[Gear In Review Podcast] GIR4 - Handheld Gimbals

Hosted by Reed Smith & Bobby Rettew

Welcome to Gear In Review. Learn more about how we’ll be bringing reviews, recommendations and insights around the many gadgets, gizmos, and widgets used everyday to capture and tell stories inside hospitals.

In the last couple of episodes we explored bags and how to carry essential gear. In this episode we talk in more detail about one of the items that we carry and feel you could really benefit from using. It’s the handheld gimbal. We’ll answer questions such as… What is a gimbal? Why would I want one? What features should I look for and how much do they cost?

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Reed Smith:
Hey everybody, this is Reed Smith.

Chris Boyer:
And this is Chris Boyer.

Reed Smith:
And we are co-hosts on a show called Touch Point, which is a podcast that’s dedicated to the discussions on digital marketing and online patient engagement strategies, not only for just hospitals but health systems and physician practices.

Chris Boyer:
In every episode, we’ll dive deep in a variety of topics on digital tools, solutions, strategies, and other things that are impacting the health care industry today.

Reed Smith:
And while you listen to this show we would certainly love you to check out ours.

Chris Boyer:
All you have to do is swing on over to Touch Point dot health for more information and also some of the other shows that are featured on the Touch Point Media network.

Reed Smith:
Welcome back to Gear in Review, this is Reed Smith joined as always by Bobby Rettew.

Bobby Rettew:
What’s going on? How are you this morning?

Reed Smith:
Doing good, and we’re actually recording this for the first time in the same location. Well, you’re in the same location you’ve always been in when you record this, but I’m actually at our South Carolina Office and so we’re getting to do a few of these in person.

Bobby Rettew:
He gets to come to the place where all the gear is hanging out.

Reed Smith:
That’s right, that’s right. This is the actual Gear Headquarters. So, today something a little bit different. Everybody of course, we’ll get to cameras and different things like that, but this is something a little bit different, maybe people have not looked at very closely, so we’re gonna talk about it, what it is, what it costs, why you may want one, and some of the features you might want to look for, but by the episode title you’ll know this is about handheld gimbals. So, maybe to start, for those that don’t know, what is a gimbal if they haven’t Googled it already.

Bobby Rettew:
So a gimbal is basically a camera sitting on top of a mechanism that keeps it stable. So for instance, if I want to get a … you know when you’re trying to use your phone to record video and all of a sudden you notice that you’re just shaking all over the place, you trying to hold and record your kids, and you go back and look at it, and you’re wondering why is it so shaky? How can I make it not shaky? So gimbals provide a fluid motion so that the camera, the phone, whatever it may be, can be very, very fluid.

Reed Smith:
And there’s a number of types of gimbals and people that probably Google these images will see like for movie sets, people wearing, like these camera guys wearing like these exoskeletons holding these big giant cameras and allows them to run around and have more of that movement and keep the actual shot or the video itself smooth. So it doesn’t make you motion sick.

Bobby Rettew:
Yeah.

Reed Smith:
Yeah, so when you watch it. And I guess we’ve seen this too, if you think about it, we don’t see it as much anymore, I guess, but you think about like news stations with helicopters. Well somebody had to video from those helicopters, and a lot of times those video cameras, or the actual camera component was built in and somebody was inside the helicopter controlling it, well that was another type of gimbal. Also, technically the little piece, you see cameras strapped to like drones, those are gimbals and things like that, but we’re gonna talk about handheld gimbals, and why you might want one.

Reed Smith:
So, a handheld gimbal. The way I think about, or the one that I have is an older version of what we’re actually gonna talk about, but it’s a way to hold my iPhone in a steady fashion I guess.

Bobby Rettew:
Yup, so, we use a multitude of different types of gimbals. Reed mentioned earlier, helicopters, well I used to shoot out of helicopters with gimbals, I’ve rented gimbals for helicopters. These work the same exact way, same technology, except you don’t spend $250,000.

Reed Smith:
It’s probably better technology.

Bobby Rettew:
It is better, it’s probably a lot better, but the couple that we’re gonna look at today are the ones that I like. I’m a big DJI fan, I’ve loved their products. There’s other products out there. We’re looking at the Osmo and then the Osmo Mobile and the Osmo Mobile II. Now there’s three different products from DJI. You can go check their website out. They got some good stuff on there and you can kind of see pictures of each one of them, but the one that we’re gonna look at first is the DJI Osmo, and it has the camera already built in on it.

Reed Smith:
Okay. So, and for those that may be thinking like why have I heard of DJI before. They’re one of the primary, maybe not original, but one of the primary drone companies. So a lot of people buy the Phantom I think, and those have been around, had a number of iterations.

Bobby Rettew:
Yup.

Reed Smith:
So this is another product line of theirs, really well built, and the difference in what we’re gonna talk about today is basically is the camera lens, or the camera itself, built in or not.

Bobby Rettew:
Yup.

Reed Smith:
I mean that’s really, that’s really the major different in what we’re gonna talk about.

Bobby Rettew:
And it’s really a price differential too. So, the ones that I’ve got sitting in front of me. I’ve got the DJI Osmo that has a camera, have a 4K camera built on top of it.

Reed Smith:
About the size of a golf ball. The actual camera itself. So the mechanism in the device itself, between what we’re talking about, both of them are roughly the same size.

Bobby Rettew:
Yup.

Reed Smith:
But this one has a little camera, like I said, about the size of a golf ball that kinda suspends in the air.

Bobby Rettew:
And the good thing about this one is that, first of all, it allows you to put your phone on it. Attach it to the side, and you use your phone as a way to monitor the video that’s being captured on the camera on the top. You’ll probably see these being used in golf shots, so if you watch a lot PGA Golf, you’ll see the person coming off the green and he’s walking in to hand in his card, you see guys running beside them with these DJI mobile Osmos.

Reed Smith:
Okay.

Bobby Rettew:
That have the camera and so, it’s fully fluid, it shoots a 4K image and it takes pictures and it allows you to basically capture really fluid motion so that it looks more “professional.”

Reed Smith:
And so you hold this, with a grip, and there’s a lot of thumb controls, or like Bobby mentioned, you can take pictures, zoom in and out, move the camera around. Everything that you need to do, you wouldn’t actually have to touch the camera per se, and that’s the point. It’s floating, so to speak, and staying fluid.

Bobby Rettew:
Yup, and since we do a lot of professional videography, this is a great tool for us to use as opposed to the big huge gimbals, because we spend a lot of time with kids, and kids get overwhelmed with big huge cameras. This little handheld video device shoots a professional image, but allows us to get in tight spaces or also put it with children and get video of kids, and they don’t get overwhelmed by this big camera. It’s really small, it’s indiscrete, and allows us to get into places that are really, really compact, for healthcare people, it’s good inside like patient rooms. Patient rooms are really tight, ERs are tight. This is a great tool to get really good stuff, and if you capture it and you can take it back to your AV department and they’re gonna pull the card out and be happy with you because they can integrate it into whatever else they’re doing.

Reed Smith:
Right, and so how is it actually capturing the video? So you shoot a video with your phone. It’s on your phone, and I think everybody kind of understands that. Now we’re talking about the camera being separate. A phone’s still I guess, kind of attached so to speak and you’re using that as your monitor, so where the video actually be captured on this device?

Bobby Rettew:
All the video content is being captured on this Micro SD cards that you literally pop in and out of the side of the camera.

Reed Smith:
Okay.

Bobby Rettew:
They are, I recommend anything bigger than a 32 gig because it’s capturing 4K images, you can also do HD, you can capture RAW images for you photography geeks. So RAW images. It will record directly on this card, and the app on your phone is recording as well. So if you are trying to get content out on Facebook instantly, you can go to the app and download a low res version of it to post immediately if you want to.

Reed Smith:
Okay. So the kinda best of both worlds a little bit. So before we talk about the other one and the differences, what are kinda the pros and cons of going with this particular model?

Bobby Rettew:
Number one, the pro is is that it’s compact, it shoots a beautiful image, it allows you to get in spaces that you typically can’t do, and it also looks like more of a professional piece. So, if you wanna walk in and, for us, impress the physician, that you’re actually recording something, it’s look a little bit more professional. The con is you have to charge batteries, so you pop batteries in and out of them. Batteries on last probably about an hour max. So you’re not really getting a lot of use out of it. So you need multiple batteries, you need to have a charger. So you gotta go through this whole mechanism of charging things, but for professionals, that makes sense, they’re used to batteries. So, that’s kinda the downfall to it. Other than that, I love it, it’s a great asset for what we do.

Reed Smith:
Very cool, very cool, all right well let’s talk about the other one for just one second. So physically if you look at the [tutor 00:10:11], if you go to the website, physically they look very similar. It’s the same basic size, but instead of having a camera actually integrated into it, that little golf ball that I mentioned, it has more of a little bit of a harness or a bracket I guess, that would hold your smartphone.

Bobby Rettew:
Yeah, so this one is called the Osmo Mobile II. We have both the Mobile I and the Mobile II, the Mobile I allows you to put your phone on it, and then record directly into your phone and it will allow you to edit directly into your phone like using iMovie or any of the other apps.

Reed Smith:
Right.

Bobby Rettew:
The Mobile I did not allow you to do vertical video. The new one, the Mobile II, is less expensive, by about $50. It allows you to flip the orientation of your phone to do vertical. And the new thing too is that you charge the base of this, and you get about maybe all day with it versus, the battery runs out for this one in probably about two or three hours.

Reed Smith:
Okay.

Bobby Rettew:
So a lot more functionality. I like this specifically for marketing teams. It allowed them to go out into their brand, wherever they are, and capture video quickly, and immediately use their phones to edit and post on social. It’s a great tool. It’s easy to setup and allows you to really quickly and effectively look professional and use your own phone.

Reed Smith:
So there’s no additional video capture, there’s no card in this one, you’re recording directly on your smartphone.

Bobby Rettew:
Yup.

Reed Smith:
It is, it’s a great tool, allows for some additional stability. It’s honestly, it’s amazing how much more professional the video looks, even if you’re doing simple things, like we talked about in patient rooms, but like employee of the month or different events, you’ve got the employee fish fry out in the parking lot whatever it may be, and to Bobby’s point, it’s recording on your phone so you can quickly turn around and post that where you want, edit it, in your own software or I believe DJI has an app that allows some editing and some things like that as part of the process.

Bobby Rettew:
One of the things I love about this one is, I purchased it to see how it worked, and I used it on my daughters fun run 5K, and so I actually ran the 5K with it, captured her doing it, and the quality of the gimbal and the motion was beautiful. I came back, edited real quick in iMovie, uploaded it to YouTube, and my kids were watching it in just an hour.

Reed Smith:
Right.

Bobby Rettew:
And so if you think about the hospital world, we’re doing lots of events. You’re doing those fundraising 5Ks. This is perfect to go walk, do whatever, capture video and edit really quickly.

Reed Smith:
So I’d say between the couple of models, there’s a couple of pros and cons at least that come to mind for me and then jump in with your thoughts as well, but, you’ve got the Osmo that has the camera built in and for me, I think, talking of 4K for example, you’ve got the card that it’s recording to, so it’s easy to hand off the media to somebody else, as well as the redundancy of it recording on your phone and on the camera both, so there’s a couple of upsides there, I think the negative there is still we’re talking about removable batteries, the battery life’s not quite as long, whereas the Mobile II, the battery will maybe last a little bit longer, it’s easy to leave plugged in your office, grab and go. You don’t have to remember is the card with it or not, or is it empty or full and all that stuff, you’re just popping your phone in, recording, and typically, you’re gonna have enough battery life that you can go to the parade or you can go to the event or whatever it may be and you don’t have to worry about batteries and swapping batteries in and out and some things like that.

Reed Smith:
So I think similar use cases, but maybe a little bit different in the sense of are you really needing the higher quality video content, and is someone else editing that content? Or is this I just need a better, cleaner way for me to capture movement based and new video type content that then I wanna turn and share quickly or upload or I’m doing it all myself so to speak.

Bobby Rettew:
Yup, there’s two other piece of information I think would be good to share, number one is, the one with the camera, for all the professional people, if you do have a DJI drone, you can pop the camera and gimbal off of this and put it on a drone.

Reed Smith:
Oh great.

Bobby Rettew:
So you literally can pull this guy off and then pop it on the bottom of the drone.

Reed Smith:
Okay.

Bobby Rettew:
It’s very flexible to do that. A lot of people were buying the higher end cameras for this and pop them on their drones as well, so they’re interchangeable.

Reed Smith:
Okay.

Bobby Rettew:
The cons to both of these, is there’s a piece inside the app. If you’re recording lots of media, and you’re gonna basically start using up a lot of the space on your phone.

Reed Smith:
Sure.

Bobby Rettew:
We’re buying the 64 or the 256, whatever. Once you’ve recorded media inside the app and you’re done with the project, you have to go into the app and delete the media, because it double bumps it into your photos file as well. So you’ve got to go through and clean it out or you’re gonna blow through your space on your phone.

Reed Smith:
So you’re pulling down a lot of file size. So well very cool, they’re neat devices, recommend that you check them out, we’ll have links in the show notes, but certainly you can just Google DJI Osmo, or just go to the DJI website and obviously look at the different models. So, that’s it for today, that’s for listening in and we’ll talk to you next time for Bobby Rettew, I’m Reed Smith, be sure to check out touchpoint.health and learn a little bit more about this show and all our others. We’ll talk to you next time.

Bobby Rettew:
Y’all have a good one.

Reed Smith:
This show is made possible in part by the social health institute. Through research and partnerships with healthcare organizations around the country, the social health institute explores new and innovate ways for hospitals, healthcare organizations to develop and enhance their social media and digital marketing strategy. To learn more about the social health institute, visit them online at socialhealthinstitute.com, that’s socialhealthinstitute.com. This has been a TouchPoint Media Production. To learn more about this show and others like it, please visit us online at touchpoint.health.

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