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The best gimbals for your iPhone, GoPro, mirrorless camera or DSLR in 2021

Included in this guide:

The best gimbals and stabilizers for videomaking
(Image credit: DJI)

There's no substitute for the best gimbals when it comes to shooting smooth, professional-looking video footage. If you want to avoid the amateurish shaky-cam look that comes with unstabilised moving footage, then a gimbal should be your first port of call. Modern cameras and some high-end smartphones do have internal stabilisations systems that help somewhat, but they've got nothing on a good gimbal.

For the uninitiated, a gimbal is a mechanical stabilizer that uses at least two, and more commonly three, axes of rotation to keep a camera steady. A gimbal compensates for unwanted movements, such as unintentional hand movements by the camera operator, using three internal motors and a series of algorithms. They're so sophisticated these days that they know the difference between intentional and unintentional camera movements, and this allows the user to create shots with smooth, professional-looking movement. Which is all to the good, as nothing marks a video out as amateur more quickly than jerky, choppy camera moves. 

Even if you only want to shoot video on an amateur level, you'll be blown away by how much more pleasant the results are with a gimbal. What's more, many of them are highly affordable, allowing you to get professional results at amateur prices. 

There are three main players in the gimbal market, including DJI with gimbals like the DJI RSC 2, FeiyuTech, Moza and Zhiyun, with its recent Zhiyun Weebill 2 for DSLR and mirrorless cameras

The best part is that you can find a suitable gimbal no matter what kind of camera you're using. If you're shooting films on a DSLR or quick TikTok videos on a smartphone, there will be a good gimbal for you, which will fit your device perfectly. It's just a matter of sussing out which one is right for you! That's why we've divided our guide up into sections for the different types of camera people use for video:

Best gimbals for smartphones: Essentially a stabilised selfie-stick, this type of gimbal comes with a smartphone mount that can be adjusted to fit a variety of models. 

Best gimbal cameras: These neat, pocket-sized gimbals have their own built-in cameras, and do everything you need in a single package. 

Best gimbals for action cameras: While more recent action cams from the likes of GoPro and DJI have their own stabilisation systems, a gimbal will smooth out wild and erratic camera movements to give your videos a more professional look.

Best gimbals for DSLR and mirrorless cameras: If you're planning more serious vlogging and filmmaking, these gimbals can take the weight of full-size camera and lens combination. Mirrorless cameras are typically a little lighter, but bigger gimbals can handle heavier DSLRs too.

Let's get into it, and look at the best gimbals for filmmaking right now!

The best gimbal stabilizers in 2021

Best gimbals for smartphones

(Image credit: DJI)

A superb smartphone stabilizer for a bargain price - you can’t go wrong

Specifications
Compatibility: Smartphone (67 to 84mm width)
Stabilization: 3-axis
Weight: 390g
Dimensions: Unfolded: 276 119.6 x 103.6mm, Folded: 163 x 99.5 x 46.5mm
Battery life (approx): 15 hours
Reasons to buy
+Class-leading performance+Superb battery life+Convenient magnetic mounting system
Reasons to avoid
-Pricier than Osmo Mobile 3-No camera-swapping while recording

DJI's Osmo Mobile gimbals have been leading the market in smartphone stabilisation for some time now. Nothing else really offers the same balance of functionality and build quality, never better exemplified than in the DJI OM 4 (a refreshed naming convention; no relation to the Olympus OM4 film SLR). 

This lightweight device is the best gimbal you can buy for your smartphone right now. The new magnetic mounting system is a godsend (provided you don't mind leaving the clasp attached to your phone) making it easier than ever to attach and detach the device. The 3-axis stabilisation is, of course, excellent, providing smooth movement and making it easy to achieve effects like a classic Hitchcockian dolly zoom. There's also a suite of functionality for your smartphone once you connect it via the app.

The motor on the OM 4 has been upgraded to handle heat much better, and it is generally a smoother, more polished experience than the Osmo Mobile 3. If budget is a concern, you may want to look at the Osmo Mobile 3 as a cheaper alternative. 

(Image credit: Zhiyun)

Extra light, compact, and brilliantly affordable

Specifications
Compatibility: Smartphone (50 to 90mm width)
Stabilization: 3-axis
Weight: 246g
Dimensions: with center post extended: 508 x 57 x 56mm, folded: 145 x 65 x 56mm
Battery life (approx): 5.5 hours
Reasons to buy
+Great stabilization+Small and compact+Affordable
Reasons to avoid
-Plastic build-ZY Cami app isn't compatible with every phone

The Zhiyun Smooth X is a great piece of kit in a compact and lightweight package. It features a plastic build, but the affordable price tag helps make this smartphone gimbal a very tempting proposition for anyone looking to upgrade their smartphone videography or vlogging. Plus, the ability to swivel the gimbal head into portrait orientation helps make this gimbal an indispensable piece of kit for any vlogger.

One of our only niggles with the Zhiyun Smooth X is that the ZY Cami app that you need to use in order to set up the gimbal isn't compatible with every phone. However, most phones are capable of running the app, so check the compatibility list here if you're unsure.

Read more: Zhiyun Smooth X review

(Image credit: Zhiyun)

The best iPhone gimbal with the smoothest ride

Specifications
Compatibility: Smartphone (62 to 85mm width)
Stabilization: 3-axis
Weight: 547g
Dimensions: 328 x 123 x 105mm
Battery life (approx): 12 hours
Reasons to buy
+Abundance of features +Beautiful, smooth footage 
Reasons to avoid
-A little heavy-Poorly optimised for Android

A huge percentage of video that’s uploaded to the internet every year is shot on an iPhone. And this isn’t just cat videos and Instagram Stories – more and more professional content creators are turning to the iPhone as a reliable means of capturing great footage. Gimbal-wise, the best buy for the iPhone user right now is the Zhiyun-Tech Smooth 4 stabilizer, a gimbal that refines what’s come before to provide a great stabilization solution at an attractive price. Its generous on-body controls include a large wheel that can be used for focusing or zooming, which makes using the gimbal a pleasingly tactile experience. When paired with the app, the Smooth 4 also allows for creation of many useful effects such as moving time-lapse, and there’s a special ‘Vertigo’ function that produces a perspective-shifting dolly zoom effect. Bear in mind that the Smooth series has something of a reputation among Android users for unreliability, so this is definitely one for the iPhone crowd.

Best gimbals: Zhiyun Smooth Q3

(Image credit: Zhiyun)

A built-in fill light increases the applications of this gimbal

Specifications
Compatibility: Smartphone (7-10mm thickness/280g max.)
Stabilization: 3-axis
Weight: 340g
Dimensions: 90 x 127 x 279mm
Battery life (approx): 15 hours
Reasons to buy
+4,300K light+Smart tracking/follow features
Reasons to avoid
-No two-way charging-Overall a bit flimsy

With plenty of different gimbals on the market, it's always worth paying attention to those that add a little something extra to stand out. The Zhiyun Smooth Q3 adds a built-in reversible fill light to the usual 3-axis stabilisation, which opens up a few more options for smartphone video shooters. Though the build is somewhat plasticky and the handle a bit small, the Zhiyun Smooth Q3 generally does a good job of keeping smartphone footage stable, especially for the price. Its tracking modes function well, and integrate well with the aforementioned ZY Cami app. Though we do wish the app could be a little less intrusive; does it really need to know our location and personal details just to keep a smartphone balanced? 

(Image credit: Future)

5. Feiyutech Vimble 2

A smartphone gimbal and selfie-stick in one, and all for a bargain price

Specifications
Compatibility: Smartphone (57 to 84mm width)
Stabilization: 3-axis
Weight: 428g
Dimensions: 323 x 118 x 110.5mm
Battery life (approx): 5 hours
Reasons to buy
+Clever selfie-stick extension feature+Decent stabilisation+Very well priced
Reasons to avoid
-Mediocre battery life-Build quality not the most solid-Osmo Mobile 3 still better value

The Vimble 2 has been around for a while and can now be found at rock-bottom prices. And it’s not just the low cost that’s attractive, as the Vimble 2 has an unusual party piece. Pull the handle away from the lower arm and a four-section telescoping pole is revealed, allowing the gimbal to double as a selfie-stick. It’s useful if you’re vlogging and need to capture a larger group in selfie mode, though with only 18cm of extension, we’d wager the folding compactness of the competing DJI Osmo Mobile 3 will be a more useful feature on a daily basis.

We’ve got no complaints when it comes to stablisation, as the Vimble 2 is effective straight from powering up. The phone’s holder can be manually moved using a joystick on the handle, and for additional features like face and subject tracking, there’s the Feiyu ON app. This enables digital camera zoom via the physical slider on the Vimble 2 handle, as well as reliable object tracking.

Build quality and ergonomics aren’t quite up there with the Osmo Mobile 3, however, and at 428g the Vimble 2 is a touch heavier. The 5-hour battery life is also significantly shorter than you get from the DJI.

Best gimbals: Zhiyun Smooth XS

(Image credit: Zhiyun)

A super-portable gimbal that'll suit travellers and social media addicts

Specifications
Compatibility: Smartphone (50 to 90mm width)
Stabilization: 2-axis
Weight: 428g
Dimensions: 260 x 57 x 56 mm
Battery life (approx): 5.5 hours
Reasons to buy
+Small, light and affordable+Handy face tracking
Reasons to avoid
-2 axis only-Built around selfie camera

If you like the look of the Zhiyun Smooth X above, but could do with something a little smaller (and cheaper!) then the Zhiyun Smooth XS might just fit the bill. It only stabilises on two axes, not three, but that's reflected in the price, and for the applications it's intended for – TikTok, YouTube vlogging, and that sort of thing. With a telescopic selfie stick, the Smooth XS makes selfie-shooting a breeze; in fact, some users might feel that it's oriented a little too heavily around a phone's lower-quality selfie camera. But if that's the camera you use most of the time, then this gimbal will provide you with loads of useful features, at a great price. 

(Image credit: Future)

7. FeiyuTech VLOG Pocket

Worth a look if you need the lightest possible smartphone gimbal

Specifications
Compatibility: Smartphone (42 to 88mm width)
Stabilization: 3-axis
Weight: 272g
Dimensions: Unfolded: 67 x 91 x 242mm, Folded: 109 x 55.5 x 146mm
Battery life (approx): 8 hours
Reasons to buy
+Incredibly light and small when folded+Decent stabilization performance+Inexpensive
Reasons to avoid
-Feels cheap-Lacks some typical controls and features

As its name suggests, the VLOG Pocket is all about portability. A hinged lower arm enables the gimbal to fold into a 109 x 56 x 146mm package - noticeably smaller than the folding DJI OM4. What’s more, at just 272g, this is one of the lightest smartphone gimbals on the market.

However, some compromises have been made to achieve this, as material quality is very plasticky, and the handle section feels especially cheap. You also have to do without a physical joystick control for manual movement, but it’s easy to switch between portrait and landscape orientation. There’s also Bluetooth connectivity, which combined with the Feiyu ON app enables trick features like object tracking, time-lapse photography, slow motion and dolly zoom effects.

Stabilisation is smooth and effective, though the experience isn’t quite as intuitive as with the uncannily smart DJI OM4. The pared-down gimbal arm dimensions also mean you’ll need to mount a larger phone carefully to avoid it knocking against the arm during some movements.

Despite the ultra-low weight, the built-in rechargeable 1300mAh battery is capable of a long 8-hour runtime. And if this black version is a little too pedestrian for you, the VLOG Pocket is also available in pink.

Best all-in-one stabilized camera

(Image credit: DJI)

A really compact stabilized camera, now with 64MP stills!

Specifications
Compatibility: N/A
Stabilization: 3-axis
Weight: 117g
Dimensions: 124.7×38.1×30mm
Battery life (approx): 140 mins
Reasons to buy
+Best-in-class pocketable stabilization+Creator Combo is perfect for vloggers+Crisp video
Reasons to avoid
-Poor noise-handling-Struggles with highlights-Gets hot when shooting 4K

If you want a best-in-class tool when it comes to combining stable video and pocketable size, nothing else trumps the DJI Pocket 2. As part of the Creator Combo, external audio and the ultra-wide lens are excellent additions, and it’s basically a pocket studio. Noise handling is probably the Pocket 2’s weakest area, and it struggles with highlights, though in most well-lit environments, the convenience, versatility, and stabilization it offers can’t be overstated.

Read more: DJI Pocket 2 review

Best gimbal: Benro Snoppa Vmate

(Image credit: Benro)

This DJI Pocket 2 rival works in a very similar way but is cheaper to buy

Specifications
Compatibility: N/A
Stabilization: 3-axis
Weight: 116g
Dimensions: 121.9 x 36.9 x 28.6mm
Battery life (approx): 210 mins (max)
Reasons to buy
+Small enough to carry everywhere+Includes case with smartphone grip+Good quality, stabilised 4K footage
Reasons to avoid
-No control over shutter speed-Hard to position accurately with controls-Needs a phone connected for full options

Easy to use, but at times frustrating, the Benro Snoppa Vmate is capable of producing very attractive 4K video and 12MP images – especially if you switch from shooting JPEGs to DNG raw files. There’s the odd glitch in the gimbal movements, but it’s good at making watchable footage from video captured when you’re walking or running and it’s great for spontaneous recording.

Read more: Benro Snoppa Vmate review

Best gimbals for action cameras

(Image credit: GoPro)

10. GoPro Karma Grip

Packed with features for older GoPro cameras

Specifications
Compatibility: GoPro Hero 7 Black, Hero 6 Black, Hero 5 Black, Hero 4 Black (harness required), Hero 4 Silver (required)
Stabilization: 3-axis
Weight: 487g
Dimensions: 149 x 109 x 83mm (stabilizer); 205 x 43 x 43mm (handle)
Battery life (approx): 2 hours
Reasons to buy
+Extensive camera control+Removable grip
Reasons to avoid
-Older GoPro models only-Not compatible with GoPro Hero8  or Hero9 Black-Expensive

A legacy left over from the ill-fated GoPro Karma drone, the Karma grip is still an excellent handheld stabilizer in its own right, and its detachable grip means it can also double up as a wearable Steadicam tool. Offering a broad range of camera controls thanks to integrated buttons on the grip, this well-designed stabilizer is very easy to introduce into your shoots, allowing you to offload footage without disconnecting the camera. While it’s an expensive option, if you’re firmly committed to the ecosystem, this gimbal is arguably the best GoPro buy you can make. Note that this is NOT compatible with the GoPro Hero8 Black or GoPro Hero9 Black.

(Image credit: FeiyuTech)

11. FeiyuTech G6

High-tech, splashproof and ergonomically designed

Specifications
Compatibility: GoPro Hero8 Black, Hero7 Black, Hero6 Black, Hero5 Black, Sony RX0 and other action cameras of similar dimensions (note that cameras other than those named above may not offer full app compatibility)
Stabilization: 3-axis
Weight: 336g
Dimensions: 271 x 119 x 38mm
Battery life (approx): 12 hours
Reasons to buy
+Useful status screen+Extensive camera control+Compatible with GoPro Hero8 Black
Reasons to avoid
-Loss of app functionality with some cameras-Some noticeable motor noise

Great battery life. Functionality control via the app. Physical controls. An OLED status LCD screen for quick checking of settings. A splashproof design. The FeiyuTech G6 ticks a hell of a lot of boxes for the action camera user, and is a really solid choice of stabilizer whether you’re using a GoPro Hero, Sony RX0 or some other type of action camera such as a Yi 4K. It’s designed to operated at an angle where the gimbal never obscures the camera’s screen, meaning you can always get a precise read of what you’re shooting. Just be wary if you're using the on-board mic; the gimbal motor sits rather close and sometimes gets picked up.

(Image credit: Removu)

12. Removu S1

An all-weather GoPro gimbal

Specifications
Compatibility: GoPro Session, Hero 3, Hero 3+, Hero 4, Hero 5 and Hero 6
Stabilization: 3-axis
Weight: 380g
Dimensions: 32.8 x 32.0 x 160.4mm
Battery life (approx): 5 hours
Reasons to buy
+Comprehensive rain-proofing +Removable grip with remote controls 
Reasons to avoid
-Quite pricey -Limited battery life 

With strong, rugged weatherproofing, the Removu S1 makes a great pairing with a GoPro camera, and is compatible with the majority of contemporary models. Like the Karma Grip its handle is detachable, meaning you can easily also use it as a wearable stabilizer, and there’s also remote control functionality built into the grip to allow you to operate the camera with it even when the two are separated. While the Li-Ion battery doesn’t last especially long compared to competitors, the fact that it’s removable means it’s easy to simply pack a spare if you know you’re in for a long shoot. 

Best gimbals for DSLR and mirrorless cameras

(Image credit: DJI)

The spiritual successor to the DJI Ronin-SC is just a superb gimbal

Specifications
Compatibility: DSLR/mirrorless camera (up to 3kg weight)
Stabilization: Three-axis
Weight: 1.2kg
Dimensions: Folded: 260×210×75mm, Unfolded: 400×185×175mm
Battery life (approx): 14 hours
Reasons to buy
+OLED display/settings controls+Excellent app with more options+Useful pano mode for stills, too!
Reasons to avoid
-Some cameras not supported-Quite a learning curve for novices-You might need a second handle

The DJI RSC 2 has pretty much everything you could ask for, including a clever folding design for easy storage and a ‘briefcase’ shooting mode, an OLED display so that you don’t have to adjust everything with its companion smartphone app, new Titan stabilisation algorithms, a 3kg payload that can handle mirrorless cameras and DSLRs, even with quite big lenses, and a 14-hour battery life. Even balancing the camera is made easy (well, as easy as it can be). It doesn’t work with every camera, though.

Read more: DJI RSC 2 review

(Image credit: Future)

Still on sale alongside the new DJI RSC 2, the Ronin-SC is great value

Specifications
Compatibility: DSLR/mirrorless camera (up to 2kg weight)
Stabilization: Three-axis
Weight: 1.1kg
Dimensions: Unfolded: 370 x 165 x 150mm, Folded: 220×200×75 mm
Battery life (approx): 11 hours
Reasons to buy
+Great stabilisation out of the box+Quality build yet accessibly priced+11-hour rechargeable battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Can still feel heavy after prolonged use-Only suitable for lighter mirrorless setups

DJI's Ronin-SC has been specifically designed for mirrorless camera setups up to 2kg in total weight. That’s considerably less than DJI’s bigger Ronin-S can support, but the Ronin-SC is 400g lighter at 1.1kg. Despite this, construction quality still feels first class.

The SC’s capacity is plenty for a camera like a Canon EOS R or Fujifilm X-T4, but it’s best to steer clear of bulky and heavy lenses, as these can be tough and sometimes impossible to balance properly. At least each axis can be individually locked, making initial balancing much easier, and, and the SC folds surprisingly compact.

Once you’re ready to shoot, there are plenty of features to explore. Arguably the most impressive is Active Track 3.0. This uses your phone’s camera and a very clever DJI app to automatically track subjects. The system requires your phone to be mounted on top of your main camera, but a hot-shoe clamp is provided. The only issue with this arrangement is it makes your camera quite top-heavy, so you’ll need to re-calibrate some pivot points.

• Read DJI Ronin-SC review

(Image credit: FeiyuTech)

15. FeiyuTech MG Lite

Smooth, one-handed mirrorless camera operation

Specifications
Compatibility: Mirrorless and DSLR cameras weighing up to 1630g
Stabilization: 3-axis
Weight: 887g
Dimensions: 318 x 119 x 267 mm
Battery life (approx): 6 hours
Reasons to buy
+360 camera rotation for all axes +Useful control stick 
Reasons to avoid
-Calibration can be fiddly (make sure your firmware is up to date) 

Given the relative lightness of mirrorless cameras, one-handed gimbals are a boon for the filmmaker using light CSCs like those made by Sony or Panasonic. The Feiyu MG Lite is a great example, blending a lightweight build with impressive depth of functionality. Its design allows the camera to move in 360 degrees in all directions, allowing for total freedom of movement while shooting. The MG Lite can be set in three modes: Panning, Panning/Tilting and Lock, allowing you to restrict it to just the kind of movements you want, and the four-directional control stick also allows for manual control of the camera’s angle. It packs down well too, making it a good choice for the travelling filmmaker.

(Image credit: Gudsen)

Supporting heavier DSLR setups, this is an impressive pro gimbal for a good price

Specifications
Compatibility: DSLR/mirrorless camera (up to 4.2kg weight)
Stabilization: Three-axis
Weight: 1.6kg
Dimensions: 490 x 250 x 260 mm
Battery life (approx): 16 hours
Reasons to buy
+Generous payload capacity+Great functionality for the price
Reasons to avoid
-Fewer features than Ronin-S-Long charge time

Promising moving footage that’s smoother than smooth, the Gudsen MOZA Air 2 is capable of handling heavier DSLR and cinema camera setups with long professional lenses, up to a maximum payload of 4.2kg. It offers a 3-axis stabilization system and produces impressive footage when moving, as well as providing eight follow modes. There’s also a nice selection of time-lapse functions, and users planning for a long day’s shoot will be pleased to note that its four batteries give it a total battery life of up to 16 hours (though be aware that this requires a 5-hour charge time).

Also included in this newer version of the original MOZA Air are a quick-release plate, auto-tune modes that assess a camera’s weight and compensate accordingly, and useful physical controls including a joystick and rotating wheel, making handling a pleasingly tactile experience. For the price, it’s impressively featured, and is a great way to expand your filmmaking potential without breaking the bank.

(Image credit: Zhiyun)

Sophisticated stabilization for serious filmmaking

Specifications
Compatibility: Mirrorless and DSLR cameras weighing up to 6490g
Stabilization: 3-axis
Weight: 2470g
Dimensions: 346 x 344 x 98mm
Battery life (approx): 12 hours
Reasons to buy
+6.5kg payload+Dual carrying options+Powerful enough serious cine gear
Reasons to avoid
-Very heavy for handheld use-Some controls awkwardly placed

The Zhiyun Crane 3S is a heavy duty powered stabilizing gimbal for larger mirrorless, DSLR or cinema cameras. It's a total redesign from previous Zhiyun gimbals, with the addition of detachable handle options, a large 6.5kg payload, an updated axis-locking system, external power input, and the ViaTouch 2.0 motion control system. It's an update to the previous Zhiyun Crane 3 Lab, but with a payload increase of around 45%.

The Crane 3S gives very smooth and steady footage and can handle a huge range of cameras. The performance and smoothness of the camera movements are impressive. But while it certainly boasts a great payload capacity and long battery life, it's heavy to carry as a run-and-gun gimbal, so this isn’t something you’d take out with you and use all day. But if you need to shoot handheld or ground-level video with cine gear that's a step up from a regular mirrorless camera, this is the tool for the job.

(Image credit: Future)

18. FeiyuTech AK4500

A decent buy, but only if you need to support very heavy DSLRs for long shoots

Specifications
Compatibility: Mirrorless and DSLR cameras weighing up to 4.6kg
Stabilization: 3-axis
Weight: 1.66kg
Dimensions: 429 x 240 x 175mm
Battery life (approx): 12 hours
Reasons to buy
+Massive payload capacity+Tough build+Two-handle and rig support options
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey next to 4kg-capable AK4000 model-Stabilisation could be better out of the box 

The AK4500 sits at the top of FeiyuTech's gimbal range and can support a whopping 4.6kg of camera and lens - easily enough for a full-frame DSLR and 24-70mm f/2.8. The gimbal's 1.6kg weight is impressively low considering how stout it is, but add a hefty camera/lens and the 5kg+ combined weight can get tiresome. Fortunately FeiyuTech has thought of this, and the AK4500 can be fitted with a secondary handle, itself incorporating additional gimbal controls, making low-angle tracking shots much more comfortable.

An LCD touchscreen on the main handle provides stabilisation info and, combined with the multi-function ‘Magic Ring’ control dial, allows remote control of camera functions like focus and zoom, as well as ISO and exposure - camera-compatibility permitting. FeiyuTech’s Feiyu ON app connects to the gimbal via Bluetooth and offers additional control options. Power comes from four standard 18650 Li-ion cells good for 12 hours stabilization, and FeiyuTech includes a separate charger.

The AK4500 gives effective stabilization for larger DSLR setups, though careful initial balancing is essential to achieve best results. You'll also need to experiment with the various stabilization modes, as we found it initially tricky to smoothly follow moving subjects.

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Ben Andrews

Ben is the Imaging Labs manager, responsible for all the testing on Digital Camera World and across the entire photography portfolio at Future. Whether he's in the lab testing the sharpness of new lenses, the resolution of the latest image sensors, the zoom range of monster bridge cameras or even the latest camera phones, Ben is our go-to guy for technical insight. He's also the team's man-at-arms when it comes to camera bags, filters, memory cards, and all manner of camera accessories – his lab is a bit like the Batcave of photography! With years of experience trialling and testing kit, he's a human encyclopedia of benchmarks when it comes to recommending the best buys.