The best gimbals will help shoot professional-looking videos without any camera movement. Camera shake is an obvious sign you're an amateur and even if both your camera and lens have stabilization, you'll still see movement if you're shooting hand-held. If you're planning on walking or running while filming, you'll need a gimbal to ensure that your footage is as steady as can be.
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The best gimbals are mechanical stabilizers that use at least two but normally three axes of rotation to keep a camera steady. A gimbal compensates for unwanted movements such as shaky hands or little stumbles. Nowadays, gimbals are sophisticated bits of kit that are able to tell the difference between intentional and unintentional movements which allows the operator to be creative with shots. A good videographer will have thought about composition in filmmaking (opens in new tab) and a gimbal will enable them to achieve smooth, clean camera movements.
With the prices of gimbals falling, they are more accessible than ever before. Even as an amateur filmmaker, you'll instantly notice the difference in your footage when shooting with a gimbal.
There are three main players in the gimbal market, including DJI with gimbals like the DJI RSC 2 (opens in new tab), FeiyuTech, Moza and Zhiyun, with its recent Zhiyun Weebill 2 (opens in new tab) for DSLR and mirrorless cameras
The best part is that you can find a suitable gimbal no matter what kind of camera you're using. If you're shooting films on a DSLR or quick TikTok videos on a smartphone, there will be a good gimbal for you, which will fit your device perfectly. It's just a matter of sussing out which one is right for you! That's why we've divided our guide up into sections for the different types of cameras people use for video:
Best gimbals for smartphones: Essentially a stabilized selfie-stick, this type of gimbal comes with a smartphone mount that can be adjusted to fit a variety of models.
Best gimbal cameras: These neat, pocket-sized gimbals have their own built-in cameras, and do everything you need in a single package.
Best gimbals for action cameras: While more recent action cams from the likes of GoPro and DJI have their own stabilization systems, a gimbal will smooth out wild and erratic camera movements to give your videos a more professional look.
Best gimbals for DSLR and mirrorless cameras: If you're planning more serious vlogging and filmmaking, these gimbals can take the weight of a full-size camera and lens combination. Mirrorless cameras are typically a little lighter, but bigger gimbals can handle heavier DSLRs too.
Let's get into it, and look at the best gimbals for filmmaking right now!
The best gimbals in 2022
Best gimbals for smartphones
The DJI OM5 is the latest smartphone gimbal from DJI. It has a 21.5cm extendable pole and is the most lightweight one yet at just 290g. DJI has removed the big heavy battery found in previous models for 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 new tab)) The handling and build quality of the OM5 is excellent, it has a rubber handle for grip and the joystick is perfectly positioned for easy operation. You can use gesture controls such as displaying a "V" sign to initiate record and ActiveTrack will lock on and track a subject. Our one slight concern is that the hinge at the top of the extension rod is really easy to turn which can be frustrating when you're opening the hinge in the hurry. That aside, it's a great gimbal which is why it got five stars in our review.
Read more:DJI OM 5 review (opens in new tab)
DJI's Osmo Mobile gimbals have been leading the market in smartphone stabilisation for some time now. Nothing else really offers the same balance of functionality and build quality, never better exemplified than in the DJI OM 4 (a refreshed naming convention; no relation to the Olympus OM4 film SLR).
This lightweight device is the best gimbal you can buy for your smartphone right now. The new magnetic mounting system is a godsend (provided you don't mind leaving the clasp attached to your phone) making it easier than ever to attach and detach the device. The 3-axis stabilisation is, of course, excellent, providing smooth movement and making it easy to achieve effects like a classic Hitchcockian dolly zoom. There's also a suite of functionality for your smartphone once you connect it via the app.
The motor on the OM 4 has been upgraded to handle heat much better, and it is generally a smoother, more polished experience than the Osmo Mobile 3. If budget is a concern, you may want to look at the Osmo Mobile 3 as a cheaper alternative.
Read more: DJI OM 4 (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
The Zhiyun Smooth X is a compact, lightweight mobile phone gimbal with a battery life of 5.5 hours. Despite its plastic build, it still feels well-made and the affordable price tag certainly makes it a tempting buy for anyone who wants to improve their smartphone filmmaking. Since you're able to swivel the gimbal head 90-degrees into portrait orientation, it makes it perfect for using for videos to be posted on TikTok or Instagram.
One of our only niggles with the Zhiyun Smooth X is that the ZY Cami app that you need to use in order to set up the gimbal isn't compatible with every phone. However, most phones are capable of running the app, so check the compatibility list here (opens in new tab) if you're unsure.
Read more:Zhiyun Smooth X review (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
So large proportion of the video content uploaded to the internet every year is shot on an iPhone. More and more often, professional content creators are choosing to shoot with iPhones as an easy, reliable way to record footage. iPhones are small, lightweight and you have them on you all the time which is what makes them perfect for it. Investing in the Zhiyun-Tech Smooth 4 Stabilizer will ensure that all your videos are the most professional they can be and will get rid of any camera shake. It has intuitive on-body controls, a wheel that can be used for focusing or zooming and an app that enables you to use features such as time-lapse and vertigo. It's pretty heavy as far as smartphone gimbals go and it definitely caters to iPhone rather than Android so bear this in mind when shopping.
Read more: Zhiyun Smooth 4 (opens in new tab)
With plenty of different gimbals on the market, it's always worth paying attention to those that add a little something extra to stand out. The Zhiyun Smooth Q3 adds a built-in reversible fill light to the usual 3-axis stabilisation, which opens up a few more options for smartphone video shooters. Though the build is somewhat plasticky and the handle a bit small, the Zhiyun Smooth Q3 generally does a good job of keeping smartphone footage stable, especially for the price. Its tracking modes function well, and integrate well with the aforementioned ZY Cami app. Though we do wish the app could be a little less intrusive; does it really need to know our location and personal details just to keep a smartphone balanced?
Read more: Zhiyun Smooth Q3 review (opens in new tab)
This compact, lightweight and durable gimbal will have you panning, tilting and tracking your subjects like a Hollywood camera operator. Using your smartphone’s front-facing camera and the free Feiyu ON app, you can make the gimbal track your movement as you walk and talk and trigger the recording with a hand gesture. Some of the app’s panning timelapse features didn’t perform as well as we hoped but all in all this is an effective budget smartphone gimbal.
Read more: FeiyuTech Vimble 3 review (opens in new tab)
The Zhiyun Crane M2S enables you to perform a combination of tilts, pans and even rolls with your smartphone or action camera so that you can capture professional steadicam style clips. Its quick release plate enables you to detach a camera and remount a different one with a minimum of fuss and effort. It will even shine a little light on your selfies thanks to a built-in fill light.
Read more: Zhiyun Crane M2S Combo Kit review (opens in new tab)
If you want a smaller, cheaper version of the Zhiyun Smooth X listed above, the Zhiyun Smooth XS could be perfect. It only has two axes of stabilization rather than three but for anyone filming TikTok or YouTube it will still offer noticeably better quality video. It features handy face tracking, a telescopic selfie stick and a battery life of 5.5 hours. Some users feel like it's oriented a little too heavily around a phone's lower-quality selfie camera but if that's the camera you mostly use, this gimbal offers loads of features at a very attractive price.
Read more: Zhiyun Smooth XS (opens in new tab)
Best all-in-one stabilized camera(opens in new tab)
If you want a camera and gimbal in a really compact, portable package, the DJI Pocket 2 might do just the trick. You can't beat it in terms of size, video specs and vlogging capabilities. If you buy it as part of the Creator Combo, with external audio and the ultra-wide lens add-on, it's basically a professional setup you can carry in your pocket. Noise handling is probably the Pocket 2's weakest area and it can struggle with high-lights. However, in well-lit environments, the convenience, versatility, stabilization and portability really can't be beaten.
Read more:DJI Pocket 2 review (opens in new tab)
This easy-to-use gimbal is capable of producing excellent quality 4K video as well as 12MP images. It can take pictures as either JPEGs or DNG raw files which makes them much easier to edit, especially if you don't quite get your exposure correct. Every now and again the gimbal does seem to glitch a bit but generally, it's ideal for creating steady footage while running or walking.
Read more: Benro Snoppa Vmate review (opens in new tab)
Best gimbals for action cameras(opens in new tab)
With strong, rugged weatherproofing, the Removu S1 makes a great pairing with a GoPro camera, and is compatible with the majority of contemporary models. Like the Karma Grip its handle is detachable, meaning you can easily also use it as a wearable stabilizer, and there’s also remote control functionality built into the grip to allow you to operate the camera with it even when the two are separated. While the Li-Ion battery doesn’t last especially long compared to competitors, the fact that it’s removable means it’s easy to simply pack a spare if you know you’re in for a long shoot.(opens in new tab)
The FeiyuTech G6 is the best gimbal for action cameras for several reasons; it has 12 hours of battery life, it's splashproof, you can control it via an app, it has an OLED screen so you can quickly check settings and it can be used with anything from the GoPro Hero 10 to the Sony RX0 or even the DJI Osmo. It's designed so that no matter how you angle the gimbal, it will never obscure the camera screen so you can always see exactly what you're shooting. If you're planning on shooting a video using the sound from the onboard mic, you'll need to be careful as the gimbal motor sits rather close to the mic and sometimes picks up on the sound of it moving.
Best gimbals for DSLR and mirrorless cameras(opens in new tab)
Firmly aimed at the professional videographer, this powerful stabiliser enables you to make Hollywood style camera moves with a heavy camera and lens payload (up to 4.5kg). New features such as a tilt balance fine-tuning knob and physical Mode Switch help you get up and running more quickly and the new and larger OLED touchscreen is brighter and easier to see than on older Ronin models.
Read more: DJI RS 3 Pro Combo review (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
The DJI RSC 2 has pretty much everything you could ask for, including a clever folding design for easy storage and a ‘briefcase’ shooting mode, an OLED display so that you don’t have to adjust everything with its companion smartphone app, new Titan stabilisation algorithms, a 3kg payload that can handle mirrorless cameras and DSLRs, even with quite big lenses, and a 14-hour battery life. Even balancing the camera is made easy (well, as easy as it can be). It doesn’t work with every camera, though.
Read more:DJI RSC 2 review (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
DJI's Ronin-SC has been specifically designed for mirrorless camera setups up to 2kg in total weight. That’s considerably less than DJI’s bigger Ronin-S can support, but the Ronin-SC is 400g lighter at 1.1kg. Despite this, construction quality still feels first class.
The SC’s capacity is plenty for a camera like a Canon EOS R (opens in new tab) or Fujifilm X-T4 (opens in new tab), but it’s best to steer clear of bulky and heavy lenses, as these can be tough and sometimes impossible to balance properly. At least each axis can be individually locked, making initial balancing much easier, and, and the SC folds surprisingly compact.
Once you’re ready to shoot, there are plenty of features to explore. Arguably the most impressive is Active Track 3.0. This uses your phone’s camera and a very clever DJI app to automatically track subjects. The system requires your phone to be mounted on top of your main camera, but a hot-shoe clamp is provided. The only issue with this arrangement is it makes your camera quite top-heavy, so you’ll need to re-calibrate some pivot points.
• Read DJI Ronin-SC review (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
The Zhiyun Crane 3S is a heavy duty powered stabilizing gimbal for larger mirrorless, DSLR or cinema cameras. It's a total redesign from previous Zhiyun gimbals, with the addition of detachable handle options, a large 6.5kg payload, an updated axis-locking system, external power input, and the ViaTouch 2.0 motion control system. It's an update to the previous Zhiyun Crane 3 Lab, but with a payload increase of around 45%.
The Crane 3S gives very smooth and steady footage and can handle a huge range of cameras. The performance and smoothness of the camera movements are impressive. But while it certainly boasts a great payload capacity and long battery life, it's heavy to carry as a run-and-gun gimbal, so this isn’t something you’d take out with you and use all day. But if you need to shoot handheld or ground-level video with cine gear that's a step up from a regular mirrorless camera, this is the tool for the job.
Read more: Zhiyun Crane 3S review (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
Promising moving footage that’s smoother than smooth, the Gudsen MOZA Air 2 is capable of handling heavier DSLR and cinema camera setups with long professional lenses, up to a maximum payload of 4.2kg. It offers a 3-axis stabilization system and produces impressive footage when moving, as well as providing eight follow modes. There’s also a nice selection of time-lapse functions, and users planning for a long day’s shoot will be pleased to note that its four batteries give it a total battery life of up to 16 hours (though be aware that this requires a 5-hour charge time).
Also included in this newer version of the original MOZA Air are a quick-release plate, auto-tune modes that assess a camera’s weight and compensate accordingly, and useful physical controls including a joystick and rotating wheel, making handling a pleasingly tactile experience. For the price, it’s impressively featured, and is a great way to expand your filmmaking potential without breaking the bank.
Read more: MOZA Air 2 review (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
The DJI RS 3 may not be an essential buy if you already own the RS 2, but you may be attracted by the latest model’s extended battery life, the new physical mode switch and the auto locking and unlocking axes feature. If you don’t already own a heavy-lifting gimbal but want to make your DSLR or mirrorless camera float, pan, and tilt like a Hollywood steadicam then the RS 3 will do the job nicely.
Read more: DJI RS 3 Combo review (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
If you’ve been struggling to find a gimbal that will effortlessly carry a DSLR (or mirrorless camera) and large lens then the 300XM could be the answer. It enables you to perform smooth pans, tilts and tracking moves with your usual DSLR kit but you could find that your arm begins to ache quite quickly. The ability to control the gimbal remotely via Gyro mode could be useful for certain scenarios (and it’s very cool to demonstrate!). A powerful heavy lifter!
Read more: Manfrotto MVG300XM gimbal review (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
Given the relative lightness of mirrorless cameras, one-handed gimbals are a boon for the filmmaker using light CSCs like those made by Sony or Panasonic. The Feiyu MG Lite is a great example, blending a lightweight build with impressive depth of functionality. Its design allows the camera to move in 360 degrees in all directions, allowing for total freedom of movement while shooting. The MG Lite can be set in three modes: Panning, Panning/Tilting and Lock, allowing you to restrict it to just the kind of movements you want, and the four-directional control stick also allows for manual control of the camera’s angle. It packs down well too, making it a good choice for the travelling filmmaker.
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