3-Axis Gimbal with *FULL* Nikon compatibility

Started Dec 21, 2018 | Discussions
joeybob Contributing Member • Posts: 636
3-Axis Gimbal with *FULL* Nikon compatibility

Hello,

Just a quick FYI I also posted this in the Camera, Lens and System Buying Advice Forum as I wasn't sure where else to try...

BUT...

I tried searching here in the forums and elsewhere via Google, Yahoo, etc but I have yet to find a motorized 3-Axis Gimbal that offers (full IE: focus pull, change settings, start/stop record) Nikon compatibility for video.

I have looked at the DJI offerings, Pilotfly and Zhiyun-Tech gimbals... It appears that all of the heavier gimbals out there will BALANCE and "FLY" many Nikon DSLRs but there is very limited interface after that: Start/stop recording, focus pull, camera settings, etc.

I was about to pull the trigger on a DJI Ronin-S however after reading reviews and info on DJI's own forum it appears that Nikon DSLR's are very poorly "supported" other that balancing : https://forum.dji.com/thread-152526-1-1.html The same goes for the other two brands mentioned above.

I'd be happy with either a a double or single grip gimbal but if I can't control the camera - at least a little: Start/stop rec and focus I can't justify the $$$

Does anyone here know of such a device?

TIA!

 joeybob's gear list:joeybob's gear list
Nikon D3S Nikon D300 Nikon D200 Nikon D800 Nikon D600 +48 more
Richard B99 Senior Member • Posts: 2,425
Re: 3-Axis Gimbal with *FULL* Nikon compatibility

joeybob wrote:

Hello,

Just a quick FYI I also posted this in the Camera, Lens and System Buying Advice Forum as I wasn't sure where else to try...

BUT...

I tried searching here in the forums and elsewhere via Google, Yahoo, etc but I have yet to find a motorized 3-Axis Gimbal that offers (full IE: focus pull, change settings, start/stop record) Nikon compatibility for video.

I have looked at the DJI offerings, Pilotfly and Zhiyun-Tech gimbals... It appears that all of the heavier gimbals out there will BALANCE and "FLY" many Nikon DSLRs but there is very limited interface after that: Start/stop recording, focus pull, camera settings, etc.

I was about to pull the trigger on a DJI Ronin-S however after reading reviews and info on DJI's own forum it appears that Nikon DSLR's are very poorly "supported" other that balancing : https://forum.dji.com/thread-152526-1-1.html The same goes for the other two brands mentioned above.

I'd be happy with either a a double or single grip gimbal but if I can't control the camera - at least a little: Start/stop rec and focus I can't justify the $$$

Does anyone here know of such a device?

TIA!

Well they exist. But they are not $$$.  DSLR stuff with video remote control is much more like $$$$$ and up.  It’s a bit like underwater housings that cost more than the camera.

Nikon owns Mark Roberts Motion Control (MRMC) that provide exactly the specialist capability you note.  Here’s one of their slightly higher spec models https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ih96_iaumXE Though they do do heads more like you describe but still $$$$$ once you add in all the control bits.

robertfel Senior Member • Posts: 1,438
Re: 3-Axis Gimbal with *FULL* Nikon compatibility

Richard B99 wrote:

Nikon owns Mark Roberts Motion Control (MRMC) that provide exactly the specialist capability you note. Here’s one of their slightly higher spec models https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ih96_iaumXE Though they do do heads more like you describe but still $$$$$ once you add in all the control bits.

I'm guessing, but I don't think the OP is looking for something that complicated. I can nudge the focus of my camera over USB from my computer with Nikon software, he wants something similar.

Nikon is stingy with it's software interface and doesn't provide 3rd party manufacturers with easy access to control the camera. They're known for lousy SDK support.

Sony, Panasonic and Canon interface with gimbals over USB to adjust focus over wire rather than gears. Nikon does not properly interface over USB and I"ve not heard of any gimbal that works the way Sony does with control of focus and start/stop.

 robertfel's gear list:robertfel's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon D850 Nikon Z6 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +26 more
calson Veteran Member • Posts: 9,957
Re: 3-Axis Gimbal with *FULL* Nikon compatibility

If video is important then better to have a Canon or Sony camera as there is 10x as much in way of third party video hardware available for their cameras as well as many more options for cine lenses.

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Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. -- Herman Melville

 calson's gear list:calson's gear list
Sony RX100 Nikon D850
Richard Frederick
Richard Frederick Contributing Member • Posts: 899
Re: 3-Axis Gimbal with *FULL* Nikon compatibility

I am obtaining the Moza Air 3-Axis HH Gimbal  - as recommended by B&H because of the Nikon "support."  But all Nikons are not alike in the cable department.  Moza specifically lists the D800 as supported but I noticed that my D800 uses a USB-B receptacle and the Z-7 (the one I want to use the gimbal with) has a USB-C receptacle.  B&H ships the Moza with a special cable for Nikons, but I have a bad feeling that when the cable gets here it will fit a D800 and Not a Z-7.

We shall see.

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Dick Frederick

 Richard Frederick's gear list:Richard Frederick's gear list
Nikon D500 Nikon D800E Nikon Z7 Ricoh GXR Mount A12 Sony Alpha NEX-7 +1 more
London Lad New Member • Posts: 13
Re: 3-Axis Gimbal with *FULL* Nikon compatibility

Any update on your findings?

thanks

Richard Frederick
Richard Frederick Contributing Member • Posts: 899
Re: 3-Axis Gimbal with *FULL* Nikon compatibility

Yes.  The cable was that arrived was incorrect for a Z7.  I obtained a suitable cable on the open market.  However, the only function for that cable is to start and stop recording.  For my use I can do that manually, although that may not work for others.  The other point is I found the cable affected the balance/motion of the gimbal so I decided to go without the cable.

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Dick Frederick

 Richard Frederick's gear list:Richard Frederick's gear list
Nikon D500 Nikon D800E Nikon Z7 Ricoh GXR Mount A12 Sony Alpha NEX-7 +1 more
ChrisDM Veteran Member • Posts: 3,101
Re: 3-Axis Gimbal with *FULL* Nikon compatibility

I just got a Moza Air 2 and Zhiyun Weebill LAB for my Z6. The Zhiyun Weebill is fully compatible out of the box. The Moza Air 2 requires a micro USB to USB C adapter. Moza offers one specifically, but any good 3rd party one will work. I'm using an Anker brand from Amazon...

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1456068-REG/moza_mcg21_micro_to_type_c_usb.html

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Chris
http://www.imagineimagery.com

robertfel Senior Member • Posts: 1,438
"fully compatible"

ChrisDM wrote:

I just got a Moza Air 2 and Zhiyun Weebill LAB for my Z6. The Zhiyun Weebill is fully compatible out of the box. The Moza Air 2 requires a micro USB to USB C adapter. Moza offers one specifically, but any good 3rd party one will work. I'm using an Anker brand from Amazon...

@Chris, when you say fully compatible, do you mean that you can change focus and/or zoom with the dial on the gimbal?

 robertfel's gear list:robertfel's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon D850 Nikon Z6 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +26 more
ChrisDM Veteran Member • Posts: 3,101
Re: "fully compatible"

robertfel wrote:

ChrisDM wrote:

I just got a Moza Air 2 and Zhiyun Weebill LAB for my Z6. The Zhiyun Weebill is fully compatible out of the box. The Moza Air 2 requires a micro USB to USB C adapter. Moza offers one specifically, but any good 3rd party one will work. I'm using an Anker brand from Amazon...

@Chris, when you say fully compatible, do you mean that you can change focus and/or zoom with the dial on the gimbal?

Sorry no, I haven't tried focus or zoom. Just start/stop and adjust exposure parameters. I only shoot real estate video so I have no need for those other possible features.

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Chris
http://www.imagineimagery.com

shootwithgary New Member • Posts: 2
Re: "fully compatible"

Chris...did you have to change any setting in your camera for the Moza Air 2 to work or did it work straight out the box?

robertfel Senior Member • Posts: 1,438
Re: "fully compatible"

A firmware update from Jan. 14 added the stop/start record and take a photo parameters for the Moza Air 2. Nothing else has been added yet.

Not sure about Weebill, but I'm guessing it's the same.

Kind of sucks given that I'm about to order the Z6 filmmaker's kit.

 robertfel's gear list:robertfel's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon D850 Nikon Z6 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +26 more
dantastical Regular Member • Posts: 471
Re: "fully compatible"

The dji ronin s can now start stop record and pull focus on the nikon zs without focus motor although at least on the z6 it cuts off the hdmi out when connected so not useful to me!

Ksewards New Member • Posts: 2
Re: "fully compatible"

The Moza Air 2 is now fully compatible with the Z series.  I can pull focus, and adjust camera parameters right from the gimbal.  Works like a charm.

robertfel Senior Member • Posts: 1,438
Re: "fully compatible"

Is there a new firmware via the app (which was unusable on the Gen 1, so I uninstalled)?

I don't see it on their website.

 robertfel's gear list:robertfel's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon D850 Nikon Z6 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +26 more
dantastical Regular Member • Posts: 471
Re: "fully compatible"

Can the Moza Air 2 control the Z focus directly through USB or does it require the focus motor? And if it can do by USB, how smooth is it?

robertfel Senior Member • Posts: 1,438
I just tried,

nothing.

I'm using a Z6 and Moza Air 2 with January firmware update.

Are you saying it's working without the iFocus accessory? How?

 robertfel's gear list:robertfel's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon D850 Nikon Z6 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +26 more
dantastical Regular Member • Posts: 471
Re: I just tried,

The Ronin S can rack focus using the wheel via USB without the focus motor, although connecting the gimbal to the camera stops the cameras Hdmi out.

robertfel Senior Member • Posts: 1,438
New firmware is out for Moza Air 2

http://www.gudsen.com/details-moza-releases-new-firmware-for-air-2-to-improve-camera-compatibility

I just updated the gimbal. I'm not getting focus control on the Z6. I toggled the 'habit' setting for the wheel, nothing. I hit the 'M' button and it toggles roll motor, but that's it.

What am I missing? Focus setting on camera? Is there a setting on the gimbal? It would be awesome if it worked via Bluetooth, but I doubt that's the issue.

I don't have a D850 to USB-C cable, so I can't test my D850.

Edit: I figured it out, I was plugging into the USB-C port which is used for firmware update. I had to plug into USB mini Cam Control port on the plate under the camera. Yes, focus works now, I haven't tried other features. Luckily I had a USB mini to USB-C adapter.

 robertfel's gear list:robertfel's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon D850 Nikon Z6 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +26 more
AirStream New Member • Posts: 2
Re: I just tried,

dantastical wrote:

The Ronin S can rack focus using the wheel via USB without the focus motor, although connecting the gimbal to the camera stops the cameras Hdmi out.

So no external recording if controlling via the gimbal? That makes the filmmaker's kit kind of dead weight.

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