Best Camera Stabilizers

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 10, 2018
Many people love photography, but many also lack the ability to take clean, sharp, and stable photos or videos without using special equipment. If you are looking to add some stability to your photos and videos, you should try using a camera stabilizer. Take a look at our reviews for five of the best camera stabilizers available! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Compatibility
Maximum payload weight
Stabilization axles
Equipment
Battery life
Weight
Warranty
 
PROS

At the bottom of the stabilizer, there is a 1/4 "hole, which allows you to install the stabilizer on a tripod or monopod. The proprietary application for iPhone or Android allows you to manually control the parameters of the stabilizer. Also, through the application, the device software is regularly updated.

CONS

Learning all the instructions will take a while.

OUR VERDICT

The Zhiyun Crane V2 is an electronic stabilizer that will easily hold your DSLR or mirror in any position or situation, allowing you to easily shoot smooth and beautiful pictures. All the axes of the stabilizer have an unlimited rotation of 360 degrees, and thanks to a capacious battery, the battery life of the equipment reaches 12 hours.

detailed parameters
Compatibility

Mirrorless cameras, DSLR cameras

Maximum payload weight

0.77 lb - 3.96 lb

Stabilization axles

3 Axis

Equipment

Hard Shell Carrying Case

Set of 26500 Batteries

Battery Charger

Micro USB Cable

Lens Screw

Mounting Plate Screw

Lens Support

Battery life

12 hours

Weight

2 lb

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The device boasts a variety of modes, including ActiveTrack technology, night mode, panning mode and even shooting silky smooth slow motion video so you can record vlogs and enjoy smooth quality shooting in any conditions.

CONS

The thin storage pouch is unlikely to adequately protect the equipment.

OUR VERDICT

The DJI stabilizer with a 1-second exposure will help you take photos and videos directly from your smartphone in cinematic quality. With such equipment, there is no need to worry about trembling frames or unwanted interference. At the same time, using OSMO MOBILE, you can share what is happening online on Youtube Live or Facebook Live, always staying connected.

detailed parameters
Compatibility

Smartphones (up to 5.5" screen)

Maximum payload weight

~ 0.45 lb

Stabilization axles

3 Axis

Equipment

Intelligent Battery

USB Power Cable

Wrist Strap

Rosette Protection Cap

Carrying Pouch

Battery life

4.5 hours

Weight

1.1 lb

Warranty

Limited 1-Year Warranty on Gimbal/Camera, Limited 1-Year Warranty on Handle, Limited 6-Month / 400-Cycle Warranty on Battery, Limited 1-Year Warranty on Charger

PROS

The proprietary ZY-Play application allows you to control the white balance, shutter speed and focus, switch from photo mode to video and vice versa, and take pictures directly from the stabilizer knob.

CONS

Quite a narrow limitation on compatibility with smartphones.

OUR VERDICT

This Steadicam, compatible with all of the most popular smartphone models and supporting 5th Generation Honeycomb core technology will give you spectacularly stable and smooth frames, as if a whole crew of professionals participated in your recording. The equipment can also be compatible with action cameras with the appropriate adapter.

detailed parameters
Compatibility

Smartphones less than 6"

Maximum payload weight

0.16 - 0.44 lb

Stabilization axles

3 Axis

Equipment

Micro USB Charging Cable

Carry Bag

EACHSHOT Mini Tripod

EACHSHOT Cleaning Cloth

Battery life

12 hours

Weight

1 lb

Warranty

1 year

PROS

5-way joystick control (up, down, left, right and central press) provides comfortable control of the device. So, you can switch between shooting modes and control the rotation of the camera in just one motion.

CONS

The first calibration may cause some difficulties.

OUR VERDICT

The Hohem HG5 Pro in a rugged aluminum case, which can also work in Vertical Screen Mode, will be your best assistant during the shooting of any content. All of its three axes can rotate 360 ° without stoppers, which helps to adjust the position of the stabilizer with the camera to the desired angle. The connection to the Hohem Gimset app via Bluetooth makes the use of the device even more convenient.

detailed parameters
Compatibility

GoPro Hero 4/3+/3 Camera and cameras with similar shapes

Maximum payload weight

0.55 lb

Stabilization axles

3 Axis

Equipment

18650 Rechargeable Battery

Micro USB Cable

Handbag

Battery life

6 hours

Weight

0.5 lb

Warranty

1 year

PROS

A large, flexible and ergonomic handle is complemented by an anti-slip coating that will allow you to comfortably use the equipment for a long time.

CONS

Comes without accessories.

OUR VERDICT

This universal stabilizer for smartphones, action camera and digital cameras will elevate your amateur footage to a new level. It is easy to use, and the quality of the recorded video will surpass all expectations. A large number of settings are available, which will help to fix a camera of any dimensions properly.

detailed parameters
Compatibility

GoPro, Smartphones, DSLR cameras or camcorders

Maximum payload weight

2.1 lbs

Stabilization axles

3 separate counter-weights

Equipment

Stabilizer only

Battery life

No battery

Weight

2.4 lb

Warranty

Lifetime Email Support

Zhiyun Crane V2

High-Tech Stabilizer

One of the biggest problems that have faced photographers ever since the invention of the camera is being able to have a steady, stable camera. The stability of the camera can greatly influence the quality of photographs, as cameras that are constantly moving or shaking tend to produce off-centered or blurred pictures. For someone in the field of professional photography, this is their worst nightmare, and the slightest defects in a photo can help ruin hours of work. This is why camera stabilizers are an absolute must for professionals.

The Zhiyun Crane V2 3 Axis Brushless Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer uses the latest in advanced technology to help provide cleanest and sharpest images possible from your camera. Utilizing three 32 bit MCUs that run in parallel, this advanced camera stabilizer utilizes the MCUs in conjunction with Zhiyun's highly efficient attitude control and advanced servo control algorithms to ensure that the gimbal senses any changes in movement, computes these changes, and then controls the camera to an extreme degree of accuracy, all in the space of just 25 milliseconds. This ensures that your photos will always be highly accurate and stable, no matter the conditions.

Review of Zhiyun Crane V2 3-Axis Brushless Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer

Advanced Features

The camera stabilizer's features are not just limited to its control over image stabilization. This handheld gimbal includes a CCI (Camera Control Interface), which allows you to control the camera's shutter and focus through buttons on the gimbal's handle. There are also three different operating modes to help streamline the photography process, and also to provide an easy and quick way to take your photos. This allows you to focus your attention on your targets rather than on operating devices. There is even a wireless control module that can be connected with the gimbal's remote control, and for those who rely on their smartphones for everything, a smartphone app exists that can also allow you to control the gimbal and camera wirelessly.

As this gimbal is a powered stabilizer, it does include a 26500 battery for operation, but fear not - the battery can last for up to 12 hours, which means that you have plenty of battery life to work with. A smaller 6 hour battery is also included for times when you are just going for a quick photo session. Since these are standard batteries, additionals can always be purchased separately. With all of these highly advanced features, it's easy to see why this camera stabilizer is one the best on the market.

Zhiyun Crane V2 3-Axis Brushless Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


What customers say about this product

Size & Weight

This is a very smooth gimbal. It's very solid so expect a nice workout

Features

Battery life is superb, very easy to use and even easier to calibrate once you get the jist of how its axis work.

Key Specs

I'm using this with a Nikon D5500, 35mm prime lens and a quick release plate and its perfect. I cant put anything more on it tho due to the weight restraints but the functionality of the crane is great.
 

DJI CP.ZM.000449

Gimbal for Smartphones

The invention of smartphones has changed our lives in immeasurable ways, but the inclusion of high quality cameras on them has really done a number on photography and video. Never before has the average person had the means to create high-quality photos or videos, and this, in turn, has led to a number of life-changing options for people. Before, getting into professional photography and video required investments in thousands of dollars worth of equipment, but now a simple smartphone puts a lot of that same power in the average person's hand. With such high capabilities included in the average smartphone, it's only natural that a gimbal specifically for smartphones is available.

The DJI Phone Camera Gimbal isn't just a standard run of the mill stabilizer. This gimbal, made specifically for smartphones, has an awful lot of capabilities and power for such a small package. Featuring Active Track technology, this allows the gimbal to have the camera constantly facing you, no matter your movements, and provides a steady, blur and shake-free experience to any videos or pictures that you take while using it. This alone helps spell the end of a headache and nausea-inducing videos that plagued many amateur videographers in the past.

Review of DJI CP.ZM.000449 Phone Camera Gimbal

Very Powerful Options

This gimbal, while small in stature, is filled to the brim with capabilities. The Active Track technology mentioned before helps turn your smartphone into a motion detection camera, allowing you to automatically track yourself or another target while filming or taking photos. This helps prevent constant movement on your part, which can add to the stabilization process. Even at that, the 3 axis stabilization provided by the gimbal ensures that your smartphone's camera remains stable and free of shakes and jitters, even while walking around. The gimbal itself is hand-held, so there is no need to deal with extra straps or equipment.

The stabilization features are not the only options for this gimbal. Included are a multitude of settings to help with specific situations, including a beautify option which gives you the ability to polish your photos and videos while in the process of taking them. The slow motion video option allows for recording video in slow motion, and can even do time-lapse recording. Also included are capabilities for panoramas and long exposure shots, which all add up to help make this smartphone gimbal the complete package for anyone who wants to take professional level photos and videos with their smartphones.

DJI CP.ZM.000449 Phone Camera Gimbal in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Zhiyun HL-US-Zhiyun Smooth-Q Black

Portable Stability

Gimbals for smartphones have become quite popular in the last few years, with some starting off as "selfie sticks", and rapidly evolving to include more and more features. This only makes sense, after all, as smartphones are all over the place, and pretty much everyone already has one. Since taking photos and videos are some of the most often used features for a smartphone, those who are really into it have probably wondered how to make their photos sharper and their videos less shaky. A good high quality and easy to use gimbal would be the obvious answer.

The Zhiyun Smooth-Q 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer for Smartphones is just what you need to move your smartphone camera experience to the next level. Made with a high molecular compound material, this steady and durable smartphone gimbal packs in plenty of features to help give you the best experience possible, as well as being durable enough for any situation. Being compatible with many of the latest smartphones, including the latest models from Apple, Samsung, Huawei, LG, and others, those who are looking to help make their new smartphone take the best pictures and videos possible should have a great experience with this gimbal. 

Review of Zhiyun HL-US-Zhiyun Smooth-Q Black Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer for Smartphone

Features Galore

A good, high-quality smartphone gimbal is often what people want, but many of the features included with this particular model are ones that they won't be able to live without once they have tried them. The 3 axis gimbal provides a smooth and steady picture for your phone's camera, which can also include utilizing the ZY Play app to help give the best experience possible. The app uses both the GPS and Bluetooth functions on your phone, and supports features such as auto tracking, time lapse, zoom in and zoom out, and filter options. There is even a USB connector on the device, which allows you to charge your smartphone while you are filming, or it can be used to connect additional accessories to help enhance your photography or filming experience.

The included battery enables operation for up to 12 hours, and for those who do end up needing to charge it, it can be connected through any Micro USB power supply to help maintain its charge, even while in use. About the only downside to this device is that it requires extra care when using heavier smartphones, and it doesn't support many older phones. However, those who have the latest smartphone should find this to be one of the best camera stabilizers available for it.

Zhiyun HL-US-Zhiyun Smooth-Q Black Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer for Smartphone in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Hohem 4332087895

Best Action Camera Stabilizer

GoPro cameras have become quite popular lately, as they are perfectly made to be "action cams". Being small, easily mountable, and quite durable, there are quite a few people who like using them to record almost any activity that they participate in, no matter how fast or extreme. However, one of the problems that people run into with them is that they suffer from the same problems with shaky or jittery video as almost every other camera on the market. For anyone who wants or even needs a stable, smooth video experience with a GoPro, a camera stabilizer is a must.

Fortunately, those who love taking their GoPros with them and want a good gimbal shouldn't have to look any further. THe Hohem 3 Axis Stabilizer Handheld Aluminum Electronic Full 360 Degrees Gimbal for Gopro is the perfect gimbal for anyone with a GoPro. Even if you don't have a GoPro, but another action cam, this gimbal also supports it, as well as many iPhone and Android smartphone models. Featuring a 3 axis gimbal with full 360 degree precision, this gimbal can help make what once were shaking recording experiences into something smooth and slick, with a professional quality to it that many other gimbals simply can't match.

Review of Hohem 4332087895 3 Axis Stabilizer Gimbal for Gopro

Compact and Durable

Made of a strong full aluminum alloy, this gimbal is quite rugged and durable, giving you a fully trusted experience without worry of breakage. It includes a 5-way joystick along with a multi-function button that allows for easy but flexible controls over the camera, supporting panning, pitching and lock modes, all in 360 degrees. The stabilizer maintains extremely level and smooth video recording, despite the number of bumps or shakes that it is experiencing. It can be easily mounted onto almost any vehicle, or even used as a handheld gimbal. The battery life of the device is designed to match the battery life of the GoPro camera, so that you shouldn't need to worry about one running out of battery power before the other. However, there is a charging port on the gimbal that allows you to charge up your GoPro camera while in use. Just be sure to use your own charging cable, as one is not included. For those of you who may use a smartphone instead of a GoPro or other action camera, there is even Hohem Gimset app available for both iPhone and Android that allows you to enhance your video recording experience. Considering all of the features packed into this high-quality gimbal, anyone who wants professional quality video should take a look at it first.

Hohem 4332087895 3 Axis Stabilizer Gimbal for Gopro in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

ROXANT ROX-1C

Simple but Highly Effective

With the proliferation of high tech gimbals and stabilizers available, it is easy to forget that the very first stabilizer ever invented was a very simple device using shock absorbers. Later models that were still not high tech were made using counterweights to help provide a simple but smooth experience to shooting video or taking pictures. Such devices are still highly effective, even when compared against all of the latest high tech camera stabilizers available, and what's more, they are very affordable.

Such is the case with the ROXANT PRO video camera stabilizer. Featuring a low profile handle, rugged construction, and a very affordable price, this simple yet effective camera stabilizer is a great option for those who are looking for a good camera stabilizer that doesn't cost the same as a new camera. The low profile handle means that it is very simple and convenient to operate, providing a non-slip handle that won't slip or fall out of your hands easily and which eliminates lower arm swing. What's more, this stabilizer is actually compatible with a wide range of devices, including simple point and shoot cameras, GoPros and other action cams, and even smartphones. Many other gimbals on the market don't share this same amount of flexibility.

Review of ROXANT ROX-1C Video Camera Stabilizer

Unique Design

This low profile gimbal is an excellent choice for those who are planning on having long shooting sessions, as it is lightweight and reduces arm fatigue. Also, unlike many of the high tech options available, it is not powered, so there is no need to worry about running out of battery life while using it. The gimbal, while light on accessories, does include three different counterweights, which gives you flexibility in choosing the right counterweight to use with heavy or light cameras. One of the best features, though, is that the camera mount is extremely durable and maintains a tight grip on the camera, so there is never any worry about the camera falling off or somehow becoming dislodged.

One of the recommendations when buying this gimbal is to watch the free tutorial videos available on the manufacturer's website for suggestions on how to get the right balance with the camera and counterweights. Outside of that, assembly and use of this gimbal are extremely easy, and with the free lifetime email support, any issues that you do run into should be easily solved. For anyone who wants a highly flexible, easy to use, professional level gimbal for an affordable price, this model is hard to beat.

ROXANT ROX-1C Video Camera Stabilizer in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

What Is a Camera Stabilizers?

Camera stabilizers are devices that are used in conjunction with cameras and video recorders to help provide a stable photography or recording experience that is free from shaking, jerking, and other sudden movements. They work by providing a mount for a camera, and use springs, gyroscopes, and other devices to help maintain an even and level orientation for a camera, especially during times where the operator is moving. This, in turn, helps ensure that photographs or videos come out looking steady and even, without jerky movements or blurred pictures.

Camera stabilizers first came about from the invention of the Steadicam, a mobile mount invented by the Garret Brown in 1991. The Steadicam was invented by Mr. Brown when he realized that a system of shock absorbers could help keep the motion picture camera steady while he was moving with it. Later inventions based on the Steadicam used a variety of different ways to help provide image stabilization, ranging from simple body mounts to high-tech powered devices meant to keep the picture as stable as possible. Also, some degree of unintentional movement can still be detected in photos and videos used by camera stabilizers, they also help immensely in ensuring a smooth recording experience.

If you are looking for a great action camera to go with your camera stabilizer, take a look at our review of the five best action cameras.

What Features to Compare

Camera stabilizers can be quite diverse, ranging from simple body or arm mounts to extremely sophisticated devices that provide a full mount for a picture or video camera. With this being the case, finding the right camera stabilizer will depend on various factors, including your budget, your needs in a camera stabilizer, and many other considerations. Here are a few of the things you should look for.

Portability - Camera stabilizers can range from small hand-held devices to full mounts meant for professional video recording or photography. Obviously, full mounts are going to be much less portable than a simple handheld camera stabilizer, so someone who is constantly on the go with their camera should find something suitable for that purpose.

Compatibility - Considering the huge range of different cameras and video recorders available on the market, compatibility is going to be a primary issue with finding the right camera stabilizer. A stabilizer that works well with a cell phone is probably going to be too small for a large video camera or even a regular camcorder, and vise-versa, so finding a camera stabilizer that is compatible with your equipment is an absolute must.

Stabilizer Type - With the diversity of different camera stabilizers that are available, many of them help provide stabilization through a number of different methods. Simple body or arm mounts provide a simple, stable platform for your camera that allows for quick and easy movement while providing a stable picture. However, these tend to be much less stable than the more expensive and high tech stabilizers that utilize gimbals and gyroscopes to maintain a level posture for the camera. Which one of these types that you need will depend on what you want to use it for. Simple photography tends to work well with simple mounts, whereas the more sophisticated types are often needed for professional purposes.

Extra Features - Just having a simple camera stabilizer can be enough for many people, but others may need or want some extra features with their stabilizer. In this case, a simple non-motorized stabilizer probably won't have what you need, so you should probably take a look at the motorized stabilizers instead.

Regardless of your specific needs in a camera stabilizer, the wealth of diversity in camera stabilizers today means that you should be able to find the model with matches your exact wants and needs.

Did you know?

Types of Camera Stabilizers

The original Steadicam was a pretty simple device, and helped revolutionize the movie industry by allowing for smooth, panning shots that were simply not possible before. This original invention, meant specifically for movie cameras, helped pave the way to the camera stabilizer market that we have today. However, while there are many camera stabilizers that utilize much of the same mechanisms that helped make the Steadicam such a success, there have also been many advances that have added new features that simply weren't possible in years past.

Nowadays, there are two main types of camera stabilizers available on the market. Here you can read about them and see their advantages and disadvantages, which should help you decide which type is best for you.

Non-Motorized Stabilizers

The original Steadicam is what is considered now to be a non-motorized camera stabilizer, which means that it doesn't utilize any motors in the process of keeping a camera straight and steady. Non-motorized stabilizers can use various methods of keeping a camera level and steady, including shock absorbers, counterweights, and many that use both of these together. One of the biggest advantages of this type of camera stabilizer is that they tend to be cost-effective when compared to many of the motorized versions. They tend to also be much better at doing some kinds of subtle camera angles, such as slight leans into turns, and allow you to simply track any object with your own movements. For professional videographers, these types of stabilizers tend to be their main choice.

There are some drawbacks to having a non-motorized stabilizer, however. One of the main downsides to these is that there tends to be a steeper learning curve when it comes to learning the art of tracking objects and adding your own distinct camera angles. Non-motorized stabilizers tend to take a lot of practice in order to perfect their use, as they can still be prone to hard jolts, especially while moving. Learning how to move fluidly while using the stabilizer is the key to getting the best quality shots.

Motorized Stabilizers

With the advances made in recent years in technology, it's no surprise that many of these have made their way into camera stabilizers. Motorized stabilizers, which utilize some kind of powered motor to help maintain a camera's balance, have been a big beneficiary of such advances. Many of these advances include the use of gyroscopes, automatic tracking technology, and even GPS in order to help keep a camera steady and simplify the process of photography or filming. As such, one of the biggest advantages of motorized stabilizers is that they tend to be very easy to use, and many of them automate the process of filming or shooting with just the press of a button. Instead of manually moving a camera and having to try to keep the target centered, just press a button and the stabilizer can do all of that for you.

With all of the automation included, this can lead to some disadvantages, namely in that you have far less control over how to frame or track a shot than with a non-motorized stabilizer. Some of them can also be difficult with using to create certain camera angles, such and leans into turns. However, with practice, any motorized stabilizer can be used to perfection, especially in conjunction with many of the automatic features that they have.

FAQ:

Q: Why do I need a camera stabilizer?

A: Camera stabilizers are often necessary for helping to keep a camera well-balanced and steady. This helps prevent issues such as shaky or jittery video that commonly happens, especially when using a smartphone to shoot video. They can also be useful for keeping a simple point and shoot camera steady when trying to catch the right moment to photograph.

Q: How do camera stabilizers work?

A: Camera stabilizers work by using several different methods to keep a camera level and well-balanced, including weights, motors, and shock absorbers. Which methods are used depends a lot on the type of stabilizer, and what features the specific camera stabilizer has.

Q: What is the difference between a camera stabilizer and a tripod or other type of steady mount?

A: The main difference between a camera stabilizer and mounts such as a tripod is that most camera stabilizers are meant to be used while moving, whereas tripods and other types of mounts are usually in a fixed place, are larger and more cumbersome to move, and don't have the same level of flexibility as a portable camera stabilizer.

Q: Do camera stabilizers work with all kinds of cameras?

A: This depends entirely on the specific camera stabilizer. Many different camera stabilizers are made to be used with as wide of a range of cameras as possible, whereas others are made with specific cameras or smartphones in mind. Before purchasing any camera stabilizer, it is best to check if that specific model supports the camera that you wish to use with it.

Q: What is the best way to learn how to use a camera stabilizer most effectively?

A: The best way to learn how to use a camera stabilizer is by practice. However, anyone new to using a camera stabilizer can find guides and other helpful materials on learning how to get the most out of a camera stabilizer by checking for tutorials on the manufacturer's website, or by checking on Youtube for tutorial videos.

Q: What kinds of special functions do camera stabilizer have, in addition to their main purpose of stabilizing a camera?

A: The types of additional functions can vary, depending on the type of stabilizer that you have. Of course, non-motorized stabilizers will have far fewer extra functions than motorized ones. Many of the most common functions included with motorized stabilizers are automatic tracking, panning, and time lapse.

Q: Are camera stabilizers meant to only be used as hand-held devices, or can they also be used while mounted on something, such as a car or a bike?

A: This depends greatly on the type of camera stabilizer that you buy. However, many of the recent models are made to be used in different ways, not just as hand-held devices. As always, it is best to check the supported methods of a specific model before buying one, in order to make sure that it can be used in the way that you wish.

Q: Do I need a higher quality, more expensive type of camera stabilizer in order to get the best quality shots?

A: Many camera stabilizers work in much the same way, whether they are low end models geared towards the beginner, or high-end models made specifically for professional use. With enough practice, using even a low end stabilizer can help you create high-quality videos and photos.

Sources:

1. Camera stabilizer, Wikipedia.

2. W.H. Bourne Hand-held Stabilizers Buyers Guide, Videomaker.com. September 3, 2016.

3. Johnathan Paul Questions to Ask When Picking a Camera Stabilizer, PermiumBeat. September 3, 2015.

4. Tom Harris & John Perritano How Steadycams Work, HowStuffWorks. 2014.

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Publish Date: 2018-04-26 08:15:05