Smooth Hand Held Stabilization for Go Pro HD Hero Cameras
Go Pro Cameras
If you use any of the latest Go Pro HD Hero cameras, from the HD Hero 3, 3+ and 4 and you do a fair bit of filming “on the go”, you will definitely like the Feiyu-Tech G3 Ultra Gimbal. It was designed purely for the latest range of Go Pro HD Hero cameras from the HD Hero 3 onwards.
If you want to skip the review and check out the footage right away, it starts at 13m 30s:
I have used Go Pro’s 1, 2, 3 and 4 for many things including:
- Filming weddings
- Putting it in the bouquet when thrown
- Mountain biking
- Night lapse
- Time lapse
- For B and C roll for commercial projects
- Filming the family and kids
I even bought the Go Pro “Bobber” last year to use in the sea here in Weymouth but also hoped it may help to stabilise hand-held footage but it didn’t really do that…
During my research for aerial systems (UAV’s), I came across the hand-held gimbals with 3 axis stabilisation set ups and was intrigued. After a lot more research and YouTube watching, I found this unit from Feiyu-Tech.
Not long after that, I ordered one.
My fist impressions were that it was made of a sturdy brushed metal construction with a good feel to it and was very simple to set up and use. Before long I was shooting very nice, stable footage…even when running upstairs!
Feiyu-Tech G3 Ultra Gimbal – Included
The packaging is very secure and keeps the unit safe so I use it for transport most of the time. You get:
- FY G3 Ultra Gimbal
- Battery Charger (for 3 batteries)
- 4 x 3.7v 650mAh Li-On Batteries
- Feiyu-Tech USB Cable (For the firmware updates)
- Warranty Card
Feiyu-Tech G3 Ultra Gimbal – Set up
Setting the Gimbal and camera up is easy but you MUST REMEMBER to attach the camera before switching the Feiyu-Tech Gimbal on. It needs to “feel” the weight before it can calibrate properly. Failing to do this could result in broken motors.
To attach the camera, all you need to do is loosen the two holding screws (it isn’t necessary to take the screws right out) and then tighten them when the camera is in place.
When the camera is attached, switch the Gimbal on using the button at the base of the handle, count to 5 and it should kick into action and away you go!
Feiyu-Tech G3 Ultra Gimbal – Modes
The Feiyu-Tech G3 Ultra Gimbal has three modes:
Mode 1 – Heading following mode
This is the default mode and most useful for most filming situations (for me anyway). To get back to mode 1 from any other mode, just click the big button on the handle once.
In this mode, as you can see in the review video, the camera will basically follow whichever heading you are on and the camera will pan very smoothly and stop after you stop turning…very nice.
It will however, only face horizontally forward regardless of how you move the unit. If you want to pitch up and down, you need mode 2…
Mode 2 – Heading and pitching following mode
To set the Gimbal to mode 2, simply press the rear button twice.
This mode is very similar to mode 1 except that it will also pitch up and down with a nice smooth and fluid movement. Great if you want to walk up to a wall, cliff or drop and move forward and then look down in one smooth movement.
Mode 3 – Lock mode
To set mode 3, press and hold down the rear button until the light stays on.
This is the best mode for filming static subjects such as a stage at a gig or concert, a street performer or anything where you are not having to turn left or right.
This is because once activated, mode 3 will keep filming whatever heading you were facing when you activated it regardless of how much you twist and turn the Gimbal.
Caveat: You need to be careful here because if you do twist the Gimbal too far round in this mode, you will feel the motors fighting against you as it tries to regain the heading…just be aware.
As I said, Mode 1 is the most useful for many filming situations but it is great to have the other modes for more specialist filming.
The maximum rotation angle of each axis
The only things on the Gimbal itself are the main on/off switch on the base, the larger mode button and the USB port which is used to update the Gimbals’ firmware.
There is also a small blue light on the main axis Gimbal which lets you know the power situation.
- If the blue light flashes 3 times you have full power
- Flashing twice means sufficient power
- One flash means low power
- Continuous flashing means out of power
Feiyu-Tech G3 Ultra Gimbal – Firmware updates
Now and again, you may receive a firmware update notice.
I updated the firmware as soon as I got the Gimbal just to make sure I was up to date. It can be tricky but if you follow the instructions properly, maybe with the help of some online videos (see below), you should be fine…just make sure you do it all in the correct order.
The Gimbal will not hold the Go Pro with its housing on so it is “naked”. Also, the Gimbal itself is not waterproof so be careful if using the set up for skiing, snowboarding or anywhere near water.
Also, when the camera is inserted into the Gimbal, you cannot access the Wi-Fi button (which is also an integral part of the menu system on the Go Pro HD Hero 4 so make sure you are set up and ready to go before installing the camera.
If you use a MAC, be aware that Feiyu-Tech only do Windows software/firmware updates so you will need to borrow a PC from someone!
To carry the Gimbal around, I take the inside of the packaging it came with and put it in my camera bag (fits quite snugly) and gives me peace of mind. One reviewer says he uses a small plastic sandwich box with a bit cut out for the handle to go through and places the main unit inside the box.
All in all, I love this Gimbal. Whenever I am out and about filming with the Go Pro’s, I make sure I have this with me. The difference between stable and non-stable footage is very noticeable and once you have used this, you won’t want to be without it again!
You can buy the Feiyu-Tech G3 Ultra Hand-Held Gimbal from a number of outlets including Amazon and B and H Photovideo below and doing so will help us to keep this site running as we get a small kickback for referrals…thanks.
Read reviews and/or buy from Amazon UK – Feiyu-Tech G3 Ultra Gimbal
Read reviews and/or buy from Amazon USA – Feiyu-Tech G3 Ultra Gimbal
Read reviews and/or buy from B and H Photovideo – Feiyu-Tech G3 Ultra Gimbal
Feiyu-Tech G3 Ultra Gimbal – Accessories