If you’ve been in the blogging world for any time, you know Zhiyun is a dominant brand and their gimbal range has a great reputation. We are always asked for a Zhiyun Smooth Q. As we try to help as many readers as possible, this is the main focus of today’s article.
Table of Contents
Zhiyun Smooth Q Review
- Gimbals are one of the most affordable options for smartphones.
- Image stabilization and quiet motors are excellent features
- It doesn’t work well with heavier phones
- Low-quality build
Quality and Design
Zhiyun ensures that their gimbals are of excellent quality relative to their competitors in price. However, due to the recent price reduction of the Zhiyun Smooth Q due to the Smooth Q2 bing, the original Smooth Q’s build quality blows away its competition in the sub-one Hundred dollar range.
The gimbal is very light at less than one pound and very sturdy. This is a great gimbal if you work in a travel niche. You will likely be flying with your kit a lot. It ensures that your Smooth Q is lightweight enough not to exceed your luggage allowance. The gimbal also has the ability to withstand many bumps and not break when you are in transit.
The Smooth-Q’s design is also excellent. It allows you to change the orientation of your phone from landscape to portrait in a matter of seconds. You can capture content in landscape mode, which is ideal for YouTube or other platforms. Then you can switch to portrait mode to capture images for Instagram. While some competing gimbals can be awkward and inconvenient, the Smooth Q’s process is fast and simple to save time.
The Smooth-Q’s handle grip is also very comfortable and well-constructed. You can hold the gimbal securely for long periods without feeling any pain or discomfort. The easy grip of the handle also means that even in light rain, you can hold the gimbal with a firm grip so that your smartphone gimbal is safe.
Even with steady hands, handheld video can be difficult to capture smoothly.
The Zhiyun Smooth Q camera gimbal ensures professional-quality video. It is smooth and stable and allows you to shoot professionally-quality videos. The picture will stay stable even if you move it around.
You can also choose to use the tracking mode. This allows the camera to follow you as you move while maintaining smooth video quality. The gimbal can rotate 360 degrees and offers 3-axis stabilisation.
The joystick control allows you to adjust the camera’s angle and pan in any direction while the locked mode is active.
Like the other modes, this movement will be smooth and stable.
Contrary to other gimbals, there is no need to have a counterweight to balance the phone and keep the video stable.
However, it is crucial to ensure that the balance is correctly set when attaching the GoPro or phone to the gimbal. It’s simple, but it can cause problems with your stabilisation abilities and reduce the quality of your video.
- This gimbal is capable of handling most smartphones, including the larger 6-inch models.
- While it won’t fit on a tablet, phones larger than the iPhone 7 Plus will work just fine.
- You might have to remove the Otterbox case if your phone is larger than normal.
- The maximum payload is 220g. If your phone doesn’t weigh more than that, it should work fine.
- This gimbal can be used with a GoPro. The gimbal comes with a special plate to fit the GoPro 5, 4, or 3. Attach the plate to your gimbal and you can attach your GoPro to it like a smartphone.
- The Smooth Q can also be used with accessories such as lenses, microphones, and soft lights.
- The phone can support a weight of 220g. This is enough for most phones, even with accessories.
User Interface and Control System
The Zhiyun Smooth Q control system is shown in the image above. As you can see, Zhiyun has kept to its usual design of maximum ease of use and maximum control. The Smooth Q is very simple to use, even if you are new to 3 axis gimbals. The Smooth Q performs well, despite the fact that modern gimbals are more responsive and have greater levels of sensitivity, especially considering its price.
In manual mode, the joystick allows you to adjust the position of the smartphone quickly and easily by using the joystick. The buttons on SmoothQ’s control interface are simple to use, with the gimbal registering each button press. The main problem with entry-level gimbals back when the original Smooth Q was released was that they would not register the button press, especially if operators had cold hands.
Zhiyun utilized the control technology from the original Smooth Q’s mirrorless and DSLR ranges to resolve this problem. The buttons and joystick respond well to all conditions. The system also makes it simple to switch between different gimbal modes in a matter of seconds.
Overall, Zhiyun created a simple control system that is both simple to use and gives you great control over the gimbal’s performance. The system is easy to use even for those who are new to gimbals, and it offers advanced control for advanced users of gimbals looking for something for their smartphones.
The Zhiyun smartphone app apps are still in great shape, despite some rough patches. Apps for gimbals that are designed to be used with smartphones have one problem: if your smartphone is close enough, it can’t see your gimbal enough to allow you to use the physical controls. The app’s wireless remote control features are useless for most people. This is why the remote is one of the best benefits.
The Zhiyun App offers quick and easy access too to your Smooth Q settings. While the default configuration of the gimbal is sufficient for most readers, we know that some people prefer to modify the settings. While the app is the fastest and most convenient way to accomplish this, it is not necessary to achieve great image stabilisation.
The battery built into the Smooth Q has remarkable battery life. It has a 26650mAh battery capacity and lasts approximately 12 hours on a full charge, which takes about 3 hours. Because the battery is so powerful, the Smooth Q can also be used as a power bank at 5V, 2000mA.
The digital zoom slider can be found on the handgrip. This means that you don’t need to pinch in or out on your phone screen. This feature is not available if you are recording using Zhiyun’s ZY Play App. Also, zooming in is not very smooth.
The Smooth-Q’s impressive range of motion is another highlight. The Smooth Q can pan 360 degrees, making it ideal for wide panoramic shots. You can also switch between portrait and landscape shooting modes easily, which is becoming increasingly important with the advent of Instagram’s portrait videos.
Battery Life & Charging
The Zhiyun Smooth-Q is equipped with a 26650mAh lithium battery.
Zhyiun claims this is enough power to run the gimbal for 12hrs. However, our tests showed that it was slightly less. This beats the closest competitor by a significant margin. The battery of the DJI Osmo Mobile lasts only 4 hours (980mAh).
The battery is included in the gimbal. This shouldn’t be a problem on a daily basis, but if you regularly use the gimbal and charge it, the battery will eventually die, and the gimbal won’t work anymore.
The charging port for your gimbal can be found in the middle handle. It can be charged with the micro USB cable provided in the box.
The handle has a standard USB port, which Zhiyun plans to use to charge your smartphone. This is a fantastic idea. A similar feature can be found on Zhiyun’s EVO GP Pro Gimbal. It doesn’t actually work. The charging port is located on the bottom of most smartphones. It is covered completely when the phone is in its gimbal. The gimbal cannot be used to charge your phone if it is not in use.
The controls for the gimbal are well placed on the handle. The thumbstick allows you to tilt, pan, and rotate the handheld gimbal, as is becoming standard. The thumbstick is pressure sensitive and will move the gimbal more quickly if you press harder.
The mode button switches the shooting mode from “Full” to “Follow” or “Lock.” This allows the gimbal lock to move only in certain axes. This can be useful if you’re walking alongside someone and want to keep them in shot.
In addition to the standard controls, some controls only work when the ZY Play app is installed on iOS or Zhiyun Assistant on Android.
Performance & Usage
It was an enjoyable experience to film with the Zhiyun Smooth-Q. When I turned it on, the gimbal automatically calibrated and was ready for shooting immediately.
On a variety of smartphones, the 3-axis Gimbal did a fantastic job stabilizing video footage. Although I haven’t tested it with a GoPro camera, I imagine it would work equally well.
The footage had very little movement. If you have an iPhone with optical image stabilization, this can be managed by the camera.
The footage I filmed didn’t contain any noise from the motors of the gimbals, which was great. This is a very cheap gimbal, so I expected some compromises on the brushless motors.
The thumbstick felt slow to respond when used, but it was no different than other gimbals that we tested. The thumbstick is not recommended for controlling the gimbal. You get much better footage when the camera is held in place by hand.
Is it Worth The Money?
This gimbal is of great value. It is much cheaper than similar gimbals available on the market.
It offers great image stabilization, is compatible with smartphones and GoPros, and has many great features.
- Has a comfortable ergonomic design.
- It is extremely lightweight.
- Let’s charge our phone for 12 hours.
- Can deal with extreme temperatures and other weather conditions.
- This app is exclusive and allows you to apply interesting filters and other effects, as well as tools such as a time-lapse mode.
- The bag comes with a beautiful carrying case and a shoulder belt.
- If desired, can be mounted on a tripod.
This gimbal can make movies that look as good as professional cameras. The Zhiyun Smooth Q is a great way to get started with gimbal videography.
Here is full of Smooth Q reviews. If you are interested in other reviews, then check out:
The price is the final part of our reviews of Zhiyun Smooth Q. It is very affordable, which is its main strength, as we’ve already stated in this review. It is only 139$ at the moment. It isn’t perfect but it is still a great stabilizer at such a low price.
This is a great solution compared to the DJI Osmo Mobile and the Smooth 3, both of which cost 300$. It will be a great choice for those with tight budgets as it will help stabilize their videos. This is a great solution if you have 300$ to spend on the best smartphone gimbal.