The Zhiyun Weebill-S is a great gimbal for anyone that enjoys practicing video editing. The remote makes it easy to use for beginners, and the quality is just as good as you can get for this price range. In this blog, we will discuss all of the features that come with this device
Zhiyun Weebill-S Review
- Support for DSLRs & Mirrorless
- Controls on-device
- Adjustment of the stiff balance
- Poor instruction
- Confusion in the layout of the buttons
What is the Zhiyun Weebill – S?
The Zhiyun Weebill-S gimbal is smaller and lighter than the others in Zhiyun’s range. It’s intended for use with smaller cameras such as the Sony A6600 or the Sony Z7 II.
The Zhiyun Weebill-S can also be controlled by a cable connection. (Check the link for compatibility). Other optional features include a zoom control, remote control, and image transfers. You can also download the ZY Play app for free, which allows you to adjust key settings and control the Gimbal. It also lets you upgrade the firmware from your smartphone.
Zhiyun Weebill S is a great choice for anyone who has a compatible mirrorless camera and wants to make their video more dynamic. It costs less than PS300/$350
The Zhiyun Weebill-S gimbal is 3-axis, meaning it has three motors that control the movement of the mounted camera. The pan motor controls the left and right panning, as well as yaw movements. It is located at the base of the Gimbal directly above the handle.
The roll motor controls rotational movement. The tilt motor, which pitches the camera up and down, is closest to the camera.
These motors can be used for both accidental and intentional movement. They are controlled by the selected mode of the gimbal and any pressure placed on the joystick at the handle.
Zhiyun Weebill-S Gimbal Modes
- Pan Follow mode (PF). The tilt and roll motors lock, and the camera rotates with a handle while horizontally panning. You can control the tilt angle (up or down) and the pan angle by pushing the joystick left or right. This can be used to eliminate vertical movement.
- F: Roll axis motor locked in the following mode. Tilt axis, pan axis motors move with the rotation of your handle. To change the roll angle, push or pull the joystick.
- Lock mode (L), All three motor angles locked. The handle will not rotate, and the camera won’t move. To change the tilt angle, move the joystick left or right. To shift horizontal orientation, push the joystick up/down.
- Point of view mode (POV), All motors move when the handle is turned so that camera tracks the handle’s movements.
- Vortex mode (V), The tilt axis motor rotates up by 90deg, and the tilt, roll, and pan motors follow your hand. To create footage that spins, push the joystick left or right.
- Go mode (GO), where the roll motor locks and the tilt/pan motors follow the handle’s rotation. This mode is great for creating interesting transitions or following fast movements.
On the small screen at the body/handle of the gimbal, the selected mode will be displayed. The Weebill-S in Pan Follow mode is shown in the image below.
Build and Handling
The build quality of Zhiyun Weebill-S overall is excellent, especially considering the price. Metal is used to make the motor surrounds and gimbal arms. They are very sturdy. Although the body is somewhat plasticky, it’s okay.
There have been a few instances when the axis locks were difficult to unlock. The main problem is the tilt axis lock. Sometimes it seems stuck fast, but I have always been able to fix the problem by moving the lock switch while tilting the camera slightly.
The Weebill-S weighs in at 926g, including the tripod and batteries. This makes it half as heavy as the Zhiyun Crane 2S. It is also about half the weight, making it much more appealing to have on hand for the rare occasion that you might need it. It is also ideal for long shoots. However, it is not compatible with large cameras like the Canon EOS-1D Mark III or Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6KPro, as the Crane 2S.
The Weebill-S is similar to the Weebill-Lab. It has an upside-down, L-shaped handle or body. There are pros and cons to this design. The plus side is that the L has threads at both ends to attach the tripod, which doubles as a handle extension.
The tripod/grip at the bottom of the Gimbal gives you an extended grip, so both your hands are free. The tripod legs can be spread to allow the Weebill S to stand upright.
The tripod provides a safe and convenient way to lower the Gimbal. It can also be used to remotely control it using Zhiyun’s ZY Play app.
The tripod/handle attaches to the top of the Weebill S, giving you a sling grip for shooting below the waist.
The L-shaped Zhiyun Weebill S’s body is a drawback. It can sometimes be difficult to see the status screen due to the body’s top. It could be argued that the extra handle/tripod is necessary. However, the Weebill-S’s compact shape makes it easier to use, and its two attachment points make it more versatile.
Set Up and Balance
It is easy to set up the Zhiyun Weebill-S. First, unlock all arms and then move them into their respective working positions.
Next, connect the release plate to your camera. A riser plate is available for large lenses that are attached to small cameras. It’s designed so that the lens does not rest on the release plate.
Double-check that all locks are closed. Slide the release plate in place and make sure that the safety lock is engaged.
Before you balance the camera on your Weebill S, ensure that it is set up exactly how you plan to use it. You can remove the lens cap and attach the filters you need. If your camera has a tilting screen or variable screen, you should move it to the place you intend to use it. Attach the cable connecting the camera to your Weebill S.
Balancing the Zhiyun Weebill S is easy, but it can take 20-30 minutes if you have never tried. You will get faster with practice.
Balance the camera on the Weebill-S carefully to get the best performance and battery life. Plus, the motors will last longer.
Balance is about getting to the point where the camera can be moved with your hands to any angle of the Gimbal. It will then stay in place. You need to balance each axis individually.
To begin, unlock the tilt axis. With the camera facing forwards, move the plate forward or backward so that it doesn’t tip either way. Next, tilt the camera upwards to 90 degrees and adjust the plate’s height until it does not tip in either direction. There is a thumbscrew that can be used to release the plate.
After that, lock the tilt and unlock the roll. You will need to move your camera left or right to ensure it remains level.
Next, you will need to move on the pan axis. You will need to lock the roll axis (as well as the pan axis) and flip the Gimbal over. To get the Gimbal to balance, move it forwards and backward on its handle.
After you have finished balancing your Gimbal, place it on its tripod on a flat surface. Next, activate the Auto-Tune feature from the menu. This will activate the motors and allow you to assess and tune their responses.
Use the Zhiyun Weebill – S
It takes very little time to learn the basics of Zhiyun Weebill S. For example, pressing the POV button activates Point of View mode. Double-pressing it activates Vortex mode.
The sliding switch at the body’s side switches between Pan Follow or Lock mode. Pressing the Fn button will activate Go mode by default.
Whatever mode you are in, press and hold the trigger on your body to activate Follow mode. Double-press the trigger to center the camera.
The joystick is a pad-shaped joystick that moves the camera. Below it, you’ll find a dial and pad to access the menu and navigate the menu. You can specify the camera model and adjust Vortex mode settings.
Most people buy a Zhiyun Weebill S Gimbal to create more stable footage. The Weebill-S has performed exceptionally well with many cameras, including the Nikon Z7II and Nikon Z6 II.
Even with a gimbal, there is an art to running or walking with a camera while you take video. But the Weebill S doesn’t make you look like a pro. It actually enhances your skills. It was mostly used when I was shooting on uneven ground. Even though I did slip and slither on occasion, the footage still looks great.
Park of the skill to use a gimbal such as the Weebill S is to choose the right model for your subject and achieve the effect you desire. The default setting is Pan Follow. It’s a great starting point and works well when walking with a Weebill S.
All gimbal modes work with Follow mode and Lock mode providing support for Pan Follow. Vortex, Point of View, and Go offers many creative options, but you should not make Vortex too intense if you don’t want viewers to go green.
Zhiyun’s ZY Play app is easy to use and works well. It connects quickly to the Gimbal and responds immediately to any movements via the app.
It will also let me know when new firmware is available and give me the option of installing it. Once I have decided to update my firmware, it is downloaded quickly and installed without any problems.
You can also add Zhiyun’s accessory carrying case if you prefer to transport your Gimbal by itself. The case is $89, but it’s cheaper to purchase it as a bundle. The Weebill 2 Combo costs $649. It includes the case, a quick-release grip, and a low-angle sling grip. This can be purchased separately for $59. It is contoured to fit your hand and provides a better solution for low-to-the-ground footage than using a pair of folding feet.
We received the Pro edition to evaluate. It includes everything in our Combo plus a follow motor and wireless video transmission. The transmission kit adds some nice features, such as the ability to view the video from the camera on the Weebill 2’s display and the ability to use the Gimbal for keeping the lens aimed at a specific subject.
Three clicks on the button on the handle will turn the camera into “Selfie Mode.” This feature is compatible with flip-out LCD screens on your camera. You can switch between modes easily and get a steady shot of yourself doing whatever you want while taking selfie videos.
Plate Quick Release
Zhiyun has also used the popular two-in-one quick release plates (Manfrotto/Arca-Swiss), which is nice when you want to take your camera off the Gimbal and shoot and then put it back on without the need for re-balancing.
If you need to raise your camera above the quick release plate, there is a riser plate.
Stronger Motors/Better Algorithm
WEEBILL-S employs an 8th Instune algorithm which is claimed to be responsive and eliminates jitter in fast-moving situations. The dial on the handle allows you to adjust the speed as well as other parameters for each axis.
To adapt to the particular camera or lens, the motor torque of the stabilizer must be adjusted by three levels.
- Auto torque adjustment: The stabilizer adjusts the motor torque based on the lens and carries a camera.
- Operation method: Press the Menu Button once and then rotate the dial until it says “motor,” then turn the dial so that it says “auto,” and then press the right side to confirm. The stabilizer will move into the auto torque adjustment mode. Do not operate the stabilizer prior to the stabilizer vibrating. A “mark on the display screen will indicate that the auto torque adjustment has been completed.
You can customize your motor torque to match the camera setup. The stabilizer vibration will be increased by too high motor torque. Vice versa, the gimbal stability will be affected by excessively low motor torque.
Although the screen displays a lot of information about WEEBILL LAB and your camera settings, it is not in a place that you can see when using the Gimbal. You can adjust compatible camera settings, such as ISO and shutter speed, using the scroll wheels.
The on/off switch and Go buttons are located to the left of the handle. A switch can also be used to set the WEEBILL Lab into Pan Following Mode or Locking Mode.
The trigger button is located on the front of your main handle. It changes the mode according to how many times it is pressed.
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.
Zhiyun Play App
The WEEBILLS-S, like all Zhiyun gimbals, uses the Zhiyun Play App that’s available on both iOS and Android.
It is easy to connect the WEEBILLS to the app to get the entire system up and running.
You can adjust motor strength, motor calibration, and Scene Mode.
Sync Motion allows you to control your Gimbal’s movement by moving your tablet or smartphone in the corresponding direction.
To move the Gimbal left, move your smartphone to the left. If you want the tilted Gimbal, tilt your smartphone. This is similar to DJI’s Force Mobile. This was just announced by DJI for the Ronin S a few weeks back as part of a firmware upgrade.
It works well, and you can make very smooth moves with just a little practice. The app allows you to adjust the speed and smoothness with which it reacts. The best results were obtained by setting the smoothness and speeds to a low level.
It is an excellent way to control the Gimbal if you’re using the WEEBILLS as a remote cam. You can also use it if you have another person to control the tilt and pan.
SmartFollow 2.0 allows you to track objects precisely without the need to balance your phone on a camera or tripod. Just use your phone’s screen to box the object you want, and the camera and Gimbal will do the rest. SmartFollow 2.0 allows you to work in an unlimited number of ways, whether you are working alone or with a group.
This feature was not available in my early firmware, so I couldn’t test it.
*Requires TransMount Image Transmission module
The cost of buying all this kit will increase, but Weebill-S’s base price is only PS369/$439. This is a professional gimbal with all the features that you need. It’s small, lightweight, and powerful enough to handle most DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.
It is a very affordable option, as it costs less than the PS459/$559 DJI Ronnie S
Here is full of Weebill S reviews. If you want to buy a gimbal for your device, then check out the list:
- Best Gimbal For Nikon Z6 2023: Top Brands Review
- Best Gimbal For Sony A7S III 2023: Top Brands Review
The Weebill S is the best portable Gimbal to use for professional-quality filming with your DSLR or hobbyist YouTubing. It weighs in at just under one kilo, which is still quite a heavy piece of kit. However, it’s lighter than many other options that can handle a DSLR.
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