Gimbal blues

Adel Gabot

gimbal phone closeup.jpg

10:47AM

In my line of work, I get to review a fair amount of gadgets.

One of my current jobs is as Tech Columnist for Explore Philippines, a modest travel magazine based in Sampaloc, and I review travel gear for them every few weeks or so.

Last Thursday they sent a handheld gimbal to the house for me to review.

A gimbal is sort of a mounting device, usually for cameras, which balances and stabilizes them for video shoots, so that the footage doesn’t turn out too squirrely and amateurish.

The magazine sent me the LanParte HHG-01 Handheld Gimbal for the GoPro action camera and smartphone, and of all the devices I’ve ever reviewed, I’ve taken a particular and peculiar liking to this one.

I don’t know why, but I love it.

It’s got three motors built into the thing, and it steadies and levels a camera in the same way I imagine a Steadicam would operate. They assume (correctly) that I have a smartphone to test it with, but they sent me a GoPro camera as well so I could try it with that.

I had a wonderful time testing the gimbal. I zoomed, jogged and walked in the yard shooting with the camera on the gimbal, walked around the house, and climbed up and down the stairs and generally made a loon of myself testing it out. And it was fun!

I imagined myself to be a director in Hollywood filming long tracking shots for a new blockbuster. The grip kept the camera level no matter what I did (well, within reason). I was amazed and fascinated by the technology, and kept shooting video until the batteries ran out.

I wrote my 1,200-word Control Panel review last night, and this morning I packed the gimbal and the GoPro for shipping back to the Explore office.

I wish I didn’t have to give it back. That happens sometimes, and I get to keep the gadget for myself. It’s happened with Technoodling, but not yet with Explore. Maybe because it’s a bit expensive at P16,000?

But here’s to hoping. No harm in that.


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