Welcome to our ultimate Freevision Vilta review that we have noticed a steadily increasing number of people reaching out for due to the steady increase in popularity of hybrid action camera gimbals. The Freevision Vilta is a jack of all trades, master of none that offers both wearable gimbal and handheld gimbal functionality in one product. Its only real competition at the time of writing in this space is the Removu S1 that is around $50 cheaper than the Freevision Vilta at the time of writing.
Now, cheaper does not always mean better and both gimbals have their own advantages and disadvantages over each other with the Vilta coming out on top when it comes to its performance and image stabilization. The Removu S1 has advantages in build quality and robustness but in reality but the Vilta can still take its fair share of bumps when in use. That said though, when looking to purchase a gimbal stabilizer, the vast majority of action sports enthusiasts want optimal performance and image stabilization over a more robust build quality.
Now, as we mentioned, the Freevision Vilta is a hybrid gimbal and it has to make sacrifices over dedicated handheld or wearable gimbals to offer this dual functionality. If you know for a fact that you have no use for the dual function feature of the gimbal then taking a dedicated handheld gimbal like the Zhiyun Smooth 4 with the additional action camera adapter plates or a dedicated wearable gimbal like the Evo SS will be a better option.
On the flip side though, if you know that you are wanting an all in one solution that offers the best performance possible then the Freevision Vilta is probably the best hybrid gimbal on the market right now. Since its release onto the market, it has managed to earn itself a solid reputation within the community that is constantly growing at a steady pace.
Performance And Functionality
Additionally, the latest GoPro at the time of writing is the GoPro Hero 7 and although it is not listed as a supported device for the Freevision Vilta, this is simply due to the Hero 7 range not having been released when the gimbals box was printed. As the GoPro Hero 7 fits the same form factor as the other GoPro action cameras and falls within the load capacity of the gimbal, the Hero 7 will work with the Freevision Vilta.
Additionally, it is highly likely that any future GoPro action cameras released in the future will also fit the standard GoPro action camera form factor and be within the load capacity limits of the gimbal allowing you to future proof your gimbal purchase for future GoPro releases. On top of this, a large number of cheap GoPro alternatives essentially duplicate the dimensions of the official GoPro range meaning that many of the entry-level action cameras can also fit the gimbal too. Unfortunately, though, there are so many GoPro alternatives on the market right now that we are not able to provide a specific list of the action cameras from outside the GoPro range that will work with the gimbal.
Moving on, the battery life of the Freevision Vilta is excellent with its dual battery system offering you a maximum of eight hours of battery per full charge. This ensures that you should be able to capture your day’s activities while out and about doing your action sport of choice. Another thing that is becoming more and more popular within the community is to take a power bank with you on your sessions allowing you to top your gimbal and action cameras power up in your downtime while you have breaks. This essentially stretches your battery life out much longer but you do need a high capacity power bank to be able to charge your Freevision Vilta, not a regular smartphone one.
Even in this day and age where the gimbal space is extremely competitive, we are seeing long-established gimbal brands release premium price point gimbals onto the market that have issues with their balancing algorithm and gimbal motors causing no end of issues for the user. The most recent example is the $500 Feiyutech AK4000 handheld gimbal that has had a ton of issues. So we just want to tip our hat to Freevision and congratulate them on managing to avoid these common pitfalls as a fledgling gimbal company.
The 3 axis gimbal control on the Freevision Vilta also ensures that you are able to quickly and easily adjust the position of the gimbal head as required during your sessions to ensure you are capturing the video footage that you want. This does not have a negative effect on the center of gravity, image stabilization or range of motion available to your action camera and is a very simple yet effective system.
All in all, for a hybrid gimbal, we really do feel that Freevision has done an excellent job and have managed to produce one of the best dual-purpose gimbals on the market right now. As we mentioned back at the start of the article, a number of brands have attempted to enter the hybrid gimbal space but in our opinion, only the Freevision Vilta and the Removu S1 are worth considering adding to your collection of acton camera accessories.
User Interface And Control System
Additionally, Freevision has done a solid job of putting the control system together for the gimbal too and although it is basic, it gets the job done and the ease of use of the system actually plays into the hands of the gimbal too. As the vast majority of people who look to add an action camera gimbal stabilizer to their collection care more about their action sport of choice than the gimbal, they don’t have the time to put into learning a new gimbal like a professional videographer would.
The simplicity of the control interface on the Freevision Vilta works to your favor if you fall into this bracket and simply don’t have the free time available to learn a complicated interface system. We are confident in saying that the vast majority of our readers should have no issues at all when it comes to getting to grips with the Freevision system and getting the gimbal to do what you require with ease.
Although the app for the Vilta is very easy to navigate, it does have some problems with actually pairing your phone with your gimbal. Once done, it can randomly drop the connection too making the app a little frustrating to use but we hope that by the time you read this review, Freevision will have patched the issues as other than the connectivity problems, it is a solid smartphone app.
As you would expect from a gimbal app, it offers some wireless remote control performance, the ability to see what you are recording in real-time as well as the ability to quickly and easily tweak some gimbal settings with ease. If you are looking to tweak gimbal settings then the app is the quickest way to do so provided it connects correctly and doesn’t drop its connection once established.
Another area where many new gimbal brands have issues is with the initial balancing process of their gimbals and again, we are happy to say that Freevision have done a solid job of implementing a simple yet effective balancing process for the Freevision Vilta. Thankfully though, due to action cameras having such a low payload weight for the gimbal, even if you don’t get the balancing process correct, the gimbal is usually able to provide you with its great image stabilization without issue.
If you are a first-time gimbal owner, the Freevision Vilta has one of the easier balancing systems out there and it is very straight forward making it an ideal first gimbal. Additionally, there are a few video tutorials on YouTube of other Vilta owners balancing their gimbals that you can check out if you do end up having any problems with getting your gimbal balanced.
Build Quality And Design
Additionally, when used in wearable mode, the Freevision Vilta is small and compact too ensuring that it has a minimal impact on your ability to move and do whatever it is you require for your action sport of choice. The gimbal is also pretty lightweight by wearable gimbal standards making it easy to mount it to a chest strap or helmet mount without really noticing that you have the gimbal and your action camera on you.
When used in handheld gimbal mode, Freevision have done a solid job of ensuring that the actual handle of the gimbal is comfortable enough for you to hold it for long periods of time if needed. A common issue with all handheld gimbals is that the users hands will cramp and their arm will ache when holding the gimbal but the handle on the Vilta is comfortable and offers some solid grip too.
Question – Is the Freevision Vilta waterproof?
Answer – No, the Vilta is not waterproof and should never be submerged in water, it does not have the correct sealings to prevent water from getting to its electronics and damaging the gimbal. That said though, this is not a disadvantage of the gimbal over the competition as at the time of writing, no gimbal on the market is waterproof.
Question – Is the Freevision Vilta weatherproof?
Answer – We could not find any official confirmation on this but we have seen a few reports from users who say they have used the gimbal in rain without issue. Either way, if you are using the gimbal in heavy rain, we would recommend that you dry it off as soon as possible.
Question – Can you mount any other action cameras to the Freevision Vilta?
Answer – As we mentioned, there are a number of cheap GoPro alternative cameras on the market that match the form factor for the GoPro camera range and can mount to the gimbal. Other brands like Sony and Garmin use their own form factor for their action cameras though meaning you would have to check if there is a third-party mount available for your specific camera model.
That brings our Freevision Vilta review to an end and this is one of the few gimbals that we have reviewed recently that we feel comfortable recommending to our readers if you are in the market for a hybrid gimbal. We are confident that adding the Vilta to your collection of camera accessories will help to improve the image quality that you are able to capture with the gimbal as well get some excellent image stabilization from the stabilizer.
Now, as we mentioned back at the start of the article, if you know for a fact that you only need the handheld gimbal functionality of the Vilta then in our opinion, the Zhiyun Smooth 4 with the action camera adapter plates is a much better and cheaper option. Additionally, if you only need the wearable gimbal functionality of the Vilta then the Evo SS is a better option with a similar price tag but is the undisputed wearable gimbal king right now.