Gimbals have become my favorite camera accessories for any trip, as they add a professional touch to travel videos. They are the best tool to avoid shaky footage. But when I travel I want to have with me as little stuff as possible.
It would be great to have just an interchangeable gimbal for both my iPhone and my GoPro. This is how I came across the new Smooth-Q from Zhiyun. I found out that it can be used with both smartphones and action cameras. More importantly, it has a price tag of only 1/3 of DJI Osmo Mobile, so I had to check it out.
Making videos used to imply the use of tripods, sliders, jibs, hand-held rigs and gimbals, and of course big professional cameras. For a traveler or even a travel blogger, they were simply unpractical for any trip. But phone cameras have become better and better over the years and with the right app, the video settings can be controlled manually. Add to it a great gimbal and you are ready to go.
The Smooth Q is a 3-axis hand-held gimbal that is specifically designed to work with the iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy series and other phones that are between 4.7 and 6 inches big and up to 220g heavy. The Zhiyun Tech Smooth Q weighs only 450g and is made from plastic which makes it very light, but still steady in your hand while walking or even running.
Smooth-Q is splash proof and works under extreme temperatures, up to 45℃ and -15℃. The control panel provides a flat joystick to control the head, a camera photo/video mode switch, video Rec/Stop button and zoom controls.
The smartphone can easily be attached to the gimbal and doesn’t require a complicated setup. All you need to do is mount the phone either horizontally or vertically and then press the ON button and the 3-axis gimbal will automatically adjust the position and angle of the smartphone.
There is no need to balance the gimbal manually, just insert your phone and Smooth Q will balance electronically. All three axis can be controlled manually as well as automatically by pushing the gimbal's joystick.
Zhiyun Smooth Q holds a built-in 26650 Li-ion battery which will give you an amazing 12 hours of use time on one single charge. A USB port at the bottom of the grip supports 5V/2A power output,so you can charge your smartphone or your camera while shooting. On the side of the gimbal, you’ll find a micro USB port to charge Smooth Q or power it with a power bank.
Pan / Tilt / Roll – Angle
Pan axis allows 360° unlimited rotation, tilt axis moves -135° to +185° and roll axis allows +/-30° movement.
You can use Smooth Q to stabilize your smartphone horizontally or vertically, which is great for Facebook Live, Instagram and Snapchat.
You can mount Smooth Q on a tripod as a 1/4″ standard photo thread is integrated at the bottom.
|Zhiyun Smooth Q is available in black, grey, gold and rose.|
These days all gadgets come with an app. So does the Smooth Q. But it is not just a half-baked app. The ZY Play app is actually useful and provides you with extra control over the shooting modes.
When using it on your smartphone you can enable special features like object tracking or face tracking. Select an object on your screen, which will be tracked during a movement and the gimbal’s head will follow automatically.
You can also zoom in and out, by just the touch of a button. It supports panorama mode and time-lapse mode by connecting to the app and it has a quick focus adjustment. In the near future, the app will support video editing, filters, and a sharing platform for YouTube and Facebook.
I recommend this especially for vloggers but also for travelers who want to capture some quick but professional looking shots of their vacation. The Smooth Q is a great and affordable choice when it comes to mobile filmmaking. The Smooth Q does a great job in combination with your smartphone and even your GoPro, if you buy a separate adaptor.