Feiyu G4 Pro iPhone Gimbal – Pros & Cons

By August 5, 2016 Reviews, Video

Feiyu G4 Pro 3-Axis Gimbal

Compatibility – iPhone 5, 6, 6 Plus, 6S and devices of a similar weight and dimension.
Price – £250
Availability – Sold by Apple.

What’s In The Video?

The video is an unboxing and simple overview of what you get and very roughly how it works. It does not contain sample footage.

What’s In The Post?

This post looks at my thoughts on the product a week after purchase and lists the pros and cons that I have observed. I must warn you at this point that I have now returned the product for a full refund for a few reasons which I will list below.

 Feiyu G4 Pro RearFeiyu G4 Pro Rear

Pros:

  • Most importantly, this does what it should and does it well. Give yourself a day to get used to how it works and you can produce some stunning footage. In fact, the results are usually much nicer to watch back than you expect when filming.
  • Compact and lightweight design. If anything, the more favourable holding position when using this makes filming for longer periods more achievable.
  • Easy switching between modes with visual indication of which mode it’s in so you can tell what you’re doing.
  • Very quiet operation which is essential as this is both in contact with the device and very close to the mics on the phone (not a problem for external audio recording).
  • Great build quality. The Feiyu G4 Pro has a full metal construction right down to the battery tube. It has the feel of a Maglite torch when fitting the batteries. Very nice.
  • Joystick and power / mode button appear to be weather sealed giving confidence that this could be used in bad weather. You probably wouldn’t want to get your phone wet though.
  • Provided with 2 sets of battery and an external charger allowing easy continuous power.
  • Uses standard mini-USB port for charging allowing use of powerbanks and phone chargers.

Cons:

  • It’s expensive. Very expensive in my opinion. That’s fine if it’s totally fit for purpose but the reason I returned the item was because of the below issues against the high price.
  • The G4 Pro cannot really hold an iPhone in any kind of case. I use my phone in a case and even after 2 days of use, it just proved too much of a pain to remove it each time I wanted to film something using the gimbal. Fine if your filming is planned but not for the spur of the moment filming I was hoping to do with this.
  • The gimbal does have an inversion mode to film yourself and you can use the secondary camera. It works very well but the phone is always the wrong way round when doing this type of filming. So when you invert it, you are filming upside down. An iPhone will cope with this fine but if sending to a different device, it may display upside down.
  • Handling controls on the phone once the gimbal is powered on is really quite a pain. When you’re used to the sheer convenience of an iPhone or the full controls of a professional camera, this is just awkward.
  • In some (though not often), the gimbal can start twitching as it doesn’t quite know where it’s supposed to be and it starts almost fighting you. This can be stopped by holding it tight but it’s still annoying.
  • It’s just not convenient to carry. It will go flat (it’s packaged this way but it does feel like a puzzle to get it back to this). It’s still a little long meaning that I found I was leaving it behind. Again it’s just a battle against that sheer convenience of filming with a phone that is always in your pocket.

The overall problem here for me was that having to consider another piece of hardware when filming on the iPhone broke the whole point of why I do it. Convenience and simplicity. I thought the size would work but it didn’t. I can decide to film and be doing so within 10 seconds. With the Feiyu, I have to unpack it, take my phone out of the case, fit it to the gimbal, power up, line it up and shoot. Well over a minute. Not good enough. Also, once you venture into improving video on the phone, you want better control of the device and better audio. Filmic Pro is an app that can offer more control but it’s unreliable at best (not something to cover here). You just end up wishing for the professional camera controls again.

For now, at least, my iPhone filming will remain the amateur, spur of the moment filming that makes it useful to me. The Feiyu G4 Pro is great if you are willing to use it as it works very well indeed. I would highly recommend it for GoPro cameras (the G4 Plus is available for GoPro devices for a much lower price of about £170), With a GoPro, you’re usually always considering a mount of some kind so fitting it to a gimbal rather than a suction cup or helmet mount is just a normal step. For iPhone, it just wasn’t for me.

Let me know your thoughts on the device and where you use it. Feel free to post examples of your footage as I feel that although my experience wasn’t too positive, the results that can be achieved with this device deserve promoting.

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