Can’t decide between electronic or mechanical gimbals? Steadicam Volt is both

The camera stabilizer that made it possible to follow Sylvester Stallone up the steps in Rocky has been reimagined several times over the years — but now, the stabilization system is heading to smartphone video. Tiffen on Wednesday launched the Steadicam Volt on Kickstarter, an electronic gimbal with inspiration from the original Steadicam’s mechanical balancing stabilization system.

Unlike most smartphone gimbals, Tiffen says that the Steadicam Volt allows videographers to follow quick action without the lag time of other electronic stabilizers. That’s because the gimbal, while electronic, was inspired from the industry standard Steadicam first developed over 40 years ago. The center of gravity is positioned at the electronic gimbal component, with a balancing arm at the front.

While the stabilizer’s inspiration was from heavy Hollywood rigs, the Volt weighs one pound. The stabilizing arm folds down, allowing for more compact storage.

Tiffen, who partnered with drone manufacturer Yuneec for the Volt, says that the stabilizer is designed to be simple to use — just mount, power on and start filming. The gimbal accommodates smartphones from 58 to 80mm wide, with or without cases, that weigh up to 200 grams.

The Volt will connect with smartphones through Bluetooth, with both an iOS and Android app expected to help control the gimbal’s settings. The electronic component’s battery is expected to last eight hours and Tiffen says the gimbal can still be used manually if the rechargeable battery runs out.

The Volt isn’t Tiffen’s first smartphone stabilizer — it appears to build on the mechanical-only Steadicam Smoothee, which can mount both smartphones and GoPros.

According to its Kickstarter profile, the Volt is the first time the photography accessory company has launched a crowdfunded project on that platform. The campaign has already raised nearly $20,00 in one day, with a funding goal of $100,000 by March 5.

The Steadicam Volt, if fully funded, is estimated to ship out to the first backers in June. With the retail price estimated at $199, crowd funding backers can pick one up for pledges as low as $119 — provided the project reaches full funding.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Deals

This new all-in-one flashlight is a power bank, lighter, and screwdriver

The Pyyros modular flashlight can perform numerous field tasks, from hammering to starting fires. If you back it on Kickstarter now, you can score some savings on this innovative flashlight and multi-tool, but act fast: This early-bird…
Emerging Tech

Wish you could fly? You totally can with these top-of-the-line drones

In just the past few years, drones have transformed from a geeky hobbyist affair to a full-on cultural phenomenon. Here's a no-nonsense rundown of the best drones you can buy right now, no matter what kind of flying you plan to do.
Product Review

Yuneec’s Mantis Q will make you wish you bought a DJI drone

Yuneec’s high-end drones are arguably the ones to beat in terms of flight control, design, and their photographic capabilities. But the company has struggled to make a low-end drone that’s worth buying, and the Mantis Q is proof of that…
Photography

From f/1.2 primes to the mysterious DS, here are Canon’s upcoming RF lenses

Canon's EOS R mirrorless series will gain six new lenses this year. Canon just shared a list of six lenses under development, including four zooms and two prime lenses. One has a mysterious new feature called Defocus Smoothing.
Photography

From DSLRs to mirrorless, these are the best cameras you can buy right now

From entry-level models to full-frame flagships, many cameras take great photos and video. The best digital cameras, however, push the industry forward with innovative sensors and improved usability, among other things. Here are our…
Mobile

OnePlus 6T vs. Honor View 20: We compare the cameras in these ‘flagship killers’

For less than $600, you can buy either the OnePlus 6T or the Honor View 20, two extremely capable smartphones with plenty of exciting features. But which one has the best camera? We found out on a recent trip to France.
Photography

Photography news: Wacom’s slimmer pen, Leica’s cinema special edition

In this week's photography news, Wacom launches a new slimmer pen for pro users. Leica's upcoming M10-P is designed for cinema, inside and out, with built-in cinema modes in the updated software.
Mobile

Be careful who you bokeh, jokes Apple’s latest iPhone ad

With iPhone sales under pressure, you'd think there wouldn't be much to laugh about at Apple HQ. But the company has seen fit to inject some humor into its latest handset ad, which highlights the camera's Depth Control feature.
Photography

What’s the difference between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic?

Lightroom CC has evolved into a capable photo editor, but is it enough to supplant Lightroom Classic? We took each program for a test drive to compare the two versions and see which is faster, more powerful, and better organized.
Photography

Luminar’s libraries gain speed, drop need for you to manually import images

Luminar 3 just got a performance boost. Skylum Luminar 3.0.2 has improved speed over December's update, which added the long-promised libraries feature giving editors a Lightroom alternative.
Photography

When you're ready to shoot seriously, these are the best DSLRs you can buy

For many photographers the DSLR is the go-to camera. With large selection of lenses, great low-light performance, and battery endurance, these DSLRs deliver terrific image quality for stills and videos.
Photography

Mirrorless cameras were built to be compact, so why have they gotten so heavy?

Mirrorless cameras launched as portable alternatives to bulky and complex DSLRs -- so why are they getting bigger and heavier? Cameras are trending towards heavier models, but that change comes with more advanced features.
Photography

The best place to print photos online in 2019

Have you been looking around for the best place to print out your favorite photos online or in store? Don't fret, we've pored through dozens of options and narrowed it down to the seven best.