Action camera’s are cool. They are small, easy to bring, easy to operate and produces shaky footages. This is like the trademark of action cameras, although in the recent years they are getting smarter with in-body digital stabilization. But to take it one step further there are these nifty devices called gimbals.
The black aluminum body looks like it’s ready to get a beating, well it should since it’s marketed as an action cam companion. It is really well designed and you can really notice that the device was well thought out. It is very slim, and the profile is very small compared to other 3 axis action cam gimbals out there. It is one of the few gimbals out in the market that you actually would like to mount to your existing GoPro accessories.
The motors really work well, they do a very good job in stabilizing the GoPro Hero 5. It can keep up with the movements and vibrations of the motorcycle, granted that you refrain from using very long extension arms when mounting it, why? Long extension arms add movement and vibration giving the Rider M a hard time compensating for it.
It is also very easy to use even without its mobile app companion, you just have to remember a couple of button combinations.
By default: It is set in “Follow mode”, meaning it follows pan’s and tilts, but it does this in a very smooth manner.
Press the mode button 1 time: It switches to “Lock Mode” wherein it maintains its orientation no matter the movement.
This is the mode that you want to be in if you are going to mount it on your motorcycle.
Press the mode button 2 times: It will center itself.
Press the mode button 3 times: It will activate the “Selfie Mode”
If you want to go back to the original position just press the mode button 3 times again, to exit out the “Selfie Mode”
Pretty easy right?
However there is a slight issue, it seems the rider M was designed for older model GoPro’s. Out of the box anything above Hero 5 will not fit the existing mounting. You have to buy a separate mounting for the Hero 5 and 6. That in itself will cost around 1000 php depending where you buy it.
Also since it was really optimized for the older models one of the motors blocks the on and off switch. Meaning you have to unscrew the mount in order to turn the GoPro on or off, which to be quite frank is annoying.
One last gripe would be the battery compartment, this is the part wherein I felt like that didn’t think enough. The only thing securing it would be a small golden screw (And get this, it’s the pressure from the screw that is holding it. Not the hole itself). To make the story short I lost that goddamn golden screw, I really don’t mind as it was never secure enough for me. Instead, I fastened it using velcro, way more secure but still looks tidy.
Also, you can get a remote for it.
This is an expensive tool, I bought this around 16,000 php, almost the price of a new GoPro Hero 5. Is it worth it? I would say not that much. I have used it on a number of occasions, but it’s not something that I would always bring with me. Although set up is fairly fast, it’s just another thing that you have to worry about. I think action cams are the whip it out and go kinds of tools, not the set it up make sure everything is perfect kind.
For the casual action cam user, I think 16,000 php is not an affordable price. But if you get a good deal for this for around 12,000 php and you really need to step up your GoPro game because it is your main camera, then this is a must-have. I have looked at other action cam gimbals and so far this is the easiest to mount.
This is not for everyone. If the end product of your GoPro videos is on Facebook and its aim is to show your friends and families your recent travel then this is not for you. Why? Because it is just too expensive. Just use the 16,000 php to fund another trip for yourself and practice stable shooting either by using a mini tripod, walking slow, or using a selfie stick.
If you are the outdoor adventure enthusiast and your activities involve a lot of movement then this might be the product for you. Aside from making your video footage bearable to watch, you can review what you have done which can be really helpful if you want to improve your performance. Being an easy to mount gimbal, it can go with you on your various activities.
For those looking to get cinematic footage for whatever reason on their GoPro’s, then this is a definite must-have. Just to add I sometimes use this with the Polar Pro ND filters for the GoPro Hero 5 and they work without issues.
How about for motorcycle adventure riding?
No, honestly you really don’t need to have this. Yes, it does make your videos better and look more professional. But the added time that you need to set this up is just not worth it. The in-body stabilization of the Hero 5 and Hero 6 are enough. Just know where to mount your GoPro’s and you will have a decent quality video that won’t make your viewers dizzy.
If you want to know where to get this, message the guys from ZhiyunPH.
They are 110% accommodating and has a quick response time.