HomeRaspberry Pi TutorialsThe mini version of my favourite gimbal

The mini version of my favourite gimbal

The younger sibling

A while back, I decided to splash out and bought Feiyu Scorp Pro – a stabiliser for DSLR cameras. I never featured it on this channel, but it was responsible for many B-roll shots for the channel. As handy as it was, it’s heavy and my back wishes I had something less labour-intensive. Feiyu asked me to look at Feiyu Scorp Mini 2, the light version of the one I have, and here we are!

Feiyu Scorp Mini 2

After looking at Feiyu Scorp Mini 2 and its specification, it follows closely recently reviewed Hohem iSteady MT – both provide video stabilisation for phones, action cameras and DSLRs/Mirrorless. As a person who runs with their cameras a bit, I can tell you everything you need to know about Feiyu Scorp Mini 2 and help you make up your mind about which gimbal is right for you.

What sets the Scrop series apart is the unique handle (scorpion tail) that makes it so much easier to hold your rig with 2 hands. Feiyu Scorp Mini 2 is no different. While the handle on this stabiliser isn’t as fancy and detachable as on the Pro series, the device offers excellent comfort when using it with both hands. If you are running around with anything other than a mobile phone or action camera, you want to use both hands to get the best out of your rig.

It takes about 5 min to assemble Feiyu Scorp Mini 2 in the desired configuration. No tools are required, as everything connects using quick-release mounts and the metal construction of each axis arm gives durable impressions. Each motor comes with a dedicated lock to store the gimbal for transport and plates allow for adjustments to balance even the biggest payloads (up to 1.2kg). Switching between a mobile phone, action camera or DSLR shouldn’t take more than 2-3 min. You can see me having an initial go in my #TechDrop video:

From a control perspective, Feiyu Scorp Mini 2 is designed well. The handle with a big OLED touch-enabled display is easy to navigate and 7 dedicated buttons + a joystick control everything from power to special functions and modifiers. I particularly like the fact that the rotary encoder can be assigned to each axis with a flip of a side button, or set to control the camera’s focus or zoom (with compatible models).

It leaves a very professional impression, and it eases the operations. Even if your camera isn’t supported, the ability to quickly adjust the angle of one of the axes, cannot be overstated. It was the main thing I thought was missing on Hohem iSteady MT. I’m glad the rotary encoder is utilised well. If I could complain about one thing, it would be the position of the rotary encoder, which is a bit too far from my thumb to reach it with one hand. I’d love that option to make micro tilt adjustments.

AI tracking

My previous gimbal had a dedicated (sold separately) module to enable face tracking. On Feiyu Scorp Mini 2 this comes as standard. A tiny camera is hidden in one of the arms – and when enabled with a gesture, it tracks the face in front of it. This is so handy, as it allows you to focus on other things than keeping your subject in frame.

The AI tracking is very responsive to gestures. It works so well, I’m impressed. After the face tracking pitfalls of Hohem iSteady M6, I expected Feiyu Scorp Mini 2 to do well with single face tracking and completely fall apart when multiple faces are presented. In my tests, however, AI tracking worked very well. Even when I tried to deliberately confuse it by going behind another person, 9 out of 10 times, the AI would resolve the track correctly and follow me accordingly.

A nice addition is the ability to re-frame the shot so your head doesn’t have to appear in the middle of the frame each time. Check out the instructions for how to trigger it. If your camera is connected with a cable (or via Bluetooth) – you can also trigger your shutter release with a hand gesture, further reducing the length of recorded clips by not making you walk back and forth to start your video or take a picture.

Gimbal actions

As the Feiyu Scorp Mini 2 is designed to work with various devices, the use of the app Feiyu ON is purely optional. The tiny touch-enabled display offers most of the controls you’d get using the dedicated app.

Thanks to countless buttons, I could switch quickly between stabilisation modes (POV, PTF, Lock FFW and PF) adjust the speed or swiftly switch over between selfie, portrait and default modes. Each setting is never further than a tap of a button away – and once you know the UI, operating the gimbal is very easy.

If stabilisation isn’t enough, Feiyu Scorp Mini 2 also offers pre-programmed moves. From shooting panoramas and time-lapses to crafting complex movements on the tiny display by adding waypoints and move timeframes. It’s exciting to see and execute these as Feiyu Scorp Mini 2 tells you in real time the progress of its actions.

Compatible cameras

I don’t have a compatible camera, but the Feiyu Scorp Mini 2 works with focus pull motors and can also interface with the camera’s settings via cable. With compatible cameras you can access F-stop settings, ISO and shutter speed on the screen and map the rotary encoder to the focus pull. These operations work thanks to Bluetooth and wired connections as Feiyu Scorp Mini 2 is equipped with USB-C ports that deliver power and data connection to your mounted filming equipment.

One thing I noticed was the focus pull motor purchased for Scorp Pro may not work on longer lenses. The original motor fitting bracket wasn’t compatible with the Feiyu Scorp Mini 2 and the included tube was a little shorter than expected. I was able to use it with a 20-135mm Lumix lens. Once installed, controlling the focus pull was as simple as assigning the motor control to the rotary encoder.

Check the manual for compatible models of cameras and action cams if you care about these functions. It’s nice to have the controls on that tiny screen, as setting these when the camera is already fitted to the gimbal gets tiresome. In the worst-case scenario, you can fall back on TRS cables that enable shutter release from the gimbal.

Stabilisation

You could have all the features in the world, but without the proper stabilisation, the gimbal would be just a toy. Feiyu Scorp Mini 2 works pretty well, as long as you don’t get close to the maximum size/payload limit.

I found the videos shot on my Xiaomi Mi 14, Akaso Action cam and Lumix GX-80 to be awesome. The video is very smooth, and the movement of the frame corresponds with my intentions. Where the gimbal excels is the ergonomics of the grip. That alone contributes to the effective control of the rig.

Each pan, tilt and follow feels natural and intentional. While the Pro version was superior when handling bigger cameras, it was extremely hard to use the gimbal with one hand. Feiyu Scorp Mini 2 makes it possible.

After a couple of hours of shooting with Feiyu Scorp Mini 2, I paused to re-tune the responsiveness of the gimbal. After reviewing my initial footage, the gimbal followed not hand movements rapidly and while this is great for sports events, I wanted a more smooth effect. After defining how each axis should behave, I introduced a much gentler response – creating even more stabilised videos. Don’t be afraid to tweak things until you are happy with how the gimbal moves.

Payload limit

In theory, I could also fit my Lumix S5 with a 35mm prime lens or 20-130mm kit lens without going over the payload limit, but the closer you get to 1200g the bigger the chances of the gimbal having a bit of a spasm in more intricate positions. You’ll have to learn how far you can push it before the steppers misbehave. Don’t worry, these issues are only present in rather rare/extreme manoeuvres.

I made sure that Feiyu Scorp Mini 2 and my camera were levelled and tuned before use, but steppers would slip on sudden movements.

Feiyu ON

Gimbal buttons are not the only way to control Feiyu Scorp Mini 2. You can download the Feiyu ON app which will pair your smartphone to the app and extend the functionalities of your gadget.

You’ll have access to all controls assigned to the buttons, and extra settings but also 2 more features that you can’t have without the app. Firstly, you can remotely move the gimbal in real time via app – that’s great if you need to stand aside and still have precise controls and you cannot rely on AI face tracking. Secondly, (and for that, your phone needs to be either mounted on Feiyu Scorp Mini 2 or fitted parallel to the gimbal’s moving arm) you can track objects.

Object tracking will limit certain shoot modes on your phone, but you figure out a way to fit your phone to a small DSLR mounted on the gimbal – you could, in theory, track objects and shoot with your fancy camera instead.

Final thoughts

Feiyu Scorp Mini 2 is a really good gimbal. At $269 it’s worth your attention if you are looking for one device that will cater to all your portable needs. Feiyu Scorp Pro might be a better choice for heavier DSLRs, but your results will look fantastic if you keep below the payload limit. It’s not the most portable gimbal when folded, but it makes up with ergonomics in action. If you have any questions, let me know in this Reddit thread.

🆓📈💵 – See the transparency note for details.

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