When Travis Rice posted this video on Instagram, most people automatically assumed it was taken with a drone.
The video was taken by Matt Cook, the human drone who works for GoPro as “snow production artist”, flying around the world with pros like Travis Rice, Sage Kotsenburg, and Bobby Brown. He shoots the close up follow cam shots that we all love.
The piece of magic that creates the buttery smooth, flying effect is an electronic stabilizer called a gimbal. You mount your camera on the device, which has multiple motors to compensate for your movement and hold the camera steady. You switch the unit on and choose a panning mode, and it actively tracks the motion you tell it to.
GoPro posted a video called “Getting The Shot” which gives you a general idea of how they do it. In this clip they used a rubber cable tie to attach a Feiyu Tech gimbal to an extendable trekking pole to be able to get that sweeping, overhead shot.
There are a lot of small electronics companies making consumer gimbals now, but the two most popular are Feiyu Tech and EVO.
Evo GP 3-Axis GoPro Handheld Gimbal
The EVO GP 3-axis GoPro Handheld Gimbal is the best overall gimbal for GoPro on the market. EVO GP is ready to use out of the box without any complex setup or software. There are several shooting modes that you can choose from allowing you to get ultra creative with your shots.
As with most other handheld stabilizer gimbals it is made using a lightweight aluminum frame. Unlike other gimbals on the market the EVO GP achieves incredible stabilization performance and accuracy through high quality, high definition position encoders coupled with high torque triple wound motors. Allowing for stable shots in extreme situations.
Feiyu Tech G4 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal
Feiyu Tech G4 Handheld Gimbal incorporates state-of-the-art 3 axis stabilization technology into a finely constructed body made with aircraft-grade aluminum and brushless motors. The one-button control makes it easy to use the gimbal with only one hand.
If you want to control tilt, pan or roll on the fly you will need to connect the optional wired remote. The power button is located at the bottom of the gimbal so there is no option to use a tripod. There is an optional extender tube that can be added to the bottom of the gimbal.