Zhiyun Smooth Q4 – Smartphone Gimbal Review
Some awesome features whats up everyone, bennett grazer here with smartphonefilmmaking.com the best online course where i teach you everything on creating high quality videos with your smartphone and today were going to talk about the smooth q4 by zion, its not always easy, finding the right gimbal and There are so many out there on the market and each has their own unique features. It can be overwhelming. I too had to find a gimbal that works for me and choosing the right gimbal is important so that you can get the shots you need. I personally enjoy reviewing smartphone gimbals as i like to explore their new features and help you make the right purchase decision now. There are six things i consider that are most important when it comes to buying a smartphone gimbal that being the size setup time battery life. Special features, performance and price. Now before you start, i want to thank zion for sponsoring this video and sending me over the smooth q4. So lets start off with the weight and the size when choosing a smartphone gimbal, i prefer having one that is compact and small. The smooth q4 feels lightweight not heavy at all. At around 340 grams, there are lighter gimbals out there, but i prefer a bit more weight on a smartphone gimbal, as i can operate more smoothly and get more stable video results. It has about the size of my hand, but it is a bit too large to fit it in my pocket.
It would be possible, but i prefer carrying it in my sling bag since it comes with a tripod as well. So lets look at the setup time to get this gimbal running its important for me to have a quick setup time, as i want to be able to capture moments quickly unfolding the smooth q4 takes six steps, which is a bit too long for me first, i Would unfold this part? That would be one then these two arms right here, two and three and then i would unlock all three motors so four and then five and then six now there is a hack to it. You can leave the arms unfolded and keep the roll and tilt motor unlocked. This way, you will only have two steps to unfold the gimbal. I can just simply put this up, unlock it and im ready to go so the startup time takes around seven seconds. I can simply just press this button on the side and now its turned on so, as you can see, it does take a little bit of time, but this isnt a big issue for me, since i can set it into standby mode by press holding the mode Button for long and now it will enter standby mode and when im ready to shoot, i can just press the mode button again and start shooting in terms of battery life. The smooth q4 can operate up to 15 hours, which is great to bring on trips.
This way you dont have to constantly charge the gimbal and can use it for multiple days. There is a fill light included, which i will talk about later, but if you use the light a lot it could decrease the operating time. I really wish you could charge your smartphone with the smooth q4 because shooting videos, especially when using a professional, app like filmic pro drains a lot of battery – and i also wouldnt – have to bring an extra power bank with me now to charge the gimbal fully. It takes around 2.5 hours, which is normal for most smartphone gimbals, so lets now move on to some of the special features. The smooth q4 has a special feature that the smooth q4 has is the portable fill light. This can be useful to increase the quality of your video when shooting in low lit environments. The great part is that it uses magnets, which you can mount on top of the gimbal or easily take it off, and you can see it will produce a fill light. Now i can also choose the direction of the light by simply switching this, and now i can use it to brighten myself when doing vlogs. For example. Now you can also choose the level of intensity of the light by pressing on the wheel on the side and, as you can see, it can get really bright. Now. It also comes with different magnet filters which you can use for creative use, and i can simply just attach it to the front of the light, which is really cool.
Another great feature the smooth q4 has is the built, in extension, rod. This is pretty awesome. This can be especially useful for vloggers that allows them to have the camera further away from them and have more in the frame not having to worry being cut out. Another reason why i enjoy the extension pole is because i can get more creative and use it easily to get low shots, for example, or even fake drone shots. This way, i dont necessarily need to bring an extension pole with me, keeping it as minimal as possible. Now, if you want to unlock the smooth q4s full potential, the zy cami app offers intelligent shooting modes that will help you get the shots you need. I generally dont use the app that come with the gimbal, as i prefer creating the shots myself, but maybe for your needs. You might find some useful features. So let me quickly walk you through the zykami app so that you can get started when using it im going to open it up and now. Click on this camera icon over here and im now inside the zykami app lets now switch over to landscape mode by triple pressing the trigger button and were going to start by switching to the selfie camera right over here, so were currently in video mode. As you can see to your right and at the top left, you can head back to the home menu and over here below this one.
We have it set to automatic mode, but if youre a pro, you would want to switch to manual mode and dial in your camera settings. But basically you want to keep your iso level low and, if youre shooting 4k 25 frames per second, you want to keep your shutter speed, double your frame rate, which is 1 over 50., and then we have the exposure value which were going to leave and then Were going to head back and now the values are locked, which is important to avoid exposure changes, while recording then below. We have our resolution and frame rate that we can choose. We want to choose the highest resolution possible, which is 4k and either shoot in 24 or 25 frames per second for normal speed, and if you want to slow down your footage, you can choose 60 frames per second right over here. So im gon na leave it that way and then were going to head back. Then you also have uh the glamour effect, but this is not supported in 4k, as it says here so below. We have additional settings um we can choose which microphone we want to use currently its using the built in microphone. We have grid lines which will help you compose your shots. Better currently have the rule of thirds. Enabled next is white balance. Important dont set it to auto, make sure to either choose one of these presets or you can even create your own custom white balance.
I will set it to 5600. This way you wont, have any color shifts when filming so lets, move on to gimbal up here. You can select different scene modes, then we also have a follow mode. You can either select the follow mode either by choosing the mode button over here or using the zykami app and currently its set to pov mode, but i use follow mode for most of the time on the smooth q4, i can simply press the mode button to Switch between different shooting modes on the dji om4, for example, youll – have to use their app to switch shooting modes which can be time consuming being able to switch modes quickly on the smooth q4 allows me to operate faster. I also like how im able to use the record button on the gimbal, not only when using the zykami app but also filmic pro and the native camera app. Next, we have the joystick speed. I usually keep it at a medium and then we have the zoom speed. I dont use zoom too much as it can degrade the quality. You can also important, auto calibrate your gimbal. If you have any problems, and then we have a general just some information about your gimbal now below you see three icons, you can see the battery life of your phone, the battery life of your gimbal and the current shooting mode youre in so on. The top right, you have your creative templates that you can use when recording your videos.
It will basically edit the video for you, for example, if you want to quickly post uh your videos on social media and you have different presets to choose from and below it. You can switch between the front and selfie camera, then you have the recording button over here, but you can also use the record button on the joystick. Then you have gesture control where you can use your hands to start and stop recording, and it will also track you as well. If you drag a square around your face, you will see that it follows you perfectly, and this can also be very useful if you need to track either yourself or a subject that is maybe moving fast or you want to have them in the center of your Frame and below you have your media, where all your videos and photos are stored, and then you also have different. Shooting modes such as you know, photo go, live, and then we have the smart capture over here. Weve also got the panorama slow motion, even dolly zoom, where it shows you exactly how to create one. You also have the time lapse, feature and even hyperlapse, so that was a basic walkthrough and quick overview of the zykami app lets now talk about the performance before you decide on a smartphone gimbal its important to check the gimbals maximum payload capacity, as it wont, perform At its best, if you exceed those limits, maximum payload of the smooth q4 is 280 grams.
The iphone 30 pro max is a heavy phone weighing at around 240 grams, but it should be compatible with the smooth q4, so lets head out and put the gimbal to the test so that you can see how well this gimbal performs and how smooth the shots. Really are alright guys, so were here in the city of zurich and were gon na shoot, with the smooth q4 using the iphone 13 pro max and for todays model. I invited megan whos gon na help us out follow her on instagram. She has some crazy pictures, but dont watch too long and of course we also have george with us. You probably know this guy from a previous video and today, hes gon na shoot all of the behind the scenes and guys dont follow his instagram dont follow its already too much, but im still gon na put it in the description. Okay, and when are you gon na start, your youtube channel uh, i dont know i dont have much time. Instagram is taking a lot. All right, so were gon na get started, were gon na shoot some videos with the iphone 30 pro max lets, go Music me. Music, follow me Music, special message to the audience. I think it came out pretty well, the handling of the gimbal felt really good. It followed my hand movement without any problems and the footage looked really smooth. The smooth q4 starter kit starts at 119 dollars, which includes the smooth q4 gimbal and the tripod.
There is also a combo kit available for 149, which not only includes the gimbal and the tripod, but also a bag and the fill light. For starters, the standard kit is more than enough. If you find yourself filming a lot at night or are a vlogger, the combo kit would be the better option. So here are my final thoughts on the smooth q4 gimbal. We know that zion has been creating gimbals for quite a long time and theyre good at it. I think its a great gimbal to have as it operates smoothly, even with heavier phones such as the iphone 13 pro max. I appreciate how they include the mode button. This way i can see in what shooting mode im in and can quickly switch by simply pressing it. I think the folding design can be improved. It would be great on folding the gimbal in just one step for a quicker setup time. I also wish they included a built in power bank, as i do need to charge my iphone often when traveling. The extension pole is certainly a helpful feature to get low or high angled shots. I dont use it that often, but when i need it its there, vloggers would certainly appreciate the extension pull as you can record yourself more smoothly and have the camera further away from you now. The portable light takes it to the next level. Ive never seen this on any other smartphone gimbal and its great how you can change the direction of the light as well to either film yourself or your subject for the price of 119.
You get a quality gimbal that certainly fulfills its needs for creating stable. Looking footage and has all the basic features that other gimbals have, but with some extra features like the built in pole and portable light, and if youre someone that works with the integrated app, then the zy cami app is certainly something you should look into an important Step to creating smooth looking shots is getting a good mobile gimbal such as the smooth q4, but just having a smartphone gimbal doesnt mean your videos will automatically look cinematic, it will take practice and you will need to learn how to use your camera with your gimbal To produce cinematic video results if youre looking to improving your mobile video skills, i highly recommend you check out smartphonefilmmaking.com, where you can join other students in the full program. Learning everything there is to filming high quality videos with your smartphone fast. So i hope you got a good understanding of what the smooth q4 can offer. If you have any questions, make sure to. Let me know in the comments.