FPV gimbal for zoom camera


It’s nice to fly around with your copter or plane, watching the surrounding area with a live view. Anyone who tried FPV knows that feeling. There is much to see with the regular equipment, but if you want to see some detail from a higher altitude, there is a problem. Normally it’s good to have a wide angle camera, to see the surrounding space. But what if you want to watch a particular spot, like your house, or something interesting happening few miles away in detail, without making a lot of flying with your drone? 

We found very little neat solutions for that, that’s why me and my buddy Jacob are working on a low cost project of a FPV gimbal for zoom camera.  
This is an early 3D printed prototype of a simple to use FPV zoom gimbal. It is designed to get along perfectly with almost any coper or plane.


If you want to zoom on something while flying it’d better be stabilised, thats why 3 axis gimbal is put to work. The body is designed to work with most of FPV zoom cameras, analog or HD. As a controller we are using AlexMos, slim version to cut the mass. All of the cables are hidden inside of the body which makes it really nice and handy.


The whole gimbal with camera weighs 305g, we think thats really nice result.
For now we are making some iterations to reach optimal body design, but later we’re going to test things like object tracking with Raspberry pi and OpenCV, and a HD Light Bridge transmission. 
What are your opinions on this? Do you think it would be useful for your FPV needs? 
If you’re interested in this project write a comment or send me a private message on DIYD, we’d love to hear some feedback!

Soon we should have some footage from an actual flight! 
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  • Hi mark, the OFM guy is using a bulky and expensive sony handycam which is HD or 4K whatever. And for that weight and size the gimbal must be powerful, the drone must be powerful and for that price also it has a failsafe dual GPS and even a parachute !! 

    Mechanics pov , my setup is simple, this camera is 8X5x4 cm and only 160g so it will fit a very low end gimbal (mine is using 2206 motors offering a torque for cameras between 100 and 200 grams) 

    electronics pov, as explained you connect 2 signal cables (zoom+focus) directly to the RC Receiver and Vout to OSD 

    The only thing missing that I found in this prototype made by Greg is the clean looking because in order to fit perfectly the CoG of this camera I had to make my own dirty looking roll bracket. :/

  • a very cool idea ... The problem however, will be to keep the copter calm in the air. Here is my test flight in Loiter mode with a Sony HDR Camera and 16 times optical zoom :)

    http://youtu.be/uAmhQ4Zsa5k   zoom from minute 1:43

    You much fun and good luck with your project best regards from Germany,ciao Klaus  www.luftbild-shs.de

  • yes and it is affordable at under $200. Now the makers of Only Flying Machines uses this camera for a surveillance Drone at the cost of 14K. So questions are for Kefta, how dis you connect it to your drone, gimble? and for  Greg Dronsky, do you plan on printing more of these? I would love to have the setup on a gimbel. 

    Only Flying Machines – We Make Your Personal Flying Machines
  • I have this one same I guess

    The ribbon cable is connected to an arduino mini pro that is used to convert a receiver PWM signal to RS232 for zoom and focus controls.

  • this is the camera we used: http://www.securitycamera2000.com/products/Core-Mechanism-1%7B47%7D...

    Core Mechanism 1/3'' SONY CCD 700TVL 27X ZOOM for PTZ Dome Camera OSD
  • Mark, Which Sony camera you are talking about?
  • Sony makes a nice 30X zoom with some ir, night vision ability. Looked very nice on youtube also. The camera is now being sold as a drone camera with all the right hookup etc. They did seem to leave out much of the exterior of the camera but the weight was only around 700 grams. Looks lot like the one in the printed gimble come to think about it. HEY is that a sony zoom 30+- camera in that gimble? Thanks


  • I AM very interested in that gimbal. Let me be up to date please!

  • For the zoom cameras without integrated rc-control, you can use this cam controller circuit.

    You have to solder it yourself, but it's not a big deal and I have it successfully working on my 27xzoom cam.

    Oh yeah, I used these instructions to integrate the controller into the cam control board and everything's working well.

    Did a first test flight with the cam mounted on a standard goodluckbuy dji gopro gimbal and could get pretty good video out of it, although my improvised "protection case" for the camera is way ugly....electrical tape.

    Your design really looks fantastic! Will you release the files on thingiverse or somewhere?

    My Research - Video camera control board
  • I need to buy this one right now !!
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