you’re using your DSLR or mirrorless camera to shoot video like me, you have
probably wished for a handheld gimbal
stabilizer to help you create a steady image while shooting handheld
is especially true if you are shooting a tracking “walk and talk” style scene,
a live event video where you are filming run and gun style throughout a crowd,
or a “one-shot” style take, featuring complicated choreography and camera moves
as you follow the action of an entire scene without cutting.
personally love gimbals and am consistently impressed with their quality,
especially with the advent and availability of motorized, remote-controlled
gimbals that are available today.
From someone who made his own steadicam rig back in the day out of PVC pipe, the fact that you can use a remote-controlled gimbal to make your camera look like it’s floating through space while perfectly tracking a subject is absolutely amazing.
since there is so much disparity between different lens and camera weights
depending on what you’re shooting on, you’re going to need the right gimbal to
support whatever your current DSLR / mirrorless camera setup is.
That’s why we’ve done the research and put together this comprehensive guide to gimbals. At the end of the guide, you’ll find eight great gimbal recommendations based on what lens and camera you are shooting on.
first, in case you are new to the world of steadicams, camera stabilizers, and
shooting handheld, let’s run through a quick general overview of how
stabilizers, particularly gimbal stabilizers, work.
If you already know everything about gimbals you can skip our guide and jump directly to our recommendations by clicking here.
What is a Gimbal?
A handheld gimbal stabilizer usually referred to as just a gimbal, is a single or 3-axis pivoted support for your camera that makes it possible to rotate, tilt, pan, or roll your camera without the camera itself moving, keeping your image smooth and stable.
Gimbals are often used to track a subject while keeping the camera stabilized and creates a mini-version of the effects that more expensive film equipment, like a dolly or crane, provide.
Another common use for gimbals is for filming time-lapses and hyper-lapses. Because most popular gimbals these days are motorized, you can actually program the gimbal to move along a track over a set period of time, creating a panning or zooming timelapse that changes the frame over a set speed and time.
This type of functionality is great for nature or landscape videographers who want to capture a lively and beautiful sunset or sweeping locale over a set time while creating the semblance of movement and is one of the only ways to create these types of shots at a reasonable budget.
How a Gimbal Works
mount your camera on a gimbal, and you are able to keep your camera stable
regardless of the movement happening around it, which is why gimbals have been
used for centuries on seafaring navigation tools on boats and ships.
the case of motorized 3-axis gimbals like the DJI Ronin, the three orthogonal
pivot axes are mounted to each other and powered by three brushless motors.
camera itself is mounted to the innermost gimbal, making its movements
independent of the movement of the other axes around it.
when you move your arm that is holding the stabilizer up and down and side to
side, the camera remains stationary and at the same level.
stabilizers are great at recognizing the difference between movements you want
and movements you don’t.
you use a gimbal stabilizer, especially the higher quality rigs, it will make
your camera work look like it’s floating in mid-air.
When to Use a Gimbal
gimbals are incredibly useful tools for shooting handheld and maintaining a
highly polished look and feel, they are almost mandatory for shooting anything
“run and gun” style with your DSLR or mirrorless camera.
you are an indie filmmaker shooting scenes on the fly or a wedding videographer
capturing the special day from every possible angle, a gimbal is a vital tool.
is worse than getting back the footage from a day of hard work only to find
half of it so shaky it becomes borderline unwatchable.
What Types of Gimbals Exist?
Besides single-axis gimbals and three-axis gimbals, there are a few other variations of gimbals available, so we’ll run through a few common types before diving into the specific recommendations below.
First of all, the type of handle a gimbal has is
important. There are two main types of gimbals by handle: single handle gimbals, which are held with either one or two hands
via a single handle, or two handle
gimbals, which are held with both hands, one on each handle.
Pretty straightforward, but what’s cool is that
some gimbals offer attachments to turn a single handle gimbal into a two handle
gimbal for added support, and so your forearms don’t try to jump off your arms
after holding a heavy pole all day with one or two hands.
There are also mounted gimbals, which you can mount onto a car mount or drone
attachment, and that you can program to pan, tilt and roll with a
There are gimbals for smaller, GoPro cameras
specifically, then there are the types of gimbals we’ll be reviewing today for
mid-sized DSLR and mirrorless cameras. Then there are gimbals for larger cinema
cameras and then smartphone specific gimbals for shooting on iPhone or Android
Lastly, it’s important to point out the
distinction between steadicam stabilizers like a glidecam and gimbals.
What is the Difference Between a Gimbal and a Glidecam?
a gimbal uses a single or 3-axis pivot system, often with battery-powered
motors, to stabilize an image, a glidecam
uses a weight to utilize a camera’s own center of gravity to stabilize the
a glidecam keeps the camera stationary but weighed down to keep it steady and
give off the feeling of a camera floating in the air, a gimbal holds the camera
on a pivoted axis that literally lets the camera float in the air while you can
move the gimbal arm along the axis, or in whatever direction you like in the
case of a 3 axis gimbal.
When to Use a Gimbal Instead of a
While a glidecam can serve you in most situations when shooting handheld and trying to stabilize an image, a gimbal might be more useful in more unique situations. For example, in cases when you are trying to roll your camera upside down while still following a subject, or rotating and panning and tilting all in the same shot while tracking a subject.
can also use gimbals, as mentioned above, to do time-lapses and all sorts of
unique shooting situations, where a glidecam might serve you better on a
simpler shoot where you just need a stable shot while shooting run and gun, and
don’t have some big camera rig that requires top of the line stabilization to
keep everything safe and stable.
Another difference: price. Glidecam stabilizers can go for very little affordable rates, while gimbal stabilizers can get really expensive really quickly if you are going for something top of the line with all the latest motorized bells and remote-controlled whistles.
Stabilizers Create Beautiful Smooth Images While Shooting Handheld at a Fair
Most importantly, handheld gimbal stabilizers can be an affordable alternative to an expensive steadicam rig. Not only that but having to drag around a bulky mass like a full-body steadicam rig can be a pain in the butt compared to a simple handheld gimbal.
might feel like Iron Man when you strap into the thing, but the pain and
frustration of a day of shooting while constantly readjusting a full steadicam
rig could be enough to drive you to look for an alternative.
for the sake of comparison, a full commercial steadicam rig could cost anywhere
from $500-$1200 on the low end and up to $20,000 to $60,000 on the high end.
the DSLR and mirrorless camera gimbal stabilizer units we’re looking at today
range between $500 and $1300 on the high
end, while a simple smartphone gimbal rig can cost around $100-$200.
Type Of Camera and Lens You’re Shooting With Affects What Gimbal You Buy
you may very well know, weight distribution plays a big part in the
effectiveness of any type of steadicam or camera stabilizing rig.
Balancing your camera on a handheld gimbal stabilizer requires a counterweight in order to keep it balanced, and as anyone who’s worked with a DJI Ronin before knows, resetting the balance of a motorized rig for the camera you’re shooting on can be one of the most tedious and obnoxious parts of your day.
example, the 3-axis motorized gimbals like the DJI Ronin can take around ten to
twenty minutes to set up and balance properly, including adjusting how much
control you have over the motor itself. While some have the ability to
auto-balance electronically, this can also come with its own set of problems.
you will typically be shooting with wider lenses when using a handheld gimbal,
since wider lenses tend to perform better with the handheld style of shooting,
giving you a better field of vision and range of motion while moving. That will
give you a general weight range you can count on as far as the lenses as
quick rule of thumb: any ratio of camera
body mass to lens mass going
over 1:3, you will definitely have
gimbal balancing problems, and you will need to use counterweights to offset
the camera body mass to even it up with the lens.
I Pick Out The Right Gimbal?
when picking out a gimbal for yourself, your main question is going to be “will
this gimbal work with my camera?” If you really know your stuff, you’ll add
onto that statement, “will this gimbal work with this camera package if I’m shooting with that particular lens.”
As a way of example, one question you could ask yourself would be, “Will the MOZA Air 2 work with the GH5 shooting with a Sigma 18-35mm lens.” To answer that, what you have to know is the maximum weight of your camera body and lens combination for the sake of comparing whether or not a gimbal will be the optimal choice for your particular set-up, as far as balancing and handling is concerned.
weight distribution changes from camera to camera and from weight to weight.
Consider how the Sony A6300 equipped with kit lenses might weigh about 1.15
pounds, while a Sony A7S MK II with a 16-35 F4 lens would weigh around 2.51
pounds. A gimbal you rent or buy might be able to hold one but not the other.
And what about if you are using the kit lenses on the A7S II, or a 16-35 F4 on
type of quick release plate the gimbal comes with will also be a factor when
picking the right gimbal for your camera. For example, the BMPCC 4K and 6K
cameras require a special plate for balancing properly, and only certain
gimbals are compatible with the BMPCC for that specific reason. Don’t worry, we’ll
cover that below.
that being the case, we’ve tried to account for what combinations most readers
will be shooting on when trying to decide which gimbal to buy. While we can’t
exactly account for every possible combination, we’ve taken into account the
most asked-about combinations and which gimbal is right for what combo.
if you don’t see your particular camera body and lens combination on the list,
pay special attention to maximum weight and any notes about what combos won’t work with each gimbal.
might still be able to hold your camera’s particular weight distribution, but
it might not be ideal for optimal balancing and handling. Sometimes your camera
and accessories, like battery packs or field monitors, might be too bulky for a
certain gimbal, in which case even if it can hold your camera weight-wise, it
won’t be ideal.
We’ll try to point out situations that are somewhat gray when we can, and will be updating the guide based on feedback and research we find as we go.
We also like to point out things like how easy a gimbal is to balance, how strong the motors are and how they handle if a camera isn’t balanced properly, and what type of remote control integration the gimbal comes with whenever applicable.
Accessories for Gimbals
There are going to be extra accessories you will
want when shooting on a gimbal. For starters, certain gimbals have interfaces
for you to add on things like tripod or monopod extensions or extra handles.
You can turn a single handle gimbal into a two handle gimbal, for example.
You will also usually want a follow focus accessory, either one that connects with your gimbal via a four-way joystick on your gimbal’s handle, or a remote control follow focus for your first AC to pull focus remotely while you run around tracking the shot.
Other examples of accessories you might want to
include an external monitor to help you see the images you are shooting more
clearly, an on-board LED light for night-time interviews of daytime key fills,
or on-board microphone for capturing sound in an indie or docu-style interview
type of format.
Keep in mind: adding on these types of
accessories to your gimbal package will increase the base price of your gimbal.
If you want a Servo motor focus or zoom controller or extra handle added to
your gimbal package, that can sometimes raise your base price an extra $100 or
so, so factor add-ons into your calculations accordingly when picking your
perfect gimbal package.
with all that established, let’s get to the recommendations!
8 Great Handheld Gimbal Stabilizers And The Camera They Are Best For
Below you will find our buyer’s guide for the 8 best handheld gimbal stabilizers we recommend, and what cameras we recommend them for.
Now, of course, each of the gimbals on the list is compatible with a lot of different cameras and vice versa, and we’ve included all the cameras compatible with each gimbal – and more.
That being said, some camera and gimbal combinations work better than others, so we’ve made a selection of a few popular camera choices and – what we believe – is the best gimbal for that particular camera. So if you own one of those cameras, you should definitely look into the recommended gimbal.
If you don’t see your camera body and lens on the list, you can ask us about it in the comments or you can weigh it to check it against the maximum weight capacity listed for each gimbal.
If you find something isn’t optimal, share it and let
us know so we can add it to the individual entry for other like-minded would-be
buyers to learn from.
1. MOZA Air 2 – Best Gimbal for the BMPCC4K
Weight Limit: Cameras weighing up to 9 lbs or 4.2 kilograms.
Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.2 x
18.5?, or 230 x 240 x 470 mm.
Camera best for: DSLRs and mirrorless
cameras, particularly the BMPCC 4K.
Other Compatibility: Works with the Canon
1DX, 5D Mark II, 5D Mark III, 5D Mark IV, 6D Mark II, and 77D; the Sony RX10II,
RX10III, RX100M4, A5100, A6300, A6500, A7S, A7S II, A7R, A7R II, A7 II, A7 III,
A7M3, and A7R3; the Nikon D800, D850, Z6, and Z7; and the Panasonic
GH3, GH4, and GH5.
- 4-Axis Stabilization
- Multiple operation modes
- Can use full-size cage (unlike the DJI Ronin and other Gimbals)
- You can power your Black Magic camera directly from the Gimbal
- Runs for a maximum of 16 hours
- Angled motor arm for the camera’s screen
- Compatible with the wireless iFocus lens control system
- Shoots motion time-lapse using the MOZA app.
- The only real con is being a single-handle gimbal, which makes the distribution of the camera’s weight difficult to hold onto for long periods of time without wanting to put it down. The gimbal handles weight well, but be wary that you will want breaks when shooting. The good news is, the gimbal did handle the weight quite well and it was relatively easy to get nice results. The weight of the camera and gimbal does make it hard to hold for too long and I was constantly finding myself wanting to put it down.
The MOZA Air 2 is a versatile gimbal that works for most DSLR and mirrorless camera combinations but is particularly good for the BMPCC4K because of its payload properties and compatibility.
For example, you can run power to your BMPCC4K through the Moza Air 2 itself thanks to the MOZA SPARK power supply system, which provides four power ports, three of which are output ports. These ports can also power your camera, an external monitor, a follow focus, an on-board LED light for night shots.
Also, because of the high rate Li-Ion rechargeable
batteries, you can shoot with the Moza Air 2 for up to 16 hours. So you’re covered for those long hours on set, and if you
bring spare batteries along with you, you can shoot for days at a time out in
the wilderness if you are energy conscious.
As far as balancing and optimizing is concerned, the
gimbal’s integration with the MOZA app
helps to calculate weight-specific calibrations based on whatever set-up you
have attached, which speeds up the set-up time significantly when it functions
The MOZA Air 2 also makes it easy to balance the gimbal yourself with easy to comprehend visual
cues, and you can save up to five sets of pre-programmed balance parameters for
your most common lens and camera combinations.
One of the other biggest pluses of the MOZA Air 2 is the quick-release system, which reduces the need to recalibrate and rebalance. So you can shoot with different set-ups with ease.
Additionally, the MOZA Air 2 has great time-lapse
functionality, providing around 20 optimizations specific to the type of
time-lapse you are shooting, whether it be zoom time-lapses, motion-lapses,
tracking-lapses, and so on.
Also mentioned above, the MOZA Air 2 includes
different dynamic operational modes thanks to the iFocus feature that provides
more advanced focus and zoom controls, enabling shoot-specific modes for
whatever type of shoot you are on.
You can shoot an extreme sports style shoot via the
Sport Gear Mode, create beautiful sweeping nature shots via the Panorama Mode,
or create a rad gravity-defying fight scene for an action movie shoot via the
Inception Mode, plus plenty of others.
In conclusion, the MOZA Air 2 is a great gimbal and is especially good for shooting with the BMPCC 4K, as long as you don’t mind the experience shooting with a single-handle gimbal. Whether you have a BMPCC or something else, there are plenty of accessories you can get to improve and add onto your shooting experience with the MOZA Air 2!
Check the current price on Amazon: MOZA Air 2
2. DJI Ronin S – Best Gimbal for the Panasonic GH5
Weight Limit: Cameras weighing up
to 7.9 lbs or 3.6 kilograms.
or 202×185×486 mm.
Camera best for: Panasonic mirrorless
cameras e.g. the Panasonic GH5.
Other Compatibility: Works with the Canon
6D MK II, 5D MK III, 5D MK IV, SDK EOS-1D, X Mark II, and EOS R; the Panasonic
GH3, GH4, and GH5; the Nikon D850,D5, Z6 and Z7; and the Sony A7 S, A7 II, A7S II, A7, A7 III, A7R III, A9, A6300,
- Battery life of up to 12 hours
- High-quality motors
- Carriage big enough to support a GH5 with a cage on it
- Initializing, remote-controls, and integration via the DJI Ronin app
- Has modes for panorama, motion-lapse, time-lapse and track-lapse
- Optimized for Panasonic GH series cameras.
- Very heavy, and can leave you fatigued after a long day, which is another reason not to use it together with bigger and bulkier cameras than the GH5 or GH5s
- Tricky to set-up.
The DJI Ronin S Gimbal is another great single-handle gimbal for most DSLRs and mirrorless cameras like the GH5.
As mentioned in the pros of this gimbal above, the DJI
Ronin S can carry pretty much every lens and camera combination of Panasonic
GH5, and the carriage has enough room for you to use a cage with your GH5 as
Because of the hardware compatibility, you can operate
your GH5 through the gimbal itself via the on-gimbal buttons to control your
If you use manual focus, you can also use the gimbal’s built-in focus wheel, which is effective and pretty precise despite being electronic (a.k.a non-linear).
The focus wheel compatibility is specific only to the
Panasonic GH cameras. If you are shooting with a Canon, Nikon or Sony
compatible camera, the only on-gimbal buttons that will work properly is the
recording button, but firmware updates could fix this.
If you happen to own a Panasonic G9 you can charge
your camera through the gimbal via the USB cable.
Getting back to the features, the Ronin S gimbal’s SmoothTrack feature provides added control over how you track your subjects, and thanks to onboard buttons, you can go from upright to underslung without the gimbal’s frame itself causing any issues.
Because the camera is placed above the roll-axis, the view of the monitor is never obstructed,
and the angled roll motor makes bulkier set-ups easier to balance.
There is also custom Manfrotto quick-release base plate that comes with this gimbal, but
not all base plates will fit on the Ronin S because of the specific size.
You are also able to easily mount this gimbal to other
rigs, like a car mount or jib mount for a mini-crane style shoot.
As far as handling goes, the Ronin S tracks smoothly as you point the camera in whatever direction you choose, and you can use the onboard trigger button to keep the camera itself pointed in a single direction regardless of wherever you point and move the gimbal.
This button can be tapped two times to recenter your camera to a neutral position, or tapped three times to point it directly at the user in a type of selfie mode, convenient for vlog-style shooting.
The Ronin S also has a Sport Mode for shooting in extreme sports situations where you want
to capture and track the surrounding landscapes while biking, skating, or
snowboarding at high speeds through harsh terrains.
Using the DJI Ronin app, you can not only balance and initialize your gimbal, but also adjust speed settings, remotely control your gimbal, pre-program tracking paths including move and stop times, and lots of other cool features depending on what type of shooting you are doing.
Because this gimbal is part of the DJI Ronin series,
there is a vast ecosystem of compatible
accessories available to incorporate into your set-up via accessory mounts,
whether it be external monitors, on-board LED lights or microphones, Master
Wheel control-device attachments, and plenty more.
All in all, this is a solid Ronin gimbal, despite
being on the heavier side (both in gimbal weight and price).
If you are shooting on a Panasonic GH5 or G9, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better gimbal.
However, if you are shooting with a different brand of
DSLR or mirrorless camera and have a stricter gimbal budget, you may want to
check out a different offering from this list.
Check the current price on Amazon: DJI Ronin S Gimbal
3. Zhiyun Crane 2 – Best Gimbal for the Canon 5D Series and Nikon D850
Weight Limit: Cameras weighing up
to 8.15 lbs or 3.7
Dimensions: 19.76 ” x 5.55
” x 10.62 ” or 50.2 mm x 14.1mm x 27 mm.
Camera best for: Bigger DSLRs like the
Canon 5D series and Nikon D850.
Other Compatibility: Works with the Canon
EOS 5D – 6D series, Nikon D850, Panasonic LUMIX Series, and SONY ILCE Series
& A Series, but the follow focus feature only works for the Canon and Nikon
- Full 360-degree pan and 320-degree tilt
- On-board follow focus for compatible Canon cameras
- Lens support attachment to help balance longer lenses
- Up to 18 hours of battery life
- iOS and Android app support via the ZY Play app
- Quality gimbal for older DSLR models at an affordable price.
- Can be a struggle with some key features, like syncing the follow focus, if you try to use it without updating the firmware
- Some on-gimbal control features are only compatible with certain cameras.
When it comes to your standard Canon DSLR or Nikon D850, we’ve found that the Zhiyun Crane 2 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal is going to be your best best.
The Zhiyun Crane 2 hosts a plethora of useful features, including anti-shake technology, precise autofocus control, and two lithium-ion batteries for a battery life of up to 18 hours, with compatibility so you can use that extra juice to charge your DSLR while shooting.
Because of its aluminum alloy frame, the crane is lightweight when compared to some of
the other gimbals on this list, and because of its payload limit, can support
most Canon and Sony DSLR / lens combinations you can think of.
Balancing and stabilizing your Zhiyun Crane 2 is
fairly simple, and with fine sensitivity controls, you can typically adjust the
settings to fit your particular pace, speed and need.
And while the long battery life should leave you with
more than enough power, the gimbal features a “slow fall” shutdown process, which lowers your camera lens slowly
when the camera is turning off to keep your lenses safe in the case of an
emergency shut off.
As far as shooting functionality is concerned, the
Zhiyun Crane 2 has four specific control modes, including the standard panning,
following, and locked in place modes, as well as an additional selfie mode for vlog-style shooting.
It also has the ability to rotate in a complete 360-degree circle, which it does completely silent thanks to its brushless motors.
The on-gimbal follow-focus
capabilities are useful if you are shooting with a compatible DSLR, like
the Nikon D850 or Canon 5D MK III or similar Canon Series DSLR. This feature
does not work with the Panasonic and Sony compatible cameras, however, and it
will require additional set-up to use.
Like other gimbals mentioned so far, there is also
remote-control capabilities when you sync your Zhiyun Crane 2 with the ZY Play
app. One of the main features is remote-control
object tracking, which can take a bit of practice to get down. Luckily,
there are many online tutorials to help teach you how to use it.
As far as accessories included, there is both a balance slider attachment that provides a free range of movement when sliding, thanks to a dovetail rail system, and a tripod stabilizer attachment which you can screw into the bottom of the gimbal to use the gimbal for stationary shots.
There is also a newer model out now (the Crane 3), but
all in all, the Zhiyun Crane 2 is still a highly competent gimbal, especially
if you are shooting on an older model DSLR and are looking for a compatible and
highly functional gimbal.
Because it’s technically an older generation, it could
also be cheaper than what’s on the market right now anyway, which is always a
Check Current Price on Amazon: The Zhiyun Crane 2 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal.
4. Feiyu a2000: Best Gimbal for the Fujifilm X-T2
Weight Limit: Cameras that weigh up to 2.5 kilograms or 5.5
Dimensions: 18.5” x 11” x 5.3” or 469.9 x 279.4 x 134.62
Cameras Best For: The Fujifilm X-T2 mirrorless camera.
Compatibility: The Canon 5D Mark IV III (with a standard
lens), the Sony A7RII, ILCE-7R,
ILCE-5100, a6500, a6300, and a6000; the Panasonic LUMIX GH4 and GH5; the Sony
NEX-5N/NEX-7 and other cameras of N-series, and other cameras with similar
- 360-degree rotation capability
- Detachable single or double handle handling options
- Up to nine extended interfaces for compatible accessories
- Comes with two sets of batteries for up to 12 hours of shooting time
- Feiyu ON app compatibility for remote control pre-set rotations or setting adjustments
- Anti-collision EVA foam on the panning axis to protect the camera
- Easy to use buttons on the handles themselves to adjust settings while shooting with both hands.
- A potential issue with the motors having minds of their own when adjusting mid-operation (but this seems to happen rarely and is easy to fix with the reset button on the grip of the gimbal).
- The compatibility between this gimbal and the Fujifilm X-T2 requires a DIY solution (but this workaround is required because it makes the a2000 the only X-T2 compatible gimbal besides the a1000).
The first dual-handle gimbal on our list, the 3-Axis Feiyu a2000 handheld gimbal is comfortable to use and easy to control, thanks to handle-grip joystick buttons that still allow for simple ease-of-use when shooting with both hands.
There is also
the option to go single-handle if
you prefer, which opens up the possibility of inverted or high and low angle
shooting as well.
As far as
balancing is concerned, this gimbal comes with a pre-programmed auto-adjust algorithm to naturally detect and adjust
to the weight of your set-up.
a2000 can also support the weight of most camera and lens combinations without
having to change the strength of the motors themselves.
As for the gimbal’s field of motion is concerned, the Feiyu a2000 uses slip ring motors for its panning, tilting, and rolling axes, allowing for limitless 360-degree rotation whether panning, tilting, or rolling. This is particularly useful when switching to the single handle handling when trying to perform tricky panning or tilting shots that turn the angle completely upside down.
Like other gimbals on this list, The Feiyu a2000 also has anti-shake features to make shooting as smooth as possible and includes auto modes to allow for pre-programmed automatic rotations to capture time-lapses and beautifully timed panorama shots.
The way that
the camera is set up, the viewfinder is elevated about 45 degrees to ensure
that your view of the screen will never
be blocked by the rolling axis. While this means you don’t need an external
monitor, you might still want one depending on your personal preference.
a2000 comes with its own app, called the Feiyu
ON app, which allows for the user to make adjustments to the settings for
the motor dynamics and shooting parameters as required.
to other entries on this list, the app allows for remote control of your gimbal as well.
a2000 also comes with a series of nine
screw interfaces, which allows for integration with compatible accessories for on-camera LED light mounts, tripod
attachments, microphone attachments, or whatever else you need attached for
So why is this gimbal a good pick for the
isn’t really any gimbal with perfect compatibility for the Fujifilm X-T1 or T2
mirrorless cameras, I did track down a DIY workaround with the Feiyu a2000 and this cable and a 2.5mm jack, 3.5mm plug, and
invert the tip and ring so that the camera reacts with the gimbal the way it
would if it was optimized.
This is based on this Youtube video from Youtuber Sean McCormack from the Lightroom Blog doing the same trick with the earlier generation one Feiyu gimbal, the a1000:
So all in all,
if you are looking for a quality gimbal to go with your Fujifilm X-T2, the
Feiyu a2000 with this DIY workaround is your best bet!
shooting on something other than the X-T2, you may want to look into other
gimbals on this list, but the Feiyu a2000 is still a quality gimbal should you
choose to go this route!
Check Current Price on Amazon: The Feiyu a2000
5. Zhiyun WEEBILL LAB 3-Axis – Best Gimbal for the Nikon Z6 and Z7
Weight Limit: Cameras weighing up to 6.6 pounds or 3000
Dimensions: 2.8” x 7.5” x 11.8” or 70 x 190 x 300mm.
Cameras Best For: The Nikon Z6 and Z7 or the Sony A7 S series.
Compatibility: The Sony A9, A7R III, A7 III, a7R II, A7S II,
A7 II, A7R, A7S, A7, a6500, a6300, and a6000; the Panasonic GH5s, and GH5; and
the Nikon Z6 and Z7.
- Single or double handle operation
- Full 360-degree operation for tilting, rolling and panning
- Ten-hour battery life via two Li-ion batteries
- Comes with a mini tripod mount
- Switch easily between normal and underslung handling modes
- Comes with both Manfrotto and Arca-Swiss double quick-release plates to make balancing and readjusting easier
- Compact size for easy transportation.
- The follow focus has a little too much resistance to it, and it is only compatible with Zhiyun specific batteries.
The Zhiyun WEEBILL LAB handheld gimbal stabilizer is a newer motorized gimbal from Zhiyun with a new design, shortening the main handle to make it smaller and more overall compact, while also enabling you to shoot with either single or double handles.
the mini tripod attachment can
attach to both the top or bottom of the gimbal for more versatility.
balancing on this gimbal is fairly straight forward, one nice feature is the
ability to lock each axis with an axis latch system, which allows you to lock each axis individually, causing
the gimbal to memorize your ideal
balance settings each time and makes rebalancing super simple.
There’s also the added bonus of having two quick-release plates, which makes transitioning between your various pieces of equipment without having to rebalance your gimbal every time you put the camera back on it quite easy.
As far as functionality is concerned, the WEEBILL LAB gimbal has multiple following modes, like pan-following, full-following, locked following, among others. You can use additional modes like POV mode, a vortex mode, or a PhoneGO mode for use when shooting during high speed and extreme sports situations, allowing for maximum follow speed.
As far as focus control goes, the WEEBILL LAB gimbal has an external servo motor for controlling focus but also has an on-gimbal handwheel to access your camera’s zoom controls directly from the gimbal itself.
The OLED screen is easy to read when
determining things like battery life and the current control mode, and there
are three external screw interfaces
for screwing in additional Zhiyun accessories, like extended monopods, servo
motors, or clamp add-ons to use the
WEEBILL LAB with your smartphone video camera.
The TransMount Max servo motor is a popular attachment to use for zooming and focusing with the WEEBILL LAB, because of the torque and multiple foci and zoom rings that are easy to switch between.
Zhiyun Crane 2, the WEEBILL LAB can be controlled and synced up with the ZY Play app, where you can use pre-programmed remote control time-lapse
features, like focus-lapse, motion-lapse, long exposure time-lapse, and
panorama inspired-lapses. You can also adjust camera and motor settings from
the app as well.
One cool feature of the WEEBILL LAB is the ability to transfer video files directly via a WiFi connection through the gimbal itself. Anything you record on your compatible DSLR or mirrorless camera can be transferred to your phone – but only in 720p resolution. Keep in mind this feature, in particular, is limited to only specific cameras though.
All in all,
this is a great gimbal for the Nikon Z6 and Z7 as well as the Sony A7S series,
the latter in particular due to the compatibility with the video file transfer
Invest in an
external servo motor attachment to make pulling focus and zooming easier!
Check Current Price on Amazon: The Zhiyun WEEBILL LAB 3-Axis Gimbal
6. EVO Rage Gen 2 – Best Gimbal for Sony A7 Series Cameras like the Alpha A7 III
Weight Limit: Cameras weighing up to 5.5 pounds, or 2.49
Dimensions: 4.72? x 4.13? x 11.61? or 120 x
105 x 295 mm.
Cameras Best For: Sony A7S Series cameras like the Alpha A7 III.
Compatibility: The Canon 5D Mark II to IV, 6D,7D, 70D, and
80D; the Nikon D7100, D800E, and D75; the Panasonic LX100, GH3, GH4, and GH5;
and the Sony A5000-6500, all A7, A9, A58, A68, A77, A99, A99ii and RX100 III,
IV, and V.
- 18-hour runtime
- 360-degree panning, tilting and rolling
- On-gimbal four-way joystick CCI controls for recording and zooming from the gimbal handle itself
- Included CNC tripod
- Remote control capabilities through the EVO Remote app
- Sony A7 compatibility, multiple shooting modes like pan-follow, pan-lock, and inverted modes
- Strong aluminum body.
- Frustrating motion timelapse functionality, which doesn’t let you repeat previously programmed moves
- Vibrating and shaking when using specific lenses, particularly the combination of a GH5 with certain Rokinon lenses
- Tilting up and down leaves something to be desired.
The EVO Rage 2 handheld gimbal stabilizer has a lot going for it, including a battery life of up to 18 hours of runtime, full 360-degree panning, tilting and rolling, and remote control capabilities through the EVO Remote app.
One of the best things about using this gimbal with an A7 or A7S camera is the added functionality. You can control the shutter, recording, and zooming of your Sony Camera directly from the gimbal handle itself using the on-gimbal four-way joystick.
The EVO Rage 2 CCI control cable used to be an add on, but most packages now should come with them included. So make sure to check that the cable is included before you buy.
While we don’t
usually compare processors on these, there’s a lot to be said for the
processing power of the EVO Rage 2’s hardware and closed-loop stabilizing
algorithms, which makes the stabilizing process go smoother and faster than
previous iterations and lesser powerful gimbals.
Mounting and balancing the EVO Rage 2 gimbal manually is fairly quick, and doesn’t require dragging along any extra tools due to the easy to loosen thumbscrew attachments.
You can also
easily mount the gimbal to other tripods, monopods, extension poles or car
mounts with the 1/4 – 20 threaded handle.
The EVO Rage 2
also comes with four stabilizing modes,
including a pan follow mode, full follow mode, lock mode, and new Horizon POV
mode, which allows for smooth and easy panning, tilting, and rolling for crane
and dolly style shooting. There are also specific settings for walking or “fast
motion” tracking shots.
Like the other
gimbal recommendations, the EVO Rage 2 comes with a compatible EVO Remote app, which allows you to
program multiple time-lapse and smart tracking features with up to ten sweep
points, but this functionality is limited and you have to reprogram your shot
every time. Look up the current version of the app and download the latest firmware
to figure out if this issue has been fixed or not.
Our Verdict: if you are shooting with a Sony A7 or A7S MK
III, the added compatibility and on-gimbal controls make this gimbal an
appealing choice, especially if you are looking for a more affordable option.
But if you are
shooting on something else, you might be able to find a better gimbal depending
on your preferred DSLR or mirrorless camera choice.
Check Current Price on Amazon: The EVO Rage Gen 2 Gimbal
7. Zhiyun Crane 3 – Best Gimbal for the Panasonic Lumix S1R and S1H
Weight Limit: Cameras weighing up to 9.9 pounds or 4.5
Dimensions: 8.07”x14.409”x13.03” or205 x 366 x 331mm.
Cameras Best For: Surprisingly, the Panasonic Lumix S1R and S1H,
which isn’t listed as compatible by Zhiyun’s own accounting.
Compatibility: The Canon 5DS, 5DS R, 5D MK II, 5D MK III, 5D MK IV, 6D, 6D MK II, 80D, EOS R, and 1D X MK II; the Panasonic GH4, GH5, and GH5 S; the Sony A9, A73, A7 M3, A7R2, and A7S2; the Nikon D850, Z6 and Z7; and the Blackmagic BMPCC4K.
- Handles weight well and when balanced is one of the smoothest gimbals on the market
- Latches on the quick release plate (instead of thumb screws) makes setting the camera up without having to rebalance a breeze
- Electronic follow focus and zoom motor
- Wireless app integration with the ZY Play app with strong wireless FHD image transmission signal
- Compact and easy to travel with, especially thanks to the lock latches that allow you to save your axis positioning settings so you don’t have to rebalance every time you start and stop using your gimbal.
- On the pricier side
- Slightly heavier than some of the other options on this list
- Installing and setting up the focus motors (the TransMount Max Servo Zoom / Focus Controller attachment) is time consuming compared to other systems
- Not suitable for blockier cameras like the Canon Cxxx series due to the size of the focus motor.
If you think it’s strange that this is the third Zhiyun brand gimbal recommendation on this list, take it as a testament to the quality of Zhiyun’s engineering first and foremost. The Zhiyun Crane 3 LAB, an evolution of the Crane 2, is unique from the Crane 2 in a few specific ways.
For starters, the Crane 3 LAB has adopted aviation-grade motors as well as a new structure that reduces the noise of the motors by 50% and the motors’ torque by 100%.
The Crane 3 LAB’s new design allows for easier underslung handling and has longer axis arms to support larger (and heavier) cameras and lens combinations e.g. like the Panasonic S1H and other full-frame bodies. The Crane 3 LAB also has a latch on each axis for easy balancing and locking to save your balance settings as you go.
interesting change, on the Crane 3 LAB’s
Manfrotto quick-release plate, there is no thumb screw, requiring you to
use a locking latch on the camera to lock the camera down for easier set-ups.
Crane 3 features on-gimbal zoom and
focus control via a tactile wheel. But you can also control the gimbal
through the ViaTouch app, which
allows you to make adjustments to the movement and camera settings directly
from your smartphone.
In addition to the focus and zoom wheel, the gimbal’s handle includes buttons for mode switching, like between Lock and Pan Follow modes, and for adjusting AV and ISO settings.
As far as the
operating modes go, the Crane 3 LAB includes pre-programmed time-lapse, motion-lapse, long exposure timelapse, and
panorama-lapse features, which you can access and program with the ZY Play
The Crane 3
LAB also allows for wireless FHD image
the Crane 3 LAB provides attachment
interfaces that work with ZY’s ecosystem of accessories, like external
monitors, on-board LED and microphones, and whatever else you’re looking to
is that the Crane 3 LAB runs on three 18650 batteries, which only provides a
runtime of about 7.5 hours, but if you keep a set of extra batteries ready and
charged, you can double that to about 15 hours, which should more than cover an
average day of shooting. Remember though – these have to be Zhiyun proprietary
batteries, which is slightly obnoxious.
Getting to the
compatibility, while the Crane 3 LAB officially works best with something like
the Sony A9 or A7S II, or Panasonic GH5 , this gimbal also works well with the
Panasonic Lumix S1R and S1H, as long as you’re shooting on a 24-150 mm lens or
shorter, as any longer lens will hit the Crane 3 arms.
shooting on a Panasonic Lumix S1, you could theoretically still use a Ronin S
or Moza Air 2, but it seems that the Crane 3 is the best at handling the weight
of the S1 with a lens like the 24-105 or 24-150.
The Crane 3
LAB is still a relatively new gimbal, though, so proceed with caution and be
prepared for some balancing trial and error.
Check Current Price on Amazon: Zhiyun Crane Plus 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer
DJI Ronin M – Best Gimbal for the Canon C100
Limit: Cameras weighing up to 8 lbs or 3.62 kilograms.
Dimensions: 5 x 9 x 17?, or 127 x 228.6 x 431.8 mm.
best for: The Canon C100 or similar heavier DSLRs,
like the Panasonic GH4 or BMPCC.
Compatibility: The BMCC and BMPCC, the Canon 1DC, 5D
MK II, 5D MK III, 6D, 7D, C100, Nikon D800, the Panasonic GH3 and GH4, and the
Sony A7 series cameras.
- Auto-Tune Stability system
- Fairly quick to balance and set-up
- Remote control second operator mode
- Compatible over USB or Bluetooth with the DJI Assistant Software app
- Very precise panning and tilting
- Compatible with DJI’s ecosystem of accessory products.
- Low battery life at only six hours of runtime
- On the pricier side of gimbals on this list despite being a few years older than some of the other models.
The DJI Ronin M is one of DJI’s older Ronin models and comes in at a steep price point compared to some of the other gimbals featured on this list despite being on the market since around 2015.
That being said, it’s still a quality handheld gimbal stabilizer, especially if you want a two handle, fully motorized gimbal for a heavier camera like a Canon C100.
What’s nice about this gimbal is that it is designed as a single U shaped arm that holds the camera plate, which gives you greater stability, with a quick-release handle on the top to save you time when breaking it down and building it between locations and set-ups.
Usable in upstanding, underslung, or briefcase mode, the DJI Ronin M is pretty versatile whether you want to shoot from eye level, shoot close to the ground, or shoot closer to your chest when filming in confined spaces like narrow hallways or tight quarters for a hole in the wall interior.
As far as shooting with this gimbal goes, the Ronin M runs on a SmoothTrack system to help with framing when doing tilts and pans.
The Ronin M’s computer system is precise within 0.02 degrees, which would factor in the finest of movements to its balancing equation, and features a tilt range up to 105 degrees and down to 165 degrees, with a roll range of around 110 degrees.
There’s another cool feature for the Ronin M that allows for something called dual operator shooting. Essentially, this mode allows a second camera operator to handle the pan and tilt independent of the first operator handling the gimbal via a remote control transmitter.
The Ronin M comes with a DJI brand transmitter, but there’s a D-bus port for third party transmitters too.
There’s also a thumb controller attachment add-on, which helps to make panning and tilting easier when operating the gimbal all on your own.
For balancing, as mentioned above, the Ronin M has an Auto-Tune Stability system, which is a balance adjustment system that does not require any tools whatsoever. This system adjusts each axis individually based on your current camera body and lens combination, and is synced with the DJI Assistant Software app over Bluetooth.
In addition to being able to remotely configure
your rig based on the current weight distribution of your camera body and lens
combo, you can adjust your SmoothTrack tuning, enable the second operator
controls, or adjust other camera settings as needed.
As far as attachments go, there are the usual add-ons from the DJI ecosystem of accessories available to you. Thanks to the screw interface on the bottom of this gimbal, you are able to easily attach the Ronin M to car mounts, jibs, cranes, monopods, or tripod extensions.
As far as the downsides go for this rig, the L-Ion batteries for this gimbal only have a life of about six hours, so you’ll need to have extra handy, but the Ronin M comes with a battery charger attachment so you can shoot with plenty of batteries to spare.
You can also charge on-camera accessories directly through the Ronin M through a pair of 12 VDC D-Tap ports or a USB port, so if you bring extra batteries, you can run everything through the Ronin M as long as you don’t mind swapping them out frequently.
The bottom line is, as long as you don’t mind working with a slightly older DJI gimbal model, the Ronin M is a solid choice for scenarios when you are shooting with something like the Canon C100 or similar camera.
Check Current Price On Amazon: DJI Ronin M
That’s it! Those are our top gimbal recommendations for the top DSLR and mirrorless cameras you will likely be shooting with this year! Go out and get the gimbal that works best for you and your current set-up.
And remember – if you don’t see your camera listed as the “preferred” camera type for the gimbal, just confirm the compatibility and weight requirements of the gimbal you are leaning towards, and you should be good to go.