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

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

The best gimbals will keep your video footage smooth, stable and dynamic. Image stabilisers are great for static shots or slow movement, but if the camera movement is part of the action and your filming style, it's a gimbal that you need.

Whether you're using an iPhone, an action camera or a pro-spec DSLR, once you start producing video you're going to want to introduce camera movement to make your shots more dynamic. However, this isn't simply a matter of moving the camera around, and if you don't know what you're doing you can easily end up with jerky, unusable footage. 

The solution? Get a gimbal. A gimbal is mechanical stabilizer that uses three axes of rotation to keep a camera steady via three internal motors, which compensate for unintended camera motion, and use algorithms to detect when the camera is being moved intentionally, making for smooth moving shots.

What can they be useful for? Well, as far as video’s concerned… everything! Whether you’re vlogging in your bedroom, recording your child’s first football matches or producing brand content for social media, there’s really no type of video that can’t be dramatically improved by the introduction of a gimbal stabilizer.

To help you find the gimbal you need, we've split them up into three main categories:

Best gimbals for smartphones: You just clip your phone into the gimbal and use it like a super-stabilised selfie stick.

Best gimbal cameras: Incredibly neat pocket sized gimbals with their own built-in cameras.

Best gimbals for action cameras: Action cams typically have their own stabilisation systems, but 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: These are for serious vlogging and filmmaking and designed for 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 started…

The best gimbal stabilizers in 2021

Best gimbals for smartphones

(Image credit: Future)

1. DJI Osmo Mobile 3

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

Compatibility: Smartphone (62 to 88mm width) | Stabilization: 3-axis | Weight: 405g | Dimensions: Unfolded: 285 x 125 x 103mm, Folded: 157 x 130 x 46mm | Battery life (approx): 15 hours

Amazing battery life
Strong but lightweight foldable build
Effective, highly customizable stabilization
Initial app set-up and connection takes time
No camera-swapping while recording

The Osmo Mobile's spring-loaded clamp effortlessly accommodates even the largest phones, and its gimbal arm can rotate through 90 degrees for seamless switching between landscape and portrait orientation.

Construction is plasticy, but the Osmo still feels like a quality product, and the nicely sculpted ergonomic handle is comfortable for prolonged use. Comfort is further helped by the low 405g - 80g less than the Osmo Mobile 2 - which is all the more impressive given this new Osmo now has a hinged gimbal arm so it folds smaller for transportation.

There are few physical buttons, but the Osmo is crammed with features. Not only will it automatically detect when you intend to pan and tilt the camera and smooth this motion while still very effectively ironing out unintentional twitches, you can also choose between modes like Walk and Sport to adjust the intensity of the stabilisation. There’s even an option called Active Track, whereby the gimbal will automatically track a moving subject for you, with customizable tracking sensitivity.

Much of this functionality is accessed via the free companion DJI Mimo app that connects your phone to the Osmo via Bluetooth. This also enables you to zoom your phone’s camera using the physical zoom slider on the gimbal handle.

An updated version, the DJI OM4, has just been announced - which comes with a tripod base as standard, and offers a new magnetic mount system.

(Image credit: Zhiyun)

2. Zhiyun Smooth X

Extra light, compact, and brilliantly affordable

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

Great stabilization
Small and compact
Affordable
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)

3. Zhiyun Smooth 4

The smoothest ride for Apple iPhone users

Compatibility: Smartphone (62 to 85mm width) | Stabilization: 3-axis | Weight: 547g | Dimensions: 328 x 123 x 105mm | Battery life (approx): 12 hours

Abundance of features 
Beautiful, smooth footage 
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.

(Image credit: Future)

4. Feiyutech Vimble 2

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

Compatibility: Smartphone (57 to 84mm width) | Stabilization: 3-axis | Weight: 428g | Dimensions: 323 x 118 x 110.5mm | Battery life (approx): 5 hours

Clever selfie-stick extension feature
Decent stabilisation
Very well priced
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.

(Image credit: Future)

5. FeiyuTech VLOG Pocket

Worth a look if you need the lightest possible smartphone gimbal

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

Incredibly light and small when folded
Decent stabilization performance
Inexpensive
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 Osmo Mobile 3. 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 Osmo Mobile 3. 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)

6. DJI Pocket 2

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

Compatibility: N/A | Stabilization: 3-axis | Weight: 117g | Dimensions: 124.7×38.1×30mm | Battery life (approx): 140 mins

Best-in-class pocketable stabilization
Creator Combo is perfect for vloggers
Crisp video
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)

7. Benro Snoppa Vmate

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

Compatibility: N/A | Stabilization: 3-axis | Weight: 116g | Dimensions: 121.9 x 36.9 x 28.6mm | Battery life (approx): 210 mins (max)

Small enough to carry everywhere
Includes case with smartphone grip
Good quality, stabilised 4K footage
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)

8. GoPro Karma Grip

Packed with features and optimized for the latest GoPro cameras

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

Extensive camera control
Removable grip
Older GoPro models only
Not compatible with GoPro Hero8 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.

(Image credit: FeiyuTech)

9. FeiyuTech G6

High-tech, splashproof and ergonomically designed

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

Useful status screen
Extensive camera control
Compatible with GoPro Hero8 Black
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)

10. Removu S1

An all-weather GoPro gimbal

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

Comprehensive rain-proofing 
Removable grip with remote controls 
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

Best gimbal: DJI RSC 2

(Image credit: DJI)

11. DJI RSC 2

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

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

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

Best gimbal: DJI Ronin-SC

(Image credit: Future)

12. DJI Ronin-SC

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

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

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

13. FeiyuTech MG Lite

Smooth, one-handed mirrorless camera operation

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

360 camera rotation for all axes 
Useful control stick 
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: DJI)

14. DJI Ronin-S

Peerless build quality paired with silky-smooth stabilization for mirrorless cameras

Compatibility: Mirrorless and DSLR cameras weighing up to 3600g | Stabilization: 3-axis | Weight: 1859g | Dimensions: 202 x 185 x 486 mm | Battery life (approx): 12 hours

Fantastic, durable build
Impressive payload capacity
Heavy

The Ronin-S was the best single-handed gimbal around – until DJI unveiled its new carbon fiber RS 2. We've yet to test the RS 2 full, but in the meantime the Ronin-S is still on sale and is still one of our favorites. DJI has packed in a truly impressive feature set, from built-in follow focus functionality to easy time-lapse creation via the mobile app, and this is all housed in a body that looks and feels the part. The Ronin-S is a pleasure to use from the moment you take it out of the case, and its three motors will respond to your movements with amazing suppleness. It’s a weighty thing just by itself, so you may not want to use the maximum extent of its payload capacity lest you end up with a setup that’s difficult to wield for long periods. That’s why it’s the perfect fit for more lightweight mirrorless cameras.

(Image credit: Gudsen)

15. MOZA Air 2

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

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

Generous payload capacity
Great functionality for the price
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)

16. Zhiyun Crane 3S

Sophisticated stabilization for serious filmmaking

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

6.5kg payload
Dual carrying options
Powerful enough serious cine gear
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)

17. FeiyuTech AK4500

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

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

Massive payload capacity
Tough build
Two-handle and rig support options
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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