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steadylens

Camera with built-in steadycam gimbals
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There are several products out there which convert a camera such as a Gopro into a steadycam by putting it on the end of a handle with a 2-axis gyroscope/tilt sensor and a pair of brushless motors to make an external handheld gimbal mount.

However this is overkill - with the tiny size of lenses nowadays it should be possible to put the same logic *inside* a camera, and have small motors control the movement of just the image sensor/lens module. I can easily see building a camera like this as a proof of concept prototype using a Raspberry Pi and a PiCam for example.

(Just to clarify, I'm talking about a device that can rotate the lens by maybe 100 degrees to track a moving object; I'm not talking about the few degrees that you get from image stabilization devices built in to existing cameras)

gtoal, Oct 04 2014

External steadycam gimbal mount https://www.youtube...watch?v=s_P69RGeLrM
This is the existing style of product where the whole camera is held in the gimbal mount. [gtoal, Oct 04 2014]

Motors used in current products http://www.amazon.c...gital-Camera-Gimbal
These are the relatively large motors used in external steadycam adaptors [gtoal, Oct 04 2014, last modified Dec 18 2014]

but there are much smaller motors available http://microbrushle...ghty-midget-motors/
These micromotors designed for RC aircraft are small and light [gtoal, Oct 04 2014]

WKTE http://asia.olympus...slr/ep5/feature/04/
[DIYMatt, Oct 05 2014]

More small motors http://www.seeedstu...BCCM01B-p-1623.html
Small motors used in micro quadrocopters [gtoal, Dec 13 2014]

Possibly useful if anyone ever tries to build this... http://www.operativ.../products-bgmc.html
Brushless gimbal motor controller [gtoal, Dec 18 2014]

Almost there... http://www.raspberr...aspberry-pi-camera/
"Pi Pan" -180 degrees left/right, 110 degrees up/down [gtoal, Dec 18 2014]

[link]






       Sounds good to me.   

       But also a question: instead of moving the sensor/lens module, can the image not be steadied in software? Presumably, if accelerometers can detect the exact movement of the camera, the movie can be stabilised in software (post-capture), as long as the exposure time for each frame of video is relatively short.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 04 2014
  

       @MaxwellBuchanan - Yes, there is a lot of software out there to do image stabilization, but it is aided considerably if the camera is stable and pointing in the right direction to begin with. I would expect a good image-stabilized camera to use both techniques. That style of correction works by having a smaller clip window taken from inside the default picture, which is moved around a little to register with the same scene in the next frame. It stops working as soon as the clip window hits the edge of the actual image.
gtoal, Oct 04 2014
  

       Fair point.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 04 2014
  

       Umm, isn't this Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) which has been a feature of almost every *decent camera (and the new iphone) for at least 10 years? You can even buy image stabilizing lenses for older SLR cameras that don't have sensor stabilization. I thought at first I might be reading one of those zombie ideas from 2002 then I saw it was 2014.
DIYMatt, Oct 04 2014
  

       @DIYMatt - OIS compensates for simple vibration, a gimbal mount compensates for major camera movement in 2 or 3 degrees of freedom. Watch some Youtube videos to see what a gimbal mount can give you - for example, NwEeqWqypuo - simple optical stabilization isn't in the same ballpark.
gtoal, Oct 05 2014
  
      
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