Shooting Without A Gimbal Does A Disservice To Your Smartphone
Video cameras were a big deal when they first appeared in the 1980’s — video players had already come out and people were primed to watch what they could record in their life’s and not just from the TV. So once the cameras came into stores and suddenly you could record everything and anything that you wanted to, as long as you had the big bucks to pay for the camera and could figure out how to put the video cartridge into the loading bay. Then over time the cameras got smaller, but one thing remained — the videos being recorded often had mistakes and shots of people’s knees and out of focus. That’s because people aren’t good at holding any kind of camera still.
Now that goes double for a video camera. So has this gotten better because the video camera is actually a smartphone with all kinds of highfaluten tech? No and that’s because holding a smartphone can be just as problematic as any other kind of camera when it comes to holding it steady and in being able to aim it in the way desired.
So the solution is the same as if it was being done with a larger video camera — the answer is a gimbal, which is a device designed to keep what it’s attached to steady and in a specific position even though there’s movement on the base on which it’s mounted. Or to be simplified, the gimbal cancels out motion coming from tilting, panning and rolling going on. So in this case it’s a smartphone that gets attached to the gimbal, and a good gimbal choice is why the Vimble 3 is what you take down from the shelf.
What This Gimbal Is
Let’s start with what you see — it looks sort of like a kinda thick stick, but obviously it unfolds to provide an extendable rod that carries 7.8 inches in length. This allows for shooting higher (like over a crowd’s head) or when one doesn’t want the view being seen by the smartphone to be lower to the ground (or the inevitable selfie). In both cases the wide angle view coming from a smartphone’s lens combined with the 35 degrees of angling this gimbal can accomplish comes in handy. Of course the Vimbal 3 can also be used folded up, which makes it just as useable but a lot lower as far as height goes. Also worth noting now, especially if being used extended, the Vimbal 3 weighs only 387g/0.853lbs, which means its added weight to the phone that its holding is fairly negligible. Not so important for functionality, but the V looks good too and even better, fits nicely in the hand.
Using A Smartphone
Now that phone has to be attached and does so using a simple grip/clamping scheme that makes good sense as far as holding it securely as well as avoiding any kind of damage. Any phone works, as long as it doesn’t exceed 280 grams, which doesn’t cause any gief and of course using it with a thin case is fine. The phone can be left on until use is needed, but removal and reattachment is fast enough to be doable if desired. Now if you look at the back of the Vimble 3, you can see a series of controls — they’re not going to do anything if the internal rechargeable battery hasn’t been powered up. In use the company says you get up to 10 hours before the USB-C recharging go-to is needed, and realistically over 6 is safe to say and hitting 8+ is pretty reasonable to believe in as well.
So the obvious is that you’re not going to be shooting just vertically or horizontally all the time — that’s why switching between the two (called Landscape/Portrait) is a one-button affair that kicks in via the motor. Mechanically, that is.
A Lot Of Controls
As to the controls on the back, side and just about all over (mostly the back though), you’ll find triggers and buttons for album access, activations for different modes and menus, a customizable button dial, trigger locks, zoom wheel and manual focus, “A” and “B” push tab — whew! Sure there’s a zoom slider on the side and probably more just forgotten so just check out what’s what, read up on it and rely on muscle memory to take over after a few false starts (and some test videos).
Keep in mind that this all needs to be used with Bluetooth and the FeiyuTech ON app. FeiyuTech’s app goes the distance because it enables controls automatically over AI tracking, activation of the self-timer as well as control over time-lapse shooting, panorama photos, etc. We should also mention that there’s one button or auto focus AB Point Trajectory Memory.
There’s also gesture control — for example flash the “V” sign with your fingers to take a picture or showing off a palm to start the video recording. Or that the end of the Vimble 3 can take a three-point tripod for standing on its own too.
The Vimble 3 Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer works with any smartphone it can grab and hold onto (although there are some little quirks to encounter when it comes to shooting video at 24 fps). Shooting creatively and competantly at the same time hasn’t alwasy been possible in the past, but making this “V” can bring you to victory. Plus there’s an optional fill light (magnetic to hold) and AI tracker to attach. For more details go to https://store.feiyu-tech.com/products/vimble-3