The GoPro range still has the largest market share of the action camera range by far and although a number of compeating brands have tried to take some of the market share away from GoPro, to date, all have failed and we doubt that this is going to change anytime soon. With each new addition to the GoPro action camera line up, they just keep on cementing their position as the dominant action camera brand on the market and show how much further ahead they are when it comes to their technology to their competition.
Due to this, we are always seeing people reaching out and asking a number of questions about the various steps that they are able to implement to help them get the most out of their GoPro and ensure that they get the best image quality possible. Although the Karma Grip was once a very popular GoPro gimbal, it is definatley showing its age and drastically overpriced for what you actually get for your money. The action sports community are also becoming acutely aware of this as we have noticed more and more people reaching out with each passing month asking for advice on the various GoPro karma grip alternatives.
Although there are a few solid options on the market, we feel that the Hohem iSteady Pro 2 is probably the best option by a long shot. Not only is it much cheaper than the official GoPro Karma Grip but it is only a few months old meaning that it also offers some of the best technology available. When it comes to the levels of image stabilization that it can provide, the iSteady Pro 2 blows the Karma Grip out of the water in our opinion-making it the obvious, much cheaper alternative.
Although the iSteady Pro 2 has only been available for a short amount of time, it has rapidly managed to establish itself as one of the dominant handheld gimbal stabilizers for GoPro action cameras and is rapidly growing its core customer base. Its low price tag and excellent performance have been the leading factors in the exponential growth of the people using the gimbal with it holding an outstanding reputation amongst the GoPro community for its performance.
We have absolutely no doubt in our minds that adding the Hohem iSteady Pro 2 to your collection of GoPro camera accessories will help to improve the image quality that you can get while potentially saving you hundreds of dollars over going with the GoPro Karma Grip. As we like to go into as much detail as possible for any of our readers who like to know as much about a new potential camera accessory as possible, we will now be taking a more in-depth look at the iSteady Pro 2 and the amount of bang for your buck that you get by going with this great little gimbal.
Performance Of The Gimbal
To date, all of the GoPro action cameras have come in at 0.28 pounds or less and as technology tends to get lighter as it develops, we doubt that any of the future additions to their range will exceed this. That means that the 0.3-pound maximum load capacity of the iSteady Pro 2 should easily be able to support the weight of your action camera of choice, especially if it is an action camera from the official GoPro range.
Although Hohem is relatively new to the gimbal game, they have some great technology that has enabled them to become very popular in a short amount of time. One of the things that Hohem has totally nailed that some compeating gimbal brands struggle with is their battery technology. The iSteady Pro 2 is able to provide you with twelve hours of juice for each charge of its battery cell meaning that at the time of writing, it offers two hours of power more than the ten-hour average.
Hohem has also nailed their recharging technology too and you can take the iSteady Pro 2 from being totally empty to totally full in around three hours. This gives you a solid recharging ration of four hours of usable battery for each hour spent charging making it one of the leading recharging systems in the action camera gimbal space at the time of writing.
Depending on the action sport you are taking part in, you may be out on your adventures for a full day or more without having access to a power outlet. If this is the case, you can also add a decent USB power bank to your collection of GoPro camera accessories. This will allow you to recharge your GoPro, gimbal, and any other devices when you are out and about ensuring that you can always capture your content without having to worry about running out of juice.
One of the main things that Hohem has absolutely smashed out of the park with their iSteady Pro 2 that has helped it grow its core customer base as such a rapid pace is its detection and correction system. So many gimbal brands in the action camera space, especially at this price point in the market have problems with the detection and correction of movement on their gimbal essentially making it a waste of time. Hohem really has managed to set the bar when it comes to GoPro gimbals and the competition are going to have their work cut out for them to knock them off the top spot any time soon.
They have managed to develop some of the best action camera gimbals going that are extremely sensitive and perfect for use in action sports. Not only are they extremely rapid to detect even the slightest movements but they are also very accurate too. With so many action sports involving large amounts of small, short vibrations causing movement in the gimbal head, this is ideal. The sensors make light work of even the most active of sports that have tons of vibrations to still being extremely effective for the calmer sports with little to no vibration too.
Although the Hohem balancing algorithm is pretty average, it definatley does its job well and Hohem have already released a few firmware updates to improve its performance. Considering that they are such a new gimbal brand we fully expect more of these firmware updates to further improve the efficiency of their algorithm over the coming months. It has been years since we have had a stand out balancing algorithm in the action camera gimbal space and we are looking forward to seeing what Hohem can pull out the bag.
Thankfully, due to the iSteady Pro 2 targeting the small, super lightweight GoPro action cameras, Hohem has had an easy time when it comes to their gimbal motors. There is absolutely no need to have high torque expensive motors due to action cameras being so light, this is one of the reasons that the iSteady Pro 2 is so cheap. Additionally, Hohem has been able to design a set of motors for their iSteady Pro 2 that are very small, very power-efficient, and very lightweight too.
With the iSteady Pro 2 being a modern handheld gimbal stabilizer it comes preloaded with a number of gimbal modes to help ensure that you can quickly and easily use it in a large number of situations. These include the manual mode, pan mode, lock mode, and follow mode but in all honesty, the usefulness of each of these modes will definatley depend on what you are actually planning on doing with your gimbal and GoPro with some never being used in some niches where they may be used on a regular basis in others.
When you factor in that the iSteady Pro 2 can often be found on sale for less than one hundred dollars on a regular basis depending on the retailer, it is easy to see how it has proven to be such a popular option. It has managed to earn an absolutely huge customer base of action camera users from a number of different sports and niches with many of them opting to publish their own independent reviews of the gimbal online. You can read some of those to get a great external opinion on the gimbal and its performance as well as the levels of image stabilization that you can expect too.
User Interface And Control System
As Hohem fully understands that the majority of people who will be looking for a GoPro gimbal stabilizer will be entry-level videographers and likley never having used a gimbal before they have made a very user-friendly control interface for the gimbal. It still uses the traditional joystick based system like the vast majority of other gimbals on the market but it emphasizes ease of use while also ensuring that the system offers some excellent control over your gimbal.
The joystick on the Hohem iSteady Pro 2 offers some solid control over the gimbal head when used in manual mode offering some great and smooth panning and tilting as required. For example, if you are into your snowboarding and are cutting down a mountain you can easily track the gimbal head along your route to help get the gimbal ready for any sharp turns. On top of this, it is also solid for tracking a subject or keeping the gimbal head focused on you if you use your GoPro for vlogging and want to integrate a gimbal into your vlogging setup.
Due to having been designed around stabilizing lightweight action cameras the balancing process on the iSteady Pro 2 is extremely user-friendly and straight forward to balance. This plays to your advantage if you are brand new to using a gimbal as you are able to quickly get to grips with the balancing process without having to waste much time. We are confident that the vast majority of people will be able to take the iSteady Pro 2 right out the box, mount their GoPro and balance it very quickly without having to read the manual or watch any YouTube tutorials.
One area where many gimbal brands seem to struggle is with their smartphone apps but Hohem has done a surprisingly good job in all fairness to them. Although there can be the slightest little bit of hang when the app initially syncs, there doesn’t seem to be any issues with random disconnects once the initial sync is established. This is a common issue for so many gimbal brands, even the big boys that have been established for years so we are surprised that Hohem has managed to pull it off so quickly.
The functionality of the smartphone app ranges from wireless remote control mode allowing you to control the movement of your gimbal head from your smartphone to quick and easy access to your gimbals settings. Although the navigation menu on the app can take a little getting used to, you can still quickly make some solid changes to the gimbal config via the app without having to waste time.
Although the app is not essential by any stretch and everything on the gimbal will work fine without downloading the app, it is still a pretty solid gimbal accessory and its free. Depending on the niche that you are working in or what your action sport of choice is, you can definatley get some solid value out of the app making it well worth the download in our opinion.
Build Quality And Design
The iSteady Pro 2 sticks to the same traditional 3 axis handheld gimbal design that has been perfected over the last decade or so by various gimbal brands to get it to the stage it is at now. The regular handheld gimbal design is so popular due to it being so popular and easy to use while also having the potential to provide you with great image stabilization.
The actual build quality of the gimbal is solid too. Although it is cheap and marketed as an entry-level, budget-friendly action camera gimbal stabilizer, Hohem has been sure to keep the iSteady Pro 2 as tough and robust as possible too. This ensures that no matter what action sport its users are using the gimbal in, it can easily take all the bumps and knocks that an action camera gimbal will sustain during use without breaking.
Due to the nature of 3 axis gimbal stabilizers, the moving parts in the gimbal head prevent there from being any watertight seals at the time of writing. This means that the gimbal is not waterproof and should never be submerged in water during use. Although a large number of action sports involve water, the majority are land or air-based meaning that the iSteady Pro 2 should meet the needs of the majority of our readers. Additionally, at the time of writing, there are no waterproof gimbals on the market and due to the limitations of the technology that we have, we doubt any waterproof gimbals will be available for many years to come.
As so many action sports can involve you being out and about for hours at a time, Hohem has been sure to make the handle grip on the iSteady Pro 2 as comfortable as possible. This means that you are able to hold it for those long action sports sessions with ease without getting aches and pains when holding the gimbal. The handle grip on the iSteady Pro 2 is also easy to grip to help minimize the chances of you accidentally dropping it during your action sport of choice.
That brings our article going over what we feel is the best GoPro karma grip alternative currently available on the market to a close. In our opinion, if you are looking for a cheap GoPro gimbal stabilizer then the Hohem iSteady Pro 2 should be your primary consideration as it provides excellent levels of image stabilization and can make an excellent addition to your collection of camera accessories.
We know that many of our readers like to get as much information as possible about any new purchase. If you would like to know more about the iSteady Pro 2 then we would highly recommend that you read some of these independent reviews of the gimbal that has been published by third-party GoPro owners who use the gimbal as their primary source of image stabilization. They offer some solid insight into the performance of the gimbal in pretty much any action sport or situation that you can think of so are well worth skimming over.