platform I am developing with BaseCam 32 bit board. I am using the latest firmware, 2.50b4 but works fine also with older firmware.

    Translated with google:

    Gracias Josemari,

    Lo sentimos, no hablo España, así que lo haré respuesta en Inglés.

    Es un cardán LeViteZer y la plataforma que estoy desarrollando con BaseCam 32 tablero poco. Estoy utilizando la última versión del firmware, 2.50b4 pero trabaja muy bien también con firmware anterior.
  • Garug Goodnight, thank you for your words, I do not speak English, I try with google translator.
    I've built a card with the 2.50 V B4 for my Lumix LX100 I would like to put a video.