Stabilizers have long been used in cinematography to create a smooth and steady pace of filming that aims to capture scenes at a much smoother pace no matter what the shooting terrain is.
Camera stabilizers are now an essential tool for every professional videographer and a super cool gadget to have for an amateur who simply enjoys recording clips for personal pleasure.
It is important to note that not all camera stabilizers are the same. Gimbal stabilizers, for example, operate via a specialized pivot axis mechanism to allow for a smooth and bump free imaging.
It is not so much as a gimbal vs stabilizer situation because pitting gimbal vs stabilizer would be an irony upon itself; it rather is the ups and downs of a popular gimbal type of stabilizer when it comes to filming and videography.
You may need a lot of arm strength and endurance if you plan on filming for long periods. Since a gimbal is not entirely connected to a steady structure such as a stand, and it is not strapped onto a vest like that of a Steadicam, you will have to hold it, and if you are filming a long scene, this may prove to be difficult and tiresome for you.
If you combine this problem area with another such as a big and heavy camera, then you are up for a not so good treat.
Holding out an arm with weights of up to ten pounds for even just five minutes can already make you sore for sure, more if you have a heavier camera and a longer shooting period.
This entirely limits the ability for a camera operator to film for more than a few minutes and may render some time wasted in allowing your camera guy to recover in between takes.
Of course, you do have the option of strapping the stabilizer onto a rig; however doing that greatly decreases the mobility and versatility of the gimbal type stabilizer, which then defeats all purpose of using a gimbal type stabilizer in the first place.
You may need more than one operator to operate the gimbal to its fullest potential. When the gimbal type of camera stabilizer first came out, it was an avenue for film makers to stretch their imagination and create frames that have ever been dared before.
However, what sets it back is that in order to achieve this, you may still need to employ the services of more operators. You will need at least two or even three to effectively capture special scenes at special angles.
You will need one main operator, a focus puller, and possibly one more crew to adjust the remote panning and adjustments. Since these operators have a specific set of tasks during the filming process, this could also mean that they need a specific skill set as well.
This may make it difficult for you to instantly find people for operating the gimbal in such a way that they could achieve your vision. Otherwise, you may have to train and practice with a new set of crew who will eventually turn out indispensable since they have a special skill set that is specific to their task alone.
The absence of one or more of your crew may really hamper your production should any contingency arise with any of them. You may end up training even more people to make up for absent ones in the set.
They can turn out to be quite repetitive. This is especially true if you do not consciously exert extra effort against the gimbal limiting and fully taking over your videography.
There have been lots of circumstances where videographers make the mistake of using the gimbal over and over again even for setups that do not require it or for which it is not the best option, thereby achieving a rather repetitive and boring output.
Although it is true that a gimbal type of camera stabilizer could be the best option for special camera effects or angles, overusing these effects throughout the entire production can cost you creative vision and make your output look not so special after all.
Having all these considerations to make before using a gimbal type stabilizer, it is important to remember that they are truly useful and allow for creativity to come through with proper and appropriate use.
They allow you to achieve incredible effects and give you good enough stabilization, and they are even capable of replacing other stabilization methods if needed, although this is not thoroughly advised.