One of the main issues shooters face when shooting 360 VR, is that uneven camera movements can make the viewer feel uneasy and even nauseous. Jerky movements coupled with rolling shutter can also make it very hard to stitch a 360 together, introducing errors that are time consuming to try to rectify.
For this reason most high end professional VR shooting up until now has been done from a fixed position. If the camera is moved it is done on a dolly, track or specialised buggy. An obvious solution to this would be to use a brushless gimbal to stabilise the camera, the only problem being that it is hard to minimise the appearance of the gimal in your shot. Several manufacturers have been working to develop smaller form factor gimbals for VR and we saw a few at the IBC show earlier this year.
The latest attempt to create a VR gimbal comes from Wenpod. At the Interbee show in Japan they were showing their new Tarzan-G which is capable of supporting rigs up to 3kg in weight. The gimbal features an internal battery that can last up to around five hours.
The Wenpod VR Gimbal has both a 3.8″ and a 1/2 20″ mounting holes on the bottom of the unit which makes it very convenient for mounting onto monopods, tripods, or any other compatible device. This means you can position it up high on a pole and use the gimbal to stabilise the shot. The gimbal can also help to get better static and moving shots in conditions where there is a lot of wind.
Overall the construction of the device looks very well made. The one thing to bear in mind is that the design of the gimbal means that it will be more visible in shots when looking downwards than some competing gimbals. Other solutions place the cameras on a longer pole, and sometimes even around the gimbal itself, in order to disguise the it’s presence.
The gimbal is expected to start shipping in around a month with an expected price of under $2000US. Although this is cheaper than many solutions out there, it is probably still better suited to more expensive VR rigs such as the GoPro OMNI than consumer VR cameras like the Samsung or Nikon Keymission 360.
For more details keep an eye on the Wenpod website.