Product Review: ZHIYUN Smooth 5

37 other

Smooth 5

ZHIYUN

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Mobile filmmaking is booming, and there's nothing that speaks cinematic quality like properly stabilized professional-quality shots.

Meet the ZHIYUN Smooth 5 smartphone gimbal - a solid stabilizer with various controls and features that any mobile video maker would want to get their hands on!

Read our full ZHIYUN Smooth 5 review to discover key features, what's in the package, the strong points of the gimbal, and more.

Want to start by immersing yourself in the world of gimbals and other gear? Then check this guide to camera equipment.

4,9/5

4,9

Based upon6 reviews from Wedio members

Effectiveness icon

Effectiveness

4,8

Usability icon

Usability

5,0

Value for money icon

Value for money

5,0

Overall icon

Overall rating

4,9

What creators like

Thumb up green icon

The creative spectrum of possibilities of the gimbal is great.

Thumb up green icon

Better-looking content by stabilized image.

What creators don't like

Thumb down red icon

Recalibration and continuous ‘sleep mode’ turning on were my biggest pain.

Thumb down red icon

The app and gimbal are not user-friendly for absolute beginners.

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Is it worth it?

Yes

The ZHIYUN Smooth 5 was created for mobile videomakers that want top-notch video quality footage from a stable, feature-rich gimbal. Keeping up with the trend for smaller and more compact gear, the Smooth 5 offers a wealth of controls and filming options to satisfy the appetites of demanding creators.

No

This gimbal is not exactly for beginners, as it features a wide variety of buttons, wheels, and controls. Using a Quick Start Guide and the ZY app's user manual will help, but this gimbal is for more experienced creators who know how to get the best of the gear, like ZHIYUN Smooth 5.

Profile image

Mateusz Szota

ZHIYUN Smooth 5 Combo: Quick 5 Minutes Review

Mateusz took out the Smooth 5 for a spin and this is his quick review on ZHIYUN Smooth 5 Combo.

Trailer

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Intro

0

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Key features

42

Disadvantages

128

Assembly

197

Specs

231

Who is it best for?

253

Affordability

271

Wrap up

294

Meet Your Instructor

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Pros

Solid build quality and construction

Capable of holding larger phones

Included tripod attachment

Full-featured smartphone software

Excellent stabilization

Full 360 degrees panning

Cons

Lots of buttons and controls

Limited battery life

It does not fold up to a compact size

ZHIYUN Smooth 5 vs. Smooth Q4

Smooth 5

Smooth Q4

Weight

1.3lb/615g

0.81lb/370g

Size

12x6.5x2inch/311x168x52mm

7.1x4.2x2.2inch/181.7x107.7x56.3mm

Payload

0.6lb/280g

0.6lb/280g

Bluetooth connectivity

4.2

4.2

Battery

2600mAh

1200mAh

Battery life

Up to 12 hours

Up to 12 hours

Charing time

2 hours

2.5h

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What's included in the Smooth 5 package?

  • ZHIYUN SMOOTH 5 Gimbal
  • Mini Tripod
  • USB-A to USB-C Cable
  • Protective Bag
  • Fill Light
  • Fill Light Filters x4
  • Wrist Strap
  • VIP Membership Card
  • Quick Start Guide

Best Features

Weight and stabilization

The ZHIYUN Smooth 5 has a 3-axis stabilization with internal motors that activate after you mount the phone and turn on the gimbal. It stabilizes tilt, pan, and toll while offering various controls to pan, zoom, and move through different camera options.

This ZHIYUN gimbal is exceptionally secure and stable even with heavy phones - a significant update from its predecessor that allows the Smooth 5 to hold phones up to 300 grams.

This secure hold is convenient when filming a panorama where the gimbal moves through different angles to capture the perfect shot.

Video footage with the Smooth 5 is super steady, and the camera movements feel like you're floating through the air.

The gimbal is a bit heavier than other smartphone stabilizers, but this allows it to balance your smartphone nicely and make the whole bundle feel more steady due to its increased weight.

Design and set up

The Smooth 5 has been updated with compactness in mind.

ZHIYUN added a more intuitive experience to this gimbal to provide mobile creators with cinematic-style features.

Use it with the free ZY Play app, and watch the control panel enable functions like focus, zoom, time-lapse, and still photo settings for iOS and Android.

In addition, the design of the rear-mounted motor allows one to shoot ultra-wide-angle videos without any limits that can appear with ultra-wide angles on smartphones.

Once the ZHIYUN Smooth 5 is turned on, the motors will work to balance things; It's easy to move and adjust the roll axis arm to achieve balance and then to slide the phone mount for fine-tuning.

However, keep in mind that if you don't get the balance right, the motors will try to achieve it themselves, significantly depleting the battery.

Performance

The Smooth 5's easy-to-control interface allows you to perform a variety of cinematic shots, such as dolly zoom, reverse shot, time-lapse, and slow-motion.

In addition, it offers anti-shake performance with high definition, preserving the original video quality of the smartphone.

The gimbal provides a professional cinematic video shooting process and footage quality for mobile filmmakers.

New essential features

  • Sturdier construction and stronger 3-axis motor suitable for more pro-level filming
  • It can take heavier phones, and the phone clamp has a deeper slot
  • Full 360-degree panning is now available, allowing for vortex shots
  • Now compatible with ZHIYUN's magnetic fill lights
  • Features a broader range of physical buttons, including a new joystick and a small light-up display
ZHIYUN Smooth 5 package

Who should get the ZHIYUN Smooth 5?

The ZHIYUN Smooth 5 was created for mobile videomakers that want top-notch video quality footage from a stable, feature-rich gimbal.

Keeping up with the trend for smaller and more compact gear, the Smooth 5 offers a wealth of controls and filming options to satisfy the appetites of demanding creators.

This gimbal is not exactly for beginners, as it features a wide variety of buttons, wheels, and controls.

Using a Quick Start Guide and the ZY app's user manual will help, but this gimbal is for more experienced creators who know how to get the best of the gear, like ZHIYUN Smooth 5.

Final verdict: Is the ZHIYUN Smooth 5 worth it?

The ZHIYUN Smooth 5 offers a solid build, sleek design, and steady performance, and produces incredibly smooth videos with the help of a suite of well-positioned controls and the built-in switching mode.

This gimbal is definitely worth getting for mobile filmmakers looking to step up their game of footage quality and stabilization.

Pair the gimbal and the phone with the ZY app or any other compatible camera app like Filmic Pro, and the Smooth 5 transforms into one of the most capable smartphone stabilizers on the market.

It's a bit pricier than competing gimbals, but it's worth the premium price if you plan on using the zoom/focus control wheel.

The Smooth 5 is compact but isn't the most lightweight, so packing it on day trips for unplanned video capture might not be the best idea.

However, it is a solid option for planned filming sessions.

What creators like

Mateusz

DK

Thumb up green icon

The creative spectrum of possibilities that the gimbal provides is great, it comes with various modes and is easy to set up.

Tomas

DK

Thumb up green icon

I was looking for a product that would take my video creation to another level. Because I am used to taking my iPhone everywhere with me, the gimbal is exactly what I was missing when recording.

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What creators don't like

Mateusz

DK

Thumb down red icon

Recalibration and continuous ‘sleep mode’ turning on for whatever reason was my biggest pain while using smooth 5.

Tomas

DK

Thumb down red icon

The biggest improvement would be if they made the gimbal and the app more user-friendly for beginners.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use the ZHIYUN Smooth 5 without an app?

With a range of accessible buttons, you can easily control the basic features without a specific app, however, the app will definitely add more pro layers to your work.

Does the ZHIYUN Smooth 5 extend?

No, the Zhiyun Smooth 5 doesn’t extend.

Does the ZHIYUN Smooth 5 work with FiLMiC Pro?

Yes, Zhiyun Smooth 5 works with both its native ZY app and other third-party camera apps, including Filmic Pro.

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Review by Mateusz and 2 other community members

jithuanand

Berlin, DE

5,0

Epilog

København NV, DK

High quality codecs - Prores and Blackmagic RAW. Built in ND-filter, dual ISO and intuitive interface. Lots of inputs for a small package.

Battery life without external power. Odd form factor for smaller gimbals.

5,0

House of Nomads

København K, DK

5,0

street

Rødovre, DK

5,0

corryraymond

London, GB

Fantastic video quality, thought-out features, friendly interface, affordable price.

The biggest disadvantages are Base ISO, No IBIS & its Body shape.

4,7

kavian

København Ø, DK

5,0

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ZHIYUN Smooth 5 Alternatives

ZHIYUN Smooth Q4

The ZHIYUN Smooth Q4 gimbal is a fantastic go-to for mobile filmmakers that want smooth, pro-level footage from a stabilizer without breaking the bank. Read more

$119 at Amazon $119 at Adorama

DJI Osmo Mobile 6

The Osmo Mobile 6, the new flagship gimbal from the DJI, has brought much praise to itself for its new features and outstanding performance. Read more

$159 at Amazon $159 at Adorama

ZHIYUN Smooth 4

Zhiyun Smooth 4 turns your mobile phone into a professional filmmaking camera, helping you create stable and smooth footage with just your phone. Read more

$99 at Amazon $109 at Adorama

Show more

The research

Why you should trust us

At Wedio, we are on a mission to keep great stories alive. We achieve this by facilitating the sharing of knowledge, tools, and services that help you as a creator craft better stories. Today we help 100,000+ monthly creators become better — together. We believe in the power of the community. Instead of gathering product reviews from one creator, we involve hundreds of creators, and create both video- and written reviews. In that way, we present the essence of the collective rather than one opinion.

How we tested this product

We used a mixed-method design. Our qualitative video reviews, were created by hand-picked Wedio members. We shipped the product to them, they tried it for at least 30 days in real-life projects, and then they did an honest video review. Our quantitative written reviews, were collected from Wedio Renters and Lenders. When renters have rented the product, they have the option to leave a product review. When lenders create a product listing, they have the option to share their thoughts on the product itself.

How we fund this review

In order to keep delivering the best possible reviews for creatives, we have four different revenue streams. This includes (1) commissions from our short-term rentals (10 % from renters 20% from lenders whenever a rental is happening through Wedio), (2) commissions from our subscriptions (we get paid by our retail partners to deliver an order), (3) commissions from brands delivering products, and (4) commissions from affiliate links to other partners (such as retail partners, software, and other creative tools).

Limitations

Even though we try to be as unbiased as possible, we still want to address two limitations of this review. First, our lenders can be affected by the “Endowment effect” when reviewing their gear. They would potentially rate their product higher than they would have done if they rented the product — just because they own the product themself. Second, there is the potential of instructors experiencing “Confirmation bias” when reviewing a product. If they received the product from us, they might have a tendency to look for all the advantages and good things about the product because they want to please Wedio and the product brand. To overcome this limitation, we strictly guide our instructors to be as objective as possible — a low rating is as valuable to us as a high rating. The review aims to guide other creators in the choice of gear.

Get a Smooth 5

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139

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