July 5, 2013

Extreme Sports Are About to Get Extremely Steady with STABiLGO Gyro-stabilizer for GoPro

STABiLGOI remember the first time I used a GoPro in a film. I was making a student documentary about roller derby and I got to strap one of those bad boys on the helmet of a delightful derby girl named Bullet Brains (Andromedolls fan here.) The footage was amazing because of the POV, but it was so shaky that you could barely watch it. Anyone who has ever tried to capture something on a GoPro knows this frustration, but there might be a solution to this problem: a handheld motorized GoPro stabilizer that uses a gyroscopic sensor and gimbal called STABiLGO. Hit the jump for more info.

Michael Boczon and Christine Reilly developed this stabilizer in their NYC apartment out of readily available and affordable materials.

-- our creative focus and ability to produce and direct our own projects has led us on many adventures. We both enjoy snowboarding, biking and visual arts.We set out to build a device that would help us better shoot the action sports we love to do.We didn’t imagine this as a mass-produced product until friends and bystanders saw us using it and encouraged us to share it with the community.

Boczon and Reilly have 15 years of cinematography and photography experience each, and decided to create a Kickstarter campaign for STABiLGO to raise funds to begin production on the units.

Check out the videos below to see what the STABiLGO can do:

Now, let me state the obvious -- the assumed purpose of a GoPro is to capture the action of a live scene, whether that's by jumping out of a plane or biking down a treacherous trail. A lot of the GoPro footage we see comes from the camera being attached to the person experiencing the action, which gives us, the audience, a rare 1st person experience. It doesn't look like you'll get that footage with the STABiLGO, because it's handheld.

But that doesn't mean that STABiLGO isn't filling a need somewhere. According to TechCrunch, "After STABiLGO went up on Kickstarter, six different groups reached out to say that Boczon had beaten them to the punch by only a few weeks."

Here are the specs straight from the STABiLGO website:

Specs

  •  Weight: 1.5lbs
  • Run Time: 90+ minutes on full charge, continuous usage
  • Roll angle limit: 2700
  • Pitch angle limit: 1800
  • Suitable payload: 120g-400g; width: 79mm max
  • Cameras known to fit: GoPro HERO2, HERO3
  • Power: LiPo battery- 7.4v 1000Mah 20c
  • Current: 160mA ~ 400mA
  • COG adjustment range: X: 27.5mm Y: 11.5mm Z: 35.5mm

Currently, and this might be a little hard to swallow, the suggested retail value for STABiLGO is $699. If you said, "Ouch!" I'm right there with you. However, it's currently available on Kickstarter for $600. (In all fairness, the reported cost of the prototype was $450.) I suppose it depends on how much you use a GoPro. Someone like me who rarely if ever uses one might find the price a little too high, whereas a person who does most of their filmmaking on one might find it reasonable. But, as these things tend to do, many more like it will flood the market and prices will start going down. Beta devices will be available as early as September 2013, and retail units by March 2014. (Currently, all of the Beta Testing perks for $1000+ donations are gone!)

What do you think about STABiLGO? Could you see yourself using a stabilizer like this? Is the price a deal breaker for you, or do you think it's reasonable? Is this unit a game changer? Let us know in the comments.

Links:

Your Comment

29 Comments

nope.

July 5, 2013 at 9:00AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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sjk

I've watched all of their footage, and there's an unnecessary amount of shake in all of it. The transitions might be smooth, but it's like someone with a neuromuscular disorder is holding the camera, and quivering, which makes the footage unusable in my mind.

I've seen gopros used for jib shots, on steadycams, etc... and they're stable. Not sure exactly what's wrong with this gyro, but it's a big nope for me as well.

July 5, 2013 at 9:40AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Scott

There is no Z axis stabilization so any panning shows up in it's whole, full glory. Disgusting.

July 5, 2013 at 5:10PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Tyler

YUN-1 with a handle how cheap ...at least they should have used one of the other more sturdier gimbal frames
http://fpvlab.com/forums/showthread.php?11971-First-Brushless-Gimbal-YUN...

July 5, 2013 at 10:30AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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PB

If it had the promise of firmware updates that would allow motion control mirroring of an iPhone device/Wii Remote via bluetooth, or time lapse motion control now we are talking about something interesting :)

July 5, 2013 at 10:35AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Goose

Way to shaky. Any skate vid with a simple glidecam like steady device looks smoother. And as mentioned above: This looks like they just attached a ready-made RC gimbal to a handle. Reminds me of those guys selling LED camping lights as on camera lights, because they found out you can stick it on your microphone...

July 5, 2013 at 10:42AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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SpartaBear

Olivia Speranza did just that - an electric skateboard + a hand-held stabilizer and it looked pretty good. The video is somewhere on YouTube.

July 5, 2013 at 1:45PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DLD

hey guys, this Japanese guy's stuff is MUCH MUCH smoother than STABiLGO :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewMNU-vtdAs

July 5, 2013 at 11:18AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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farbeyond

In agreement with whats above: the footage is too shaky. That, and the fact they took an existing product and put it on a stick (without credit or mention of the original manufacturer) is not helping their cause any.

July 5, 2013 at 11:21AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Brett

They didn't "develop" anything. They're reselling another companies aviation gimbal, sticking it on a (also repackaged) pole, and charging a 300$ price premium.

July 5, 2013 at 11:50AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Jason

I wonder how the regular footage would look after being post stabilized?

The problem with the GoPro is that it's so light that it doesn't resist any movement. So although the device certainly works, a heavier camera, or GoPro with added weight, will be smoother. Add post stabilizing and it would be an interesting contest.

Part of the success of the GoPro is that it IS so light, that it can safely be used in many situations where the average user shouldn't use a heavier device.

July 5, 2013 at 11:53AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Mako

and his (that Japanese guy who shot that temple) rig looks MUCH NICER than STABiLGO :)
http://tkysstd.com/wp/?p=6400
*it's Japanese blog but you will see his rig.

July 5, 2013 at 12:02PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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farbeyond

Thanks for posting! The video looked, see what he was using is better.

July 5, 2013 at 2:24PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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c.d.embrey

never buy 1st generation gear, wait a bit and both the price will drop and the quality will increase

July 5, 2013 at 1:55PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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blackespresso

It's the operator, stupid. Way back at the begining of sk8t videos talented operators were getting steady footage using a Sony PD150 http://gdgt.com/sony/dvcam/dsr-pd150/

They'ed use the top-handle, carrying it like a lunch-box. Using this technique they could go from ground-level to to shoulder-height in a smooth move.

NO Expensive-Gadgets needed.

July 5, 2013 at 2:41PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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c.d.embrey

You are so right.

July 5, 2013 at 3:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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marklondon

This is a classic case of two NYers knowing their market, and how to generate some pub. No way I would buy that for my GP3 at that price. But hey, if you have the money.....
I do think we'll see many more of these shortly for the GP3, GH3 and the Pocket Cinema Camera.

July 5, 2013 at 4:01PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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marklondon

They want 100k to get that going? the footage looked terrible, and they are selling them for 550 dollars ... just get a glidecam. I used to get smoother footage when riding a skateboard without a glidecam... just dont understand why its so shaky

July 5, 2013 at 6:38PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Andy

Wow, these guys got beat-the-hell-up on NFS...haha. Well onto the next indie filmmaker website I guess.

I agree with everyone here, its to shaky and regardless there are soooo many more better and cheaper options out there.

July 5, 2013 at 6:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Skeptic

By the time sodom and gomorrah get these things rolling out these things will already be $50 on the street. No joke, you can get the entire thing for just over $100 right now!

http://www.goodluckbuy.com/dji-phantom-brushless-gimbal-camera-mount-w-m...

So just stick this thing on a bike grip and you have the same basic thing... or better. Use your imagination!

July 5, 2013 at 8:31PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Pho

It's a 2-axis, not a 3-axis unit. Keep that in mind folks!

July 6, 2013 at 12:12AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ben Prater

that still doesn`t make the image steadiness better. if it looks as awful like in the video, they better offer a 3-axis thing.

July 6, 2013 at 7:53AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Mariano

Footage is way too shaky. But I particularly don't like the way she looks into the cheap ass teleprompter just above the camera. He was actually able to memorize some of the lines, but the way she looks. Nah, not giving her my dough...

July 8, 2013 at 3:37AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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$700 kit to stabilze a $300 camera? Is its stabilization really that good? Definitely not for small indies like me!

July 8, 2013 at 11:51AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Way way way over priced. Google FPV

Stabilizing GoPros is getting pretty common and can be easily accomplished for $200.

July 11, 2013 at 3:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Mike P

Seriously, just watched the video. I can not believe anyone is trying to kick start thing at that price.
Don't be stupid;

http://www.rctimer.com/index.php?gOo=goods_details.dwt&goodsid=912&produ...
http://www.rctimer.com/index.php?gOo=goods_details.dwt&goodsid=884&produ...

There is nothing to 'develop' here.

$200 and will better than whatever these guys come up with, for GoPro or Nex, and many others. I'm looking into an XA-10 on it.

July 11, 2013 at 3:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Mike P

http://igg.me/at/gyromatic/x/4183306 still a few little bumps but they are on skateboards lol.. the boat and car look cool .. looks way nicer and you can charge the bloodything

August 2, 2013 at 2:55AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Tony

It is mentioned that one of the targets for this rig is, "biking down a treacherous trail". However, no footage of this scenario was shown or demonstrated in any way. Please post some information related to how to accomplish this. Thank you!

September 24, 2013 at 7:01PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Has anyone tried this stabilizer onboard a motorcycle? I'm looking for a image stabilizer to install on the tank of my bike... but have not find anything so far that works decently. The DJI gimbals are too expensive for what they do, and also tried a Feiyu gyro, but did not work well. I'm looking for a good decent system.... has anyone heard of this www.darewarelabs.com ? They are apparently doing something similar.... any feedback?

April 8, 2015 at 10:35AM, Edited April 8, 10:35AM

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