I have been shopping around for a new steadicam for my Panasonic GH4 so I can add stable motion to my 4K YouTube videos. Well, recently I happened to watch DroidModder Shane’s YouTube video on a smartphone gimbal stabilizer. I did a few hours of research on Amazon and YouTube trying to find the best smartphone stabilizer on the market with good reviews and good real footage.
Eventually it came down to the KumbaCam 3 (which Shane reviewed) and the LaParte HHG-01. Well, one thing that worried me was how small the battery looked on the KumbaCam 3 while the battery was huge on the LaParte. Upon asking Shane directly, he told me that the KumbaCam 3 does start sagging after only 20% of battery has depleted. So, I ended up with the LaParte HHG-01.
Upon unboxing, the LaParte HHG-01 came with Chinese instructions which I could not read (sorry I can read Korean though). To my surprise, I was able to figure out how to use the KumbaCam 3 without any instructions, just strap your smartphone on and hit the power button. The LaParte may start going bonkers but simply place your smartphone in a level position and it will start stabilizing right away. There’s also two weights on the device you can adjust to balance your smartphone. And yes, LaParte comes with 3 different mounts, one for smaller smartphones, one for larger smartphones (I was able to fit my Nexus 6, Note 4, LG G4, One PlusOne, HTC One M9 just fine), and one for GoPro Hero 3/4.
Another thing that worried me was motor noise as another review on Amazon said the motor noise is very loud. But my LaParte never made any noise while recording (as you can see in my videos as the audio is straight from my phones) and that could have been an older version. Make sure you grab the version on Amazon here as that’s the version I bought, it’s also the lowest price on Amazon.
With my co-host Peony, I did a bunch of tests including skateboard/longboard test, running test through the playground, and walking tests. Overall, I am very, very, very impressed with the product and boy, the quality/stability of videos you get out of LaParte is better than many expensive steadicams I’ve tested. With steadicams that are used on DSLR are super heavy, very hard to adjust to get it working in the first place, and will wobble quite a bit when doing any kind of fast panning. I almost bought a steadicam at a local camera shop few weeks back until I found that it was hard to even hold it for a few seconds because of all the weight.
As for stabilization, the LaParte worked really well on most of my devices including the Galaxy S6, LG G4, OnePlus One, HTC One M9, Nexus 6, and Note 4. For Nexus 6, the camera had a hard time auto focusing but that was the camera software not the stabilizer. And for the HTC One M9, which probably has the worst stabilization I’ve tried, did much better although exposure flickering problems and slight shaking was still apparent (that’s just the limits of HTC One M9 sorry). All the smartphone footage in the video was shot in 4K so do compare and let me know which one you think performed the best.
With LaParte, I am able to shrink that 4K stabilization combo to almost nothing and you can hold the device with one hand or even switch off between the left/right easily during your shoots. Also battery life was important to me and the LaParte held up great, giving me full 45 minutes and I still had more than half battery life. It’s rated for 2 hours so that is excellent with a 1500mAh battery. I also found that you can easily recharge on the go using any 12V portable laptop charger, it worked fine with my Anker Astro 2 and Poweradd.
Overall, I am very satisfied with LaParte HHG-01, it’s definitely the best stabilizer product I have tried so far and also one with such a small factor that can it a clear choice over many others. If you need pro-grade stabilization for your smartphone/GoPro, definitely get one of these and stabilize your videos to the maximum.
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