Zhiyun launches the Smooth 5S, its new professional smartphone gimbal

Zhiyun Smooth 5S
(Image credit: Zhiyun)

Zhiyun has updated its Smooth 5 smartphone gimbal to the Smooth 5S, to allow for a larger generation of camera phones and wider angles of view, together with add-on lenses.

The best camera phones are excellent video tools but they are getting larger all the time, many have wide-angle lenses and vertical shooting is becoming the social media norm, prompting Zhiyun's latest smartphone gimbal upgrade. Zhiyun features regularly in our list of the best gimbals.

The Zhiyun Smooth 5S is a professional 3-axis gimbal designed for solo shooters. Compared to the previous version it’s more powerful, with superior stabilization thanks to upgraded motor algorithms.

It keeps the unique feature of its predecessor – snap-on 300 lumen magnetic fill lights which can be placed either side of the phone clamp – and adds a third fixed fill light mounted on the tilt arm. The two magnetic lights are optional extras, though you do get one included with the Smooth 5S Combo kit.

The Smooth 5S works with Zhiyun’s ZY Cami app to offer a range of ‘follow’ options, with MagicClone Pano, Slow Motion, Timelapse features features, together with templates, filters, music, transitions and stickers. It can even by operated by gestures. 

The gimbal itself has an integral control panel with a mode display, fill light button, a joystick for controlling the gimbal direction, a side control wheel for zoom or focus, and a portrait mode switch for quickly swapping to vertical shooting, made possible with the Smooth 5S’s wider phone mounting.

Zhiyun quotes a battery life of up to 25 hours, and says that the recharge time is just two hours via PD fast charging.

(Image credit: Zhiyun)

Zhiyun Smooth 5S pricing

The Smooth 5S will come in a standard version at $169/£169 (about AU$261) or a Combo kit costing $219/£219 (about AU$338). The Combo kit adds a mini tripod to screw into the gimbal base, a magnetic fill light and filters, a wrist strap, protective bag, USB-C charging cable and a Zhiyun membership card. 

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Rod Lawton

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 but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at lifeafterphotoshop.com