Gimbal vs Handheld | Is It Worth Getting a Phone Gimbal?

Gimbal vs Handheld | Is It Worth Getting a Phone Gimbal?


In the age of smartphones, capturing life’s moments has never been easier. But when it comes to video, stability is key. Enter the gimbal – a device designed to keep your phone steady while you film. But is it worth investing in one when you can simply use your hands? Let’s explore.


What is a Phone Gimbal?

A gimbal is a pivoted support that allows the rotation of an object on a single axis. In the context of phone videography, a gimbal stabilizes your phone, countering unwanted movements to produce smooth footage.

Comparing Stability

  • Gimbal: Offers superior stability due to its motorized stabilization system, resulting in smoother footage even during movement.
  • Handheld: Relies on the steadiness of the user's hand, which can result in shakier footage, especially during fast movements or over extended periods.


Ease of Use

  • Gimbal:Requires some learning curve to operate effectively, including balancing the camera properly and understanding different modes/settings.
  • Handheld: Intuitive to use, as it essentially mimics the natural movement of holding a camera, making it accessible to beginners without much setup.



  • Gimbal:Can accommodate various types of cameras, including DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, and smartphones, providing stability for a wide range of shooting scenarios.
  • Handheld:Limited by the weight and size of the camera or smartphone it's compatible with, which may restrict its versatility compared to a gimbal.


When to Opt for a Phone Gimbal Stabilizer:

  • Shooting videos of action/movement: Gimbals excel at stabilizing footage even while walking, running, biking or during other mobile shooting situations. They eliminate shaky handheld footage.
  • Capturing smooth pans and tilt shots: Gimbals allow you to seamlessly pan across scenery and tilt the camera up and down for more cinematic shots. This level of camera movement is difficult to achieve smoothly with a handheld device.
  • Vlogging on the go: Many gimbals make it possible to film high-quality vlogs while in motion, allowing vloggers to explore more locations without jittery footage.
  • Long recording sessions:Holding a device steady by hand for extended periods can cause fatigue. Gimbals distribute weight evenly for less hand strain.
  • Following moving subjects: Advanced tracking modes on certain gimbals let you lock onto and smoothly follow subjects like people, pets or objects in motion.
  • Action sports/adventure videos: Gimbals are essential pickup devices for steady filming of activities like cycling, skiing, hiking where steadiness is critical.

As more users look to create polished, professional-looking content, stable equipment is more essential than ever. Let's take a look at how the ZHIYUN Smooth 5S gimbal delivers unparalleled stability along with advanced shooting capabilities:

  • Pro 3-Axis Structure & Free Angle Movement: The Smooth 5Sboasts a professional 3-axis design, allowing you to capture shots from any angle. Whether you’re shooting vertically or horizontally, this gimbal provides unparalleled stability.
  • Unbreakable Stabilization: Say goodbye to shaky footage. The Smooth 5Sensures smooth and steady videos, even during dynamic movements.
  • Magnetic + Built-In Fill Lights: Need perfect lighting? The 650-lux peak illuminance fill light on the tilt axis, along with two magnetic fill lights, guarantees optimal illumination for your shots.
  • Intuitive Panel Control: Adjust parameters effortlessly with the versatile control panel. Get ready for a seamless single-hand shooting experience.
  • Robust Runtime: Charging the Smooth 5Stakes only 2 hours, and it offers up to 24 hours* of non-stop filming.
  • Dolly Zoom Effect: Switch between zoom and focus via the control wheel, creating professional dolly zoom effects effortlessly.

In conclusion, while handheld shooting suffices for basic needs, gimbal for phone offers unmatched stability and versatility for advanced video projects. Whether capturing smooth pans, following moving subjects, or filming action sports, gimbals prove indispensable for professional-quality footage. If you're ready to elevate your mobile filmmaking and create cinematic shots previously impossible by hand, the ZHIYUN Smooth phone stabilizer series deserves your attention.



*The data is collected from internal experiments of ZHIYUN laboratories when the product is charged via the PD fast charger above 15W and in the standby mode. The standby mode is when the fill light is off and no devices other than a smartphone is mounted on the gimbal. Please refer to the actual use.



Q: What are the benefits of using a phone gimbal over handheld filming?

A: Using a phone gimbal provides superior stability, resulting in smoother footage, especially during movement or dynamic shots. It eliminates the shakiness often associated with handheld filming.

Q: Can I use a phone gimbal for still photography as well?

A: Absolutely! While phone gimbals are primarily designed for stabilizing video footage, they can also help improve the stability of still photos, especially in low-light conditions or when using slower shutter speeds.

Q: Can gimbals work indoors as well as outdoors?

A: Yes, gimbals are effective at stabilizing in any environment, though wind resistance varies. Indoors they eliminate subtle handshakes very well.

Q: Do phone gimbals work with all types of smartphones?

A: Many phone gimbals on the market are designed to be universally compatible, supporting both Android and iPhone devices. Look for gimbals that offer adjustable mounts or customizable settings to accommodate various smartphone sizes and models, ensuring compatibility across different platforms.