Camera Motion Research Blackbird Camera Stabilizer

Camera Motion Research Blackbird Camera Stabilizer

Camera Motion Research Blackbird Camera Stabilizer

B&H # CABBB MFR # BB100
Camera Motion Research Blackbird Camera Stabilizer Components

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Product Highlights

  • For DSLR/Camcorder Leveling
  • Supports Cameras Weighing up to 8 lbs
  • User-adjustable Friction for Tilt/Roll
  • Quick & Easy Vertical Balancing
  • Mounting Plate with Friction Pad
  • Camera stage with Adjustment Knobs
  • 2 Horizontal Bars (11" & 15")
  • T-bar Assembly/Counterweights
  • Gimbal Extender for Cameras < 2 lbs
  • Built-in Tilt and Roll Bubble Levels
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Camera Motion Research Blackbird Overview

  • 1Description

The Camera Motion Research Blackbird Camera Stabilizer system allows easy leveling, balancing and positioning of DSLRs and camcorders weighing up to 8 lbs. The handheld system includes a camera stage/chassis with support arm, mounting plate, locating pin, gimbal and extender, T-bar assembly with 2 horizontal bars and counterweights.

The camera is attached to the stage via a mounting plate that has a friction pad to securely mount the camera with or without use of the camera locating pin. The plate also provides additional front/back adjustments and has a safety pin to prevent the camera from sliding off the stage during adjustment.

The stage features a scale to reference the position of the plate so that re-balancing time is minimized when attaching the camera. Low backlash screw drives and internal dovetail guides ensure secure positioning of the camera when in use and the built-in tilt and roll bubble levels make balancing easy in both the axes.

The gimbal assembly with 6 precision ball bearings can take a minimum static load of 57 lbs in any axis; the main operator control ring gives you roll, tilt and pan control whereas the second ring below the gimbal controls only pan. The gimbal extension is used for cameras weighing less than about 2 lbs.

The SmoothTouch technology provides you with controlled friction (adjustable for different camera weights) to reduce roll and tilt motion artifacts. It also reduces the initial stabilizer motions from acceleration to avoid the pendulum effect. During outdoor shots, constant and smooth gimbal friction reduces the effects of the wind and results in better shots, irrespective of the operator skill levels.

The stabilizer can be easily adjusted to achieve correct vertical balance for different cameras by the use of counterweights. The weights interlock mutually as well as with the crossbar to prevent shifting that can create noise during movements. Finer adjustments can be made by moving the T-bar up or down, with the locking lever providing fast and secure locking. The gimbal vertical position can also be adjusted by rotating the gimbal up or down.

The horizontal counterweight bar can be positioned side to side to allow holding of the stabilizer close to the body; it can also be positioned front to back during shots that require the stabilizer on either side of the body. The 11" horizontal bar gives adjustable angular position for better performance, whereas the 15" horizontal bar provides maximum pan axis moment of inertia and stability.

A user manual and instructional DVD are included to quickly guide you through the setup.

Mounting Plate
  • For additional front/back adjustment
  • Safety pin to prevent the camera from sliding off the stage
  • Friction pad to mount the camera with or without use of the camera locating pin
Camera Stage/Chassis
  • Adjustment knobs for precise positioning of the camera
  • Convenient scale to reference the mounting plate position and minimize re-balancing time when attaching the camera
  • Low backlash screw drives and the internal dovetail guides for stable camera positioning
  • Built-in tilt and roll bubble levels to make balancing easier in both axes
Gimbal
  • Reduces motion artifacts with SmoothTouch technology
  • Low intrinsic friction and alignment
  • 6 precision ball bearings that can take up to 57 lbs in any axis
  • Main operator ring controls roll, tilt and pan; the ring below the gimbal controls pan
  • Gimbal extension for cameras weighing less than 2 lbs
T-bar
  • Quick and easy adjustment of vertical balance (drop time)
  • 2 horizontal bars (11" & 15") - 11" bar for highly adjustable angular position; 15" bar for maximum pan axis moment of inertia and stability
  • Finer adjustment of vertical balance by moving the counterweight T-bar up or down
  • Secure locking with an advanced clamping design
In the Box
Camera Motion Research Blackbird Camera Stabilizer
  • Chassis
  • T-Bar Assembly
  • Camera Mounting Plate
  • Counterweights
  • Gimbal Extender
  • Horizontal Bar (11"/279mm)
  • Spare Screws and Locating Pin
  • Horizontal Bar (15"/381mm)
  • User Manual
  • Instructional DVD
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Camera Motion Research Blackbird Specs

    Load Capacity 1-8 lbs (0.5-3.6kg)
    Weight 2.4 lb (1.1 kg) (stabilizer weight including camera mounting plate and resting stand)
    Minimum Height 20" (508mm)
    Maximum Height 25" (635mm)
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 6.35 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 18.1 x 12.4 x 6.6"

    Camera Motion Research Blackbird Reviews

    Blackbird Camera Stabilizer is rated 4.3 out of 5 by 32.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Buy! What's great about the Blackbird is how user friendly it is. You can balance the blackbird relatively quickly and begin shooting. I've been using the Blackbird for a couple months now so I've gotten better using it. When using the blackbird practice is the key ingredient. The more you use it, the more it becomes part of you and you begin capturing the shots you wanted. Another great thing about Blackbird is they send a DVD with the stabilizer, the DVD tells you everything you need to know, it's a bit lengthy but full of helpful details and everything you need to know to get started if you're a beginner. The blackbird can improve your moving shots almost overnight.
    Date published: 2012-11-12
    Rated 2 out of 5 by from PBarban I researched many different stabilizers and picked the Blackbird. I have used the Glidecam before so I was familiar with how to use it. When I got it I was completely disappointed. I used it everyday for 3 weeks to get a good feel for it. Sure it was easy to level and balance. The drifting from side to side was a huge problem. Making the unit pan is understandable but needing to hold it from moving on it's own is no good. The balance was soooo very sencetive that it is hard to control. I am convinced to same my money and buy a harness stabilizer. No more struggling on getting the shot. I am a wedding photographer/videographer and shoot video all the time. So smoothness is critical.
    Date published: 2013-04-30
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Blackbird -My first stabilizer This is my first stabilizer. I am using a Canon 7D with an 18mm-135mm lens. One good thing about this stabilizer is the ability to adjust the stiffness of the gimble which as a noobie has made my shots better. The one thing that has bothered me so far is this stabilizer pans in the direction that the wind is blowing when filming outside, which has made some of my shots look jerky when trying to reposition it back to the center. It tends to sway and pan indoors too. I have found a fix to this using two semi-thick medium sized rubberbands stretched from top to bottom on the handle and pan knob. My shots are a lot better now. I'm sure that overall my shots will get better the more experience I have at using it.
    Date published: 2011-07-13
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from A bird quite easy to fly This is the third stabilizer I've tried (after Hague and Merlin) and so far, this is the easier and quicker to balance with all sort of gear. But after balancing, there's a learning curve to achieve good shots. I was a bit mislead by the DVD instructions that recommend a two seconds of falling speed before going back to the vertical position. It doesn't work for me at all. For a good horizontal stability, I'm way happier with only one second. What's not easy to find at first is the pressure to apply with the thumbs to get a good stability. For a long use, I've tried a shoulder strap around one arm (like for a broken arm!), it works fine. Last thing, the screw to attach the camera is free and therefore can be lost easily.
    Date published: 2012-04-12
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Exactly What I Needed! I recently purchased the Blackbird Camera Stabilizer and I couldn't be happier! I knew buying it, there would be a slight learning curve. Learning how to balance it, learning how to walk with it, and learning how to keep it from swaying. For the price point, it does exactly what you are looking for if you are in the market to buy a stabilizer. I watched hundreds of YouTube videos of different stabilizer but not one of them had better reviews than this one. I have nothing bad to say about it, because it is made well, comes with a great how to use DVD and manual that I noticed a few others in this price point didn't provide. Be ready to do a few curls in the gym though...it gets heavy after a few minutes of use. I think that's all stabilizers though.
    Date published: 2013-04-25
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Glad I chose the Blackbird This is my first stabilizer, and I did quite a bit of research before buying. The Blackbird really stood out to me. You always hear that stabilizers take a while to set up and get the hang of, and while that's true to an extent, the blackbird was very natural to me. Balancing any new camera setup is actually kind of fun because there are so many ways to adjust the blackbird. I recently shot a commercial and almost every shot used the blackbird.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRnZR-vc4-gIn my opinion, the blackbird is the no compromise option of all the handheld stabilizers.
    Date published: 2012-01-05
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW If you read the manual and watch the video that is provided with this product, you will figure out how to use it in about a day. Once you understand how to set it up, it will take you literally less than two minutes to set it up each time. I am able to get absolutely perfect flying video with this unit. I tried other cheaper alternatives on the Internet, don't waste your time. One thing to note about any of these stabilizers is that with a good number of them, once you have achieved dynamic balance, and you set the unit down and pick it up again you have to rebalance it. Not so with this blackbird. once you get it balanced it will stay that way until you remove the camera. I highly recommend this product!
    Date published: 2013-03-07
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Stabilizer! This is an awesome product! I had only used one cheap stabilizer before which was a piece of crap for $50 bucks. I bought this one bc I had read reviews on this one and the Merlin. All reviews said the blackbird was better for beginners and cheaper anyway. This one is worth the money! Being a beginner and not so good at physics, it took me some time to set up and balance, but after an hour or so I figured it out. Even without practice the videos look so much more stabilized! I'm sure after some practice they will look even better. The DVD was VERY helpful. Without it I would not have been able to figure it out.
    Date published: 2014-02-25
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    question

    Does this weight less than the glidecam hd 2000?
    Asked by: Andrew B.
    The Camera Motion Research Blackbird Camera Stabilizer weighs 2.4 lbs and the Glidecam HD2000 Stabilizer System weighs 2.54 lbs. Not really a difference to consider but there it is.
    Answered by: Dennis A L.
    Date published: 2018-08-28

    question

    Is this compatible with the panasonic gh4?
    Asked by: Andrew B.
    The Camera Motion Research Blackbird Camera Stabilizer is most definitely compatible and is one of the recommended stabilizers for the Panasonic GH4. Keep in mind three things with such stabilizers. These are: weight, balance, and practice. If you follow those, particularly the practice part, you will be very happy with your new rig.
    Answered by: Dennis A L.
    Date published: 2018-08-28

    question

    Is it compatible with Cannon 550D?
    Asked by: Anonymous
    The stabilizer supports cameras up to 8lbs, all of Canon's DSLRs should be compatible with the rig- provided the lens used isn't an extremely large telephoto lens.
    Answered by: Sandra W.
    Date published: 2018-08-28
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