Tech development in the latest decade has gifted us with great quality of smartphones, especially their cameras. You can now create nearly cinema-quality content with your phone. A lot of people quit professional cameras and use phones instead since they are convenient, compact, and have a plethora of features. Those devices now provide sophisticated quality, stabilizing, and professional features.
No matter whether you’re filming for a video contest or a story on Instagram, there’s an opportunity to create high-quality content using proper equipment. One-piece should definitely be a nice gimbal (also called a stabilizer). There are a lot of things you should consider before choosing one, including the quality of materials, functionality, and lifespan. We’ve gathered some of the best options available to make your choice easier.
Best Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizers
Surely, some of the stabilizers carries a higher price tag while others playing in a cheaper league. We’ve made a top-10 list to cover all today’s best, alongside with reviews and features explanation.
DJI OM 4 Gimbal – VLoggers Number One Choice of the Year
This right here is the new DJI OM 4. It’s DJI’s newest entry to their mobile gimbal lineup. And yes, it’s actually titled OM 4. Handheld camera lineup has always been referred to as the Osmo line, but this time around with the Osmo mobile, they seem to have shrunk the name down and combine it to get O-M.
I’ve been told that this is in an effort to try and bring the attention and the recognition back to the brand itself, which is, of course, DJI. Will the Osmo pocket will turn into the OPI? Will the Osmo action turned into the OA? It’s got me wondering exactly what direction DJI is heading in. Regardless of what the new naming scheme is, the OEM for builds on what made the Osmo Mobile 3 such a hit and makes the overall usability of the gimbal a whole lot easier.
What’s inside the box?
Upon opening, you’ll find some directions for the new magnet mount on the lid, along with some other important device and packaging information. Lifting up the sleeve that sits on top of the packaging, refuels, the OM4 and the small tripod that comes included. The tripod piece itself acts like a foot when you want to set the gimbal down and can give you some more leverage when shooting. It gives you another space to put your hand for a dual handed shooting. Now underneath of the tripod piece is a USB-C cable for charging. And of course, sitting next to these accessories in the box is the OEM for itself with the magnet mount. If we refer back to the sleeve that we’ve removed earlier and includes more magnet mounts, a ridiculous amount of paperwork and guides and a small bag to fit the gimbal and accessories inside. I kind of wish that DJ included a hard case as they did with the Osmo Mobile 3, but regardless the microfiber cloth bag should get the trick done.
Now I’ve got to admit that I have a small obsession with the mobile device gimbals that DJI has put out over the years. I first started with the original Osmo mobile back when it first came out, and then I upgraded to the Osmo Mobile 2. And then the Osmo Mobile 3. And now I’ve got the OM 4. And I think I know why they dropped Osmo mobile name. It’s just a mouthful, but regardless, the reason that I like the Osmo mobile so much is that you can take the great camera you already have in your smartphone in your pocket, and put that to better use.
DJI OM 4 vs Mobile 3
I think that a lot of people would be surprised at the amount of iPhone footage nowadays on YouTube. When we compare the new OM4 to the older Osmo Mobile 3, the design is almost identically. The same. The color is a little bit different here transitioning to an off white opposed to a dark gray. But as we look around the device, we see the same handle, the same foldable design, the same buttons, the same joystick, the same USB-C and USB port on the side. And of course the tripod mount on the bottom. Where these device differs though, is the mounting point changing from a typical clamp style mount to a new and improved magnetic puck. One of my biggest issues with gimbals in general, from these smaller Osmo Mobile line is set up time, the balancing of the axes, the mounting of the phone or the camera.
And in this case, the process of having to get the phone inside of the clamp and then balance it, the design always felt really clumsy to me and would sometimes result in just ditching the gimbal entirely to instead rely on my phones, electronic image stabilization, to get the job done. This time around DJI has included two magnet mounting options for your mobile device. There’s a detachable clamp that fits around your phone and then attaches to the OM4 through a magnet. And this is more or less the same design as the older mobile gimbals that came with a builtin clamp. But this is far superior, as you can easily take the phone on and off of the gimbal. The other mounting solution though, is far better, in my opinion, keeping a small puck on the back of your mobile device allows you to take the phone on and off as you need a mounting and a lot of time and frustration saved upon set up once you’ve done shooting.
Saving Your Time
If you need help mounting, there is an alignment guide that comes in the box and this mount doubles as a pop socket. For those of you that are interested in that kind of thing, it can also be used as a stand for watching videos, which is pretty neat. The barrier to entry upon shooting is something that I am always looking to cut down, whether it’s saving on setup time, whether it’s saving on time, when packing up, and whether it’s just making things all-around more efficient, I’m always looking to make my workflow better. I’m looking to improve the way that I shoot. So with DJI OM 4 I can start shooting and nothing has to be set up. I can push one button and I’m recording. And the same thing goes for when shooting on location. I want my setup and my packing up process to be as easy and seamless as possible. As I said, sometimes I would just hold my phone and record like this really awkwardly rather than use a gimbal, because it was just kind of tough and annoying to set up. But with the new OM 4 all you need to do is unlock it, put that into place, turn on the gimbal and now we are rolling.
We can go ahead, double, press it, go into horizontal mode. And we’re good to go. This is so easy. And if I wanted to tear it down and pack up, I just turn it off. It kind of swivels back into the same position that it was in. I can take off the magnet. I can pull down the clamp and now we are good to go. I think that this really does improve the usability of this device, because again, it cuts down on the barrier to entry. You don’t have to fumble with any clamps, and it’s just so easy now, while that is by far, the biggest change that’s made here to the OM4 there are some general quality of life improvements made to both the software and the hardware that keep this feeling fresh and overall improve the user experience.
Changes and Improvements
Some of the more notable changes are the improved motors that can handle a larger payload, meaning a larger mobile device, and has seemed to improve the overall usability of the device. Like it seems when I’m shooting, it’s more responsive and more fluid than previous mobile gimbals that I’ve used. Upgrading these motors was definitely a must with the heavier and larger that phones are becoming. The next improvement here is to active track with Active Track 3.0 and whenever a new product comes out from DJI, you know, that we are in store for a new update to this tracking system. And while I think that it’s better suited for their drone lineup, it still works really well and it works really uniquely here in the DJI OM 4.
It’s been really cool over the years to see exactly how ActiveTrack has improved in all of DJI’s devices. I remember using Active Track back on the Phantom 4 when it was still in its very early stages of being developed and it still worked fine, but to see how far it’s come is really impressive. It’s a lot of fun to use and it’s actually really helpful. I find that’s probably going to be a very valuable tool for people that don’t want to worry about framing the shot up. You can tap on your dog, you can tap on your kid and you can just worry about enjoying the moment, but then you can also have the phone and the gimbal kind of frame up your shot for you.
Again, you don’t have to worry about much. It’s also very easy to get into the active track shooting mode. So I’ve got the camera facing towards me right now, and I can move the gimbal from left to right. And the phone kind of moves with it. But just with a push of the trigger here, it’ll lock onto my face. And no matter how I spin and move the gimbal, it’s always going to stay locked onto my face so I can move it around as much as I want to. And it stays locked onto my face. So again, it’s going to be a very valuable tool for somebody that doesn’t really want to try and frame up their shot and just wants to live in the moment. You see, as I’m moving, it follows me around, it’s pretty cool.
There’s actually a physical limitation built-in so that it doesn’t have the ability to spin a full 360 degrees on all of its axes. If we keep it locked and try to spin it a full 360 degrees it hits that physical limitation and begins to spin, if we kind of re-centred here, hold the button and go the other way again. It hits that physical limitation and begins to spin along with the device. So is this a deal-breaker? No, but it’s something that I definitely wish that DJI would have ironed out by now. You know, where this is really noticeable was through the new spin shot mode where you can spin the camera as you shoot, but it eventually comes to an abrupt stop. This shooting mode would have been really great if there was no limit and you could just keep spinning the camera, but you can’t.
DJI OSMO Mobile 3 Review – The Best All-Around Choice For Your Smartphone
So, guys, we’re looking at the DJI Mobile 3. Super small, super ergonomic in a combo pack, which comes with this really cool case and a tripod. Let’s get down to all the cool things and all the features of the DJI Mobile 3.
For all you people out there that don’t know what a gimbal is and don’t know why you really need one, basically when you’re trying to film stuff with your phone, even though this does have some stabilization built into these newer smartphones, you’re still going to get a little movement. A little unwanted bounce when you’re walking or even if you’re trying to run, it creates kind of a jittery movement. Sometimes you want that, but a lot of times for cinematic stuff, you don’t want that. So, what a gimbal does, it can eliminate all these little movements. Once you put your phone in the gimbal, it makes it pretty much rock solid, giving you the ability to get those smooth cinematic shots with your smartphone.
Specs and Hardware
Some people may frown the fact that the DJI Mobile 3 has an integrated battery, but it’s a 18650 Li-ion battery with a 2450 mAh capacity. That, with a properly balanced phone, can run this thing for 15 hours. You’re not going to be doing this for 15 hours, so this is an all-day battery and it’s really cool that it’s integrated. You can charge it overnight and this thing’s going to last you all day. DJI Mobile 3 uses the Mimo app, which seamlessly connects these two devices. It uses Bluetooth, but you don’t have to set it up every time. Basically, when you turn on the app and turn on the Mobile 3, it connects automatically. It’s super seamless. That’s one good thing DJI has never failed at is good software.
Now, one of the good things about using the Mimo app is all of these controls on here are designed to be used one-handed, keeping your other hand free so you can control your phone, record, stop, start, zoom in and out. The orientation of this device.
One of the reasons this gimbal is so good is DJI has been the leader in drones for many years and every one of those drones has an amazing gimbal on it, so they’ve pretty much-perfected gimbal technology and they’ve shoved it all into this really affordable handheld unit that you can put your beautiful iPhone 11 or Samsung phone camera on here. These cameras are great and they deserve to have a companion like the DJI Mobile 3.
Active Track and Mimo App
They’ve even included the Active Track 3.0 which is what allows the drones to follow a subject. So yes, they have that feature in the DJI Mobile 3 and you can basically draw a square around a subject, an animal, a dog, a cat, anything, and this thing will track it so you don’t have to worry about your framing. All of your framings is handled in the software. It’s especially good for vlogging because you can draw a circle around your face, track your face, and not worry about where you’re pointing the camera and you can look around at the scenery talk and it’s always going to nail your framing. It’s super, super impressive.
Now, unlike all the other DJI apps, when you record with the Mimo app, it goes directly to your phone so you don’t have to download or rip the files off of the device. It’s just on your phone after you get through the recording which is really amazing. And obviously you can use this as a normal gimbal and get all those super smooth shots, but we’ll make the DJI Mobile 3 impressive is all of its features.
Beautiful Cinematics Made Easy
Now because there’s a thumb switch right here that controls your zoom, you can use this to get that super cool Hitchcock style dolly zooms that you see in movies. It also has a built-in slow-mo feature, so I can get that buttery smooth, cinematic B-roll that everybody’s looking for and you can do it with your phone. As a filmmaker, one of the most difficult shots to achieve are moving time-lapses where you can go from point to point to point. Static time-lapses are super simple, everybody can do it. But the DJI Mobile 3 allows you to select different points and create these amazing moving time-lapses.
A Space for Improvements
A couple of features that I do wish the DJI Mobile 3 had was some kind of way to lock down the balance or a marking system so I didn’t have to rebalance this phone every single time I put it in here. You get pretty quick at it. It takes probably 10 seconds to balance the phone in here. Once you do that, you’re good to go and you kind of start memorizing where it goes. But it’d be really nice to lock down these features because I use the same phone every time in here. Same balance. Let’s lock it down, DJI.
Is the DJI Mobile 3 the perfect mobile gimbal? No, there’s still definitely room for improvement, but it is absolutely the best mobile gimbal on the market right now. With its advanced features, it’s the ease of use. It works with wide-angle lenses. You can’t beat it. Integrated tripod, you can screw it off and put on a regular tripod. I put this up on a tripod and take cool time-lapses. It’s just a very unique, beautiful, beautiful device.
Freefly Movi – Best Cinema Robot Smartphone Stabilizer for iPhone
Is the Movi Cinema Robot the best smartphone gimbal on the market? It just might be. A smartphone gimbal with a rather surprising feature set.
When I started seeing previews of the Movi, I was intrigued. As with other consumer options like the DJI Osmo, the Movi’s designed to stabilize your phone. It’s more than twice the price of the Osmo Mobile 2, but the Freefly system markets the device as a cinema robot. The motorized self-standing device pairs with a well-designed smartphone app to give you cinematic options that you can’t get from a standalone gimbal. The Movi comes in a sturdy foam carrying case, lithium-ion batteries provide hours of use, and charging is accomplished via USB-C. Your phone will almost certainly run out of power before Movi does.
Quick Start Out of The Box
Like any gimbal, the most important pre-flight activity is to balance your camera and the device. The phone harness is really easy to open using squeezable clips on the back. I was able to use the Movi with my camera case attached to it. I had no pairing problems with the app. You open the app, turn on the Movi and the device paired every time without as much as they hiccup. By default, the Movi is set into majestic mode. Think of it as your standard no-frills steadicam style shot. The app gives you a few options to adjust the sensitivity of the device, which takes some experimentation to understand and master. But even without fiddling with the settings, you can get noticeably smooth footage out of the box.
Modes and Functions
The eco mode was the most consistently useful function. Press the trigger to set a start and finish point then hit record. The motor’s very quiet and I didn’t pick up any grinding on the camera audio. The barrel roll gives you an Inception-like camera move. It’s definitely fun to play with, but how many times can you use it in your work before it feels cliche.
The time-lapse and movie lapse modes are cool options for mixing up your B-roll footage as long as you’re patient enough to record them. Given the price and the size of the device, it’s hard to level any strong criticisms. If anything, I became hyper-aware of the limitations of the iPhone. The ability to capture fluid motion ironically accentuates it’s the jelly-like appearance from bumps or vibration. Still, it’s pretty unbelievable to film at 240 frames per second with a portable steadicam that weighs 600 grams.
The Movi occupies a weird space in the market. It’s only designed to hold devices up to three and a half inches in width. The software currently only supports the iPhone, so the technical quality is limited by your phone specifications. But the cinematic movements are definitely as good as much pricier equipment designed for heavier cameras. The Movi is perfect for bloggers and social media influencers looking to up their production value. Even professional photographers might consider this device for BTS footage. As with all our gear reviews I try to figure out how this item fits into a photographer’s arsenal. Movi’s easy enough to use and gives you instant gratification out of the box.
Zhiyun Smooth 4 – Best 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Smartphone Stabilizer for iPhone and all smartphones up to 7″ Screens
Smooth 4 was released within a short period of time after the second model. This led to a lot of questions as to how they are different and why Smooth 4 might be better. Also, where’s Smooth 3? The biggest advantage of the new version is its build. There are also a couple of new features added to it.
Construction and Control
This gimbal is made of metal but doesn’t seem too tough and heavy. The buttons’ placement and functionality vary a bit from the previous version. You can control your smartphone using the handle, as well as start and stop the recording and snap pictures. The joystick also allows changing the camera settings and shooting modes.
Pros and Cons
The battery is removable yet there’s usually no necessity of removal unless it’s damaged. You can charge this gimbal directly. Besides, phone charging is available as well when using the stabilizer, so there’s never a situation when your iPhone turns off, erasing all the progress. Keep in mind that the second USB cable isn’t provided in the package, only one for the gimbal itself.
Use a screw to attach a tripod, it’s on the bottom of this unit. This is very useful if you want to create a time-lapse video or record yourself. The weight capacity of this stabilizer is also better than the previous version. It will hold a lot more types of phones without damaging or dropping them. You can also attach an external lens, lighting, or another element without fear for its safety.
Among all the advantages, there’s one disadvantage, though, that we’ve found. It’s the absence of a Home button or any other function that would return the interface to Home page.
The case Smooth 4 comes in is another advantage – it looks like a small violin case, strong enough to hold the equipment. It’s not too hard, but there are no complaints as to the quality of the case. If yours arrives broken or breaks too soon, make sure to contact the company’s customer support to resolve this issue.
This stabilizer will work great and help you create amazing content. Don’t forget to balance your phone after turning the gimbal on. It’s very easy and convenient to use, having a practical build and lightweight. Its joystick is also within thumb reach and the buttons are more logically placed this time. If you used the previous model, give yourself some time to get used to small modifications. Its battery is very long-lasting and can be charged with the device. To make sure everything’s intact, you can use the stabilizer to charge your phone as well.
- Stunning footage and one of the best gimbal performance
- Top build quality and materials
- Resistant to wind and bad weather conditions
- Smooth 4 can run for 12 hours
- On-board smartphone charger
- Objects Tracking
- No micro-USB cable included in the packaging
- High price
LanParte HHG-01 – 3-Axis Motorized Handheld Gimbal Active Stabilizer for GoPro and iPhone Smartphones
LanParte HHG 01 comes in a tough, hard-shell case with a shoulder strap for easy transportation. The device is safe and sound within the case due to its build. It’s made out of plastic with a rubber coat for more handling convenience and design. Constructed with aluminum elements, this gimbal is both light and tough.
Build quality and setup
Green metal stripes give a more aesthetic visual. There are two holders for different phone sizes, making the product even more multifunctional. The gimbal can fit anything from iPhone SE to iPhone XR and Samsung Galaxy S10.
Setup isn’t difficult, you only have to put your phone in the holder, connect it to the stabilizer and balance it accordingly. It’s a great option for beginners who have never used a stabilizer and don’t need a lot of features. There’s only one standard mode and movement is limited to 90 degrees for each of the three axes.
This unit will stabilize your video in all directions. Up and down movements are a bit difficult to get perfectly, so you’ll still get some movement on the video. So, it won’t make real cinema-quality professional videos, but you can count on the nice quality of content and little redundant movement. The battery will provide you with 80 minutes of non-stop video shooting.
It’s a nice option for beginners that combines functionality with material quality and convenience of use. There will be a certain amount of movement in the video, but it will be smooth and not shaky at all. Two phone holders are a nice addition to the functionality of the thing.
- Easy to setup
- Nice hold with gel handle grip
- Compatible for all smartphones
- Smooth action
- A bit noisy motors
- Only Windows supported for firmware upgrades
KumbaCam 3-Axis – Smartphone Stabilizer / Gimbal – Suitable for Phones Up To 7″ Such as iPhone X series and Galaxy S10 / Note 9
KumbaCam can bring most advantages of a professional camera to your phone. Every element is made of high-quality metal, and only the phone holder is made of plastic. The design is very simple, silver and black colors don’t give it much creativity yet contribute to the overall laconic look.
It’s essentially a hand extension that removes all the wobble, shaking, and redundant movement of your camera. The gimbal feels well in hand even without the phone. This unit comes with a USB charger and two batteries.
Battery Work and Setup
According to manufacturer guidelines, this stabilizer will work for 4 hours without stop until the battery dies. The time may change depending on the power of the camera you’re using and whether you’re taking pictures or shooting video. After field tests, we have found out that the time is correct if using a standard phone camera.
Keep in mind that you should switch stabilization on your phone off in order to shoot footage with the help of the gimbal. Otherwise, you may get a “jelly” effect in the corners of your videos. This stabilizer will give you smooth videos and photos in motion. It’s a budget-friendly device that has both quality and functionality.
Captured by iPhone with KumbaCam 3rd Gen Smartphone Stabilizer
At the price of around three hundred dollars, it’s hard to tell who this is really for. We can’t recommend this to a teenager who wants to take really nice selfies, but maybe that mom that has a kid that plays soccer or that dad wants to watch the kids play baseball and record them playing it. For those types of people, this one is really good and also that first-time filmmaker that may not have an expensive camera and they want to use their cell phone. This is a great way for them to get stable and smooth footage.
- Professional Quality
- 3 Modes: default, heading, and locking
- High price
- Sometimes needs calibration too often
AIbird Uoplay2S – 3-Axis Handheld Universal Smartphone Steady Gimbal Stabilizer for iPhone X series and GoPro
AIbird Uoplay2S is a high-quality user-grade stabilizer. It has a rubber handle for better grip and a strong metal construction. One design flaw is that the phone or additional equipment may hit the head’s base if the gimbal is off. So, make sure you make harsh movements only when the system is on. When off, keep the device down.
Installation and Balancing
Installation and usage are very easy. Just put your phone into the holder and balance it. Anything up to 6” plus a case will fit there, including iPhone 6s Plus. This stabilizer works not only with phones but with cameras like GoPro as well. Hold the power button until the gimbal switches on and it will connect to the phone and stabilize itself.
Setup and Modes
Batteries that go in the package last for about 2-3 hours. There are two sets coming with the gimbal. You can take the second one with you if the shoot will last for a longer time or if the phone you’re using is very powerful.
This unit offers a lot of settings and shooting modes. The basic one focuses the phone in the center of the shot. If you need to move the focus, use the joystick to direct it. To switch the modes, click the record button twice. The second mode will move the phone smoothly up and down as you move the gimbal. The third one keeps the phone still and you can manually adjust its position using a joystick. There’s another mode that is activated by pushing the record button three times. It keeps the phone in a vertical position.
This unit needs some time to get used to, but then you’ll be able to create great content with smooth movements and clear focus. All modes can be used to shoot anything from Instagram stories to short films for college.
- Hi-end gimbal stabilization quality
- 4 different modes
- Time-lapse photography
- Smart APP for iOS doing job right
- High price
- Some parts with additional weight could scratch the base while turning off
- Android APP is still in development. Basically this stabilizer is recomended for iPhone users right now
Ikan FLY-X3-PLUS – 3-Axis Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer Includes GoPro, Small and Larger Gimbal Cradles
This unit was made specifically for smartphones, both on iOS and Android. The package also includes a case, a shoulder strap for easy handling, batteries, a weight to balance the phone, and more. Batteries’ durability is 3 hours of non-stop shooting. The number may vary depending on the phone. If your smartphone is large like iPhone XS, there’s no need to attach a counterweight to balance the smartphone.
Make sure you balance everything perfectly. Otherwise, the gimbal will make noises and undermine the shooting process, potentially harming the unit. If you feel a redundant vibration, try rebalancing the phone again.
Captured by OnePlus and the Ikan FLY-X3 PLUS
- Easy to setup and use
- Gesture control system
- Great packaging and product design
- Not so good on extreme angles
- Reliability, issues with balancing
EVO SHIFT – Best Performing Smartphone Stabilizer
EVO is a respected brand, one of the best gimbal sellers. They don’t only make stabilizers for smartphones, you can find one for your regular camera, GoPro, and more devices. This particular unit is specialized for smartphone usage. They are experienced in balancing video footage and use not a mechanical way to improve the picture but compute the algorithms.
There are a lot of functions this gimbal can perform, so you can create any shot, translate any image from your head. Don’t limit yourself to portraits and panoramas, create cinematic-level experiences with butter-smooth stabilization.
Besides, it can charge your phone while working. It won’t help for a long shoot if your phone is on 3%, but you can get that last minute of video just on time. This feature was mostly created for studio work, but it helps with outside shots as well.
EVO SHIFT realized that the problem with most stabilizers might not be mechanical. Instead, their specialists analyzed software and decided they can solve the issues by improving it rather than the construction itself. As a result, they have seen problems with processing power and solved it for their gimbal. It comes with an EVO Remote application that helps you integrate professional features into your phone camera and control them.
- Can charge the phone
- Has X3 CoreMark MCU’s @ 4Khz
- Has a 4-way joystick
- Has 10-hour battery life
- Has EVO Remote app
- Has 8-hour battery life
- Has bi-directional mount
- A more expensive smartphone stabilizer
- Not suitable for larger smartphones
Zhiyun Smooth-Q – Best Price Budget Smartphone Stabilizer
This is a very budget-friendly smartphone stabilizer that’s a great choice for last-minute needs. If your project requires a gimbal but the budget doesn’t allow it, this Zhiyun option is exactly what you need. It’s often a part of a studio recording kit, but here we’ll present it to you alone.
Although it’s relatively cheap, the quality of this gimbal will impress you. This option will also provide you with the most longevity and working time. The package contains remote controls and a 4-way joystick. These will help you take care of the process and stabilize any image.
Improved tech and high-end qualities allow this gimbal to operate so well and cost so little. The manufacturer really went to town there, adjusting algorithms that will ensure gyroscopes and servo motors work in balance to bring the most stability to your videos. One thing they are still working on is using larger phones with the tool. They usually don’t work as well.
- The least expensive smartphone stabilizer reviewed
- Has a 12-hour battery life
- Has ZY Play App compatibility
- Uses Instune Algorithms
- Has complete lineup
- Has 5th Gen motor
- Has a 4-way joystick
- Not suitable for larger smartphones
- The Android app is poor
- Max payload: 200g
Movo Handheld – Video Stabilizer System for GoPro, Apple and Android Smartphones
Not being a gimbal stabilizer, this tool is still very effective in terms of functionality and cost. This unit uses counterweights to balance the weight of your phone and provide stability. There’s no electronics and no tech there, only small weights that help reduce shaking while you’re walking. In the package, there are GoPro and smartphone adapters for more convenient usage.
This is a great alternative for the cases where you need something more mechanical and very cost-efficient.
- Holds the camera straight forward
- Lightweight and convenient
- Not easy to change angles
- Sometimes footage is still shaking
- Not holding properly under the wind
Roxant PRO – camera stabilizer for GoPro, Smartphone, Canon, Nikon or any camera up to 2.1 lbs
This stabilizer supports a wide range of devices up to 2.1 pounds. You can attach your smartphone, GoPro, or another camera if the weight is right. The unit is lightweight and very easy to use. Depending on the type of camera you use, there are five holes for installing a handle for proper use and efficient stabilization. The weight and size of the camera determine where the handle will be. You can attach this stabilizer to a number of spots. Due to a rubber coat of the bottom part, it’s very easy to attach or hold it.
There’s a place for counterweights at the bottom. They are included in the package in three types, for every type of camera. To make sure you get the most stabilization, experiment with the amount of counterweight for your camera or smartphone.
The result won’t be perfect since it isn’t a motorized stabilizer. However, it’s quite cheap and still effective, so your videos will be much smoother than without any stabilization at all.
- Works with GoPro, DSLR and smartphones
- Perfect for tight spots
- Not the best balance
- Stabilization is ok, but still not so good compared to gimbal
RetiCAM HG30 – All Metal Heavy-Duty Hand Held Stabilizer and Tripod Mount for SmartPhones and Cameras
RetiCAM HD30 is made of high-quality metal and the only addition to it is a rubberized handle for a better grip. You also get a strap for more security at the bottom of the unit. It’s not a gimbal model but is still very efficient. On the top, there’s a screw mount of a standard ¼ 20 size to attach your device to.
It has a very solid feel to it, so you can not only be sure of video stabilization but also your phone’s or camera’s safety. It’s also not expensive, so you can use it as a cheaper alternative to a gimbal.
- Build quality
- Low price
- Entry-level stabilization
Motorized and Non-Motorized Stabilizers Buyer’s Guide
Before making your choice, it’s important to look into different types and models of gimbals and traditional stabilizers. Only seeing the full picture, you can consider yourself knowledgeable enough to make a proper choice. One of the key points to learn about is the difference between motorized and non-motorized units, their advantages and disadvantages. They are both equally good in their niches, so your choice should be based on what you need to shoot, how you will do it, and what your budget is.
Non-Motorized Stabilizer Pros and Cons
Here are major advantages to a non-motorized stabilizer:
- More manual control from your side.
You can create exactly the image you think about. So, if you like to have more control of the process and adjust the camera manually yet having stable video content as a result, this is a very good choice.
Such units are very cheap comparing to motorized gimbals. They are great for those who have a very limited budget for their project.
There are also two drawbacks:
- Not perfectly stable.
Your videos won’t be as perfectly stabilized as with a gimbal. Non-motorized stabilizers allow some mistakes, but of course, it’s no match to a video without any stabilization at all.
- You need time.
You should spend some time learning how to control this thing. There are counterweights and you have to know exactly how many you need for your shot and for the camera you use. After some time, though, it will become much easier.
Gimbal Stabilizer Pros and Cons
Here are main advantages of a gimbal:
- Easier to use.
Motorized stabilizers are ready for use as soon as it’s delivered. You may need to charge yours and spend about 10 minutes installing the camera correctly and getting to know the system. Balance the camera and you’re ready to go. Changing the tilt is also very easy with a joystick.
- No need to hold it.
You don’t have to hold your gimbal all the time, attach it to anything you want and make a video of yourself by focusing the camera on you or the center of the shot.
There’s only one drawback, though, and it’s the price of a gimbal. These units are more expensive than non-motorized stabilizers, so you may need to extend your budget a little bit. However, if money isn’t a problem, a high-quality gimbal will definitely come in handy.
Before making your final choice, make sure to know exactly what you need. Opting for a non-motorized model, you get more manual control, therefore more room for creativity yet not perfect bump-soothing. Such stabilizers are much cheaper than the other type and more lightweight.
Motorized stabilizers are ready to use right after you get them out of the box. You can also install them anywhere to enhance functionality. For example, instead of using rails, just attach a gimbal to a cart and it will smooth all the shaking that might go along with it. With the right options, you’ll be able to make a proper choice very fast and get an efficient stabilizer.
Do you have any opinion on which stabilizers would be capable of using a iPhone 7+ that would have be extra weight log lens attachments and / or case? It seems the iPhone 7+ is on the upper limit already of most of these gimbals capabilities…..
is there another one not to pricey?
JJ-1S ,really cost-effective gimbal
any of these wonderful gimbals happened to be waterproof? 🙂
NO, so be advised under heavy rain or smth like that. They are actually very sensitive to water damage.
Most of them are splash-proof and snow-resistant, do not consider this type of devices as completely waterproof.
I’m looking for a high end motorised stabiliser,could you please advise what the best one for smartphone/GoPro and dslr would be? Cost would not be a problem .
I’ve looke at Zhiyun crane -M .what are your thoughts.
Thanking you in anticipation.
Why is the “Not holding properly under the wind” is a CON criteria for the Movo stabilizer, but not for the Roxant PRO, although both rely on a similar arm counter-weight design?
Hi Alex, Big gimbal dilemma, have been successfully using DJI’s Osmo Mobile gimbal with my (now retired iPhone 6S) and now have an iPhone 8 Plus. I tried balancing it with the Osmo Mobile but it just won’t work. Arm extension is too short so I can’t achieve balancing. I have given up on using Osmo with the new phone and would simply like to know what gimbal available now would work nicely with the iPhone 8 Plus. I am getting tired of manufacturers and for that matter Apple as a re-seller telling us that they both work. They don’t. I have tried it. Many thanks.
This is a great comparison, because the choices can be very overwhelming when trying to get the most value for the money. But, I’m curious where The Zhiyun Smooth Q would be on this list? Especially, the pro/cons. Others I’m considering is the Vimble C and Snoppa m-1. Leaning to the Smooth Q currently.
Smooth Q is at the top of the list based on function, battery capacity and price. Ji
Could you do a review of the DJI Osmo 2?
Would like to see where that would rank.
Smove is doing guerrilla marketing but haven’t seen any unpaid reviews, thinking smooth 4 but just wanted to know if anyone has tried the smove, like the telescoping handle… but …