The REMOVU S1 gimbal for the GoPro claims to be the first waterproof 3-axis stabilizer of its kind. But in an increasingly competitive market, will this still hold true when it is finally released later this year? Shaky footage is definitely a thing of the past. Like the use of aerial movies and shallow depth of field, handheld footage that is smooth as silk has become part of the visual language of the YouTube age, and seems now almost a requirement for anyone trying to increase their production value. And although DSLR and mirrorless shooters need to shell out close to $1000 for one-handed brushless stabilising solutions, the more consumer-oriented action cam user base have it a lot cheaper. 2016 brings with it a couple of interesting products catering for the more demanding uses of the popular action camera. The Removu S1 claims to be the first weatherproof 3-axis gimbal for GoPro, capable of withstanding harsh rain thanks to its water resistant motors and body . With a joystick to control camera movement incorporated into its handle, the design of the S1 is reminiscent of something like the CAME-TV CAME-Single or the Pilotfly H1+, albeit a lot cheaper, smaller and lighter. The S1’s joystick also uses Bluetooth to control camera motion, keeping cables to a minimum. This also means the user can detach the handle, allowing for remote motion control. Very nice! The gimbal itself has been designed to be as versatile as the GoPro itself, and can be mounted wherever you would normally mount an action cam, such as helmets, bike handlebars and vests. And with a weight of 300g, it is unlikely that it will get in the way of even the most extreme situations. Stablisation can run on any of 4 modes: Pan, Follow, Lock and Inversion for low angle shots. The selected mode, along with remaining battery life, is shown on the OLED displays on both the gimbal and the handle. Power is provided through a removable battery in the gimbal, and an integrated battery in the handle, providing 2 hours and 3-5 hours respectively. The S1 comes with a charging dock that accepts 2 batteries and the handle simultanously, and takes power from either the mains, a power bank, or USB from a laptop or computer. The REMOVU S1 is compatible with GoPro Hero3 and above, and promises future compatibility with the Xiomi Xi action cam. While they are still at the development stage and have encountered some delays, REMOVU have passed the 2nd prototype milestone and are offering the S1 at a preorder price of $249 on their Indiegogo page, with a shipping date of early August 2016. Interestingly, their claim of being the first waterproof GoPro gimbal may no longer be valid by then. Indiegogo contender Slick claims water resistance up to 3ft (1m) depth, at a very similar price point and with a release date within this month. Going strictly down the wearable/mountable route, the Slick gimbal doesn’t offer a handle or remote operation, and is clearly aimed exclusively at the action and sports crowd, while the S1’s handle could open it up for other uses. Despite their differences, both these campaigns have reached their original crowdfunding goals several times over, demonstrating that there is definitely a lot of demand for better and more durable products in this particular market.Read more
No “white” Christmas in your region of the world this year? Albeit its catchy name not even this camera stabilizer can offer comfort, but it can make your shots more stable. Snow is advertised as the first “mechnical 3-axis gimbal”. When taking a closer look it becomes clear that Snow has nothing to do with Christmas and is also not a “gimbal stabilizer” in the usual sense, but rather a steadicam with a new and interesting approach of operation that has apparently been inspired by brushless gimbal stabilizer systems. One thing that is clearly different to other steadicams is that the counterweight is a tank filled with water. On their website the manufacturer explains the effect like this: “In the swinging tank the damped flowing fluid changes the center of gravity while forces the rig to stay vertical.” Looking at the video that shows off the benefits in comparison to a normal counterweight, the idea becomes more clear. On the other hand everyone who has used a normal steadicam knows that it would stop swinging just as quickly as the water tank version, which makes the video a little misleading or questionable at least. Anyway. The approach to operate the device looks like a good idea as it seems controlling the camera stabilizer is easier than a normal steadicam, which is one of the major benefits of electronic brushless gimbal systems. The device is targeted at “indie shooters” and available for $550 for early birds and if it delivers the promised benefits this seems like an good price comparable to other affordable steadicam systems. Watch the full video below to find out all the benefits of the Snow camera stabilizer. The Indiegogo campaign just went live and their goal of $15,000 doesn’t seem to hard to reach. The Snow camera stabilizer is estimated to start shipping in February of 2016.Read more
A few months ago, at NAB 2014 we’ve been reporting about one of the brushless gimbal stabilisation systems we currently find most intriguing, the Letus Helix. Hien Le, CEO of Letus gave us a complete rundown of all the features and advantages of the newest version of the Letus Helix. One of the things most interesting about this brushless gimbal stabilisation system is that it is very light and easy to hold and can be easily operated by a single person. Hien mentions all the other benefits in detail in the video above. Apparently the Letus Helix is currently on back-order, so if you place an order now you will most likely have to wait a while before it is delivered. The basic Letus Helix 3-Axis stabiliser is $4000 and can be ordered on the Letus Website.Read more
As expected we’re seeing numerous camera stabilization systems here at NAB that look very much like the Freefly Mōvi and only a few come close to the functionality of the original. But gear manufacturer Letus has something very special to show off. Their brushless gimbal system gives us a fresh look at camera stabilization.Read more
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