The new GoPro Karma Grip (Gimbal) is not available yet, and so I have to come up with a temporary way to fly my new GoPro HERO5 camera. The HERO5 is a much taller and wider design over the previous HERO3, HERO3+, HERO4 cameras and so most existing gimbals may not work.
For now my setup works, but for stabilizing handheld footage with the new GoPro HERO5, the new Karma Grip Handheld Gimbal is definitely what you should invest in. The Karma Grip interfaces with the HERO5, so it will power the camera and you can download footage by connecting directly to the Gimbal - no need to pull your HERO5 Off.
Remember the versatile Z1 Rider GoPro Gimbal I shared a short while back? Well, the other day I had the opportunity to test it out while mounted to one of my Carbon Fiber Audio Boom Poles. Here are a few examples.
So while the footage may not be perfect, I think the results came out pretty well considering it only took a very minimal set of tools. The GoPro HERO4 is a camera small enough to fit in your shirt pocket, and the versatile design of the Z1 Rider Gimbal allows you to mount it almost anywhere you can mount the GoPro itself.
The original shots were done with a DJI Ronin Gimbal and Sony A7s (not seen here). Needless to say the footage captured from the Ronin was better, but with that heavy setup comes additional effort and risk.
Being able to move a tiny GoPro around at the end of a stick while having full three axis stabilization was both easy and fun. About 2:17 in the video even looks like Aerial Drone footage. Something i'll definitely be experimenting more with, though next time i'll probably choose a different framerate and turn ProTune On for best quality.
The Audio Boom Pole I used could have easily been replaced with a broom stick or cheap Painter's Pole. If you need a rock solid camera tripod mount adapter for a Painter's Pole, make sure to check out the adapter from SeaPort Digital (found here).
Seaport Digital Painter's Pole Adapter with 1/4-20 Male Thread
Hanging with the GearAddix team at a recent visit to PhotoPlus NY 2013, we stopped by the Mastor Tech booth who was showcasing an entire line of motorized gimbal video stabilizers.
The largest Pronghorn PN1 3-Axis version includes joystick controls built into the handle for both Pan/Tilt for single operator mode, or can be used with a second operator controlling the system through an RC Remote.
Three smaller 2-Axis hand held versions ( Sailfish SF1, Greyhound GR-1, and Cheetah CH1 ) all include a joystick for Tilt control (panning done by hand). The smaller versions offered are for the GoPro Hero cameras, Mobile Phones, and for cameras such as the RX100 or similar sized Point-n-Shoot cameras. A LiPo battery built into the handle can be recharged via USB and powers the units for up to 2 hours.
Needless to say Mastor Tech was one of the more popular booth at PhotoPlus NY 2013, so it was difficult to nail down a solid interview. Although we may see more of these coming to market, what was most appealing was the build quality and performance. There are no exposed wires or controller boards, and we would swap various cell phones and digital cameras on the systems and it balanced very quickly. This seems like a very polished finished product for the end-user, but possibly because they already have experience with designing aerial gimbal products.