Zhiyun Smooth Q4 Review – BTS of a Parkour Video through Vienna
I do have the all new scion smooth q4 were here in the beautiful city of vienna, its a sunny day, and we have a parkour athlete so now lets get started. Music. All right so were back here in the studio with the all new scion smooth q4, and for those of you who dont know who i am my name is julian im the creator of the ultimate online course about smartphone filmmaking and guys. Let me know what do you think about the final procure video in case? You have not seen it yet. I will link it up. There definitely make sure to watch it in full 4k at 60 frames per second, and this video was shot entirely using this setup right here using the smooth q4 and the iphone 13 pro. So the goal for this video was to show off what the smooth q4 is capable of. I have made a ton of different gimbal videos in the past, but for this one i truly wanted to push it to its limits. This video, just as a full disclosure, is kindly sponsored by cyan, so i teamed up with a professional athlete: pamela whos, a professional austrian, procore runner and free runner and shes just doing some absolutely amazing stuff. So i thought, okay, i will use this budget and make a proper video, so we met up early in the morning to get the best light possible and we started shooting. So lets talk a little bit about the gimbal itself.
It is definitely smaller and lighter than its bigger brother, the smooth 5, but it still has a nice feeling to it. What i really like about it is that it still feels high quality, its not like some other, lighter, cheaper gimbals that really feel cheap and plasticky. This one just has a nice feeling to it. The buttons and the usability of the gimbal is super, easy and super minimal. The layout is super minimal. You have a little zoom wheel at the back. You have a button for changing the orientation and at the front you have a joystick, you have a mode button and you have a record button and at the side you also have a little plug where you can use a usb type c cable to charge the Gimbal, what i really like with all the cyan gimbals, is that at the front you have a little display, or in this case you just have a little led light. That shows you in which mode youre currently in, and you can also change between four different modes. Just by pressing the mode button, so if i press it four times, for example, i can go into the pov mode, and this just is super easy, its super, a quick way of changing between the modes and yeah. This is just my favorite way of changing between the different modes and also you know seeing in which mode im currently in so lets, come back to the parkour video and lets talk about the shooting process and, to be honest, the shooting was absolutely amazing.
I like it when things, and in this case when the gimbal is minimal and when you only have the stuff that is truly necessary. I got used to the gimbal within minutes and the learning curve is just very very short. Basically, you can start shooting with it. Like a pro within just a minute after you have unboxed it for the pakur video, i shot the entire video at 60 frames per second, and i also exported the final video at 60 frames per second. The reason for that is, i wanted to have a super hyper realistic, look to it and i think it worked out pretty damn good in case you want to get the full experience, definitely make sure to watch the video that i have talked about before. I will link it again up there, because the video that youre seeing right now is in 25 frames per second and to get the full. You know experience make sure to watch the main video, because that is in 60 frames per second, and i know i will get this question and no, i did not shoot this video in prores, i was using dolby vision, hdr 10 bit um. The reason for that was just very simple, because in pro res i could not shoot at 60 frames per second, and what really surprised me was how the gimbal handled everything with pretty much all of these shots. I was running at full speed and you could not see any shakes at all with pretty much all other gimbals.
You get at least some micro jitters when you start running at full speed when youre just walking, you know pretty much. All of them do an amazing job, but when you start running you get these micro tutors, but with this gimbal i did not have that at all and, of course, a small reason for that might also be that the iphone 13 pro has some very, very good. In camera, stabilization, but still what the gimbal is doing is just absolutely amazing. Generally speaking, shooting with a professional athlete is just a completely different experience compared to shooting with some friends that just want to help you. The crazy thing is that we, just you know we got pretty much all the shots at first take for most of the shots. We did make a second take just to make sure, but actually we got all of them at first take and thats actually really impressive. Considering the gimbal unit, you know, is just a pre production unit or a prototype. I was just really presently surprised. Alright, so lets talk about the extension pole, as you probably have seen before. This gimbal does also have an extension pole, like many other gimbals that are out there at the moment and if you have been following me, uh for a little longer, you know that im personally im not the biggest fan of these kind of extension poles, because, with A ton of other gimbals i have the feeling, like you, know its, not feeling as sturdy its not feeling very secure and overall it just feels a little jittery.
To be honest – and this was also my mindset going into this shoot and shooting with this gimbal – i thought okay ill just test it out once just to tell you that i dont like it, but actually when i was using it. You know for this parkour video for some shots. I wanted to get really close to the ground because, like i said before, i was running at full speed and one little trick to make it look even faster than it actually is, is just to bring your camera very close to the ground and using an extension Pole, like this of course, really helps because you dont have to bend down that much, especially if youre running super fast. This can be very tricky if you dont have something like this. To my surprise, all the shots that i got using this. They were just as smooth as you know, using it like this so yeah. To be honest, i was really happily surprised on how good that worked and yeah. I have to say this truly changed. My mind on extension, pulls the next thing. That is a huge benefit of the smooth q4 is that you never have the issue that you see the gimbal in the final shot in the past. This has been a major issue for many gimbals and including some of the saiyan gimbals. To be honest, the reason for that is the ultra wide angle. Lenses just got wider and the architecture and how these gimbals were built.
You know it was just a problem that this distance was not big enough and when you were doing some quicker pans and something like this, it happened that you could see the gimbal in your final shot, and this, like i said this has been an issue in The past, especially when you were doing some quicker stuff and when you were running and all that kind of stuff, and to my surprise, with this one, i did not have that issue at all with all of the shots. Like i said, i was pretty much, all of them were shot running full speed and with all of the shots that i got, and i think these were like over 20 30 different shots with all of them. I only had one shot at one time where i could see the gimbal in the final shot, and this was when i was panning really fast and running at full pace. So for normal usage, you will never ever have the issue that you see the gimbal in your final shot and thats very, very positive. Alright. So now we have talked a lot about using this gimbal for extreme sport, stuff running at full pace and all of that kind of stuff. But what about in case you just want to shoot a holiday video in case you wan na, i dont, know capture the moments of your kids growing up or the next holiday on the beach or whatever it might be.
And, of course, i also tested the gimbal in normal conditions when i was just walking and all that kind of stuff and, as you probably have expected, it also performs really well in these kind of circumstances and yeah. You know i tested the extreme just to see if its capable of handling this kind of stuff and, of course you can also use it for all the normal stuff that you might want to use it for so yeah. It basically works for everything. Another thing i want to mention very briefly are the different modes that you have on the gimbal. This one has four modes directly on the gimbal, its bigger brother. The smooth five has five different modes. The first mode that you have is the pan and follow mode, and basically it pans and follows your movement, but it does not tilt the second one is the locked mode and basically it stays in its position. No matter what youre doing the third mode is. The follow mode and there it basically follows everything that you do so in case youre, panning or youre tilting. You know its following you along thats, also the mode that i was mostly using for this shoot, but for some shots i was also using the pov mode. The shots where i was running after her and where i had these touch angles and all that kind of stuff thats, where i was using the pov mode and whats really cool.
Is that the the transition between the normal usage – and you know when youre panning it to one side? This was very smooth also with other gimbals. I had the issue that you know this was just a little robotic, but, as you can see it just you know softens your movement and yeah thats really nice. So these are the modes that you have and yet to be honest, these are pretty much all the modes that you will ever need. So, overall, i have to say: im super super presently surprised with this gimbal. To be honest, i did not expect a lot because this is not their highest end gimbal and i was super happy in the past with the smooth five and, of course i am still super happy with that one, but i just expected a downgrade to that and To be honest, i have to say this does not really feel like a downgrade to me personally in case youre interested in a full comparison of the smooth q4 versus the smooth 5, and in case you are also thinking about whether you should get this one or That one, a full comparison, video is coming very very shortly so in case youre interested in that definitely make sure to hit that subscribe button to not miss that video in case youre interested in smartphone filmmaking and in case you want to learn even more inside of Our full online course smartphone filmmaking pro, we do have an in depth breakdown on how i shot this video.
Also how i planned this video and also how i edited this video. So there is a more in depth virtual job, shadow of the shoot, and we also have over 150 videos and basically we cover everything that you will ever need in case youre interested in that we do have a free sample for you guys, just click. The first link below that like button that will bring you to our totally free webinar, where i share the top five secrets to shooting cinematic videos with your smartphone but thats. Basically it for this video again a huge thanks to cyan for sending this gimbal over and also for sponsoring this video and yeah.