GoPro’s Karma drone launch didn’t go so well. But there is a silver lining: the drone came with a removable stabilizer called the Grip ($300) that also works for handheld footage. Now GoPro is selling the Grip separately. In my opinion, it’s an essential piece of any GoPro kit because it ensures buttery smooth action-cam footage.
There are other gimbals specifically designed for action cams, but GoPro’s stands out for a number of reasons. First, it perfectly integrates with a GoPro—it works with the Hero5 and Hero4, and it will be compatible with the Session next year with the release of a new attachment. You also get full camera controls on the handle so you can shoot one-handed. The internal battery will charge your GoPro and still run the stabilizer for 1.5 hours. It also has a USB port so you can offload photos and video.
The stabilization is rock solid. I mountain biked and ran with it and found the footage to be as smooth as video shot with any other gimbal I’ve tested. The Grip can also take a beating: I banged the thing against a table, and it adjusted right back into position—something I can’t say about other gimbals we’ve accidentally destroyed at Outside. A number of mounts are available for POV footage if you aren’t running around chasing the action in front of you. My favorite is the one that allows you to attach the Grip to a backpack strap when skiing or biking. GoPro also plans to release an extension cord next year that will allow users to stash most of the battery and handle behind the shooter.
GoPro is having its problems. The company recently announced it was laying off 200 employees. But the Grip is evidence that GoPro is still plenty capable of building products that make action-cam video much better and easier to shoot.