Search
  • Blake Calhoun

New AI Tracking Gimbal

Hohem just released a new smartphone gimbal called the iSteady V2 and normally this news doesn't stop the presses for me (most smartphone gimbals are boring today) - but this one is different.


Why?


It has an AI tracking feature that works using a sensor on top of the gimbal, so it's hardware-based, not app-based. And so what makes that really great is that now you can use tracking with ANY camera that the gimbal will hold (primarily smartphones and action cameras).


It also means ANY app, for example FiLMiC Pro. So yes, now you can use whatever app you want and have tracking available. Very nice.


Check out my latest video to learn more:



So overall this is a really great new option for filmmakers to use and especially in a low price smartphone gimbal.


There are of course robotic cameras that can track you (some require you to wear a tracking device that it can "see" to make it work), but not many (or any) are also a 3-axis gimbals, too.


A few observations and notes from the video (GO WATCH THE VIDEO!)...


  • In the FiLMiC Pro test tracking example I turned the phone around so I could use the rear wide camera as it's the best quality. This was a bit tricky since the screen is partially covered by the gimbal. This works, but isn't ideal. However, unless you want to use the front facing camera (selfie) it's the only way to do it.

  • Using the selfie camera in an app like FiLMiC Pro is better than the Hohem Pro app, so now with the AI tracking you could do that or use any other video camera app you prefer. This way you have more control over the settings and can shoot in higher bit rates (which is very important for higher quality results).

  • One thing I'd love to see in a future iSteady V2 model is the ability to swivel the AI vision sensor. That way you could easily track using either the front or rear cameras of a smartphone. Again, right now you can do it, but the screen is partially blocked when flipping the phone around to use the rear cameras.

  • This is one of the few "smartphone only" gimbals I've use that will easily hold and work well with the larger iPhone 12 Pro Max. So if you're looking for a phone gimbal for it, then this is definitely one to consider. I personally have been recommending going with a "hybrid" gimbal though for the 12 Pro Max, especially if you want to add lenses and many accessories. But again, this Hohem worked well and I did use the PolarPro LiteChaser Pro case with a variable ND filter (VND).

  • The name of this gimbal can easily get confused with their similar (but different) model the iSteady X or now new iSteady X2. Not sure why they chose such similar names (it confused me at first before I did the review), but in case you are wanting the non-AI and less expensive version that's the X2 model and you can get one here.

  • Lastly, I mentioned in the video I had a hard time getting the gimbal to go into "Flashlight" mode, which is a way I like to shoot with smartphone gimbals... I still haven't gotten it to work since I shot the video, but I am playing with it. My guess is it actually **might** work as the "Inception" mode uses it or similar. So I'm going to keep testing that to see what I can figure out. It might simply be the phone and case I was using was too big.

It'll be interesting to see how popular this gimbal is and/or if other brands follow suit (I'm certain they will and likely into higher-end gimbals - maybe they already have?). I know with my Moza Aircross 2 I can use an iPhone and the Moza app on top of the gimbal to track people and objects, but again, it is using an app.


The beauty of this Hohem gimbal and its AI tracker is there is NO app required and so it becomes more or less universal.


Anyway, I think this is really cool stuff and look forward to seeing the creative ways filmmakers use it.


What do you think?


Let me know in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter or back on YouTube.


Happy filmmaking!

-BC