Zhiyun is a Chinese company that specializes in manufacturing handheld filming equipment. Their flagship product is the Zhiyun-weebill Lab 3-axis gimbal, which can be used to stabilize both DSLR cameras and smartphones. This product is lightweight, small, yet has the added benefit of being one of the few on the market with smart compensation.
In this blog, we will take a closer look at the Lab 3-axis, as well as its smart compensation feature.
Zhiyun Weebill Lab Review
Zhiyun is back at the drawing board for the LAB gimabl, and it looks a lot different than anything else we’ve seen. Are there two handles? Or one? It’s a mix of both. It can be held upright or underslung by simply changing the position of the bottom handle or choosing how to hold it.
The first one-handed gimbals were released in 1996. There was always this complicated maneuver you had to perform to turn the gimbal to make it low-slung. You don’t have to do this anymore with many of the gimbals today. This task is more difficult for some gimbals than others. Zhiyun certainly made this task easy with the WEEBILL-LAB, and a lot of that has to do with the design.
It is up to you to decide if this design appeals to you. Zhiyun has given you options for how to hold and use the WEEBILL Lab by choosing this design. It is possible that you prefer one configuration to another.
Also, the rear motor is offset so that your back screen doesn’t get obscured while you are photographing.
Gimbals are now commonplace, and almost everyone has one. Manufacturers are now trying to redefine what a gimbal should be like and how it should operate. You may have heard the saying, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” Now you might be wondering how one can make the compact, single-handed gimbal even better. Companies have been creating one-handed gimbals capable of carrying heavy payloads in recent years.
This is a major drawback to a compact, one-handed gimbal. You can hold your payload for a shorter time if it is heavier than you think. A two-handed design is better for gimbal payloads that exceed a certain weight. This is especially true if your goal is to use a gimbal with a single-handed design, such as a Canon C200 or ALEXA Mini.
What Are You Going To Get?
You can store and transport the Zhiyun WEEBILL LAB in a foam bag. It is not strong enough to be used for air travel, so it should not be carried around. The quick start guide provides enough information to help you set up your gimbal and get it running quickly.
You also receive 2x 18650 batteries, a dual charger, small camera riser plates, and a variety of camera control cables in addition to the WEEBILL Lab gimbal.
The Lab gimbal is well made. It feels almost identical to the Zhiyun Crane 2 and Crane in many respects, despite being made of more plastic. The buttons, knobs, latches, latches, and switches are all well-made, and we have no concerns about the quality of the build. The WEEBILL LAB’s build quality will please Zhiyun product users.
Smaller, But Stronger
Zhiyun claims the WEEBILL LABS motors were reduced by 50%, but their torque has increased by 80%. Even at a 3kg payload, the motors don’t feel like it is struggling.
Capacity to Payload
Even though the payload capacity is 3Kg, you’ll have problems using long lenses and camera combinations. It’s not the weight of the camera, but how it needs to be distributed. I tried many different lenses and camera combinations. The ones that were heavy on the front required me to balance the camera back on the balancing plate. This allows you to balance your camera accurately, but if the gimbal is placed in the underslung mode, it will hit the back motor.
Batten Down The Latches
You can lock each axis of the WEEBILL LAB with a latch to make it easier to balance the gimbal. Is it really easier to balance? It is, in short. It is easy to balance one axis and then lock it off so you can move on to the next. To be clear, the WEEBILL Lab must be balanced just like any other gimbal. However, if you’re familiar with the process, it will work similarly to any other gimbal.
What I like about it is that you can lock all the axes while you travel from one location to another and have your camera on the tripod. You can then unlock the axes when you return to your destination and go. You don’t need to rebalance the gimbal each time you change locations. This saves you tons of time. If you’re like me, you might leave your camera on the gimbal. I don’t find it time-consuming to have to switch between cameras all the time. This is one of my favorite features of the WEEBILL Lab.
It is as simple to take your camera out as it is to remove it from the quick-release plate. This allows you to quickly put your camera back on its gimbal without having to do any major rebalancing.
Double Quick Release Plates
The WEEBILL LAB utilizes double quick release plates (Manfrotto/Arca-Swiss), which makes it a lot quicker if you want to take your camera off or put it back on the gimbal without rebalancing. It makes it much easier to replace your battery.
The quick-release system works quickly and is simple to use. It is as easy as turning a dial to release the catch mechanism.
Someone finally turned a gimbal handle into a stand. You no longer need to attach a stand to your gimbal. All you have to do is to fold the legs out. This is a great feature of the gimbal. You can remove the handle from the gimbal, or you can position it to make it easier to shoot underslung shots.
You can use the PhoneGo Mode to track people and objects that are moving quickly. The gimbal will follow at its maximum speed when you tap the Go button. This is useful if you’re filming sports or any other fast-moving motion.
Motion Sensor Control
You can remove your smartphone from the gimbal to make it a motion sensor controller. You can control the gimbal by simply moving your smartphone. This is a great feature, and it’s amazing that it’s a free feature.
Although it takes some time to learn how the gimbal works and is not intuitive, once you do, it’s quite easy to use.
Focus, Focus, and Focus
It can be difficult to get a good focus when you are shooting 4K with a full-frame sensor camera. Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen a lot of follow-focus systems for gimbal. Zhiyun included a built-in controller for their Crane 2, but it only worked with certain combinations of lens and camera models. The Crane 2 Package Upgrade added a Servo Follow Focus. This Servo Follow is different from the one on the WEEBILL LAB.
The Arca Swiss quick-release plate’s front is equipped with the following motor.
This is the only problem. If you remove your camera from the WEEBILL Lab, the bracket and follow focus motor will still be attached. If the following focus motor and bracket were not attached to the WEEBILL Lab, this wouldn’t be a problem.
You can control the external follow focus in one of two ways. One is by using a tactile wheel attached to its body or via the app on your smartphone’s screen. The WEEBILL Lab does not include an external follow focus motor, but it can be purchased as an option.
External follow focus is lightweight, portable, and simple to use. It is easy to connect it to the gimbal using a cable. Then you can adjust focus on the side. The motor is completely silent and makes no noise. The following focus motor comes with a pair of rubber lens gears. These can be used on lenses without pitch gears. These are quite reliable, but you need to ensure that they fit snugly around the lens.
Zhiyun’s gimbals have had long battery life. But what about the WEEBILL Lab? Zhiyun claims that the gimbal can be used for 10 hours on one charge using standard 18650 batteries. We weren’t able to get more than 10 hours of continuous use. The battery life is drastically reduced if you use the WEEBILL Lab with optional focus control and/or Zhiyun Play to wirelessly stream video.
The WEEBILL Lab does not support direct charging of the camera while you are shooting. This is a shame, as it would have made it easier to use if your camera had low battery life.
As technology improves, smartphone apps for gimbals become more valuable. Although Zhiyun’s app was plagued by connectivity problems in the past, the app was completely reworked before the Weebill Lab release to include intelligent object tracking features. Zhiyun also used the opportunity to address all the issues. The app is free and worth downloading to your smartphone.
It is easy to use, has a clean navigation menu, and offers many great features. We’ve already discussed the intelligent object tracking system in this article, but the app also provides wireless remote control capabilities and quick access to the Weebill Lab settings.
The app’s wireless remote control functionality may not be used depending on your niche, but it is great to have access to your settings. The app makes it easy to make adjustments in many other ways. However, you can only make them within seconds. If you’re a frequent user of your gimbal settings, you can save a lot of time by recording for a day.
Some handheld gimbal stabilizers were difficult to balance in the past, but most modern gimbals, particularly from Zhiyun and Moza, are easy to balance. You can balance the Weebill Lab in three minutes. The video also shows how easy it is to mount your camera and how ready you are to go. We doubt you’ll have any issues when balancing your Weebill Lab.
User Interface and Control System
Zhiyun has always provided a solid, simple to learn and easy-to-use control system for their gimbals. This ensures that everyone, even those who are just starting out with a gimbal, can quickly learn how to use it and be able to use it effectively without spending too much time playing around. The control system for the Weebill Lab revolves around the LCD panel with a joystick and several buttons. This image also shows the mount for your smartphone that is attached to your gimbal handle. This can be very useful depending on your plans.
Zhiyun’s intelligent object tracking system, which integrates with their smartphone app, is easily used and probably the best available. The smartphone mount is the ideal solution for optimal performance. Although some readers might not use the mount on their gimbals, it can be a great tool you can make use of.
Comparable to other brands, the LCD panel on the control system for gimbals is superior. It is not only clear and easy to read but also bright. This ensures that even in low-light conditions, you can still see all the information on the Weebill Lab’s LCD panel.
This is the most important aspect of any Gimbal, and the WEEBILL Lab does not disappoint. This gimbal produces some of the most beautiful footage we have ever seen. Some gimbals I’ve used previously produce strangely jerky footage or micro jitters. This is a rare gimbal that doesn’t suffer from it. It is almost impossible to use if it hasn’t been balanced correctly or properly.
If the camera isn’t balanced properly, footage can suffer from strange movements and jitters. It’s not a big issue due to how simple it is to set it up. However, we would prefer the ability to film without having to balance it every single time. Sometimes we don’t have the time or patience to balance the gimbal properly before filming. This is when speed is a valuable feature. This isn’t a problem, as all gimbals require proper balance before they can be used. If you don’t balance them properly, only a few gimbals are quite fine.
The WEEBILL Lab allows you to take panoramics, focus timelapse, motion timelapse, and other effects with selected cameras. You can only do this by switching to camera mode in Zhiyun Play. It is not possible to do this in video mode. These functions are easy to set up. The material is saved to your camera and not to your smartphone.
This feature is only available for the GH5 if the camera is set to still photography mode. It won’t work if the camera is in video mode. The GH5 will not work if the camera is set to timelapse. It doesn’t appear that the Zhiyun Play app allows you to save the timelapse as a video after it’s finished, unlike the GH5’s built-in timelapse feature.
Here are full Weebill Lab reviews. You can learn more about Zhiyun Weebill-S Review 2022: Best Choice For You
The Weebill Lab is a small, but very effective gimbal that offers excellent image stabilization. It is currently one of the most popular gimbal stabilizers available and has received many glowing reviews from other videographers who have used it.
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