A few weeks ago we wrote a review about the Feiyu-Tech WG2 – a wearable, waterproof stabilising gimbal. Whilst being great for users who wanted to wear or mount their gimbals, it wasn’t the best device for hand-held situations. That’s where the G5 comes in – a handheld, splash-proof gimbal with integrated joystick.
What’s in the box
The G5, like the WG2 comes packed in a protective pouch. Beside the pouch is a small box which contains the battery, a short Micro-USB to USB-C cable, a short Micro-USB to Micro-USB cable, long fixing screws and a charging cable. A counterweight is also supplied – this is used to help balance the gimbal – thus reducing strain on the motors when using certain action cameras. Have a look at the unboxing video below to see the items I listed above and the quality of packaging Feiyu-tech provide their customers with.
The G5 is capable of full 360° rotation on the panning and tilting axes and 240° on the rolling axis at a minimum rotation of 2°/s and 3°/s to a maximum of 75°/s and 150°/s on the tilting and panning axis respectively. It comes with a massive built-in 3000 mAh Lithium Ion battery which makes the gimbal last an incredible 8 hours before needing another charge. The G5 has the standard tripod mount 1/4 inch female thread hole at the bottom. I would only suggest using this tripod mount with a strong extension arm, as the farther away the gimbal is from a stable point, the harder the motors have to work to keep stable – and the result is not always the desired one.
The G5 is also splash-proof. This puts it in the same league as the GoPro Karma Grip – which is ‘splash-proof’ to a certain extent. It can take snow and some rain easily, but GoPro suggest against using in heavy rain or underwater. Whilst the G5 is not waterproof (like the WG2 is) it is splash-proof – as in, throw a bucket of water onto it splash-proof.
Buffering cotton was added to the camera mount to protect the camera from scuffs when being mounted as well as reducing motor noise in footage.
Unlike the WG2, which only has one button, the G5 has a joystick which can be used to control the direction the gimbal is aiming at, a function button which is used to iterate through the five different functions, a self-timer button which is used to temporarily enter selfie mode and a trigger button which is used to temporarily enter locking mode as well as reset the panning axis.
The G5 is also compatible with Feiyu Smart Remote – the smart remote is a really light, Bluetooth remote with a joystick, a function button and a self timer button – this can be used to control the mode and direction of the gimbal when not directly in contact with it.
The Smart Remote 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 G5 firmware when an update is released.
There are five modes the G5 can be in, we demonstrate all these in the unboxing and setup video earlier on:
- Panning mode: The G5’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 G5’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).
A great addition to the G5 which the WG2 lacks is a micro-USB port close to the mounting location of the action cam. This is where the short USB cables come into play – you can charge your camera whilst using the gimbal! The internal battery is enough for a day’s worth of shooting on both the G5 as well as your action camera.
It didn’t take us long to get used to handling the G5 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 – you can see why in the video as the gimbal tends to try to keep the action cam pointing in a direction perpendicular to the handle, so unless you keep an eye on the handle you’re holding the gimbal at, you might be recording too much ground or sky!
We didn’t manage to drain the G5’s battery, even after spending a day shooting whilst simultaneously charging our GoPro. This is a huge plus when compared to the WG2 which only has a battery life of around 2.5 hours. On the other hand, unfortunately the G5 is only splash-proof – but personally it’s enough for what I want to use it for. The G5 is also a bit bulkier – the carry case is also (with reason) larger – but this comes with the benefit of having an 8 hour battery life as well as a joystick on the gimbal.