Last year, the Smoovie stabilizer launched on Kickstarter promising smartphone and GoPro users the ability to shoot super-smooth video thanks to its magnetic gimbal. Now, after shipping that product to backers, the team behind it is back with the MiniRig, which adds lighting and audio features, along with improved stabilization.
Like its predecessor, the MiniRig is a balance-based stabilizer which can be used with smartphones and GoPro action cameras. Users just mount their camera of choice and then adjust the handle to find a balance point. Using the handle when filming should then result in footage which is considerably less shaky than if holding the camera in the hand.
As with the Smoovie, a neodymium magnet gimbal is used to keep a mounted smartphone or GoPro straight, even if the hand controlling it isn't. However, the gimbal on the MiniRig is adjustable and can be tightened. This allows users to choose between drifting cinematic movements or faster action movements, depending on their subject. Cameras can also be mounted in landscape or portrait orientation, and even flipped (so the camera is at the bottom and the weight at the top) for low angle shots.
Instead of using a simple weight on the end of the pole as the counterweight, a USB battery pack is deployed. This enables the use of video-enhancing accessories such as the included flexible LED ring light, which has five different power and color settings. There's also a bundled wired microphone, which will mount onto the MiniRig and plug into compatible smartphones.
While all of this should help to improve the quality of video being shot when the camera is moving, the 170 g (6 oz) MiniRig can be used for stationary shots, too, thanks to tripod legs which are incorporated into the bottom of the battery pack. A detachable wireless remote will also come in handy at times when the camera is not within reach.
The MiniRig is currently on Kickstarter where early-bird pledges start at £38 (around US$47). That will rise to £50 ($62) when those have run out. If the project reaches its £10,000 target, and everything else goes to plan, MiniRig should start shipping in September.
You can check out the Kickstarter video for MiniRig below.