Today, we are going to review on ZhiYun’s latest gimbal, the Smooth-Q.
Recently, ZhiYun released it newest gimbal which they called Smooth-Q, which is the successor of the Smooth 2. When I first saw it, I was quite shocked because it is a 3-axis gimbal that is able to be used for both smartphone and camera and surprisingly it is lower than 150USD.
If you do not know what a gimbal is or what to know more about it, I have written a elaborate post, discussing the types of gimbals, how it works and many more information about gimbals which you can check out by clicking here.
Real Time Device Charging (5V, 2A)
The Smooth-Q comes with a unique feature that allows your device, be it phone or camera to be charged via usb at 5V, 2A which is the average output for a power bank, during filming. However, many users have reported that charging is not possible while filming especially when using a large phone like the iPhone 7 Plus because there is no excess space for the cable to fit in and also due to the unevenness of the phone, there would sometimes be stabilising issues. Having said that, action cameras in general have no problem whatsoever because it is small and compact enough.
Another thing to note about the smooth q is that its battery capacity, of 3400mAh, is tremendously large as compared to other gimbals in the market, for instance the DJI Osmo Mobile which has only 980 mAh. Thus, it is definitely capable of charging your device on the go and you shouldn’t worry about it running out quickly.
Portrait, Landscape Mode
The Smooth Q also features both landscape and portrait position for your device. Though this is not something that camera users use, and more for something phone users would tend to do more often, I feel it will be useful especially when it comes to social medias, like Snapchat, Instagram, etc.
As mentioned above, some users reported that larger phones have problem charging while filming. However, when the device is held in portrait mode, there would be surely be sufficient space to charge while using.
Standard Tripod Mount
Similar to the DJI Osmo Mobile, there is a 1/4″ standard thread mount that can mount the gimbal onto any thing such as tripods or stands, which you could use if you were to use the panorama or time-lapse mode to stabilize the gimbal so that it won’t fall.
Panning CVT Joystick
The panning stick on the top right is for panning and adjusting the camera position into your likings. However, many users have reported that it is quite laggy and can be quite a hassle especially when you want to take panning shots for panorama, etc. Otherwise, it performs very nicely and accurately and also has magnitude scrolling, ie. scrolling a little will pan slowly and vice versa.
As you can see from the WT slider, there are 2 ends, one W another T, which by the way stands for Wide Angle and Telephoto respectively. This provides zooming for your phone when you use the application.
However, one crucial downside of this feature in the Smooth-Q is that it zooms in by interval and not gradually, hence I feel that it is really not usable unless you are deliberately making that effect.
On-Off, Start-Stop Button
The button with the red dot in the bottom left is in-charged of switching on and off the gimbal. It can also start and stop recording for the ZhiYun Camera or ZhiYun Assistant App (Android/IOS). Switching on and off is done by pressing and holding whereas starting and stopping for recording is simply done by pressing.
The button at the top left is for you to change the mode you are currently in.
There are 3 modes, pan following modes, locking mode and following mode.
For Pan Following Mode, the device will pan following the movement of the stabilizer. However, the tilt and roll axis are locked. Tilt and roll axis can be controlled by joystick manually.
For Locking mode, all axis are locked, keeping the camera stable and pointing in one direction. All axis can be controlled by joystick manually.
Lastly, for the Following mode, all axis are unlocked and the device will smoothly follow the movement of the stabilizer. Joystick can be used to manually control the device.
A slight disappointment of this would be that you have no reference as to which mode you are in and hence, sometimes it might get a little confusing.
It allows the user to alter several camera functions that most gimbals apps have such as the camera ISO, exposure and white balance. Also, app is generally very user-friendly and easy to use.
A lot of gimbals that I have encountered with had problems connecting and thus I thought that this would be quite a headache to connect, but the connection really seamless and reliable and most importantly, very easy to connect with no problems at all.
Face and Object Tracking
This is a unique feature that only a few gimbals have and I thought it was quite cool for ZhiYun to include in Smooth Q.
Many users have reported about the tracking being only decent and not excellent because the tracking isn’t very good and sometimes it just stops tracking. Furthermore, this problem mostly lies in IOS, not Android. I think it has something to do with the limit of the operating system and I hope that they will fix it soon.
Battery and Life:
8 Hours continuous stabilizing without device charging
2 Hours to fully Charge
Pitch: 320˚ (-135˚ to 185˚)
Roll: 320˚ (-30˚ to 30˚)
440g (15.5 oz)
Maximum Supported Weight For Device:
Black, Gold, Space Grey, Rose Gold – Really reminds me of the colour scheme for the iPhone
Operating Temperature Range:
-15˚C to 45˚C
Input – MicroUSB for Charging of Gimbal
Output – USB for charging or powering the device
Using Together With An Action Camera
You can simply attach your action cam to the holder. However, although it is tight enough, it isn’t super tight & stable. So if you were thinking to bring it to fast moving places such as roller coaster rides or holding while running, you might want to consider getting an adapter for it.
Smooth-Q Vs Vimble C
Best Places To Buy The Smooth-Q Gimbal
The gimbal I feel is really well-built, with metal casings on the top where the rotation occurs and the buttons and slider felt very solid.
However, one thing that I noticed was that the holder or the grip was made of plastic which felt a little weak to me. Having said that, it should be nothing to worry about as there is a hard shell case which comes together with the gimbal to protect it. Thus, I feel this is a commendable thing done by ZhiYun.
The gimbal can definitely handle large phones, such as iPhone 7 Plus, as they claim that it can handle phones or devices up to 6 inches. With that said, if you wish to put some other accessories, such as an external microphone or another lens, you have to bear in mind the additional weight caused by that as it can only handle about 50g worth of accessories if used together with a iPhone 7 Plus. (Gimbal can only handle up to 220g)
As for the stabilization, after seeing the footages, I have to say it praiseworthy because at half the price of normal 3 axis gimbals, such as the DJI Osmo Mobile, I feel that the stabilization is the same if not better than that of its counterpart.
Lastly, is it worth?
To me, it is definitely worth and a good gimbal to have and purchase because it costs only about $140 and no where have I seen something like this at this price point. I feel it is a good entry level gimbal, be it whether you are using it for your smartphone or action camera.
Another thing I want to point out would be that it is able to charge your device on the go, and this is especially useful for me because my action camera that I use, the Eken H9R or action cameras in general runs out of battery pretty quickly and I feel this is a good feature to have, to ensure I am able to film the whole day without having to worry about it suddenly dying.
I would be mostly using this for my action camera and more rarely on my phone because I like the general feel and wide FOV of action cameras. Also, my phone doesn’t usually have much storage left, (I use a iPhone 6S by the way) and therefore I would prefer to use my camera.
**Disclaimer: I do not own this product but I have used and tried it before who belongs to a friend who owns one .**
That’s it for my review of the ZhiYun Smooth-Q gimbal. If there is anything else you wish to know about, or anything you want to discuss, please feel free to drop a comment down below and I’ll be sure to reply to it! Thank you for reading and have a nice day. 🙂