Zhiyun Smooth 5S Review – Professional Smartphone Stabilizer

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Zhiyun-Tech is a Chinese company that has been specializing in gimbal stabilizers and other camera accessories since its founding in 2014. Their products have quickly gained a reputation for being high-quality and innovative. Zhiyun Smooth 5S is a handheld gimbal that was sent to me for review about two weeks ago.

It is designed to help stabilize and smooth out shaky footage, making it perfect for capturing professional-looking videos on the go. The Zhiyun Smooth 5S features a 3-axis motorized gimbal, which can effectively eliminate camera shake and provide ultra-smooth footage.

It also has a variety of features and controls, such as object tracking and time-lapse, that make it a versatile tool for videographers and photographers. Overall, I am impressed with the Smooth 5S and am excited to test it out further in my review.

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Unboxing

Inside the Zhiyun Smooth 5S Combo box, you will find the following:

  • Zhiyun Smooth 5S gimbal stabilizer
  • Micro USB cable for charging and data transfer
  • Mini tripod for stand-alone use
  • Wrist strap for added security
  • User manual and quick start guide
  • Carrying case for easy transport and protection of your gimbal
  • Multiple mounting filters for attaching different colors for the flashlight
  • Prime Membership card for 1 year

Design & Controls

The Zhiyun Smooth 5S is a compact and lightweight gimbal stabilizer designed for use with smartphones. It has a sleek black finish and an ergonomic handle that provides a comfortable grip for extended use. The gimbal has a three-axis design that allows for smooth and stable footage, even when the user moves around.

The Smooth 5S is made with high-quality materials and has a durable build. The gimbal has a maximum load capacity of 150-300G, making it suitable for most smartphones. It also features a 1/4-inch thread on the bottom for attaching to tripods or other accessories.

The Smooth 5S has a user-friendly control panel on the handle that allows easy operation. The board includes buttons for adjusting the gimbal’s settings and a joystick for manually controlling the gimbal’s movement.

Overall, the Zhiyun Smooth 5S is a reliable and easy-to-use gimbal stabilizer that provides smooth and stable footage for smartphone users. Its compact size and lightweight design make it easy to carry around, and the user-friendly controls make it simple to operate.

The gimbal’s buttons, wheel, and joystick are top-notch. The buttons have a nice tactile feel, making controlling your shots easy and precise. The zoom wheel, larger than most other models we tested, is particularly impressive. The extra size makes it easier to zoom in and out in small increments.

Although the joystick is still tiny, it feels good and makes it easy to pan the gimbal. The optional slow mode lets you create beautiful slow pans. A dial is also used to brighten or dim the fill light (more on that below), which can help quickly change the lighting in your scene. The wheel is smooth, precise, and easy to make fine adjustments.

You’ll find the Mode button on the front, which changes whether you’re working in POV, follow, or one of the other shooting modes available. There’s also a Menu button that opens the settings on your smartphone. Finally, there is the Save button.

The power and Fn buttons are on the right side of the gimbal, and you’ll find the trigger on the back. The shutter performs a few functions, such as activating subject tracking mode. The horizontal axis lock switch and USB-C port for charging are also on the back. Another USB-C port on the gimbal arm can charge your phone if you want to use the gimbal as a power bank.

The build quality is quite good. The Zhiyun Smooth 5S feels sturdy and solid. The gimbal’s heavy plastic material doesn’t feel cheap. The tripod grip is thick and covered with a rubberized material that helps solidify the gimbal in your hand. Even the tripod, included with the 5S Base and the Combo Kit, seems solid.

Fit Smartphone on Gimbal

 

  • First, ensure your smartphone is compatible with the Zhiyun Smooth 5S gimbal. Check the manufacturer’s website or user manual for a list of compatible devices.
  • Remove any case or protective cover from your smartphone.
  • Locate the clamp on the gimbal and open it by pressing the release button.
  • Place your smartphone in the clamp, ensuring it is centered and evenly balanced.
  • Adjust the clamp to fit the width of your smartphone by sliding the arms inward or outward.
  • Once the smartphone is securely in place, close the clamp and ensure that it is locked in place by pressing the release button again.
  • Turn on the gimbal and calibrate it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
    You are ready to use the Zhiyun Smooth 5S gimbal with your smartphone.

Horizontal and Vertical Modes

The Zhiyun Smooth 5S has both horizontal and vertical modes for shooting.

In horizontal mode, the gimbal is held with the handle facing down, allowing for smooth and stable shots while walking or moving around. This mode is ideal for capturing dynamic action shots or following subjects as they move.

In vertical mode, the gimbal is held with the handle facing upwards, allowing easy access to all the buttons and controls. This mode is ideal for capturing static shots or filming in tight spaces with limited horizontal movement.

Shooting Modes

The Zhiyun Smooth 5S has several modes that allow users to customize their shooting experience and achieve different creative effects. Here is a breakdown of each method:

Pan Follow Mode: This mode allows the gimbal to smoothly follow the camera’s movement, ensuring stable footage no matter how you move. This is ideal for capturing action or tracking a subject.

POV: It is a natural, comfortable position. The Smooth 5S will automatically adjust its orientation to match your movements, giving you a stable and smooth shot that feels right in action.

Locking Mode: In this mode, the gimbal locks the camera and will not follow any movement. This is useful for taking static shots or capturing time-lapses.

Vortex Mode: This mode allows the gimbal to rotate continuously, creating a “vortex” effect. This is ideal for creative shots or adding visual interest to your footage.

Roll Follow Mode: In this mode, the gimbal will only follow the camera’s roll movement, allowing for more creative control and the ability to tilt the camera without affecting the gimbal’s stability.

Overall, the Zhiyun Smooth 5S offers a range of modes that allow users to customize their shooting experience and achieve various creative effects. Whether you’re looking for smooth, stable footage or more creative control, the Smooth 5S has you covered.

Battery

I am extremely impressed with the battery life. With a 3000mA battery, I can use the gimbal for hours without worrying about running out of power.

One of the things I love most about the Smooth 5S is the fact that it has a built-in battery management system. This helps to ensure that the battery is being used efficiently and that I am getting the most out of each charge. The gimbal also has a quick charge feature, which allows me to get back to filming in no time if the battery runs low.
Overall, the battery life on the Zhiyun Smooth 5S has been a game changer for me. It has allowed me to capture the needed footage without worrying about my gimbal running out of power mid-shoot. I recommend this gimbal to anyone needing a reliable and long-lasting battery for their filming.

A 15W fast charge capability. This means you can quickly and efficiently charge your gimbal, allowing you to get back to filming or taking photos in no time. The fast charge feature is particularly useful when you’re out and about and only have a little time to spare. Simply plug in your gimbal and let it charge while you’re on the move.

It’s also great for those who use their gimbal frequently, as you can charge it quickly between shots. Overall, the 15W fast charge feature is a great addition to the Zhiyun Smooth 5S and makes it a very convenient and practical tool for anyone who loves photography and videography.

3-Axis Stabilizer

The Zhiyun Smooth 5S is a high-quality stabilizing gimbal for videographers and photographers. One of the standout features of this device is its advanced stabilizing technology, which helps to smooth out any unwanted shaking or movement in your shots.

The Smooth 5S uses a three-axis gimbal system to balance and stabilize your camera, ensuring that your footage is consistently smooth and steady. This is especially useful when shooting in challenging environments, such as walking, running, or using a longer lens.

One of the key benefits of the Smooth 5S’s stabilizing feature is its ability to maintain a stable shot even when the camera moves quickly or erratically. This is thanks to its advanced algorithms and sensors, which work together to anticipate and correct unexpected movements.

In addition to its stabilizing capabilities, the Smooth 5S also offers a range of other useful features for videographers and photographers. These include various shooting modes, such as panning, tilting, and locking.

2040 Lux, 500K Color Temperature

The Zhiyun Smooth 5S 2040 Lux color temperature is a great feature for any filmmaker or videographer. With a color temperature of 5000K, the bright and clear light provides a natural and professional look to your footage.

One of the standout features of the Smooth 5S is its 2040 lux brightness, which is significantly higher than most other lights in its class. This means that you can easily light up a large area or subject, making it ideal for outdoor shoots or when working in low-light conditions.

In terms of color accuracy, the 5000K temperature produces a neutral white light that is perfect for matching with other light sources or for use in various settings. It’s also great for shooting in daylight conditions, as the light will reach the sun’s color temperature.

Connectivity

The Zhiyun Smooth 5S has Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to connect it to your smartphone and use it with the Zhiyun app. The app is available for iOS and Android devices and offers a range of features, including time-lapse, slow-motion, and motion-lapse. It also has a live-streaming function that allows you to stream your footage directly to platforms like YouTube and Facebook.

The ZyCami app is the simpler of the two, designed for amateur videographers who want to avoid fiddling with all the settings and modes. StaCam is for those who want to fine-tune their videos with everything from LUT presets to ISO to lens choice. The problem is that none of the apps have the most accessible user interface. In addition, the applications are sometimes poorly translated into English, with confusing wording. Of course, you can always ignore apps and rely on your phone’s native video camera app.

However, many modes are available in the apps that help in movie making. For example, in the ZyCami app, you can capture basic videos, panoramic photos, slow motion, dolly zooms, timelapse, and hyper-lapse shots. With the more advanced StaCam app, you lose those modes but gain the ability to customize every detail of your shots, allowing you to create your modes and presets.

Experience

In terms of user experience, the Zhiyun Smooth 5S is easy to set up and use. The gimbal is well-balanced, and it takes just a few seconds to calibrate it to your smartphone. Switching between modes and controlling the gimbal using the joystick and trigger button is also easy.

The Smooth 5S produces smooth and stable footage thanks to its 3-axis stabilization. It is also lightweight and comfortable to hold, making it easy to use for a long period of time.

Verdict

Overall, the Zhiyun Smooth 5S is a high-quality smartphone gimbal suitable for vloggers, content creators, and anyone looking to take their mobile photography to the next level. It is easy to use, produces smooth and stable footage, and has a long-lasting battery life. The built-in joystick and trigger button makes it easy to control, and the app provides a range of useful features.

The Zhiyun Smooth 5S Smartphone Gimbal is a must-have for anyone looking to capture smooth and stable footage with their smartphone. This gimbal features a 3-axis motorized stabilizer that helps to eliminate any jitters or shakes in your footage, giving you professional-quality shots every time.

Overall, the Zhiyun Smooth 5S Smartphone Gimbal is a reliable and versatile choice for anyone looking to take their smartphone filming to the next level.

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Read Also: Zhiyun FIVERAY FR100C Review – Flagship Stick Light for Filmmakers
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