A gimbal is a must if you intend to walk or run while filming. The greatest gimbals will allow you to film steady, professional-looking footage even when you’re not. Even if your camera and lens stabilize, you will still see movement if you’re shooting handheld, so don’t look like a noob by letting your shots shake.
Modern gimbals are highly sophisticated equipment capable of distinguishing between the operator’s deliberate and accidental movements. Gimbals are used to counteract the effects of unintentional motions like shaky hands or minor missteps. The most effective gimbals are mechanical devices that employ at least two and typically three axes of rotation to maintain camera stability. If the videographer is any good, they will have considered film composition(opens in new tab), and using a gimbal; they will be able to film with clean, fluid camera motions.
Gimbals have become more affordable, expanding their availability. The quality of your footage will immediately improve when using a gimbal, even if you’re starting as a filmmaker.
DJI, with products like the DJI RSC 2(opens in new tab), FeiyuTech, Moza, and Zhiyun, with the recently released Zhiyun Weebill 2(opens in new tab) for DSLR and mirrorless cameras, are the three primary competitors in the gimbal industry.
The excellent news is that there is a gimbal out there that will work with your camera. There is a high-quality gimbal for everyone, whether they shoot movies on a DSLR or short TikTok videos on a smartphone. All you have to do is figure out which one suits you best! For this reason, we have separated the various video cameras into their sections of the guide:
The Best Gimbals in 2022
DJI OM 5
The most recent smartphone gimbal to be released by DJI is the DJI OM5. It is the lightest yet at 290 grams and has an extendable pole measuring 21.5 centimeters. The handling and build quality of the OM5 are excellent; it has a rubber handle for grip, and the joystick is perfectly positioned for easy operation.
DJI has replaced the large, heavy battery found in previous models with a lower-powered one, but don’t worry, it still has over 6 hours of battery life (and you could always charge it with one of the best power banks (opens in the new tab)). ActiveTrack allows you to use gesture controls such as making the letter “V” with your finger to start recording, and it will automatically lock on to and follow a subject. The hinge at the very top of the extension rod is very easy to spin, which can be annoying when you attempt to open the hinge in a hurry. This is our only minor problem. Despite this, it is an excellent gimbal, which is why it was awarded five stars in our evaluation.
DJI OM 4
Since quite some time ago, DJI’s Osmo Mobile gimbals have been the industry standard for stabilizing smartphones. There is nothing else that actually comes close to offering the same functionality and build quality as the DJI OM 4, which is never more exemplified than in this product (a refreshed naming convention; no relation to the Olympus OM4 film SLR).
This compact piece of equipment is the most effective gimbal that can currently be purchased for use with a smartphone. The new magnetic mounting system is a lifesaver (assuming that you don’t mind leaving the clasp attached to your phone), making it easier than ever to attach and detach the gadget. (If you don’t mind having the clasp attached to your phone, see the previous sentence.) The three-axis stabilization is, of course, fantastic. It offers smooth movement and makes it simple to accomplish effects such as a traditional Hitchcockian dolly zoom. After connecting your smartphone to the app, you’ll also have access to a variety of useful features for your device.
The motor of the Osmo Mobile 4 has been improved to be much more resistant to heat, and the whole experience is considerably more refined and smoother than that of the Osmo Mobile 3. If money is an issue, you might want to choose the Osmo Mobile 3 instead, which is available at a lower price point.
Zhiyun Smooth x
The Zhiyun Smooth X is a mobile phone gimbal that is both portable and lightweight, and its battery life is rated at 5.5 hours. It has a plastic design, but it still has a well-made feel to it, and the inexpensive price tag certainly makes it an appealing choice for anyone who wants to increase their ability to video using their smartphone. Because the head of the gimbal can be rotated 90 degrees into a portrait orientation, it is ideally suited for use in recording videos that will be uploaded to TikTok or Instagram.
One of the few things that we found to be problematic with the Zhiyun Smooth X was the fact that the ZY Cami app, which is required in order to configure the gimbal, is not compatible with all phones. If you are unsure whether or not your phone is compatible with the app, you may view a list of devices that are compatible with it here (the link opens in a new tab).
Zhiyun Smooth 4
An enormous quantity of annual online video content is created with an iPhone. The convenience and dependability of the iPhone make it a popular choice among professionals for filming. The iPhone is ideal because it is portable, lightweight, and always at hand. Purchasing a Zhiyun-Tech Smooth 4 Stabilizer helps eliminate camera shakes and make all of your films look more polished and professional.
It contains easy-to-use buttons on the body, a zoom wheel, and a mobile app that lets you take advantage of special effects like time-lapse and vertigo. Keep in mind that, relative to other smartphone gimbals, it is somewhat hefty and that it is designed specifically for use with iPhones rather than Android devices.
Zhiyun Smooth Q3
In a market where there are a wide variety of gimbals to choose from, it is important to pay particular attention to those that offer a little something more to differentiate themselves. The Zhiyun Smooth Q3 is a smartphone stabilizer that, in addition to the standard 3-axis stabilization, includes a built-in reversible fill light.
This provides videographers shooting on smartphones with a few additional creative alternatives. In general, the Zhiyun Smooth Q3 does a fantastic job of keeping smartphone footage stable, which is especially impressive considering the low cost of the product. The design is a little bit plasticky, and the handle might be a bit larger.
Its tracking options work properly, and they interact effectively with the ZY Cami app that was described earlier. However, we do hope that the app would be a bit less intrusive; for example, does it really need to know our location and other personal information in order to ensure that a smartphone is stable?
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Use a Gimbal With an iPhone?
Zhiyun Smooth 5’s improved motors work with almost any phone. This includes iPhone 12 and 13 Pro Max. Because of its physical controls and advanced features, the Zhiyun Smooth 4 was one of my favorite iPhone gimbals.
Do I Need a Gimbal With iPhone 13?
If you move around at all when filming with your phone, you will end up with shaky, useless footage that no amount of optical image stabilization will fix. A gimbal is essential for smooth handheld filming, regardless of whether you’re using the latest iPhone 13 or an older model.
What is the Difference Between a Gimbal and a Stabilizer?
The gimbal consists of a greater number of moving parts and requires a battery, charger, etc. Although the execution of the stabilizer is simpler, it is still necessary to “balance” both.