The action camera market is in a stage of transition; the small go anywhere cameras are still creating a buzz and are as desirable as ever but the features of the top flight cameras are beyond what many people need. It seems that the emphasis has switched to improve ease of use.
The market has also diversified from just extreme sports enthusiasts to the families and vloggers.
In this period of transition, innovators such as Removu have leapt forth with new all-in-one camera and gimble systems that offer true action camera quality at an affordable price.
Admittedly DJI has already been in this market with all-in-ones for a while, but until now the Osmo has been unchallenged in the mass market.
The Removu K1 is £80 cheaper and offers much the same features and video quality as the Osmo, but packed into a far smaller and more convenient package.
For Removu K1
- Lightweight build
- Feature packed
- Decent App
Against Removu K1
- Can calibrate slightly in use
- Slightly cheaper-feeling build than the DJI Osmo
The popularity of gimbals has been steadily increasing as the price and size of the technology drops.
Despite the rising popularity, manufacturers still face the challenge of explaining why of earth gimbals are needed.
For those of us who use motorised gimbals regularly, there’s no discussion to be had, we know the effect that they will have on our handheld footage, and we know that we need one.
If you’re unfamiliar with gimbals, their function is, in essence to stabilise footage. They remove camera shake and wobble that’s inevitable when you’re filming handheld.
You could use the built-in image stabilisation offered in most cameras, but the effects of the digital stabilisers pale into insignificance against motorised devices such as the K1.
The effect on your video is staggering and it will transfer what might be regarded as amateurish footage into something altogether more professional.
Removu has been exceptionally canny with the release of the K1 and produced one of the highest spec’d, small and lightweight gimbals on the market.
Not only that, the company has paid attention to what people need and to what existing gimbal users are doing with their devices.
The K1 packs in the features, but features are never the whole story, it’s how everything works that matters.
If the stabilisation good and the video and audio quality is mediocre, we have a problem. Looking through the spec’s, however, it seems Removu is well aware of what’s needed and has packed in the tried and test quality of the Ambarella processor and Sony Sensor.
Feature-packed sums up the K1’s specs list, and to be honest if you’re going up against the Osmo then you can’t cut corners.
Ambarella and Sony have had long been the dream team when it comes to action camera processing and sensor technology, so it’s no surprise that they feature in the K1.
Removu has gone for the Ambarella A12S75 and 1/2.3” CMOS 12MP (Sony IMX377). The sensor is the same as that used in the Yi 4K a camera that defeated the GoPro Hero 4 Black when it came to absolute video quality.
Fronting this combo is a f/2.8 101º field of view (FOV) lens. This lens choice is far narrower than the usual 160º/170º adopted by most action cameras and it has a minimum focal distance of just 50cm, making it an ideal choice for direct to camera work.
The available video resolutions and framerates are impressive with 4K at 30fps and 1080p at up to 120fps; it can also shoot 720p at an incredible 240fps if you feel the need.
As well as video the K1 can, of course, capture stills at up to 4000×3000 pixels (12Mp) and has; single shot, burst, time-lapse and panorama modes built in.
Other modes include slow motion and time-lapse video both well worth a look.
In a departure from many cameras at the moment, Removu has properly spec’d the MicroSD card compatibility, and the K1 can accept cards up to 256GB.
Moving on to the gimbal, it’s a 3-axis model. In the last year, I’ve been sent several 2-axis gimbals which are frankly pointless.
This gimbal provides a good range of movement with a tilt range of between -48 and 108, Pan of -75 and 255 and roll of -60 to 60.
In the past weight and size has always been a bit of an issue with gimbals, but the K1 weighs just 340g including the battery.
Finally, size-wise the whole device measures 5.8 x 7.0 x 21.6cm, that’s small enough to comfortably fit into a Billingham Hadley lens pocket without issue.