GoPros have become a must-have for content creators and sport enthusiasts in the past decade.
Since GoPro and similar action cameras exploded in popularity in 2007, the demand for high quality accessories has grown accordingly. As a result, we have all been lucky enough to witness some truly amazing videos on Youtube and elsewhere online.
Gimbals - in particular 3-axis gimbal stabilizers have made many of these hard-to-capture shots much easier to view smoothly even with heavy cameras like DSLRs.
There is a clear advantage to using a good gimbal with your action camera while you are on the move. If you are a content creator, both of these items should be in your YouTube tool kit.
Here is a summary of the best GoPro Gimbals available today.
Best Gimbals for GoPro
A note about the GoPro Karma Grip
It may seem strange that we are not including GoPro's own official gimbal, the GoPro Karma Grip on this list. Given its official branding and higher than average price point, we had high expectations, but were dissapointed due to battery and connectivity issues that many others have also faced. Until those issues are resolved, we recommend the top 5 3-axis GoPro gimbals on this list instead.
What is a gimbal?
A gimbal is a device that is attached to your camera and allows you to rotate your camera easily, making it much easier to catch those GoPro action shots that you are probably looking for without too much bouncing and shaking. Using a 3 axis gimbal can help create smooth, high-quality videos while you are moving around on foot, or even on a moving vechicle.
Check out this video from Paul Laycock what a difference a gimbal can make in a shaky situation like skiing:
Without a stabilizer, you are forced to try to hold the camera as steady as possible, but it is almost impossible to prevent the shakiness that comes with that. If your goal is building consistent YouTuber viewers then it is important to have eye pleasing videos that look at least somewhat professional.
Who should use a gimbal?
Anyone who wants to record better looking action videos, vlogs, or cinematic YouTube videos. Most content creators who move about from place to place in different scenarios can likely benefit from pairing their action camera with a stabilizer. Travel vloggers in particular can set up their content quality.
A gimbal allows you to capture video that you probably would not be able to obtain by yourself otherwise. Capturing shots with a gimbal also tends to make the editing process a lot easier because the original versions are already so unique and well-shot; reducing the need to add lots of special effects post-production.
What are the most important features to consider?
Since there are so many possibilities and situations where one may want to use a GoPro, different gimbals will likely continue to be developed and improved specific to different uses. Therefore, it is not a bad idea to take your time and do your research before making your purchase so that you are more likely to find exactly what you need.
3 axis or 2?
GoPro gimbals either use a 2-axis or 3-axis system to stabilize the camera. 3-Axis gimbals provide superior stabilization and therefore a better shot. But they are also heavier, draw more power, and more expensive than 2-axis gimbals. Since we are looking for the best GoPro gimbal on the market, we have only suggeted 3-axis stabilizers for this list.
Most gimbals offer several shooting modes that you can choose from to manipulate their reaction to certain movements and actions. Make sure that the gimbal you choose is capable of capturing what you wish to record.
You probably want to consider what material the gimbal is made out of. Are the stabilization motors strong enough to keep the camera stable during extreme situations and to allow the attachment of various GoPro accessories?
The featured mount will determine how easy it will be for you to attach your new gimbal to a GoPro. Mounts are designed differently for each use case whether it be biking, watersports, etc.
Our Top Pick!
Mountable with excellent video quality
Compatible with most action cams & accessories
Great results for older GoPros
GoPro Gimbal Reviews
FeiyuTech G5 [Top Pick]
3-axis gimbal stabilizers can be notoriously fragile, but the G5 holds its own in a variety of conditions.
In addition to durability, this gimbal performs well in every major category. Battery life is solid, and the videos look fantastic.
Here is an example from Martin Kristofik who shows off some stellar footage with the G5 and his GoPro Hero4.
If this is your first time using a gimbal for your GoPro, then the G5 is a good option. It is relatively easy to set up and use with just a couple of simple buttons and a 4-way joystick that gives you plenty of control of the video that you wil shoot.
Unlike the EVO, this model does have a remote that is wirelessly connected via Bluetooth and has a 10-meter range. If you don’t have your remote handy, the gimbal can also be controlled by using the smartphone app, though it is not as responsive.
Here is some sample footage and an overview from DAVODAYS.
For dryland filming, this is our top pick, however if you keep your GoPro in a protective case or would like to use this gimbal near water then this is probably not the model for you. In that case you should pick up the waterproof
The Turn Back Mode will quickly rotate the camera 180 degrees to either face the subject or to show what the subject is looking at; depending on where the camera is originally facing.
The four-way thumbstick allows the user full control over the pan, tilt, and roll axes. This should make shooting in tight spaces much easier and give you the ability to create some unique angles.
For many people, the design makes all the difference. If design and packaging are important to you then you will probably apprecaite the EVO GP-Pro. It is built with 'aircraft-grade' aluminum that is very solidly built while keeping a light body and slick looking design.
Unlike other gimbals, this model does not require any additional configuration; it is ready to use out of the box. It also has a 3.5mm AN output port so you can monitor what is being recorded.
One thing to be aware of is the audio - this is a relatively noisy gimbal, and it is likely that your GoPro will pick up that sound during recording. If you are going to record a voiceover with your home microphone or play music on the video then it is no issue. However if you want the original audio, you will definitely notice it.
This light weight action camera gimbal is quite impressive with solid all around performance. Video is smooth, the build is solid, and the battery life is sound.
Once you are using this stabilzier with your GoPro, you will likely be pleased with the results, but it can be a challenge to get started. The included instructions aren't the best, and support online is limited when compared to other top gimbals.
However if you are looking for a relative bargain in terms of quality, this is a good choice because of the high quality you are getting at a more budget price.
The 1/4”-20 screw thread at the bottom of this gimbal allows you to mount the Z1 to various mounts, extension rods, and accessories. Attaching a viewfinder to the 3.5mm AV port on the side allows you to catch a real-time image.
You have some nice flexibility with this model in terms of batteries. The two types of batteries this gimbal is compatible with, give you an option of choosing between longer battery life and a lighter carry. The 18650 batteries, which provide a 12H run-time are a lot bulkier and heavier than the 18350 option.
You also have teh option of charging your GoPro's battery with its built-in charging cable if need be.
This is probably the right model for someone that wants something well designed and easy to use; the 4-way joystick will probably be intuitive to most of you.
With that said, the big shortcoming of the Z1 is that if you have the newer GoPro Hero 5, then that will not fit in this gimbal. It is great for older models, but unfortunately not newer ones. Z1 is one of the pricier models, so this is likely the best option for someone who wants professional quality and doesn’t mind paying for it.
That concludes our list of the top 5 best gimbals for GoPro. Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments, and we will update any time we learn about good new stabilizers!