I’m a massive fan of gimbals. These little gadgets hold your phone steady when recording video shots. I’d argue they are fast becoming a holiday essential. The videos you record with a gimbal look stunning. So ahead of the Dublin Smartphone Film Festival, I got to thinking. If there was one accessory that could up your movie making game, it would probably be a gimbal like the FeiyuTech Vimble 2.
What is a 3-Axis Gimbal?
A 3-axis gimbal, often just referred to a camera stabiliser or simply just a gimbal, removes shakiness from the hand of a camera operator. Gimbals have become really popular in recent years, largely down to the growth of smartphones and mobile video capturing. With a lot of gimbals on the market, there’s a lot of choice out there. DJI developed the OSMO Pocket which has a camera built in, but can also be connected to a smartphone and a range of accessories.
FeiyuTech is another company specialising in video making accessories and I’ve been taking a look at their brilliant Vimble 2. To kick things off, here’s a video I made using the Vimble 2 at IFA last year.
The Selfie Stick With a Gimbal
While there are plenty of gimbals on the market, the Vimble 2 really stood out to me and at IFA last year It certainly didn’t disappoint.
Most impressive to me were the amount of extra features FeiyuTech crammed into the Vimble 2. On top of delivering great footage, the Vimble 2 also let me capture shots I’d usually have to let go. This is largely down to two great features:
- It’s a gimbal with a selfie stick
- It comes with a tripod
Yup, where the phone is held can be extended by up to 18 cm, meaning you can do some nice ground or aerial style shots. It’s also nice if you’re capturing some footage of yourself, meaning you don’t need the camera to be too close to you.
The tripod is also great for solo work. Mobile journalists and smartphone movie makers can rejoice with the flexibility this gimbal gives you. With Instagram Stories on the up and up, you can even use this gimbal to shoot vertical video. Neat, right?
Feiyu ON: The Vimble 2 App
Being brutally honest, for a long time now, FeiyuTech were being let down by their apps. The original Vimble 2 app was called Vicool and it was terribly disappointing. When I had my first FeiyuTech gimbal, the SPG, I wasn’t very impressed by the Feiyu ON app either. It was grand for iPhone users, but terrible for Android.
Recently, they updated the Feiyu ON app and it is immeasurably better. The connectivity is more reliable, the app looks better and functions better too.
The one disappointment that carries over from the older apps is a lack of 60fps video shooting. My Huawei Mate 20 Pro shoots gorgeous 4k at 30fps or 1080p at 60 fps. The Feiyu ON app will limit you to 4k at 30 fps or 1080p at 30fps. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from using your phone’s native video app while using the Vimble 2 but you will lose some functionality, like the hardware buttons on the gimbal.
Vimble 2: Specs and Compatibility
With the major callouts covered, there are some other specs worth noting on the Vimble 2.
If your phone is over 210g, it’s likely too heavy for the Vimble 2. I’d go out on a limb here to say it’s unlikely you’ll have a phone too heavy, but I’ve pulled together a list of phones that weigh over 210g. That weight limit drops to 200g if you’re shooting Instagram Story-style video, so here’s a list of phones that weight more than 200g too.
This gimbal is fitting with a non-removable battery that will give you about five hours of use and can get back to full charge in two hours. It’s also cleverly added a charge port near when the phone is held. This means, using a micro USB to micro USB cable, you can charge the phone while using the gimbal.
Just remember, if you are going on holidays, this can’t go into your checked luggage. It’s got to come on board with you.
It’s worth noting the camera placement on your phone might have an impact on how compatible this gimbal is for you. For example, I tried testing this out with a Sony Xperia XZ3 but this has a very low positioned camera. When sitting in the gimbal, the video captures the gimbal itself. The same actually happened while using the Mate 20 Pro, but only when using it’s ultra-wide angle lens.
Just something to be conscious of.
Vimble 2 Price and Availability
Now that you’re totally convinced you need one of these in your life, you’ll need to know where to pick one up. Most good camera shops around Ireland now recognise the popularity of smartphone filmmaking and stock items like this. For example, Conns Cameras in Dublin will get you set up and give you the rundown on how to get the most out of it. You can also pick one up for less than €90 on Amazon.co.uk.
If you really want to test drive one of these before you buy, come along to the Dublin Smartphone Film Festival where FeiyuTech will be on hand to demo their full range, including the Vimble 2.
The Verdict: FeiyuTech Vimble 2
I’m not going to oversell this. The Vimble 2 does a fairly simple task and does it very well. It removes the natural shakiness that your hand normally has when shooting video. I guess, what’s worth knowing is this is the best gimbal I’ve ever used. I remember at IFA people asking me about it and saying they were going to buy one because I wouldn’t stop going on about how much I love it.