Benro Snoppa VMate: gimbal smartphone add-on that takes on the DJI Osmo Pocket

Benro Snoppa VMate
(Image credit: Benro)

Benro has now officially released its first camera with a built-in gimbal. The Benro Snoppa VMate looks and performs in much the same way as the innovative DJI Osmo Pocket that was launched at the end of 2018 – and gives you the benefit of a pocket camera with a built-in 3-axis gimbal stabilizer. 

The difference with the Benro Snoppa VMate, however, is that there is a built-in smartphone holder, so that you can easily use the bigger screen of your camera phone - so you don't have to rely on the 1.2 inch LCD that is built into the device itself. 

The VMate is a collaboration between Snoppa and Benro, and is the first product to come out of the Benro Imaging Lab that has been set up to come up with next-gen tech for creators. The project was funded through an Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign. 

The 12-million pixel sensor captures 4k video capture at 60 frames-per-second, while its 118g weight means it is truly take-anywhere. It also boasts a dual-mic system, allowing creators to choose between noise-cancelling or full stereo sound; Bluetooth compatibility enables connection of external microphones for  more audio options.

(Image credit: Benro)

The VMate's 1.2-in touchscreen boasts a brightness of 850 nit for full onboard filming and control, even in bright sunlight. The built-in mobile phone holder enables phones to be used together with the gimbal for increased screen size or for remote control of the camera via wi-fi. 

An interestingy-sounding Broadcast Mode enables use of the gimbal camera together with phone’s selfie camera to film commentary alongside image capture.

(Image credit: Benro)

Other features for the VMate include:

-       POV mode: the gimbal automatically follows users’ movements to record first-person-view footage

-       Smart tracking to keep subjects automatically cent-red in frame

-       Slow-motion capture at 1080p 240fps (8x slomo)

-       Time-lapse and motion-lapse modes

-       Night mode for clear filming at night or in dark environments

-       Panoramic mode for stitching together horizontal images

-       210-minute battery life

-       200Mbps bitrate and USB C 3.1 connectivity to download video files easily and quickly

-       Dual microphones on board for surround sound or noise-cancelling recording, with Bluetooth support for external audio

The Benro Snoppa VMate retails for $259/£269.

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Chris George

Chris George has worked on Digital Camera World since its launch in 2017. He has been writing about photography, mobile phones, video making and technology for over 30 years – and has edited numerous magazines including PhotoPlus, N-Photo, Digital Camera, Video Camera, and Professional Photography. 

His first serious camera was the iconic Olympus OM10, with which he won the title of Young Photographer of the Year - long before the advent of autofocus and memory cards. Today he uses a Nikon D800, a Fujifilm X-T1, a Sony A7, and his iPhone 11 Pro.

He has written about technology for countless publications and websites including The Sunday Times Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, Dorling Kindersley, What Cellphone, T3 and Techradar.