- 1 Zhiyun Smooth Q2 Gimbal review: Don’t Overestimate It!
- 1.1 The Zhiyun Smooth Q2’s purpose
- 1.2 The first acquaintance with the Zhiyun Smooth Q2
- 1.3 Smartphones compatibility
- 1.4 Shooting with the Zhiyun Smooth Q2
- 1.5 Zhiyun Smooth Q2’s work and its good sides
- 1.6 Zhiyun Smooth Q2 vs DJI Osmo Mobile 3
- 1.7 Cost
- 1.8 Final conclusion
- 1.9 Rating: 4/5
Zhiyun Smooth Q2 Gimbal review: Don’t Overestimate It!
Today, I am going to review the much-expected novelty in the market – the Zhiyun Smooth Q2 smartphone gimbal. I think it is not a secret that many people have been anticipating the release of Zhiyun’s new model. First, the company has a brilliant reputation in the gimbals market. Second, the Zhiyun Smooth 4 has proven to be a great device. Therefore, it was not surprising that everyone could not wait until the Zhiyun Smooth Q2 finally sees the world.
Now it is here, ready to start its long and impressive journey in the world of video production. Let me introduce the new Zhiyun gimbal.
Before we start talking about the new device, we need to understand one important thing. The Zhiyun Smooth Q2 gimbal is not the follower of the Zhiyun Smooth 4 gimbal that has been mentioned above. The new model is actually the “son” of the older Zhiyun Smooth Q device. The main difference between those two gimbals is that the Zhiyun Smooth Q was designed as a not heavy and rather casual device for mobile use. The Zhiyun Smooth 4 was slightly different – designed for filmmakers, it featured different advanced filmmaking qualities.
It is obvious that the manufacturer sees the Zhiyun Smooth Q2 as the main competitor for the new Osmo Mobile 3, considering its compactness. Due to its foldable feature, the DJI Osmo Mobile 3 was the first gimbal that was actually portable and easy to carry along.
Has Zhiyun finally created a product that is better than DJI? Can Zhiyun win DJI in what they used to do the best for so many years? Let’s test the product and find out.
The Zhiyun Smooth Q2’s purpose
In case you still do not know what gimbals are, I am happy to provide you with an explanation. The devices that have quickly replaced the popular selfie-sticks help make your videos stable. These devices are small and easily compatible with most smartphones, but the result of their work is quite impressive. You get soothing, uninterrupted videos that the built-in stabilizers on your phones cannot provide you with. Most of the gimbals share some impressive features that enable your videos to look more professional. Various filming modes available in most gimbals add a special value to the device.
The first acquaintance with the Zhiyun Smooth Q2
The first thing I noticed when I opened the box with the Zhiyun Smooth Q2 was how small the new gimbal actually was. I remember opening the DJI Osmo Mobile 3. I was surprised to see the size of that gimbal, it looked so compact back then. The more surprised I was to realize that the appearance of the new Zhiyun device made the DJI gimbal look quite big. So I would like to give a lot of points to Zhiyun for making their device this small and compact.
The second feature that impressed me was a very simple design and grid construction. The device looked minimalistic but quite stylish at the same time. Only a few control tools have been placed there – the joystick, the power, and record buttons. Besides this, the Zhiyun Smooth Q2 featured an ordinary tripod connection thread and a USB port.
The build quality seemed to be impressive as well. The combination of aluminum and plastic used for the construction was stylish and did not make the device look cheap. Nevertheless, I have to notice that this type of construction made the Zhiyun Steadicam slightly heavier than other gimbals in the market, especially with the portable battery placed inside it.
The Zhiyun Smooth Q2 can hold up the maximum weight of 260 g, which makes it one of the strongest Steadicams in the market. It is quite an impressive feature for such a small gimbal. Its payload makes this gimbal compatible with most smartphones, even those, whose size is close to the size of an average tablet. This gimbal exploits the springing flexible grid, which helps take in most of the available smartphone sizes.
Therefore, if you are looking for an easily compatible device, you have definitely found one here. Nevertheless, the Zhiyun Smooth Q2 is not that perfect. On certain phone models, the back of the device handle gets into the frame when filming. This problem does occur with other models of gimbals too, but it is still worth noticing in my Steadicam review.
Shooting with the Zhiyun Smooth Q2
You know that I have tested a lot of gimbals over the past few years. So far, this gimbal is the easiest to film with. I have mentioned already that it features a very simple design, which is easy to navigate through. As a result, you only need a couple of minutes to start creating your perfect steady video using the Zhiyun Smooth Q2.
After you turn the gimbal on and push the record button, you can easily use its joystick to control the camera. You can move it forward and backward, to incline or direct it. If you need to change the way you film, you only have to push the joystick. You will be able to see the gimbal’s shooting modes right away.
This gimbal features five regimes:
- Pan-following: the gimbal tracks the objects placed on the horizontal axis gradually and smoothly, but at the same time, it keeps the horizon steady.
- Locked: the device keeps pointing in the same direction all the time, all camera movements are blocked.
- Following: in this mode, the camera is able to follow the objects that are moving up and down, left and right; but the gimbal makes sure that the horizon is still steady and locked.
- POV: this mode gives you complete freedom, it follows all movements.
- Vortex: it lets you roll as long as the joystick is kept to the side.
The Zhiyun Smooth Q2 has a special light indicator that lets you easily follow what filming mode you are using at a given moment.
If the automatic filming modes do not fully satisfy your creative needs, there is one more option that you might want to try. You can connect your gimbal with the mobile application by Zhiyun, which will enable you to enjoy advanced filming modes – such as timelapse, slow motions or object control. The mobile app is also the place, where you can adjust your gimbal’s settings to your own taste and pace.
Zhiyun Smooth Q2’s work and its good sides
In the past time, most of the gimbals available on the market have significantly improved their performance in terms of video stabilization. I have to admit that, in fact, it no longer makes much sense to compare different gimbals’ ability to stabilize the video. All of them are doing a pretty good job, delivering buttery smooth videos and steady pictures.
Even though the Zhiyun Smooth Q2 is very small and might not seem strong at first sight, it is a very good stabilization tool. In fact, I would put it on my list of the best stabilization devices available out there. Its motors are very strong, but at the same time, the gimbal does not make much noise when working.
Nevertheless, there is a problem with this gimbal’s performance too. The motor speed of the Zhiyun Smooth Q2 is settled and not flexible. This feature makes it impossible to use the Zhiyun Smooth Q2 gimbal to film properly any fast-moving objects. Most stabilization devices in the market do have the increased responsiveness function that enables to produce the videos with fast-moving objects.
Zhiyun Smooth Q2 vs DJI Osmo Mobile 3
Since my review today has mentioned the DJI Osmo Mobile 3 device quite a few times, I thought that this would be a good idea to compare it to the Zhiyun Smooth Q2 gimbal. There are a few reasons for doing this. First, obviously, these two devices are the top gimbals that one could possibly have dreamed of recently. They both are a good choice for your smartphone, featuring a set of impressive qualities. Second, both of them are marketed as very small portable gimbals, which is definitely a great selling point that they share.
The main advantage of the Zhiyun Smooth Q2 gimbal is its battery. It is very strong and features the ability to live up 17 hours. It also can be removed from the gimbal’s grid, thus making the device lighter. This gimbal is even smaller than its competitor. It does not need a tripod and can be standing on a flat surface independently without any additional support.
Despite the fact that I like Zhiyun’s novelty a lot, I have to admit that the DJI Osmo Mobile 3 is still a much better device. It allows you to shoot in portrait mode easily. Moreover, the grid build is more advanced. You are definitely going to need the zoom slider or a rear trigger during one of your shoots. Unfortunately, the Zhiyun Smooth Q2 lacks both of them.
Another weak point of the Zjiyun gimbal is that certain parts of the device often get into the frame when filming from certain smartphone models. As I have already said above, this problem may occur when using other devices; however, it is more common with the Zhiyun Smooth Q2.
Zhiyun Smooth Q2’s recommended price for the retailers is $139. This gimbal costs more than most of its competitors. However, the price difference is rather minor; so you definitely should not disregard this gimbal because of its pricing policy when considering a purchase.
After a thorough examination, I am ready to announce the final verdict in regard to the Zhiyun Smooth Q2 gimbal. In general, this is a good device, offering quite many features that you might consider necessary for professional filming.
However, unfortunately, there are still few shortcomings that make this gimbal weaker than its competitors. The simplistic grid construction does not allow you to zoom in the frame while making the video. However, sometimes you might not be able to do this on your phone screen while filming or later when editing the video. You definitely want your gimbal to have this feature.
Sometimes it is also important to film a fast-paced video, especially if you are a professional filmmaker. However, the Zhiyun Smooth Q2 would not allow you to increase the following speed, and the video, featuring the fast-moving objects, will not turn out to be much impressive.
The Zhiyun Smooth Q2’s most outstanding feature is its size, which is quite small even in comparison with the DJI Osmo Mobile 3. But is this feature that important when talking about gimbals? The DJI Osmo Mobile 3 can zoom in while filming, it has a fast-paced video mode. At the end of the day, it is not much bigger than its competitor, especially if you fold it. So it definitely wins.
The last, but not the least important point, is the cost of the Zhiyun Smooth Q2 gimbal. For an even slightly cheaper price, you can find other gimbals that would have more features. And even though the Zhiyun Smooth Q2 is definitely smaller, you will manage to fit its competitors into your backpack anyways.
Still haven’t found what you were looking for? Check out my page with the best handheld gimbals for iPhone and Android devices.