If you’ve taken any videos with your smartphone, you’ve probably encountered the phenomenon known as camera shake. While some smartphones might have OIS (optical image stabilization) your videos can still end up being quite shaky and this is because our hands and arms aren’t really built to stabilize cameras and take smooth videos. That’s why we have gimbals that help us with this. There are gimbals that can attach to your mobile phone, but what we’re looking at today is the new THINKWARE SNAP-G gimbal camera which is an all-in-one unit that houses both the gimbal and camera in a compact form, that is easily transportable and easy to use one-handed.
The SNAP-G is basically a small camera attached to its own gimbal system. But unlike a more traditional camera attached to a gimbal, this is pocket-sized and can easily be used one-handed. The basic design consists of the handle, an integrated display, the gimble, and the camera that is attached to it.
The gimbal is a 3-axis motorized type so you get left to right movement, up and down movement, and rotational movement. All of this gives the gimbal the ability to keep the camera almost perfectly still when in use. What’s neat is that the gimbal can spin around 180 degrees and the camera can be used in selfie mode.
There are a few buttons on the front to control some features as well as a trigger on the back that can be customized for different uses. The display is also a touch screen that you can use to swipe or tap functions. All of this can be done one-handed.
Overall a very tight and well-made package. It’s comfortable to hold, though I do wish the handle was a little bit longer. However, I did fix this issue by adding a small tripod at the bottom to extend the length a little and it also allows me to set the SNAP-G down on a table for hands-free use. Another small nitpick is the lack of a lock for the gimbal when not in use. When you turn off the SNAP-G, the gimbal sort of just flops around. It would have been nice if there was a way to keep it from doing then when turned off.
The SNAP-G has several notable specs that make it a competitive device. For starters, it can shoot video at 4K@60fp and has options for other video settings. There’s also a 2-inch LCD touch screen to choose focusing points as well as manage camera settings. Speaking of which, you also get head tracking and Face ID.
Battery life is rated at about 120 minutes of recording time from a 2000mAh replaceable and rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack. Recharging doesn’t take that long, but if you’re on the go and need more time, it’s suggested that you pick up an extra battery pack or two.
In terms of shooting modes, you can shoot normally at different resolutions, shoot slow-motion video at 1080p@120fps, choose between wide, linear, or narrow angles, time-lapse videos, and regular 12MP photos. For storage, the SNAP-G can take up to a 512 GB memory card. The SNAP-G seems very versatile in its shooting modes and should satisfy most casual video needs.
VIDEO SAMPLES AND EXPERIENCE
Like always, I’ll let the samples speak for themselves. I will however make a few comments here and there about the quality. For the most part, quality seems quite good all around. The edges however can be a little on the blurry side. This is fine for the most part as what you want to be clear is the subject anyways, which is usually at the center of your video. For photos, I’m not sure I’d really use this to take pictures because of how wide the lens is, photos have an obvious distortion at the outer edges. I’d use the SNAP-G strictly as a video camera.
Back to the videos, the gimbal obviously helps with stability as you’ll notice most of the videos are very smooth and don’t exhibit the shakiness you’d see with most videos taken on a mobile phone. Overall a great feature to have if you do a lot of motion video where you either have to follow the subject a lot or you’re the one moving with the camera.
In terms of the overall experience, I love that the SNAP-G is so easy to use. It can be easily used one-handed with just the use of your thumb and index finger. Your thumb does a lot of the heavy lifting while your index finger is used to either lock the camera in a certain position while filming or some other custom function you choose. I should note that I’m not too keen on the shortness of the handle. However, this was easily fixed with a tripod that I mounted to the bottom which provided some extra grip and stability. The tripod also provides a nice stable base when you want to just place the SNAP-G on a table for hands-free recording.
The THINKWARE SNAP-G isn’t perfect as there are some minor issues we came across. For starters, I did mention above that I’m not fond of the fact that the gimbal doesn’t lock when the device is off. I’m just worried that it could get damaged at some point down the road because of this. That’s my only real hardware gripe and everything else is just software related, which can easily be fixed with updates.
On the software side, some features aren’t available yet until a future update. That happens sometimes with new products. You’ll get a couple little hiccups here and there until the software kinks are ironed out. Another area that needs a bit of work here is when it comes to live streaming. The SNAP-G has the ability to do this, but the implementation is a bit wonky. I can’t seem to get it to connect to my YouTube account, though that may be an issue with either two-step verification or something else. There is a workaround if you use RTMP instead and just enter your information manually.
Speaking of which, I wish there was a way to use the SNAP-G as a streaming cam for your PC because this would make for a pretty good webcam as well. Too bad connecting it to the computer only yields storage downloads as the computer doesn’t recognize it as a camera. Hopefully, this will be a feature in the future or we get a PC version of the software too.
Other than that, the SNAP-G has been a joy to use.
With the popularity of such video-sharing platforms as TikTok and Instagram, taking video has become a whole lot more important and relevant. While it is true that you can take video directly from your phone and have it stream or post to your favorite social media networks directly, using something that is specifically designed for taking great, high-quality video will only make your posts and content more professional looking.
The THINKWARE SNAP-G gives you this in a small, handheld package that is both intuitive and easy to use. You’ll appreciate the little things like a removable and replaceable battery, a touchscreen interface, and sizing that makes it convenient for travel. You will need to download the SNAP-G app in your respective app stores in order to make the most of it and THINKWARE has been updating this regularly. Pricing on the SNAP-G also isn’t terribly bad at $419.99, especially for the features it has.
The THINKWARE SNAP-G is available now on Amazon.