Zhiyun Smooth 4 Review

Zhiyun Smooth 4 Review

9.1

Reliability

9.0/10

Ease of Use

9.2/10

Build and Design

9.1/10

Value for Money

9.0/10

Cost

9.3/10

Pros

  • Easy to Mount
  • Smartphone Compatibility
  • ZY Play App
  • Smooth Performance
  • Complete Convenience When Filming

Cons

  • Too Many Controls
  • Ergonomics
  • ZY Play App is Limited to 4K Videos

Every time you want to capture epic moments, you can always rely too long camera recording arms, which are better known as gimbals. These 3-axis devices can help you keep objects like cameras or smartphones to be perfectly stationary.

If you love watching YouTube or any social media videos, you may notice that vloggers make it possible to eliminate the shaky effect when shooting a video. Although we do not have arms that are stable enough to record videos, especially when using smartphones, we can use professional long-reaching camera arms like Zhiyun Smooth 4 to make the video recording smooth and quite stable.

Video shooting using smartphones that deliver better video quality is now possible, thanks to gimbals. These devices are designed to offer great footage. Then, when it comes to one of the leading handheld gimbal manufacturers, Zhiyun remains to be trusted by many. This Chinese company specializes in gimbal and produces handheld gimbals that are compatible with smartphones, GoPros, and DSLR cameras. By using these smooth recording devices, you can effortlessly turn your average videos into professional ones.
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There are already plenty of gimbals on the market. However, Zhiyun Smooth 4 still stands out. That is because this gimbal can turn smartphones into professional filmmaking cameras. This means that there is no need for you to purchase expensive video recording cameras because you can create smooth, stable footage with just your mobile phone.

In this Zhiyun Smooth 4 review, you will get more familiar with its key features and figure out whether it suits your photo or video shooting needs. We understand finding the perfect gimbal can be confusing or challenging, especially if it is your first time to buy or you are not quite familiar with the product. Good thing, after reading this Zhiyun 4 3-axis handheld gimbal stabilizer, you can finally decide whether to buy this gimbal or not.

Interestingly, you can pair Zhiyun Smooth 4 manual with an Android or iOS device over Bluetooth. Besides, you can capture videos using the custom Zhiyun app. With its integrated control panel, there’s no need for you to touch your mobile phone. Then, the hot-key buttons, you can easily control both the mobile camera and stabilizer.

Zhiyun Smooth 4 Review

Zhiyun Smooth 4 Price Range

We understand that most of the consumers are very conscious when it comes to their budget. So, before ending up purchasing a Zhiyun Smooth 4, it is a nice idea to know how much budget you will need. This 3-axis gimbal stabilizer can be purchased at a very competitive price at $99 to $119.

Zhiyun Smooth 4 price is among the cheaper options you can find on the market. So, you do not have to overstretch your pocket just to grab this high-end gimbal stabilizer. It includes a polystyrene-type carry case along with a robust fold-up mini tripod that you can attach to the base. This mini tripod lets the gimbal to shoot video time-lapse or take panoramic photos hands-free.

Who Would Buy Zhiyun Smooth 4

As mentioned, our hands are not capable of shooting videos without shaking for a long time, so it’s a nice idea to use Zhiyun Smooth 4 every time you need to shoot vibrant images or high quality videos.

The latest models of Androids and iPhones are fully loaded with powerful cameras that deliver incredible photos. Apart from that, these smartphones are already designed to record 4K videos at 60fps. However, no matter how latest your smartphone is or you are a novice on shooting videos on smartphones, you will still experience camera shake. Besides, even your smartphone features an excellent OIS, camera shake remains noticeable since you will be moving around. You may also like Zhiyun Smooth Q Review.

Luckily, Zhiyun Smooth 4 3-axis handheld gimbal stabilizer is specially designed to eliminate the camera shake. Once you have mounted your phone on it, the 3 brushless motors will rotate the 3 pivots in 3-axes, such as pan, tilt, and pan. Since these rotations are contrary to the camera shake, your camera will remain steady.

If you are budget-conscious yet you want to own a high quality, well-designed gimbal, the Zhiyun Smooth 4 is a perfect option for you. That is because it is less expensive compared to the Zhiyun Smooth 3. You will also find a large wheel located on the side, making it unique when compared to other gimbals. The large wheel is intended for focus and zoom. Apart from that, this gimbal has a bunch of buttons on the front. As a result, there’s no need for you to tap on your smartphone screen while shooting.

Is the Zhiyun Smooth 4 3-axis handheld gimbal stabilizer right for you? Let’s find out through this Zhiyun Smooth 4 review!

Zhiyun Smooth 4 Review

Key Features of Zhiyun Smooth 4

To begin our careful and unbiased Zhiyun Smooth 4 review, let’s get to know about its key features. That way, you can determine whether these features can match your requirements. We understand that with so many gimbals available right now, you may find the buying process overwhelming. But don’t stress yourself. We make sure that from Zhiyun Smooth 4 price up to its weaknesses, you will discover everything you need to know.

Many smartphone users, vloggers, travelers, and other people who love shooting videos are already amazed by Smooth 4. So, we tested this handheld gimbal stabilizer to get more familiar with its features as well as discover why people loved it. Below are the key features that we hope can improve your buying decision.

Well-Designed and Well-Built

We find Zhiyun Smooth 4 among the well-designed and well-built gimbals on the market. In its traveling case, you can find a foam-like case. The material used has strength and weight similar to plastic. The gimbal itself is made of sturdy thick plastic, which you can find throughout the Smooth 4. Once you hold its body, it remains rigid and light.

When using this gimbal, you need to hold the trigger and move the handle to where you want your camera to turn. Be aware that the trigger comes in 2 buttons, one for smoother and slower movement, and the other one is for faster movement allowing you to perform a fast transition. Also check Photo stick review.

At the top of this handheld gimbal stabilizer, you will find the gimbal portion along with the clamping mechanism. Since you need to remove the case of your phone when using the gimbal, Zhiyun has designed the Smooth 4 with thick gray rubber pads to the areas it touches the phone.

Zhiyun made it sure that the Smooth 4 will accommodate any smartphone sizes. That is why they have designed it with 2 body clamping arms that can be extended outwards as well as become closed onto the phone. As you press a button, you can comfortably access the menu and manage the zoom, display type, playback, capture, record, white balance, and other settings.

Zoom Capability and Focus Pull

Zhiyun Smooth 4 is built with a more dedicated and professional handwheel. This means that you can expect a new smooth operation experience. You are free to either zoom in or out the footage every time you wish to take a close-up shot. If you press the FN switch button, you can configure the handwheel into a focus puller. As a result, it becomes easier for you to obtain any high-precision focus changes to end with more creative results.

Time Lapse Support

One of the most interesting features of Smooth 4 is it can support any advanced shooting techniques like Time Lapse feature. Apart from that, it can support the Motion Lapse and moving Time Lapse, record live, as well as display the creative side of time flow. Even with a bunch of time-lapse settings on the shooting ranges, focus, and angles, it is easier for you to achieve custom, unique time-lapse footage. It is also possible for you to capture all objects and movements with ease, such as moving silhouettes, huge crowds, dancing flowers, or even the white cloud.

  • Way Charging

Smooth 4 offers a longer runtime, which is up to 12 hours in a row. There’s no need for you to worry about the battery life since you can shoot videos all day long. As for the battery, it comes with an indicator that will alert you how much power is being left. You can charge your phone directly to stabilizer when shooting. Not only that, it is capable of adapting the Type-C charging port for you to use both the ends of cable to charge. With the help of a portable power source, you can charge the stabilizer, while you can charge your smartphone using the gimbal stabilizer through USB port on the tilt axis.

PhoneGo Mode

To get an instant scene transition, the Zhiyun Smooth 4 3-axis handheld gimbal stabilizer enters PhoneGo mode. After that, it will release the motors in a flash. It responds to all delicate movements, and you have nothing to worry about that you might miss a shot. Even without post-processing, you can achieve a fantastic scene transition.

Smooth Object Tracking

During our product test, we have discovered that this 3-axis handheld gimbal stabilizer produces smooth footage. It can also track objects like human faces in a higher precision. Interestingly, it is possible to frame any object you would like to track on your smartphone screen.

Other Features and Specifications of Zhiyun Smooth 4

Zhiyun Smooth 4 Review

With Zhiyun Smooth 4, you will discover plenty of features and specifications that can offer a never-before photo shooting and video recording.

  • Handles for up to 210 g smartphone
  • Designed with 300 degrees pan and 240 degrees tilt and roll
  • Has an ergonomic control panel
  • Allows the users to charge the phone while shooting
  • Designed with a large left-side focus or zoom wheel
  • Has a zoom vertigo effect mode
  • Lasts for up to 12 hours runtime
  • Supports tracking modes and multiple time lapse
  • Enters quick-response PhoneGo mode
  • Comes in hotkeys design for an instant control

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Pros and Cons of Zhiyun Smooth 4

After discovering the key features and specifications of Smooth 4, let’s proceed to the advantages and disadvantages of using this product. This section of our product review is very important for you to know so that you will not expect too much, especially if you are a first-time buyer. Keep in mind that there is no perfect 3-axis handheld gimbal stabilizer for everyone. You may also like Nikon Coolpix L340 Review.

There might be some features that you will find effective, while some might find them less helpful. So, it is also necessary for you to know what your requirements really are.

After discovering the benefits and drawbacks of Smooth 4, we hope that you can then decide whether this handheld gimbal stabilizer is best for you.

Pros of Zhiyun Smooth 4

Easy to Mount

One of the important features that you need to look from a 3-axis handheld gimbal stabilizer is the ease of mounting. Good thing, Smooth 4 is very easy to mount. We have mounted it to various phones, and we find no issue during the mounting process. Since it comes in an adjustable spring-loaded clamp, all you need to do is to open the clamp, and then, it will instantly grip your smartphone into place as you release it.

Smartphone Compatibility

Due to increased motor power, Smooth 4 is compatible with a phone with varying sizes. Besides, you can use it together with several accessories like camera lens and LED light. We find this gimbal stabilizer very versatile in various environments because it will help you release the best potentials of your camera anytime and anywhere.

ZY Play App

With the help of the ZY Play app, it becomes easier to take any type of photography such as single shots photos, panorama shots, vertigo effect, time-lapses, and motion time-lapses. You will find the vertigo effect mode effect because other gimbals do not offer this feature and it allows you to achieve more creative shots.

Meanwhile, you can use the app to unlock the full potential of Smooth 4. This app also allows you to record higher quality videos. Below are the Android and iPhone models that are compatible with ZY Play App and try to find your current phone model:

Android 1.13.6:

  • Google: Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, Pixel, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, and Pixel XL
  • Samsung: Galaxy Note 7, Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8 Plus, Galaxy S9, and Galaxy S9 Plus
  • Oneplus: 3, 3T, 5, 5T, 6
  • Huawei: Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro, Mate 8, Mate 9, P10, P10 Plus, P20 Pro, and P9
  • Lge: G5, G6
  • Xiaomi: MI 4, MI 5, MI 6, Redmi Note 3, Redmi Note 4X
  • Smartisan: Nuts Pro 2, U1 Pro
  • Vivo: NEX, X7
  • Oppo: Find X, R9s

IOS 2.6.4:

  • iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max

Smooth Performance

The Smooth 4 is designed with all-around image stabilization. This means that even you are walking or running, you will experience no shake. All you need to do is to focus on creating high quality videos or capturing crisp images. Apart from that, you will also find the motors to be responsive, and once you have activated the PhoneGo mode, the motors become snappier, helping you to highlight speed in your footage.

Complete Convenience When Filming

By using a 3-axis handheld gimbal stabilizer that offers complete convenience, you can simply focus on shooting photos and videos. Luckily, Smooth 4 makes it possible for you to shoot in landscape and portrait modes. This means that you can directly upload your videos to any social media platform with no issue.

Cons of Zhiyun Smooth 4

Too Many Controls

Although you may find a gimbal with a bunch of controls interesting, it may also lead you to some confusion. If you are not comfortable with too many controls, then Smooth 4 is not for you.

Ergonomics

When filming with the use of Smooth 4, you may find the entire shooting experience not very pleasant due to the way you will feel it in your hands. You may experience a little awkward when holding this gimbal. Besides, since there are several controls, you may constantly be looking at which button you are going to press instead of focusing on more essential matters.

ZY Play App is Limited to 4K Videos

If you are an Android user, you may have an issue when using the ZY Play app. That is because the full features of Smooth 4 along with ZY Play app is limited to devices, particularly with the 4K videos. Besides, the app does not support the geotagging of both videos and photos even it asks for a permission to access the location. Meaning, it will provide no locations of where your videos or images were taken.

Customer Review and Score on Amazon

Zhiyun Smooth 4 Review

In this Zhiyun Smooth 4 review, you will also discover the customer’s reviews along with its score on Amazon.

The Zhiyun 4 3-axis handheld gimbal stabilizer has been reviewed 817 times and gained average 3.8 stars out of 5 on Amazon. It is also one of Amazon’s Choices.

If you are curious about what other people or those who have already used the Zhiyun Smooth 4, you can consider the following customer reviews. That way, you can obtain a clearer view of how does it feel using this 3-axis handheld gimbal stabilizer.

“Best Gimbal Stabilizer for Mobile Smartphones You Could Ever Own!!” – Harley M.

In this customer review, Harley M. mentioned that Smooth 4 is easy to use, preferably to those new, aspiring mobile filmmakers. It also works great with her iPhone 8+ and finds it very comfortable in hand. Then, the included tripod made it possible for her to acquire an extra to hold the stabilizer.

“The first gimbal must say – LOVE IT!” – DJShopper

As a first time user of the gimbal, DJShopper emphasized that he had fun using it. He enjoyed the different features and found the included little case very helpful when carrying the Smooth 4. Besides, he was able to eliminate the shake when shooting a video.

Conclusion

Whether it is your first time to buy a gimbal or not, it is best to know all the necessary detail of the product like the Zhiyun Smooth 4. Overall, this 3-axis handheld gimbal stabilizer is a cost-effective yet high quality piece of kit that can help you leverage your photo and video shooting. It offers a lot of features, which can help many technical filmmakers.

When using this gimbal stabilizer, no need for you to touch the screen of your smartphone, thanks to its physical controls. The features being offered cannot be found from other gimbals on the matter. It does a great job of eliminating the shaky effect when recording a video.

We hope that after reading this Zhiyun Smooth 4 review, you can finally decide whether this gimbal is worth the money and investment. We know that it is not enough to have video or photo shooting skills, you will also need tools that can help you make more creative results. If you are interested in this gimbal stabilizer, make sure to get familiar with its features, benefits, and drawbacks using the information above.

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