Shenzhen firm Snoppa Technology Company has integrated some innovative features to their Snoppa Go action cam stabilizer, which works with a wide variety of cameras.
Nothing is quite as frustrating as a killer accessory that makes your camera obsolete. While the GoPro Karma grip stabilizer is incredibly exciting, it only works with the GoPro Hero5, the Hero5 session, and the GoPro Hero4. If you are one of the millions with a Hero3, or a GoPro competitor with a similar body style like the Yi, you will likely have fiddle quite a bit to get your camera to work with the Karma grip, if at all. However, if all you want is stabilization without the drone features, Snoppa has a stabilizer that will work with just about any camera with a design similar to the, including older GoPros.
The unit has a few key features that might satisfy your needs for smooth action cam footage. The first major standout is the 2.4Ghz wireless control stick, available for an additional $30. This allows for one operator to worry about the pan, tilt and rotate (monitoring remotely on a phone or tablet), while the other operator focuses on moving the camera physically through space. Alternately, it could allow for the Go to be hard mounted in remote locations, such as the roof of a car, and operated remotely. However, the lack of mounting points on the Go makes this option less likely.
Snoppa also offers the hard-mount targeting Cavalry at a similar price point, designed specifically for mounting to objects like bicycles for stabilization, though I can't help but wish they had designed the Go itself to be more easily mounted and not bothered with the Cavalry at all. The remote stick serves a similar purpose to the Kamerar cable remote for the DJI Osmo, allowing for use of the thumb toggle controls from a distance. It has the added flexibility of wireless data transmission.
The other feature that makes this particular stabilizer stand out is the integrated LED light. On board lighting tends to be a tricky issue, since a small, hard light coming from near the camera lens is not generally considered the most flattering light for your subjects, or the most natural-feeling for the audience. However, with an action camera, the ability to expose your foreground subject at night can be a big plus. There will likely be some pretty interesting night exterior and interior shots lit off a combination of this LED and practicals that justify its existence, especially since attaching an LED to a stabilized rig would be difficult due to issues of balance and power. Therefore, integrating it directly into the unit seems like a worthwhile feature. Snoppa also made the handle battery interchangeable, offering longer shoot times, and enable GoPro Hero4s to be charged from the handle, making power management simpler over a long shoot.
Snoppa appears to be a very, very young company; their community forum only has 3 posts, the oldest of which is from nine days ago, and their first YouTube video was only posted three months ago. So, while you can definitely save money by going this direction as opposed to a more established brand like DJI or GoPro, things like build quality and customer support are unknown. On the flip side, the rubber coating for the handle is available in multiple colors, which is kind of cool.
The Snoppa Go, designed for high quality action cameras, is available from Amazon. Snoppa is currently running an IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign for the M1, designed to stabilize smartphone cameras, which is targeting a final $99 price point, coming in around a third of the cost of the equivalent DJI Osmo mobile.
- 295 gram weight
- TF/microSD card slot
- Micro-USB charge and update port
- 3400mAh Li-Po battery, rechargeable and replaceable
- 5V input voltage, 4.2V output voltage (charge GoPro)
- Connection socket for GoPro Hero4 camera
- 330° tilt range, 120° pan axis, 76° roll axis