Those who are keen on amateur videography know that the hardest things to control are generally camera shake, wobble and jerky movements. One would also know that this can be easily resolved with a motorised stabilising gimbal. But what most don’t know is that you can purchase a professional grade one for under €300 – and that’s exactly what the Feiyu-tech WG 2 is.
Feiyu-tech is a large company that produces multiple types of stabilising gimbals including smartphone gimbals, action camera gimbals and DSLR gimbals. We’ve had the pleasure of testing out the WG2 – a wearable, splash-proof gimbal for the GoPro Hero 5, Session and other similarly sized cameras.
What’s in the box
The WG2 comes neatly packed in a small zippable, protective pouch along with an adapter for a GoPro style mount, an adapter for a GoPro Session sized camera, a fixing block (to lock the gimbal when not in use) and a USB charging cable. A detailed manual and warranty card are also included in the shipping box. Have a look at the unboxing video below to see how the Feiyu-tech WG2 is packaged, all the accessories that come with it and how to set it up.
The WG2 is capable of full 360° rotation on the panning and tilting axes and 70° on the rolling axis at a minimum rotation of 1.5°/s to a maximum of 150°/s and 270°/s on the tilting and panning axis respectively. It comes with a built-in 1500mAh Lithium Ion battery which makes the gimbal last about 2 hours before needing another charge – more than enough for a typical action camera – my GoPro Hero 5 Black runs out before the WG2 is even close to needing a charge.
The WG2 has the standard tripod mount 1/4 inch female thread hole at the bottom as well as the back. Once it’s a wearable gimbal, Feiyu-tech added one more mounting thread to allow users greater flexibility when attaching the gimbal to their accessories.
Most importantly – the WG2 is waterproof! Going waterproof has been the way forward for tech companies; for instance, GoPro’s latest range is waterproof without additional accessories so it’s only natural that gimbals shift towards a waterproof system too. The WG2 is waterproof for up to 10 minutes under a meter of water (not sea water) which makes it perfect for surfers, rafters and kayakers like myself.
Another thing we noticed on the WG2 which we didn’t see on any other gimbal is a soft pad on the panning arm with the very simple (but effective) purpose of not scratching or damaging the camera and gimbal when it reaches the rolling limits.
Along with the WG2 we also received a smart remote. Since the WG2 is wearable it lacks a ‘joystick’ to manually control the direction. The smart remote is a really light, Bluetooth remote with a joystick, a function button and a self timer button.
It communicated with the WG2 effortlessly and there is no noticeable lag in controlling the WG2. It charges through a micro USB cable, but the battery seems to last for ages. This remote is also compatible with multiple models of gimbals from Feiyu-tech – so you’d only need to purchase one if you have multiple stabilisers.
Feiyu ON Mobile App
An alternative to the smart remote is the mobile app which is available for both iPhone and Android. From here, one is capable of controlling the gimbal in the same way as you could with the smart remote as well as set the mode the gimbal is in. Apart from control, the app also lets you set the gimbal’s settings like motor dynamics, follow settings, joystick settings and the autorotation mode rate as well us update the WG2’s firmware when an update is released.
There are five modes the WG2 can be in, we demonstrate all these in the unboxing and setup video earlier on:
- Panning mode: The WG2’s tilting and rolling axes are fixed whilst the panning axis smoothly follows the user’s hands.
- Lock mode: All axes are fixed to one direction wherever the user is.
- Panning and Tilting mode: The WG2’s keeps a steady a horizon (rolling axis) but follows the user’s hands on the panning and tilting axes.
- ‘Selfie’ mode: The gimbal rotates 180° on the panning axis to face the user.
- Auto-rotation mode: The user sets the starting and finishing position and the gimbal determines a path and auto-rotates at a user defined rate (through the mobile app).
Your action camera can be mounted in a few different ways depending on the filming style or what you’re trying to achieve; with the arm to the left or right and the action cam right way or upside down.
It didn’t take us long to get used to handling the WG2 and using it’s different modes. The hardest mode to manage was the Panning and Tilting mode as one would need to make sure that their hand is level whilst panning – unless you want to constantly look at your camera’s screen – as the gimbal might drift up or down to follow your hand’s angle.
During our tests the 2.5 hour battery life was more than enough, our Hero 5 Black’s battery drained well before that. Compared to the G5, which has a battery life of around 8 hours, the WG2 is lacking, but on the other hand, the WG2 is much more portable.