The Zhiyun Smooth 5 Smartphone Gimbal has been updated and designed for a more compact and intuitive experience to provide cinema-style functionality to content creators who use their phones to shoot videos for TikTok or reels and YouTube shorts. When used with the free download ZY Play app, the control panel allows Android and iOS users to control gimbal and smartphone camera functions such as focus, zoom, time-lapse, and photo settings.
The Smooth 5 comes in two variations, the Combo version with an extra storage bag, wrist strap, magnetic fill light + Zhiyun Prime membership (1 year), and the ‘standard’ Smooth 5 as we take it out of the box. The Gimbal itself is of course the same and both versions come with a handy screw-on mini tripod.
Design and Compatibility
In terms of design, the Zhiyun Smooth 5 is almost identical to the Smooth 4 with the control buttons integrated on the front and the control wheel remaining in place on the left side. The front panel of the gimbal includes function buttons such as a menu button, shutter button, mode button, control key, adjustment wheel with four buttons around, and a light button in the middle. The four buttons around the control wheel are used to adjust the resolution, exposure, display, and photo. The left side of the Zhiyun Smooth 5 has a built-in control wheel that can be controlled manually or with the ZY Cami APP allowing users to easily zoom or focus. On the right side of the gimbal are the power button, function button, and ¼ inch threaded hole. The Zhiyun Smooth 5 also features a scroll lock, a USB-C port, and a trigger button on the rear of the gimbal.
With a pack size of 311 x 108 x 52 mm, the Smooth 5 is a bit more compact than its predecessor, but the manufacturer promises improved engine performance and optimization of the algorithms. The gimbal also allows you to switch from portrait to landscape format. Many different smartphones fit in the holder, with Zhiyun explicitly naming the iPhone 13 Pro Max, Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold, Huawei Mate X2, and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra models, but also some from Google, Honor, and in a compatibility list of over 50 models Vivo lists.
The gimbal has three standard axes with sturdy pivot pins that help prevent shaking and stabilize footage. The gimbal’s roll axis is delicately designed to ensure that the shaft does not cover the lens. This allows you to use a phone with a wide-angle camera to shoot without worrying that the axis will obscure or appear in the frame. Zhiyun Smooth 5 does not support automatic rotation between portrait and landscape orientation. If you want to rotate, you need to rotate the phone clamp and rebalance the phone manually. This setup will take some time and may cause you to miss some moments while shooting. The obvious difference in the design of this gimbal compared to its predecessor is the roll axis. The Smooth 5’s reel is equipped with a locking pin that can be moved back and forth to make balancing the gimbal a breeze. The locking pin can be flexibly adjusted depending on the connected phone. This makes the gimbal compatible with many phones of different sizes and weights.
In addition to the control bar, the gimbal has also been improved with a magnetic phone clip that can attach up to two lights. This luminaire is sold separately from the outside and when connected to a phone clip it can light up a 15 square meter room. This is a useful upgrade that allows users to use Zhiyun Smooth 5 when shooting in low-light environments while still ensuring the right amount of light.
Unlike some other mobile gimbal brands, Zhiyun Smooth 5 is designed with a relatively large size for better image stabilization and load-bearing. The Smooth 5 can hold phones weighing up to 300g allowing you to easily pair large and heavy phones onto the gimbal. The clip is made of smooth silicone/rubber material to help protect the phone case and avoid scratches. Zhiyun said the Smooth 5’s phone clamp is improved with a deeper slot than the Smooth 4 gimbal so that the gimbal can better withstand the load when connecting to larger phones. You can mount a phone with a case on top of Zhiyun Smooth 5 as long as the thickness of the device is less than 10mm.
Zhiyun has enhanced the Smooth 5 by equipping a new engine. This motor provides extra power to the gimbal when shooting. Besides, a new algorithm is also incorporated to increase the stabilization of the gimbal to make the footage smooth. A ¼-inch tripod mount is also available to attach to the gimbal in certain shooting situations. Although the Smooth 5 can produce stable footage, when performing scenes that require high stability, you should use a tripod to increase the stability of the device. The tripod works stably and safely even with heavy phones. This is useful when you are taking panoramic photos where the gimbal has to move at various angles to get the perfect shot.
Depending on the equipment variant, the Smooth 5 comes with a magnetic LED fill light that can be dimmed steplessly and should output brightness of up to 580 lumens. It can be attached to both sides of the smartphone and equipped with different color filters.
In the analysis of the Zhiyun smooth 5, we cannot stop talking about the new and spectacular ZY CAM app, specially designed for the Zhiyun smooth 5 gimbals. Available in the main Android and iOS app marketplaces.
It will allow us to use all the special functions of the gimbal smooth 5 as they are. I leave you the links to download the Zhiyun Smooth 5 Android App and for iOS/iPhone.
5 Shooting Modes
In addition to the modes supported by ZY Cami software, the Smooth 5 gimbal also integrates a variety of motion modes such as PF, L, F, and POV to create exciting, professional cinematic scenes from smartphones.
- Pan Follow (PF): This mode uses the axis to rotate according to the movement of the gimbal handle while the tilt and roll axes are locked. The joystick is used to control the tilt and rotation axis.
- Lock (L): The three axes will be locked and will not move according to the gimbal’s handle.
- Follow (F): The reel motor is locked, and the tilt and pivot shafts follow the gimbal’s handle.
- Point of View (POV): In this mode, all three axes work according to gimbal movement.
- Vortex (V): Spin around or expand your view with Vortex mode. The tilt axis rotates 90 degrees when tilting and the pan and roll axes will follow the gimbal movement.
- Go: This mode allows the camera to pan and tilts rapidly according to the gimbal movement, while the roll axis is locked.
With a battery capacity of 2600mAh, Zhiyun Smooth 5 allows users to use it for a long time without worrying about the battery capacity. When the gimbal works and has an auxiliary light attached, the gimbal can work for about 4.5 hours. Meanwhile, if put in standby mode, Zhiyun Smooth 5 has an operating time of up to 25 hours. The Smooth-5 can also be charged by a portable power bank. Your phone can be charged by the gimbal via the USB Type-C port on the tilt axis.
Zhiyun Smooth 5 is the perfect combination of phone gimbal and camera gimbal that gives users professional features. The device is suitable for gimbal beginners as well as professionals who want to use their smartphones for professional video and photography. A mega plus is a fact that I already indicated at the beginning of the review; all phones are perfectly supported by the axes of Zhiyun’s showpiece, including any add-on lenses. The images you shoot are recorded super tight in portrait or landscape mode in 4K 60fps… Every YouTuber, photographer or filmmaker, TikTok, or Reels Maker, will want to buy the Smooth 5.
Where To Buy?
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