top 9 best gopro gimbal and stabiliser 2018

Although gimbals are a really niche and small market at least, for now, there are still tons of options available and oftentimes, it can be a dilemma because there’re so many of them but they all can differ in price, from $300+, all the way to cheaper ones $100, and I totally get that feeling.

That’s why I have decided to create a list of the best GoPro gimbal and includes other action cameras as well, that I have found, and hopefully by the end, you will know which one is the best for you.

Oh, and did I tell you gimbals now are much cheaper than before? A year or 2 back, it used to cost at least $300 for a decent gimbal but now, because of competition and technological advancements, what was originally $300+ is now $100+!

Without further ado, let’s get started!

Bonus: Quick buying guide at the end!

Handheld VS Wearable Gimbals

difference between wearable and handheld gimbal

These are the 2 main types of gimbals, though there is a 3rd which are aerial gimbals, used specifically for drones but that will be a topic for another day.

The main difference between these 2 gimbals is the physical body. Wearable ones are generally lighter and more portable, whereas handheld ones are heavier and bulkier. As a result, wearable ones have more mounting freedom, as it’s harder to mount handheld gimbals onto bicycles or helmets when you have the handle sticking out.

A secondary difference I’ve found is that handheld gimbals usually have larger batteries that last longer as there is space to house them.

Without further ado, let’s begin!


Best GoPro Action Camera Gimbal and Stabiliser 2018

Gimbal Summary Axis Rotation (Pan, Tilt, Roll) Buy Here
Feiyu WG2 Compact Wide Angle Waterproof Gimbal 360˚/360˚/ 70˚
Feiyu SPG Affordable SplashProof Action Cam & Smartphone Gimbal 360˚/ 360˚/ 320˚
Zhiyun Rider M Lightweight 640˚ Panning Wearable Gimbal 640˚/ 320˚ /80˚
Feiyu Tech G5 Best Handheld Gimbal For Action Cameras 360˚/ 360˚/ 245˚
Removu S1 Rainproof 2 in 1 Gimbal 292˚/292˚/70˚
Feiyu Tech Vimble 2 Built-In Selfie Stick Handheld Gimbal 320˚/ 320˚/ 320˚
Zhiyun Smooth Q Best Budget Smartphone & Action Cam Gimbal 320˚/ 320˚/ 320˚
Niche Gimbals
Yi Action Gimbal Best Gimbal For Yi Action Cams 320˚/ 320˚/ 84˚
Mijia Gimbal Best Gimbal For Mijia 4K 360˚/ 210˚ / 210˚

Note: For the best price, check all the links under ‘Best Places To Buy’ before purchasing.


1. Feiyu Tech WG2 – Compact 360˚ Waterproof Gimbal

WG2, the successor of the former WG gimbal is one of the best wearable gimbals for action cameras because of it’s versatility and durability that it presents.

IP67 Waterproof Rating

The WG2 is one of the few wearable gimbals that are waterproof so you don’t have to worry about it getting accidentally splashed or submerged under water as that’s what it’s built for.

With a waterproof rating of IP67, not only will you be able to use it in land sports, but watersports such as surfing, snorkelling or canoeing as well.

Having said that, it is not meant for heavy water use where it’s being submerged in deep water for a long period of time such as swimming or snorkelling.

Convenient One-Button Control

As the WG2 is very compact, everything is controlled by a single button but that does not make it hard to use at all.

The one-button control, depending on how many times you press it, trigger different commands. For example, if you press 3 times, it will do a quick 180˚ rotation for taking selfies, etc.

Panoramic Time-lapse

Moreover, it has a motion time-lapse feature to get really nice panoramic scenery shots during your vacations. You can do this by pressing the button 4 times and adjust it to its start and end position to take really nice panoramic time-lapses.

To make your life easier, it even comes with a mini tripod to do that, even better! So you don’t have to get anything separately.

Furthermore, it has a really nice app to remotely control the gimbal, adjust the settings such as motor strength and speed, and for firmware updates.

Another main selling point is the 360˚ dual axis (pan and tilt) rotation which makes filming easier and smoother as there are practically no ‘dead angles’ where the gimbal can’t rotate.

Easy Mounting

Mounting is also especially convenient as there are 2 ¼” tripod thread on the back & bottom so you can mount it onto your chest or backpack using the side mount or for selfie sticks and tripods using the bottom mount.

I find everything on the WG2 to be of exceptional quality, other than the short battery life and the built-in 1500mAh battery which can’t be interchanged with spare batteries. Hence, once it’s flat, the only way to use it again it to charge it which can be quite a hassle at times.

All in all, I find it to be a really good gimbal for action cameras in general but especially for the Hero 5 Black and Session since it’s able to take advantage of its waterproofness.

Compatible Cameras:

GoPro 3-5 /YI 4K / SJCAM /AEE/cameras / GoPro Hero 4/5 Session with similar size to GoPro.

Pros Cons
Wide Range of Rotation (360˚ on 2-axis) Short Battery Life (2.5 Hours)
Easy To Use 1 Button Control Non-Changeable Battery
Waterproof IP67
Wide Range of Action Cams Compatible
Best Places To Buy:

2. FeiYu SPG – Affordable SplashProof Action Cam & Smartphone Gimbal

Although the SPG by Feiyu is made for smartphones, I still think it is a really good action cam gimbal as it’s splashproof and a very budget friendly gimbal.

Upgrade Over SPG-C

The SPG is actually an upgrade of the former SPG C, for which the main improvement is the implementation of its splashproof body. So even if you accidentally get it wet when you’re out travelling, you don’t have to worry about it suddenly breaking down as it’s already made for that.

However, that does not mean you can submerge it in the water for a long period of time as that requires another level of waterproofness which the SPG does not have.

Another improvement is the calibration method. The new SPG uses an adjustable arm to calibrate for different devices, which is more convenient than what the previous version’s, the SPG-C, use of counterweights.

Mounting Action Cam

To mount your action camera, all you need to do is to slide on the EVA foam pads, which is included, onto the grasp and slide your action camera in.

Wide Range of Movement

The SPG has a really smooth stabilization and the best part about it is the 360˚ rotation on the pan axis, which allows you to get a really wide range of shots without getting ‘locked up’.

Superb Battery Life

As for battery life, the SPG has one of the longest battery life of 8 hours and thus really useful for bringing onto trips and holidays. If that’s not enough, it also uses removable batteries instead of built-in batteries, thus giving you the option of swapping out for spare batteries.

If you don’t like holding the gimbal while moving around, great news! It has 2 tripod thread mounts, one on the back and the other on the side, so as to mount onto either your chest or backpack or even on your selfie stick!

To top it off, it has a very well-built smartphone app to customise your gimbal settings such as motor control & strength, shooting modes and for updating firmware!

Overall, the SPG is an awesome 3 axis gimbal for the buck that supports both smartphones and action camera and if you’re looking for an affordable and quick option, and you can’t go wrong with the SPG.

Read more about what others have to say about the SPG here!

Compatible Devices:

Action Cams – GoPro 3-5 /YI 4K / SJCAM /AEE/cameras / GoPro Hero 4/5 Session with similar size to GoPro.

Smartphones – Almost all smartphones as long as it’s 50mm-80mm in widt. Eg. iPhone / Samsung / HTC / HUAWEI

Pros Cons
Solidly-Built Aluminium Body Action Camera Shutter Button Partially Blocked
Flexible 360˚ Panning Axis When Shooting Action Camera's Touchscreen Blocked
Interchangeable batteries
Comes With Foam Pads to Mount Action Cams
Best Places To Buy:

3. Zhiyun Rider M – Lightweight 640˚ Panning Wearable Gimbal

The Rider M, which is the successor of Zhiyun Rider 2, is very similar to Feiyu WG2 as it’s wearable and hence easily mountable to wherever you want. Also, it is compatible only with action cams so you can’t use it with your smartphone.

The Rider M also has the ability to be wirelessly controlled via the app or the bluetooth remote which is sold separately. Thus, if you are planning to mount it somewhere not very convenient, the wireless feature will come in handy.

Using the app, Zhiyun Play, you’ll be able to wirelessly control, change motor speed, strength, etc and as far as I have tried,  I find it to be one of the best, comparing to other gimbals’ app as it was very convenient and user-friendly.

Furthermore, it also comes with an extra set of batteries which is perfect for bringing onto holidays or long trips, so you don’t have to constantly charge it up.

Ultra Large Pan Axis

Moreover, it has a whopping 640˚ pan axis (-320˚ to 320˚), which is the largest I have seen and honestly a little “overkill” but still nice to have when taking panoramic time-lapse or panning shots.

Furthermore, the Rider M also has a 1 sec angle lock feature which allows you to manually adjust the camera to point it in a certain direction you want by turning and holding the position it for a second, which then the gimbal will lock in place.

Rider M Vs WG2

Overall, I found the Rider M to be very similar to the WG2, hence I made this quick comparison between Rider M and WG2 if you’re stuck in between.

ZhiYun Rider M Feiyu Tech WG2
Not waterproof/splashproof IP67 Waterproof
Long Battery Life (4.5 hrs) Short Battery Life (2.5 Hrs)
No Panoramic Timelapse Panoramic Timelapse
Removable Batteries Built-in Batteries
Weight: 180g Weight: 265g
Axis Rotation: 640˚/ 320˚/ 80˚ Axis Rotation: 360˚/ 360˚/ 70˚

Compatible Devices

Action Cameras: Yi, Yi II 4K, SJCAM 4000 and 5000, EKEN H9, EKEN H8, EKEN H8 PRO, GitUp Git 2, GoPro Hero 3 & 4. For Hero Session, the adapter can be found here. For Hero 5 Black, the adapter can be found here.

Pros Cons
Solidly-Built Aluminium Body Action Camera Shutter Button Partially Blocked
Flexible 360˚ Panning Axis When Shooting Action Camera's Touchscreen Blocked
Interchangeable batteries
Comes With Foam Pads to Mount Action Cams
Best Places To Buy:

4. Feiyu Tech G5 – Best Handheld Gimbal For Action Cameras

The Feiyu Tech G5 is undoubtedly one of the best gimbals for action cameras because it’s splashproof-ness which it’s perfect for watersports such as surfing or kayaking. Having said that, it can’t be submerged for a long period of time, so you won’t want to be using it for swimming or scuba diving.

It has 2 tripod threads on the side and bottom so you have the freedom to mount it on the side which is useful on chest or bicycle mounting or mount it on the bottom for tripods or selfie sticks!

Not to mention the battery on the G5 is huge and lasts way longer than your action camera (8 hours) which makes live charging, which charges your action camera using the gimbal’s battery, very useful to have.

However, you’ll need a camera that uses mini-usb (Hero 3/4 or VIRB Ultra 30) to utilise this feature unless you decide on buying aseparate adapter cable to fit the one that your action cam uses.

Huge Range of Compatible Action Cams

What I especially liked about it is the versatility and the range of action cameras that you can use with this gimbal. It works with almost all action cameras such as GoPro, Garmin, SJCAM, Yi, Sony, etc as it comes with 2 pairs of screws with different lengths to fit thicker/thinner action cams. Hence, even if you decide to upgrade or replace your existing action camera, the gimbal will still be completely viable.

Selfie Mode

Another thing that the G5 has, and I felt more gimbals could implement, is the 180˚ rotation feature, which on the G5, is called selfie mode.

The selfie mode allows you to, with 3 taps of a button, rotate 180˚ to point the camera at yourself. And with another 3 taps, rotates it back to film the environment you’re in, without having to use the joystick to manually rotate. Great for vlogging and holiday trips.

Dual 360˚ Axis Rotation

Similar to WG2, it has 360˚ axis rotation on 2 axis (tilt and pan) and for me, I immediately noticed the difference of the amount that it can rotate, when compared to other gimbals I have tested.

Overall, the G5 is a really well-built gimbal and is definitely one of the best handheld gimbals made for action cameras. I would definitely recommend this but the only caveat is it will not work on your phone.

Compatible Action Cameras:

GoPro Hero 3-6, Garmin VIRB, Yi, AEE, Mfox, SJCAM Action Cameras.

Pros Cons
Extremely Long Battery Life Live charging only works with few cameras
Large range of action cameras compatible No choice to be used with smartphones
Splashproof Not Waterproof
Extremely long battery life + exchangeable batteries
Large rotation coverage - 360˚ rotation in 2 axis
Single Press 180˚ Rotation (Selfie Mode)
Best Places To Buy:

5. Removu S1 – Rainproof 2 in 1 Gimbal

The S1 is one of the flagship and costly gimbals but I feel the price truly reflects on the build quality and design of gimbal.

GoPro Instead of Traditional Thread Mount

Firstly, the gimbal uses a GoPro mount so it can be mounted anywhere a GoPro can be mounted, instead of the traditional tripod thread which most gimbals use to mount.

The Removu S1 is one of the only gimbals in the market that can function as both a wearable and handheld gimbal as it’s made up of 2 separate components, the actual gimbal and the handle, which is able to be used as a remote to control the gimbal or change shooting modes wirelessly (using Bluetooth) up to 10m, via the joystick on the handle.

OLED Indicator Displayss1 oled display

It also has 2 OLED displays to indicate the stabilization mode it is in (pan, lock and follow) and also the battery percentage left, which is nice to have to show how long you have left before it dies.

Rainproof

removu s1 waterproof body

Furthermore, as the motor and body are designed to be water-resistant, it is rainproof, which in other words mean you can splash water, bring it through the rain or snow, without having to worry about it getting damaged.

On the other hand, a drawback of this gimbal is that the axis rotation is pretty tight and limited (292˚, 292˚, 70˚), when compared to other gimbals, so there may be some ‘dead angles’ when shooting with it.

All in all, the S1 is really special because of the unique mounting and independent components markup of this and no doubt it

Compatible Devices:

Action Cameras – HERO6, HERO5, HERO4, HERO3, HERO Session, and HERO5 Session

Pros Cons
2 in 1 Versatile Gimbal Limited Axis Rotation
GoPro Mounted Instead of Using Standard Thread Expensive
Waterproof Only fits GoPro cameras
Best Places To Buy:

6. Feiyu Tech Vimble 2 – Built-In Selfie Stick Handheld Gimbal

Although this is not made for action cameras, instead, smartphones, I’d still like to mention the Vimble 2, Feiyu’s newest gimbal released because of its unique feature, an integrated 18cm selfie stick.

Integrated Selfie Stick

As we know, gimbals, specifically handheld, are still relatively short for daily purposes and that’s why Feiyu has decided to incorporate a selfie stick within it. Hence, if you use a selfie stick often for vlogging or for taking group selfies, this feature will definitely come in handy.

And if you were wondering about the weight because of the extra built-in selfie stick, good news. Weighing merely at 428g, it’s not in any way heavier than other gimbals (most weighs about 400g+)  so you don’t have to worry about having a sore arm after holding it for a long period of time.

To top it off, the smartphone app, ViCool, which is used mainly to wirelessly control the gimbal’s motor speed and strength, is very easy and user-friendly. Also, if you’re using it with your phone, you have the option to enjoy other features such as object tracking and motion timelapse.

Mounting With Action Cameras

action cam adapter on smartphone gimbal

Though this is meant to be a smartphone gimbal, it still is able to mount action cameras but a caveat is that the screen will be blocked by the mount unless you decide to buy an additional adapter.

Overall, I think it’s a very well thought out gimbal and if you primarily plan to use a gimbal with a selfie stick, or want to have a choice between both your action cam and phone, the Vimble 2 might be the one for you.

On the other hand, if you plan to use mostly for your action cam, the G5 or Removu S1 would be a better alternative.

Pros Cons
2 in 1 Gimbal With Extendable Selfie Stick No 360˚ Axis Rotation
1/4" Thread For Mounting Action Camera's Screen Will Be Blocked
Gimbal Can Be Charging While Using
Best Places To Buy:

7. ZhiYun Smooth Q – Best Budget Smartphone & Action Cam Gimbal

If you’re looking for a quick yet affordable option, the Smooth-Q is the way to go.

Although the smooth-q lack features that its more expensive counterparts has, such as motion timelapse, selfie mode, etc, it does what it’s supposed to do, stabilise your videos.

Also, as it’s a smartphone gimbal, you’ll need an additional adapter to fit your action cam.

Long Battery Life

Powered by two 18650 batteries, with a total capacity of 3340mAh, it is able to last up to 12 hours of continuous use with 1 charge, which is honestly the longest I have seen on a gimbal and for that, it’s ideal for long trips and vacation.

It gets even better with the live charging feature, which allows you to charge your device on the go using the gimbal’s battery, so you don’t have to worry about your action camera running out of battery while your gimbal remains close to fully charged.

Mounting With Action Cameras

As this is a smartphone gimbal, you will need to use the adapter (comes together if bought here) and attach it to the gimbal.

The most important part of this gimbal is truly the value for money you’re getting.

For slightly more than $100, you can get yourself something that works beautifully as the stabilization isn’t in any way inferior to any other gimbal but in some cases, even superior. It is also able to rotate up to 320˚ in all 3 axis which is definitely better than average.

All in all, the Smooth-Q is definitely one of the gimbals with the best value for money and if you don’t need the fancy features, the Smooth-Q would definitely be a good choice.

Pros Cons
Awesome Value For Money No 360˚ Axis Rotation
Long Battery Life Requires Separate Adapter To Mount Action Camera
Live Charging Features
Best Places To Buy:

Gimbals for Niche Action Cams

Everything we’ve covered now works with a wide range of devices and is more of a “general fit”.

Below we’ll be going over gimbals that work for a specific or niche range of action cameras.

8. Yi Action Gimbal – Best Gimbal for Yi action cams

The new Yi action gimbal, the successor ofYi handheld gimbal, (Gimbal Only) is made for Yi action cameras, specifically Yi Lite, Yi 4K and Yi 4K+.

The Yi Action gimbal fits and mounts on perfectly to these cameras as they have exactly the same form factor and dimensions.

Once you have mounted and connected your action cam to the gimbal using Bluetooth, you will be able to control the shooting modes, start and stop recording, all wirelessly from the gimbal interface.

Upon holding it, I could also immediately feel the lightweight body of it and sure enough, the specs sheet claims that it weighs 310g, which if you didn’t know, is one of the lightest gimbals out there.

Selfie Mode – 180˚ Rotation

Furthermore, if you enjoy vlogging, there’s selfie mode made for that. What it does is it rotates 180˚ to point the camera backwards at you, with a single press. With another press, it rotates to point forward to where it was shooting before, all in a smooth and elegant manner.

Oh and just as a heads up, if you were thinking of using it with other non Yi action cams, I would not recommend it as you wouldn’t be able to use the features (wireless Bluetooth control) exclusive to Yi action cams and that’s why you’ll be better off with many other cheaper gimbals out there.

Having said that, if you own a Yi action cam, this would be a great addition to it as it makes it much convenient to control your Yi action cam.

Pros Cons
360˚ Panning Axis Does Not Support Charging Via Gimbal
Extremely Lightweight No Other Features Like Panoramic Timelapse, Exposure Control, etc
Useful Selfie Mode No 360˚ Pan Axis
Easy To Use & Set Up
Best Places To Buy:

 

9. Mijia 4K Gimbal – Best Gimbal For Mijia 4K

xiaomi mijia gimbal front and back

The Mijia gimbal works with Xiaomi’s new popular action camera, the Mijia 4K.

This gimbal is way more niche as it only works with one camera for now. Maybe more in the future, if Mijia plans to release more action cameras that utilise the same body as the Mijia 4K.

Customised Control

xiaomi mijia gimbal different controls

Upon using this gimbal with the Mijia 4K, it definitely stood out how compatible they were together as other than being able to control the camera wirelessly from the gimbal, you are also able to charge your Mijia 4K camera with a flick of a switch and adjust exposure and many other videos and photos settings, all from the gimbal.

Furthermore, the aluminium alloy used also feels very rigid and well-built so you can expect the same or even better quality than that of the Mijia 4K.

Moreover, similar to the Mijia 4K, it houses an extra large battery life and can be used up to 8 hours. What’s even better is the battery can be used to charge your Mijia camera, so you don’t end up with a dead action camera and an almost fully charged gimbal.

Overall, one of the best integration between gimbal and action cameras I have tested and if you own a Mijia camera, you should really get this gimbal as after using them for a long time, they feel like one.

Pros Cons
360˚ Panning Axis Rounded Base So Can't Stand On Its Own
Superb Battery Life No Other Features Like Panoramic Timelapse, Exposure Control, etc
Useful Customised Controls
Supports Charging Via Gimbal
Best Places To Buy:

 

Gimbals Quick Buying Guide: What To Look Out For

Waterproof/Splash-proof/Rainproof: Note that most gimbals that claim to be waterproof cannot be fully submerged under water.

Compatibility + Adapters: Compatibility is especially important in gimbals so make sure the gimbal is compatible with your action cam, or if not, at least there’s an adapter made for it.

Weight: The lighter the better as there will be less strain on your arms. Anything below 450g is good.

Rotation: Degrees of rotation. The higher the better as the wider it can turn and hence you’ll have more flexibility when filming.

Battery Life: Most have about 4-5 hours battery life, highest I have seen is 12 hours.

Mounts: What are the mounts present? ¼” standard tripod mount is most common but some gimbals use GoPro mounts.

Gimbal Accessories: Any accessories that it comes with, such as tripods, adapters, etc?

Action Camera Mount Plate Adapter

For smartphone gimbals, you’ll need an additional adapter most of the time to fit your action cam.

There are many adapters out there but the one I personally recommend and have worked really well is this:

Amazon: (Hover Over For Price)

Gearbest: Click Here.

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6 Comments

  1. Okay, I have a GoPro, but I had no idea what a gimbal was. I see now that they are to hold the GoPro for taking the videos. I actually could see a use for both of them. Since the handheld one has a battery that lasts , then that would be better. I am wondering what the battery is for? Does it work with the GoPro somehow? I can’t believe I knew nothing of these, LOL

    1. Hi Matt’s Mom, the battery is for operating the gimbal as the gimbal isn’t mechanical and needs a bit of power to operate it. Also, for some gimbals with “live charging capability”, the gimbal is able to use the battery, like you said to charge it the Gopro up.

      Hope this helps! 🙂

  2. Wow! What an amazing review on the variety of action camera’s and accessories for them. I’ve been wanting to buy a gimbal but with so many in the market to choose from, I didn’t want to waste my money. I know exactly which one I want now. Thanks for the detailed review!

    1. Glad it helped! 🙂

  3. I like wearable gimbals more but it highly depends on your purpose of use. I would like to have a wearable gimble if I was doing cycling or diving.

    But I have a surfing experience and a handheld gimbal seems to come in more handy when you’re capturing a good view when you’re smooth surfing around for fun 🙂

  4. Woaaaaa, we’ve come a long way, they look pretty amazing and as you mentioned prices have dropped a lot.

    Now just need to buy a good smartphone or action cameras to go with.

    I think it was DJI who has launched this kind of accessory first, mostly for professional, so very expensive.

    It’s cool to see nowadays we have a pretty large choice of gimbals at an affordable price.

    I’m more interested in a gimbal that can be both a wearable and handheld, however, the Removu S1 is too expensive and can’t be used with a smartphone.

    Note when I click on the Amazon link from your website, for the Removu S1, it said it can’t find the product. It directs me to Amazon France as I’m in France and looks like this product is not available in France.

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