At CES 2017 in Las Vegas, our sister website Photo Gear News got a first look at what might just be the next big thing in action cameras. The Zerotech Rollcap is an integrated action camera and brushless gimbal in one.
It has a clear dome on the front, behind which is a 4K camera with a 94° angle of view. It might look like an oversized Sony FDR-X3000 with its Balanced Optical Steadyshot system, but the technology inside the Rollcap is quite different.
The clever part is that this camera is actually on a mini brushless gimbal which is totally enclosed by the camera body. This should allow for similar stabilisation to that offered by the likes of the DJI OSMO or GoPro Karma Grip, but in a much smaller form factor. How well it really works remains to be seen, but the idea looks like a good one.
The gimbal’s range of mechanical movement +/-30° in the tilt, 40° in the pan and 85° in the roll. This is much more restricted than something like an OSMO which can tile from 90° to +150°, pan +/-330° and roll from -50° to +90°. That said, the way I use the OSMO I’m not actually moving it around wildly, so it may not be too much of an issue for my style of shooting – if you do big moves with the camera then this is clearly more of a problem.
The Rollcap will use Micro SD cards to record the video footage. Shooting modes include Slow Motion, Burst Mode, Time Lapse, Self-Timer and HDR with each of these controlled via a smartphone app. Detailed specifications were not given and there is no official word on frame rates, codecs or data rates yet.
The Rollcap measures 112.5mm x 55mm x 55mm and weighs 219g. One thing to note is that the Rollcap takes a reasonably chunky battery, presumably to power the gimbal.
I was told that the Rollcap should be available in around six months at a price near the $500 US mark.
For more details keep an eye on the Zerotech website.