With the camera sensors on modern smartphones and action cameras becoming better and better with some now being compared to the quality of some point and shoot cameras a ton of content creators are making the switch over to capturing their content with their smartphone or action camera. Not only do they tend to be much smaller and easier to carry but in this day and age, almost everyone has their smartphone with them and as the saying goes, the best camera is the one that you have with you.
Due to the increase in popularity of photographers, videographers, vloggers and social media influencers switching over to capturing their content with their smartphone or action camera, a large number of third-party brands have started to release various camera accessories to try and get a share of the profits. In our opinion, one of the best devices to be released to date is the Atom gimbal from Snoppa.
Considering that they are brand new to the gimbal space, Snoppa has done an outstanding job and in our opinion and we feel that the Atom is able to match the current king of the smartphone gimbal space, the DJI Osmo Mobile 3. Due to this, a large number of people are reaching out about a dedicated Snoppa Atom review so we have decided to make this the subject of today’s article to try and help any of our readers who are interested in the Snoppa Atom.
Although it has only been on the market for around three months at the time of writing, it has quickly managed to establish itself and earn a large customer base and a great reputation amongst the smartphone and action camera content creators. It is a very small handheld gimbal stabilizer that offers some excellent quality image stabilization to help improve the image quality that you are able to capture and its low price tag makes it a very budget-friendly option.
We are confident that adding the Snoppa Atom to your collection of smartphone or action camera accessories will make a great investment and help you get the edge over your competition. Audiences are becoming increasingly fickle and ensuring that your content is the best quality it can be can help convert a viewer into a subscriber or follower. If you are planning to upload video content to sites like YouTube or the various social media platforms then the Snoppa Atom is a no brainer in our opinion.
Performance Of The Gimbal
At the time of writing, the majority of smartphones usually come in at between 0.4 pounds and 0.5 pounds while the majority of action cameras come in at 0.28 pounds to 0.35 pounds. Although this may seem like a large payload for such a small and cheap gimbal, the Snoppa Atom is more than capable of stabilizing their weights due to its huge maximum load capacity of 0.68 pounds of total payload weight.
This means that even if you are using the largest and heaviest smartphone on the market, you still have a fair amount of load capacity free for additional camera accessories to further improve your image quality if needed. For example, one great investment is a decent removable lens as they can drastically improve your image quality with minimal effort required on your part. If you are planning to vlog then it may be worth looking into an external microphone to help improve your audio quality as most microphones should fall within the spare load capacity weight.
The high torque motors on the Snoppa Atom ensure that even if you do integrate these optional camera accessories into your setup to get the best quality possible, it can still easily provide you with great image stabilization. In our opinion, the huge maximum load capacity of the gimbal is one of the main reasons that it has proven to be such a popular option amongst vloggers who capture their content on their smartphones.
At the time of writing, the Snoppa Atom also offers the longest maximum battery life for each charge of its battery cell coming in at twenty-four hours of power. Most of the competing smartphone gimbals on the market offer less than half of this gimbal Snoppa a clear advantage of the majority of the compeating stabilizers on the market. This huge battery life should be more than enough for the vast majority of our readers to be able to get out and about and record all of the videos that the need between opportunities to recharge their devices.
One of the main advantages of the gimbal having such a long maximum battery life is that it makes it a great option for anyone working in a niche such as travel vlogging. Depending on what you are doing, you may be out traveling for days at a time without having the ability to recharge your devices. The long battery life on the Snoppa Atom helps to ensure that you have as much juice as possible to keep capturing your content.
In addition to this, the gimbal also fully supports two way charging in both wireless and wired formats meaning that you are able to use the gimbals battery to recharge your smartphone or action camera during use. This is another solid feature if you are planning to record at high frame rates or in 4k as it can really eat the battery life of your device but the gimbal can just top it right back up again.
If you are working in one of these niches where you may not be able to recharge your devices for days at a time, it might be worth looking into purchasing a modern USB power bank as it allows you to recharge your gear while on the go. Most of the modern USB power banks with the higher output load are able to charge your smartphone, action camera, gimbal, and most other devices such as tablets or laptops too. This can help keep you topped up with juice pretty much indefinitely and ensure you always have the power in your devices to capture your content.
One of the main things that the Snoppa Atom has absolutely nailed over the other new gimbal brands on the market is their detection and correction system. Off the top of our head, we are unable to think of a single brand other than Snoppa who has even come close to reaching the required standard to compete against the more established brands. That said though, not only has Snoppa managed to reach the standard but they have also surpassed it in multiple ways pushing the compeating gimbals from established brands such as Zhiyun and Moza aside with DJI and their Osmo Mobile 3 being the only real competition at the time of writing.
As with all 3 axis gimbal stabilizers, everything starts with the gimbal sensors and their ability to detect any movement to allow the rest of the detection and correction system to work efficiently and stabilize your camera. If you get off to a poor start with low-quality gimbal sensors then everything else is going to be an uphill battle and this is where some other brands have gone wrong.
Thankfully though, Snoppa has prioritized the gimbals sensors right from the get-go to try and ensure that they are as accurate and sensitive to movement as possible. As the Atom is designed to be used with action cameras in addition to smartphones, the gimbal sensors have to be able to detect even the slightest vibration or movement and rapidly process it. The Snoppa technology absolutely smashes it out the part and do a great job of detecting the required information before pushing it to the next stage.
Next up, we have the Snoppa balancing algorithm that actually receives the data from the gimbal sensors and then works out how to best apply a movement correction to keep your recording device stable. Although the initial release of the algorithm on the Atom was great, Snoppa has since released a few firmware updates to further improve its performance and optimize the whole process even further. Not only is the algorithm lighting fast but it is also very efficient at calculating the most power-efficient gimbal movement to keep your device stable while recording.
The final part of the Snoppa system is their gimbal motors and we are extremely surprised by how good of a job they have done for their first try. We know that the Atom has been designed for use with lightweight devices but the motors on the Atom are also very small, light, and power-efficient too helping to just keep scoring the gimbal points. The power efficiency of the gimbal motors on the Snoppa Atom are the main reason that you are able to get around twenty-four hours of power per charge while having a smaller and lighter battery cell than many compeating smartphone gimbals too.
The Snoppa Atom also comes with the standard pan, lock, follow, and manual gimbal modes as standard to try and make your life as easy as possible when using the gimbal to capture your footage. Depending on the niche that you are working in on the type of video footage you are wanting to record with your smartphone or action camera, you may never use these modes at all or you may be using them in every session. Our advice would be to play around with them to test how you are able to integrate them into your sessions to capture the best image quality with the gimbal.
Considering that the Snoppa Atom is around the one hundred dollar price point, it is easy to see why it has managed to quickly grow to the level of popularity that it currently has. Many smartphone and action camera content creators have chosen to use the Atom as their handheld gimbal stabilizer of choice with many posting their own third-party reviews online going over their experiences. You can read those reviews to get an idea of how other people who use the Atom feel about its performance as well as get some great independent insight into just how well it performs in a number of popular niches.
User Interface And Control System
The control interface for the Snoppa Atom is just another area where the gimbal keeps on scoring points over the competition. Although Snoppa has stuck to the regular handheld gimbal interface with a joystick, they have definatley made it as ergonomically friendly as possible. In our opinion, this is one of the main advantages that the Atom has over its only real competition, the DJI Osmo Mobile 3. We have no doubt that you will be able to hold the Snoppa Atom for hours at a time when recording your footage whereas trying the same with the Osmo Mobile 3 is likley to cause hand cramps.
The actual joystick on the gimbal is responsive to touch too allowing you to get some great manually controlled video footage while still have the image stabilization provided by the gimbal. The joystick is omnidirectional with multiple internal contact points to ensure that you can smoothly and naturally pan or tilt the gimbal head with your smartphone or action camera mounted as required.
Due to smartphones and action cameras being so lightweight while the gimbal motors on the Snoppa Atom offering so much power, the balancing procedure on the gimbal is extremely easy. Even if you have never used a gimbal before we are confident that anyone will easily be able to quickly balance the Atom and be able to start capturing their video footage. Even if you do use a smartphone lens or an external microphone with your device, we are confident that you will quickly and easily be able to balance your setup.
Snoppa has done an excellent job of producing a very user-friendly control interface for the Atom that is ideal for its target audience. Many of the people who will be considering the Snoppa Atom will likley never have even seen a gimbal before never mind used one but everything on the Atom is very user-friendly and easy to use.
Another area where Snoppa have done a great job is with their smartphone app. Even some of the older, more established gimbal brands such as Evo and Feiyutech have terrible smartphone apps that have been in a poor state for years with no signs of being reworked. The Snoppa smartphone app is solid with no issues with initial syncing or with the random disconnects some of the older gimbal brands apps can suffer from.
Now, the main issue with having a smartphone app for a smartphone gimbal is that your phone will be mounted so if you are close enough to use the app, you are close enough to just do it via the gimbal controls. This renders the wireless remote control features close to useless in our opinion if you are only looking for a gimbal for your smartphone. If you are planning to use an action camera like a GoPro with your Snoppa Atom then this can be a solid mode in the app to allow you to get in the frame of your action camera and then remotely pan or tilt the gimbal head via the smartphone app as required.
In our opinion, the best feature on the app is being able to press a button and have it open up your gimbal settings right on your smartphone. This allows you to tweak some key settings within seconds rather than minutes but in all honesty, most people won’t ever need to do this anyway. Snoppa has done a great job of programming the default config that comes shipped on the gimbal to be able to meet the needs of the vast majority of smartphone or action camera content creators.
Build Quality And Design
The Snoppa Atom sticks to the same traditional handheld gimbal stabilizer design with little to no major changes due to the regular design having been perfected over the years by other brands that there is little innovation left to do. The standard handheld gimbal design has proven to be so popular as it is very easy to use while also being very efficient at stabilizing your devices in a number of common situations too.
Due to the Atom having been designed for use with smaller devices, Snoppa has added an adjustable gimbal head but this is commonplace amongst modern smartphone gimbals these days. This essentially allows you to quickly and easily switch your gimbal from portrait to landscape orientation within seconds. This can be a great feature that can actually save the vloggers or social media influencers considering the Snoppa Atom a surprising amount of time.
It is pretty well known that landscape footage usually does much better on platforms such as YouTube whereas portrait footage usually does better on platforms such as Instagram. The vast majority of people who use their smartphone for their content creation will likley be switching between the two on a regular basis throughout the day so being able to make the switch within seconds really does add up.
With the Atom also having been designed for use with action cameras, Snoppa has also built it to be as robust and tough as possible to help ensure it can take any punishment coming its way without breaking. If you do plan to use the gimbal to capture your adventures when taking part in your action sport of choice, knowing that the gimbal can take a few bumps and last offers some great peace of mind as even though it is a pretty cheap gimbal, you still want it to last you a few years at least.
The small and compact design as well as lightweight of the Atom also make it a great travel gimbal too and an ideal option for anyone who will likley be traveling around on a regular basis. Many travel bloggers have learned their lesson the hard way and recommend going with the smaller, lighter gimbals and other camera accessories where possible to save space and weight in your luggage to help keep baggage costs as low as possible.
That concludes our ultimate Snoppa Atom review and as you may be able to tell, we are huge fans of this great little gimbal. Snoppa has done an excellent job with the Atom and it has managed to firmly establish its place in the market with its only real competition being the DJI Osmo Mobile 3. We have no doubt that either the Atom of the Osmo Mobile 3 can make an excellent addition to your collection of camera accessories and provide you with the image stabilization you require for the best image quality possible.
We know that we mentioned it above but if you are wanting to know more or get additional opinions on the Snoppa Atom and how well it performs, reading some of these third part reviews can be a great way to get some opinions on the gimbal from independent action camera and smartphone content creators. Those reviews cover the performance of the gimbal in pretty much any situation that you can think of and are well worth skimming over.