When it comes to travel videography and making vlogs, nothing comes handier than your phone. As a travel filmmaker on YouTube, I mostly use my mirrorless camera (Sony a6500) for shooting, but in some situations such as at the airport or on the move, I prefer using my phone since it is small enough to fit in my pocket.
It doesn’t matter if you are filming with your professional camera or your phone, as long as your footage is smooth and stable. No one wants to watch shaky footage. Using stabilisers like a gimbal can help you get smooth cinematic shots.
Usually, gimbals and stabilisers are quite large and hard to carry with you all the time, especially when you are moving from place to place. But it seems that the PowerVision S1 gimbal solves these problems with a design that folds up to a size and shape of a small power bank.
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Size and Features
The PowerVision S1 claims to be the world’s smallest smartphone gimbal and to be honest it is pretty small. It is shorter and narrower than my phone, the Samsung S21 Ultra, but it is definitely thicker and slightly heavier than my phone.
Folded Size: 14.15 x 5.8 x 2.8 cm
Unfolded Size: 25.86 x 5.92 x 5.8 cm (with the centre post extended)
Weight: 298 grams
You can easily fit it in your pocket and it is a great device to carry while going for a hike or for other outdoor activities. I used the gimbal on our long hike in Canada and carried it in my shorts’ pocket comfortably. You can watch the video of our hike below.
The PowerVision S1, with its unique design, can be used as a gimbal, a tripod and a portable wireless smartphone charger. It has a magnetic mounting system that requires either a dedicated magnetic phone case or a universal magnetic mount that sticks to the back of your phone. It is compatible with Apple, Samsung, Google, and Huawei.
Compatible load weight: 220±60g
Compatible phone length: up to 16.4 cm
How to Use the PowerVision S1
To be able to take advantage of all of its features, you need to download the Vision+S1 app which enables functionalities like shooting, editing and sharing. The app has a wide range of features. Make sure to use auto-calibration within the app to get better results.
If you use your phone for vlogging or talking to the camera, you can enable the AI auto face-tracking feature on the app. I tested this feature on our hike while talking to a camera and walking, it not only kept me in the frame, but I was always in the centre no matter how much and in which direction I moved my head. This feature is useful for those who shoot solo.
There is also object tracking, which allows you to select an object, which could be a moving or a static object and track it automatically. You can also use gestures to start or stop recording.
Apart from the app, you can control the camera by using the buttons on the body of the PowerVision S1. There is a joystick that controls the pan and tilt of the gimbal and if you press it twice, it resets the stabiliser to the centre position, and if you click it three times, it changes the camera from front to rear and vice-versa.
The record button snaps a photo or starts/stops recording. You will find the zoom rocker on the side, which you can use to zoom in or zoom out smoothly.
By double-clicking the power button, you can change the orientation of your phone. I found this feature quite handy since I shoot horizontally for YouTube and vertically for Instagram and TikTok.
You can charge the gimbal with a USB-C cable and it takes up to 2 hours for a full charge. The battery life lasts 15 hours and it can also charge your phone wirelessly with its magnet mount while in use.
Overall, the PowerVision S1 is a great gimbal and an excellent accessory for those who shoot on the phone and looking for smooth and cinematic footage.
The weight and size of the gimbal make it easy to carry while travelling and the wireless charger is another useful feature. If it is something that you can afford it is definitely worth having one.