If you want to shoot professional-looking videos the best gimbals will help you do just that. Camera shake is an obvious sign you're an amateur and even if both your camera and lens have stabilization, you'll still see movement if you're shooting hand-held. If you're planning on walking or running while filming, you'll need a gimbal to ensure that your footage is as steady as can be.
The best gimbals are mechanical stabilizers that use at least two but normally three axes of rotation to keep a camera steady. A gimbal compensates for unwanted movements such as shaky hands or little stumbles. Nowadays, gimbals are sophisticated bits of kit that are able to tell the difference between intentional and unintentional movements which allows the operator to be creative with shots. A good videographer will have thought about composition in filmmaking and a gimbal will enable them to achieve smooth, clean camera movements.
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.
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 cameras people use for video:
Best gimbals for smartphones: Essentially a stabilized 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 stabilization 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 a 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 2022
Best gimbals for smartphones
The DJI OM 5 is DJI'S latest smartphone gimbal and the most lightweight one yet. It comes with a 21.5cm extendable pole which is perfect for shooting both photos and videos with a different perspective. DJI has gotten rid of the big, heavy battery in favor of a lighter, lower-powered one. Don't worry though, it'll still last over 6 hours and you could even charge it on the go using one of the best portable power banks. It feels well built and the smooth, rubber handle makes it sit comfortably in your hand. The joystick is perfectly positioned for easy operation and at just 290g your arm won't get tired when using it. It has a few nifty features such as gesture control which means you can initiate recording using the Peace 'V' symbol and ActiveTrack was effective at sticking to the subject. Our one little niggle is that the hinge at the top of the extension rod can be turned a little too easily - it's great for changing the orientation of your phone but not if you're opening the hinge in a hurry. We loved it so much we gave it five stars in the review.
Read more: DJI OM 5 review
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.
The Zhiyun Smooth X is a compact, lightweight mobile phone gimbal with a battery life of 5.5 hours. Despite its plastic build, it still feels well-made and the affordable price tag certainly makes it a tempting buy for anyone who wants to improve their smartphone filmmaking. Since you're able to swivel the gimbal head 90-degrees into portrait orientation, it makes it perfect for using for videos to be posted on TikTok or Instagram.
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
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.
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?
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.
Best all-in-one stabilized camera
If you want a camera and gimbal in a really compact, portable package, the DJI Pocket 2 might do just the trick. You can't beat it in terms of size, video specs and vlogging capabilities. If you buy it as part of the Creator Combo, with external audio and the ultra-wide lens add-on, it's basically a professional setup you can carry in your pocket. Noise handling is probably the Pocket 2's weakest area and it can struggle with high-lights. However, in well-lit environments, the convenience, versatility, stabilization and portability really can't be beaten.
Read more: DJI Pocket 2 review
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Other buying guides
Best action cams
Best 360 cameras
Best cameras for YouTube
Best cameras for vlogging
Best 4K cameras for filmmaking
Best cinema cameras
Best camera for streaming
Best camera phone
Best laptops for video editing
Best video accessories
Best microphones for vlogging
Best video tripods
Best camera sliders
Best on-camera monitors
Best LED light panels
Best collapsible backdrops