Small action cameras like the GoPro Hero4 are a great choice for versatile on-the-go film making. If you ever used a GoPro before then you know first hand that getting quality stable video can be a huge challenge especially when your trying to accomplish movings shots such as capturing first person view or shooting from a moving platform like a truck or a motorcycle.
A handheld gimbal for your GoPro will not only drastically improve the smoothness of your shots but it will also allow you to get much more usable footage which overall will improve your videos and capture your audience's attention!
Stabilizing the GoPro is best accomplished with a 3 axis type of gimbal. Rather than a 2 axis gimbal, which only stabilizes the horizon and tilt of the camera, a 3 axis gimbal adds panning stability (yaw) which significantly improves the left to right frame motion giving your footage a more "cinematic" shooting style. The addition of the yaw stabilization also helps tone down the "rolling shutter" effect that the GoPro tends to have and will help eliminate harsh left to right jarring while filming.
Handheld gimbals are by far the most popular form factor of a GoPro gimbal. The single handle and small size allows for one handed operation and allows you to film from tigher angles. For skilled shooters looking for dynamic action shots you can use the gimbal while riding a bicycle, skateboard or even rollerblades to capture some really great footage.
Gimbals for Small and Large DSLR Cameras
Both mirrored and mirror-less DSLR cameras have become very popular for shooting video. Their compact size, interchangeable lenses and improved sensor design allow for greater mobility while netting very high quality imaging. There are many different gimbals designed around DSLR cameras, some gimbals on the market are actually designed for specific cameras but most dslr gimbals are adjustable for different types of cameras and lenses up to a certain weight and overall dimension.
The stabilization technology for these larger gimbals (and smaller gimbals) have evolved immensely in the last couple years from single IMU sensor based stabilization to a combination of blended position encoders, multiple IMU sensors and even the addition of GPS stabilization. The DJI Ronin-m is an example of this evolution being one of the first "pro-consumer" gimbals to come to market for a large range of smaller DSLR type cameras.
This year for 2016, there will be many more options coming to market for the DSLR and mini-DSLR market. Depending on your application and intended use you are going to see more versatility come from these types of gimbals including the ability to interchange the gimbal between multiple platforms such as boom "jib" cranes, cables cams and even small to large multirotors (drones).
One of the more exciting types of gimbals to recently come to market are designed to stabilize your common iPhone or Android device. Smartphone gimbals are very new to the consumer market but are so far proving to be a really big hit because of the ease of use to capture, edit and share video on the fly with your smartphone. Some smartphone gimbals such as the SteadyFone3 from Bestablecam can not only handle your phone, but can also be used with accessory mounts to stabilize your GoPro camera as well.
Smartphone gimbals are great for adding that 'cinematic' like effect to your smartphone video footage. Easy to use and very portable, these types of gimbals are great for not only families but also professionals on the go. These are great for shooting basic video such as realestate walk throughs or any type of venue tour.
Have a family member that is a cell phone video buff, but can't keep the camera still for the life of them? Well a smartphone gimbal is the perfect solution for them and also makes a great gift. Aspiring film makers can truly create remarkable shots with these gimbals.