Stabalize GoPro footage with Feiyu Tech G4 handheld gimbal
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. I have been an aerial quad-copter drone pilot for a while now and have been thoroughly impressed with the the performance of the 3D gimbal in how it helps capture butter smooth footage, even in turbulent conditions. For hand held shots, I have 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 would just add to the balancing frustration.
I recently discovered the Feiyu Tech G4 Handheld Gimbal, which allows the user to perfectly balance their GoPro camera for hand held shots. While theG4 has been specifically designed to work with the GoPro Hero 4 Silver Edition (with built-in LCD Screen, as it allows the screen to be viewed during operation), it is however compatible with the Black Edition, as well as the Hero 3 and 3+ cameras. The G4 takes the same gimbal technology used in quad-copters, and brings it to a hand held device to help videographers get better, and, more stabilized shots. Feiyu Tech did have a predecessor to the G4, the G3, which only has 2 axis points of stabilization. The G3 is still on the market, but I would recommend the G4 as 3 axis points provide more stabilization capabilities than 2.
Just like any new tool, it does take some time and practice to understand how the device works in order to be as proficient as possible. That said, the G4 is really simple to use and you’ll be up-and-running in a matter of minutes. The G4 is very nicely designed through-and-through (from performance to ergonomics). The G4 Handheld Gimbal has four different operational modes and I’m still trying to figure out which ones are best for each filming situation. Creative filming experimentation has been a lot of fun.
List of the different mode options:
- Heading Follow Mode—Pitch and roll locking. Heading is smooth while the rotation follows the direction of the G4.
- Heading and Pitch Follow Mode—Roll locking. Heading and pitch is smooth, while rotation follows the direction of the G4.
- Locking Mode—Heading, pitch and roll locking.
- 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 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.
List of improvements made to the G4 from the G3:
- Improved mode button for using upside-down.
- Improved 170˚ viewing angle.
- Only 3 second start-up time.
- Improved 900mah battery, only requires two batteries, which should get you up to four hours of usage.
- Open back allowing viewing of LCD on Hero 4 Silver or LCD touch BacPac if added.
- Accepts Hero 3, 3+ and Hero 4 Camera including LCD touch BacPac.
After my first week of use, my impression of the the new Feiyu Tech G4 Handheld Gimbal for GoPro is that it’s a wonderful addition to my suitcase of camera tools. I think it’s a great solution for fast-moving shots, which enables you to capture steady footage no matter what you’re doing. The gimbal 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 however is a bit steep at $375, but if you’re looking to improve your hand held shots, the G4 is a pretty cool tool.
If you own a G3 or G4, 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.