Are you are struggling to shoot better looking hand-held video with your GoPro action camera? Florida-based Kumbacam has a solution to solve one of the most vexing problems for hand-held videographers. Shoot steady, more professional looking video using the Kumbacam Gimbal Kit.
GoPro delivers more powerful features with each iteration of their action cam. For a few years now, I’ve been using them on client and broadcast tv shoots. The small size of the GoPro allows me to hide them in tiny places and mount them at unusual angles, achieving amazing results. What is their main shortcoming? It’s the same with all hand-held video cameras: stabilization. To solve this with the GoPro, Kumbacam has created theKumbracam Gimbal Kit.
The Kumbracam 3-Axis GoPro Hero Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer is a functional, one hand stabilizer. One model is available for the GoPro (the one we reviewed) and another one will be available for smartphones by November. The two models are virtually identical except for some slight difference in design where you mount the camera/phone. Functionally, both are the same.
The Kumbacam Gimbal Kit is powered by three small servo engines which control the pitch, roll and heading for the camera. The smartphone model will also have two small counterweights for larger mobile phones.
The Kumbacam Gimbal has three major parts you need to be aware of:
- A hook shaped clamp securing our GoPro, which is shaped like padlock and fits over the lens of the camera. This mount gives stability to our camera so that it will not move.
- A counterweight which provides greater stability to the gimbal. This is screwed onto the handle of the gimbal.
- A lighted power/control button the handle. You use this single control to snap photos or shoot videos. All the functionality is controlled by a single thumb. In order to identify the operation mode the gimbal was in, we needed to understand the lighted switch as it identified the different statuses for the device.
In our experience, using the GoPro onto the Kumbacam Gimbal Kit is quite simple. In order to use the gimbal all we needed to do is keep the gimbal in motionless and power it on. It initialized automatically. Once initialized, the gimbal is ready to go.
It took us a about 15 minutes to get used to using the single button which control the gimbal and to get used to how it reacted to different movements. Once you learn what the different modes are for operation you should be fine. The modes include:
- Heading Following Mode —— Pitch and roll locking, heading smooth rotation follow the direction of the handheld.
- Heading And Pitch Following Mode —— Roll locking ,heading and pitch smooth rotation follow the direction of the handheld.
- Locking Mode —— Heading ,pitch and roll locking.
We shot some sample footage in the office with the gimbal, but alas it’s snowing in Dallas and well, embarrassingly, we pretty much shut down the city here when it gets below 32 degrees. This is where anyone north of the Red River can fill the comments with ridicule and scorn. So I’m writing this review from home and don’t have access to my video editing workstation. I’ll add some the sample video to the post later.
If you want to purchase a Kumbacam Gimbal Kit just have to head over to the Kumbacam website and purchase it directly. The Kumbracam 3-Axis GoPro Hero Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer currently sells for $309.99. The Smart Phone 3-Axis Brushless Gimbal Stabilization for iPhone, Galaxy, and Droid is offered for Pre-Order for the same price for shipping on November 20th.