Zhiyun Smooth 5 review: Professional level gimbal for content creators

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

is a larger gimbal for those who regularly shoot in planned recording periods.

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

. The $219 combo package deal arrives with some further goodies a protective bag, fill light-weight and filters, ZY Cami just one-calendar year primary assistance card, and a wrist strap. The protective bag is nicely produced, but I’m not sure the mix package deal is really worth the further $50 rate.

See also: Greatest camera mobile phone 2021: Acquire the most effective shots and movies.

Gimbals deliver 3-axis stabilization with internal motors that activate following you mount your mobile phone and then convert on the gimbal. The gimbal stabilizes tilt, pan, and roll even though also delivering various controls on the gimbal to pan, zoom, and shift via various camera options. Your smartphone is related by using Bluetooth to the gimbal, and the smartphone program allows you view the information 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 device for video creators.


  • Sound create top quality and design
  • Capable of holding larger telephones
  • Integrated tripod attachment
  • Total-featured smartphone program

Don’t Like

  • Lots of buttons and controls
  • Minimal battery existence
  • Does not fold up to compact size


I was sent the
Zhiyun Sleek 5 combo package deal

to appraise and respect the option to look at out the carrying/storage bag and just one magnetic mounting light-weight with 4 color filters. You can mount two lights on the Sleek 5, and finally, you will be able to invest in a 2nd at a $36 rate.

I opened up the retail package deal to look at out the mix package deal and then billed up the gimbal by using the USB-C port on the again of the take care of. The USB-C port is included by a silicone port go over and can be a little bit of a pain to take away. There is also a USB-C port on the upper arm that is utilised to cost up your smartphone. This can be beneficial if you materialize to be recording and have to have to get a session finished, but with just two,600mAh capability in the gimbal, I wouldn’t depend on charging up your smartphone for each individual recording session.

The Fast Start off Guidebook is vital looking at product that will show you how to completely unlock, extend, and set up your gimbal for use. There are 16 indicators, buttons, dials, and controls on the Zhiyun Sleek 5, so you have to have the guide to make sure you recognize what just about every serves to command. It requires working with the gimbal a number of moments to get the dangle of all of the controls, but the moment you have it down, then you will realize the gimbal is quite capable and effective. I discover the buttons and controls to be nicely-positioned as well and easily available even though holding the gimbal in my correct hand.

It is really just a handful of methods to set up the hardware, including unlocking the tilt, pan, and roll axis. Notice that the pan axis lock is a actual physical switch on the backside of the gimbal positioned previously mentioned the USB-C charging port. The tilt and roll axis sections are unlocked by rotating the arm to shift the locking nub outside the house of the beveled lock.

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Slide aside the smartphone clamp it has rubber braces on either facet and inserts your mobile phone with the rear cameras struggling with away from you. The total inside of of the smartphone clamp has smooth rubber product to secure your mobile phone, with a deep ridge for securing larger telephones. Make sure to look at 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 help rotating between portrait and landscape orientation with buttons or controls. Handbook rotation is needed to switch orientations, and with an orientation switch, rotate the mobile phone holder into placement and lock it in position you have to also rebalance the mobile phone manually. The roll axis arm has a actual physical lock switch to shift again and forth to reach harmony in advance of turning on the gimbal. When the gimbal is turned on, then the motors will perform to harmony matters, but if you really don’t get harmony near, then the motors will have to perform difficult to test to reach harmony and battery existence will be greatly reduced. It is really reasonably uncomplicated to shift and adjust the roll axis arm to reach harmony, and then you can also slide the mobile phone mount for great tuning.

The Sleek 5 retail package deal incorporates a small tripod mount, both typical and combo. This screws into the base of the gimbal. It is only 3.5 inches lengthy, so it won’t convert the gimbal into a selfie stick, but the 3 legs extend out and generate a stable platform for smartphone photography.

When the mobile phone is mounted and balanced, convert on the Zhiyun Sleek 5 and watch the motors kick in to harmony the gimbal. Start the ZY Cami program on the mobile phone, and then you can command the seize experience with all of the controls on the gimbal.

See also: Greatest Android mobile phone 2021: Prime professional picks.

The roll axis lock, USB-C port, and result in button are uncovered on the again of the Sleek 5. The result in button is utilised to toggle SmartFollow, reposition the mobile phone, enter selfie method, and enter Go method. Distinctive button presses activate these capabilities so look at out the Fast Start off Guidebook.

A big concentrate/zoom wheel and button are positioned on the left facet of the gimbal and are pretty unique on the gimbal. The button switches between concentrate and zoom even though the wheel allows you promptly command the stage of just about every. It is really a handy controller if you use zoom even though recording.

The electric power button, operate button, and a 1/four-inch threaded hole are located on the correct facet of the gimbal. The operate button is customizable in the ZY Cami application, so you can set it to something you use on a regular foundation. The facet threaded hole can be utilised for a stabilizer or extension bar.

On the key, entrance, facet of the gimbal, we discover the method indicator light-weight, menu button, method button, seize button, joystick, adjustment wheel with 4 buttons, and the middle fill light-weight button. The 4 buttons close to the adjustment wheel are utilised for resolution/frame fee, ISO/exposure adjustment, display, and image album.


  • Gentle: Magnetic attachment capable of mounting prime and base lights with color filters, up to 3W just about every
  • Smartphone capability: Up to three hundred grams
  • Smartphone thickness: Up to 10 mm
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth four.two
  • Battery: 2600mAh for four.5 to twelve several hours of battery existence and two several hours to completely cost
  • Dimensions: 311 x 168 x fifty two mm
  • Excess weight: 615g


You can use the gimbal by itself as a stabilizer for your mobile phone, but you would not experience all of the unique consequences and imaginative options except if you use the provided program. The ZY Cami program is obtainable for Android and Apple iphone products and presents you with a full capturing and enhancing option to the camera program on your mobile phone. There are options for video, image, pano, dolly zoom, timelapse, hyper-lapse, and intelligent options. I have witnessed reports of program instability, but in my tests, with Android telephones, the ZY Cami program has executed flawlessly.

The most important use of a smartphone gimbal is to seize video information, and the method button on the gimbal is focused on this experience. Pan stick to method (PF) implies that the tilt and roll axis motors are locked, and the pan axis follows the movement of the stabilizer take care of. The joystick is utilised to command the tilt and pan axis in this method. When Lock method (L) is enabled, the 3 motors are locked and will not stick to the movement of the stabilizer take care of with the joystick again managing tilt and pan. In Follow method (F), the roll axis motor is locked with the tilt and pan axis motors subsequent the movement of the stabilizer take care of. The Stage of Perspective method (POV) is pretty radical in that all 3 motors stick to the movement of the stabilizer take care of. In Vortex method (V), the tilt axis motor rotates upward by 90 degrees even though the tilt, roll and pan axis motors stick to the rotation of the take care of. Push the joystick to the left or gith to command the rotation of the pan axis. In Go Mode, the camera pans and tilts subsequent the movement of the gimbal at a speedy pace even though the roll axis is locked.

The ZY Cami application also has a effective editor that allows you completely edit your captured information correct on your mobile phone. You can trim your video, increase music, increase subtitles, increase stickers, improve playback pace, reverse the video, zoom, rotate, increase filters, modify shades, and a lot more. The Prime assistance, just one calendar year is provided with the combo package deal, presents you obtain to on the net enhancing, on the net video storage, and a lot more templates for innovative enhancing of your movies.

Consumer guides, tutorials, and information from other creators are all contained within just the ZY Cami application. Viewing other information is good for inspiration and for delivering concepts of how you can make improvements to your information as well.

Ordeals and conclusions

I shot movies working with the Zhiyun Sleek 5 with a
OnePlus nine Professional

Google Pixel 5a

, and
Sony Xperia Professional-I

. The mobile phone clamps securely, and the sleek silicone/rubber product shields the end on the telephones. If it is not a cumbersome situation, you can even mount your mobile phone in a situation, as lengthy as the thickness is a lot less than 10mm.

Even with weighty telephones, the tripod is extremely safe and stable. This is particularly beneficial when shooting a panorama exactly where the gimbal moves via various angles to seize excellent photographs. When I just convert my overall body to seize panoramic photographs, I are likely to shift up and down, so it really is wonderful to have a stable platform with flawless execution for this shooting method.

The Zhiyun Sleek 5 folds down into a safe kind, but it is not approximately as compact as the
Sleek Q3

 or DJI gimbals. However, it feels fantastic in the hand with strong resources, rubber-coated take care of grip and easily available controls. There are a lot of controls, so spend time working with them in advance of you head out for your shooting periods.

It is not definitely a gimbal for inexperienced persons with an overwhelming selection of buttons, wheels, and controls. There is a stable Fast Start off Guidebook in the retail package deal with the full consumer manual in the ZY Cami application to further more define the buttons and obtainable shooting modes. Experiment with the modes and get to find out the controls in advance of you start shooting your information.

Overall, I was happy with the Zhiyun Sleek 5 gimbal’s overall performance, create top quality, and effective shooting/enhancing program. It is really a little bit pricier than comparable gimbals, but if you will be working with the zoom/concentrate command wheel, then it may possibly be really worth the rate high quality for you. It is not that portable for packing on day outings for unplanned video seize, but it is a stable selection for planned recording periods.