Zhiyun Smooth 5 vs Smooth Q3 | Best Smartphone Gimbal Review
This one is the SMOOTH Q3 and this other one is the SMOOTH 5.. They are good smartphone gimbals, but I want to show you what they have in common and whats different, and this way maybe I can help you choose one or the other. The SMOOTH Q3 is a more affordable gimbal with a low price of 89 for the basic version. The price of the SMOOTH 5 starts at 169, also for the basic version with that price. Besides the gimbal, you will get a tripod and a USB C charging cable. Both of these gimbals are lightweight, but the SMOOTH 5 is heavier with a weight of 560 grams and the tripod weights 50 grams. The SMOOTH Q3 is lighter at 350 grams and the tripod also weighs 50 grams. The SMOOTH Q3 can hold smartphones up to 280 grams, but the SMOOTH 5 will hold smartphones up to 300 grams. I have tested this with my Samsung S21 PLUS using the case, and this wide angle lens with the clip which makes a total of 310 grams and the SMOOTH 5 was behaving just great. I do like the build quality on these two gimbals. The SMOOTH 5 has a more classic design and it looks elegant and professional. It can be folded like this, but the size remains almost the same, and this will not fit on your pocket. The SMOOTH Q3 has good ergonomics and just like the SMOOTH 5 holding, it will not cover the buttons or the joystick.
This gimbal can also be folded like this and its going to be easier to store or to carry around than the SMOOTH 5, but it will not fit on your pocket either, mostly because of the shape it has. There is a big difference in battery life as well. The SMOOTH Q3 will run for around 7 hours and the SMOOTH 5 can run for over 24 hours. The SMOOTH 5 can be used as a power bank to charge your smartphone with a simple, USB C cable, but the SMOOTH Q3 doesnt have this feature. The SMOOTH 5 will come with this fill light, which has a clever design. It is magnetic, and you can turn it around and it works on landscape and portrait mode. This light is dimmable and I wasnt expecting this to be so bright. The downside of this light is that it doesnt come on the basic package. So if you need this light, you need to buy the combo package, which is more expensive than the basic one or you can buy the light as an accessory, but this will be more expensive than buying the combo package, so it doesnt make a lot of sense To buy just the light, the SMOOTH Q3 has a fill light at the top of the clamp with three levels of brightness. That could be useful in low light situations. It is not magnetic, but you can twist the light to face forward or to face yourself.
This will not be as bright as the one on the SMOOTH 5, but the good news is that the light is part of the gimbal itself, so you dont need to pay more for this. Setting up and balancing both gimbals is quite easy, but it is way faster on the Q3 on the SMOOTH 5. You need to balance this arm over here and Im, not saying this takes a lot of time, but its one more step that you need to do before you can start using the gimbal. Both gimbals have clamps that are big enough to support most smartphones with thin cases. One disadvantage of the SMOOTH 5 is that the clamp needs to be set on horizontal or vertical mode before setting it up on the Q3. You can change the orientation at any time by triple pressing the trigger both gimbals have three axes. Stabilization on both devices is very solid and, on the background, youre looking at random clips taken with these two gimbals with no post stabilization and its really challenging to tell a difference between the different video clips or to even guess which gimbal was used on each video. On the SMOOTH Q3, all the buttons and the joystick feel really good and responsive, and they will help you access basic functions such as re center, the gimbal switch to horizontal or vertical mode and start or stop recording a video on the left. We also have a slider to control the zoom on the SMOOTH 5.
You will see a big difference on the controls on the left side. The gimbal has this big wheel that can be used to zoom in or to zoom out, and if you press the button in the middle, you will be able to manually focus with the wheel. Having a focus or zoom wheel is much better than just having a slider, as this is going to give you a more precise control on the front. There is a bigger and more professional joystick than what you normally get on other gimbals. It will move the camera around. You can control the speed of the movement, it is omnidirectional and it feels very good. One thing that I absolutely like about these two gimbals is that without going into the menu, I can change the different gimbal modes. I can select pan follow, lock mode, follow mode, POV and vortex mode, and this makes this gimbals more user friendly, especially if youre using the native camera app or any other app. Sport mode is also available on both gimbals, and this will make the gimbal react faster to your movements when you need to capture fast, moving subjects. Underslung mode works on both gimbals without issues, and this will, let you take low angle. Shots, but transitioning from a high angle to a lower angle is going to be easier with the SMOOTH 5 than with the Q3 vortex mode. Is this mode where you can make the smartphone spin around the Q3 will spin around 180 degrees and at that point the camera will see the arm of the gimbal.
The SMOOTH 5, on the other hand, is the only smartphone gimbal that I know that will spin. Without limits, and because of the way its designed, the arms will never get on the way both gimbals offer object and face tracking the tracking sticks very well, especially when the gimbal is sitting in front of you tracking, a subject and moving the gimbal. At the same time is less consistent when I use an android device and what happens is that sometimes it will lose the subject, but it seems to be something random. Both gimbals use the same application, which is the CAMI app, and you can select the camera mode that you want to use like video mode, timelapse, hyperlapse panorama, shots, dolly zoom and slow motion. If you have an iPhone, you can shoot at 24, 25, 30 or 60 frames per second, and you can also select manual mode where you can select the ISO and the shutter speed. If you have an android, you can shoot at 24 and 30 frames per second, but there is no manual mode, no slow motion and you cant lock the focus and exposure. This is probably not a deal breaker and using your native camera app to shoot at 60 frames per second, and taking advantage of the stabilization that you get from the gimbal its a good deal. So I think that the Q3 is an excellent choice that is not expensive, its lightweight and easy to use with good stabilization.
But if you want a higher end, gimbal with more professional controls and stronger motors to use, bigger smartphones and you dont mind about the price or the weight, then the SMOOTH 5 is a great choice.