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Gimbal vs. GoPro Stabilization

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.

TRANSCRIPT


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Which has the better stabilization?
Gimbals or GoPros?

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Is GoPro stabilization better than a gimbal?

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Let’s find out!

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Whatup nerds? I’m Jay Shareef.
And I just bought my first waterproof gimbal.

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In my last video, I unboxed and
tested the Feiyutech Vimble 2.


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Which is a kind of gimbal and selfie stick hybrid.

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It’s a fantastic product and it worked
really well at stabilizing my smartphone,

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to let me record some very smooth video footage.

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However, it wasn’t the right device
for me, for two main reasons.

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Firstly, it’s designed for a very limited range of payloads.

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It couldn’t cope with my heavy smartphones,

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and it couldn’t stabilize my lightweight action cameras either.

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Secondly, the device isn’t really designed for British weather.

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Now I live in a city, in the middle of England, that sits on a plateau.

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Basically I’m at an elevation of about 500 feet or 150 metres.

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That means it rains here. It rains a lot.

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That’s one of the reasons why I always try and
choose waterproof watches, phones, cameras,

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and rugged gadgets in general.

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The other reason being that my kids
are basically three-foot tornadoes,

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and they’ve broken a lot of my
favourite kit over the years.

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Now, in my last video, I told you I was thinking
of buying the Feiyutech G6 Plus gimbal.

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But that $200 price tag really, really put me off.

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Luckily, there is a heavy duty and waterproof Feiyutech gimbal that you can pick up for about $120.

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Not new, but refurbished.

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And here it is.

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It’s called the Feiyutech SPG2, and it
seems to be perfectly suited to my needs.

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Our smartphones are getting bigger and bigger.

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Screens between 6 and 7 inches are the norm now.

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Blurring the lines between the phones and tablets.

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And this gimbal is designed to cope with
the new generation of heavy smartphones.

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Anything up to 300 grammes in weight
and about 95 millimetres in width

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It’s also splash proof, so you can use it in the rain.

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I bought this one from a very
reputable company called “Lencarta”.

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They haven’t sponsored me in any
way. I paid out of my own pocket.

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But I will leave a link in the description to their website.

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They do sell new products too, but this one is
refurbished and was prices at £90 / $115.

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I also bought myself a gimbal travel bag from
Amazon, which cost about £20 / $25.

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It’s big enough to carry your gimbal, your
smartphone, and a few charging cables.

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So, the ideal product for when you’re
out and about making videos.

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Again, the link will be in the description.

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Now this gimbal is designed for smartphones.

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One of the first questions I had was:
“will this work with action cameras?”

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The answer is “yes and no”.

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Out of the box, no. It probably won’t
and I won’t even bother trying.

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However there are adapters that you can buy

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that will allow you to use popular action cameras
like the GoPros and the DJI Osmo Action.

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I’ll link to those too.

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However, the newer, high-end action cameras
have exceptionally good built-in stabilization.

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Especially the Hero8 and the Osmo Action.

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So it’s probably not worth the cost
and effort to stick those on a gimbal.

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But if you’re using an older or cheaper action camera then the gimbal adapters are worth considering.

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[Brad Pitt] What’s in the box???

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Alright, calm down Bradley. I’m opening the box.

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[Brad Pitt] What in the ****ing box!!?

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It’s Kevin Spacey’s career!

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Also… a gimbal.

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Feiyutech do seem to pack their gimbals really well
and it’s quite a nice experience unboxing them.

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As usual, there’s some high quality
polystyrene, to keep it safe during shipping.

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You get the gimbal; a rechargeable battery,
that’s supposed to be good for 14 hours per charge;

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there’s also a small tripod; and a cable for charging it,

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and also in case you want to use the gimbal as a powerbank.

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Immediately, I notice this is much,
much sturdier than my last gimbal.

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That was the Feiyutech Vimble 2. And
that was a very sturdy device anyway.

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But this one has a couple of different features.

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Firstly, it has an OLED display, which is bound
to be useful when you’re using the device.

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Secondly, it has something Feiyutech call
“The Magic Ring” – which sounds dirty to me!

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“Would you like to play with my magic ring?
Oh yes! Twist it baby. Push it. Push it harder!!”

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The gimbal itself weighs 440 grammes –
that’s about a pound for you Americans.

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And some of that is due to this big, fat, removable battery.

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Now, I love removable batteries, but
they’re so rare in gadgets nowadays.

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And even rarer in weather-resistant gadgets.

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Like all good gimbals it has a quarter inch hole
at the bottom, so you can mount it on a tripod.

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That’s particularly useful if you’re planning to
use it for certain kinds of time-lapse videos.

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If you’re willing to download and use the Feiyutech app,

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then you will, in theory, be able to use the gimbal to control your phone in many different creative ways,

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using these handy controls here.

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Including manual focusing which is quite a useful feature.

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I probably won’t download the app, however,

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as it gets terrible, terrible reviews on Google Play,

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and the gimbal can do most of
what I need straight out of the box.

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Now that’s all well and good on paper, but I
need to go and test this out in the real world.

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Alright, so as you may be able to see, the gimbal is
now fully charged. I’ve balanced the phone on top of it.

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Ready to go. Let’s try this out!

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So this is my PGYTech gimbal bag.

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It is just about the right size for the gimbal, I believe.

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Really good stitching. Very high-quality,
it seems. Probably waterproof.

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This external pocket is perfect for keeping leads
and, possibly, a spare battery if you have one.

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And inside we’ve plenty of room for keeping a gimbal.

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At least, a normal one anyway.

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Hopefully, the one that I’ve bought also fits just as well.

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Let’s give that a go.

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OK, so immediately we have a small problem here.

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Which is that, if you put your smartphone on
your gimbal, it will not fit inside the case.

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It’ll be hanging out of it.

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But, if you take the smartphone off your gimbal,
you will be able to put them both inside.

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Now I have a pretty big smartphone and, actually, it fits
quite well inside this outside pocket, which closes up.

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And now I’ve got my gimbal and my
smartphone in the same bag. Perfect.

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You know it’s really obvious that the
universe has a sense of humour.

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Because, here I am outside, ready to test
my waterproof, weatherproof GoPro

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against my brand new weatherproof gimbal.

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And would you believe it? Bright sunshine!

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But that’s alright.

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We’re not here to test the weather proofing.

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We’re here to test the stability.

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Right. Time to see if this works as well as I hope it does.

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So, this is just a gentle walk. let’s see how
this is working out. How does it compare?

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Obviously, the GoPro has electronic stabilization.

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And the gimbal has gimbal stabilisation.

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I’m expecting you’re not seeing a huge difference right now.

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I would hope so anyway.

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Right now the gimbal is on something called “Follow Mode”.

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However, I can’t put it into “Lock Mode”.

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So this is what “Lock Mode” looks like on this gimbal.

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No matter what you do it always faces the same way.

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And this is, basically, kind of a “Follow Mode”.

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So, as you pan, it slowly, smoothly follows you.

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And now we’re back to “Lock Mode” which means it stays pointing in the same direction always.

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So, right now, the gimbal is in “Lock Mode”.

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Let’s see how these two fare when I go for a bit of a run.

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Are you noticing anything?

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Is it obvious now?

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Is it obvious which one’s better?

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I think it is.

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I think it’s obvious it’s the gimbal.

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Sorry GoPro.

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How does it compare?

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That is very good.

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Oh… trees!!

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Yeah, I think it’s obvious.

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I think it’s very obvious that the gimbal is far superior

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to the electronic stabilization of the GoPro.

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And, on that bombshell, it’s time to say goodbye.

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Later nerds!

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I will say, that gimbal is heavy.

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And my arms do hurt after just 10 minutes of using it.

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I’m really glad I didn’t get the heavy one, that’s for sure.

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