Zhiyun Smooth 5 review: Professional level gimbal for content creators

Before in December, I posted my evaluation of the Zhiyun Smooth Q3, a terrific compact gimbal for creators who get out and about, capturing on the go in portrait or landscape as conditions dictate. The new
Smooth 5

is a bigger gimbal for those people who frequently shoot in planned recording classes.

The Zhiyun Smooth 5 is
available for $169 and $219

. The $219 combo offer comes with some additional goodies a protecting bag, fill light-weight and filters, ZY Cami one-calendar year primary services card, and a wrist strap. The protecting bag is nicely manufactured, but I’m not absolutely sure the mix offer is truly worth the additional $50 cost.

See also: Greatest digital camera phone 2021: Get the best images and movies.

Gimbals present 3-axis stabilization with inner motors that activate following you mount your phone and then change on the gimbal. The gimbal stabilizes tilt, pan, and roll though also providing many controls on the gimbal to pan, zoom, and go as a result of many digital camera possibilities. Your smartphone is linked by way of Bluetooth to the gimbal, and the smartphone program lets you check out the content though customizing the capturing possibilities and views. The gimbal also acts as a selfie adhere or even as a tripod and is an necessary tool for movie creators.


  • Sound make good quality and construction
  • Capable of keeping bigger telephones
  • Bundled tripod attachment
  • Full-showcased smartphone program

Don’t Like

  • Tons of buttons and controls
  • Confined battery lifetime
  • Does not fold up to compact dimensions


I was sent the
Zhiyun Smooth 5 combo offer

to assess and respect the opportunity to look at out the carrying/storage bag and one magnetic mounting light-weight with 4 shade filters. You can mount two lights on the Smooth 5, and inevitably, you will be able to get a next at a $36 cost.

I opened up the retail offer to look at out the mix offer and then charged up the gimbal by way of the USB-C port on the back again of the deal with. The USB-C port is coated by a silicone port cover and can be a bit of a discomfort to take away. There is also a USB-C port on the upper arm that is employed to demand up your smartphone. This can be beneficial if you take place to be recording and need to get a session done, but with just two,600mAh capacity in the gimbal, I would not rely on charging up your smartphone for each individual recording session.

The Speedy Get started Guide is necessary looking at substance that will display you how to thoroughly unlock, prolong, and setup your gimbal for use. There are sixteen indicators, buttons, dials, and controls on the Zhiyun Smooth 5, so you need the guideline to make absolutely sure you understand what just about every serves to management. It can take making use of the gimbal numerous situations to get the hold of all of the controls, but after you have it down, then you will understand the gimbal is quite capable and effective. I discover the buttons and controls to be nicely-positioned also and very easily obtainable though keeping the gimbal in my ideal hand.

It can be just a couple of steps to setup the hardware, such as unlocking the tilt, pan, and roll axis. Take note that the pan axis lock is a actual physical change on the backside of the gimbal positioned above the USB-C charging port. The tilt and roll axis parts are unlocked by rotating the arm to go the locking nub exterior of the beveled lock.

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Slide apart the smartphone clamp it has rubber braces on either aspect and inserts your phone with the rear cameras experiencing absent from you. The complete within of the smartphone clamp has delicate rubber substance to guard your phone, with a deep ridge for securing bigger telephones. Make absolutely sure to look at the phone’s buttons, so you line up the holder with out interference and accidental activation of the buttons.

The Zhiyun Smooth 5 does not assistance rotating in between portrait and landscape orientation with buttons or controls. Handbook rotation is needed to change orientations, and with an orientation change, rotate the phone holder into place and lock it in place you have to also rebalance the phone manually. The roll axis arm has a actual physical lock change to go back again and forth to accomplish harmony just before turning on the gimbal. The moment the gimbal is turned on, then the motors will function to harmony points, but if you do not get harmony close, then the motors will have to function tough to try to accomplish harmony and battery lifetime will be enormously reduced. It can be quite straightforward to go and change the roll axis arm to accomplish harmony, and then you can also slide the phone mount for wonderful tuning.

The Smooth 5 retail offer includes a modest tripod mount, the two regular and combo. This screws into the bottom of the gimbal. It is only 3.5 inches long, so it will not change the gimbal into a selfie adhere, but the 3 legs prolong out and produce a secure system for smartphone images.

The moment the phone is mounted and well balanced, change on the Zhiyun Smooth 5 and check out the motors kick in to harmony the gimbal. Launch the ZY Cami program on the phone, and then you can management the seize experience with all of the controls on the gimbal.

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The roll axis lock, USB-C port, and set off button are located on the back again of the Smooth 5. The set off button is employed to toggle SmartFollow, reposition the phone, enter selfie manner, and enter Go manner. Various button presses activate these capabilities so look at out the Speedy Get started Guide.

A substantial aim/zoom wheel and button are positioned on the still left aspect of the gimbal and are very distinctive on the gimbal. The button switches in between aim and zoom though the wheel lets you quickly management the level of just about every. It can be a handy controller if you use zoom though recording.

The power button, function button, and a one/4-inch threaded gap are positioned on the ideal aspect of the gimbal. The function button is customizable in the ZY Cami application, so you can set it to a thing you use on a common basis. The aspect threaded gap can be employed for a stabilizer or extension bar.

On the major, entrance, aspect of the gimbal, we discover the manner indicator light-weight, menu button, manner button, seize button, joystick, adjustment wheel with 4 buttons, and the centre fill light-weight button. The 4 buttons about the adjustment wheel are employed for resolution/body fee, ISO/exposure adjustment, exhibit, and picture album.

Technical specs

  • Mild: Magnetic attachment capable of mounting best and bottom lights with shade filters, up to 3W just about every
  • Smartphone capacity: Up to 300 grams
  • Smartphone thickness: Up to 10 mm
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.two
  • Battery: 2600mAh for 4.5 to 12 hrs of battery lifetime and two hrs to thoroughly demand
  • Proportions: 311 x 168 x fifty two mm
  • Bodyweight: 615g

Software package

You can use the gimbal alone as a stabilizer for your phone, but you won’t experience all of the specific results and creative possibilities unless of course you use the included program. The ZY Cami program is available for Android and Apple iphone styles and delivers you with a entire capturing and editing alternative to the digital camera program on your phone. There are possibilities for movie, picture, pano, dolly zoom, timelapse, hyper-lapse, and good possibilities. I’ve witnessed experiences of program instability, but in my screening, with Android telephones, the ZY Cami program has carried out flawlessly.

The principal use of a smartphone gimbal is to seize movie content, and the manner button on the gimbal is focused on this experience. Pan abide by manner (PF) usually means that the tilt and roll axis motors are locked, and the pan axis follows the motion of the stabilizer deal with. The joystick is employed to management the tilt and pan axis in this manner. When Lock manner (L) is enabled, the 3 motors are locked and will not abide by the motion of the stabilizer deal with with the joystick again managing tilt and pan. In Comply with manner (F), the roll axis motor is locked with the tilt and pan axis motors subsequent the motion of the stabilizer deal with. The Position of View manner (POV) is very radical in that all 3 motors abide by the motion of the stabilizer deal with. In Vortex manner (V), the tilt axis motor rotates upward by ninety degrees though the tilt, roll and pan axis motors abide by the rotation of the deal with. Push the joystick to the still left or gith to management the rotation of the pan axis. In Go Method, the digital camera pans and tilts subsequent the motion of the gimbal at a quickly speed though the roll axis is locked.

The ZY Cami application also has a effective editor that lets you thoroughly edit your captured content ideal on your phone. You can trim your movie, incorporate new music, incorporate subtitles, incorporate stickers, transform playback speed, reverse the movie, zoom, rotate, incorporate filters, modify shades, and far more. The Primary services, one calendar year is included with the combo offer, delivers you obtain to on line editing, on line movie storage, and far more templates for state-of-the-art editing of your movies.

Person guides, tutorials, and content from other creators are all contained within the ZY Cami application. Viewing other content is superior for inspiration and for providing ideas of how you can make improvements to your content also.

Ordeals and conclusions

I shot movies making use of the Zhiyun Smooth 5 with a
OnePlus nine Professional

Google Pixel 5a

, and
Sony Xperia Professional-I

. The phone clamps securely, and the easy silicone/rubber substance shields the end on the telephones. If it is not a bulky situation, you can even mount your phone in a situation, as long as the thickness is less than 10mm.

Even with major telephones, the tripod is extremely safe and secure. This is specially beneficial when capturing a panorama the place the gimbal moves as a result of many angles to seize excellent shots. When I just change my overall body to seize panoramic shots, I are likely to go up and down, so it is nice to have a secure system with flawless execution for this capturing manner.

The Zhiyun Smooth 5 folds down into a safe form, but it is not almost as compact as the
Smooth Q3

 or DJI gimbals. Nonetheless, it feels terrific in the hand with durable resources, rubber-coated deal with grip and very easily obtainable controls. There are a great deal of controls, so spend time making use of them just before you head out for your capturing classes.

It isn’t really genuinely a gimbal for novices with an overwhelming amount of buttons, wheels, and controls. There is a good Speedy Get started Guide in the retail offer with the entire user handbook in the ZY Cami application to additional determine the buttons and available capturing modes. Experiment with the modes and get to understand the controls just before you start out capturing your content.

Total, I was happy with the Zhiyun Smooth 5 gimbal’s functionality, make good quality, and effective capturing/editing program. It can be a bit pricier than equivalent gimbals, but if you will be making use of the zoom/aim management wheel, then it may perhaps be truly worth the cost top quality for you. It is not that portable for packing on working day trips for unplanned movie seize, but it is a good alternative for planned recording classes.