There are smaller form factor cameras, and cameras with integrated or attachable gimbal, but only a few do both things well. I have used some cameras from lesser known manufacturers such as DJI, GoPro, small Lumix devices and Leica. They all leave something on the table. People with large screens often lack a microphone or playback. People who have a microphone often lack a screen. There is always some level of trade-off that makes it difficult to fully recommend one of them. Well, a newcomer to the space, Thinkware, has what they believe is a trend-breaking device – snap-G. Let’s unbox it, charge it, and see what it can do!
The first thing that immediately becomes clear is that this device is compact. It’s slightly larger than the DJI Pocket 2, but unlike that device, the screen is big enough to see clearly – actually 2″. A large LCD on a DSLR, being able to see more accurately what the camera sees (and ultimately how your output will look) can mean that you can avoid blurry footage or out-of-frame don’t be surprised by the action. At just 0.63 pounds, it’s also exceptionally light, making it easy for all-day events.
We’ll delve deeper into the audio later, but it also has an external port for a microphone, which means you can also connect your favorite shotgun mic, or a good high-end mic, if audio is your way of output. Important . This is completed with a 3.5 mm audio jack at the midpoint of the body. An extra Jack for audio monitoring would be a welcome addition, but the fact that Snap-G has a small set of speakers means you can at least confirm that your track has audio. More often than not, when I have an audio problem it is completely lacking, so just knowing that I am recording *something* is just what I need.
If you intend to interview with Snap-G, you will want to use some kind of external microphone device. There is a mount point under the snap-G, so your options are many.
One of the most important differences is the removable battery. The included battery is replaceable, meaning device life is not limited to battery life. The SG-BA20 battery is lithium-ion, with a rating of 2000mAh, and will last about 90 minutes when recording the maximum frame rate and resolution of the camera – 4K / 60. This battery looks pretty much like someone like wasabi is going to make a cheaper version of it in the coming days. Dropping the framerate to 24 or 30 fps significantly increases battery life – about three hours, provided you have enough storage for this. The only hitch with all this is that the battery is not visible. At the time of writing, I have no good source for backup batteries.
You will be surprised if you leave the camera up to 1080p – slow motion. In fact, it corresponds to my DLSR – a Canon M50, capable of handling 120 fps at full HD. Tossing up to 2.4 K would halve that frame rate, as would running at 4K, but I was shocked to see that kind of functionality in this small package.
Heading into the software I’m greeted with a simple and intuitive menu array. By swiping down on the screen, I can connect to my network for live streaming, put a shooting grid to line up my subjects, adjust my brightness and completely mute my sound. Can adjust the gimbal. There are adjustments within the gimbal settings for speed, overall sensitivity, and toggling between basic, pan, follow, and “FPV”. FPV in this case means first person view, and you will use it if you want to connect snap-G to a drone for a first person flyby. This can be useful when your action sequences are busy, allowing the gimbal to adjust more quickly.
The whole point of having a gimbal is the spontaneous shot, no matter what kind of movement or movement is going on with the shooter. Snap-G does remarkable work in exactly that. I have moved the device up and down aggressively which can only be described as “violence” and as you will see in the footage I capture, it is almost invisible. , I won’t do it all the time, as it’s a lot of wear and tear on servo motors, but it’s pretty impressive how well the snap-G compensates for both large and small movements.
There are several options for camera modes beyond the usual point and shoot. You can set these modes with a few button presses to record A to B record, a timed record, and even a speed controlled path. This allows you to set a point A and a point B, and then the camera will replay that speed while recording. This is useful for hands-free recordings or panoramic shots as well as day-night transitions such as time-lapse photography where you want to follow the sun.
Beyond these options there are a few more adjustments, including 3x zoom, Hyperlapse, motion lapse, exposure, white balance, shutter speed, and sensitivity across the board. Considering that it’s all screen-based, it’s good that Snap-G has enough processing power and memory to stay responsive and fast.
To help with the usability of Snap-G, there is a standard camera screw capable of mounting the device on a tripod or monopod. Better still, it can be locked onto a gorilla pod, and since it’s very light, you can snap it to get a fixture, light pole, or whatever you need. When I’m doing more run-and-gun work, I attach my road shotgun mic to the bottom, giving me a gimbal, professional-level audio, and excellent 4K stable footage with no need to carry a 15-pound camera.
The price envelope for such small cameras appears to be in the range of $ 299 to $ 399, with competitors like the DJI Pocket 2 hitting $ 349, the futek Pocket 2 eventually hitting $ 359, and the Insta360 hitting the top of the range. It’s at $ 399. I’ve never heard of stocking, but they offer a pocket gimbal camera for $ 299. The snap-G goes head-to-head with the DJI Pocket 2 for the same $ 349 price. Pound for pound, this camera can go toe-to-toe with every one of these other cameras, and it’s doing so at a price that clearly ends the conversation, as it is somewhere near this price range. There is no better pocket gimbal camera – not from a long shot.
Snap-G has obvious use cases for vloggers and sports enthusiasts alike, but I can look at the use case for home inspectors, Realtors, or even use it to get those crazy zoomies videos. I can tie on my pooch. Hyperlapse means you can film Amazing panoramas across the lake, or get awesome front-seat footage of your favorite roller coaster. Being it light and compact, the sky is really the limit.
Ultra compact and packed with tons of features, Snap-G is an excellent combination 4K camera / gimbal solution. With a removable battery, and a very competitive price, it puts every other pocket gimbal camera to shame.
– Ron Burke
2 ” screen visible in daylight
4K footage is crisp and clear
A wealth of functionality at your fingertips
Impossibly compact and lightweight
Fisheye footage needs post-production improvement
You’ll need an external microphone—it’s not great at high volume
Let’s create third parties – some batteries!
Does not handle red with low light color well
Ron Burke is the editor-in-chief of gaming trends. Currently living in Fort Worth, Texas, Ron is an old school gamer who enjoys CRPG, action/adventure, platformers, music games and has recently joined tabletop gaming.
Ron is also a fourth degree black belt, with master ranks of Matsumura Seto Shorin-re, Moo Duk Quan Tang Soo Do, universal Tang Soo Do alliance and international Tang Soo Do Federation. He ranks in many other genres in his quest to become a well-rounded fighter.
Ron has been married to Laura Burke, editor of gaming trends, for 21 years. They have three dogs-Pazuzu (Irish Terrier), ate, and Calliope (both Australian Kelpie / pit bull mixes).
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