Zhiyun Smooth 5 review: Professional level gimbal for content creators

Previously in December, I posted my evaluation of the Zhiyun Sleek Q3, a good compact gimbal for creators who get out and about, shooting on the go in portrait or landscape as scenarios dictate. The new
Sleek 5

is a bigger gimbal for these who on a regular basis shoot in prepared recording periods.

The Zhiyun Sleek 5 is
available for $169 and $219

. The $219 combo package comes with some supplemental goodies a protecting bag, fill mild and filters, ZY Cami a single-year key services card, and a wrist strap. The protecting bag is nicely constructed, but I am not positive the blend package is really worth the supplemental $50 cost.

See also: Finest digicam phone 2021: Take the best images and films.

Gimbals offer three-axis stabilization with interior motors that activate just after you mount your phone and then transform on the gimbal. The gimbal stabilizes tilt, pan, and roll even though also providing different controls on the gimbal to pan, zoom, and move as a result of different digicam options. Your smartphone is connected by means of Bluetooth to the gimbal, and the smartphone software program lets you perspective the articles even though customizing the shooting options and perspectives. The gimbal also acts as a selfie stick or even as a tripod and is an vital tool for movie creators.


  • Good construct good quality and design
  • Able of holding bigger telephones
  • Integrated tripod attachment
  • Entire-showcased smartphone software program

Really don’t Like

  • Lots of buttons and controls
  • Restricted battery daily life
  • Does not fold up to compact size


I was despatched the
Zhiyun Sleek 5 combo package

to consider and enjoy the possibility to verify out the carrying/storage bag and a single magnetic mounting mild with four coloration filters. You can mount two lights on the Sleek 5, and finally, you will be ready to purchase a next at a $36 cost.

I opened up the retail package to verify out the blend package and then billed up the gimbal by means of the USB-C port on the back of the handle. The USB-C port is coated by a silicone port address and can be a bit of a agony to take away. There is also a USB-C port on the higher arm that is employed to charge up your smartphone. This can be helpful if you come about to be recording and need to have to get a session accomplished, but with just two,600mAh ability in the gimbal, I wouldn’t count on charging up your smartphone for each recording session.

The Rapid Commence Tutorial is vital reading through substance that will show you how to thoroughly unlock, extend, and setup your gimbal for use. There are 16 indicators, buttons, dials, and controls on the Zhiyun Sleek 5, so you need to have the information to make positive you have an understanding of what every single serves to handle. It takes applying the gimbal various periods to get the dangle of all of the controls, but once you have it down, then you will notice the gimbal is quite capable and powerful. I obtain the buttons and controls to be nicely-positioned too and very easily available even though holding the gimbal in my suitable hand.

It is just a several methods to setup the components, such as unlocking the tilt, pan, and roll axis. Notice that the pan axis lock is a bodily switch on the bottom of the gimbal positioned over the USB-C charging port. The tilt and roll axis parts are unlocked by rotating the arm to move the locking nub exterior of the beveled lock.

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Slide apart the smartphone clamp it has rubber braces on either side and inserts your phone with the rear cameras going through absent from you. The complete within of the smartphone clamp has gentle rubber substance to secure your phone, with a deep ridge for securing bigger telephones. Make positive to verify the phone’s buttons, so you line up the holder devoid of interference and accidental activation of the buttons.

The Zhiyun Sleek 5 does not support rotating involving portrait and landscape orientation with buttons or controls. Handbook rotation is needed to switch orientations, and with an orientation switch, rotate the phone holder into situation and lock it in put you will have to also rebalance the phone manually. The roll axis arm has a bodily lock switch to move back and forth to realize harmony just before turning on the gimbal. After the gimbal is turned on, then the motors will function to harmony points, but if you don’t get harmony shut, then the motors will have to function really hard to try to realize harmony and battery daily life will be significantly lowered. It is relatively easy to move and adjust the roll axis arm to realize harmony, and then you can also slide the phone mount for high-quality tuning.

The Sleek 5 retail package contains a modest tripod mount, both normal and combo. This screws into the base of the gimbal. It is only three.5 inches extended, so it isn’t going to transform the gimbal into a selfie stick, but the 3 legs extend out and build a secure system for smartphone images.

After the phone is mounted and well balanced, transform on the Zhiyun Sleek 5 and check out the motors kick in to harmony the gimbal. Launch the ZY Cami software program on the phone, and then you can handle the seize experience with all of the controls on the gimbal.

See also: Finest Android phone 2021: Major pro picks.

The roll axis lock, USB-C port, and trigger button are observed on the back of the Sleek 5. The trigger button is employed to toggle SmartFollow, reposition the phone, enter selfie method, and enter Go method. Diverse button presses activate these capabilities so verify out the Rapid Commence Tutorial.

A substantial focus/zoom wheel and button are positioned on the still left side of the gimbal and are pretty distinct on the gimbal. The button switches involving focus and zoom even though the wheel lets you promptly handle the stage of every single. It is a helpful controller if you use zoom even though recording.

The power button, functionality button, and a one/four-inch threaded hole are positioned on the suitable side of the gimbal. The functionality button is customizable in the ZY Cami application, so you can established it to one thing you use on a typical foundation. The side threaded hole can be employed for a stabilizer or extension bar.

On the main, entrance, side of the gimbal, we obtain the method indicator mild, menu button, method button, seize button, joystick, adjustment wheel with four buttons, and the center fill mild button. The four buttons around the adjustment wheel are employed for resolution/body price, ISO/exposure adjustment, show, and picture album.


  • Mild: Magnetic attachment capable of mounting best and base lights with coloration filters, up to 3W every single
  • Smartphone ability: Up to 300 grams
  • Smartphone thickness: Up to ten mm
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth four.two
  • Battery: 2600mAh for four.5 to 12 several hours of battery daily life and two several hours to thoroughly charge
  • Proportions: 311 x 168 x 52 mm
  • Weight: 615g


You can use the gimbal alone as a stabilizer for your phone, but you will never experience all of the exclusive effects and imaginative options except if you use the included software program. The ZY Cami software program is available for Android and Apple iphone models and supplies you with a comprehensive capturing and enhancing different to the digicam software program on your phone. There are options for movie, picture, pano, dolly zoom, timelapse, hyper-lapse, and clever options. I’ve observed reviews of software program instability, but in my screening, with Android telephones, the ZY Cami software program has executed flawlessly.

The primary use of a smartphone gimbal is to seize movie articles, and the method button on the gimbal is concentrated on this experience. Pan comply with method (PF) means that the tilt and roll axis motors are locked, and the pan axis follows the movement of the stabilizer handle. The joystick is employed to handle the tilt and pan axis in this method. When Lock method (L) is enabled, the 3 motors are locked and will not comply with the movement of the stabilizer handle with the joystick yet again managing tilt and pan. In Adhere to method (F), the roll axis motor is locked with the tilt and pan axis motors pursuing the movement of the stabilizer handle. The Position of Look at method (POV) is pretty radical in that all 3 motors comply with the movement of the stabilizer handle. In Vortex method (V), the tilt axis motor rotates upward by 90 degrees even though the tilt, roll and pan axis motors comply with the rotation of the handle. Thrust the joystick to the still left or gith to handle the rotation of the pan axis. In Go Mode, the digicam pans and tilts pursuing the movement of the gimbal at a rapid velocity even though the roll axis is locked.

The ZY Cami application also has a powerful editor that lets you thoroughly edit your captured articles suitable on your phone. You can trim your movie, increase songs, increase subtitles, increase stickers, improve playback velocity, reverse the movie, zoom, rotate, increase filters, modify colors, and much more. The Key services, a single year is included with the combo package, supplies you accessibility to on the web enhancing, on the web movie storage, and much more templates for state-of-the-art enhancing of your films.

Person guides, tutorials, and articles from other creators are all contained inside of the ZY Cami application. Viewing other articles is excellent for inspiration and for providing concepts of how you can strengthen your articles too.

Activities and conclusions

I shot films applying the Zhiyun Sleek 5 with a
OnePlus 9 Pro

Google Pixel 5a

, and
Sony Xperia Pro-I

. The phone clamps securely, and the smooth silicone/rubber substance guards the complete on the telephones. If it is not a cumbersome scenario, you can even mount your phone in a scenario, as extended as the thickness is significantly less than 10mm.

Even with weighty telephones, the tripod is quite safe and secure. This is primarily helpful when shooting a panorama where by the gimbal moves as a result of different angles to seize perfect shots. When I just transform my human body to seize panoramic shots, I tend to move up and down, so it can be wonderful to have a secure system with flawless execution for this shooting method.

The Zhiyun Sleek 5 folds down into a safe variety, but it is not just about as compact as the
Sleek Q3

 or DJI gimbals. However, it feels good in the hand with strong materials, rubber-coated handle grip and very easily available controls. There are a lot of controls, so devote time applying them just before you head out for your shooting periods.

It isn’t really a gimbal for newcomers with an overwhelming range of buttons, wheels, and controls. There is a sound Rapid Commence Tutorial in the retail package with the comprehensive person handbook in the ZY Cami application to more outline the buttons and available shooting modes. Experiment with the modes and get to discover the controls just before you commence shooting your articles.

General, I was happy with the Zhiyun Sleek 5 gimbal’s overall performance, construct good quality, and powerful shooting/enhancing software program. It is a bit pricier than similar gimbals, but if you will be applying the zoom/focus handle wheel, then it may well be really worth the cost top quality for you. It is not that portable for packing on day trips for unplanned movie seize, but it is a sound choice for prepared recording periods.

Rosa G. Rose

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