360 videos that don’t have a level horizon can be hard to watch, and if viewed on a VR headset, it can even literally sicken the viewer with nausea. The solution for handheld videos is to use a stabilizer.
There are two types of stabilizers: passive and active. Passive stabilizers don’t require any batteries and use weights to stabilize the camera through inertia. For example, here’s the Pocket Smoovie, a passive gimbal stabilizer.
Because passive stabilizers are simple, they are usually low cost, although there are some that are also quite expensive. The problem with passive stabilizers is that they are generally not as effective as active stabilizers. With some designs, they can even create a pendulum effect that can make a camera sway longer than usual.
Active stabilizers use motors to counteract the camera’s movement. Actively stabilized gimbals are available with one-, two-, or three-axis stabilization. More axes mean stability over a wider range of movement. Gimbals with more powerful motors are also able to stabilize heavier cameras and more erratic movements. But [active] gimbals are often costly and those with more axes and/or more powerful motors are even more expensive.
Smartphone gimbals usually cost $200 to $300. But the JJ-1 gimbal is an entry-level 2-axis gimbal that costs only $100. Here are the key specs:
– for phones up to 6.5 inches
– has a built-in Bluetooth capability to activate your phone’s shutter.
– one-axis and two-axis modes
– doesn’t require counterweights
– 2-hour battery life (external charger is included)
– 1/4-20 tripod socket at the bottom of the handle
If you’re familiar with gimbals, you already know $100 is quite cheap for a 2-axis gimbal. Naturally, we would wonder how well it works. Online electronics store Gearbest was kind enough to send me a review copy. Here is a test video of the JJ-1 with a smartphone, then with a smartphone with Insta360 Air attached.
If you would like to purchase the JJ-1, it’s available from Gearbest, which has warehouses in US, UK, Europe, Russia, and Asia. Buying from Gearbest will allow them to send more items for review. Buying from the Gearbest affiliate link also supports 360 Rumors at no cost to you so I can do more tests and reviews. Thank you very much!