You are a photography freak, and you love to own the best action cameras in the market as soon as they are released. But one of the many problems you’ve been facing for years is that you have to discard a lot of pictures and footage because the camera movement had made them unusable.
You have probably tried quite a few gimbals, but none of them have been quite up to the mark. This is that part of your life where you get to try the newest and the coolest gimbal in the market currently. And yes, it does live up to the promises it makes on the cover.
The Feiyu Tech G5 is the first splash-proof gimbal that is compatible with both lower end cameras and the best in the market like GoPro Hero 4 and Hero 5. It is simple, affordable, and can be easily calibrated for use with your GoPro camera right out of the box.
One of the frequent complaints regarding handheld gimbals used to be that the product is not waterproof. With Feiyu Tech G5 promising to alleviate that shortcoming, it’s interesting to see whether this camera comes with any reasonable drawback at all. Let’s find out more with my Feiyu Tech G5 Gimbal review.
Product: Feiyu Tech G5 Gimbal
My rating: 9/10
Cheapest place to buy: Amazon.com
Unboxing the Feiyu Tech G5
Unboxing the 3-axis handheld gimbal is a pleasure in itself. Once you open the white colored box, you’ll find all the items sitting inside their own protective coverings.
This double layer of protection is one of the many reasons you should be inclined to trust the brand.
The gimbal is snugly packed inside a neoprene pouch, while the smaller parts like the screws, the cables and the bracket have their own little black box. Feiyu Tech provides two counterweights along with this gimbal.
Counterweights help in counterbalancing different camera weights; so it’s important to know how many you should use for your camera. For instance, GoPro Hero 5 Black may need both counterweights, whereas, the Hero 4 or Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 may need only one.
The gimbal has a ‘premium’ feel, thanks to the high-quality manufacturing. The metal body comes with a rubber grip which not only enhances the look and feel of the equipment, but also prevents it from slipping from your hands.
GoPro cameras are one of the most expensive products in the photography category, and the last thing you want is to destroy your GoPro by using a slippery handheld gimbal.
The Feiyu Tech G5 stands out in its thickness in its stick portion as compared to its predecessor. It is also waterproof, which means you can now take pool shots with your GoPro without having to worry about damaging your gimbal.
This, however, does not imply that it is okay to submerge your Tech G5 into the water. The G5 is slightly heavier than the G4-QD by Feiyu Tech, but that should not be a deal-breaker at any cost.
Operation and Control
The Feiyu Tech G5 comes with a manual written in English as well as Chinese. It’s easy to read, and once you have grown accustomed to the buttons, you won’t need it at all.
Feiyu Tech keeps ambiguity to a minimum with a joystick, a power button, and a smaller button. The joystick boasts of smooth movements and easy control.
It may get a bit confusing at first, but once you have played around with it for quite some time, you will find it extremely easy and convenient.
Just above the joystick lies the LED indicator light. The power button is somewhat versatile in nature – it helps you switch your equipment on and off, recenter, and change modes as well.
Long pressing the function button lets you switch between on and off. The smaller button, on the other hand, allows you to take selfies.
In order to activate it, you need to press and hold the button as the camera turns 180 degrees towards you, and release it in order to restore the previous position. The buttons are easily accessible and feel solid to touch.
Coming back to switching modes on your device, it is important to appreciate the features of your gimbal first. There are basically three modes on offer – Panning mode, Panning and Tilting mode, and Lock mode.
The former is ideal for panoramic shots since the camera follows you sideways in the direction you turn the handle. You do not have to worry about the frame shaking vertically any more.
The Panning and Tilting mode implies the camera will not only follow you towards left and right, but also tilt upwards and downwards.
This is the mode that allows you maximum freedom on all the axes of movement. The Lock mode is primarily a safety mode that makes the camera stay fixed in a single direction regardless of your movement.
Toggling between the modes is not a hassle either. On tap on the power button switches the gimbal between panning mode and lock mode. Two taps land you on Panning and Tilting mode. Three taps wake the camera up and rotate it by 180 degrees, while four taps help you reset the original position of the gimbal.
Interestingly, you must remember that you are bound to have different audio quality outputs with different cameras when you are using your gimbal.
You can try it out if you have a pair of action cameras at home, and check out the difference yourself. It’s entirely up to the camera manufactures about where they will be putting the microphones – an inconsistency that leads to varying degrees of success as this.
For instance, the GoPro Hero 5 Black has as many as three microphones, of which two are located on the sides. Provided you orient this camera on your gimbal in such a way that the microphones are pressed against the gimbal electronic pod, you will find that the audio quality has appallingly decreased.
Charging the Feiyu Tech G5
You will notice that your gimbal comes with two USB cables. One of them is for charging (it has a micro USB at one of the ends), and the other is a micro USB to mini USB cable that allows you to charge your camera with the help of the gimbal battery.
The Feiyu Tech G5 has a small USB port protected by a rubber seal covering, which looks at bit dangly, to be honest. It’s important to have a proper rubber seal if you want to take your gimbal out in the rain or you want to challenge its waterproofing capabilities.
If you have used gimbals before, you are probably aware that they can be pretty fickle when it comes to camera compatibility. You need to take into account the size and weight of the camera before you decide on a gimbal. Simply fitting the gimbal is not enough.
Your camera needs to have just enough space to tilt and rotate without hitting the corners of the gimbal. Counterbalancing the weight of the camera is also a significant factor.
It’s not without reason that the Feiyu Tech G5 provides you with two counterweights instead of one. You cannot use a camera that is either too heavy or too light.
The G5 officially claims to be compatible with GoPro Hero 3/3+, Hero 4 and Hero 5 action cameras along with Yi Cam 4K and a few AEEE cameras.
In case of Hero 5, you may need to use the small counterweight ring provided if you don’t want the device to tilt. There are two screws for holding the bracket together, and the camera usually fits perfectly.
Feiyu Tech G5 comes with two spare screws so that you don’t need to lose sweat if you end up losing the first two.
It is also important to know which cameras definitely do not fit in the G5 gimbal. This is, of course, not an exhaustive list, but if you own any of these cameras, it’s wiser to go for an alternative that works well with your piece.
– GoPro Hero Session (any variant)
– GoPro Hero 3/4 cameras inside waterproof cases
– GoPro Hero+ LCD or GoPro Base Hero (with case permanently attached)
– Sony Action Cameras
– Garmin VIRB X/XE
– Garmin VIRB Elite/Original
– TomTom Bandit action Cam
– Shimano action Cam
– Any Contour action cams
Additional Pros of Feiyu Tech G5
The Feiyu Tech G5 comes with two tripod mounts. You can attach the gimbal on any one of them and can control it remotely through the smartphone app. And yes, it’s completely free!
The app uses Bluetooth to connect to your gimbal, and lets you control all the modes and adjust the speed of the gimbal movement through your smartphone. The interface isn’t too flashy or attractive, but it serves its purpose alright.
Secondly, as mentioned earlier, the gimbal comes with a micro USB to mini USB cable that gives you a unique ability to charge your action camera with your gimbal battery without any hassle at all.
GoPro cameras are notoriously short on battery life, and this feature provides a great solution to the battery problem when you are on the move.
The battery is replaceable; so if you run out of juice (which should not happen, since Feiyu Tech claims its battery lasts around 8 hours), you can always replace it with a spare one.
The gimbal does not come with a wearable mounting system. But if you own a GoPro Karma Grip Ring for your old GoPro Karma Grip gimbal, it should work just fine with this gimbal too. In case you don’t own one, you can buy it at an exceptionally cheap price on the GoPro site.
The recordings are the best part of the Feiyu Tech G5 gimbal. Not only does it eliminate most of the minor shakes, but also ensures a cinematic, smooth footage.
Even if you are filming from a car via the smartphone app, the gimbal is bound to work perfectly well with a suction cup mount attached to the front tripod screw mount on it while facing forward.
It starts to shake a little when then you orient it sideways and clock high speeds, but remains fine at city speeds. If you are using a GoPro camera with the G5, your rolling angle will probably have a restriction of only 265 degrees instead of the standard 360 degrees, but chances are you are never going to have any issues with that.
Here’s a YouTube video review of the Feiyu Tech G5 Gimbal by Jeremy Sciarappa:
The Feiyu Tech G5 scores high marks on all the departments when compared to the high end competition from the GoPro Karma Grip and the Feiyu Tech Wearable WG Series gimbals.
Not only is it the most versatile gimbal out there in the market, but also the first splash-free one that supports a horde of recent action cameras. It has a smaller unit than the bulkier GoPro Karma Grip, and a much longer battery life.
The only disadvantage (if you can call it that) arises when you are willing to use the audio on your GoPro Hero 5 while shooting with this gimbal. But then, it’s not always that you need the audio, and even in such cases, you may use another camera anyway.
The ability to remote control after pairing up via Bluetooth is an excellent feature, as is the capability to charge your camera with the gimbal battery.
It is compatible with most of the recent cameras and works perfectly right out of the box. The easy control, the waterproofing, the neoprene carry pouch, and the nice packaging constitute all the reasons why you should be looking forward to buy this gimbal instead of its competitors.
The Feiyu Tech G5 gimbal is available on Amazon with a list of its specifications and features.
I hope you liked my Feiyu Tech G5 Gimbal Review. If you have any questions then please feel free to leave a comment in the comments section below 🙂