GoPro Gimbal Review – The Evo SS Gimbal

Travis Gneiting Reviews


Features

  • Mount options for GoPro Hero 5, Garmin Virb Ultra 30 & GoPro Session Cameras Supports, GoPro 3, 3+, Silver, Black, Sessions (With adapter), SJ4000, Xiao YI, and many more
  • Compatible with GoPro LCD back pack or battery back pack
  • Precision Stabilization Accuracy of ±0.01°
  • Works fast out of the box
  • Integrated 3.5 mm A/V output port for external monitor or recording
  • Built in 1/4-20″ threaded base for tripod mounting
  • Supplement your GoPro’s battery with included charging cable (Only for GoPro with Mini USB, not Micro USB)
  • Up to 5 hours of extended battery life
  • Supports wireless control through Bluetooth connection of phone or remote control
  • 5 Modes – Heading Follow Mode, Heading Lock Mode, Heading & Pitch Follow Mode, Inverted Mode, New Turn Back Mode
  • 3-Axis brushless motors
  • Multiple Shooting Modes: Pan Follow Mode, Pan Lock Mode, Pan/Pitch Follow Mode, Inverted Mode and NEW Turn Back Mode.
  • Warranty: Backed by a 1 Year USA Parts and Labor Warranty, Not an overseas warranty that takes months to get resolved

The EVO SS 3 axis wearable gimbal allows you to effortlessly shoot silky smooth video with your action camera. If you have watched much of your footage from your POV camera, you know why you might want something you make your video less nauseating. The EVO SS works with a wide range of popular action cameras such as the GoPro, Garmin Virb, and other action sports cameras.

The EVO SS gimbal is very versatile, it can be mounted to any 1/4-20 tripod mount, also paired with GoPro mounts.  It includes an extendable pole that is the perfect size for packing and extending for smooth gliding shots.  The gimbal is also equipped with Bluetooth for connecting to iPhone or Android phones to remote control the gimbal.  However, we like to use our phone to preview out GoPro framing, so we opted to use the new EVO Bluetooth remote control.

Some other great features include a 3.5 mm AV output for external monitor.

The available modes provide a handful of options to lock some motors, while smoothing out other motions.  It’s nice if you are trying to get a periscope view while keeping the framed shot level, or other times you might want to tilt up to the top of a tree, you can use a setting to smooth out tilting.  Another nice feature is the ability to lock the position by just holding it in the spot you want it to start stabilizing from.  It will lock this the angle and work to retain this position.  Lastly, there is a selfie mode with 3 clicks on the mode button the gimbal rotates around to point at you, or film behind you for some nice chase scenes.

Performance

The performance of the EVO SS gimbal is remarkable.  Below we have listed some of the specs on the performance, while we are unable to verify the actual stabilization accuracy, the video quality and stability shows that it’s working.  The range of the angles do match up.  It’s worth pointing out that on few occasions the gimbal got out of sync with the motors or balance.  It was frustrating when this happened, but a simple reboot on a level surface always worked to get it set back the correct position.

Below is some footage of us snowshoeing in Utah with the EVO SS gimbal attached to the telescoping pole.  You can see how we are able to get some really nice panning shots, as well as transitioning from different shot angles.  You will notice it doesn’t take out the bouncing in our steps, but smooths out a lot of the shaking from having the GoPro extended 3 feet in front of us.

  • Stabilization Accuracy: ±0.01°
  • Follow Accuracy: ±0.2°
  • Pan Axis Range: -160° to +160°
  • Tilt Axis Range: -90° to +180° (Inverted)
  • Roll Axis Range: -45° to +45°
  • Tilt Axis Control Speed: Min 1°/s Max 50°/s
  • Pan Axis Control Speed: Min 1°/s Max 80°/s
  • Motor Type: 3x Triple Wound High Torque Brushless
  • Working Current Static Current: 6.8 mA (at 6.8 VDC)
  • Dynamic Current: 120mA (at 8.4 VDC)
  • Max Motor Current: 2 A maximum (at 12.6 VDC)
  • Sensors: Independent IMU module, High Definition Position Encoders

Specifics

  • Control Modes: Heading Follow Mode/Heading & Pitch Follow Mode/Inverted Mode/Locked Mode
  • Height: 11.6″ / 295mm
  • Width: 3.7″ / 96mm
  • Depth: 3.5″ / 88mm
  • Operating Temperature: -5 to 122°F / -15 to 50°C
  • Dimensions: (W x D x H) 3.7 x 3.5 x 11.6″ / 96 x 88 x 295 mm
  • Weight: 0.75 lbs / 335g (unloaded no batteries)

Unboxing

It’s worth noting that some of the previous EVO Gimbals have been shipped in older style boxes.  We received our EVO Gimbal in their newer packaging.  Similar foam to hold parts in place, just a little larger and printed images on the box.  Additionally, the box is the only transportation option and requires you to remove the camera to store.  This quickly get’s old when moving around and trying to protect the gimbal in a backpack or bag.  There is a case EVO sells, but we opted to buy our own hardcase with pick foam that we could customize to allow us to keep the camera in the gimbal for transportation.

 

  • 1 – EVO SS 3 Axis Gimbal (Includes Standard Hero3/4 Mount)
  • 4 – IMR 18350 Rechargeable 3.7v batteries (900mAh each cell)
  • 2 – M2.5 x 22mm thumb screws
  • 2 – GoPro Charging Cables (3 Wire for Power, 4 Wire for Video-out/Power)
  • 1 – GoPro Accessory Mount Adapter (for GoPro Mounting System
  • 1 – Universal Telescoping Extension Handle
  • 1 – Micro USB Cable (for Charger & Software Update)
  • 1 – Warranty Card
  • 1 – User Guide

Quality

The quality build of the gimbal feels very good in hand, it’s heavy weighted, the exoscelaton of the EVO SS is all metal, and tight screws to hold down the case and mounts.  Because it’s a gimbal and has three working arms with motors there is some feeling of it being fragle, expesically when transporting it in a bag or pack.  The only transport is the box it came shipped in, but is oversized and hard to travel with.  While the build quality is very well, there are some design changes that would have helped overall performance.  The number one complaint would be the batteries and battery door.  The batteries are hard to get in and aligned just right until the door is on and secure.  Also, it’s very easy to get moisture into the battery door when using near water, snow, or moisture.

There are 3 motors on the gimbal, these are brushless high quality motors. They have continued to remain smooth and function as expected for the few months we have been using the gimbal.

Battery

The EVO SS comes with 2 sets of Lithium-Ion batteries.  There is plenty of life to run your GoPro battery out a few times.  Also, with the included cord you can supliment your GoPro with the battery power from the gimbal.  The cord feels very delicate, but get’s the job done. Batteries also come with a cheap feeling but small and light weight charger.  It takes about 2 to 3 hours to charge the batteries via a micro USB port.  One nice feature is the battery indicator on the gimbal.  While not linear, or completely predictable there are a series of 4 flashes that indicate 75%, 50%, 25% remaining and quickly flashes when the batteries are less than 25%.  It’s worth noting as most of us will try, the batteries can not be charged from the gimbal itself even though there is a micro usb on the gimbal. This is used for upgrading the firmware of the gimbal and not charging batteries.

There is a 3 pin cable included to charge the GoPro LCD on older GoPro models.  There is also a 4 pin cable that is used for charging a GoPro and activating the A/V output port for external monitoring.

You can expect to get about 4 hours of use out of a single charge.  Obviously you will get much less in extreme conditions, or when they are used to supplement the GoPro battery.  When we were hooked up to a dead GoPro, it was around 2 hours of use.  However, when mounted to a tripod, and not using bluetooth we got up to 5 hours of use.  The optional charging cables included do not work with GoPro Hero 5, or session because they use Mini USB.

Ease of Use

To start using the gimbal, you need to attach your GoPro with the thumb screws.  If you are using an adapter you may need to use a small Allen key to replace the mounting bracket with a couple screws and install the correct bracket for your camera.  The gimbal has a standard ¼-20 female screw on the bottom of the base. There are two buttons, one to power on, and another to select the mode.  The gimbal turns on after holding the power button for a few seconds.  To initialize the gimbal, it should be set on a flat surface and press and hold the mode button, the gimbal will then snap into place and start working.

The overall functionality of the gimbal is buttery smooth, with 80 degree roll, 315 degree tilt, and 650 degree pan, there are many mounting options that the GoPro can be locked in to achieve ground shots, selfies, aerial shots are all possible.  There are a few basic modes

  1. Heading Follow Mode – one click keeps the camera pan left to right smooth, and locks Roll & Tilt
  2. Heading Lock Mode – one click, keeps Tilt and Roll are smooth, but Pan is locked
  3. Heading & Pitch Follow Mode – two clicks, Smooth Pan and Tilt follow but Roll is locked
  4. Inerted Mode – to use upside down, two clicks, rotate the camera upside down, you can then enter other modes.
  5. Turn-back (Selfie) Mode – three clicks

Calibration

If you notice you took a hard bump with the gimbal, or it’s just not panning or tilting just right you can re-calibrate the gimbal.  To do this set the gimbal on a flat surface and power on the gimbal.  The light will flash while powering up as the gimbal calibrates.  If this doesn’t work, you can manually calibrate the gimbal.  This can be done with the help the remote app, or the remote control. There are specific instructions for a 6 point camera position that needs to be done to manually calibrate the motors on the gimbal.

Remote

An optional remote control is available which we found very helpful.  Most of the time we liked using our phone to frame out GoPro shots, and not to control the gimbal.  So it was nice to have another device to do this. It’s very light and compact. However, I wish there were a mount for it on the telescoping pole.  The remote can indicate the battery power remaining in the gimbal, it’s Bluetooth connectivity, control via joystick and click functions and directions.  The joystick is great for providing panning and following modes for videos.  The joystick clicks down like a button to quickly switch between functions.

Phone App

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An Android and IOS app are available from the apps stores.  It provides a Bluetooth connection to manually control the gimbal.  Simply pair the gimbal with the control and will see the controls appear on screen. The remote allows for full control of the gimbal, you can also put motors on/off.  Other options include calibration of the gimbal with a 6 point calibration.  Also you can update the gimbal firmware wirelessly with the phone app when connected.

Accessories and Extensions/Add-ons

  • Extension stick
  • Remote control
  • Adapters for GoPro Session
  • Adapter for GoPro Hero 5

Upgrading the Gimbal firmware

The gimbal can be connected to a computer and transferred the latest firmware upgrades that can be downloaded from EvoGimbals.com download sections.

Other Models

  • EVO GP-Pro 3-AXIS HANDHELD GIMBAL FOR ACTION CAMERAS
  • EVO GP 3-AXIS HANDHELD GIMBAL FOR ACTION CAMERAS

The Evo GP-Pro vs. The Evo GP

The EVO GP-Pro is an enhanced version of the GP model.  The GP is not compatible with the GoPro Hero 5.  The EVO GP-Pro has a special version that is compatible with the GoPro Hero 5.  The stabilization accuracy is the same as well as the performance of the gimbals.  The difference is that the GP-Pro has a ¼-20 threaded battery cap on the handle.  This allow to add extension poles to it, can also attach to tripod or mono-pod mounts.  Also, the Pro has the power button in a different place.  The GP-Pro has a 4 way joystick for movement control.  The GP has buttons for controls.  The GP-Pro has an option to pass audio/video signal from the GoPro to the 3.5mm output port on the handle.  This can be used to feed a signal to an external monitor.  The GP-Pro also has upgraded position encoder and motors.

  • EVO SP Handheld Gimbal for Smartphones (will fit large phones like iPhone Plus)
  • EVO Rage-S Gimbal for Mirrorless camera
  • EVO Rage Gimbal for DSLR cameras

EVO Gimbal vs Zhiyun Gimbal

Just for clarification, there is another gimbal on the market that is almost identical to the EVO SS called the Zhiyun Rider-M Gimbal.  EVO Gimbals states that the gimbals are different although they share a similar look and parts.

Conclusion

The number one complaint is that the gimbal isn’t more water resistant and it doesn’t contain a small travel case.  We took the gimbal snowboarding and were worried we might fall and crush the gimbal.  It’s hard to transport.  We did find a pick foam hard case to store our GoPro and gimbal together.  However, this case is still a little large to comfortably move.  Another downside to a wearable gimbal is that they feel bulky.  When using the GoPro chest mount, it requires adapters from the GoPro fitting to a tripod mount screw to fit into the gimbal.  After this is all added, it sticks out from the chest about 6 inches, and has a lot of leveraged weight hanging off.