Prototype review: Rigiet smartphone camera stabilizer

Are you familiar with the DJI Osmo gimbal? It's a device that holds its own camera, a smartphone, and/or a GoPro and allows for smooth video panning and tilting while keeping everything stabilized. In other words, if you want to hand hold an iPhone 7 Plus to film high quality video, you need a gimbal. Today, Dobot announced the start of its Kickstarter campaign to bring the Rigiet stabilizer to market for just $189 -- or $129 to backers of the Kickstarter campaign. The regular retail price is over $100 less than the DJI Osmo...

We were fortunate enough to receive a prototype of the Rigiet for testing and this device is incredible! 

Design

Out of the box, the Rigiet looks odd - a couple of machined metal arms that flop loosely atop a handle with a power button, joystick, and several switches. Inside that handle is a rechargeable battery that can also recharge an attached iPhone.

At the very "top" of the Rigiet is a clamp that holds an iPhone in place. Once it is in place, pressing the power button brings the gimbal to life, and when I say that I mean it's like having a robotic hand that suddenly wakes up. 

The idea of gimbals like this is that they have tiny motors and sensors that work to keep a camera steady even when the person doing filming is moving around. The Rigiet also comes with an iPhone app that "talks" to the gimbal, allowing it to do some very amazing things like automatically tracking a subject that you define on screen. That kid on the skateboard doing tricks? Draw a box around him on the screen before you start filming, and the Rigiet tracks him with you having to do anything.

There are a number of pre-programmed modes other than the tracking mode. For example, there's a livestream mode that's perfect for having the Rigiet be a virtual cameraman for you while livestreaming. There are preprogrammed panorama modes that let you shoot panos without having to move your iPhone along that imaginary line. Instead, you just tap the pano mode you want (180°, 330° or 12-pic wide angle) and the camera takes over taking the photos, then stitching them together. 

Those cool timelapse videos you see where the camera slowly pans as it is taking a timelapse movie? It's all done automatically with the Rigiet timelapse mode. 

Although you can still tap the screen on the iPhone to control many of the photo or video modes, the ability to control those features, zoom, pan, or even switch between front and rear cameras with the joystick and on-handle switches is a real bonus.

Function

Enough writing. Watch this video review for more details on the functionality of Rigiet.

As I mention in the video, the Rigiet is definitely worthy of a 5-star rating. It's a professional device on an amateur budget, well constructed, and filled with capabilities that will make your videos look great.

The Kickstarter campaign went well over the funding goal of $30,000 in about two hours, and at the time of publication it's up to well over $50,000 and almost 400 backers.