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Miniature photo and video cameras are now found in almost every conceivable and unthinkable model of wearable electronics, but cameras, as separate devices, remain relevant. This applies both to professional equipment used for filming movies or serious TV shows, and a kind of new trend of the 21st century – action cameras. These cameras are, by definition, focused on shooting in extremely dynamic environments: skydiving, windsurfing, rallying, and the like. In order for the “picture” to turn out to be more or less even and digestible for the perception of the viewer, such cameras require an additional accessory – a stabilizer.

Expertology has compiled an overview of the best action camera stabilizers as of early 2020 according to our expert team. To clarify right away, we will only consider handheld stabilizers for compact action cameras. Dimensional systems such as Steadicam for serious filming is a separate issue.

How action camera stabilizers work and how to choose the right one

In general, it’s worth starting with the fact that there are two types of stabilizers – mechanical and electronic. The latter are also called electric, and, in principle, both options are correct to one degree or another. We will call them electronic due to the actual presence in them of a variety of electronics, and not just electric drives.

  1. Mechanical stabilizer for camera – This is the simplest and cheapest option, it is also the least functional. The principle of its operation is based on the use of counterweights, and the camera is attached to the structure on hinges. Such models allow some adjustment, say, of the shoulder where the camera is located, but this is where their functions end. Therefore, a mechanical stabilizer is suitable only for the most undemanding operator. In the end, the choice of them for sale is very small.
  2. Another thing is electronic stabilizers for action cameras. These are already much more “smart” in every sense and nimble devices. Here, the market is already replete with a variety of models for any technical requirements and any budget. The principle of operation here is based on a motor system. Camera displacement is determined by sensors, to which the control responds quickly by sending appropriate signals to the engines. Those, in turn, quickly return the camera to the correct position.
  3. Manipulations with the camera in the electronic stabilizer can occur two or three axes – it already depends on the specific model. Of course, three-axis stabilizers cope with the task much better than two-axis stabilizers, but they also usually cost significantly more.
  4. Electronic stabilizers also have disadvantages – this is a disproportionately higher price than mechanical stabilizers, limited battery life, and the likelihood of failure. In addition, not all stabilizers are protected from external influences (rain, snow, frost), while mechanical ones do not care.
  5. Among other things, when choosing any stabilizer for action cameras, you need to make sure that it is really compatible with the camera of your particular model. There are quite a few stabilizers on the market that only target smartphones. And if the technical specifications indicate that a particular model is compatible with action cameras, then you need to understand that such cameras are very different.
  6. Another important detail – the presence of protection from external factors. Action cameras are “action” for that, that they can be in any conditions – in dust, in mud, in snow, in heavy rain, etc. It is important that the stabilizer is also ready to withstand such loads.
  7. Finally, a moment that many are interested in when choosing any wearable electronics, and forget when choosing a stabilizer for an action camera. Talking about battery life without recharging. After all, an electronic stabilizer is the same wearable gadget as the camera itself, just its role is auxiliary. And you need to focus not so much on the dry numbers of battery capacity, but on the test results declared by the manufacturer and confirmed by independent testers. After all, energy consumption, as well as optimization, can be very different.

Rating of the best stabilizers for action cameras

Nomination place Name of product price

The best mechanical stabilizers for action cameras

one

Steadicam v2

2 590 ₽

2

Fujimi FJSB-S3 1456

2 860 ₽

Best Budget Electronic Stabilizers for Action Cameras

one

Xiaomi Mi Action Camera Handheld Gimbal

8 899 ₽

2

Hohem iSteady Pro 2

7 000 ₽

The best mid-range and high-end electronic stabilizers for action cameras

one

Zhiyun Crane-M2

13 590 ₽

2

Feiyu Tech WG2

9 700 ₽

3

Zhiyun Rider M

11 000 ₽

four

DJI Ronin-SC

21 340 ₽

5

TILTA Gravity G2X

56 900 ₽

The Best Electronic Stabilizers for GoPro Action Cameras

one

GoPro Karma Grip

23 900 ₽

2

Feiyu Tech G6

9 550 ₽

The best mechanical stabilizers for action cameras

And we will start with a couple of examples of the simplest solution to the problem of camera stabilization when shooting on the move. These are completely mechanical models without any electronics. Their advantages are an affordable price, no batteries are needed, and they are absolutely indifferent to the nature of the environment.

Steadicam v2

Rating: 4.9

STEADICAM V2.jpg

First, let’s look at a funny but interesting Chinese product that doesn’t even have a proper name, but is simply called Steadicam v2 on Russian and international trading floors. The index means that even this simplest device had a predecessor and has undergone a number of improvements, expressed in the second improved version of the Steadicam. Despite such sterile purity in terms of the origin of the “brand” and in general any details of production, the model is in decent demand.

This is a manual mechanical stabilizer for action cameras, as well as for DSLR cameras – digital single-lens reflex cameras. The task of the device is obvious – if possible, to compensate for shaking, swaying, jerks and vibrations during dynamic shooting. Works in three planes, which is commendable.

The materials in this model are surprisingly high quality, as for such a cheap and uncomplicated product. Exactly the same can be said about the build quality. The metal parts of the Steadicam v2 are made of aluminum (“aircraft” according to the manufacturer, but there are certainly doubts here). Weighs 968g.

The stabilizer works solely due to the most basic laws of physics. The design is tied on a two-axis hinge, and a special counterweight directed downward acts as a compensator. What is important, the “power” of the counterweight can be adjusted by adding or removing special weights that come with the device.

The design of the stabilizer itself is foldable, which greatly simplifies transportation. The handle is made of rubberized material, so the stabilizer is held firmly and securely in the hand. Steadicam v2 even has some kind of design – the metal parts are partly matte polished, and partly painted in bright red. The handle of the holder is black.

The most common camera mount format is 3¼, which makes it possible to install almost any camera up to any GoPro version without any problems. If you plan to install a “reflex camera”, you need to remember that its weight should be no more than a kilogram.

Before starting operation, the device must be calibrated – adjust the weight of the load and the length of the arm.

Advantages

  • you can adjust the length of the arm and the weight of the counterweight;

  • quite convenient to use;

  • folding design;

  • not afraid of any extreme environmental conditions;

  • quite attractive appearance;

  • affordable price.

Flaws

  • limited functionality, like any mechanical stabilizer.

Fujimi FJSB-S3 1456

Rating: 4.8

FUJIMI FJSB-S3 1456.jpg

And the second mechanical model in the review of the best stabilizers for action cameras according to Expertology is essentially the same product as the previous one, but a little more impressive due to some additional features, and if only because Fujimi is quite a famous Chinese brand.

In general, the design of the stabilizer is not much different from the previous version – the same hinges, the same counterweight with weights. But there are still differences. This model uses both aluminum and steel elements, painted in black or bright red. The handle is black, made of polymer foam, resembling dense fine-grained foam rubber. The dimensions of the fixture are 33x20x3cm, weight – 1kg.

Almost everything can be adjusted in the Fujimi FJSB-S3 1456 – the weight of the counterweight (one main weight of 270g and two additional weights of 184g each with a mirror chrome finish), the angle of the counterweight, the position of the camera itself horizontally, etc. The kit includes an additional removable accessory for smartphone mounts. A small bubble level is built into the body of the stabilizer.

Fujimi FJSB-S3 1456 is designed for a maximum load of 1.5 kg. This must be taken into account if you plan to use it for “DSLRs”. Of course, no one forbids installing a more massive apparatus on the stabilizer, but then the stabilization efficiency will rapidly fall.

The stabilizer is compatible with action cameras, lightweight camcorders, DSLRs and smartphones. The manufacturer provides an official 12-month warranty for this model.

Advantages

  • famous brand;

  • quite effective stabilization of cameras up to 1.5kg in weight;

  • ease of use;

  • advanced adjustment and calibration options;

  • built-in bubble level;

  • quite attractive appearance;

  • quality packaging.

Flaws

  • limited functionality and capabilities in general, as in the previous case.

Best Budget Electronic Stabilizers for Action Cameras

Now let’s move on to the most common and sought-after category of stabilizers, and first consider the most inexpensive models. These are quite working samples, even of very well-known brands, only due to limitations in functionality they can be bought at a more or less affordable price. In any case, in terms of functionality, they are not one cut above any mechanical stabilizer.

Xiaomi Mi Action Camera Handheld Gimbal

Rating: 4.8

XIAOMI MI ACTION CAMERA HANDHELD GIMBAL2.jpg

First, let’s consider the most controversial model of the three budget stabilizers. The ambiguity lies in the fact that the stabilizer is almost the best in terms of price, quality and features, plus what is produced by one of the most famous Chinese manufacturers of wearable gadgets. But the huge minus of the model is that it is compatible only and exclusively with the “native” Xiaomi Mijia 4K action camera, and also 4K and 4K Lite. No other device will work with this stabilizer. So the potential target audience is quite narrow here.

The body of the steadicam is made of durable plastic. The material is really durable, so you don’t have to worry about its safety during dynamic shooting, and this adds to its advantages due to its very modest weight – only about 200g. Color – black, the coating has a matte texture. Unfortunately, the pen does not have a more “grasping” material tip, nor a rubberized coating. Accordingly, in the heat, sweat can slip out.

A tripod mount is located at the bottom of the device. The platform itself allows you to install the stabilizer on a flat surface in a vertical position even without a tripod.

The control unit is located in a well-designed place and position, so that it is easy to reach with your finger. There is a power on / off button for the device, a button for switching from operating mode to calibration and vice versa, start and stop recording on the camera, switching shooting modes, a stick for changing the position of the camera.

The USB-Micro connector is located on the left side of the control unit. At the top of the device is a carrier platform with three miniature engines. The camera mount is metal, fastened with two screws, and judging by the test results, it is ultra-reliable.

And now a few words about the modes of operation. There are three of them – holding the horizon, tracking and selfie. This is the most basic set of modes that almost all electronic stabilizers for action cameras have. With the first mode, everything is clear. The second involves changing the position of the camera following the movement of the handle: turning the hand to the right – the camera also moves to the right and vice versa. When the selfie mode is activated, the camera simply turns 180 degrees and looks into the face of the operator.

The declared autonomy provided by the battery is 6-8 hours of continuous operation. In fact, the battery lasts for 4-6 hours. It is not recommended to work in cold weather.

The package includes the stabilizer itself, USB Micro cable, standard documentation in different languages. There is no case included, so for transportation, as well as for warranty returns, it is recommended to keep the original packaging. It is extremely reliable and strong, so nothing threatens the device during transportation.

Advantages

  • effective stabilization by three basic rems;

  • three-axis system;

  • convenient management;

  • light weight and compactness;

  • built-in Bluetooth for camera synchronization.

Flaws

  • non-rubberized handle

  • Only compatible with Xiaomi Mijia action camera series.

Hohem iSteady Pro 2

Rating: 4.7

HOHEM ISTEADY PRO 2.jpg

And number two in Expertology’s mini-selection of the best budget stabilizers for action cameras, we will consider a model of a fairly common Hohem brand. This is the second edition of the iSteady Pro, which is significantly superior to its predecessor, and they cost almost the same. And the price, by the way, is slightly lower than that of the above-described Xiaomi, and in terms of functionality, Hohem “does” Xiaomi effortlessly.

So, iSteady Pro 2 is a three-axis electronic gimbal for action cameras. Unlike the “snobbish” Xiaomi, it already has much wider compatibility: almost all versions of GoPro, except for the 8th; SONY RX0; SONY RX0; SJCAM; NOVELEKA and a few others.

The package includes a main unit with a control module and a camera mount; additional handle-transformer, which can be used as a mini-tripod; USB Micro cable, documentation. All this is neatly stowed in a hard compact case, which greatly facilitates the transportation of the stabilizer.

The control module includes the main power switch button, mode switch button, joystick. The power button is dual-functional – a short press shows the indication of the battery level for 4 divisions, and by clamping it turns on the device itself in the operating mode. The joystick changes the shooting direction. There is also a slider on the left side, with which you can change the shooting angle.

Hohem iSteady Pro 2 has 4 main operating modes. A single press of the mode button locks the camera up and down and unlocks side to side movement. Double tap fully unlocks camera movement in all 4 directions. A triple press fixes the camera in the current direction and leaves it stationary during any manipulation of the gimbal. Four clicks completely unlock the electromagnetic motors, and the camera begins to follow all the movements of the operator in all axes. On the reverse side is a “trigger”, pressing which aligns the camera from any position.

The model is characterized by a very good autonomy – up to 12 hours of operation from a built-in 3600mAh battery. There is a useful additional function – using a separate cable from the stabilizer battery, you can power the camera itself, if suddenly its charge becomes insufficient. Of course, this will reduce the battery life of the steadicam itself, but given the large margin of autonomy, this can save the shooting as a whole.

Advantages

  • effective stabilization;

  • autonomy;

  • the ability to power the camera from the steadicam battery;

  • additional handle-tripod;

  • solid appearance;

  • hard case.

Flaws

  • no obvious flaws were found.

The best mid-range and high-end electronic stabilizers for action cameras

Now let’s move on to the category of more functional stabilizers, which can conditionally be attributed to the middle and high class. They are more expensive than any of the above models, in some places significantly. But they also cope with a much wider range of tasks. Again, we remind you that we are not talking about professional equipment for film studios, which costs thousands and tens of thousands of dollars. These are devices for high-quality, but still amateur or semi-professional shooting.

Zhiyun Crane-M2

Rating: 4.9

ZHIYUN CRANE-M2.jpg

The first in this category will consider the novelty of 2019 from the well-known Chinese manufacturer Zhiyun Tech. This is the stabilizer of the Crane-M2 model, which quickly earned the most positive feedback from the target audience due to the main and additional functionality.

The main feature of the Crane-M2 is its versatility in terms of compatibility with cameras. It doesn’t even make sense to list which action cameras this model is compatible with, since it’s hard to find a gadget with which it could not interact. In addition to action cameras, other devices up to smartphones are also suitable here (via the adapter included).

According to the principle of operation, the Crane-M2 is a three-axis stabilizer. It is made in a convenient and compact form factor from high-quality materials. The shoulders are protected by locking locks that prevent the axles from shifting during transport. Comfortable handle, well-thought-out placement of controls – all this greatly attracts users because of the special convenience. The current settings and battery level are shown on the compact OLED display. The special Lite platform adds to the advantages of this model in terms of the speed of installation and installation, and the scale with a lock guarantees quick balancing.

In addition to the three basic modes – PF/F/L – which all electronic steadicams have, the Crane-M2 also boasts additional, very interesting ones. Here we see the Full-Range POV mode – a view in full range, which means synchronous movement in all three axes 360 °. Then, the Vortex mode – rotation along all three axes also 360 °. Go mode allows you to shoot action scenes without losing direction.

This model also knows how to control the zoom of the camera, and this is done easily and conveniently via a wireless connection via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. You do not need to look for anything in the menu, just press the mechanical button on the handle.

Significantly expands the capabilities of the steadicam proprietary application ZY Play. With it, you can control the camera and the stabilizer itself, as well as supplement the functionality with special modes – slow motion, panoramic shooting, time lapse.

The Zhiyun Crane-M2 is powered by a lithium-ion battery that provides autonomy up to 8 hours. CRANE-M2 can be used as a power bank to recharge other wearable gadgets.

Advantages

  • versatility in compatibility with cameras and gadgets;

  • increased ease of use;

  • OLED display;

  • easy camera control via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi;

  • additional modes through a proprietary application;

  • good autonomy;

Flaws

  • There are problems with connecting via Wi-Fi to certain camera models.

Feiyu Tech WG2

Rating: 4.8

FEIYU TECH WG2.jpg

According to Expertology, the product of the well-known brand Feiyu Tech continues the selection of the best electronic stabilizers for medium and high-end action cameras according to Expertology. A distinctive feature of the WG2 model is water resistance, which not every electronic steadicam can boast of. It is for this feature against the background of general functionality and a more or less tolerable price that the model deserves the attention of our experts.

Feiyu Tech’s WG2 is a 3-axis gimbal that’s versatile enough to seamlessly interact with Xiaomi, GoPro, SJCAM, and just about any other camera that doesn’t have significant size differences. Pleased with the quality of the materials from which the stabilizer is made, as well as the build quality. Made in black, the surface for the most part has a matte texture. There are rubber inserts on the sides and bottom for added stability. ¼ screw fasteners are located on the bottom and back sides. There is an LED on the front that glows blue in normal mode and red when the battery starts to run low. The weight of the stabilizer without the camera is only 265g.

All control directly from the device is carried out by a single button. Long press turns the gimbal on or off. One press to switch between panning mode and lock mode. Double click – Panning and tilting mode. Triple – selfie mode. Four clicks activate the auto-rotate mode. Five clicks start device initialization.

A little more about modes. In Panning mode, the steadicam simply holds the camera evenly, following the movements of the operator, while fixing the horizon. In Lock mode, the stabilizer fixes the camera in the current position and maintains this position along all axes during any movement. Tilting mode – repeating the movements of the operator or the object on which the stabilizer with the camera is installed. Selfie mode – rotate the camera 180 degrees. The initialization mode is used to calibrate the stabilizer. Autorotation mode allows the device to work in automatic mode, shooting smooth time-lapses.

The main feature of WG2 – water resistance – has features and limitations. So, the technical characteristics provide that the steadicam can be under water at a depth of no more than 1 meter and for no more than 10 minutes. And this only applies to fresh water. Operation in salt water is not recommended, but if you still have to, you should rinse the device under fresh running water as soon as possible to remove salt.

This model has a proprietary application for wearable gadgets, with which the steadicam can be controlled remotely. True, it is “raw” and requires correction of flaws.

The main, albeit somewhat forced, drawback of this model is the not very capacious 1500mAh lithium-ion battery, which, moreover, is also non-removable. It can only provide no more than 2.5 hours of battery life. A full charge will take two hours.

The delivery set of this model includes, in addition to the device itself, a neoprene case, a USB cable for recharging, a set of brackets and bolts for mounting cameras of different sizes, and documentation.

Advantages

  • effective stabilization;

  • wide support for different camera models;

  • water resistance;

  • Bluetooth for interaction with the application;

  • more or less affordable price;

  • case included.

Flaws

  • not everyone is satisfied with autonomy;

  • unfinished application.

Zhiyun Rider M

Rating: 4.8

ZHIYUN RIDER M.jpeg

The third number in this collection, we will consider another Zhiyun trademark stabilizer. This is the Rider M, which became famous about five years ago. The model has not yet lost its relevance due to some features that sharply distinguish it from the general mainstream in this area.

First, just about the main feature. Zhiyun had previously experimented with steadicam form factors, but this time the new (at that time) Rider M model did not receive any handle with a control unit at all. All that is on the case is the power button. This was done for many reasons, not least to minimize the weight of the device. The weight has indeed been reduced to a measly 180g and is a record for electronic 3-axis gimbal action cameras. But the question remains – how then to manage it? The answer is simple – through a special smartphone application. Or, alternatively, through a branded remote control, but then it will have to be purchased separately.

Obviously, such a form factor does not imply convenient manual use of the steadicam. But Rider M can be attached to anything – a car, a motorcycle, a bicycle, a helmet, or even a dog or a cat (many video bloggers do this).

The second important feature of Rider M, which is present in a vanishingly small part of electronic steadicams, is the presence of a full-fledged video output. Thus, the problem of at least a two-second delay and low fps when viewing content in real time is completely solved.

In terms of compatibility, Rider M is primarily focused on GoPro – it supports all versions, including those with BacPac extensions, and even Hero 4 Session, if you buy a separate holder. But compatibility doesn’t end there – Rider M will seamlessly interact with any GoPro-like form factor camera: Xiaomi Yi, SJ Cam and others.

Another advantage of this model is the increased power of the drives, which makes the stabilizer much more agile than its closest competitors. The model is able to instantly and effectively respond to the most unexpected jerks with a large overload. It also makes it possible to rotate the camera simultaneously along the tilt axis by 320 degrees and clockwise also by 320 degrees. There is a Turn Back mode – at any time, with one click, the stabilizer will turn the camera 180 degrees.

Autonomous operation of the device is provided by a removable lithium-ion battery, the capacity of which is enough for 12 hours of operation. Supports “refueling” of the camera from the steadicam itself.

Advantages

  • record low weight;

  • wide compatibility with action camera models;

  • increased power drives (instant reaction to jerks);

  • video output;

  • autonomy;

  • support for use as a power bank.

Flaws

  • rather narrow specialization with noticeable and useful advantages.

DJI Ronin-SC

Rating: 4.7

DJI RONIN-SC.jpg

In the review of the best stabilizers for action cameras according to Expertology, there was also a place for products of the well-known brand DJI. New for 2019 is the Ronin-SC semi-professional gimbal. It is significantly more expensive than any of the above models, but definitely worth the money.

In fact, the Ronin-SC is a more compact version of the older Ronin-S. But this circumstance does not detract from its merits. There are no questions about the quality of materials and assembly, DJI is here, as always, on top. In terms of functionality, the Ronin-SC, as well as the Ronin-S, is ideal for any type of shooting, including shooting dynamic action scenes.

The device is indeed lighter by almost half than the older model – 1.1kg. The materials are dominated by steel, high-quality composite plastic, alloys based on magnesium and aluminum. The unit is easily and quickly disassembled for transportation. The maximum mass load that the drives can withstand is 2kg. This allows you to use steadicam not only with lightweight action cameras, but even with not too massive DSLRs.

As with most previous models, the Ronin-SC’s gimbal provides 3-axis stabilization. The device supports all the basic modes of operation, for which, in fact, Steadicams are needed, as well as some additional ones.

Just additional modes are the bright difference of this model. They themselves, as well as in a proprietary mobile application, use a significant component of artificial intelligence technologies. This is most noticeable in the ActiveTrack feature of the new version 3.0. It involves the identification and automatic following of a specific object.

A special Force Mobile mode is designed to synchronize with the movements of the smartphone, which gives a special effect of immersion in the shooting process. There is also a whole range of other interesting modes: panorama; Motion Control with the creation of motion trajectories based on 2 to 10 points; interval shooting, virtual joystick, etc.

The Ronin-SC is equipped with a Bluetooth 5.0 wireless module, which allows remote control at a distance of up to 25 meters. Autonomous operation is provided by a 17Wh battery. Ronin-SC can operate up to 11 hours without recharging.

Advantages

  • effective stabilization;

  • powerful drives;

  • relative compactness;

  • useful additional features;

  • intelligent function ActiveTrack – following the selected object;

  • autonomy up to 11 hours;

  • spectacular appearance;

  • impeccable quality of materials.

Flaws

  • no obvious flaws and systematic user complaints have been identified.

TILTA Gravity G2X

Rating: 4.7

TILTA GRAVITY G2X.jpg

This part of our review concludes with the truly premium Gravity G2X stabilizer from TILTA, one of the market leaders in this segment. This is already a technique that, in terms of the level of technical performance and capabilities, is very close to a professional one, and many sites, and the manufacturer himself, position this model exactly in this way.

Here you can start not even with a description of the model, but with a complete set – it will immediately become clear what a high level we are dealing with. In the GR-V02A modification, the entire set is supplied in a fairly large shockproof and waterproof case. The case is not provided in the GR-V02 modification. The delivery set includes the main base of the steadicam, a Manfrotto standard platform, a charging port, four batteries, an additional podium to the platform, a set of cords, a screwdriver with a replaceable tip, a lens clamp, a clamp to increase the structural strength and install additional elements.

The stabilizer assembly weighs 1.9kg. A screw mount is used, and the camera can be mounted as you like in relation to the motors – conditionally, the rear motor can be in front, in exactly the same way, the side can be at least on the right, at least on the left. The maximum allowable weight load for this model significantly exceeds the capabilities of any of the above – up to 3.6kg.

Gravity G2X has no restrictions on pan rotation. The maximum tilt angle is 60 degrees. The device offers four stabilization modes: tilt lock, full tracking, all-axis lock, and a special tracking mode with allowable lateral tilt. The LED indicator will inform you about the current mode in red, green, blue or flashing blue.

Of course, for such a powerful model, the manufacturer could not but release a proprietary application for a smartphone. It exists and is called TiLta Assistant. Of course, this application serves not only to provide this particular model, but also others in the line. With it, you can calibrate the steadicam, set the start and end positions of the camera position when shooting in time-lapse mode, and carry out remote control.

Four batteries can immediately turn everything on, and even for such a “monster” as TILTA Gravity G2X, they will provide up to 10 hours of operation without recharging. The body of the device has a mini-USB output and a separate 14.8V output for powering external accessories.

Advantages

  • premium class;

  • high stabilization efficiency;

  • wide functionality;

  • 4 batteries included;

  • autonomy;

  • rich equipment in general.

Flaws

  • no obvious deficiencies were identified.

The Best Electronic Stabilizers for GoPro Action Cameras

The final roundup of Expertology’s Best Action Camera Stabilizers is special, as it includes the models most closely integrated with GoPro cameras. Such special attention was paid to solutions for GoPro because of a certain “reference” of these cameras and their legendary status.

GoPro Karma Grip

Rating: 4.9

GOPRO KARMA GRIP.jpg

And we will start, of course, with the “native” Karma Grip stabilizer from GoPro itself. This model was the most anticipated among fans of the action cameras of the same name precisely because of its origin from the same “family” as the cameras themselves. I must say, the GoPro team really tried here.

There are no questions about the quality of materials and assembly, as well as ergonomics. High-quality plastic, silent drives, stylish design, comfortable handle with a rubberized surface – all this sets the GoPro owner in the most positive way. The device weighs 245g without a camera, which is also significantly below the “norm”. Dimensions also do not create inconvenience – 20.5×4.3×4.3cm. Steadicams are comfortable to hold in your hand, and can just as easily be mounted on a branded GoPro Seeker backpack. The package includes a special mounting ring for placing a stabilizer with a camera on the chest.

The control panel is represented by four buttons, two of which are multifunctional. Clicking on the first shows the battery level. The second – turns the device on and off, switches operating modes. The red button is the start and stop of shooting video, as well as taking photos. The flag-shaped button, when pressed, marks specific places in the captured video – perhaps frames that the user especially liked.

In the work of GoPro Karma Grip is extremely obedient and predictable. After turning on, the device needs from 3 to 5 seconds to find the horizon, stabilize and calibrate. By default, the camera stays still for all gimbal pans and tilts. If you need to fix a certain angle, different from the set horizon, you need to press the button with the image of the lock. In this mode, if, let’s say, raise the stabilizer, the camera will rise with it. You can return back to the default mode by double-clicking on the lock button.

The device is powered by a non-removable lithium-ion battery, and here there is just one weak point. The declared time of continuous operation of the stabilizer without recharging is only 1 hour 45 minutes. Charging is via USB. If at the time of connection for charging the camera is installed on the stabilizer, both the stabilizer and the camera will be charged at the same time. If you buy the Supercharger adapter, then with it the time for a full charge will be 2 hours. If charging comes from a computer – 6 hours.

Advantages

  • “native” device for GoPro cameras from the same manufacturer;

  • impeccable quality of materials and assembly;

  • compact size, light weight;

  • reliability and durability;

  • ease of use.

Flaws

  • autonomy.

Feiyu Tech G6

Rating: 4.8

FEIYU TECH G6.jpg

The second number in the final selection of our review is a very interesting model, which is often called the “direct competitor” of the GoPro Karma Grip described above. I must say that this model deserves such positioning in full. The basic version is designed only for action cameras, while the advanced G6 Plus allows you to install larger devices. We will consider the first option.

The Feiyu Tech G6 is the same compact 3-axis gimbal as the GoPro Karma Grip above. The body parts are mostly metal, the handle is covered with rubberized material, and the shape itself suggests a comfortable grip. The camera is attached in the most common way – with metal screws that need to be tightened by hand. The manufacturer also claims moisture protection, and it really is – IP67 class, but only applies to fresh water.

The stabilizer controls are located on the handle. There is also a compact, but very informative screen with an indication of the charge level, the presence of a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection, and an indication of the current operating mode.

The stabilizer turns on by long pressing the power button. There is a separate button that starts or stops the recording itself on the camera. In the process of shooting, the position of the camera can be changed manually using the joystick. On the back of the handle there is a button that locks the direction of shooting and a miniature tilt control lever.

Gimbal modes include Horizon Tracking, Heading Lock, Omni-Directional Tracking, and Selfie Mode. All of them are switched by one button with a different number of clicks.

For more thoughtful work and more flexible settings, a proprietary mobile application is used. It was created specifically for this model – FeiyuTech G6. Allows you to fine-tune the sensitivity of the reaction to the movements of the joystick, the intensity of rotation and the potential power of the drives, and much more.

The battery pleases with its capacity of 5000 mAh and the corresponding continuous battery life – up to 12 hours. In this regard, the model leaves the GoPro branded Karma Grip far behind. Moreover, the stabilizer can be used as a power bank.

Advantages

  • high-quality stabilization;

  • impeccable quality of materials and assembly;

  • fairly compact and lightweight;

  • ease of use;

  • moisture protection;

  • extremely capacious battery;

  • can be used as a power bank.

Flaws

  • user complaints about the software;

  • There are flaws in the time-lapse shooting function.