Best Gimbals for Your Cinematic Video Footage
If you’re an action camera enthusiast or a budding cinematographer then you know how important getting the best equipment at the best price can be for your creative endeavors.
One of the best things about the smartphone boom of the last decade is the amount of digital content in the form of video and photography that is being generated by these devices. And as the cameras improve, so too does the quality of what they capture.
Putting such powerful devices in the hands of everyday consumers has led to a boom in indie productions, demonstrating levels of finish and execution that was heretofore only in the realm of the Hollywood elite.
Of course, pulling off these amazing shots not only takes a bit of skill and know how but also some specialized equipment here and there.
Whether you’re starting out in the action camera cinematography game or you’ve been around for a while, you know that a three-axis gimbal is not only going to give you the dynamic shots you need but also becomes a necessity for truly achieving cinematic production values.
But which model to buy? With so many options on the market right now, the consumer does not lack for choice. This can be a good and a bad thing – finding a gimbal that does what you want has become harder than ever and getting it at a price you can afford is doubly hard because of that.
In this article we’re going to discuss 10 gimbals that we think are going to really take your action camera cinematography to the next level.
We’ll discuss their strengths and weaknesses as well as their price in the hope that you can find what works for you from among a selection of the best product currently on the shelf.
10. Ronin-M 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer v3
Though it certainly doesn’t come at a cheap price, the Ronin-M 3-Axis is probably the most versatile and adaptable unit you can buy. You’re probably going to have to know a little bit about what you’re doing to first to really get the most out of this gimbal and the learning curve is quite steep but if you put in the time there really isn’t a better option out there. Design and execution are all here and build quality is top-notch. You really can’t do much better than the Ronin-M 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer v3 but you can find something a little cheaper.
9. Evo GP 3
This is the gimbal for GoPro cameras and, at a sub-$300 price point, should probably be on your shopping list if you’re looking for an easy-to-use gimbal that will handle most small action cameras and give you the angles and shots of a Hollywood Pro for a price you can afford.
8. Osmo 4k Camera Bundle
Pretty much everything you need to get started with action camera cinematography and photography with your 4K camera or smartphone, this bundle is packed with everything a budding creative needs. The one major drawback is the price. At a little less than $600, this might be a bit much for some people but for those who are committed to adding a gimbal and all the necessary accessories to their toolbox then this bundle can’t be beaten.
7. Mavic Pro
Though the Mavic Pro is a drone, it can also provide some uses that a gimbal would and may be a better option for some consumers that are on a tight budget and need to consolidate functionalities. From tracking and dynamic shots to editing apps and the like, the Mavic Pro from DJI is the industry leader for a reason. This is the only drone of its size to carry an integrated high-precision 3-axis mechanical camera stabilization system without losing a single pixel and giving you an extra-crisp photos and seamless videos.
6. Roxant Pro Handheld Stabilizer
A solid choice that is a bit old school all the same, this gimbal is affordable and easy to use on top of being compatible with most everything out there. If you’re struggling to master the basics of photography or you’re just starting out, the Roxant Pro Handheld Stabilizer might help you better develop your style without killing your budget. Among the options on this list, this model is often cited for its easy learning curve and the powerful captures and video it produces at such a budget price.
5. Osmo Mobile 2
A great option for smartphones, this sub-$200 option gives you a lot of options in terms of face tracking and different options when filming like time-lapse and light trail effects. Complaints about the Osmo Mobile 2 range from its quirky app to its short battery life but, at a price most people can afford, it’s a competitive option in the smartphone gimbal market.
4. GoPro Karma Grip
Probably best for the GoPro 4 and 5, this $300 gimbal can handle devices up to two and half pounds in weight and provides a long battery life at an hour and forty-five minutes, making it a great choice for action camera fans. The only drawback is that it isn’t as robust and capable as the more expensive gimbals but for most users, and especially GoPro 4 and 5 fans, this is enough.
3. Zhiyun Crane v2
This capable gimbal is best used for smaller devices weighing under 2 pounds. Moderately priced but somewhat limited the Zhiyun Crane v2 is easy to use and durable for most light applications.
2. Zhiyun Smooth-Q
Ideal for smartphones, the Zhiyun Smooth-Q is under $200 and capable of handling most every device out there with ease. If all you own is a smartphone and you want something to help you take your cinematography to the next level, the Zhiyun Smooth-Q is a no-brainer choice.
1. Original Ronin 3-Axis
This gimbal brings out the big guns and is perfect for large devices under 10 pounds. But, as you can imagine, this kind of heft comes at a cost and the Original Ronin 3-Axis is not cheap. But what it lacks in a budget price, it more than makes up for in capability and adaptability. This will handle most everything you will throw at it and then some. Priced at $1999, the Original Ronin 3-Axis is a great choice but probably not best for all consumers.