As the Garmin Virb action camera range becomes increasingly popular as time goes on, we are seeing more and more people reach out and request advice on what the best gimbal for Garmin Virb action cameras on the market is. Now, in all honesty, there really isn’t much out there at the time of writing that supports the Garmin Virb making the Evo GP Pro the only gimbal that is able to support the Virb and even then, it needs the Virb adaptor kit to allow you to actually mount the camera.
This is due to Garmin going with their own form factor rather than sticking with the standard GoPro dimensions that some other action camera brands have done. For example, many cheap GoPro alternative brands essentially duplicate the exact form factor of the GoPro range meaning any gimbal that supports the GoPro range can support them.
With Garmin going in their own direction, this has created a nightmare for owners of the Garmin Virb who are wanting to add a gimbal to their collection of camera accessories. In fact, we did a fair bit of hunting around online looking for additional gimbals that we could cover that supported the Garmin Virb and this is one of the largest complaints that Garmin seems to get.
Hopefully, they will take this feedback from their community on board and their next-generation action cameras will either match the GoPro form factor or Garmin will release their own adaptor plates for their camera range. Although this is technically where the gimbal brands should come in, they are businesses chasing the largest slices of the pie.
In reality, GoPro still has the major share of the action camera market, then the DJI Osmo Action and various Sony action cameras probably have around the same share at the time of writing, after that we would estimate that the various cheap, entry-level action camera brands have the next largest share with Garmin coming in the last pace. If you were a gimbal brand, chances are you would focus on the products with the larger customer bases so Garmin really is going to have to do more for their users in the future.
Anyway, Evo has done an excellent job with their Evo GP Pro and the Virb adaptor kit is actually much easier to use than you would first think. The actual gimbal supports a large number of action cameras natively but the Garmin Virb does have to have the adaptor kit fitted to the camera before you are able to mount your Virb to it.
Since its release onto the market, the Evo GP Pro has managed to build up a large user base and has managed to earn itself a solid reputation amongst the community. We wanted to make a point of the gimbal having a solid reputation so our readers know that it is a decent option for their Garmin Vibe even though at the time of writing, it is the only gimbal that will support it.
Performance And Functionality
This can offer some great future-proofing for any future action cameras that you may end up purchasing, even years down the line as it is unlikely that any modern premium-level action camera like the Garmin Virb or GoPro Hero range will be more than the load capacity of the gimbal. Additionally, the super-light payload weight of your camera also has the added benefit of the gimbals motors not requiring as much power to stabilize it even when going over rugged terrain too. This means that it can actually help to improve the battery performance of the Evo GP Pro too.
Speaking of battery life, the Evo GP Pro has a maximum listed battery life of up to five hours per charge of its battery. That said, this is the listed battery life and we are confident that you will be able to get more than this due to the Garmin Virb being such a lightweight action camera. Additionally, more and more people are starting to take USB power banks out on their adventures with them to recharge their devices while on the go.
This allows you to top up your gimbal and action camera as well as any other devices that you may have with you and extend the battery life of your gimbal well beyond the five hour listed maximum before having to plug it back into the mains power. This ensures that no matter how long you are out doing your action sport of choice, a high capacity power bank can ensure that your devices can last as long as you need to ensure you are able to capture all the video footage you want.
When it comes to the actual levels of image stabilization on the gimbal, the gimbal motors and balancing algorithm on the Evo GP Pro is able to quickly and easily stabilize your Garmin Virb with ease. Due to many action sports being based around activities where you will be bounced around resulting in a ton of vibration, this is a solid feature to have to ensure your video footage is as smooth as possible.
Now, as we mentioned, at the time of writing, the Evo GP Pro is the only gimbal that can mount the Garmin Virb to it and even then it needs a mounting kit. Due to this massive limitation for the Garmin Virb, you are essentially stuck using the Evo technology and unfortinatley, both Zhiyun and DJI have a much better system with their balancing algorithms and gimbal motor power.
By the time you read this, additional mounting kits may be on the market so we would highly recommend that you double check if a Garmin Virb mounting kit is available for either the Zhiyun Smooth 4, Zhiyun Weebill Lab or the DJI Ronin SC as they are much better gimbals overall. That said though, the Evo GP Pro can still offer some great performance and with a super light action camera like the Garmin Virb, we are confident that you wont have any problems with image quality when using the gimbal.
User Interface And Control System
If this is the case for you then the simplicity and ease of use of the control system on the Evo GP Pro allow you to literally take it out the box, spend a few minutes playing with it and be confident in what you can do with the gimbal. We would imagine many of our readers who own the Garmin Virb and are looking for a gimbal will fall into this category.
If you are a first-time gimbal owner then the number one worry that we see people reaching out about is the balancing process for gimbals. Now, a few years back many gimbals had balancing issues with some brands even having them all the way through to today like the new AK gimbal range from Feiyutech. Thankfully though, the majority of modern handheld gimbals, including the Evo GP Pro have a simplified balancing process that is extremely easy.
In addition to this, the Garmin Virb is an extremely lightweight action camera meaning that the gimbal motors can do a solid job of providing you with some great image stabilization even if you are not able to balance the gimbal perfectly. This should be enough for you to put any potential worries about balancing the gimbal to ease but the user manual with the gimbal offers plenty of information and there are a number of video tutorials on YouTube too but we doubt they will be needed.
Build Quality And Design
When it comes to the gimbals actual build quality though, Evo has done a great job of putting together a great little action camera gimbal. As you would expect, it is as robust as you would imagine making it perfect for action sports where your gear is likely to take a few bumps and knocks during use. Additionally, although it is a pretty large gimbal, it is fairly lightweight for its size making it easy to carry and use for extended periods of time without issue.
The actual handle on the Evo GP Pro is very comfortable to meaning if you do have to hold it for long sessions to capture footage with your Garmin Virb over a few hours, your hand should be fine and not ache or cramp up. The comfort of the gimbal handle is often an overlooked factor by many people as everyone focuses on performance but if the handle of the gimbal is not comfortable, you can end up having cramps in your hand quickly making capturing your video footage over longer sessions a pain.
Question – Is the Evo GP Pro waterproof?
Answer – No, the gimbal is not waterproof and should never be fully submerged in water. That said, the gimbal does have “splashproof” sealing so it can be used when it is raining.
Question – Can you mount a smartphone to the Evo GP Pro?
Answer – Not natively but just like with mounting your Garmin Virb to the gimbal, there are a number of aftermarket mounts available that allow you to mount various smartphones to the Evo GP Pro.
Question – Can you upgrade the battery in the Evo GP Pro?
Answer – No, if you do require a longer maximum battery life from the gimbal our advice would be to pick up a high capacity USB power bank. Not only can you use this to top up your gimbal but you can also use it to recharge your Garmin Virb too.
That brings us to the end of our article going over what we feel is the best gimbal for Garmin Virb action cameras. Now, as we mentioned back at the start, the EVO GP Pro with the Virb adaptor kit is the only gimbal to offer support for the Virb at the time of writing and this is a shame as the Virb really is a solid action camera.
Although we would love to see some other gimbal brands release adaptor plates for their gimbal range to support the Virb, at the time of writing, we have not seen any hints that this will happen and from what we can see, Garmin has no plans to do so either. This pretty much leaves the Evo GP Pro as the only option available with no signs of this changing any time soon unfortinatley.