First look: Rigiet iPhone camera gimbal is an affordable way to stabilize video recordings...

Posted:
in iPhone edited April 2017
Before its crowdfunding campaign kicked off on Tuesday, AppleInsider had the opportunity to go hands-on with Rigiet, a new iPhone-compatible camera gimbal offering super-smooth video recording at a budget price.




The closest competitor to the Rigiet is the DJI Osmo Mobile, which debuted last fall. But the Osmo Mobile carries a $299 price tag, while Rigiet is planned to cost just $189 at retail.

Starting Tuesday, Rigiet is offering early adopters the chance to get in at an even lower price, as cheap as $129, through its Kickstarter campaign. AppleInsider went hands-on with a fully functional prototype of the Rigiet ahead of the crowdfunding campaign, which aims to raise $30,000 and begin shipping units to backers as soon as May.


The Rigiet works with a wide variety of smartphones, including Apple's entire current iPhone lineup. We tested it with an iPhone SE.

To offset the weight of an iPhone and offer smooth recording, a gimbal must be counterweighted accordingly. On some products, this requires calibration for different models.

The Rigiet gets around this in an interesting way, requiring users to balance the handset themselves across the X axis. This is accomplished with a secure clamp --simply press the iPhone as far into the clamp as necessary to ensure it is balanced, then turn on the unit. If inserted properly, you can begin shooting immediately.




In all, we had no major problems setting up the Rigiet and getting it to operate as you'd expect. In some of our tests, our iPhone SE was stabilized with a slight tilt to the right -- something noticeable that we could offset by adjusting the grip. Considering the hardware we tested was a prototype, we hope these minor issues would be sorted out by product launch.

The device also offers iOS integration via a dedicated app, available for free on the App Store. The app connects to the Rigiet via Bluetooth, giving users the option of physical controls while shooting.




One of the biggest features of the Rigiet is something the company has dubbed "Seamless Position Switch," allowing users to switch between standard, portrait, and underslung mode. This makes it exceptionally easy to move the gimbal around and get the shot you want.

Fine tuning is also available when adjusting the position by hand, which involves simply turning the gimbal itself. In addition, a joystick on the gimbal's handle lets users plan and adjust the phone direction while filming.




The handle also features a "mode button" that lets users switch between pan and tilt, lock, or pan.

Shooting can also be adjusted through the camera control button, which can be pressed down to switch between various shooting modes. Thanks to the Bluetooth connection, this adjusts the settings accordingly in the Rigiet app, though it should be noted that such controls (including stop-start recording) are not functional with Apple's own Camera app.

We've tested other iPhone camera products that offer good hardware but are hampered by exceptionally poor software. In its current state, Rigiet app is one of the better third-party accessory applications we have tested, though still not as easy to use as Apple's Camera app.




Pressing the camera control button up switches between front and rear camera, holding it up is planned to allow zooming out, and holding down for zooming in. These physical controls are far more favorable than interacting with the iPhone's touchscreen when shooting on the gimbal.

The Rigiet also boasts compatibility with tripods, and even includes a Lightning to micro USB cable that allows an iPhone to be charged while the gimbal itself is charged. It should be noted that the cable received with our prototype had pin connectors on only one side of the Lightning plug.




Considering Rigiet is seeking financial backing to come to market, we were pleasantly surprised how functional both the hardware and app are at this point in their pre-release stage. That said, readers should be cautioned that crowdfunding campaigns are known to miss deadlines or sometimes not ship at all. AppleInsider has a policy to only cover crowdfunded products if hands-on time with the hardware is available, as in this case.

In all, we came away impressed with the advance hardware --Rigiet looks to deliver a solid accessory and functionality as promised, all in a competitively priced package. Interested parties can back the device on Kickstarter now.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 422member
    Isn't a gimbal supposed to eliminate the bounce caused by walking/running? This one doesn't seem to do that.
    edited April 2017
  • Reply 2 of 21
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,161member
    Watching the video, the Rigiet doesn't look like a very good gimbal. It shouldn't be bouncing around when you walk. A good gimbal like the DJI Osmo or Feiyu Tech G4 are both completely smooth and stable while walking and recording. 
    edited April 2017
  • Reply 3 of 21
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,183member
    igorsky said:
    Isn't a gimbal supposed to eliminate the bounce caused by walking/running? This one doesn't seem to do that.
    That's not what a gimbal does. A gimbal only provides a specific style of rotation on an axis. You're talking about stabilization and this story makes no mention of gyroscopic or other forms of stabilization.
  • Reply 4 of 21
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,183member
    Watching the video, the Rigiet doesn't look like a very good gimbal. It shouldn't be bouncing around when you walk. A good gimbal like the DJI Osmo or Feiyu Tech G4 are both completely smooth and stable while walking and recording. 
    As I mentioned above, that's not what a gimbal does.
  • Reply 5 of 21
    larz2112larz2112 Posts: 286member
    igorsky said:
    Isn't a gimbal supposed to eliminate the bounce caused by walking/running? This one doesn't seem to do that.
    That's not what a gimbal does. A gimbal only provides a specific style of rotation on an axis. You're talking about stabilization and this story makes no mention of gyroscopic or other forms of stabilization.
    Well, the headline does read "affordable way to stabilize video recordings...", so one would expect the sample video to exhibit that. If you're looking for stabilization, you can get a Steadicam Smoothee for under ninety bucks.

    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 6 of 21
    irelandireland Posts: 17,616member
    Drop the 'e', Rigit (as is rigid) is a better name.
    jblongzargonaut
  • Reply 7 of 21
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,596member
    larz2112 said:
    igorsky said:
    Isn't a gimbal supposed to eliminate the bounce caused by walking/running? This one doesn't seem to do that.
    That's not what a gimbal does. A gimbal only provides a specific style of rotation on an axis. You're talking about stabilization and this story makes no mention of gyroscopic or other forms of stabilization.
    Well, the headline does read "affordable way to stabilize video recordings...", so one would expect the sample video to exhibit that. If you're looking for stabilization, you can get a Steadicam Smoothee for under ninety bucks.

    Have you ever seen most people's cell phone videos, they are pointing everywhere but at the subject they intend to record. For them it could help stabilize their videos.

    But, even your example does not have gyroscopic stabilization either. It uses a poor man's counter balance method, and giving a little more weight to the phone which helps the human body self stabilize. When I shoot pictures I personally like a heaver camera, it allow me to control the motion better. Humans have a very poor feedback mechanism with light objects, the heaver the object the better the human does with balance and stabilization.

    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 8 of 21
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,596member
    I do not know about others, but every time I hear about these kickstarter products, I just worry they will never deliver on their promises. Yeah there are successes but most fail to deliver a final product leaving those who pay up front without a product. I guess it makes some people feel good trying to help out.
    edited April 2017 SpamSandwichpscooter63
  • Reply 9 of 21
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,161member
    Watching the video, the Rigiet doesn't look like a very good gimbal. It shouldn't be bouncing around when you walk. A good gimbal like the DJI Osmo or Feiyu Tech G4 are both completely smooth and stable while walking and recording. 
    As I mentioned above, that's not what a gimbal does.
    That's exactly what a gimbal does. The whole point of a gimbal is for stabilization. They are supposed to remain horizontal regardless of motion. If you are walking down the street like in the video, the axis should tilt so you don't see up and down motion. That's why I say this gimbal isn't very good. I can walk down the street and film with a DJI Osmo or Feiyu Tech G4 and there is no bouncing at all. 


  • Reply 10 of 21
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,183member
    maestro64 said:
    I do not know about others, but every time I hear about these kickstarter products, I just worry they will never deliver on their promises. Yeah there are successes but most fail to deliver a final product leaving those who pay up front without a product. I guess it makes some people feel good trying to help out.
    That's why I like the idea of a Kickstarter as proof of concept instead of the actual means of funding. If a Kickstarter is successful the people organizing the project should seek additional rounds of funding and hire the best people available to secure IP rights, perform product engineering, design and eventual manufacturing and fulfillment.
    edited April 2017
  • Reply 11 of 21
    larz2112larz2112 Posts: 286member
    maestro64 said:
    larz2112 said:
    igorsky said:
    Isn't a gimbal supposed to eliminate the bounce caused by walking/running? This one doesn't seem to do that.
    That's not what a gimbal does. A gimbal only provides a specific style of rotation on an axis. You're talking about stabilization and this story makes no mention of gyroscopic or other forms of stabilization.
    Well, the headline does read "affordable way to stabilize video recordings...", so one would expect the sample video to exhibit that. If you're looking for stabilization, you can get a Steadicam Smoothee for under ninety bucks.

    Have you ever seen most people's cell phone videos, they are pointing everywhere but at the subject they intend to record. For them it could help stabilize their videos.

    But, even your example does not have gyroscopic stabilization either. It uses a poor man's counter balance method, and giving a little more weight to the phone which helps the human body self stabilize. When I shoot pictures I personally like a heaver camera, it allow me to control the motion better. Humans have a very poor feedback mechanism with light objects, the heaver the object the better the human does with balance and stabilization.

    Gyroscopic stabilization is in another price range. My point was that if you want something on the cheap, in my opinion the Steadicam Smoothee does just as good of a job, if not better than the Rigiet, and you can buy a Smoothee right now for significantly less than the cost of the Rigiet. I don't really see that this Rigiet product offers anything more than what is already available at an equal or lower price.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 12 of 21
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,161member
    larz2112 said:
    maestro64 said:
    larz2112 said:
    igorsky said:
    Isn't a gimbal supposed to eliminate the bounce caused by walking/running? This one doesn't seem to do that.
    That's not what a gimbal does. A gimbal only provides a specific style of rotation on an axis. You're talking about stabilization and this story makes no mention of gyroscopic or other forms of stabilization.
    Well, the headline does read "affordable way to stabilize video recordings...", so one would expect the sample video to exhibit that. If you're looking for stabilization, you can get a Steadicam Smoothee for under ninety bucks.

    Have you ever seen most people's cell phone videos, they are pointing everywhere but at the subject they intend to record. For them it could help stabilize their videos.

    But, even your example does not have gyroscopic stabilization either. It uses a poor man's counter balance method, and giving a little more weight to the phone which helps the human body self stabilize. When I shoot pictures I personally like a heaver camera, it allow me to control the motion better. Humans have a very poor feedback mechanism with light objects, the heaver the object the better the human does with balance and stabilization.

    Gyroscopic stabilization is in another price range. My point was that if you want something on the cheap, in my opinion the Steadicam Smoothee does just as good of a job, if not better than the Rigiet, and you can buy a Smoothee right now for significantly less than the cost of the Rigiet. I don't really see that this Rigiet product offers anything more than what is already available at an equal or lower price.
    I tried the Seadicam Smoothee and I didn't like it at all. It doesn't work very well with larger phones like the iPhone 7 Plus. I could never get it to balance. 
  • Reply 13 of 21
    I own the Zhiyun Smooth Q and paid $139 on Amazon. It's a 3-Axis gimbal with 12 hour battery life. It can charge a cell phone and can be charged via USB. It can be controlled via Bluetooth with an app. It compares well with DJ Osmo and out does it on battery life, flexibility and especially price. I looked at both and they we're too close in features and functionally to justify paying twice the price for the DJ Osmo. Oh, and it can be mounted directly on a tripod. Take a look at the Smooth Q before deciding. 
  • Reply 14 of 21
    larz2112larz2112 Posts: 286member
    boltsfan17 said:
    I tried the Seadicam Smoothee and I didn't like it at all. It doesn't work very well with larger phones like the iPhone 7 Plus. I could never get it to balance. 
    Understood. No product is for everyone. In my opinion, the video footage shot using the Rigiet is no more fluid or smooth that video shot using similar, currently available, less expensive products. Hell, I've even seen DIY rigs that produce similar results.
  • Reply 15 of 21
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,183member
    jregooden said:
    I own the Zhiyun Smooth Q and paid $139 on Amazon. It's a 3-Axis gimbal with 12 hour battery life. It can charge a cell phone and can be charged via USB. It can be controlled via Bluetooth with an app. It compares well with DJ Osmo and out does it on battery life, flexibility and especially price. I looked at both and they we're too close in features and functionally to justify paying twice the price for the DJ Osmo. Oh, and it can be mounted directly on a tripod. Take a look at the Smooth Q before deciding. 
    Know what the Coen brothers used when they shot the "Steadicam" sequences in their movie "Blood Simple"? They secured the camera to a wooden plank and had two people hold it for stability!
    edited April 2017 larz2112
  • Reply 16 of 21
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,596member
    larz2112 said:
    maestro64 said:
    larz2112 said:
    igorsky said:
    Isn't a gimbal supposed to eliminate the bounce caused by walking/running? This one doesn't seem to do that.
    That's not what a gimbal does. A gimbal only provides a specific style of rotation on an axis. You're talking about stabilization and this story makes no mention of gyroscopic or other forms of stabilization.
    Well, the headline does read "affordable way to stabilize video recordings...", so one would expect the sample video to exhibit that. If you're looking for stabilization, you can get a Steadicam Smoothee for under ninety bucks.

    Have you ever seen most people's cell phone videos, they are pointing everywhere but at the subject they intend to record. For them it could help stabilize their videos.

    But, even your example does not have gyroscopic stabilization either. It uses a poor man's counter balance method, and giving a little more weight to the phone which helps the human body self stabilize. When I shoot pictures I personally like a heaver camera, it allow me to control the motion better. Humans have a very poor feedback mechanism with light objects, the heaver the object the better the human does with balance and stabilization.

    Gyroscopic stabilization is in another price range. My point was that if you want something on the cheap, in my opinion the Steadicam Smoothee does just as good of a job, if not better than the Rigiet, and you can buy a Smoothee right now for significantly less than the cost of the Rigiet. I don't really see that this Rigiet product offers anything more than what is already available at an equal or lower price.

    I never used one, so take this with that in mind. You only get what you pay for. Many time if it cost less it probably does less or does not do it as well. One using a counter balancing weight is subject to the pendulum effect, the one in this article is using a motor of some sort so it may have a better control and feedback loop then your human arm has. From the video, I say it does well compare do those very high end models which cost thousands that professional use.
  • Reply 17 of 21
    jregooden said:
    I own the Zhiyun Smooth Q and paid $139 on Amazon. It's a 3-Axis gimbal with 12 hour battery life. It can charge a cell phone and can be charged via USB. It can be controlled via Bluetooth with an app. It compares well with DJ Osmo and out does it on battery life, flexibility and especially price. I looked at both and they we're too close in features and functionally to justify paying twice the price for the DJ Osmo. Oh, and it can be mounted directly on a tripod. Take a look at the Smooth Q before deciding. 
    Know what the Coen brothers used when they shot the "Steadicam" sequences in their movie "Blood Simple"? They secured the camera to a wooden plank and had two people hold it for stability!
    That must have cost them an arm and leg. 😀
  • Reply 18 of 21
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,183member
    jregooden said:
    jregooden said:
    I own the Zhiyun Smooth Q and paid $139 on Amazon. It's a 3-Axis gimbal with 12 hour battery life. It can charge a cell phone and can be charged via USB. It can be controlled via Bluetooth with an app. It compares well with DJ Osmo and out does it on battery life, flexibility and especially price. I looked at both and they we're too close in features and functionally to justify paying twice the price for the DJ Osmo. Oh, and it can be mounted directly on a tripod. Take a look at the Smooth Q before deciding. 
    Know what the Coen brothers used when they shot the "Steadicam" sequences in their movie "Blood Simple"? They secured the camera to a wooden plank and had two people hold it for stability!
    That must have cost them an arm and leg. 😀
    No, just a (tree) limb.  :p
  • Reply 19 of 21
    Then the two humans were free? 😂
  • Reply 20 of 21
    OT, but are there any good zoom lenses for the iPhone 7 Plus? I think OlloClip has a 2x zoom. I've seen some with ridiculous magnification factors that would obviously be crap.
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