The best tools to keep your shots stable and smooth, even when you’re on the move
Gimbals are useful in a whole range of filmmaking situations, whether you’re a run-and-gun solo operator or shooting as part of a crew. They allow you to keep your handheld shots stable and smooth, and open up all sorts of new possibilities for adding movement to your footage.
We’ve picked out the best gimbals available to buy right now, for different setups, needs and shooting speeds. Read on for our top picks...
Mobile filmmaking is bigger than ever, and more and more filmmakers are seeing the virtues of the capable little cameras on the devices they carry everywhere in their pockets. That said, you still do need the right gear to make the most of a phone’s capabilities, and this is where the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 comes in. As a handheld gimbal for smartphones of standard sizes (58.6-84.8mm wide and up to 8.4mm thick), this allows you to run and gun with your phone to your heart’s content. It has ActiveTrack technology for smart subject tracking, a new built-in zoom slider that allows you to create specialised effects like dolly zooms, and up to 15 hours of battery life.
For the action shooters among you, the FeiyuTech WG2 Waterproof is designed to work with GoPros and cameras of a similar specification. It's also – as you might have inferred from its name – waterproof. Capable of 360-degree limitless rotation in both the tilting and rolling axes, the WG2 Waterproof provides impressive torque in all three of its motors to resist all kinds of camera-shake, leaving you with smooth and natural underwater footage. It’s rated to depths of 0.5m and can also be programmed to follow pre-planned paths of rotation, making it useful for setting up time-lapse shots.
Designed for small DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, the FeiyuTech A1000 can handle payloads of up to 1kg in weight and can produce 360-degree movement on three axes. Also, its algorithm and design mean that it doesn’t inhibit the use of a camera’s viewfinder, making it a good option for filmmakers who prefer to shoot this way. Its built-in auto-rotation function allows for the creation of dynamic time-lapses, while its damping sliding system makes it easy to set up and fine tune. It’s a good choice for users who expect to be frequently changing lenses or even changing cameras.
This is a professional-grade gimbal – able to handle payloads between 3 and 4kg without a hitch – and boasts integrated three-level focus control for autofocus lenses. Its ergonomically designed handgrip buttons allows for quick and direct camera control, while the LED screen gives the user access to key settings information at a glance. The Manfrotto standard quick-release plate also allows for quick and easy camera mounting, useful for getting set up in a hurry. There’s also a nice ‘slow-fall’ feature, which protects your camera from being dropped, even when the Crane is powered down.
5. DJI Ronin-S
Brand new from DJI – the Ronin-S is a one-handed gimbal for DSLR or mirrorless setups, where speed and efficiency are the name of the game. Produce stabilised shots one handed, while on the move, making use of the angled roll motor to keep your screen visible and the easy-to-control focus wheel for making adjustments, if necessary. The front trigger button is used to quickly switch between modes, allowing you to transition from Upright to Underslung Mode in a seamless movement. The powerful torque motors can keep your footage stable at speeds of up to 75kph!
6. DJI Ronin-MX
This 3-axis gimbal is designed to be as effective in the air as it is on the ground, able to work perfectly with DJI’s M600 Hexacopter as a fully integrated system that includes the A3 flight controller, Lightbridge 2 transmission system and gimbal in the air. It’s the first universal aerial gimbal to work with DJI’s onboard flight controller and thanks to its lightweight magnesium build, it weighs a slender 2.77kg but is able to support payloads of up to 4.5kg. It’s compatible with a whole host of pro cameras, including models from Arri, Blackmagic, Canon, Panasonic, RED, Sony and Nikon.
7. DJI Ronin 2
The next step in the evolution of DJI’s gimbals, the Ronin 2 is a seriously impressive bit of kit. Its upgraded high-torque motors allow it to hold its own even in high-wind situations, while its Enhanced Intelligence improves its operability and effectiveness in the field. Its control layout has been simplified to be more straightforward and easy to use, and the hand grip is detachable for when it’s not being used. There’s loads more to say about this gimbal, so check out our hands-on test of the DJI Ronin 2 for our in-depth thoughts on just how good it is.
DJI Ronin 2 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Professional Combo
The powerful DJI Ronin 2 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal is the next step in DJI's gimbal innovation. Featuring upgraded high-torque motors, a new detachable grip, and 'Enhanced Intelligence' the Ronin 2 has been engineered for reliability, efficiency, and ease of use. Compatible with more devices than ever before, the Ronin 2 can also resist high G-forces, ensuring unrivalled smoothness.