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Zhiyun SMOOTH 4 Smartphone Gimbal Review

Despite the fact that it’s designed for smartphones, the Zhiyun Smooth 4 looks and operates like semi-pro DSLR camera equipment. With the Smooth 4 from Zhiyun, it is clear that the device was designed to compete with and undercut products such as the DJI OM4.

It represents a significant effort, both in terms of features and in terms of physical construction. The Smooth 4 is a three-axis gimbal with pan, tilt, and roll capabilities that weighs 547g and extends to 328mm in length. It has a fantastically solid feel and can pan, tilt, and roll. This makes it an excellent option for stuffing into (and most likely securing to the exterior of) a camera backpack or bag.

A nice small tripod and a USB-A to USB-C cable are also included in the package, which can be used to recharge the Smooth 4 through a USB-C port beside the control panel. Because of its lightweight and three legs, each measuring 114mm in length, it provides an incredibly strong foundation for the Smooth 4, while still being simple to twist off and store in a pocket. It attaches to the Smooth 4 via a normal 1/4-inch threaded connection.

17% OFF
Zhiyun Smooth 4 Professional Gimbal Stabilizer for iPhone Smartphone Android Cell Phone 3-Axis Handheld Gimble Stick w/...
  • 👍👍【Filmic Pro】The official APP for Smooth 4 is...
  • 👍👍【Control Panel】Integrated control panel...
  • ✅✅【MUST KNOW】Balance the gimbal before use: Slide...
  • 👍👍【PhoneGo Mode】PhoneGo Mode for Instant Scene...
  • 👍👍【Time Lapse & Object Tracking】Time Lapse Expert...

Features

In addition to panning (through 300°), tilting (through 240°), and rolling (both 240°), the Smooth 4 is capable of supporting a smartphone payload of remarkably small proportions. Though capable of accommodating most major smartphones, it weighs 210g, which precludes the biggest phablet smartphones, such as the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (228g) and Samsung S21 Ultra (240g) (229g). Although many of the greatest phablets weigh less than 210g, it’s strange that they’re both smartphones that photographers and videographers use all the time.

Despite the fact that the Smooth 4’s click wheel does not provide joystick-style control for performing manual motions, its control panel is generally quite well designed. In addition to having lots of specialized buttons, such as those for pan-following, shooting a fast still shot, and locking the Smooth 4 so that it may be used simply as a tripod, it’s also rather spacious and roomy.

An intuitive tactile wheel on the left-hand side of the control panel may be used to focus or zoom in and out, with a dedicated button to switch between the two functions. It’s a pleasure to work with you. A rocker is located just beneath the control button, and it may be used to follow the cursor or to move it more quickly in ‘phone go’ mode.

But there is one function that the Smooth 4 does not contain that it should, and that is face tracking, which is included in its less expensive cousin, the Smooth XS, for a lesser price. It isn’t a major concern, but the fact that it isn’t mentioned here is surprising.

Performance

It takes some effort to get the Smooth 4 up and running. The tiny lock wheel on the Smooth 4 makes it very straightforward to put a smartphone in a balanced position, however, we had trouble getting the ZY Play software to connect to the Smooth 4 through Bluetooth. It ultimately worked, however, the second time we used it, the link didn’t appear to be created immediately; it’s all a little too laborious for our tastes.

That application is pleasantly technologically sophisticated. Many semi-pro features, such as time-lapse and hyper-lapse photography, long exposures, panoramic photography, and an outstanding motion time-lapse mode are available. There is a slew of manual tweaks and the ability to shoot in up to 4K at 60 frames per second, but the interface is easy to use and navigate using the plethora of shortcut buttons on the gimbal’s comprehensive control panel. It comes equipped with HDR, filters, scene modes, and a ton of manual tweaks. There is, however, a learning curve involved.

When in use, the Smooth 4 stands true to its name, assisting in the creation of fluid and steady footage across all axes as a result of its durable construction. It is also noteworthy that the wheel on the side of the column, which makes it simple to fine-tune a shot, has been included. Using a shortcut on the control panel’s click wheel, it may be switched between two different functions: focus pull and zoom.

One thing that the Smooth 4 excels at is battery life, with its 2,000mAh lithium-ion battery pack capable of lasting for up to ten hours on a single charge. That is one less thing to be concerned about, but things will get better. It is possible to charge the smartphone in-situ by connecting it to a micro USB port that is disguised on the tilt axis arm. The Smooth 4 also supports two-way charging. Because of this, it is possible to charge both the Smooth 4 and your smartphone at the same time — most likely from a battery pack in your pocket – but why Zhiyun opted to utilize the outdated micro USB protocol is a mystery.

Verdict

In addition to providing good stabilization at a reasonable cost, the Smooth 4 offers a plethora of on-body controls, the most prominent of which is a wheel for focusing or zooming. The Smooth 4 is a tactile and user-friendly camera that works in conjunction with the great ZY Play software to generate time-lapses, panoramic images, and motion lapses. An outstanding build quality, along with an amazing simplicity of use, assists to make this an outstanding pick for any smartphone content maker searching for a prosumer DSLR-like gimbal experience at a reasonable price.

17% OFF
Zhiyun Smooth 4 Professional Gimbal Stabilizer for iPhone Smartphone Android Cell Phone 3-Axis Handheld Gimble Stick w/...
  • 👍👍【Filmic Pro】The official APP for Smooth 4 is...
  • 👍👍【Control Panel】Integrated control panel...
  • ✅✅【MUST KNOW】Balance the gimbal before use: Slide...
  • 👍👍【PhoneGo Mode】PhoneGo Mode for Instant Scene...
  • 👍👍【Time Lapse & Object Tracking】Time Lapse Expert...

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