Single-handed motorised stabiliser gimbals seem to be coming thick and fast and it’s no surprise once you see how they can transform your footage. The Benro RedDog R1 is one of the most impressive yet, being lightweight, relatively inexpensive and packed with features.
There’s a lot to like from the outset. Strip away the cardboard packaging and a semi-hard transport case is revealed. Inside neatly laid out is the gimbal itself, bar a charge and balance all set and ready to use.
The design isn’t as finessed as the likes of the DJI Ronin-S, but then this is a far lighter weight product so doesn’t need the muscle. It’s designed for Mirrorless cameras, unlike the Ronin-S which can hold more than most owners.
Setup is quick once you know what you’re doing, as with any of these gimbals, and once you’ve run through a quick calibration you’re ready to go.
There’s little else to the basic function, it just works. The R1 is the mid-range Benro gimbal stabiliser, so the motors are designed for Mirrorless use. Side by side against the Ronin-S it’s obvious the R1’s motors don’t have the same level of grunt, but really do they need too.
Aside from the basic smooth flowing stabilisation, a joystick enables you to take control of the 3-axis movement of the head. It’s as smooth and silky as you’d hope, and a mode button switches between the different axis locks which is handy.
In the box is a link cable that enables you to directly plug your camera into the gimbal so you can fire off the shutter from the grip or mobile app.
There’s also the obligatory accompanying App and this gives you full control over the gimbal as well as options for automated movement for shooting panoramics or setting your own sweeping tracks.
Alongside the actual gimbal is a solid mini tripod that bolts to the base and enables you to stand the gimbal while it calibrates or when you control the gimbals motion from afar. It also enables you to get better purchase when holding the gimbal in some positions.
One feature that will please many gimbal users is the quick transform which sees the handle twist so that you can switch from a vertical stick angle to more of a carrying angle. This all works with the quick release of a couple of bolts, you can then change the handle position, from upright, to over the top. This is a huge advantage over the Ronin-S and allows for a much more comfortable carrying position.
The RedDog R1 has weight and size on its side, it’s compact nature makes it a great option as a lightweight gimbal when travelling and also makes it a lighter weight option over the competition.
There are downsides, the motors aren’t as powerful as those in the Ronin-S and the design in some places isn’t as refined.
Then there’s the app, it’s solid enough and enables you greater control over the gimbal, but again there just isn’t the same level or refinement that you’d find with DJI’s Ronin App.
But these notes are just being picky, for the money the RedDog R1 is an excellent gimbal stabiliser especially considering the price.
The full review is on it’s way. If you have any questions or comments then please let me know.