Hohem iSteady 3 in 1 Multi gimbal review

What is in this blog

 

At the date of this blog post posting, the Hohem iSteady Muli 3 in 1 gimbal’s price is at roughly $149. So it goes without saying that this gimbal might be a perfect candidate for any blogger or vlogger looking for a way to stabilize their selfie and lifestyle photography video footage at a low price.

I wanted to review the Hohem iSteady gimbal because the cameras it is made to support (Cell phones, action cams, and point and shoot cameras) are all those vloggers use. So let’s check it out.

Hohme iSteady gimbal holding a Sony ZV-1
Seen here with the Sony ZV-1. The Hohem iSteady is specifically made to carry all the image-creating devices that bloggers and bloggers love.

For those wanting to look at a review of a larger gimbal that holds a bigger payload like a DSLR or a larger mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, check out my blog post review on the Feiyu AK2000

Ergonomics of the Hohem iSteady Multi (What is in the box)

 

The Hohem iSteady Multi comes with a standard 3 axis base gimbal. To place your camera, Hohem offers 3 different adapters that revolve around a standard camera base plate with a standard camera D-Ringed ¼ mount screw. Hohem offers two in the box.

This gimbal comes in a neoprene type carrying case which is very decent. Other components in the box include the Sony Multi-Camera control cable, a very sturdy, well-made tripod for the base, and a hex (or Allen) wrench.

Build quality of the Hohem iSteady Multi

 

Plastic but strong build quality

 

All aspects of the build quality of this gimbal are good. The base handle and controls are made of plastic but this is far from being a deal-breaker. The plastic is solid and sturdy.

Hohem iSteady Multi laid down to show the side mount screw
Build quality is plastic but very solid

The moving parts section of the gimbal is made of solid aluminum. Everything that moves on the top end of the gimbal from the thumbscrews to the axis arms is top-notch. There were a few ergonomic aspects that I found particularly beneficial with this gimbal. 

 

  • The standard screw on the bottom of the gimbal was very strong 
  • The ¼ screw on the side was a nice touch for those wanting to add an accessory on the side like a monitor or a phone.
  • I really liked the larger size of the handle. I have big hands
  • This gimbal has a good tripod base. Although the one they offer really adds to the weight of the gimbal, I appreciate how sturdy the tripod is.
iSteady Multi gimbal holding the Sony ZV-1 camera
Build quality is very good considering that the componenets are mostly made of plastic.

The cold hard specs of the iSteady Multi

 

Here are some of the important aspects to remember about the specifications of the Hohem iSteady Multi.

iSteady construction

 

Materials:ABS+PC+Aluminium Alloy

Weight: 530g (With included battery

Max payload:400g

Trigger Button controls

 

Re-center

Sport Mode (Fast Following)

Slider: Zoom & Focus

Camera Control:

Take picture/ Start-Stop video/Zoom  

(Supports SONY camera series) with SONY Multi cable

iSteady Multi supported devices as per the Hohem website

 

  • Digital Cameras: SONY RX100 series (essentially all cameras with Sony control), Canon G series, Panosonic DMC-LX10, 
  • Smartphone: iPhone series and Android phone.
  • Action Camera: GoPro Hero series (Including GoPro 9),SONY RX0 series, SONY X3000,YI CAM,SJCAM

 

iSteady multi compatible cameras:

 

Sony compatible devices

 

SONY DSC-RX100 M2, M3, M4, M5, M5A, M6, M7, DSC-RX0, RX0M2, RX100 N50, HX50, HX50V, HX60, HX60V, HX80, HX90V, HX95, HX99, WX500, WX700, WX800, A5100 

 

Canon compatible devices

 

Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark 3, G3 X, G5 X Mark 2, G5 X, G7 X Mark 3, G7 X Mark 2, G1 X Mark 2, SX740 HS, SX720 HS, SX620 HS, SX430 IS , IXUS 285 HS, 190, 185, 175 

 

Panasonic Lumix compatible devices

 

DC-GF10KGK, GF10XGK, GX9KGK, GF9KGK, GF9XGK, ZS80GK, LX100M2GK, TSG7K, TS30, DMC-GF8KGK, LX10, ZS110

 

Fujifilm compatible devices

 

FUJIFILM XF10, FinePix XP140, XP130, P120

 

Nikon compatible devices

 

NIKON Nikon 1 J5, COOLPIX W150, A1000, W300s, A10, A900, A100, S7000)

Among the more famous supported devices for bloggers are:

Front view of the GoPro Hero9
This gimbal includes a standard GoPro sylte "fit in" mount for action cams. Making the action cam a bit top heavy which forces the gimbal motors. You might want to think about getting a Smallrig cage mount to lower your action cam center of gravity
Front side view of the Canon Powershot G7X mark 2
The Canon Powershot G7X Mark2 is a lovely blogging option for the Hohem gimbal. It offers great image quality and has a qualifying weight.
Front view of the Sony ZV-1
All the tests I did were with the Sony ZV-1. Although it is a bit harder to balance because of its flip out screen, both the Sony control options and low center of gravity make this camera a great contender for the Hohem iSteady Multi

Using the Hohem iSteady Multi

 

Balancing the gimbal

 

Balancing this gimbal is easy. Using the thumbscrews and the visual paper instruction manual, I was up and running quickly with my Sony ZV-1 point and shoot.

iSteady Multi mounting plate with red thumbscrews
The well indicated red thumbscrews, coupled with the adjustable slide mountplate made it easy to mount everything I threw at the Hohem iSteady multi gimbal

Gimbal control in standalone mode

 

You can control the iSteady Multi’s direction and angle positions using a universal thumb control lever on the handle. It works very well, and reaction time is good.  There is a button that allows you to switch between different follow modes depending on how many times you press it. You can confirm what mode you are in with the number of blinks the mode indicator displays. Working modes are:

  • Pan Following (tilt and roll are both locked)
  • Pan& Tilt Following (You can control left to right, and pan/tilt while roll is locked)
  • All Locked (camera stays in whatever the orientation is)
  • All Following (inception mode)
  • Sport Mode (Fast Following)
Hohem iSteady physical multi control buttons on the handle
Record, wide/telephoto, follow modes, and camera attitude angles via a large thumb grip are available on the Hohem iSteady's handle.

The “trigger button” will bring the camera back to the center when you tap it twice. When you hold this button down, it allows your gimbal to go to sport mode, where you can track movement quicker than usual. However, I never found myself needing this mode for my blogging needs.

Using the iSteady multi with the Sony ZV-1 point-and-shoot camera

  

My first experience was to use this gimbal with the Sony ZV-1 with the Sony multi-cable attached. This cable allows you to control a Sony-compatible camera (see the list in specs) with the gimbal’s physical controls. For the Sony ZV-1, using zoom, take photo, and start and stop video recording worked flawlessly with the gimbal arm buttons.

Hohem iSteady gimbal with a sony control wire attached to a Sony ZV1 camera
Using the supplied Sony compatible control wire, you can plug the Hohem iSteady multi gimbal to a Sony point and shoot and control zoom, take photo, and start and stop video recording.

Controlling the Hohem iSteady Multi with the utility software

 

I was also able to control all the control functions while in the Hohem iSteady mobile+ smartphone software for Android 5.0 and iPhone 9.0. When you establish an initial Bluetooth handshake, the software asks you to pick between point-and-shoot, action cam, or smartphone.

iSteady multi phone app splashscreen
The Hohem iSteady multi main software splashscreen
Hohem iSteady Mobile+camera controller interface
When the iSteady Multi app discovers your paired gimbal, it immediately offers you the choice of controlling whatever is on the mount.

When I picked a point-and-shoot camera, the software offered a visual control interface that worked pretty well. It gave me the following choices:

 

  • All Sony camera control parameters (Wide/Tele, photo shutter release, and record on and off)
  • All gimbal parameters
  • Calibration functions
  • Firmware updates
  • All lapse style functions (under the Motionlapse)
Hohem iSteady Mobile+ camera tilt control interface
The Hohem iSteady Multi pan and tilt control interface for both point and shoot cameras and GoPro style action cameras. You can control motion lapse style functions, follow modes, take pictures and start recording if you are connected to a camera via usb.

All in all, the iSteady Multi gimbal offers a whole lot of controls for the owners of small point-and-shoot cameras. Any blogger or Vlogger that owns a Sony RX100, Canon G7X, or a Lumix LX10 will be able to put together a more elaborate kit for their vlogging needs.

The Hohem iSteady Multi boots up quickly

 

Furthermore, when I did use the Hohem iSteady Multi out and about, I found it stable when I left it on the ground while doing other things. One click of the “on” button and it was up and running. For small camera users, you will find that all basic gimbal functions on this gimbal are a charm.

Using the iSteady Multi on an Android phone

 

The android Hohem gimbal app was pretty good. Setup using the base plate, balancing the phone, and app pairing were straightforward. Once you use a smartphone with this multi gimbal, a whole lot of features get unlocked. These features are

  • Slow Motion
  • Long exposure
  • Subject tracking
back view of the Hohem iSteady gimbal with a LG G8 smartphone
An LG G8 smartphone mounted on the Hohem iSteady Multi gimbal. Seen here with the hohem camera app loaded on the phone.

Subject tracking with the Hohem iSteady

 

I am not a big fan of any of the smartphone app gadgets. I tested subject tracking with the smartphone mounted and was not impressed. Although the tracking features were quite impressive for a smartphone, they still were not flawless. So many different aspects of your track have to be perfect for everything to work out that it is just not worth the trouble.

 

Subject tracking is a challenging technique to handle with high-end equipment. For me, all this trouble is not worth the lost footage that you are bound to get using this smartphone function.

The camera app for the iSteady is just OK

 

With my Android LG G8, I also found that some of the zoom and focus functions were a bit choppy when using the Hohem camera software. I’ve seen better app implementations with other gimbals. I would have to say that this is one of the biggest cons of this gimbal package.

Utility apps are very good

 

All other non-camera app implementations like calibration, motion-lapse, and even panning functions were pretty good. You can use the Hohem Gimbal app to pan when filming yourself far away from the actual camera. 

 

You can use the pan app in a multi-user setup where one person holds the gimbal and the other person might control camera attitude.

Top view of the Hohme iSteady 3 in 1 gimbal
Seen here in top view with the flip out screen of the Sony ZV-1 open

For phone apps, my opinion is a bit skewed 

 

I believe strongly in the idea that 95% of people who get selling point extras like hyper-lapse and subject tracking, try them out and just give up on them after a while. Real-life applications are a bit different for the vlogger. I advise you to give yourself the time to try each feature out but do not waste time trying to make it work for you.

 

Therefore, If you want to get this gimbal for the slow motion, and tracking features I would advise you to look elsewhere.

Using the Hohem iSteady Multi with a GoPro

 

I mounted a GoPro Hero4 using the mounting bracket and the base plate supplied by the Hohem gimbal. It mounted and balanced well. The only problem is that the angle of the level axis arm is 90 degrees.

 

My experience has shown me that there is a real advantage to having the leveler axis arm at a 45-degree angle. If this arm is at 90 degrees, the GoPro camera knocks the gimbal when you are angling the camera down. Hence, you cannot use the gimbal at all angles of operation. The 90-degree arm also blocks the view of the LCD screen.

GoPro standard mount adapter for the Hohem iSteady Multi
Hohem supplies a GoPro standard camera screw to GoPro mount adapter to mount an action cam to the baseplate of the gimbal.
side view of the Hohme iSteady Multiwith a GoPro mounted
The biggest enemy of any gimbal is a high center of gravity. The default mount that is comes with the Hohem iSteady Multi gimbal makes it necessary to use the goPro weatherproof casing. Which keeps the action camera high. I would suggest going to pick up a Smallrig GoPro casing to get the camera's center of gravity down.

But, most importantly, the essential is there. The Hohem iSteady Multi does what it needs to do. It stabilizes the GoPro but does so with quite a bit of limitation in the movement opportunities.

The Pros and Cons of the Hohem iSteady Multi

The Pros

 

  • Quick balancing
  • Solid and practical
  • Great one-stop solution
  • Solid and wide tripod mount
  • Lovely utility software for calibration, lapse functions, and even two operators
  • Side 1/4 mount is a nice touch

The Cons

 

  • Gimbal arm is right-angled (somewhat limits action cam mounting)
  • Phone software is just Ok (basic camera functions are choppy)
  • Manual and instructions could be better.
  • Subject tracking and zoom functions on the phone camera app are not great
  • The supplied mounting for GoPro gives the action cam a high center of gravity

Conclusion: Who is the Hohem iSteady Multi for?

 

I guess from the pros and cons listed above, you can come to a lot of conclusions on your own but here is what I believe. If you are a blogger or vlogger who needs steady footage and you have a point-and-shoot compact camera, this gimbal is a really good option for you. Paired together with a Smallrig low center of gravity mounting system, it is also excellent for those who have an action cam for their selfie video work.

For those people who rely on a phone to get their footage, there are a whole bunch of really cool and even cheaper offerings out there (The Zhiyun smooth comes to mind). The smartphone camera app implementation is OK but nothing extraordinary.

Therefore, this gimbal is a good choice for those not wanting to spend a great deal of money but needing a more in-depth application of their action camera or point-and-shoot camera selfie footage. For owners of both camera systems, it is a great gimbal.

Remember that the most important thing is to go out and get captivating footage. The Hohem iSteady Multi might just be the right gimbal for you.

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I am a photographer, videographer, and copywriter living in Quebec City, Canada. I also have a YouTube channel and an Instagram account dedicated to creation and creativity via my main loves of photography, music, and writing.

To get in touch with me and discuss your collaboration, service needed, or advice, either go to the contact page and write to me via the contact form at the foot of this page.

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2 Responses to Hohem iSteady 3 in 1 Multi gimbal review

  1. Mike

    I have a question regarding the Canon G7 X Mark III, the Hohem Multi doesn’t seem able to connect via bluetooth to the camera. I was wondering if there was a trick or tip to get these two connected. Been trying for days with no success and no videos explaining the process on youtube. Plenty on the sony but none on the Canon G7 X Mark III. Thanks!

    Thank you in advance.

    Mike

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