These days, high-tech camera stabilizers have become commonplace in the consumer market.
Everyone and their dog seem to be taking advantage of how affordable and useful gimbals are.
But did you know that wearable gimbals exist too?
You can now strap a gimbal right to your body — ensuring that your POV shots are as smooth as possible.
Intrigued? Keep reading to learn everything there is to know about wearable gimbals!
What Is A Wearable Gimbal?
Chances are you already know that a gimbal is a device that helps to stabilize a camera or phone, allowing for smooth videos and photos.
Gimbals typically consist of a handle and “head” mounted to several motors that rotate in order to keep your camera level.
Well, a wearable gimbal uses the same technology in a more compact form that allows you to attach it to your body.
The most common way to use a wearable gimbal is by attaching it to a chest mount, which attaches to your clothing and keeps the camera level with your chest, or a backpack.
This is especially useful when shooting action sports videos.
These gimbals are available for phones, GoPros, and other small cameras.
However, some people have used larger, DSLR-style, cameras with wearable gimbals.
How Wearable Gimbals Work
If you’ve ever seen someone filming with a smartphone or action camera, chances are they were using a gimbal.
Wearable gimbals are devices that stabilize video footage, making them essential for anyone who wants to capture smooth, professional-looking shots.
Most wearable gimbals work by using motors to counteract the movement of the camera, keeping it perfectly level no matter how much the user moves around.
Some newer models also feature active tracking, which allows them to keep the camera pointed at a specific subject even if the user is moving around.
This makes them ideal for vloggers and other content creators who want to be able to film themselves without having to worry about holding the camera steady.
Whether you’re a YouTuber or just someone who wants to take better home movies, a gimbal can help you capture smooth, professional-looking footage.
Benefits Of A Wearable Gimbal
Capture POV Shots
Because wearable gimbals are designed to be worn, they are ideal for capturing point-of-view videos.
The two most popular mounting locations for wearable gimbals are the chest (using a chest mount) and the head (on a helmet).
So, by using a wearable gimbal you can capture smooth POV footage from chest level or helmet height.
Great For Action Sports
Because wearable gimbals are capable of capturing awesome POV shots, it makes sense that they would be common among mountain bikers, skiers, snowboarders, and many other action sports enthusiasts.
The obvious danger of using a wearable gimbal in action sports is that your gimbal could be damaged.
However, many people do choose to take this risk with their equipment.
First, wearable gimbals allow for more stable footage than hand-held Gimbals.
This is because the weight of the device is evenly distributed across the body, which makes it easier to keep the camera level.
Second, they are less obtrusive than hand-held Gimbals, which means that they can be used in more situations without drawing attention to the person recording the footage.
Finally, they are less likely to drop the camera, as the frame prevents the camera from becoming detached from the Gimbal.
Overall, wearable Gimbals offer several advantages over their hand-held counterparts.
They are more stable, less obtrusive, and less likely to drop the camera.
As a result, they are an ideal choice for anyone looking to capture smooth, high-quality video footage.
Best Wearable Gimbals Available
When it comes to wearable gimbals, there are plenty of options to choose from. However, not all gimbals are created equal.
Here is a list of our favourite wearable gimbals available on the market.
The Feiyutech WG2X is a great choice for those who want a high-quality wearable gimbal.
It features a three-axis stabilizer and is compatible with GoPro and other action cameras.
The WG2X also has an aluminum alloy body that makes it durable.
Zhiyun Rider M
The Zhiyun Rider M is one of the most popular wearable gimbals on the market.
It is designed for action cameras and features a three-axis stabilizer.
The Evo SS is another great option for those looking for a wearable gimbal. It features a four-axis stabilizer and is compatible with a variety of action cameras.
Factors To Consider When Picking A Wearable Gimbal
When it comes to wearable gimbals, there are a few factors you’ll want to keep in mind before making your purchase.
First and foremost, you’ll want to consider the weight and size of the gimbal.
Smaller gimbals are typically more lightweight and portable, making them ideal for travel.
However, they may not offer as much stabilization as their larger counterparts.
Another factor to consider is the quality of stabilization.
Not all gimbals are created equally and some gimbals provide a better quality of stabilization thanks to heavier-duty motors.
Luckily, these factors are typically reflected in a gimbals price — but make sure to do your research!
This might be surprising, but build quality and stabilization quality are actually quite different.
Some cheaply built gimbals are actually capable of performing very well when it comes to stabilization.
However, this said, poor build quality can still be problematic as your gimbal may break easily if dropped.
Make sure to avoid gimbals with lots of plastic components!
Payload is the maximum weight that a gimbal can carry and still function.
With small cameras and phones, this is typically not something you have to give much thought.
However, if you plan on using larger cameras with your gimbal, make sure to research maximum payload!
You’ll also want to think about the types of devices that are compatible with the gimbal.
Most gimbals can accommodate smartphones and small cameras, but some can also support larger DSLR cameras.
Make sure to research compatibility prior to purchase!
How To Mount A Wearable Gimbal
Most wearable gimbals are equipped to be mounted to a standard quarter-inch bolt.
This means there are MANY options when it comes to mounting.
The most common are the chest and helmet which we cover below, but you could even mount your wearable gimbal to a tripod if you wanted!
On Your Chest
Mounting a wearable gimbal to your chest is by far the most popular way of mounting.
In fact, you could argue that most wearable gimbals are specifically designed with this in mind.
To mount a wearable gimbal to your chest, all you need is a chest mount.
There are many options available out there, but the STUNTMAN Chest Mount for Wearable Gimbals is our recommendation.
On A Helmet
Unfortunately, mounting a wearable gimbal on your helmet often requires a little more DIY skill than mounting it to your chest.
Most helmet mounts are designed to be used specifically with GoPros.
This means that they are not readily compatible with the universal quarter-inch threading that most wearble gimbals come with.
So, in order to use your wearable gimbal with a GoPro mount, you will require an adapter like this one made by EVO Gimbals.
With an adapter, you will be able to mount your wearable gimbal on any GoPro helmet mount.
The Official GoPro Helmet Front + Side Mount is our recommendation.
Wearable Gimbal Tips
Use A Wide Lens
If you choose to use a camera with changeable lenses, then consider using a short focal length lens.
This will widen your camera’s field of view which both looks great for action shots and helps to hide any of the unwanted jitters that your gimbal fails to stop.
Stick with lenses around 35mm or shorter.
For GoPro and action camera users, the good news is that most of these cameras come with wide-angle lenses built-in.
Read More: How To Choose The Best Gimbal Lens
Test Out Different Gimbal Modes And Settings
Most gimbals offer a range of stabilization modes and settings.
Some of these are better suited to fast-moving action shots than others.
So, if are like most wearable gimbal users, and plan on using your gimbal on, say, your mountain bike you may want to find the best possible settings.
Strap Your Gimbal As Tightly As Possible
If you plan to attach your gimbal to your chest, make sure to tighten the straps as tightly as possible (without hurting yourself of course!).
This will not only ensure that your gimbal stays safe, but will actually reduce micro jitters as well.
So there you have it, our complete guide to wearable gimbals.
We’ve shown you what they are, how they work and some of the best models on the market.
Now it’s time for you to decide which one is right for you and get filming!