Review: Periscope users rejoice with Feiyu’s G4 Plus 3-Axis Gimbal for Smartphone video
A hand-held steadicam ideal for YouTube Live Broadcasting and social media
If you’ve ever shot extended video with your phone, you know that the results can get shaky and annoying – especially when walking around. Feiyu’s G4 Plus mount for smartphone gets rid of all such vibration by using three gyroscopes and motion sensors to smooth out all small or sudden movements. And it works really well.
It feels incredibly well built – out of aircraft-grade aluminium and is relatively light at 410g considering the technology inside. It takes two IMR 18350 (900mAh) batteries which is slightly disappointing as they’re not a commonly-sold size. However, Feiyu supplies four of them and they can be recharged both in the gimbal or in an included charging dock via an (also included) old-school miniUSB cable.
All operation is done by one button which is easily accessed by your thumb (although there’s an off switch at the bottom too. The button cycles through a few modes when you press it: one that only allows panning, only tilting or a full lock in a certain direction. A triple press inverts the phone meaning you can invert the gimbal and hold it upside-down for some really obscure shots.
All motors use “brush technology” to help keep the noise down when moving. You can still hear the occasional whine when making large movements but only when you’re in a quiet environment.
The mount on the G4 Plus is big enough for phones the size of an iPhone 6S Plus or Huawei Mate 8 – about 6 inches. We also happily used a small Huawei P9 with it. Feiyu provides two different-sized counter weights to assist with balance – you need to spend time getting that right or your whole video will tilt at the same angle.
At the base of the handle is a 20mm thread mount. It would have been nice to add a way of fixing it to a standard tripod or monopod included though.
Ultimately, we’ve used this a lot. It’s great for anyone who uses their phone for video - whether outside recording, broadcasting on Periscope, Youtube’s new Live Broadcast or talking on camera, selfie-stick style.
It’s expensive but it’s a deceptively-serious piece of technology.
Feiyu also sent us a G4S gimbal. This variant is the same but for its GoPro mount instead of a smartphone mount. It also comes in a nice travel case which is missing from the G4 Plus. The company also makes many other stabilizing mounts for a variety of camera sizes that fit on people, cars or planes. They’re pricey, but going by this the quality is there. Just note they all have confusing product codes so double-check that you're buying the right one!
We loved using these mounts and will continue to do so. If you’re an enthusiast about recording video like this, the G4 Plus is a great buy.
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