CM3000 Pro 3-Axis GoPro Gimbal
A friend and I have been wanting to run a two-man aerial videography team for some time, and as such have been looking for a solid 3-axis gimbal. Having a tarot 680 hexacopter ready to fly he had initially gone with a Tarot 2-axis gimbal, but this limits the application as your yaw control must always be considered and coordinated with the shot as planned. Realizing we needed a better solution, we decided to try an option from Arris.
The Arris CM3000 Pro features a carbon fiber frame, a 32bit gimbal controller running the popular SimpleBGC firmware (fully licensed), and a custom-made yaw axis motor with inserted slip ring for full 360 degree rotation. This means your pilot can concentrate on flying and directing his FPV line of sight where he needs, while the camera can be pointed at your intended subject regardless of the aircraft’s orientation.
Some of the features of the Arris CM3000Pro include:
- Lightweight carbon fiber frame construction.
- Compatible with the GoPro 3, 3+, and 4 series cameras. (untested with series 5 at this time).
- Full 360 degree rotation on the yaw axis thanks to a custom hollow-shaft motor.
- Integrated connection box for power, RC control, and video input/output.
- Can charge your GoPro while in use.
- Ready to use. Each gimbal arrives balanced, tuned, and tested.
- Multiple gimbal modes including axis-lock and follow mode.
For our first test we used stock settings in yaw follow mode with no external gimbal control. After getting the hex in the air we did notice a slight oscillation in the flight motors that indicated it was in need of a better tune, but the gimbal did an admirable job of stabilizing the video footage even under these conditions. Ideally your aircraft would be tuned and flown with well-balanced props to eliminate vibration. I’ll be sure to provide an update video showing the gimbal in use on a properly tuned aircraft.
We didn’t bother taking it easy on the flight, instead pushing it to its limits, pitching and rolling hard, performing pirouettes, and tight coordinated turns. In many gimbals this would induce yaw drift or even worse loss of the horizontal plane, but the CM3000 Pro had no issues holding the horizon and smoothing our the footage as it should. Even the added vibration of the flight motors didn’t seem to affect the gyro as I’ve seen with many other gimbals. With a more appropriate tune on the hex, balanced props, and a more realistic flight envelope it was apparent that one could achieve results well beyond that of what most consumer drones achieve.
As the plan was always to run a two-person platform where one would control the aircraft while the other controlled the gimbal. Luckily we had a new TBS Tango on hand. We connected a spare reciever to the gimbal’s connection box and a video transmitter to the video output. After a bit of testing and configuration we had achieved our two-man solution. He would control the aircraft via a dedicated FPV feed, and I would control the camera through a separate video feed and transmitter. The results this provided were truly impressive. Flying across the field was a breeze, with each of us able to fully dedicate our attention to the task at hand. The gimbal retained whichever orientation i set it to regardless of the aircraft, and we were able to achieve shots that a one-man operation with a Phantom could only dream of.
The CM3000 Pro is a fantastic gimbal, and a worthy centerpiece for an aerial videography platform. Whether flying alone, or making use of a dedicated controller you can achieve some truly awesome results. The gimbal software is full of settings and features, too many to name in this review though there is plenty of information online. The gimbal comes balanced, tested, and ready to run out of the box. At around $200 you’d expect the performance to be sub-par compared to a professional rig, but you’d be wrong. This is a solid gimbal with a full feature set, priced for the consumer market but packed with the high-end features you need for obtaining a professional sheen on your aerial videography.
The CM3000Pro is available from Amazon: ARRIS CM3000pro Gopro Hero3 3-Axis Brushless Motor Gimbal (32bit Version) for RC Quadcopter Multicopter
The featured product was provided to NoobRC from the manufacturer for the purposes of an honest review.