What is a gimbal or video stabilizer

A video stabilizer or also known as gimbal is neither more nor less than a device capable of eliminating tremors and movements which are caused when you move the camera while walking or simply record freehand.

Currently many cameras and mobile devices already incorporate their own stabilization system integrated into the body itself and which can compensate for movement up to five axes. Well, this really needs a little explanation because in three-dimensional space like we move in there are only three axes.

When we talk about a five-axis stabilizer, we are referring to the compensation of movements that occur in the X, Y and Z axes (turns on each of the axes). That is three axes, the other two remaining correspond to the movement along the X and Y axes (horizontal and vertical movement).

How a stabilizer works

The operation of a stabilizer is very simple. Depending on whether it is a gimbal two or three axes, there are few models of five axes beyond that integrated in the body of the camera, what we are going to have are different motors and arms that are going to compensate for movements to keep the camera as still as possible. Although there are different ways as we will tell you later.

In this way, to make it easier to understand, if the stabilizer detects that the camera is undergoing small turns to the left and right, it will compensate them by making the same movements, but conversely, from right to left. That allows the camera to remain relatively still, obtaining a very fluid video clip and cinematic case.

Stabilizer types

Video stabilizer

Knowing what a camcorder stabilizer is and how it works, the next point is to know what types of gimbals exist in the market. The answer is practically that there are all kinds, from two-axis to five-axis models, designed for action cameras, only mobile devices, compact or much heavier cameras.

Leaving systems aside steadycam Designed for film productions, high-budget advertising and especially very large and heavy cameras, let’s talk about the three types that most interest most users.

These are our recommendations if you are looking for a Video stabilizer for your mobile phone, compact camera or DSRL or without mirrors that you use for your recordings together with interchangeable lenses of a certain level.

By the way, when choosing them we have not only taken into account that the price is attractive, but also that it meets some basic parameters such as a good level of construction, reliability of its engines and applications that offer good performance and options when we record video. . So basically we have three prominent brands: Moza, DJI and Zhiyun.

The best stabilizers for mobile devices

If you are recording a lot of video with your smartphone, although these have improved their internal stabilizer considerably during these last generations, not all the sensors that they integrate right now are stabilized. Therefore a small gimbal how these help you, in addition to giving you other options such as the possibility of timelapses or recordings in which the stabilizer itself follows you thanks to its tracking incorporated into the mobile app they offer.

Zhiyun Smooth X

It is one of the simplest and at the same time economic proposals. This stabilizer only compensates for movements in two axes, but if you do not require a third one because you do not usually record a lot on the move, although you could also do it, it is a great option thanks to its size and how little it really takes up.

The best: folding size and design

Worst: only stabilizes on two axes

Moza Mini S

Moza Mini S

This small three-axis stabilizer stands out for its folding design, which makes it very easy to transport. For this you only have to turn one of the sections and it will be perfectly collected and occupying less space in your backpack or transport bag.

The best: ease of use and folding system

Worst: grip grip

Zhiyun Smooth 4

Zhiyun Smooth 4

Zhiyun’s Smooth 4 is undoubtedly a favorite, it is true that it is somewhat more voluminous than the previous ones, but it makes up for it with a series of additional options that greatly improve smartphone video recording to a higher level.

This is mainly due to the side wheel with which, thanks to integration with your application, we can control aspects such as (digital) zoom or focus in a more precise way.

The best: focus and zoom control wheel

Worst: dimensions

Zhiyun Smooth Q2

Continuing with the same manufacturer, the Smooth Q2 is a gimbal that without being foldable it is more compact than other similar ones. A highly recommended three-axis stabilizer that highlights the possibility of making video recordings turning completely (360º) on the Y axis.

The best: size and weight

Worst: keypad size

DJI Osmo Mobile 3

And it could not miss the proposal of DJI. The manufacturer especially known for its drones offers a series of high-quality stabilizers. In the field of mobile phones, his Osmo Mobile is one of the most popular and in its version 3 it achieved a folding design that is very comfortable to carry on a day-to-day basis. That and its application, plus all the options it offers, make it one of the best sellers.

The best: foldable design and application options

Worst:

The best stabilizers for compact and small cameras

What if you want to record with a camera that is not your smartphone, but is not one of those larger cameras with interchangeable lenses either? Well, there are also stabilizers designed for smaller and lighter cameras such as a compact type Point and shoot how is the Sony RX100 or Canon G7. Even for action cameras like the GoPro Hero 8 it is valid, although these have already significantly improved its internal stabilization.

Zhiyun Crane M2

The Crane M2 is one of the most interesting video stabilizers for small cameras. It is by dimensions and also by options. It offers six video modes or creative modes including panning tracking, full, full range POV, Vortex, Go and the basic three of all gimbal.

Without a doubt it is a highly recommended option to improve the quality of the videos when using small compact cameras and a great ally for all those users who make vlogs.

The best: valid for all compact cameras, action cameras and smartphones

Worst: maximum weight supported

DJI Ronin SC

The Ronin SC by DJI is the younger brother of which we will see later, a very powerful stabilizer that, although ideal for small cameras, is also capable of supporting the occasional model with interchangeable lenses and a greater weight (up to 2 kg).

With different packs, the combo is the most complete and includes a wheel with which to control the camera’s focus. Of course, only with those supported, which affects not only the camera but also the used lens. All this plus its application where the possibility of creating customized movement sequences stands out, it is a model to consider if you move to a more professional level.

The best: stability, application and design

Worst: maximum weight supported (2 kg)

The best stabilizers for professional cameras

For professional and more advanced video cameras and larger sizes there are also very interesting models in price and options. What’s more, there are some other proposals that vary little in price compared to the previous ones.

Zhiyun Weebill S

This is one of the gimbal Most recent from the manufacturer and although it breaks with the traditional aesthetics of this type of device, the truth is that it is quite well thought out and gives a plus of stability when holding it with two hands.

The complete pack also offers a set of extras that allow you to control the camera’s focus with any objective thanks to a motor and gear system that is placed on the lens’s focus ring. And best of all, that approach can be remotely controlled by another user while the camera operator is solely and exclusively following movements.

The best: ergonomics and price

Worst: size

DJI Ronin S

This is the original model before the Ronin SC, a larger version and intended for use with larger cameras (up to 3.6 kg). Otherwise, it offers the same options, the same great performance with very solid and precise engines plus an application that gives a lot of play even when you only use the stabilizer. It is the most recommended option for those looking for a gimbal with a more professional cut.

The best: performance

Worst: weight

Time to choose gimbal

These are the best stabilizers at our discretion. There are many more models on the market, these same brands offer other options that are also quite popular, but in relation to quality and price it is likely that none will surpass these. Now it’s up to you to choose, what kind of gimbal you need. Don’t just think about a specific use. Also do it in the possible needs that you will be able to have in a few months.

Our two favorite models with the Zhiyun Crane M2 for its versatility and being able to be used with mobile devices, action cameras and small compact cameras, and the Ronin S. But it is you who must choose, for options it will not be. And by the way, if you are going to record with your smartphone, use the Filmic Pro application (available for iOS and Android).