I wanted to get a splash-proof 3-axis gimbal stabilizer for my heavy smartphones, so I could use it in the rain. I bought a FeiyuTech SPG2, which seemed to be perfect for my needs. It also promised to provide better stability than my GoPro. I chose it over the FeiyuTech G6 Plus, which seemed a bit too big and expensive. And I decided to test whether Gimbal stabilization is better than the electronic stabilization built into my GoPro Hero5 Session. It’s a question I’ve been asking myself for a while, and I definitely got the answer!
This is my review and comparison of the SPG2 gimbal. Feiyutech themselves have made a useful tutorial for their SPG2 model, which you can watch below to see the full range of features available.
Which has the better stabilization?
Gimbals or GoPros?
Is GoPro stabilization better than a gimbal?
Let’s find out!
Whatup nerds? I’m Jay Shareef.
And I just bought my first waterproof gimbal.
In my last video, I unboxed and
tested the Feiyutech Vimble 2.
Which is a kind of gimbal and selfie stick hybrid.
It’s a fantastic product and it worked
really well at stabilizing my smartphone,
to let me record some very smooth video footage.
However, it wasn’t the right device
for me, for two main reasons.
Firstly, it’s designed for a very limited range of payloads.
It couldn’t cope with my heavy smartphones,
and it couldn’t stabilize my lightweight action cameras either.
Secondly, the device isn’t really designed for British weather.
Now I live in a city, in the middle of England, that sits on a plateau.
Basically I’m at an elevation of about 500 feet or 150 metres.
That means it rains here. It rains a lot.
That’s one of the reasons why I always try and
choose waterproof watches, phones, cameras,
and rugged gadgets in general.
The other reason being that my kids
are basically three-foot tornadoes,
and they’ve broken a lot of my
favourite kit over the years.
Now, in my last video, I told you I was thinking
of buying the Feiyutech G6 Plus gimbal.
But that $200 price tag really, really put me off.
Luckily, there is a heavy duty and waterproof Feiyutech gimbal that you can pick up for about $120.
Not new, but refurbished.
And here it is.
It’s called the Feiyutech SPG2, and it
seems to be perfectly suited to my needs.
Our smartphones are getting bigger and bigger.
Screens between 6 and 7 inches are the norm now.
Blurring the lines between the phones and tablets.
And this gimbal is designed to cope with
the new generation of heavy smartphones.
Anything up to 300 grammes in weight
and about 95 millimetres in width
It’s also splash proof, so you can use it in the rain.
I bought this one from a very
reputable company called “Lencarta”.
They haven’t sponsored me in any
way. I paid out of my own pocket.
But I will leave a link in the description to their website.
They do sell new products too, but this one is
refurbished and was prices at £90 / $115.
I also bought myself a gimbal travel bag from
Amazon, which cost about £20 / $25.
It’s big enough to carry your gimbal, your
smartphone, and a few charging cables.
So, the ideal product for when you’re
out and about making videos.
Again, the link will be in the description.
Now this gimbal is designed for smartphones.
One of the first questions I had was:
“will this work with action cameras?”
The answer is “yes and no”.
Out of the box, no. It probably won’t
and I won’t even bother trying.
However there are adapters that you can buy
that will allow you to use popular action cameras
like the GoPros and the DJI Osmo Action.
I’ll link to those too.
However, the newer, high-end action cameras
have exceptionally good built-in stabilization.
Especially the Hero8 and the Osmo Action.
So it’s probably not worth the cost
and effort to stick those on a gimbal.
But if you’re using an older or cheaper action camera then the gimbal adapters are worth considering.
[Brad Pitt] What’s in the box???
Alright, calm down Bradley. I’m opening the box.
[Brad Pitt] What in the ****ing box!!?
It’s Kevin Spacey’s career!
Also… a gimbal.
Feiyutech do seem to pack their gimbals really well
and it’s quite a nice experience unboxing them.
As usual, there’s some high quality
polystyrene, to keep it safe during shipping.
You get the gimbal; a rechargeable battery,
that’s supposed to be good for 14 hours per charge;
there’s also a small tripod; and a cable for charging it,
and also in case you want to use the gimbal as a powerbank.
Immediately, I notice this is much,
much sturdier than my last gimbal.
That was the Feiyutech Vimble 2. And
that was a very sturdy device anyway.
But this one has a couple of different features.
Firstly, it has an OLED display, which is bound
to be useful when you’re using the device.
Secondly, it has something Feiyutech call
“The Magic Ring” – which sounds dirty to me!
“Would you like to play with my magic ring?
Oh yes! Twist it baby. Push it. Push it harder!!”
The gimbal itself weighs 440 grammes –
that’s about a pound for you Americans.
And some of that is due to this big, fat, removable battery.
Now, I love removable batteries, but
they’re so rare in gadgets nowadays.
And even rarer in weather-resistant gadgets.
Like all good gimbals it has a quarter inch hole
at the bottom, so you can mount it on a tripod.
That’s particularly useful if you’re planning to
use it for certain kinds of time-lapse videos.
If you’re willing to download and use the Feiyutech app,
then you will, in theory, be able to use the gimbal to control your phone in many different creative ways,
using these handy controls here.
Including manual focusing which is quite a useful feature.
I probably won’t download the app, however,
as it gets terrible, terrible reviews on Google Play,
and the gimbal can do most of
what I need straight out of the box.
Now that’s all well and good on paper, but I
need to go and test this out in the real world.
Alright, so as you may be able to see, the gimbal is
now fully charged. I’ve balanced the phone on top of it.
Ready to go. Let’s try this out!
So this is my PGYTech gimbal bag.
It is just about the right size for the gimbal, I believe.
Really good stitching. Very high-quality,
it seems. Probably waterproof.
This external pocket is perfect for keeping leads
and, possibly, a spare battery if you have one.
And inside we’ve plenty of room for keeping a gimbal.
At least, a normal one anyway.
Hopefully, the one that I’ve bought also fits just as well.
Let’s give that a go.
OK, so immediately we have a small problem here.
Which is that, if you put your smartphone on
your gimbal, it will not fit inside the case.
It’ll be hanging out of it.
But, if you take the smartphone off your gimbal,
you will be able to put them both inside.
Now I have a pretty big smartphone and, actually, it fits
quite well inside this outside pocket, which closes up.
And now I’ve got my gimbal and my
smartphone in the same bag. Perfect.
You know it’s really obvious that the
universe has a sense of humour.
Because, here I am outside, ready to test
my waterproof, weatherproof GoPro
against my brand new weatherproof gimbal.
And would you believe it? Bright sunshine!
But that’s alright.
We’re not here to test the weather proofing.
We’re here to test the stability.
Right. Time to see if this works as well as I hope it does.
So, this is just a gentle walk. let’s see how
this is working out. How does it compare?
Obviously, the GoPro has electronic stabilization.
And the gimbal has gimbal stabilisation.
I’m expecting you’re not seeing a huge difference right now.
I would hope so anyway.
Right now the gimbal is on something called “Follow Mode”.
However, I can’t put it into “Lock Mode”.
So this is what “Lock Mode” looks like on this gimbal.
No matter what you do it always faces the same way.
And this is, basically, kind of a “Follow Mode”.
So, as you pan, it slowly, smoothly follows you.
And now we’re back to “Lock Mode” which means it stays pointing in the same direction always.
So, right now, the gimbal is in “Lock Mode”.
Let’s see how these two fare when I go for a bit of a run.
Are you noticing anything?
Is it obvious now?
Is it obvious which one’s better?
I think it is.
I think it’s obvious it’s the gimbal.
How does it compare?
That is very good.
Yeah, I think it’s obvious.
I think it’s very obvious that the gimbal is far superior
to the electronic stabilization of the GoPro.
And, on that bombshell, it’s time to say goodbye.
I will say, that gimbal is heavy.
And my arms do hurt after just 10 minutes of using it.
I’m really glad I didn’t get the heavy one, that’s for sure.