Ready steady go : design of a protective, stabilising camera gimbal : an exegesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Design at Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
The rapid evolution of lightweight, high performance compact cameras in conjunction with electronic
stabilisation has given photographers and filmmakers the ability to capture extremely high quality ‘shakefree’
footage. However most of the equipment currently available is cumbersome and offers poor
protection for expensive cameras. This issue is especially problematic for subject matter like action sports
such as BMX, skateboarding, and snow sports where the action is fast and the conditions can be extreme.
My design objective was to develop a protective, stabilising camera gimbal that was easy to use and
extremely compact and lightweight. I also wanted to design for competitive cost in materials and
manufacture to make my product available to a wide user base.
I used a spiral product development process involving multiple prototype iterations to develop aspects of
the design, particularly the external roll axis which is a major feature. My final design incorporates
innovation: in how the roll axis and drive was achieved; the mounting system which enables rapid set up
and lens changes; a very high level of protection; and ease of use in a compact and lightweight unit.
The end result is a product which should appeal to leading edge amateur and semi-professional
filmmakers in this area, and give them new options to expand their craft.