Nothing looks more amateurish than jittery video footage, but the equipment the pros use to ensure smooth shooting can be both pricey and bulky. The Reddog R1 is a compact three-axis gimbal stabiliser from tripod-maker Benro, and it’s designed to give super-smooth handheld video shooting with camera-and-lens combos up to 1.8 kilos in weight.

Photo: Benro

A clever design feature of the R1 is that its handle can be very quickly be moved from the vertical to the horizontal position (or vice versa) without changing your grip and thereby allowing for more flexibility when shooting. It also incorporates fingertip controls as well as remote operations using the Benro Reddog App (for both Apple and Android) on a tablet or smartphone via Bluetooth.

Photo: Benro

Compatible cameras from Sony and Panasonic can be remotely controlled directly from the stabiliser’s handle. However, the device can be used with a variety of cameras types, including D-SLRs, mirrorless designs and actioncams. It can also be used with smartphones. The R1’s three independent motors are claimed to have reaction times of just 16 milliseconds which ensures precise stabilisation even when you’re on the move. Three operating modes are available – a ‘Universal Follow Mode’ (where the camera follows the directions of the shooter), a ‘Locked-Down’ mode (which keeps the camera locked on the subject while moving the gimbal), and a ‘Horizontal Follow’ mode (when the camera smoothly follows the direction of the operator, but maintains a horizontal position).

Precision engineered from aluminium, the Reddog R1 is both compact and lightweight, weighing just 980 gram (including its battery). It can be folded and packed in its specially-designed carrying case without the need to change any positional settings. This means that repeated balancing isn’t necessary if you’re using the same camera. The R1 is supplied with a 3200 mAh lithium-ion battery which typically provides up to 12 hours of operation and can be fully recharged in just three hours (and a spare is included in the kit).

The Benro Reddog R1 stabiliser is priced at $649 and distributed in Australia by Maxxum Pty Ltd. For more information visit