REVIEW – As a Photographer/Videographer, I have used several different types of gear to capture the best footage. I have tested and used a few different brands of gimbals, and have found that a good gimbal makes it very easy to support creativity. I have used gimbals for my Canon 5D DSLR cameras, but now I get to test the Zhiyun Smooth 5S Combo Gimbal Stabilizer for Smartphone w/Magnetic Fill Light.
What is it?
The Zhiyun Smooth 5S Combo Gimbal Stabilizer for Smartphone w/Magnetic Fill Light is a 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal for smartphones. It comes equipped with a carrying bag and a tripod.
What’s in the box?
- 1x Zhiyun Smooth 5S Gimbal Gray
- 1x Mini Tripod /1x USB Type-C Charging Cable
- 1x Fill Light/ 4x Fill Light Filters/1x Wrist Strap
- 1x Protective Bag
- 1x Zhiyun ZY Cami App Membership Card
Design and features
- Combo Packing: From the gimbal to accessories such as a mini tripod, Fill light, Charging cable, ZY VIP Card, Wrist Strap, and the brand new ZHIYUN protective bag all included
- Sturdy Motor Performance: The magnetic steel motors with upgraded algorithms firmly power up phones of large sizes. The wider phone clamp supports external lens options for your next-level creation
- Unbreakable Stabilization For Cinematic Footage: SMOOTH 5S offers incredible anti-shake footage while preserving the original definition quality, allowing you to make full use of movement and present the best charm of cinema without cumbersome burdens
- Dual-Side Magnetic Lights + Built-In Fill Light: A new fill light with 650 lux peak illuminance is added to the tilt axis, making SMOOTH 5S an all-rounder for better telling your story. Two magnetic fill lights can be plugged giving you an unbeatable lighting effect that enables a peak illuminance of 2040 lux（Combo Packing comes with One Fill light)
- Versatile Movement Collection: Smooth 5S support Dolly Zoom Effect, Vortex Mode, Smart Follow, Slow Motion, etc, also multiple classic shooting modes including PF, L, F, POV, and V are packed up for you to step up your filming capabilities and experience
The Zhiyun Smooth 5S Combo Gimbal Stabilizer for Smartphone w/Magnetic Fill Light is clad in plastic with very obvious metal internal parts. The handle contained all of the controls that you need to be at your fingertips. There is an adjustable phone grip to hold your smartphone. The grip is padded with rubber to not scratch your phone. On the side and on the top there are ports to charge the gimbal and charge your phone. On the gimbal axis, there is also a built-in light and on the top of the axis, there are magnetic pins to connect the additional fill light that can then be controlled by the gimbal. On the bottom of the handle, there is a 1/4 – 20″ threaded mount for the included tripod or any other tripod of your choice.
Setting up the Zhiyun Smooth 5S Combo Gimbal Stabilizer for Smartphone w/Magnetic Fill Light just requires it to be charged and if desired, you can add the “add-on” light.
Once you get a hang of the controls on the Zhiyun Smooth 5S Combo Gimbal Stabilizer for Smartphone w/Magnetic Fill Light it is easy to use. Before powering it on you need to balance the phone in the holder and once that is done, and you power it on, it will move into place. You may/will need to make some slight positioning adjustments with the phone to secure proper balance.
There are 2 options for an app to use with this gimbal. One is the StaCam and the other the ZY Cami. I tried the StaCam for both Android and IOS and did not like it. I settled for the ZY Cami paired with my iPhone 13 Pro Max.
The following are a couple of demonstration videos:
There are a host of other features like Dolly Zoom Effect, Vortex Mode, Smart Follow, Slow Motion, etc that I hope to incorporate into future videos and will be visible as a part of videos for reviews of other gear.
What I like
- The sturdy built quality and feel
- The ease of use
- The features
- The reliability
- The fluid movement and the adequate controls
What I’d change
- I did not have much luck with the Android app
The Zhiyun Smooth 5S Combo Gimbal Stabilizer for Smartphone w/Magnetic Fill Light is a great little gimbal that is solidly built and feature-rich. It possesses all of the attributes of a good gimbal, including smooth movement, easy-to-reach controls, and responsiveness. I have read some complaints about the app, but I did not experience any issues. Well done!!