Skilled videographers all know that an awesome smartphone gimbal will completely change the standard of your cellular video content material. Within the prosumer world of smartphone gimbals, two names normally come up essentially the most: Zhiyun, which solely makes gimbals, and DJI, which is primarily a drone firm. The Zhiyun Easy 5 is the most recent and best from the previous model.

As regular, it’s tough to not examine the Easy 5 to the most recent competing product from DJI, which on this case is the OM 5. Normally, Zhiyun severely undercuts DJI in relation to the value of its gimbals, however that’s not the case this 12 months. With the 2 merchandise present on the identical worth tier now, how does the Easy 5 stack up? That’s what this Zhiyun Easy 5 evaluate will hopefully reply.

What it’s essential know concerning the Zhiyun Easy 5

C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

  • Zhiyun Easy 5 (Customary): $169 / £159 — Comes with gimbal, charging cable, and tripod stand
  • Zhiyun Easy 5 (Combo): $219 / £209 — Comes with gimbal, charging cable, tripod stand, fill gentle, and carrying case

The Easy 5 launched on November 15, 2021. At launch, it was obtainable in the US and the UK, however will slowly roll out to extra international locations over time.

Probably the most notable improve for the Zhiyun Easy 5 over the Easy 4 is the introduction of a management stick. It’s fairly astonishing that the Easy 4 lacked this integral function, however higher late than by no means!

Exterior of the brand new management stick, the remainder of the controls stay largely the identical, albeit in an entire new configuration. As an alternative of just about all of the buttons being on the entrance, they’re unfold throughout the deal with with the distinctive focus/zoom wheel retaining its spot on the left.

One other new addition is the inclusion of two magnetic fill gentle connectors, one on either side of the smartphone clamp. By connecting Zhiyun’s proprietary lights to those two connectors, you’ll be able to shed some gentle in your topic while not having to determine how one can clamp a third-party gentle to the gimbal. This can be a very welcome function, even when the bottom mannequin doesn’t include a fill gentle. You’ll finally have the ability to purchase the sunshine by itself for $36, however Zhiyun didn’t have availability for us on that on the time of writing.

Aside from these two new adjustments, the Easy 5 is remarkably much like the Easy 4. It’s nonetheless a three-axis gimbal with sturdy development. There’s nonetheless a 1/4-inch tripod mount on the underside of the gimbal and the ZY Cami app continues to be wanted for nearly all features of operation.

Talking of the ZY Cami app, right here’s what you are able to do with it:

  • Pictures
    • No decision settings
    • Glamour filters
  • Movies
    • 720p at 24fps or 30fps
    • 1080p at 24fps or 30fps
    • 4K at 24fps or 30fps
    • Glamour filters (however not at 4K)
    • SmartFollow (lively monitoring)
  • Panorama
    • 180-degree
    • 240-degree
    • Free-form
    • Clone Mode (place a number of variations of the identical individual all through the picture)
  • Dolly Zoom
    • Auto monitoring: select goal receding/approaching
    • Use zoom wheel for handbook management
  • Timelapse
    • 720p at 24fps or 30fps
    • 1080p at 24fps or 30fps
    • 4K at 24fps or 30fps
  • Hyperlapse (shifting timelapse)
    • 720p at 5x / 10x / 15x / 30x
    • 1080p at 5x / 10x / 15x / 30x
  • Good Mode
    • Just like DJI Story Mode
    • Create brief edits with music by following a template

What’s good?

Zhiyun Smooth 5 Review Fill Light Turned On

C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

The brand new management stick works as anticipated. Utilizing the stick, you’ll be able to tilt the digital camera or rotate the bottom, relying on the course you push. As talked about earlier than, we’re undecided why the Easy 4 didn’t have this, nevertheless it’s good to see it on the Easy 5.

See additionally: The most effective pictures necessities you should buy in 2021

The fill gentle function might be the most effective side of this gadget. Within the Combo package deal, you get one fill gentle. That gentle has 4 shade filters, all with magnetic connectors. You merely snap the fill gentle to the magnetic connectors on the skin of the smartphone clamp. An extended press of the sunshine bulb button on the gimbal’s controller turns the sunshine on/off.

There’s no want to fret about charging the sunshine itself as a result of it leeches energy from the gimbal. It’s additionally hot-swappable and reversible, so you’ll be able to snap it off and have it face the opposite course on both aspect of the clamp in seconds.

The zoom/focus wheel on the left aspect of the gimbal additionally will get refined with the Zhiyun Easy 5. The button to swap zoom/focus controls is now within the middle of the wheel, which is a lot better than the random face button on the Easy 4. Zooming and focusing utilizing the wheel may be very intuitive and produced nice leads to my testing utilizing a Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely.

What’s not so good?

Zhiyun Smooth 5 Review Control Stick

C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

Probably the most obvious general drawback with the Zhiyun Easy 5 is how un-user-friendly it’s. In the event you picked this up as a first-time consumer, you’ll little doubt be utterly misplaced. There are such a lot of buttons, triggers, and controls, and only some of them make their operate(s) apparent.

The included handbook is of little assist on this regard as a result of the English translation isn’t nice. There are additionally no video tutorials or guides within the ZY Cami app. Even I, a man who’s reviewed a number of smartphone gimbals (together with one from Zhiyun), bought extremely annoyed making an attempt to determine how one can perform essentially the most fundamental of operations, comparable to shortly returning the gimbal to its default place. As soon as I figured stuff out, it labored as anticipated. However there’s a steep studying curve right here.

One other drawback is how lengthy it takes to stand up and taking pictures. From the gadget’s locked state, it’s essential unlock three of its motors by bodily pushing these parts to dislodge them from their locks. Then, it’s essential snap in your smartphone and manually alter the weighted bar to accommodate your cellphone’s distinctive measurement/weight. Then, you energy up the gimbal and see the way you look. If it’s essential tweak, you proceed to troubleshoot till every little thing is good.

In the event you had been in a fast-paced taking pictures setting — like a marriage or your children’ soccer recreation — that cumbersome setup time may imply lacking necessary footage. This could additionally power you to arrange the gimbal in the beginning of a shoot and do your greatest to not alter something till the top.

In the event you’ve by no means used a gimbal earlier than, this isn’t the gimbal for you.

There’s additionally no strategy to mechanically change from portrait to panorama mode. To take action, it’s essential manually rotate the smartphone clamp. Not solely may this mess up your setup, however the time it takes to try this may trigger you to overlook moments. Fortunately, you’ll be able to auto-swap from the entrance digital camera to the again digital camera with a double-tap of the shutter button on the gimbal controls.

Zhiyun Smooth 5 Review ZY Cami App

C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

Let’s discuss concerning the ZY Cami app it’s essential use to get essentially the most out of the Easy 5. Put merely, it’s a scorching mess, particularly on Android.

Pay a go to to the Easy 4’s web page on Amazon and also you’ll see tons of damaging evaluations from Android customers about how the app crashes, doesn’t connect with the gimbal, or simply flat-out doesn’t work. In the meantime, iOS customers seem to not have many of those issues.

Sadly, it’s essential use the ZY Cami app to get essentially the most out of the gimbal. For instance, the terrific zoom/focus wheel didn’t work with the Galaxy S21 Extremely’s native digital camera app throughout my testing. Which means to be able to use it, you would wish to shoot via the Cami app solely.

Associated: The most effective smartphone equipment

The app additionally has horrible English translations, with some options nonetheless exhibiting Chinese language textual content (see screenshot above). The entire thing is a chore to navigate and use, and severely depletes the enjoyment of taking pictures with the Zhiyun Easy 5.

Zhiyun Easy 5 evaluate: Ought to I purchase it?

Zhiyun Smooth 5

Zhiyun Easy 5

A prosumer smartphone gimbal with a ton of options — and a worth to match.

The Zhiyun Easy 5 is a consumer-level smartphone gimbal with options normally reserved for skilled fashions.

At $99, the Zhiyun Easy 4 was simple to suggest. It didn’t absolutely compete with the then-latest DJI providing, nevertheless it undercut its worth considerably. Now, although, the Zhiyun Easy 5 isn’t simply as costly as the most recent DJI OM 5 ($159) however is definitely extra costly at $169. That makes the Easy 5 extremely tough to suggest.

The DJI OM 5 has a number of benefits over the Easy 5. It folds up for simple transport and has an extendable arm. It has a magnetic clamping system that makes connecting/disconnecting your smartphone quick and easy. It’s extraordinarily intuitive in relation to operation. The DJI Mimo app, whereas not excellent, is gentle years forward of the ZY Cami app. And DJI even makes a fill gentle clamp you should buy individually, so it could possibly nonetheless pull off that trick.

We suggest ready till the Easy 5 goes on a big sale. It isn’t price $169.

The one factor you don’t get with the DJI OM 5 is the pleasant zoom/focus wheel of the Easy 5. Just about every little thing else concerning the DJI OM 5 is superior to this, and it prices $10 much less.

In case you are not within the OM 5, the DJI OM 4 SE ($119) might be the most effective smartphone gimbal available on the market in relation to worth. It could be excellent for newcomers and professionals alike.

In case you are completely bought on the Zhiyun Easy 5 for no matter purpose, we suggest ready till it goes on a big sale. It isn’t price $169, neither is the Combo package deal price $219.

High Zhiyun Easy 5 questions and solutions

Q: How heavy a smartphone can I take advantage of?

A: The Easy 5’s payload is 320g, which is sufficient for nearly any smartphone.

Q: How huge is the battery and the way lengthy does it take to cost?

A: There’s a 2,600mAh battery within the Zhiyun Easy 5. Zhiyun says it could possibly last as long as 12 hours in splendid situations and about 4.5 hours in power-intensive circumstances. It takes about two hours to cost utilizing a 15W charger.

Q: What are the mechanical ranges of the Zhiyun Easy 5?

A: It’s 309 levels for tilt, 300 levels for roll, and 360 levels for pan.

Q: What’s the peak brightness of the Easy 5 fill gentle?

A: It produces 580 lumens of brightness with a shade temperature vary of 5,300k-5,700k. There is no such thing as a strategy to management the brightness output of the sunshine.

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