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.
One upgrade is the new bracket design that requires only one set of screws regardless if you have the Gopro Bac-Pac or extra battery mounted or not. The second addition is a 1/4" threaded mount under the handle. This makes it easier to mount to a variety of extension poles, monopods, suction cup car mounts, etc. They've also added an AV output for Xiaomi yi action cameras so you can use an external monitor.
Z1 Evolution Features:
Power switch on the side of handle.
GoPro chargeable directly from gimbal power
7-12 hours of extended battery life
Optional external Remote Control
1/4inch screw port on the bottom.
Smart design allows mounting camera and back-pac without changing screws.
Adapt to Xiaomi yi camera. Support for Xiaomi yi camera’s AV output.
Four-way joystick,adjust the angle at will.
Special 3.5mm headphone jack to output AV signal for external monitor screen
- Heading Following Mode - Pitch and roll locking, smooth heading rotation that follows the direction of the gimbal handle.
- Heading and Pitch Following Mode - Roll locking , smooth heading and pitch rotation that follows the direction of the gimbal handle.
- Locking Mode - Heading, pitch, and roll locking.
I chose this particular gimbal over everything else for a few reasons.
1. The 3 Axis Gimbal is separate from the handle, batteries, and control board allowing the lightweight unit to mount to any standard GoPro mount (helmet, bike, chest harness, suction cup, etc). Other GoPro gimbals are attached directly to a handle, which doesn't allow it to be used as easily as the GoPro camera itself.
2. The motors are strong. Strong enough to withstand high winds when driving down the road and mounted to a motorcycle helmet. Strong enough to attach GoPro accessories like the Battery Bacpac, and HDMI Cable for an external monitor, or even a USB cable to power the GoPro from an external battery.
3. It's also cheaper than some of the other gimbals available (personally I feel it should be more expensive).
Two sets of screws (long and short ones) are provided in case you want to use the GoPro HERO3/HERO4 Naked, or if you want to attach a battery bacpac. The Z1 Rider Gimbal can easily compensate for all of the extra weight. Attaching a USB or HDMI cable to the GoPro will easily throw the balance off of any gimbal, but once the Z1 Rider is powered on, it easily manages to keep the horizon of the GoPro very level.
The Z1 Rider can be adjusted so that you have a full range of tilt motion from low shots to high shots. Different modes can be chosen for Pan + Tilt Follow, Pan Follow Only (no tilt), or No Pan + No Tilt (locked off).
Two buttons on the joystick control Tilt in one mode, or Roll in another mode. Unfortunately it does not have enough buttons to manage tilt and roll at the same time. Not a big deal since most people don't want their horizons off axis anyways.
Motors on Z1 Rider about the size of the GoPro
Obviously the benefits of the other GoPro Gimbals are the simplicity of having just a basic handle. I've managed to add a small L Bracket to my handle to simulate the same form factor should I want to travel extra small (albeit i'm left with a cord).
The L Bracket + a GoPro Tripod Mount allows me to mount the Gimbal and still have room for a Smart Phone Mount to use the GoPro App for preview.
DIY L Bracket to Remote for Mounting Gimbal and Smart Phone Clip
I do notice that my hands are much more steady with two handles, so by clamping the Z1 Rider to a 15mm PVGear Carbon Rod, i'm able to add a second handle and still have a very compact form.
Remember that the main reason I wanted this particular gimbal is it's mounting versatility. So combined with a MogoPod Monopod I can get further extension for height and quickly switch to very (very very) low shots seamlessly. With my longer Carbon Fiber Boom pole. I can even simulate a Russian Arm while tracking a subject from a moving vehicle.
So while the GoPro HERO4 is a powerful compact camera with 4K recording and HDMI output, you can get even more out of it by using a good stabilizer. If you're considering a GoPro 3 Axis Gimbal, the Z1 Rider 3 Axis Gimbal is one that I highly suggest for all of it's versatility and strong performance. Find it through the link below.