Varavon BirdyCam 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer First Look

Here's my first look at the new Varavon Birdycam (RTR) 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer. This stabilizer was popularized over other stabilizers in it's price range, mainly because of it's unique design which takes away the most tedious part about working with Gimbals - balancing your camera! So how easy was it? Well in real time (nothing sped up), I walk you through the exact steps on obtaining perfect balance with the Varavon BirdyCam Stabilizer.

Anyone who chooses to receive the Birdycam will first recognize the quality of parts and craftsmanship that went into the design. Almost every inch of the Birdycam is metal including thumb screws and clamp knobs.

Birdycam GH4 Birdycam Sony A7s
Birdycam shown with GH4 and Sony A7s

The next thing you'll immediately notice is the ease of use. The folding handle design is quick to setup, tilt and roll locks are super handy during balancing or when placing the gimbal down. The most impressive feature of course (sure to blow away even MOVI users) is a frame surrounded by tool-less fine tuning adjustment knobs that allow for super accurate incremental adjustments for perfect balance.

Birdycam BMCC Wireless Transmitter Receiver
Birdycam shown w/ BlackMagic Design Camera and Optional Wireless Video System

Testing out my Canon 5D Mark III + Sigma 20mm the profile installed on the gimbal worked incredibly smooth right out of the box. No PID tuning required (yet). So far my expectations has been exceeded from what I originally thought I knew about this gimbal. For the price, it's hard to beat the convenience and feature set. For more information about the product, check out the Birdycam 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer product page (click here).

varavon birdycam pre-orderpreorder birdycam varavon 3 axis gimbal stabilizer
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32 thoughts on “Varavon BirdyCam 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer First Look

  1. Andy

    @emm Thanks for that. As a matter of curiosity, given the budget to choose either, would the Ronin be a better choice?

  2. Emm

    Post author

    @Andy - A USB cable shouldn't affect the balance if it's lightweight and flexible, but extending the joystick will be a trick. It does have bluetooth, so it's possible to control the pan and tilt using the android app.

  3. Hi. Am considering using this rig on a jib in certain situations instead of my Kessler head. A couple of questions - could the joystick cable be extended easily would you think? Also, I control my 5d via USB using the DSLR Controller app. Im guessing adding a Usb cable in with enough slack this would still be possible?

    Looking forward to your thoughts. Thanks again for such a great review.

  4. Emm, thanks. I wil try that today. Just for clarification, I see camera facing to left even when the stabilizer is not turned off. I though Gyros kicks in after unit is turned on.

  5. Emm

    Post author

    @Naim Mod - I would first start with Calibrating the Gyros. You hold the camera centered and click the button in the software, and wait for it to finish. You can also double check if you have any 'offset' settings in the software under the 'follow mode' tab. Because brushless motors are so different and can be mounted differently depending on the manufacturer, you can also manual set this 'offset' so that your yaw will be centered once it boots up. Once you make this 'offset' change you will not see it happen until you reboot the gimbal.

  6. Emm,

    Very helpful video. Thank you. I got my stabilizer last week and was able to balance it for most part except one thing. When I have it on the stand, it does not stay in the center. It is move to left. In other words, my initial position is lens pointing on left. Any help is appreciated.

  7. I've been looking at all the various choices (or those that I can find) and it turns out that a lot of them are re-packaged version of the CAME 7500, which in turn is, I believe, re-packaged. All Steady added some nice features like better handles and tool-less add on's. And is supported locally.

    For now the ease of use of the birdy cam and it's light weight at this price point seems to make it the winner, for us. Especially since it includes case, stand, and folds up easily. But we are now shooting with the A7s so we don't need more power.

    But since there are so few actually out there I guess we have to wait a little longer.

    Thanks Emm for such great reviews about this topic.

  8. beyond

    does anyone knows about any solution for "2nd operation mode" for Birdycam2? control via RC transmitter/receiver kinda stuff?


  9. Patrick

    @Lance Thanks for the reply. I really wouldn't mind packing on a bag of batteries, but at $200 each for only an hourish in capacity... double ouch!

    I really hope you're wrong

  10. @Emm - Cool the Ronin. Looking forward to a review perhaps. Or some side by sides. The main thing people complain about on the forums is the weight. The varavon looks pretty slim but the Ronin has lifting power.

  11. Emm

    Post author

    @Dez - Not from one position to the next, but you can balance it upside down. If you want to invert you would have to balance over again.

  12. Emm

    Post author

    @Archie - When gimbals are setup properly it's pretty effortless for the camera operator. The frustrating part is getting it setup properly. Anyone who chooses to work with gimbals should plan on taking time out and really learning how to properly balance and tune the system.

  13. Archie

    Emm, I have a Weildy Steadicam and Vest which I am still perfecting to use (its been months I am using).
    Do you think I should sell it and get a Gimbal? Because I am not an experienced operator and self-tutoring myself on steadicam.

  14. Emm

    Post author

    @Joe - Yes Ronin is much heavier and larger than the Birdycam, but i'll need more time with the Ronin to see what I think. So far I can see it's too big for my personal needs. It would be great for more professional projects that require very heavy camera systems. I personally like using very minimal equipment whenever possible.

  15. Joe

    @Emm, could you give us a brief key points on the Ronin?

    Ease of balance
    Weight of the rig (is it much heavier than the Birdycam?)

    With the current Ronin promotion and how much Birdycam costs, would you say Ronin would be money better spent? That is if you are able to physically wield it for a long period of time?

  16. Emm

    Post author

    @editwizard - It is possible to use an hdmi cable. I would tie it down to the gimbal handles and then have slack so you won't be pulling directly at the camera itself. Instead it would tug on the gimbal handle which does not affect the camera balance. Good question, I think I can do a vid on this.

  17. editwizard

    Silly question about gimbals - do you have to use a wireless video feed to use an ext monitor or can you attach with a cable with enough slack?

  18. Emm

    Post author

    @Claire McHardy - As a matter of fact, I was out setting up a DJI Ronin yesterday in San Francisco.

  19. Emm

    Post author

    @Marcelo - I tried yesterday with a #C100 and although you may be able to tune it, you would have very little room for tilt or access to the camera. I don't think it's a good fit.

  20. mike_tee_vee

    How well can this be used without an external monitor?

    Also, how long did it take to ship?

  21. Emm, thanks for the review!
    It looks good value and really easy to set up.
    Do you know if it would hold the weight of a C100? and if I attach my Atomos Ninja Blade to the top handle will it make any difference to the stabilisation?

    Thanks a lot!

  22. Truly excellent video. I really think you should be given all of the gimbals for a roundup. Perhaps you can team up with a local rental house or something. You really understand how all this works and make it look easy!

    Thanks again. Looking forward to your opinion of the Ronin... if indeed you will be getting one?

  23. Thanks for your video impressions, Emm! I agree, the balancing is a breeze. Can you tell us more about the PID tuning? I did notice a USB port on the side of my unit. What software do you use to calibrate it?

    By the way, I just completed a quick review video as well, for others who may be interested:

  24. LB


    Great video I kinda figure it would be that easy and the extra addition Varavon modified is a plus but nothing against the Varavon Gimbal but for the price with shipping I chose to go with DJI Ronin for a couple hundred more. But overall varavon have a winner on there hands as well.

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