Zhiyun Smooth 4 Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer

In this episode, an overview of the Zhiyun-Tech Smooth 4 smartphone gimbal Smooth 4 is Zhiyun Tech's latest addition to the smartphone gimbal world We've also reviewed a couple of those in the past, the Smooth 2 and the Smooth Q You can check those out up here if you're interested in those However, I would say the smooth 4 is superior to both of those and price-wise Pretty close.

So definitely I would look at the Smooth 4 as my first choice.

What is a motorized gimbal? Of course it is a stabilizer that stabilizes your phone so that when you're shooting video and photos, it makes things much smoother But this is actually something that can do much more than that You can also do time-lapse and motion time-lapse and other things along those lines Setup is very simple You put the phone in the harness so that the camera lens is exposed on this side And then you extend the arm to balance the phone horizontally soon as it's balanced You can then turn the gimbal on.

Do not turn the gimbal on prior to that It's also important to balance it because you'll get the best battery life when it is balanced properly I did not need to calibrate the Smooth 4 out-of-the-box.

It just worked But if you do, the app will help you to do that.

Smooth 4 is unique because it has some really interesting New features the biggest one is this big knob on the side that allows you to manually Focus and to manually zoom and it does both of those very very smoothly.

As the name would suggest the way this works Of course is that you connect your phone to The gimbal via the ZY Play app and then they're able to communicate back and forth wirelessly So it knows that when you're turning the knob That you're trying to either focus or zoom.

The app also enables some other really cool features like object tracking including face tracking so all you need to do is turn this object tracking mode on draw a box around what you want the gimbal to track and Then it will keep that in the center of the frame move the gimbal around to track the object Of course the app can also do time lapse and hyperlapse and motion time-lapse Which are also really really cool features and in my experience It does a really great job at all of those.

Now in addition to the big focus and zoom knob there are also all these other controls on the front and the back of the gimbal that make it very very simple so that you never have to touch the screen on your camera once you get things connected and set up that makes for smoother video shooting.

One of the things I really like about the latest Zhiyun-Tech gimbal is that if you need to adjust the tilt you just grab the phone change the tilt and it stays there ready to go.

In terms of overall build quality this is made out of some sort of metal think it's aluminum and then mostly plastic beyond that So the arms are mostly metal and then the body and handle are mostly plastic It's a decent plastic.

If you drop it will survive.

I think it probably will, it's still metal where it counts on the bottom there's a quarter twenty tap that allows you to attach this to the included tripod, which is a plastic tripod But again, this one is fairly good quality and It makes it very easy to setup your gimbal and do the balancing and things of that nature and set it down in between takes So really like that they included a tripod this time.

Now the gimbal is powered by an inbuilt battery that they say the last 12 hours I've used mine for about four hours so far and I'm still on about three out of four dots on the battery indicator So it seems to be tracking towards 12 hours pretty nicely.

You can power the gimbal and charge it via this USB C port on the side of the handle here, and if your phone configuration is right, you can also actually power the phone at the same time that you're using the gimbal IPhones won't work now because all of the Lightning ports are on the spot where it's going to be right up against the gimbal arm But if you have another Android phone perhaps you can make that work.

Now a lot of people that have never used a gimbal before, see the videos online and think oh my gosh I can make amazing shots.

I just toss my phone into the gimbal and start running around and it's all beautiful Well.

There are some techniques you need to know about To make it look as smooth as possible one of the tricks that you don't hear a lot of people talk about for example is that they'll shoot the video in 60 frames per second and then in post slow it down to either 30 or maybe 24, 23.

98, one of those and what that does, is it gives it a much smoother look It also gives it a slow-motion look so it looks really really epic and a lot of cases So you need to be aware of that.

You can't just throw it on there start running around and expect perfectly smooth footage But, like I said, this does a very very nice job smoothing things out.

For example here's a shot where I did some walking across a bridge.

You can definitely still see the footsteps so if you learn some techniques in terms of how to smooth it out a little bit more you'll want to kind of roll your feet down into your knees a little bit, also kind of make your arm nice and limber or so that it moves a little bit it kind of compensates for some of the motion and especially the steps, then you can get very smooth footage.

One thing I really like about the Smooth 4 is that it has a switch now for the two main modes that I use the most.

Number one, Pan Following mode So when you turn the handle, the gimbal will actually pan to the right or left But it won't tilt the camera when you move the handle forward or back.

And this is the mode that I probably use the most when I'm just sort of maybe tracking a subject or walking.

The other mode I use the most is the lock mode and this is generally going to be for crane shots, I love crane shots for establishing shots in your videos and This works really well for that so it keeps the camera from panning to the right or left as you raise it up or bring it down.

So that could be a really nice effect as well Also really liked that they included this tripod that gives me a little bit more handle so I can take those crane shots a little Bit higher or you can put the gimbal on a monopod and extend the reach even farther for a much more dramatic sort of crane shot There's a little two way trigger button on the other side of the handle that allows you to go to two other modes the other One is the full follow mode which means that you can pan by twisting the handle to the right or left and By pushing the handle forward or back you can make it tilt down or up.

And there's also this new mode called Phone go mode.

This is of mode.

It's very much like the complete follow mode, except it goes really fast So this is if you're tracking some really fast action kind of a cool addition For those of you that are into vertical video you can do that as well You can also shoot inverted which I actually really like to get those nice low shots What I have found though is you can't go from upright to inverted while you're shooting, it gets kind of jerky So that is something to keep in mind.

There's also this new vertical locking feature that puts the gimbal into standby mode So if you're in between shots And you just want to keep the gimbal on but you're not shooting with it Currently you can actually just twist the phone.

It locks into the vertical position that puts the gimbal into standby mode So it's still on but it's not powering the motors at that point so you can get ready for your next shot.

It does also come with this foam case Which is handy for getting things carried to location if you're going somewhere Now the weight of the gimbal is actually quite light because of the majority of the bill being plastic And in terms of overall weight it can carry, it can carry from 75 to 210 grams.

What does that mean? Well, I have an iPhone 7 plus that I shot this with and it was able to carry that just fine I had to take the case off just to make sure it fit perfectly snug in the harness But that means most six-inch phablet size phones should be okay.

For a full list of compatible cameras both in terms of size and weight and in terms of the features Supported via their operating systems.

I'll go ahead and put a link down below to the Zhiyun Tech site Now the battery is not user replaceable.

It's inside the handle.

There's no convenient way to open it So what that means in practical terms is once that dies then you either have to send it back to Zhiyun to get it replaced, or the gimbals done.


It's tracking to twelve hours per charge 500 cycles you're probably gonna get your hundred forty dollars worth before this battery wears out.

At the time of launch It is priced at one hundred and thirty nine dollars USD which to me With all the things that you can do with this gimbal seems like a very fair price So overall in summary the Smooth 4 is a really kind of nice step forward for Zhiyun Tech They've added some really nice features that I very much appreciate that focus and zoom knob is a really neat feature That we haven't seen on other smartphone gimbals up until this point.

They work very well.

It's implemented nicely I also really really like the manual mode and all of the controls on the gimbal itself so that you don't have to tap the phone while you're trying to shoot and kind of mess up all the smoothness So that's a nice feature as well.

And again, the motion time-lapse, which has actually already been in previous generation gimbals It's very nicely implemented here.

Also, the motion tracking is really helpful The phone go mode is going to be helpful if you're trying to do really fast action So really a nice set of new features, so they've really kind of pushed the envelope in a nice way with the Smooth 4 So, there is an overview of the Smooth 4 from Zhiyun Tech I hope that was helpful for you If you have any questions go ahead and leave those down below and if you've not already subscribed, make sure you do that I'll be sure to get you more great videos on how to improve your lighting and sound for video.

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Source: Youtube