The kit came in a professional-looking box, clean and smart with all the accessories listed on the side with the QR code directly for the app. Inside the box came a solid practical carry case with all the accessories located with the additional slots to allow to add additional accessories. The carry case allows the portability to carry the case without the worries of losing odd accessories. The Zhiyun Smooth 5S is solid yet lightweight with 3-Axis Stabilizer which an appropriate locking mechanism, the kit has a Detachable Tripod, and USB-C Charging Cable. There is a digital display while minimal in terms of size of the screen, with a Light as required controlled via the dials. The Light has Dual-Side Magnetic to allow the colours to change with an extensive  Smartphone Compatibility List

Contents:

  •       1x Zhiyun Smooth 5S
  •       1x Mini Tripod For Smooth 5S
  •       1x USB Type-C Cable
  •       1x Wrist Strap
  •       1x Protective Bag
  •       1x Magnetic Fill Light
  •       4x Fill Light Filter
  •       1x Zhiyun Prime 1-Year Membership Card

 

Key features:

  •       3-Axis Stabilizer for 1-Person Capture
  •       Integrated & Magnetic Fill Lights
  •       Supports Larger Smartphones 5.3-10.6 oz
  •       For Phones 2 to 3.5″ Wide, 0.4″ Thick
  •       Sturdy Motors, Upgraded Algorithm
  •       Livestreaming via Mobile App
  •       Various Templates & Gimbal Modes
  •       2-Hour PD Charging/Up to 25-Hour Runtime
  •       Detachable Tripod, USB-C Charging Cable
  •       Zhiyun Prime 1-Year Membership

Setup and use:

The Smooth 5S Combo come with clear instructions with a QR code available to download the instructions easily. The setup for an android phone is relatively easy and playing with the Stabilizes and balances the phone to the correct settings. Allow at least 30 minutes to play with the setting and balancing on the first go. If you have the same phone taking note of the setting on the scale ( or Tipp-Ex to the mark ) allows for easy future setting up which can be done in a minute or 2 once familiar with the balancing. This model was found to be easy and practical to set up as compared to other models use. Once set up and balanced the choice then becomes on the shooting modes including PF, L, F, POV and V  which is technically easy rather than a user-artistic approach to filming.

Zhiyun Smooth 5S Combo,  buttons

Multiple classic shooting modes including PF, L, F, POV and V

  •       Pan Follow mode (PF): The tilt axis and roll axis motors are locked, and the camera rotates with the handle while panning horizontally. Push the joystick up/down to control the tilt axis angle, and push it left/right to control the pan axis of the camera.

 

  •       Follow mode (F): The roll axis motor is locked, and the tilt axis and pan axis motors follow the rotation of the handle. Push the joystick up/down to change the tilt angle of the camera and the left/right to change the horizontal orientation of the camera.

 

  •       Point of View mode (POV): All three motors move when the handle is rotated.

 

  •       Vortex mode (V): The tilt axis motor rotates upward by 90°, and the tilt axis, roll axis, and pan axis motors follow the rotation of the handle. Push the joystick to the left/ right to control the rotation of the pan axis. How to Use CRANE-M2 S

 

  •       Go mode (GO): The roll axis motor is locked, and the tilt axis and pan axis motors quickly follow the rotation of the handle.

App use: ZY Cami

The app got a rating of 1.6 out of 1.59 k reviews. I would agree with this poor rating for an Android phone. This app requires getting a verification code matching certain pictures in the background, sounds simple,  similar to eg ticks of boats on a screen but is made more complicated by the system used in a different format. this is further complicated by when getting a code the email states must be used within 10 minutes while the phone has a timer count down of 60 seconds, This is before you get to log in to the software. The experience of using the app with an iPhone is much improved as per conversations with colleagues and feedback but not tried it during this review.

Warranty:  1 year

Models comparison

 Conclusion:

The physical setup of the gimble works well with the calibration process easier than others used before with minimal effort / technical knowledge/experience required.  This product is let down by the Android App if used as this has an overly complicated setup process and depending on the model used results in a different experience having tried it on a few phones.

This Zhiyun brand stands out in terms of accessories supplied and case, A lot of work has gone into this area with a well-designed case with all the accessories compartmentalised and the option to carry additional bits in the strong carry case.  The shooting modes are easy to use for the PF, L, F, POV and V to allow a variety of filming tableau and artistic presentations.

Overall a sturdy easy-to-use gimbal with an abundance of accessories and features for any budding filming enthusiastic to allow creative filming.

BUY

Video review

By brendanlahert

20 years’ experience in the commercial technical industry. Interested in technology. Certified ITIL v3 Service Management, Project Management Prince 2, Six Sigma.

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