Best Gimbals for DSLR Cameras: Guide for Buyingwww.sleeklens.com
How many times have we felt frustrated after a potentially perfect photograph happens to suffer from blurredness or shaky areas? For some, this can add realism to the scene as shows the effort made by the artist to capture the scene; for others, even the slightest movement is entirely unacceptable and proof of amateurish job. Now, such discussion renders us to a very fragile area: what happens if movement should be part of the process?
You may say then, ‘how can movement be a part of my job?’. Well, for videographers, this is the reality in which they live they work, but photographers can also learn way much from handling movement in order to properly take scenes as action photography or motorsport photography.
One industry giant who knows what needs to be done to keep their users happy. Yes, DJI has quite the good experience with gimbals thanks to its popular OSMO lineup; but the bet is way higher for the Ronin products and we’ll check the reasons why!
Freedom of Movement:
Excellent build quality and ergonomics
Mobile app compatible
High loading capacity
Batteries not removable
Connectivity features not compatible with all cameras
Considered a much awaited release after the Ronin-M went available for sale, the first thing that can astonish us is show sturdy it feels. With a heavy handle wrapped in rubber surface, the grip is truly comfortable for your hands as it also has a slight indentation for your fingers. It’s not a cylindrical rod but rather more rectangular that also helps to improve the grip.
With a 7-pound loading capability it gives plenty room for packing powerful cameras and more than decent lenses. In short words, more than the average need for DSLR cameras, not to mention mirrorless ones.
We are not impressed that we can’t remove the batteries, so that implies a recharge time which is handled via USB-C port in 2.5 hours. The operative time is expected to be about 12 hours.
What we love, besides how much resistant this gimbal happens to be, is the good amount of control it features. Fully compatible with Nikon and Canon DSLR cameras, it is also compatible with the Panasonic Lumix GH5 and the Lumix GH5S, but we would love to see more models to be compatible with this complete gimbal.
The bottom legs act like a tripod, giving a good stability if you happen to need to leave the unit solo and keep recording at the same time.
The smartphone app will be your tool to go to control this gimbal, as we can adjust not only the operative mode but also settings from the camera as to enter the sensor type, focal length, and other interesting settings for scenarios as panorama mode, giving the user plenty freedom of movement to capture insane scenes.
Do keep in mind that you need to learn your way with the controllers as bad settings can result in an increased noise coming from the motor.
Why rely on software to remove unwanted effects such as blurriness, especially when it’s hard to create realistic results, if we can prevent them beforehand? If you don’t trust us, then take a look at this 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer.
This gimbal combines not only the two-hold layout thanks to its accessories but also the versatility of the single grip as a powerful team-member to consider whenever the opportunity of travelling arises.
The Pilotfly H2 gimbal isn’t only just lightweight, thanks to its CNC aluminum alloy built, but also able to nest cameras up to 5 pounds of weight to pack a versatile range of cameras we can use for both hobbyist or professional work. Despite all concerns, big full-frame DSLR cameras can fit and so does most of the lenses available on the market.
The dual IMU sensors do help a lot in the performance of this unit as well as the Triple MCUs. Thanks to this improved system we can get a 360-degrees rotation and also a roll axis rotation of up to 180-degrees.
Its operative time stands up for 26 hours, with a LED indicator for its battery life.
If you happen to be a 4K video enthusiast, you certainly acknowledge how much the stability can bring to the recording to be made. Zhiyun agrees with this statement, hence the reason why the Crane 2 gimbal is way more than just a revised version of the Crane V2.
Pairing a bigger mount platform and longer arms, there are very little difference between these versions if we are too critical; however, the mounting platform is now a quick release mounting platform, something that we, as users, been expecting for a while to reduce the workflow time.
Despite being made from resistant aluminum alloy, the Crane 2 can support up to 3.4 pounds of weight, something that makes this gimbal able to pair some of the finest cameras available in the market without much effort – at least from their side 🙂 Yes, it would have been amazing to count with a bulkier two-handle version of this gimbal, as heavy cameras plus the weight of the gimbal itself over prolonged times can cause certain arm fatigue.
Its motor is not only faster than the Crane V2 but also considerable quiet. And if autonomy is something that makes you skeptical about these devices, do keep in mind that not only you can use it for up to 18 hours, but also you can charge your cameras with the microUSB included port. It is also compatible with smartphone app.
Unlike some other models we’ve checked, this gimbal showcases professional controls and an OLED tiny display to give us information not only on the mode that’s operating but also battery life. This curious display is also handy to operate the camera as it can control the motor speed, gyroscope sensitivity, and also camera settings as ISO, shutter speed, aperture and exposure for Canon Cameras.
It is expensive no doubt, but what else can you expect from a quality product like this one?
Coming up as the smallest stabilizer for this Brand, the Glidecam iGlide stabilizer is a promising product for any photographer or videographer. Lightweight, compact, this product has, first of all, a convincing design made out of quality material – we are thankful for that, especially when it comes to its locking points, as it helps to ensure the secure feeling for our beloved cameras and lenses.
Despite how pocket-minded it looks, this brave stabilizer is able to hold either GoPro cameras, Mirrorless/Bridge cameras, compact cameras and some lighter DSLRs. It’s entirely built on aluminum, requiring very little effort not only to set our cameras but also to switch among them if required.
It is able to hold up to 3 pound cameras and the counterweights can also be set by the user.
This gimbal was meant to be used by professionals. That doesn’t mean hobbyists can’t feel the benefits of this device, but it will take some training to get used on how to get the most out of it.
First of all, it’s made out of a strong metal rather than the conventional cheap plastic, though some users have reported issues – probably lead by mishandling of the unit or dropping it. The entire set of grips is covered in a rubbery material that’s a bit more resistant than the average foam, with metal being displayed out in the open for the fingers to increase the grip.
Though it’s held by its two arms there’s an extra extendable rear arm that allows us a better grip and increases the stability of this gimbal. It can be used in multiple positions but mostly with the grips facing up – for a low-angle shot – or facing down – for a normal angle shot.
Do keep in mind that you can adjust the height of where we are using the gimbal – as it is handheld – to match any kind of shooting scenarios we need. It does, however, lack of controls for operating the camera remotely.
The unit is entirely foldable, a process that can take some minutes more than we would have liked for the average usage of this product. It does come in four different colors: red, cyan, gray, and black.
Neewer is a well-known brand for us photography lovers. This time we’ll be reviewing their option for a handheld stabilizer that comes in two options: aluminum alloy and carbon fiber. Since the carbon fiber option stands out both for its considerably reduced weight but also for its increased support capacity, let’s check now what this handheld stabilizer has to offer.
Another interesting product courtesy of Neewer. This handheld stabilizer comes up to address two issues: one, portability, which is solved thanks to its carbon fiber rod that also grants sturdiness to this device. The second would be portability, a crucial factor for many photographers – if not said every single one of us, while remaining below the $100 price range.
Yes, the price is unbeatable and Neewer also does a great job reminding us that only the rod is made out of carbon fiber – which certainly reduces the production costs without compromising the quality, as the rest of this unit is made out with high quality aluminum alloy.
This handheld stabilizer allows us to adjust it to heights ranging from 15” to 24”, matching a good number of scenarios in the process. Also, in comparison with its Aluminum Alloy counterpart, it can hold up to 7 pounds of weight (the other version only resists up to 3 pounds).
The grip is comfortable to use. Stability for this device is handled by counterweights on its bottom plate, freeing up the space on the top plate to match any kind of compact, mirrorless or DSLR camera with lens. The grips are also made out with a very high quality plastic material to ensure its continuous usage.
When it comes to picking a gimbal many users may feel intimidated as, in fact, gimbals imply movement. But what if we take the most of gimbal lock technology and apply it in a very, well-known, tripod layout? Well, that’s where the Flycam HD-3000 comes.
Aluminum-made, this gimbal stabilizer is one great choice for professionals who happen to look for quality gear while remaining on budget. The combination of a sturdy built with a lightweight portability allows us to carry it around throughout the day without even noticing it.
This gimbal features a micro balancing technology which grants a quick mount for the camera and frustration-free methodology. Such approach is granted thanks to a broad top plate that can be adjusted for X and Y axes, allowing both movement or positioning regardless of the movement you desire to make.
Allowing us to mount cameras up to 7 pounds, you can even use heavy lenses with your DSLR camera that this lightweight gimbal can hold up the experience. Also, the handle grips are very cushioned, reducing any kind of friction to the user. The foam protections are also meant for travel, though its carrying case comes with extra foamed protection to avoid any damage.
The free clamp featured by this unit is meant to be used to secure the device when working under tricky angles.
With a release baseplate, this gimbal makes the camera switching process extremely easy without risking our gear, but also, it’s quite Handy when it comes to switching between lenses.
The Beholder DS1 Gimbal may not seem strong enough at first sight, and certainly, it’s limited up to 3.8 pounds of weight, but that doesn’t mean it can’t do a superb job when it comes to having a firm grip for the gear to be used.
There are both pan and tilt controllers on its joystick handle that allow us a 45-degree roll and 90-degree tilt. More than enough for the average user. What makes this model shine is the built-in USB port, meaning that if you pair this gimbal with a smartphone or camera you can charge it whenever it’s needed.
There are three different operative modes for this gimbal. The first one is lock mode, where the camera will stay fixed on its position regardless of your movements. Then it comes the inverted mode, that allows the camera to be turned upside down and follows your movements. The briefcase mode let us hold the gimbal close to us, making it ideal for low-angle camera shots.
For those who enjoy videomaking with your DSLR cameras you may have noticed how hard is to avoid shaky images. If you don’t like bulky gear to stabilize your shots, then the Glide Gear Geranos is what may best suit your work.
First of all, this gimbal stabilizer is low-profile, meaning that you won’t get a very bulky gear as, in fact, it’s not much bigger than a quality selfie stick. If that doesn’t sound convincing enough, this gimbal is more than capable of holding up a DSLR camera + a big sized lens.
The floating point algorithm used by this gimbal gives the user a great range of accuracy, whereas the camera control interface handles the shutter speed. With up to 360-degree rotation, this gimbal adapts to our needs, lasting up to six hours of operative time on a single charge.
There’s also an option to mount to a vest and arm system for a more comfortable and reliable experience, plus it helps to reduce arm fatigue. The good thing is that this mount is easy to detach, helping us to switch between systems when required without losing much time.
With the Dual IMU Sensors used by this gimbal, the angular velocity, linear acceleration and acceleration are measured. In turn, it helps the camera settings to match the best conditions for the scene you happen to be taking part of.
Do keep in mind that this stabilizer is able to support cameras up to 6.2 pounds in weight.
For us to come up with this selection of products there have been some considerations that we would like to explain over here.
Price: Keeping the budget under control is a serious task for any photographer. It’s so easy to become overwhelmed by the increasing amount of products available for us, but in this case, we tried to bring multiple products with the price-range below $200. Obviously, we included some pro-options for those users whose work require that extra punch, but that increases the price considerably.
Brand reputation: Like with any photography product, the tradition and expertise of the brand for producing the products speaks lengths. And who doesn’t buy products after checking the online reviews? Also, brand reputation takes a good part when it comes to acquiring replacement parts, as given the investment to be made with these units.
Material quality and overall stability: If we consider we’re pairing our camera and lenses with these devices there’s no room to compromise them if the gimbal doesn’t feel secure enough.
Weight: It’s all about the comfort for the user who has to operate these devices. And yet when the aim isn’t to use cheap plastic to reduce weight, as it would compromise the security of the camera + lens, there are carbon fiber options that can do us a great good to use them.
Availability: Not all the products are available for all the markets, so we wanted to list out the products that, in general, can be accessed without much hassle.
Freedom of Movement: If the aim is to improve our recording performance, then the gear itself shouldn’t impose and restrict our movements because of how bulky it feels or how many time it does take to switch between cameras when needed.
Is it essential to count with a gimbal rather than a tripod?
In most scenarios it doesn’t apply, as gimbals happen to be intended to improve performance for video recordings rather than to still shots; however, gimbals are fun to use and can bring much to photography as they restrict the unwanted movement while allowing us to walk around the scenes. Ideal for candid photography, isn’t it?
Should I take into consideration the motor noise?
If your purpose is to work with video footages, certainly. Some gimbals can be quite noisy and it’s not our intention to need to remove sound with software later on, and certainly not if the product to be released is a live video.
Carbon Fiber or Aluminum Alloy?
If you can afford the carbon fiber option then go ahead, you won’t regret the option. Not only it proves to be lighter but also considerably increases the amount of weight to support.
Two handles or a single handle?
Two handles give us more comfort to work, as the weight of the camera + lens is distributed into two support points. Some heavy gimbals can add an unwanted arm strain if the recording time is prolonged.
Removable batteries or not?
That’s entirely up to your working conditions. If you prefer to pack an extra set of batteries, certainly having a fixed battery config will restrict your work, but do consider that some fixed battery config does show better lifespan than other models.
Pia Lopez is a self-taught photographer, architecture student and ArchViz artist. As Editor in Chief of Sleeklens.com, technology and art are two of her passions, which take active part in her professional training. Being an authentic Montevidean, travelling is daily routine; enjoying both the green meadows and urban surroundings as well as the beautiful beaches that are so characteristic in Uruguay's landscape.