Today we're taking a look the Z1 Rider 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer for GoPro HERO3/HERO4 cameras. This has to be one of the most versatile little gimbals available for the GoPro due to the fact that the power and boards are separated from the gimbal itself and can be mounted using any standard GoPro Mount.
I chose this particular gimbal over everything else for a few reasons.
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.