Feiyu Tech G4 Handheld Gimbal for Smartphones

Technology is having a significant impact on the photography/videography sector. Everyday there seems to be a new tool (or toy depending on how you look at it) hitting the market to help improve the quality of images and footage we can capture. Many of the devices are quite affordable, especially given the capabilities they offer. Take for example the electronic gimbal market, whether handheld or for aerial quadcopters, these sophisticated gadgets provide stabilization like nothing before.

Feiyu Tech G4 Handheld Gimbal for Smartphones by MikesRoadTrip.com

Earlier this year I acquired a hand held gimbal for my GoPro from the folks at Feiyu Tech, who appear to be one of the market leaders in gimbal technology. The Feiyu Tech G4 is a remarkable device, small enough to take it just about everywhere I go.

While I’ve been very happy with my G4 for GoPro, I have often been traveling light these days and frequently just have my iPhone with me. The iPhone camera technology took a big leap forward with the introduction of the 5s and I have found that it captures some pretty stunning photos and video footage. So, when I discovered that Feiyu Tech was coming out with a G4 for smartphones, I had to get my hands on one. [Don’t miss the video for complete overview, side-by-side and example footage]

As a travel video blogger, I’m always looking at ways to improve the quality of my work. One of those ways is through stabilization. For hand held shots, I had been using a steady cam device—and, while it works well, it is a bit of a pain to get it balanced just perfectly. And, forget about changing cameras…that just adds to the balancing frustration. The G4 has been an a joy to use.  After a couple weeks with my G4 for smartphones, my enthusiasm continues to grow as I discover new filming possibilities.

If you’re looking at getting a G4 for either your GoPro or smartphone, I would highly recommend including the carbon fiber extension poles. After spending over $300 for a handheld gimbal, the last thing you want to do is add to the expense with accessories, but trust me, the extension poles are well worth the extra money.  I have found the poles actually further enhance the stabilization, and there are some cool techniques I continue to explore. For example, you can use the G4 in the heading mode and use the pole(s) and your other hand to simulate a boom movement.

G4-handheld-gimbal-smartphones

The G4 is a pretty simple device, easy to use with just three (actually four) activation modes:

  1. Heading Follow Mode—Heading is smooth while the rotation follows the direction of the G4. You can hold the handle vertically, or horizontally depending on comfort and type of shot.
  2. Heading and Pitch Follow (Panning) Mode—Heading and pitch is smooth, while rotation follows the direction of the G4. In this mode the camera follows the handle movement with smooth pans and tilts. In the first mode the handle moves while the camera stays in position.
  3. Locking Mode—Heading, pitch and roll locking. By holding the camera in desired position for .5 seconds, the gimbal will maintain that position.
  4. Special Working Condition (Inversion Mode)—When in any working mode, press the function button three times in quick succession, the Gimbal will enter into the inversion (upside down) mode and switch to the heading follow mode automatically. Invert the Gimbal to capture more exciting scenes by holding down at your feet for example. When in inversion working mode, press the function button three times in quick succession to reset the Gimbal back to its original state.

Additional information:

The G4 gimbal for smartphones is made of aircraft-grade aluminum, it uses brushless motors and gyroscopic sensors to keep the camera in place, offering several feature modes to bring out the creative videographer in you. As a travel blogger, space is a premium, so I also love the incredibly portable design (length is 9.25 inches and the weight is less than 11 ounces). The price has dropped a bit from when I got my G4 for GoPro, on Amazon you can get it for under $300, add two of the carbon fiber poles for another $25.

  • Gimbal initializes in just 3 second.
  • 900mAh batteries, which should get you up to four hours of usage. Unit comes with 2 extra batteries.
  • Uses spring loaded clamp to secure most sized smartphones. Installs in seconds.
  • Compatible with cameras with a width of 54mm (2.12″) to 73mm (2.87″), and a weight up to 135g (4.76 oz).
  • Retail price is $349, but Amazon and B&H sell it for $289.

FY-G4-for-SmartPhone-for-iPhone-Smartphone-MikesRoadTrip

If you own a G4 for GoPro or smartphone, I’d love to hear your thoughts and impressions. If you have any questions at all, please post a comment below. Visit Feiyu Tech’s official website for more information.

 

Mike Shubic

Avatar
Mike Shubic is a seasoned road trip travel video blogger, traversing the byways of the world looking for those hidden gems of the road. From unique destinations, unexpected discoveries, creative cuisine, intriguing inns to exciting attractions…the road is his page. The experiences are his ink. And every 300 miles, a new chapter begins. Whether you live vicariously or by example, Mike will do the exploring so you can have an adventure.

16 Comments

  1. I noticed a major difference between the two versions is that the handle/button is reversed. With the `roll’ gimbal behind on the the GoPro version, but at the front on the smartphone version. My concern is that if I use a wide lens on my phone, that the gimbal will be visible. Is the handle/button orientation reversable by any chance?

  2. Great review Mike. I heard with the G$ for GoPro you cant update the firmware on a mac. Do you know if that’s a limitation of the G4 for smartphones as well?

    1. Thank you Ron. That is a great question, to which I do not have the answer. I too have a Mac, but have not had to update the firmware. I sure hope that is not the case, but wouldn’t surprise me. I had another device that I had to borrow a PC from a friend so I could update the firmware. If you find out the answer definitively, please leave another comment for other readers. All the best!

  3. Compatible con cámaras:
    con un ancho de 54 mm (2,12 “) a 73 mm (2,87”), y un peso de hasta 135 g (4,76 oz).

    Apple iPhone 6: Dimensiones 138.1 x 67.0 x 6.9 mm / Peso 129 g
    Apple iPhone 6 Plus: Dimensiones 158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm / Peso 172 g
    LG G3: Dimensiones 146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm / Peso 149 g
    LG G4: Dimensiones 148.9 x 76.1 x 9.8 mm / Peso 155 g

  4. With a Galaxy S4, the metal holder keeps hitting the Roll motor. Also, I can’t seem to calibrate the gimbal using the software – the calibration buttons are disabled?

    1. Oh, that’s not good. I had a bit of a challenge calibrating my GoPro version and had the same issues with the “calibration buttons” being disabled. I’ve heard the calibration between the Smartphone and the GoPro versions is a bit different. For the GoPro calibration I found this video very helpful. I discovered that I was missing a step or two during the installation process, which rendered the buttons disabled. Not sure it will help you, but here is the video I was talking about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmKk9XZm14w

  5. There is no lock function. By holding the camera for 0.5sec, it can only lock the pitch but not the roll. For the other G4 gimbal with GoPro, you can press the button for a sec and it will go into full lock mode. But this one doesn’t. Is that so? Thanks!!

  6. Great post, I’m now using the updated G4 Plus and it permanantly lives in my backpack. I just wish it came with a case to protect it and keep all the bits together.

    Maybe with the next one eh?

    1. Thank you Pete! Oh, I so agree with you…wish it had a case. I have another similar gimbal from another mfg and it came with a really nice case. Unfortunately, it needs to be calibrated and I’ve yet to do it so I never use that unit. I really am happy with my G4 and also carry it nearly everywhere I go. So many creative things you can do with it. Do you have the carbon fiber extension poles? If not, YOU have to get them. The poles really expand what you can do. I often film in inverted mode as I have discovered the unit is that much more stabilized.

Leave your comment