When you’re snapping photos, you can use any ol’ tripod to hold your camera steady. But when you’re filming video, holding your camera steady while you’re moving (especially when what you’re filming is also moving) can be a bit trickier. That’s where a gimbal comes in handy, but which one should you buy? One option is the Snoppa Kylin M.
The Kylin M is touted as being the “world’s first revolutionary gimbal stabilizer with a rotatable handle designed to provide ease and better filming output.” Its flexible design is supposed to improve “filming accuracy and [make] filming more convenient than using traditional gimbals.”
So, let’s say that you are new to gimbals, and you aren’t sure how they work or how they can help. Watch this video …
Let’s take a look at the Snoppa Kylin M, and see what makes it different from the other available gimbalse.
We’ll start with the fact that the package arrives in a hard-shell zippered travel case. The travel case is something that might be available with other gimbals, but it is usually a separate purchase.
The Snoppa Kylin M is currently for sale on Indiegogo. Unlike some campaigns, the Kylin M is shipping now.
Instead of trying to raise money, we are offering the project backers a unique opportunity to get their own products at an unbelievably affordable price immediately after the end of the product campaign and before the formal launch and sale of the product in the open market.
There are several different tiers available. $239 gets you the Kylin M, a travel case, the battery pair, a charger, and a microUSB cable. $249 gets you the Kylin M, a travel case, the battery pair, a charger, a microUSB cable, and either a Panasonic or Sony control cable. $299 gets you the Kylin M, a travel case, the battery pair, a charger, a microUSB cable, a handy desktop tripod, and a mobile phone holder, and your choice of Sony or Panasonic control cable. You can also purchase either the Panasonic or Sony cables on their own for $20. My kit was the $249 tier with the $20 extra cable, so I received the Kylin M, the travel case, a pair of batteries, a charger, a microUSB cable, and both the Panasonic and Sony control cables.
The Kylin M control cables can support the Panasonic Lumix GH4/GH5 or the Sony mirrorless digital cameras. If you’re wondering why other control cables aren’t available …
Currently, we only support Sony and Panasonic for the time being. For users of other camera brands please send us your camera model, then we will make a statistics on the demand of other camera models and to decide from which brand/model we should continue to develop.
The Snoppa Kylin M is composed of a “light-weight, high-strength aluminum-alloy … the high precision multi-axis CNC processing makes every bit of the parts’ details accurate, and makes it function stably as well.” The rotatable handle on the gimbal measures 7.5″ long, and the assembly protrudes out another 10.5″; the entire gimbal weighs about 2 pounds 3 ounces without the camera and with batteries installed.
The batteries arrived installed with a circular pad blocking them from making contact inside the gimbal’s battery compartment. After taking pictures, I charged the batteries noting that the LED on the charger glowed red while charging and then green once charging was complete. It takes about 3 hours to fully charge the batteries from empty.
There are a number of controls and LEDs on the Snoppa Kylin M’s handle.
The Kylin M is meant to be compatible with almost all mirrorless digital cameras; it can also be used with mobile phones (if you have the optional attachment), action cameras, and some models of DSLR cameras.
There is also a Snoppa app available in the Apple App Store and Google Play, which includes a quick start guide
Once inside the Snoppa app, you can pair the app to your Kylin M, and then you can select the level of strength for stabilization that you need. There are also options for controlling the gimbal and camera from the app versus from the gimbal itself. Why might you want this? Because if you have the gimbal set up on a tripod, you might need to control it remotely.
Note that if you have a Sony camera, the gimbal can provide power to the camera from the gimbal’s batteries.
Snoppa will also push firmware updates through the app to give the Kylin M more features in the future. There’s no need to download software to your computer and then attach the gimbal via a cable.
All that’s really left to discuss is the gimbal’s weight capacity. The Kylin M has a 1300 gram (45.86 ounces or 2.87 pounds) payload, so as long as your camera weighs that or less, the gimbal should be able to support it. I had no problem attaching my Canon G16 and even my old Rebel xTi; I did not bother attempting to attach my full-size (and quite heavy) Canon 5D. I don’t have a Sony or Panasonic camera … yet.
1300g(2.87 lb) is just a rough estimation. The payload depends not only on the weight of the whole filming device (camera + lens) but also the position of its center of gravity.
If the weight is over 1300g but the center of gravity is close to the gimbal, it may also work.