Zhiyun Smooth-Q Review: A Value For Money Gimbal

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Smartphone cameras have been finding improved and improved. With every new flagship unit, we see cameras on smartphones improve by leaps and bounds. We have smartphones that can shoot Uncooked pictures, with lenses that come with OIS, or EIS, and so substantially tech packed within a little digital camera module that it’s just about difficult to go incorrect with smartphone cameras these times. Having said that, while smartphone digital camera stabilisation has been finding constantly improved, if you’re capturing skilled vlogs with your smartphone, you should really still get a cellular gimbal to shoot adequately steady video clips. There are a whole lot of choices in the current market, and the Zhiyun Smooth-Q ($139) stands out from the relaxation, many thanks to its comparatively lessen pricing, though still getting 3-axis stabilisation, and a whole lot of features that you’d in any other case see in gimbals like the DJI Osmo Cell ($299). And all that, at much less than 50 percent the selling price of the Osmo. But is it worth it?

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If you’re wondering whether investing in the Smooth-Q is worth your cash, never stress. Let’s consider a look at the Smooth-Q, including the hardware, construct excellent, ease of use, and most importantly the excellent of stabilisation, in this whole overview of the Zhiyun Smooth-Q Cell Gimbal:

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First items 1st – as quickly as you open the Smooth-Q’s box, you will come across it adequately encased within a nice cover that Zhiyun is type more than enough to involve (contrary to the Osmo). I definitely like that, due to the fact it’s hard to care for the gimbal if you have to toss it within your bag with no any defense in anyway. Also provided in the box are a USB to micro USB cable for charging the gimbal, and a strap that you can attach to the scenario, in order to have it about effortlessly.

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Using the gimbal out of the go over, the 1st issue I found was that it felt amazingly perfectly developed, and though the plastic handle does really feel a little “easy-to-break”, the relaxation of the gimbal is perfectly developed, with metallic casings all about, and a high quality really feel even in the “Gold” colour, which I personally never like substantially (go for the black!). 1 large difficulty with the Smooth-Q is the spring loading cellphone holder, which would make a whole lot more durable to insert the cellphone with one particular hand.

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The Smooth-Q arrives with 3-axis stabilisation, which is undoubtedly good, and the motors really feel responsive more than enough to maintain smartphones steady. Thanks to the adjustable arm, larger telephones can be balanced very effortlessly on the Smooth-Q a feat that I didn’t really anticipate from a somewhat more affordable different gimbal.

On the bottom of the handle (where by you’d come across a battery latch in gimbals like the Osmo Cell), the Smooth-Q has a standard tripod mount, which suggests you can just attach it to any tripod or light-weight-stand for getting video clips and time-lapses.

Gimbal Controls

1 specific region where by I would’ve loved to have a whole lot much more improvement, is in the controls, and those charging ports. The Smooth-Q arrives with a standard micro-USB charging port on the side of the handle to cost the substantial 26650mAh battery. Yeah, that is the capacity it arrives with, and that is also how it can final for 12 hrs. Examine that to the DJI Osmo Cell with a 980mAh battery, which can only final about 4 hrs, and the Smooth-Q seems to be coming out on best.

On the bottom of the grip, behind the handle, the Smooth-Q has a USB port, which you can use to cost your cellphone from the gimbal itself. Having said that, as desirable as this feature sounds, it’s type of a disappointment. When you have your cellphone docked into the Smooth-Q, the charging port on the smartphone is covered by the base-assist on the gimbal, and if you pull the cellphone out, and plug the cable in, the gimbal struggles to stabilise it. Genuinely then, you can only use the Smooth-Q to cost your gadgets among pictures, in particular if you happen to have a larger cellphone like the Iphone 7 Moreover. You might argue that location the gimbal in portrait mode can get you effortless access to the charging port, but I never consider capturing video clips in portrait orientation is really a valid choice.

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The regulate-panel on the gimbal is straight-ahead for the most element. Except for the “W/T” toggle, which I could not figure out (at 1st). Turns out, it’s intended to zoom in and out in the Zhiyun app, but hey, how about including an English version of the guide? Translating the guide was a obstacle in and of itself, and it still was not definitely helpful. You can use the Joystick to pan, rotate, and regulate the tilt of the gimbal (depending one particular the mode you’re in… much more on that later on), and if you’ve connected the Smooth-Q to the Zhiyun Assistant cellular app (No cost), you can use the power/history button to click pictures, or begin/prevent a online video.

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The mode button is where by items get baffling once again. The Smooth-Q arrives with 3 modes of operation, and you can swap among them with the mode button. A solitary press on the mode button cycles ahead among the modes, and double pressing the mode button cycles backwards via the modes. Having said that, the gimbal has no indicator to present what mode it is in, until it’s connected to the Zhiyun Assistant app, but much more on that later on. Also, extensive pressing the mode button puts the gimbal to sleep mode, and you can extensive press on it once again, to convey it again up.

The shutter button, unfortunately only will work as a shutter button in the Zhiyun Assistant app, or in the Zhiyun Digicam app (No cost). For all other reasons, it is just a power button which you can press and maintain on to power the gimbal on, or flip it off.

App Interface and Utilization

The Zhiyun Assistant app luckily arrives in English, and the issue I beloved the most about it was how effortless it was to get commenced. Just faucet on “Connect”, and as extensive as Bluetooth is turned on, you will be able to hook up to the Smooth-Q in a subject of seconds. To be honest, I envisioned the Bluetooth set up to be a large headache, but it definitely received me above.

The app then proceeds to present a lot of information about the gimbal, including the battery remaining, the present-day mode, the levels of pitch, roll, and pan, etcetera. The modes swap among “Follow”, “Full”, and “Lock”. The gimbal does work as envisioned, in each and every of these modes. Inside of the app, you can even calibrate the gimbal, just in scenario anything is off, and you’re not finding a properly oriented shot.

Then arrives the “Camera” in the Zhiyun Assitant. The interface is basic, and effortless to comprehend. There are “Settings” within the digital camera, where by you can regulate items like the ISO, White Equilibrium, and the Publicity Payment for the digital camera. While it’s undoubtedly good that we get regulate above these types of items in the digital camera, Zhiyun Assistant only supports ISO values within the 100-400 vary, which might not be suited less than all conditions. I still take pleasure in that they gave regulate to the people, although.

Experience (or object) monitoring in the Zhiyun Assitant app is a little bizarre. It seems to work fine in the Android app, but in some way does not work perfectly more than enough in iOS. Additional typically than not, the app just doesn’t track objects (or faces) in the iOS app. Having said that, that’s just about iOS the Android app will work great, and while monitoring is a little slower on the Smooth-Q than it’s on anything like the Osmo Cell, it’s not a deal-breaker. The Smooth-Q does a superior task of retaining the tracked object within the body, and considering that it does this with slow actions, the output online video is usually smoother.


Which is all perfectly and superior, but what definitely issues, is how the gimbal performs, and regardless of whether or not it is worth the selling price you’re paying for it. Very well, limited reply: it’s worth it.

As considerably as capturing on the Smooth-Q goes, the output online video was extremely perfectly stabilised, and can undoubtedly go head to head with video clips shot with the DJI Osmo Cell. Having said that, the time among shifting the joystick, and the viewing the movement on the gimbal does really feel a little also significant for comfy use.

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For some reason, when Zhiyun resolved to launch the Smooth-Q as a competitor to the Osmo Cell, they didn’t bother hunting for the very best feature in the Osmo Cell – the trigger button on the again. However, no these types of button exists on the Zhiyun Smooth-Q. Having said that, I’d still not simply call it a deal-breaker (while it does drive the Smooth-Q again by quite a little bit), due to the fact we’re conversing about a gimbal that costs much less than 50 percent the selling price of the DJI Osmo Cell.

SEE ALSO: 12 Greatest Gimbals for Iphone to Shoot Stabilized Movies

Verdict: Is the Zhiyun Smooth-Q Really worth It?

There are a whole lot of items that the Zhiyun Smooth-Q lacks, in particular when in contrast with its considerably much more high priced possibilities. Introduced as a competitor to the Osmo Cell, a gimbal that is by considerably the very best cellular gimbal in its selling price phase, the Zhiyun Smooth-Q has a whole lot to reside up to. And though it lacks some supplemental features, it will get the fundamental details just about ideal. The stabilised online video from the Smooth-Q seems remarkable, the features are just about all there, albeit difficult to get to (or use).

The place the Smooth-Q lags powering from the DJI Osmo Cell, is that it responds a whole lot slower to joystick changes, than the DJI Osmo Cell. It also messes up monitoring very a whole lot, and I’d not definitely simply call it responsible. The app does offer you a whole lot of comprehensive regulate above the gimbal, but employing the app for anything much more than just some fundamental online video shooting will induce you some trouble. I attempted capturing video clips with the Smooth-Q, and place it via its paces with strolling, and running, and the Smooth-Q held up extremely perfectly. Of study course, if you’re getting panning pictures, the slow speed of motion, and the lag in response might induce you some headache.

Bottom line is, that the Zhiyun Smooth-Q is a decent entry-level smartphone gimbal, and at $139, it is a superior deal to go for. What with items like 3-axis stabilisation, facial area and object monitoring, whole regulate above the gimbal configurations, and much more. Having said that, if you’re hunting for a much more skilled option for shooting videos with your smartphone, I’d advocate that you go look at the DJI Osmo Cell. On a tighter budget, the Smooth-Q will provide you just great but be prepared for tracking troubles, and hassles with learning the intricacies of the gimbal.

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