The Best Smartphone Gimbals (Under $150) For Sale on Amazon in 2018
A smartphone gimbal is designed to make handheld video look less shaky. The technology dates back to 1976 when the "Steadicam" was used to film the movie Rocky (remember how the camera seems to float behind Rocky Balboa as he runs up the steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art?).
The secret to shake-free video is the gimbal.
Basically, a gimbal acts like a self-correcting level. A good smartphone stabilizer uses a 3-axis gimbal. This is like a self-correcting level working in all dimensions at once, which makes a camera seem like its floating in a bubble. You can't eliminate camera shake without a 3-axis gimbal, so if your goal is buttery-smooth video, don't settle for a $20 stabilizer stick. It just isn't worth it.
A decent 3-axis smartphone gimbal costs $100 or more. It's an expensive accessory, but it’s also a wonderful tool for travel, sports and visual storytelling. Tools are only as good as the operator, so you’ll have to practice using your gimbal to get excellent results.
Here are the best-reviewed smartphone gimbals selling on Amazon for $150 or less:
Avg. Price: $136 | Bargain Price: $123
The DJI osmo has mostly positive reviews, but even happy customers encountered challenges and frustrations calibrating this gimbal and using the control app. The software isn't compatible with all Android phones, so make sure to read the DJI website carefully before buying.
Zhiyun Smooth 4 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer w/Focus Pull & Zoom for iPhone Xs Max Xr X 8 Plus 7 6 SE Android Smartphone Samsung Galaxy S9+ S9 S8+ S8 S7 S6 Q2 Edge New Smooth-Q/III in 2018 Black
Avg. Price: $126 | Bargain Price: $114
Several Amazon customers praised the Smooth 4's packaging, build quality and image stabilization, but some Android phone owners had issues with the gimbal's control app. iPhone owners had less technical troubles with the gimbal, but some customers found the Smooth 4 harder to use than they had imagined.
Zhiyun Smooth-Q 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer for Smartphone, i.e. iPhone 7 Plus 6 Plus, Samsung S7 S6, Featuring APP Control, Vertical Shooting, Face Tracking
Avg. Price: $111 | Bargain Price: $90
The Smooth-Q has positive reviews from Amazon customers who own smaller phones. Some customers with larger phones had problems balancing and calibrating this gimbal and others didn't have the patience to deal with the calibration process and learning curve.
Steadicam Volt electronic handheld gimbal stabilizer for ALL iPhone including Xs, Xs Max & XR , ALL Samsung including S9/S9+ , Google Pixel, Sony Xperia & GoPro HERO 7/6/5/4/3 cameras
Avg. Price: $140 | Bargain Price: $80
The SteadiCam Volt has positive reviews from Amazon customers who were willing to invest time and energy into set up and calibration. One happy reviewer said that using the Volt is like driving a car with manual transmission: You need to practice before you can use it effectively and comfortably.
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