Swivl and GH2

Swivl Review With the GH2

by Jason Sanders on April 3, 2012

in Reviews,Videography Tools

Yesterday the Swivl arrived in the mail.  My daughter was really excited to open up the new toy and see what it was all about.

I got the unit because I thought it would be great for video conferencing between me and my kids and my Mom, who lives out of state.  This is a feature packed product that is really designed to work with Apple mobile devices.  I’m sure we’ll get plenty of use out of it that way, but I was also curious to see how it would work with my GH2.  Could the swivl help me with my upcoming series of reviews?  Since I’ll be pulling double duty as both the camera man and the on camera “talent” I figured it was worth a shot to give it a try.

Swivl and GH2 mounted to tripodWe pulled it out of the box and two minutes later the GH2 was mounted in the Swivl using the supplied camera adapter.  The unit is very easy to set up and sync, but I did have to sneak a peak at the instructions (don’t tell anybody).  Both the part the user wears (The Marker) and the unit itself only have 2 buttons on them, so operation is pretty much brainless.

Because the unit is designed for use with a mobile device, by using a camera with it, I’m actually sacrificing some  functionality.  When hooked up to the iphone and used with the Swivl App, the marker also funcitons as a wireless microphone.  It even comes with a lanyard to string it around your neck.  Handy!  Also, even though the GH2 when paired with a pancake lens is about as small of a package that an enthusiast could ask for, it still is about twice the weight that the Swivl is rated for.  In practice, this doesn’t affect the panning function at all, but it does prohibit the use of the vertical adjustment feature.  When I tried to get the vertical adjustment to work with the GH2 mounted by assisting it a little with my hand, the camera quickly came to a tipping point and dumped the whole unit forward.  That’s why Swivl says it’s best to just use it with a Flip Camera or Go Pro cam.  When used within the advertised specs, you can push a button on the marked while moving it up or down to adjust the level of tilt the unit has.  For my purposes, I’ll just have to use the tripod to adjust the height of the Swivl with my GH2.  Yes the Swivl has a 1/4 20 mounting hole on the bottom that allows the unit to be mounted to a small tripod or magic arm (see below).  Go nuts!

Check out the pics below and let me know if you think this is something you might be able to use.  Have any unique ideas for how to put the Swivl to work?  Can’t wait to read about them in the comments!

Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe to my youtube channel for more reviews and examples of my work!



  • Guest

    I’ve had my Swivl for about two weeks and have enjoyed it. Issues I’ve had are the buttons/lights have been very confusing to me. Which light/which color/what function. I’ve added tacky little hand made labels to keep them straight. The other issue is static with the wireless mic. Static from lights seem to be the biggest problem for me. Otherwise, the pan and tilt work better than expected and the wireless mic is really a great feature if you can avoid the static. A little pricey but still a great product. I’m not sorry I bought it.

  • http://tvpglabs.com Jason Sanders

    I haven’t toyed with the microphone yet, but I did notice that a strong backlight can interfere with the tracking function. Not always, but sometimes.

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