Half a decade ago, drone maker DJI realized that its miniature aerial steadicams could be useful for walking, but it’s not the only company monopolizing backward technology. Rival FeiyuTech now has a DJI Pocket competitor that ups the ante by allowing you to disconnect the entire motorized gimbal, so you can attach a lightweight, self-balancing camera to your car, helmet, wrist, or any magnetic surface up to three feet away.
It’s called the FeiyuTech Pocket 2S, and it’s on the Indiegogo crowdfunding site right now for $ 399, or slightly less if you take advantage of their early bird discounts.
According to the company, the camera records images up to 4K at 60fps with a Sony IMX 317 sensor and can do up to 3 hours of continuous recording at 1080p. While you only get a square video preview on the handle, you can fit a full view on a phone and there is a Micro HDMI port for connecting to a monitor or TV. Charging and data transfer are done via USB-C, and there is a built-in 1/4-inch tripod socket. Images are stored on a UHS-1 microSD card, up to 512GB. More specs here.
Judging by some of the first reviews on YouTube, the image quality can leave something to be desired, especially when it comes to sharpness and dynamic range. You wouldn’t expect Feiyu or DJI to stop selling their largest motorized gimbals for phones, mirrorless cameras, and DSLRs anytime soon.
But it’s pretty nifty to be able to place one of these detachable cameras on top of a mount like a GoPro, or place one on a ferrous metal surface and instantly get stabilized images.
It’s a great way for these camera companies to compete with GoPro, whose in-camera stabilization has improved dramatically in recent years. And without any obvious trade-offs beyond a visible coiled cable, I wouldn’t be surprised if DJI and others followed Feiyu’s lead.