The best DSLR gimbals for mirrorless and SLR camera users in 2023

Best DSLR and mirrorless camera gimbals
(Image credit: Alistair Campbell)

The best DSLR and mirrorless camera gimbals don't just stabilize your camera to cut out the jitters, they control and smooth out deliberate camera movements to bring super-smooth panning and tracking shots. They are especially effective for 'run and gun' style filming, where both you and the camera are physically following your subject. 

• Also see our best smartphone gimbal (opens in new tab) and best GoPro gimbal (opens in new tab) guides.

Most mirrorless cameras now come with in-body stabilization systems that the makers would like us to believe can offer 'gimbal-like' stabilization, but that's not how it works. IBIS systems have only a limited range of movement to compensate for camera wobbles, and they can do nothing to smooth out panning movements, and even with 'active' digital stabilization, they can't match the smoothness of a gimbal if you need to walk and film at the same time.

Gimbals use gyroscopic sensors and motorized pan, tilt and roll axes. They offer different shooting modes for Pan Follow movements where the camera stays level, Follow modes where the camera can tilt up and down too, and POV modes where you can create deliberate roll effects too.

They are the ideal complement to the best video tripods (opens in new tab), providing stability when you and the camera need to move to follow the action and shooting from a static position is not an option.

Gimbals come in different sizes, weights and payload capacities. We have a separate guide to the best smartphone gimbals, which are the smallest and lightest, but this guide is for heavier-duty gimbals capable of supporting the best DSLRs (opens in new tab), the best mirrorless cameras and, in some cases, the best cinema cameras (opens in new tab).

Every gimbal has to be 'balanced' for the camera and lens combination you're using so that its weight is centered over the axes of movement and the gimbal motors are not overloaded. Even with balancing, you need to make sure that your camera kit's weight is within the gimbal's payload capacity in order for it to carry out its full range of movements smoothly.

With the prices of gimbals falling, they are more accessible than ever before. Even as an amateur filmmaker, you'll instantly notice the difference in your footage when shooting with a gimbal.

So let's get into it, and look at the best DSLR and mirrorless camera gimbals for filmmaking right now!

The best DSLR and mirrorless camera gimbals in 2022

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(Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)
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This compact gimbal feature shandy in-app controls and can be used to shoot panoramic stills

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

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OLED display/settings controls
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Excellent app with more options
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Useful pano mode for stills, too!

Reasons to avoid

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Some cameras not supported
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Quite a learning curve for novices
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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 (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: George Cairns)
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Makes heavy cameras appear to float like a feather as they glide, tilt, track and pan

Specifications

Compatibility: Mirrorless and DSLR cameras weighing up to 4.5kg
Stabilization: 3-axis
Weight: 1.1kg
Dimensions: 415 x 218 x 195 mm
Battery life (approx): 12 hours

Reasons to buy

+
Supports up to 4.5kg (10 lbs)
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OLED touch screen
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Physical Mode Switch
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Fine-tune knob to tweak tilt balance

Reasons to avoid

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Precise balancing can still be tricky
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Priced for pros

Firmly aimed at the professional videographer, this powerful stabiliser enables you to make Hollywood style camera moves with a heavy camera and lens payload (up to 4.5kg). New features such as a tilt balance fine-tuning knob and physical Mode Switch help you get up and running more quickly and the new and larger OLED touchscreen is brighter and easier to see than on older Ronin models.

Read more: DJI RS 3 Pro Combo review (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: DJI)
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Designed for use with mirrorless cameras, it can take up to 2kg and it's competitively priced

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

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Great stabilisation out of the box
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Quality build yet accessibly priced
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11-hour rechargeable battery life

Reasons to avoid

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Can still feel heavy after prolonged use
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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 (opens in new tab) or Fujifilm X-T4 (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Alistair Campbell)
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This beat of a gimbal is aimed at professional filmmakers using top-spec cine cameras

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

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6.5kg payload
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Dual carrying options
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Powerful enough serious cine gear

Reasons to avoid

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Very heavy for handheld use
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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.

Read more: Zhiyun Crane 3S review (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Gudsen)
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Designed for heavier, DSLR cameras with a massive 4.2kg payload

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

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Generous payload capacity
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Great functionality for the price

Reasons to avoid

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Fewer features than Ronin-S
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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.

Read more: MOZA Air 2 review (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: George Cairns)
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Glide, tilt and pan straight from your smartphone with the DJI RS 3 combo

Specifications

Compatibility: Mirrorless and DSLR cameras weighing up to 6490g
Stabilization: 3-axis
Weight: 1.3kg
Dimensions: 410 x 260 x 195 mm
Battery life (approx): 12 hours

Reasons to buy

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Up to 3kg payload
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Touch screen
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Physical mode switch
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Bluetooth shutter button
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Cog wheel to tweak balance

Reasons to avoid

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Unbalanced by changing lens length
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Long lenses may not fit

The DJI RS 3 may not be an essential buy if you already own the RS 2, but you may be attracted by the latest model’s extended battery life, the new physical mode switch and the auto locking and unlocking axes feature. If you don’t already own a heavy-lifting gimbal but want to make your DSLR or mirrorless camera float, pan, and tilt like a Hollywood steadicam then the RS 3 will do the job nicely.

Read more: DJI RS 3 Combo review (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: George Cairns)
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You can get your camera to glide, tilt and pan and even make moves via remote control

Specifications

Compatibility: Mirrorless and DSLR cameras weighing up to 6490g
Stabilization: 3-axis
Weight: 2kg
Dimensions: 19.6 x 29 x 46cm
Battery life (approx): 10 hours

Reasons to buy

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Supports up to 3.4kg
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Touch screen changes modes
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Comes with Gimbal 300XM app

Reasons to avoid

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Slow to charge (2.6hrs)
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Rebalancing with some zooms

If you’ve been struggling to find a gimbal that will effortlessly carry a DSLR (or mirrorless camera) and large lens then the 300XM could be the answer. It enables you to perform smooth pans, tilts and tracking moves with your usual DSLR kit but you could find that your arm begins to ache quite quickly. The ability to control the gimbal remotely via Gyro mode could be useful for certain scenarios (and it’s very cool to demonstrate!). A powerful heavy lifter!

Read more: Manfrotto MVG300XM gimbal review (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: George Cairns)
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A super-versatile gimbal that can be used for smaller mirrorless cameras and smartphones

Specifications

Compatibility: Smartphone, smaller mirrorless camera
Stabilization: 3-axis
Weight: 787g
Dimensions: 228 x 179 x 272mm unfolded
Battery life (approx): 13h

Reasons to buy

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Sling arm for low angles
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Programmable dial

Reasons to avoid

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Occasional vibration 
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Didn’t auto track subject via app

The FeiyuTech Scorp Mini is an incredibly lightweight and manoeuvrable gimbal that will suit the needs of smartphone and mirrorless camera users when it comes to shooting pans, tilts and tracking shots while keeping your horizon level. The sling arm enables you to get low angle shots with ease and you can also make smooth moves using the tactile front knob and rear joystick. Juts bear in mind that given the compact size of the gimbal it won’t suit cameras with a long lens – but of course it handles smartphones with ease.

Read more: FeiyuTech Scorp Mini review

(Image credit: George Cairns)
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The Manfrotto MVG460 is a heavy lifter for larger camera and lens combinations

Specifications

Compatibility: Mirrorless and DSLR kits up to 4.6kg
Stabilization: 3-axis
Weight: 1.656kg
Dimensions: 175 x 240 x 429 cm
Battery life (approx): 12h

Reasons to buy

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Supports up to 4.6kg
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Touch screen to change modes
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Rear handle for extra support

Reasons to avoid

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Horizon not always level
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Doesn’t cable control Fujifilm cameras

If you’ve been struggling to find a gimbal that will carry a heavy payload then the Manfrotto MVG460 could be the answer. It enables you to perform smooth pans, tilts and tracking moves with your DSLR (or mirrorless kit), especially when the supplied tripod/handle is attached to the rear versatile arm for extra support. The main niggle we had was that balancing the camera could take a while and a few tweaks via the app were occasionally required to level the horizon before shooting. We were disappointed that we couldn’t trigger our Fujifilm X-S10 to start and stop shooting  using the gimbal’s buttons (but you should be fine with Canon, Nikon and Sony).

Read more: Manfrotto MVG460 review

(Image credit: George Cairns)
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The Crane M2S is another 'multi-device' gimbal for both cameras and smartphones

Specifications

Compatibility: Smartphone and smaller mirrorless cameras
Stabilization: 3-axis
Weight: 550g
Dimensions: 240 x 68 x 150mm
Battery life (approx): 10h approx

Reasons to buy

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Smooth roll, tilt and pan action
+
Built-in fill light

Reasons to avoid

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No smartphone remote control
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Struggles with mirrorless cameras

The Zhiyun Crane M2S enables you to perform a combination of tilts, pans and even rolls with your smartphone or action camera so that you can capture professional steadicam style clips. Its quick release plate enables you to detach a camera and remount a different one with a minimum of fuss and effort. It will even shine a little light on your selfies thanks to a built-in fill light. On the downside, you might need to keep an eye on the plastic joystick knob to make sure it stays attached. The joystick isn’t essential but it does help you fine-tune the starting position of the gimbal for perfect composition. We found the Crane M2S also struggled with the weight and dimensions of even mid-size mirrorless cameras like the GH5.

Read more: Zhiyun Crane M2S Combo review

Other buying guides

Best action cams (opens in new tab)
Best 360 cameras (opens in new tab)
Best cameras for YouTube (opens in new tab)
Best cameras for vlogging (opens in new tab)
Best 4K cameras for filmmaking (opens in new tab)
Best camera phone (opens in new tab)
Best video tripods (opens in new tab)
Best camera sliders (opens in new tab)
Best on-camera monitors (opens in new tab)
Best LED light panels (opens in new tab)

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Rod Lawton
Contributor

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at fotovolo.com (opens in new tab) but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at lifeafterphotoshop.com (opens in new tab)