Published on March 20th, 2017 | by Guest


Handheld Gimbal and an Action Camera – A Match Made in Heaven

As the demand grows for user-friendly photography accessories, companies are being forced to expand their product range to please the consumers. What was once a gadget limited to the movie industry, the gimbal is now available to anyone that wants to take their photography and filming skills to the next level. If you’re not sure what a gimbal is, it’s like a stabilizer on steroids. If you’re not sure what a stabilizer is, then read on.

A stabilizer says it all in the name, it’s an attachment for your camera that can help to stabilize your footage, particularly for videos. A gimbal stabilizer includes brushless motors, which gives its user the ability to keep the camera level on all axes, even with movement. Depending on what gimbal you buy, most will give you the freedom to film without worrying about the knocks and bumps, or shakiness that often appears in your regular footage. It’s essentially a motorized stabilizer with the benefit of changing to different modes. For maximum stability and the freedom to shoot from several angles a 3-Axis PTZ (Pan/Tilt/Zoom), three-programmed gimbal does this perfectly.

Combine these benefits with the best budget action camera, there really are no limits! Action cameras are designed for the adventurous who want to share their moments, but due to some of the extreme conditions they put the cameras through, and despite the built-in Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS), the footage can still be shaky, and often shows knocks and bumps. Action Cameras are lightweight and most of them have a lot of the great features you can find in a regular camera, such as photo/video editing, HD video, and now the market is offering 4K action cameras, the highest video quality yet.

Because a gimbal offers battery powered motors to aid the stabilizers, they are comparatively more expensive than other stabilizers, but give you much more control over the angle of your camera. Of course, when using a handheld gimbal you don’t want to be using a bulky camera, as this defeats the whole purpose of having a lightweight gimbal. Using a 4K action camera you can still capture high quality footage, without the weight and size of a high-quality DLSR or mirorrless. What’s also important is the ergonomics of gimbal, it may not be the most important factor, but the comfort actually plays an important role, particularly if you’re shooting for long periods.

There’s no doubt that action cameras can produce unbelievable footage, but most user’s post-production footage still lacks that professionalism. Even the low-cost stabilizers can improve the final outcome, but like most things in life; you get what you pay for! Although they are much more readily available for personal use, a gimbal stabilizer combined with an action camera can still set you back a few hundred dollars, but it’s certainly worth the money if you want to see a noticeable improvement in your footage.

Whether you’re a professional photographer or filmmaker, or simply just looking for a new gadget to play around with, then purchasing a handheld gimbal with an action cam could really transform the way you spend your time. The most exciting thing about using a gimbal and action camera combination is the simple joy you can get just from going for a walk. The main advantage of combining an action camera with a handheld gimbal is the stabilized footage, wherever you are, whatever you’re filming, but even if you’re not an adventurer it’s still the perfect companion. Perhaps selfies is more your thing? Well, it just so happens you can combine all three. It’s a miracle! Gimbal, action camera and a selfie stick has to be a trio made in heaven!

YI Technology have a new product on the market that my friend recently purchased, it’s essentially a gimbal bundle, which includes a 4K action camera, 3-axis flexible gimbal and a selfie stick. He took it out for a walk the other day, and produced his own version of Yellow by Coldplay. It took me a little while to realize he was in fact filming himself, I was quite impressed. One man, one camera, and one great video!

Like with any product, you should read a few reviews and check out the different competition that’s currently on the market. Don’t feel rushed to buy anything if you’re not sure it’s suitable for you, if you know someone that owns a gimbal, ask if you can have a go, take it out for a spin, and you never know where you might end up!


About the author:

George Finlayson is an educator and professional writer with a BA in Creative Writing. He was born in London, England but currently resides in Shanghai, China. He has recently developed a great interest in photography and has begun a new venture into writing about photography and videography for beginners, and related topics. With so many technical details in digital photography, George likes to keep things simple so that everyone can understand and feel a part of the ever-growing global photography community.

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