Unlike many generic gimbal manufacturers, Removu is a small Korean brand with a much more focused mission statement. They are dedicated to designing innovative new accessories—specifically for the GoPro. Upon learning about the Removu S1, it was immediately clear the engineers there were doing things differently.
The Removu S1’s killer feature is that its handgrip can be easily detached from its body. The result is an incredibly versatile gimbal that can be handheld, mounted or used as a wearable gimbal.
When I go biking, I’ll typically take my FeiyuTech WG2X Wearable Gimbal and wear it around my chest chest. However, I need to remember to pack another handheld gimbal for everything else.
For precisely that reason, the Removu S1 is off to a very promising start. Let’s see whether or not the Removu S1 is any good in practice.
As soon as I opened the box I was impressed by the very attractive zipper case. The gimbal and its bundled accessories were neatly seated within the case’s foam padding.
One thing that really struck me about the Removu S1 was just how good the damn thing looked. I’ve seen a lot of gimbals and this is definitely one of the sexiest I’ve ever seen. The gimbal has a somewhat retro aesthetic to it which is perfectly complemented by Removu’s bold logo.
Just as you’d expect from a company focused solely on developing accessories for the GoPro, they’ve definitely tried their best to accommodate all GoPro users.
The GoPro frame housing will fit the GoPro HERO 3/3+/4/5/6/7, the Session Cube and most likely any future GoPro.
They’ve also included frame housing for the GoPro’s biggest rival, the Yi 4K+ and the Garmin VIRB action cameras. More housing frames are also available on the Removu store.
- Removu S1 Gimbal unit
- Handgrip with detachable wireless remote
- Frame housing for GoPro, Yi 4K and Garmin VIRB
- Li-Polymer Battery Pack
- Charging Dock (can simultaneously charge 2x battery and wireless remote)
- Handle caps, wrist strap
Being a 3-axis gimbal, the Removu S1 is designed to get rid of unwanted camera shake in the pan, tilt and roll axis. 3 brushless DC motors rotate 3 pivots in the opposite direction to undesirable movements, thereby negating any kind of shake or vibration.
As already mentioned, the S1’s removable handgrip means it is a 2-in-1 handheld and mountable/wearable gimbal. The opportunities are endless – on a custom selfie stick, on your bike’s handlebars or worn around your chest. As long as it fits the S1’s quarter-inch screw thread needle, you’re good to go!
Removu also took the modular design a step further by ingeniously tucking a wireless remote into the handgrip. That’s a totally logical and awesome idea.
The compact wireless remote is no slouch either. With its small LCD display and ergonomic design, I found it very practical to use. It certainly beats controlling your gimbal remotely using your iPhone/Android.
If you thought that was the end of the S1’s innovative feature list – we’re not done yet.
According to Removu, the S1 gimbal, its motors and the bundled remote are all IP65 rainproof (not waterproof though, so don’t take it underwater). Now that’s a first (but hopefully not the last) for a GoPro gimbal. I personally didn’t want to get it wet so can’t vouch for how well it handles rain or snow, but I will take their word for it.
The shooting modes on the Removu S1 are pretty much what you’d expect from any of the gimbals you can pick up today.
Pan Following: The S1 will lock the tilt (up and down) axis, keeping the camera’s position relative to the horizon steady, but allowing freedom to pan.
Pan and Tilt Following: The S1 will only lock the roll axis.
All axes locked: The S1 will lock the pan (side to side) tilt (up and down) and roll (GoPro tilting left or right) axes. Useful if you mount it on a moving object like a bike or car.
Video Stabilization Performance
The S1’s unique modular design doesn’t compromise video stabilization performance, at least from what I could tell.
The video stabilization performance is definitely good for a gimbal of its price, but I’d rate it slightly worse than strong performers like the Feiyu Tech G6.
The maximum follow speed of the motors also felt a tad slower than other high end gimbals. It’s sufficient for most purposes but hardcore thrill seekers might find it doesn’t quite keep up with the action.
Many users and other reviewers have commented on the Removu S1’s loud motors. Personally, I didn’t find them to be too noisy, but then again I typically film scenes where perfect audio is more of a bonus than a requirement. If I was a vlogger with a lot to say, perhaps those motors would become an issue.
Thoughts after 1 week of using the Removu S1
The S1 looks amazing and its unique modular design gives it versatility that every other gimbal lacks. The stabilization performance is very decent and there’s nothing that really stands out as being particularly bad. Given that, it should be very close to being the perfect gimbal.
Yet, for some reason, I found myself enjoying my time with the Removu S1 less than I’d hoped. It didn’t feel as natural in my hands as the GoPro Karma. It didn’t have the perfect stabilization performance of my Feiyu G6.
In other words, the S1 is kind of a jack of all trades, but master of none. It’s a fantastically clever piece of kit that just misses the mark.
All in all, the Removu is an great gimbal that makes a lot of sense if you’re looking for a one-size-fits-all solution to your GoPro stabilization needs. It does well in every respect, but at the same time doesn’t shine in any aspect.
With a very reasonable price tag, I definitely think this is a sensible purchase decision for someone who intends to use their GoPro in a variety of ways. Especially if your budget doesn’t allow you to have more than one gimbal.
However, if your GoPro uses are fairly limited, I’d personally recommend something that fits that purpose best.
The Removu S1 is our favorite 2-in-1 (handheld and wearable) gimbal in our GoPro Gimbal Buyer’s Guide.
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Additional Resources: Removu S1 FAQ