The best gimbals for iPhone (and why you need one)
The iPhone is pretty great at shooting high-quality videos. But you can take things to the next level by ensuring that the camera is held completely steady. That’s where a gimbal can help you out.
Even when your camera has in-built stabilization, there is always some shake in the footage when you shoot hand-held. A gimbal gets rid of this to give you professional quality results, even if you’re moving around when filming. It’s a game-changer for anyone who wants to produce top-notch mobile videos.
If that sounds appealing, invest in one of the best iPhone gimbals listed below.
Difference between a gimbal and a tripod
But wait, you’re probably wondering, what’s the difference between a gimbal and a tripod? Don’t they both essentially hold your phone steady for taking photos and videos?
Also see: list of best tripods for iPhone
The answer is yes, but a gimbal has much more advanced features. It uses motors and Artificial Intelligence sensors to make footage smooth and stable, even while the camera is moving. It’s a battery-powered rechargeable device, unlike a tripod that has no digital components.
Further, gimbals have sophisticated motion sensors to differentiate between involuntary shaking and intentional movement. So, it opens up a lot of creative possibilities for your videos. For instance, it can be great to shoot an action or dance video or a vlog where you are walking around and talking to the camera.
On the other hand, tripods are just stationary stands for your iPhone, with three legs that hold your iPhone at a set angle. If you want to change the angle, you need to do it manually. So, they’re more suitable for still photography or sit-down style videos where you’re staying in one place and talking to the camera.
What to look for in a gimbal for your iPhone
We’ve already picked out the best gimbals for your iPhone from the most trusted brands in the market. But it’s always good to know what to look for when picking one. Here are some things to consider:
- The stabilization axis: 2-axis gimbals stabilize your phone camera’s tilting and rolling motions, while 3-axis gimbals also stabilize the turning or panning motion. A two-axis is sufficient for shooting inanimate objects and a three-axis gimbal allows for more dynamic video such as shooting while you’re running or riding a bike.
- The battery life: Ensure your gimbal has enough power to last through your shoot, especially if you’re traveling. Or you can carry additional batteries or a portable power source compatible with your gimbal.
- Compatibility: Some gimbals may not be compatible with larger iPhones such as the iPhone 13 Pro Max or 12 Pro Max. So, before buying, make sure the gimbal’s mount is designed to fit your phone’s size and weight.
- Other features: Different gimbals boast sophisticated shooting modes and features like object tracking or gesture control. Read through these to make sure they match your video production needs.
The best iPhone gimbals for every budget
Best for pros: Zhiyun Smooth 5
This 3-axis iPhone gimbal is the priciest on our list but is also packed with features that make it worth it. It’s specifically designed to use with iPhones and comfortably fits the latest models. At the same time, it’s still small enough to easily carry around.
I love the intuitive controls, particularly the wheel that can be used to focus or zoom in and out. This makes transitions and effects much smoother for professional quality results. Further, it comes with an app that enables you to use features such as time-lapse and vertigo.
It’s powered by a 2,600 mAh battery and two hours of charging via USB C will give you up to 4.5 hours of continuous filming time. It also comes with an optional magnetic light that offers a decent way to enhance your frame without any additional setup.
Has a built-in extension rod: DJI OM 5
DJI is perhaps the most popular gimbal brand and the OM 5 is its most recent product. Most gimbals for your smartphone or camera have a fixed length but the DJI OM 5 comes with an extension rod similar to a selfie stick. This makes it pretty versatile for all your filming needs.
I especially love how you can use gesture controls such as displaying a “V” sign with your fingers to start recording. Moreover, the latest ActiveTrack 4.0 technology helps you track objects with greater stability and responsiveness, even when you’re moving really fast.
Further, if you’re new to shooting, you can download the DJI Mimo app to access the ShotGuides feature that has handy tutorials for whatever you’re trying to achieve.
The magnetic ring holder in place of a phone clamp makes it easy to attach your iPhone without needing any balancing or calibration. The 1000mAh battery lasts almost a day and you can easily charge it on the go via USB C.
Best for beginners: DJI OM 4 SE
At just under $100, the DJI OM 4 SE is a steal because it’s a great iPhone gimbal for most users, particularly beginners. It’s exactly like its predecessor the DJI OM 4 but comes at a cheaper price and without the magnetic ring holder attachment. However, you can buy the attachment separately if you like.
In some ways, it is even better than the more sophisticated OM 5 above. For instance, it has a larger 2,450 mAh battery that offers 15 hours of battery life. It also doubles up as a power bank for your phone which is pretty nifty!
As for features, it uses Active Track 3.0 and a similar gesture control system as the pricier OM 5 and OM 4. Given how it has everything you need in a gimbal at an unbeatable price point, I think it’s the best DJI gimbal you can buy at the moment.
Best value: Hohem iSteady X2
If you want to save a few more dollars yet enjoy similar functionality to DJI gimbals, the Hohem iSteady X2 is worth checking out. This 3-axis gimbal can hold all sizes of iPhones and comes packed with all the features you need. For instance, using the Hohem app, you can select from a variety of shooting modes like inception, dolly zoom, timelapse, and panoramas.
Moreover, it comes with a wireless remote function, which enables you to control the gimbal from up to a distance of 32.8 ft. Pretty convenient! It also boasts face tracking technology and gesture control to give you all the flexibility you need to shoot creative videos. The 2,800 mAh battery promises a life of about 10 hours per charge.
Best budget gimbal: MOZA Mini-MX
Looking for the cheapest iPhone gimbal that still offers great performance? Check out the MOZA Mini MX which is super pocket-friendly in terms of both size and affordability. It boasts an ergonomic design and a simplistic button panel that’s intuitive to use in all situations.
You can control the shutter button using hand gestures and take advantage of the MOZA Genie app to shoot and edit your videos in different styles. The 2,000 mAh battery offers between 12-20 hours of battery life depending on what shooting mode you use.
The only downside is it’s too small to fit larger phones such as the iPhone 13 Pro Max or 12 Pro Max, but it’s perfect if you prefer something compact.
Best travel gimbal: Feiyutech Vlog Pocket 2
Here’s another affordable iPhone gimbal that’s easy to set up and use. It’s capable of holding phones weighing up to 250g, which makes it suitable for the largest iPhones too. It’s comfortable to hold and offers smooth 3-axis stabilization for great results. The 1,300 mAh battery takes 1.5 hours to fully charge and offers 9 hours of usage.
You can connect to the Feiyu ON app for plenty of extra features including Object Tracking and Gesture Control. I especially appreciate how it folds into a compact size but can also be extended up to 1 foot high. Further, the position lock and auto balance mean that you don’t need to manually balance your smartphone each time you use it.
Still got questions about which gimbal you should buy? Ask away in the comments below and I’ll be happy to help.
Don’t miss these other photography articles:
- The best tripods for iPhone to suit every budget
- The best external camera lenses for the iPhone 12 lineup
- The best tripods for iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro
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