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Why should you consider a gimbal over GoPro Hypersmooth (Electronic Stabilization)?

Despite the advances in Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) that evolved into the new GoPro Hypersmooth featured from GoPro HERO 7, it still has its disadvantages and limitations:

  • Electronic stabilization or Hypersmooth is not available on all GoPro resolutions and frame rates
  • Hypersmooth often produces an annoying jello effect or other artifacts to your footage (especially at low light situations!)
  • The frame is cropped by anywhere from 5% to 10%

side by side comparison of GoPro shot with and without stabilizationJello effect produced with Hypersmooth activated in low light conditions

The alternative to using in-camera EIS is getting a gimbal, like the GoPro Grip. Unlike the in-camera stabilization, a gimbal will stabilize the whole camera body mechanically, smoothing out most vibrations on the fly, thereby eliminating any potential jello effects commonly produced by the camera’s processor.

So, if you are looking for a crispy and detailed image out of your GoPro, even during low light situations, then switch that Hypersmooth off and consider buying a gimbal (camera stabilizer).

While gimbals are great tools for extremely shaky situations and low light shoots, the ease of use of GoPro’s built-in stabilization makes it convenient in most scenarios.

What is the best gimbal stabilizer for a GoPro?

I’ve had the opportunity to try out a few different gimbals during my productions and I’ve listed a few models here. They cover a price range from as little as $90 up to 3-4 times more, so there’s one for every pocket.

I hope that this will help you with choosing the gimbals that best suit your needs.

 

#1. Zhiyun Smooth 4 (3-Axis Handheld Stabilizer)

Zhiyun Smooth 4 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer W/Focus Pull &...
  • TIME LAPSE EXPERT: Smooth 4 can implement advanced features such as time-lapse freestyle, timelapse, motionlapse, hyperlapse...
  • OBJECT TRACE: Smooth 4 can track objects, including but not limited to human faces. You can frame the object you want to...
  • TWO-WAY AND 12-LAN LIFE: Zhiyun Smooth-4 can be charged from a portable power source while the phone can be charged from the...

 Pros:  This gimbal is designed for all types of small or light cameras, including smartphones and GoPros. I love this gimbal because for just under $100 you can get a solid tool that has most professional features found in high end camera gimbals. That’s right, with the Zhiyun native app, you’ll be able to wireless connect your phone to this gimbal to unlock amazing camera features like: 

  • Manual focus/zoom easily adjustable from the gimbal’s handwheel
  • Object tracking of human faces or other objects
  • PhoneGo function for immediate movement transition during action shots

 Cons:  Although this gimbal features some advanced functions (typically present in high end equipment), the Zhiyun Smooth 4 doesn’t have a joystick to control its movements. So it could appear somewhat difficult to use at first (especially to people who never used a gimbal before).

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#2. GoPro Karma Grip for GoPro Hero 5, 6, 7

GoPro Karma Grip for GoPro Hero7 Black/Hero6 Black/Hero5 Black...
82 Reviews
GoPro Karma Grip for GoPro Hero7 Black/Hero6 Black/Hero5 Black...
  • Capture amazingly smooth shake free video
  • Compatible with GoPro body mounts
  • Includes karma harness for Hero6 black/Hero5 black , Hero7 black

 Pros:  This is the official gimbal designed by GoPro which became popular when they launched the GoPro Karma Drone. I liked the high build quality and the full compatibility with the GoPro cameras itself (excluding the HERO8 unfortunately!). It smooths out all camera shakes and it’s lightweight. Easy to carry and the battery lasts for about 2 hours filming continuously.

 Cons:  I find it to be too pricey, especially when there are many other gimbals options that offer similar features at half of the price. Another thing that let me down was the incompatibility with the HERO8! Which I kind of understand since GoPro has improved this camera with its superior Hypersmooth 2.0.

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#3. Hohem iSteady Pro 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal

3axis Gimbal Stabilizer for GoPro Action Camera Handheld Pro...
  • 【Newly developed 3D "inception" Mode proudly present the updated Hohm gimbal stabilizer. This stabilizer features a newly...
  • 【Updated sports mode & perfect balance updated sports mode allows you to shoot incredibly smooth shots even while going to...
  • 【You can also be a professional director from fast moving action, like sports, to vlogs and interviews, to documentaries...

 Pros:  the iSteady Pro, like the Zhiyun Smooth 4 has a lot of interesting high end features, like the object tracking (for smartphones). Obviously these wouln’t work with GoPro since you’d need to install an app that allows the gimbal to communicate with the camera device, and GoPro does not support that. What stands out is its low price and the long battery life (stated to last for 12 long hours), plus the freedom to use it with both your smartphone, action cameras and compact cameras.

 Cons:  some iSteady Pro users experienced motor noise while recording, which can be annoying if you are planning to record clean sound. The build quality could be improved too… some users claimed the charging port to be faulty and the overall quality to be just sufficient.

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#4. Feiyu WG2X 3-axis Wearable Gimbal Splash-Proof

FeiyuTech Feiyu WG2X 3-axis Wearable Gimbal Splash-Proof...
  • 👍【COMPATIBLE CAMERA】Compatible with GoPro Hero 6 / GoPro Hero 5 / GoPro Hero 4 / Session, AEE / SJCam / YI Lite...
  • 👍【WIFI CONTROL, RAPID SHOOT】We understand that your GoPro needs to react quickly, so, except for voice control,...
  • 👍【INNOVATIVE DESIGN】The specially designed base support 2000 per second real-time calibration to make sure the...

 Pros:  Unlike standard gimbals, this is a wearable gimbal that is designed with waterproof capacity. So you can use it during rainy days without a single worry! It’s designed for mounting it on things like motorbikes or cars and smooth out shaky footage even in bad weather conditions.

 Cons:  Short battery life maybe due to its compact size. Unless you need a gimbal for specific occasions like mounting it on a motorbike or car, I would’t normally buy a wearable gimbal.

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#5. EVO SS 3 Axis Wearable Gimbal

EVO Gimbals EVO SS 3 Axis Wearable Gimbal for GoPro Hero3, Hero4...
  • 3-Axis Precision: Eliminates unstable video and allows you to easily shoot pro-quality, cinematic like footage with your...
  • Easy Setup: The EVO SS is truly plug and play, ready to use right out of the box
  • Versatility: Built in charging capabilities extend your GoPro's battery life up to 2X (for Hero3, Hero4 models only) The...

 Pros:  The Snoppa Atom’s sheer portability puts it ahead of the competition. It’s a 3 axis gimbal, yet very small compared to others (it fits into your pocket when folded). It’s easy to use and quite robust despite its size. For full specifications check the amazon description.

 Cons:  It’s quite short and not extendable so you might find it harder to operate it if you’ve got big hands. Then the bluetooth connectivity is not one of the best, sometimes it would loose connection..not sure why.

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#6. Feiyu G6 Gimbal Stabilizer

FeiyuTech Feiyu G6 3-Axis Splash-Proof Handheld Gimbal for GoPro...
  • Warranty and Service : We assure you Quality Guarantee and Excellent Customer Service. Any question please feel free to...
  • Compatible : G6 works with GoPro Hero 6/Hero 5 / HERO4 / HERO3+ / HERO3 / Yi 4K / AEE and other action cameras that have...
  • Easy to Use : The beginners gopro gimbal is a great choice for new users based on price point and functionality. Vey easy to...

 Pros:  The G6 model is a big step up from its predecessors, it looks like this gimbal was designed specifically for action cameras like GoPro (but also works pretty well with smartphones). Its waterproof feature allows to shoot during rainy conditions. Its handwheel has high accuracy and zooming capabilities that allows high precision when shooting videos from different angles.

 Cons:  a little pricey compared to its competitors.

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#7. Hohem iSteady Multi (All-in-1 3-Axis Handheld Stabilizer)

Hohem iSteady Multi, All-in-1 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer...
  • 📸【All-in-One Compatibility】Payload: 80g ~ 400g. Supports Digital Cameras, Action Cameras and Smartphones....
  • 📸【Creative Working Modes and Trigger Button】More working modes include Pan Following, Pan&Tilt Following, All...
  • 📸【Sony Multi Cable and Extention Holes】Best Choice for Sony Camera Users, Sony Multi Cable is attached to connect...

 Pros:  This is the advanced version of the iSteady Pro. It allows making cinematic effect by switching to the inception mode and has a follow mode to get a first-person point of view. Other working modes include Pan, Pan & Tilt Follow. It also has joystick for correcting/adjusting motion.

 Cons:  A little more pricey than the Pro version because it can hold heavier cameras than just your smartphone and GoPro. The camera bracket system makes the camera battery change process a little bit long.

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Top 3 GoPro Gimbal Stabilizer Comparison

 

GoPro Stabilization FAQ’s

 Do you really need a stabilizer if you have a Hero 7 with HyperSmooth stabilization? 

It mainly depends if you are shooting in low light conditions. That is where the Hypersmooth will suffer. A gimbal will stabilize the whole camera body mechanically, smoothing out most vibrations on the fly, thereby eliminating any potential jello effects commonly produced by the camera’s processor.

 Are any of these GoPro stabilizers waterproof? 

Yes, some of them are waterproof or at least splash proof so that you can use it on rainy days without worrying.

 

GoPro Gimbal FAQ’s

 What does a GoPro gimbal do? 

A gimbal it’s used to keep the camera stabilized with no vibration. This is done through 2 or 3 brushless motors that will smooth out any camera shake, and unlike electronic image stabilization done in-camera which corrects video shakes (Hypersmooth on GoPro) a gimbal will prevent those camera shakes to happen beforehand, resulting in a better stabilization method if image quality is your priority.

What is the best Gimbal for GoPro? 

There are many good models on the market now a days, including the original GoPro Grip. The one that I prefer the most is definitely the Zhiyun Smooth 4 for its advanced functions at a lower price point. It’s an hybrid gimbal, usable with both action cameras and smartphones.


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