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Best camera stabilizer 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]

Last Updated September 1, 2020

Charlie OliverLet’s get started. After more than 27 hours of research and testing, which included using 23 different camera stabilizer in five cities and interviewing product teams at five major companies, I made a list of the best camera stabilizer of 2018

I have been writing about technology and entertainment since the early 90s from my secluded home in West Virginia. Now I’m going to recommend a few camera stabilizer you can pick from to get started quickly and easily.

Let’s get to it!

Best camera stabilizer of 2018

I am going to specify each good-to-buy feature as much as possible for your references. There is a wide range of products available on the market today, and below I have reviewed 3 of the very best options.

After carefully examining the reviews and ratings of the people who have used them earlier this listicle has been made. Customers need to be careful on how they spend their money on these products.

Test Results and Ratings

Rank №1 №2 №3
Total 4.8 4.5 4.3
5 points
5 points
4 points
5 points
4 points
4 points
5 points
5 points
4 points
4 points
4 points
5 points
Awards 1
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How to save up to 86%? Here is little trick.

You must visit the page of sales. Here is the link. If you don’t care about which brand is better, then you can choose the camera stabilizer by the price and buy from the one who will offer the greatest discount.



№1 – Zhiyun Crane 2 2017 Follow Focus 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer 7lb Payload OLED Display 18hrs Runtime 1Min Toolless Balance Adjustment for Camera Weighing 1.1lb to 7lb

Zhiyun Crane 2 2017 Follow Focus 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer 7lb Payload OLED Display 18hrs Runtime 1Min Toolless Balance Adjustment for Camera Weighing 1.1lb to 7lb

3-Level Real Time Follow Focus: Crane 2 Allows ±0.02° Precision Control for Autofocus Lenses Through Camera Cable Connection(Currently for Canon DSLRs and Mirrorless Cameras Released after 2008, with Original Canon Autofocus Lenses)
7lb Maximum Payload: Support Camera Weighing 1.1lb to 7lb Like Canon EOS Series/Panasonic LUMIX Series/Sony ILCE Series A Series/Nikon D Series
Not found yet.

Why did this camera stabilizer win the first place?

I was completely satisfied with the price. Its counterparts in this price range are way worse. I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product.
















№2 – Zhiyun Crane V2 3 Axis Brushless Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer 3 32Bit MCUs Brushless Motors With Encoders for Mirrorless Camera Sony A7 Series Panasonic LUMIX Series Nikon J Series Canon M Series

Zhiyun Crane V2 3 Axis Brushless Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer 3 32Bit MCUs Brushless Motors With Encoders for Mirrorless Camera Sony A7 Series Panasonic LUMIX Series Nikon J Series Canon M Series

Please notice this is Crane V2 not Crane-2 with follow focus function. If your camera set is more than 1800g, please go for Crane-2 Gimbal
The First Handheld Gimbal with CCI (Camera Control Interface), thus the camera’s shutter and focus can be controlled by the buttons on gimbal’s handle. 3 operation modes. Quick, simple and tool-less camera mounting system saves time and effort.
It is pretty expensive.
Heavier and thicker.

Why did this camera stabilizer come in second place?

This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money. I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price. Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture.
















№3 – Zeadio Video Action Stabilizing Handle Grip Handheld Stabilizer with Hot-Shoe Mount for Canon Nikon…

Zeadio Video Action Stabilizing Handle Grip Handheld Stabilizer with Hot-Shoe Mount for Canon Nikon...

Nice Gift — Ideal filming accessory for birthday party, honeymoon, home, travel, banquet to record the happy and unforgettable moments. A nice gift for your friends and family.
Moving Low Angle Filming — Ideal for making moving low angle videos and images.
Quit bulky.
Not as good as some others we reviewed.

Why did this camera stabilizer take third place?

A very convenient model. It is affordable and made of high-quality materials. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new.
















camera stabilizer Buyer’s Guide

If you keep the before points in mind, you can easily go out to the market and buy camera stabilizer, right? No!

Battery & Charging

The Zhiyun Smooth-Q comes with a massive 26650mAh battery. Zhyiun say this is enough to power the gimbal for 1hours, in our tests it was a bit less than that.

On the bottom of the handle, Zhiyun have placed a standard USB port to charge your smartphone. It’s a great idea, you can find a similar thing on the EVO GP-Pro Gimbal. It does prove hard or even impossible to plug the phone in while it’s in the gimbal though, so not as useful as it initially seems.

GR Rating

EVO Gimbals are a US-based business that have been making professional and ‘prosumer’ 3-axis stabilizers for use with GoPro cameras, Small DSLRs and smartphones.

The EVO GP Pro comes with attachments for mounting The original GoPro Hero 3/4/4+ series, and also GoPro Session and the Garmin Virb 30 action camera. Pretty useful if you have a few different cameras you use regularly.

Built-in charging

One of the unique features of the EVO GP Pro series is the four-way thumb stick for precise control of your tilt, pin, and roll axes. The joystick translated in to quick changes of the pan and tilt of the GoPro. I can imagine making use of the pan controls when using the gimbal for ‘follow cam’ situations.

Connect a field monitor to the handle and you can preview the video footage in real time. This stops you guessing where you are pointing the camera, and can also be used to watch your footage after you’ve finished filming.

Interesting Facts

Most of the GoPro Gimbals I have covered in the above paragraphs concerns handheld ones. However, you can get accessories where you can mount the Gimbal and there are even those that can be worn. That’s right, you can even purchase those to mount on a helmet or drone. These can enable you to get either a first person view of what is happening or a bird’s eye view. Now, both of these should be used responsibly and for your own enjoyment. Especially when it comes to using those designed to mount on drones. If you are considerate and careful then both of these mountable Gimbals can be very enjoyable.

Now, both of these should be used responsibly and for your own enjoyment. Especially when it comes to using those designed to mount on drones. If you are considerate and careful then both of these mountable Gimbals can be very enjoyable.


Here is another important point to consider. While some GoPro Gimbals may have major features that sound great you need to determine what you will actually need. Think about what you will be using it for and then research the features accordingly to find out which Gimbal offers the features that are most important to you. Also, consider where you will be using the GoPro Gimbal and make sure that it will function in the surroundings you will be in.

The birth of Steadicams

Long before the invention of the Steadicam, Hollywood and other cinema giants heavily relied on a dolly- similar to railroad tracks- to move their heavy cameras closer to, away from, or alongside the subject.

While the dolly offered what the movie directors needed (smooth shots), it was cumbersome, time-consuming, and pretty expensive to complete one project. Using a dolly requires laying down the tracks that the camera will slide on. These steel or aluminum tracks are costly and need an expert hand to lie down.

Again, a dolly requires a huge crew to operate, and the tracks need to be laid down on flat ground to prevent any bounces that may affect the look of the shots.

But the main downfall- and that which the steadicams came to solve- was that of following the subjects downstairs, on busy streets, and on rough terrains.

Why a Steadicam is better than a dolly

The Steadicam will always be the best invention in the movie world. Garrett Brown, the inventor of Steadicam and a Philadelphia native, is the man to take all credit here. The best part about these modern units is that they need only one person to accomplish a project that would have required a 10-man crew to complete.

The only time that you might need a little help is when moving downstairs and backwards, though not always. A Steadicam also allows you to follow the subject over long distances and across crowded rooms with relative ease.

The evolution of Steadicams

Now, do understand that Steadicam is a brand of stabilizers that was invented by Garrett Brown for Motion Picture cameras. Most people, however, use the name Steadicam for anything that offers advanced shooting stabilities even when the units are actually from other competitor brands.

All in all, the Steadicam may be viewed as the ‘Mother of all stabilizers and gimbals’ since they all borrow a leaf from it regarding performance and operations.

Your budget

The best Steadicams can be darn expensive. The Steadicam Steadimate Professional video stabilizer, for instance, costs close to three grand. You could get several high-end DSLR or mirrorless cameras and lenses with this amount and stick to handheld operations.

The primary advantage that you get with an expensive stabilization rig is that you’ll be able to support heavier components with a lot of ease. For the record, the Steadicam Steadimate above can support a camera system with up to 30lbs in weight. On the other hand, the cheaper Flycam 5000 supports utmost 1pounds.

The former model allows you to pull really nice shots with about any camera load fitted with any lens configuration and any other necessary accessories. So, if you have a lucrative videography business and high-profile clients that require nothing but the best, the Steadicam Steadimate might be your best bet here.

From a budget and weight limitation standpoint, we can deduce that high-end Steadicams are better left for professional broadcasting houses like CNN that have a huge budget for expensive gear.

On the other hand, the low-end Steadicams might be ideal for a typical vlogger who wants to deliver high-quality videos without breaking the bank. Mind you, the market has a multitude of these units, and I’ll be doing a review of several of them later in this article. So, stay tuned to the end.

Your skills

I’ll be upfront with you on this one. Don’t buy a Steadicam until you have perfected your balancing skills. A Steadicam is among a few other units on Earth that require lots and lots of patience and time to master.

A friend of mine who works in a camera and stabilizer store tells me that close to 50% of all the stabilizers sold are always taken back to the store after several weeks. Reason? The buyers are impatient video enthusiasts who want to fly down the hallways and streets right off the bat without mastering how to use the rig first. That will never be.

After buying a Steadicam, it pays to either join a class or find a mentor to help you through. When taking my first class on how to use a Steadicam, my trainer suggested The Steadicam’s Operator Handbook by Jerry Holway.

This is a highly recommendable well rounded guided that will help you move your camera rig with precision even when on the fly. Remember I am also here and will give my advice on mastering your creative skills.

I highly recommend that you also bookmark this website as your new resource for learning all things regarding steadicams.

Steadicam vs. Stabilizer

All Steadicams are stabilizers, but not all stabilizers qualify to be a ‘steadicam’ from Garrett Brown’s point of view.

In videomaking, Stabilizers are systems that work in the same manner as Steadicams but do not necessarily involve a vest or arm. They are, however, considered more advanced than gimbals (more about these in the next subheading).

As more and more people get a good hold of how steadicams work, more stabilizers that dope the same job of a 2k-Steadicam are now available at a fraction of the price. There are high expectations of cheaper and more advanced units to hit the market in the near future.

Generally, the best camera stabilizers involve a camera mount, a gimbal, and a pole that connects the camera mount to the counterweights on the other end. A good recommendation here would be the Glidecam HD 1000. Find its review here.

Steadicam VS Gimbal

Commonly known as a gimbal, this is, perhaps the smallest of all stabilizers. Amazingly, these models have also revolved more than the traditional handheld stabilizers.

You might also hear some people referring to these motorized stabilizers. This is because a gimbal uses three motions to stabilize a camera or a phone; yaw, pitch, and roll.

A gimbal such as the Snoppa Go uses brushless motors and sensors to offer your camera absolute balance. These powered units beat the handheld stabilizers in that their performance is not affected by sways and external forces such as the wind and inertia.

In the same manner, most gimbals offer a relatively lower learning curve compared to a Steadicam or a ‘stabilizer.’ Don’t get me wrong though. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with the controls and the different modes available before you can fly with the gimbal.

Sound construction

Imodern S-40C weighs around 2.pounds. Though this weight may be too much for your wrist if you are a starter, it’s still very lightweight compared to others. You’ll also get comfortable using it as you get a good hold of it. The S-40C is crafted from carbon fiber that facilitates its lightweight yet sturdy structure.

Zhiyun Crane VDSLR Stabilizer

Motorized handheld stabilizers are taking the art of shooting smooth videos to the next level. These are the most compact camera stabilizers and should, therefore, top the wish list of any videographer looking for something with a minimal footprint.

Tool-less assembly and mounting

In my opinion, the main reason why most people prefer gimbals is that of their ease of assembly and use.

The Zhiyun Crane V2, for instance, comes fully assembled and does not require disassembling not unless you just want to do it for fun. Again, your camera mounts and dismounts on the plate in a breeze since you don’t need any tools for that too. This means that you can carry the gimbal in your backpack and flush it out for use whenever need be.

Performance and controls

The control panel is relatively straightforward and easy to understand. The W/T toggle, however, might be confusing to most users. It simply means zoom in and out.

The most notable feature here is the touch-sensitive joystick which allows you to pan, rotate, and tilt your phone, of course, depending on the mode that you are shooting at.

Similar to other gimbals, the Smooth-Q features operation modes. Switching between these modes is through a single button.

Again, long pressing the mode button switches the gimbal to sleep button and long pressing it again brings it back up. Doing all these could be pretty intimidating at first but will become clear after several uses.

There is a free App too…

The app offers several intelligent functions such as long exposure, time lapse, and slow motion among others. The app also has lots of information about your phone including the shooting mode, the battery capacity, the degree of roll, pitch, and pan, and the current shooting mode. You can also use it to calibrate the gimbal when need be.

Dji Osmo Stabilized Camera Gimbal

The Zhiyun Smooth-Q above is a decent entry-level phone stabilizer. You might want to check it out if you are on a tight budget. However, I feel that the Smooth-Q lacks a few pretty important features that would have made it a really great deal at its price.

In that case, if you are looking for a professional-grade camera gimbal for your Smartphone shots, I would pretty much suggest that you go for DJI’s latest release; the DJI Osmo Mobile.

Slightly pricier but for a reason

Admittedly, the DJI Osmo Mobile is a few bucks pricier than the Smooth-Q. But that’s because we are talking about quicker joystick adjustment responses and superb face/ object tracking capabilities. These are among a few other reasons why I find the Zhiyun Smooth-Q slightly unreliable.

Designed with Phantom 4’s ActiveTrack drone technology

ActiveTrack technology is one of the biggest leaps that DJI has made in drone technology. This function enables the camera to follow your subject throughout the shot using intelligent vision and sensors.

To identify your subject from a group, you only need to draw a box around it. That’s not rocket science, but it’s super cool.

YI Gimbal Stabilizer and Action Camera Bundle

Are you looking forward to purchasing an action camera and a stabilizing gimbal at the same time? If so, Yi Technology has a bundle that you might be interested in. Enter the Yi Action Camera and the Yi Action Cam Stabilizer combo.

It’s the first in this series

Understandably, this stabilizer is Yi Technology’s first item. They are not new to action cameras though. Yi is better known for its good quality yet amazingly affordable action cameras designed for beginners and videographers on a budget.

If you are looking for an action camera with near-GoPro quality but you are really strapped for cash, Yi has several options for you including the Xiaoyi Action Camera which is highly recommendable and the Yi Lite among other action cameras.

Tiny yet very powerful

Speaking from a portability perspective, the Yi measures 95mm x 77mm x 75mm (L x W x D) and weighs less than half a pound. These dimensions coupled with the travel case that ships with the package make it easy for you to pack the gimbal plus the camera for all your adventures.

About performance, the Yi Action camera Gimbal offers operation modes; pan, tilt, pan and tilt mode. Worth mentioning here is that you choose between all these modes from a single button.

You can view this as either a pro or con depending on what you like. In my opinion, the ease of changing the shooting mode from a single button is super convenient since you won’t be fiddling with lots of controls.

On the other hand, this single button operation might be quite tricky for someone who is used to a stabilizer with dedicated buttons for all the modes. Luckily, there’s a LED indicator that lights up in different colors depending on the mode. This might make things clear once you have a good hang of the gimbal.

The Yi Gimbal does not come with a tripod. Luckily, it features a universal 1/4-inch thread attachment that lets you mount it to almost any compatible tripod or monopod. In that case, I would highly recommend that you check out the Andoer Q666C Carbon Fiber tripod among other options in our other list of the best budget travel tripods.

Removu SGimbal Stabilizer

It’s very likely that you’ve heard about the Removu SGimbal Stabilizer, haven’t you? This is an ass-kicking gimbal that has taken the world of camera steadicams by storm since it debuted in 2016.

The presence of the Removu Sand the Karma Grip has caused a controversy among critiques with regard to the best stabilizer for GoPro cameras.

Although the head-to-head footage clearly puts the Karma Grip ahead of its direct competitor, the Removu SGimbal has a rich, innovative set of features that make it quite recommendable.

Mount it anywhere

As a direct competitor of the Karma Grip and given that this unit is designed purposely for the GoPro cameras, the ease of mounting it anywhere is one feature that makes it a great deal.

This means that you can mount it to your biking or skiing helmet, backpack, or use the chest harness to mount it on your body. You could also mount it on your bike’s handlebar although I don’t recommend it due to how shaky it can be for your GoPro.

Design and Set up

Setting up the Sis easy straight out of the box. What puts it a few steps ahead of the Karma Grip is its ability to support several GoPro cameras including the Hero Session, Hero3, Hero 3+, Hero4, HeroBlack, Hero Session, and the Hero6.

In my opinion, this modular design might also allow you to mount emerging GoPro action cameras in future- a really good thing here.

Removu also claims that it is both rainproof and waterproof. However, I would recommend that you let it stay in its rainproof carrying case in such occasions given its price.

Features and Performance

The Shas about every control detail that you’d require for your shots on the handle. This includes the tilt and pan functions that Karma Grip lacks.

Another cool feature about this stabilizer is that you can detach the hand grip. This allows you to mount the head mount to a pole then use the wireless joystick remote to control the gimbal.

Dazzne HD-2000 Professional Camera Stabilizer

The Dazzne HD-2000 wraps quick and precise balancing, flexibility, and style in a thoughtfully crafted stabilizer that get things done without being overly pricey.

Though this handheld unit does not promise some out-this-world shots, it has remarkable performance in minimizing most of the camera shakes. Once you get a good hang of it, you might be able to boom, pan, tilt, and even run with very minimal camera shakes and instability.

Don’t simply take my word for it though. Here is its review.

Cam Caddie Scorpion EX Stabilizer Kit

Last month, I was asked whether I would recommend the beholder dshandheld stabilizer for professional projects.

My answer was simple and straightforward. NO. In my opinion, the Beholder ds is an overpriced tool with a great concept from a design viewpoint, but very inconsistent and, therefore, very unreliable.

Rather than invest so much money on an item that you won’t use (unless you are a very lucky and esteemed dslr stabilizer diy), I would highly suggest that you go with the Cam Caddie Scorpion Ex Stabilizer Kit instead.

Multiple Support Options

I also like that the Cam Caddie Scorpion Ex offers you lots of options regarding support. To begin with, this unit has an ergonomically designed handle that is crafted from a low-weight composite.

It also has a uniquely designed polymer grip that aims at offering you a stable hold of the kit for easy maneuvering with a single hand.

If you feel more comfortable with 2-handed shooting, you are free to mount your DSLR cam perpendicular to the top bar which leaves you with the curved side of the stabilizer and the top handle for 2-handed operations.

For those who prefer shoulder-mounted shooting, you can attach a cheese plate (provided) to this stabilizer’s feet. With the cheese plate in place, simply go ahead and mount the Scorpion Ex Shoulder Support (sold separately) which will go a long way in dampening most of the vibrations. It also allows you to shoot for prolonged periods without fatiguing easily.

GoPro Karma Grip

Factors to Consider When Acquiring A GoPro Stabilizer

Versatility: While some stabilizers are made to support specific model, some are versatile enough to allow usage with several models and gadgets. You have to ensure that you get something versatile enough to work with several other models and gadgets. That way, you won’t have to worry about incompatibility.

Ease of use: If you are a beginner, go for easy-to-use models. Of course, we all want to have something which won’t compel us to seek assistance from experts. For that reason, if you’re an amateur, then ensure that you get something which is easy to use.

Cost: Only get what you can comfortably afford. Like I always say; cheap is always expensive. What I mean here is simple; when buying s Gopro stabilizer, ensure that you go for something whose price reflects on its quality.


If you are looking for a handheld camera stabilizer, that is pocket-friendly and deliver top, not the performance the Official Roxant Pro is an excellent choice. The set up of this stabilizer is simple and will support weight of up to 2lbs. This tool comes with a quick release plate that allows you to attach your camera easily allowing for easy use and storage.

Additionally, the no-slip grip on the lower arm of the camera eliminates arm swing and helps in better steadying the footage. This best handheld gimbal camera stabilizer is great for Indie filmmakers who want to take their shooting quality to a new level. This stabilizer is easy to use when walking, skating or running.

Compact size:  This handheld gimbal camera stabilizer come in a compact size that allows you to use it in tight spots such as down the stairs, in cars, through crowds, etc.

Unique design:  This camera comes in a unique design, which will reduce the fatigue for longer allowing you to acquire shots that are more elegant.  Another great feature that comes with this camera is the superior construction that makes it durable. It also has a no-slip grip that allows for better stability.

Ikan DSBeholder Gimbal for DSLRs 

The Ikan DSBeholder Gimbal for DSLRs s a great stabilizer that is very useful when it comes to shooting videos and taking photos. This gimbal camera stabilizer is compatible DSLR and cameras that are weighing up to 3.7lbs. You will love the illuminated ON-OFF switch alongside the battery indicator that allows you to check how long you can use the camera.

Additionally, the model comes with great features that allow you to stabilize your camera effortlessly for you to get perfect shots.

Three Axis Gyro Stabilized Brushless Motors:  This stabilizer comes with impressive gyro stabilized motor that offers enhanced stability to DSLR and Mirrorless cameras.

Support up to 3.lbs:  Unlike other gimbal camera stabilizers that support lightweight cameras, this model will allow you to hold heavier cameras up to 3.lbs comfortably.

Tripod Mount Socket:  The Ikan DSBeholder Gimbal for DSLRs also comes with a great tripod that is constructed with high-quality materials for superior performance and durability. The tripod will hold the camera in a stable position allowing you to take excellent shots and steady video footage.

Lithium powered:  Another great feature that comes with this gimbal stabilizer is the low maintenance and eco-friendly lithium battery. This battery will last for a long time and allow you to take perfect shots every time.

This is the first handheld camera stabilizer that comes with camera control interface. This means that you will have the ability to control your cameras focus and shutter through the buttons offered on the gimbals’ handle. This is one of the most compact models available on the market that has a lightweight yet durable aluminum built.

We love the fact the battery pack of the model is hidden inside the handle, and the calibrations are automatic, allowing you to do your desired tuning in a matter of seconds. This model will work with most DSLR camera, and it is very easy to mount.

Camera control interface:  This is among first handheld stabilizers that come with camera control interface that will allow you to control your cameras shutter and focus by the buttons available on the gimbals handle.

Built-in wireless control

This best handheld gimbal camera stabilizer come with a wireless control module that is connected to the Zhiyun remote or Smartphone App that can be used for wireless control as well as a firmware upgrade.

Innovative battery tray design:  This stabilizer comes with a built-in battery tray that can hold both the 18650 and 26650 batteries. These batteries have the ability to provide up to 6-1hours operating time.

Laing Handheld Stabilizer P-4S 

The Laing Handheld Stabilizer P-4S is a great camera stabilizer that can be easily used with a professional camcorder and DSLR cameras. The model support various weights ranging from 3lbs up to 5lbs. This will allow you to use heavier camera models. You will love the adjustable length of the sled that allows you to make better video footage as well as allowing you to take perfect shots.

Additionally, the model comes with a quick release action that enhances your overall experience when taking pictures. The model is also very easy to install, as no tools are needed during the installation.

Allows for horizontal and vertical 360 degrees turning:  Unlike other camera stabilizers that are fixed, this model will allow you to make 360 degrees turning easily while still offering excellent stability. With this stabilizer, you do not have to keep shifting the stabilizer from one point to the other to get better shots.

Allows for multi-angle shooting:  The main factor that makes professional photographers not to use the camera stabilizers is that most stabilizers are fixed and will not allow you to make shots from multiple angles. With this camera, you can take the pictures from various angles allowing you to take unique shots easily.  Additionally, this stabilizer ability to work with the vest and damp arm gives you more flexibility and convenience.

Flycam HD-3000 

The FLYCAM HD-3000 comes with smarter and superior design that makes it to achieve the best stability for the camera. The model also comes with other great features that allow you to make great footage as well as take excellent shots easily.

Universal camera mount plate

Lightweight design:  The model comes win a rugged and lightweight design that makes it offer unparallel controllability and ease of use. It is a perfect model especially if you have to carry a lot of baggage with you.

Excellent construction:  Another impressive feature that comes with this stabilizer is the stable and durable construction. It is constructed with aluminum-anodized materials that are rust proof. This material is lightweight and very durable.

Sutefoto S40 Handheld Stabilizer Pro 

The SUTEFOTO S40 Handheld Stabilizer Pro can support all Gore cameras as well as other varieties of action cameras. The model comes with quick balancing technology that will allow you to stabilize your shot very efficiently.

The model is constructed using aluminum that has a black powder coating making it scratch and rust resistance. The aluminum is also very lightweight making it easy to carry.

Additionally, the model can support a maximum load of up to 6.lbs. Additionally, this handheld gimbal camera stabilizer will offer you with impressive high and low shooting function-ability as well as offering you with great stabilization for your shots all the time.

Powder coated:  The mode is constructed with lightweight aluminum that is powder coated. This makes it scratch and rusts resistance making it more durable.

Quick balancing:  The model also comes with great features that make it easy to balance.

Easy to assemble and carry:  Another excellent feature that comes with this model is easy to assemble. No tool is required during the installation and will take less than minutes. Its lightweight design makes it easy to carry.

The weight of your camera

Here you need to look at all the bits in the construction and design that meets your needs. First, you need to look at the size of the handle. Here it will depend on your preference as you can find various models that have either long or short handle. Secondly, look at the materials of the gripper. The material of the gripper comes in different materials including rubber, plastic, and foam. Choose the model that has the material that you are comfortable with. Additionally look at the length of the stabilizer. This will depend entirely on your needs although stabilizers with long lengths are better if your camera is heavy.

Easy of assembly

No one would want to select a stabilizer that will take more than minutes to assemble. Ensure you pick a stabilizer that will be easy to mount so that you can focus more on taking great shots or making good video footage instead of taking all the time trying to set up the stabilizer. The best stabilizer should require no tools during the installations as you could easily forget the tools making the stabilizer useless.

Ikan FLY-X3-GO 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer for GoPro

While walking,it does not help limit up and down motion.

Steadicam CURVE-BK is designed specifically for GoPro Hero 2, Hero 3, Hero 3+ and Hero Black. It has a stealth camera stabilizing system which is useful for taking blur-free shots of movement objects. It can be used by one hand easily.

No USB Port

.ROXANT PRO video camera stabilizer : professional looking videos whether you are walking or running. separate counter weights are available with this package for precise balance adjustment. Additionally, you will also get life time support and free video training tutorials.

Works only for cameras below 2.lbs weight.

There is no spec that tells you which camera is best. And few specs can be taken at face value.

Resolution (“megapixels”) doesn’t matter unless you’re a pro or already understand why. Sensor size, autofocus system and image-stabilization system are among the features that do.

Don’t get hung up on making sure you’ve got the “best” or newest in a particular class. The truth is, one camera rarely beats the rest on all four major criteria — photo quality, performance, features and design. And last-year’s (or even the year before’s) models tend to be perfectly fine as well as a lot cheaper.

Try before you buy. Make sure it fits comfortably in your hand and that it’s not so big or heavy that you’ll prefer to leave it at home. It should provide quick access to the most commonly used functions, and menus should be simply structured, logical and easy to learn. Touchscreen models can allow for greater functionality, but can also be frustrating if the controls and menus are poorly organized.

Foam padded bag for easy transportation

The smart gimbal rotates over 360 degrees and offers an ideal balance once you get used to it. It takes time to understand how to work with this DSRL camera stabilizer. There are plenty of mounting options at the bottom of FLYCAM HD-3000 which giving a user lots of versatility.

Handheld Support Rig

After the learning curve, you get a device with an excellent stability that can capture smooth floating images without the slightest difficulty.

GLIDECAM HD-2000 Hand-Held Stabilizer is very well priced for what it does. The quality, fit and finish are top shelf. Using the GLIDECAM HD-2000 take most people some time to master, but the resulting videos are amazing. Even jumping over obstacles, fast walking or running, the video produced looks smooth as silk. Would definitely recommend the GLIDECAM HD-2000 Hand-Held Stabilizer to any videographers.

Fast response with dual sensors

This is the best DSLR camera stabilizer of 201on this top list. A little tool that creates an excellent balance. Suited for cameras in the 0.75-1.75kg load range, so you are able to use it with cameras like Canon 7D / 5D, NEX Series, Sony Aseries, Nikon D800 and D8and DMC Series.

Long Battery Life

In addition to handheld shooting, the gimbal can be used in vehicle mounting scenarios and other contexts where vibrations or other abrupt movements would make tripods and rigid camera support systems unsuitable. The structure of DJI Ronin-M is has a rigid magnesium frame and it will stand all rugged use. The main negative of this model is the price but it is worth full value for the money.

What is Steadicam

Steadycam also called stabilizer camera mount is a tool that allows for smooth tracking shots. Unlike handheld footage which is shaky, the Steadicam allows the cameraman to walk forward, backward, and even up or down steps smoothly. It allows the camera to track the action without shake or wobble.


Steadicams are pretty big. You should take it with you only if you are sure you need to film an high-quality film footage. They are cheaper then gimbals, easy to use and well balanced. The balance does take a few minutes but it is not that difficult. Once you have balanced camera, you are able to get very fluid and great shots.

Gimbals are more expensive devices. The first difference is the size. Gimbal is smaller and lighter, an ideal tool while you are traveling. A gimbal is a support system that allows an object to remain horizontal regardless of the motion around it. For example, drone gimbals keep a camera in the same position regardless of the motion of the drone.

HOW TO USE A CAMERA STABILISER! / Glidecam / Steadicam

Samsung’s Galaxy SEdge has a resolution of 6MP (as opposed to 12MP on the Galaxy S6), but uses a larger sensor and larger pixels to absorb more light. best smartphone cameras also have more sophisticated software features, such capturing images using the front and back cameras simultaneously, or erasing stray subjects from the frame.

Apple iPhone has over other smartphones is that there are many iPhone lens kits that will help you get more out of that phone’s camera.

Pros: Easily share images and videos over cellular and Wi-Fi networks; no need to bring an extra camera; huge number of photo apps let you tweak you images and share them on social networks.

Cons: Image quality is at best on par with an entry-level point-and-shoot camera’s; tiny image sensors tend to produce digital grain — aka “noise” — in low-light images; small built-in lenses, for the most part, don’t offer any optical zoom.Key Features: Connectivity; convenience; sharing; burst (rapid) shot and panorama modes; image stabilization on some models.

Key Accessories: Phone cases; photo apps; add-on lenses, grips and tripods in some cases.

Mirrorless Cameras

Pros: Close to DSLR-level image quality in smaller camera bodies with smaller lenses; without the “mirror-slap” of a DSLR, mirrorless cameras are quieter and more inconspicuous; no mirror means fewer moving parts to break.

Cons: Limited lens options; slower performance — particularly autofocus — compared with DSLRs; expensive.

Key Features: Small interchangeable lenses; small camera bodies; larger sensor than point-and-shoot and bridge cameras.

Key Accessories: External flash; external electronic viewfinder; protective case.


Focal length describes how close a lens can make a subject appear. Zoom lenses provide variable focal length, from wide-angle shots to close-ups. Focal length is specified in millimeters — such as with a 70mm-200mm telephoto zoom lens — or by a magnification factor, such as 5x, 10x or 20x. Some lenses, called “primes,” have a fixed focal length, such as 35mm or 50mm. While less flexible, prime lenses typically produce better image quality and are less expensive than zooms. A good prime lens is generally capable of a larger aperture.

ISO Rating

ISO speed, a standard used to denote film sensitivity, has carried over to digital cameras. The higher you set the ISO, the more effective the camera is at capturing images in low light without a flash. All things being equal, a larger sensor — with larger pixels — is capable of better image quality at a higher ISO. However, there is a trade-off: The higher you set the sensitivity, the greater the distortion, or “noise,” which shows up as graininess in a photo.

A maximum ISO capability of 6400 or greater will allow you to capture images in dim conditions inside and out, but the amount of noise will depend on the size and quality of the sensor and the ability of the camera’s image processor to clean up images.

Shutter Speed

The shutter speed is the amount of time the shutter is open in a camera. The faster the shutter speed, the more clearly a moving object can be captured. Shutter speed settings are typically measured in tenths or hundredths of a second. Cameras capable of faster shutter speeds are better for freezing action, so if you like sports photography, you want a camera that can shoot at 1/500 of second and faster. The best DSLRs are capable of shooting at 1/8,000, which is nice if you photograph car racing, but it’s faster than most photographers probably need.

HD Video

Once a luxury feature, the ability to record HD video at up to 1080p is now common in everything from smartphone cameras to DSLRs. In fact, Ultra HD (or 4K, which is 3840 x 2160 pixels) video is now starting to appear in smartphones, though it has yet to show up in many larger cameras.

Frame rates vary, including 60p (i.e. 60 frames per second) for smooth video of fast action, 24fps for a film-like look and even 240fps (in the iPhone 6s) for playing back footage in slow motion.

GPS Tagging

Some cameras offer built-in GPS to geotag your photos. After your shots are geotagged with latitude and longitude, you can import them into mapping software — such as in Apple’s iPhoto — and the images will pop up on a digital map over the location where they were shot.

Lens Mount

It goes without saying that you want to buy a lens that will attach on your camera, and this is known as the lens mount. Camera manufacturers generally make lenses with proprietry mounts which will only fit their devices, sometimes having multiple lens mounts for different camera lines. The major exception to this is Micro Four Thirds lenses which can be used on respective Olympus and Panasonic cameras. Third party manufacturers also make lenses with mounts to fit various brands.

It’s important to know which mount your camera uses before heading out to buy a lens. Example lens mounts for DSLRs include the Nikon F-mount, Canon’s EF or EF-S, the Pentax K and Sony’s Alpha (A) mount. For mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, these are things like the Canon EF-M, Fujifilm XF, Nikon 1, Sony E, Samsung NX and Pentax Q. As mentioned earlier, Olympus and Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras take any Micro Four Thirds mount lenses.

In addition to being able to mount the lens on your camera, you need to be sure it will produce an image big enough to cover the image sensor. Because different cameras use different size sensors, manufacturers produce specific lenses to work with them.

For example, while Nikon DSLRs come with full frame or APS-C sensors – and both take F-mount lenses – its DX lenses only produce an image big enough to cover the smaller of the two sensors. Meanwhile, FX lenses cover the full frame and can also be used on DX and even Nikon cameras (with an adapter). This is done because lenses designed for smaller sensors can be physically smaller and lighter themselves.

Ultra Wide

What they are: Ultra Wide angle lenses have a focal length of around less than 2mm (in 3mm-format), this means they can take in a wider scene than is typical, though they’re not only about getting all of a subject into a shot. Rectilinear ultra wides help keep straight lines, just that, while fisheyes will reproduce buildings with curved walls.

Image characteristics: Because of the wide field of view, shots with ultra wide angle lenses typically feature a large depth of field. Images tend to pull in subjects that are close, and push away more distant ones making them appear further apart. Perspective distortion of ultra wides can give falling-building-syndrome (where vertical lines converge) but this can be corrected in post-processing, or minimized with good technique.

What they are used for: While often seen as a specialist lens, ultra wide angles can be used in a number of ways. Typical uses include landscape, architecture and interior photography. Even the distortion can be used creatively, especially when using fisheye lenses.

Wide Angle

What they are: Typically covering a focal length between 2mm and 3mm, Wide Angle lenses are available as primes or zooms and come with either variable or fixed maximum aperture. Offering a wide field of view, they often also boast close minimum focusing distances.

Image characteristics: Wide angle photographs can magnify the perceived distance between subjects in the foreground and background. Wide angles suffer less distortion than their ultra wide counterparts, but you still get an exaggeration of lines and curves which can be used artistically.

What they are used for: Many people only reach for a wide angle lens when trying to get the whole of a subject in frame, whether that’s a building, a large group of people or a landscape. However, while those are perfectly good uses of one, they can also be used for interesting portraits where you want to place a subject in a situation. Just be careful not to distort faces unflatteringly by shooting too close.


What they are: Telephoto lenses are those with a focal length in excess of 70 mm, though many people would argue that “true” telephoto lenses are ones which exceed 13mm. They focus on a much narrower field of view than other lenses, which means they are good for focusing in on specific details or distant subjects. They are generally larger and heavier than equally specified wider lenses.

Image characteristics: Because they have a narrower angle of view, telephoto lenses bring far away subjects closer. They can also have the effect of compressing the sense of distance in a scene and making objects appear closer together. A narrow depth of field means that a subject can be in focus with a blurred background and foreground.

What they are used for: In addition to being used to photograph subjects you can’t (or don’t want to) get close to – like sports or wildlife – telephoto lenses can be used for shooting portraits and even landscapes where their normalization of relative size can be used to give a sense of scale.


What they are: Superzooms are do-it-all lenses which cover focal lengths from wide to telephoto. They can be good for uses in situations where you can’t or don’t want to be changing lenses and they normally change in length as you zoom.

Image characteristics: Because compromises have had to be made producing a do-it-all lens, superzooms do not have the same image quality of more dedicated lenses and often have slower and variable maximum apertures.

What they are used for: Offering a one-lens package, superzooms come into their own if you can’t (or don’t want to) change lenses. This could be when in situations where it wouldn’t be safe to switch lenses, or when travelling – you don’t necessarily want to be weighed down by five lenses when on holiday with the family.

What they are: One of the more specialist lenses, marco lenses are technically those which are capable of reproduction ratios greater than 1:However, the term is frequently used to refer to any lens which can be used for extreme close-up photography. Macro lenses typically have focal lengths somewhere between 40-200 mm.

Image characteristics: Macro lenses normally have excellent image sharpness, though it’s worth noting that when working at close distances they also have a tiny depth of field. You can often end up with a shot of an insect where only a fraction of it is in focus.

What they are used for: Though normally used for close-up photography (at which they excel), macro lenses can also be great for portraits thanks to their typical sharpness and focal lengths.

I want to do street photography

Street photography can be done with almost any lens, though a 300 mm F2.might raise a few eyebrows from your subjects. However, a focal range of around 35-50 mm is often seen as the ideal for capturing the moment in urban areas.

Unless you want all of your subjects looking directly at the camera, you’d probably be best served by something discrete. It’s also important that street photography lenses feature a fast maximum aperture for lower-light situations. This means that something like the Fuji XF 2mm f1.R Lens would be a great selection. The Sigma 3mm F1.DG HSM has also been very well received by many DSLR street shooters.

Many people shell out for a DSLR or mirrorless interchangeable lens camera when they have a child, but by the time that child starts running around, the kit lens struggles to keep up, both in terms of aperture and focal range. This is especially true if you’re trying to photograph the kids running around in the garden or on the sports field.

This means you need something with a bit more reach, but probably without the bulk and weight that a professional lens would bring. A zoom lens will allow you to keep your shots framed as you want while your subject moves around in front of you. So, if you feel you just need some added reach, the EF-S 55-250 mm f/4-5.IS II could get you closer to the action. But if you want a bit more speed (and to be the best equipped parent at the game), there’s the Canon EF 70-200 mm f/4L USM.

I want to take landscape photographs

While the kit lenses which come with most cameras are surprisingly good at the wide angle end, you could find that they don’t quite go far enough for some of the landscape images you try to take. So, unless you’re able to keep moving backwards, you’re going to need a new lens.

Focal length is key here, and you’ll only get some landscapes if you’ve got an ultra wide angle lens. You could go for either a prime or a zoom, but most people in this situation are probably going to be best-served by a zoom. A lens like the AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-2mm f/3.5-4.5G ED could be good for APS-C Nikon shooters, while the Olympus 9-1mm f/4-5.ZUIKO would do the job on Micro Four Thirds cameras.

After a while you might find that you’ve simply outgrown your kit lens. You suddenly find that it’s stifling your creative ambitions and preventing you from taking the photos that you want, even if they are within its focal length reach.

This is the ideal time to get yourself a fast prime lens, and the good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to do it. Getting something like a Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 3mm f/1.8G or the Sony E 50 mm f/1.OSS will mean you can play around with shallower depths of field, and shoot naturally in conditions that would have otherwise required a flash. Because they are primes, it also means you need to zoom with your feet, which will in turn probably mean you spend more time thinking about how you compose shots. Never a bad thing.

The Feiyu WGPro is a gimbal that is ready to help you take great stabilized video in a variety of situations.

It works with most action cameras, including the GoPro 4, the GoPro +, the YI 4K, the SJCAM, and the Hero 4/Session.

Capturing great stable video is easy with the Feiyu WG2, thanks to its four modes.

These are pan mode, lock mode, panning and tilting mode, and auto-rotation mode. These let you capture a number of different kinds of footage. The Feiyu WGstands out from other gimbals especially because of the unique auto-rotation mode.

This lets the user set a starting point and an ending point and then the gimbal will slowly and smoothly move your camera from one point to the other. This lets you capture really dynamic motion time-lapses, among other things.

Something that makes the WGreally exciting is that it is fully waterproof stabilizer for gopro cameras, with a verified rating of IP67.

This means it can handle submersion of up to m of depth. This makes the WGan ideal gimbal for people who do water sports like rafting and fishing as well as for people who do winter sports like skiing and snowboarding.

All in all, the Feiyu WGis a solid choice of gimbal especially for those doing wearable action videography and for those who work around water.

Zhiyun Smooth-Q

This gimbal provides 3-axis stabilization and supports 360 degrees of rotation.

It can track you or keep the image steady and stable even as the gimbal gets moved around, like while on a run or a bumpy ride. The joystick controls are easy to use and let you smoothly pan in any direction.

This gimbal has an impressive battery life and you can even use it to charge your phone or GoPro. You can purchase add-on accessories like external microphones or lights without affecting the performance, at least up to the maximum weight limit of 220g.

Guru 360

This is another 3-axis Gimbal designed specifically to stabilize 360 cameras. Its body is designed in much a way that it does not obstruct the cameras lenses, meaning as little of the camera will be in shot as possible when shooting in 360 degrees. The battery powered device has filming modes, all of which eliminate unwanted vibrations, movements and horizon drift.

Glide Gear CYL100

If you are looking for a cheaper option to stabilize your 360 video then the Glide Gear CYL100 might be a good choice for you. This stabilizer is significantly cheaper than the more advances 3-axis gimbals, but will still be able to remove much of the vibration and movement that comes with shooting 360 video.

DSLR cameras

Digital single-lens reflex cameras (more commonly known as DSLR cameras, or simply DSLRs) are the premier class of cameras. They provide excellent image quality and offer you countless settings.

The lenses of a DSLR are interchangeable, so that you can assemble your ideal camera according to your specific needs.

For a long time we only took pictures with DSLRs, so we can generally recommend this type of camera.

Canon EOS 100D

The Canon EOS 100D is one of the best entry-level models from the Canon family. The camera is incredibly light and compact for a DSLR and perfect for you if size and weight are important considerations in your purchasing decision.

With a kit lens included, you can already get an EOS 100D for less than 400 euros.

Canon EOS 80D

The Canon EOS 80D is still relatively new on the market. The camera excels with its excellent image quality and extremely fast autofocus.

The Sony Alpha 7II is the best DSLR camera from Sony that is currently available below the professional class.

The camera costs a bit less than 1,000 euros and is worth every cent.

Mirrorless system cameras

Mirrorless system cameras have become increasingly popular over the past few years, and with good reason.

Mirrorless cameras combine the advantages of DSLR cameras, such as manual settings and interchangeable lenses, with significantly reduced size and weight.

Sony Alpha 7 II

The autofocus is excellent and so far, we have nothing bad to say about it. OK, the price might be a little daunting. You can expect to spend about 1500 euros for the camera body alone. We would definitely recommend the kit with the 28-70 mm lens. For less than 300 euros you get a really great always-on lens included with the camera.

Canon PowerShot SX530 HS

The PowerShot SX530 HS is a highly recommended entry-level model from Canon. This bridge camera provides a 50x optical zoom and an image stabilizer to help protect your shots from camera shake.

The Canon PowerShot SX530 HS costs around 250 euros, making it very affordable.

Sony DSC-RX10

The Sony DSC-RXis probably the best bridge camera you can find on the market today. The image quality is very good. No wonder, because the Sony DSC-RXdoes without a typical bridge camera superzoom.

If we were ever to buy a bridge camera ourselves, this would probably be the one. The Sony DSC-RXis priced at just over 700 euros.

Compact cameras

Many people have taken their first steps into the world of photography with a small compact camera. Of course, the main advantage of a compact camera is its low weight and minimal size. Hardly any larger than a pack of cigarettes, a compact camera handily fits into every pocket.

Sensor size

But if this is your third or fourth camera, and you have a lot of experience and feel like a new challenge, you might want to think about a camera with a full-frame sensor.

Full-frame sensors offer even better image quality, which is especially important for very large prints. The strengths of a full-frame sensor are particularly evident in low light conditions, as they allow you to take better photos.

However, full-frame cameras are very expensive, very large, and very heavy. So you should weigh your decision carefully.

Zoom or focal length

The focal length of your lens determines the range in which you can zoom in or out on your subject.

But there are also so-called prime lenses with a fixed focal length. That might sound like a limitation, but there are times when this kind of lens can be pretty useful.

Noise reduction can be an issue

Panasonic has a knack for cramming its bodies with clever and useful features and delivering them at affordable prices, and the G80 is arguably the camera that manages this best in the current Lumix lineup. The 16MP sensor may not sound too flashy, but the lack of an anti-aliasing filter means that images result with strong detail. Add to that an excellent touchscreen that can be set to a range of angles, together with a high-resolution OLED viewfinder and built-in image stabilisation that can be made more effective with lens-based stabilisation, and you have a winner. And this is before we get to the camera’s ability to shoot 4K video. Or to let you vary the point of best sharpness after shooting with its Post Focus feature. Or to focus stack images. And it goes on and on…

Minor ergonomic issues

Fujifilm delivered far more than we expected with the X-T20, with much of the same tech as the co-flagship X-Tinside a smaller and more affordable body. With a 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor, 4K video recording, 32autofocus points and an 8fps burst shooting option, the camera is as capable on the inside as it is elegant on the outside. It’s also compatible with a vast array of high-quality prime and zoom lenses, and many of these offer their own aperture rings, which sit as a perfect complement to the physical dials for shutter speed and exposure compensation on the body. All of this is strengthened by customisable controls and touchscreen operation, as well as Wi-Fi for remote control. Overall, one of the best mid-range options we’ve seen yet, and a very welcome addition to a series that’s become popular for good reason.

No touchscreen

The X-Tmay now be upstaged somewhat by the cheaper, smaller and more affordable X-T20, a camera that packs many of the same specs, but there are still good reasons to consider it. Its larger body supports heavier lenses much better, for example, and the fact that you can pair it with a vertical booster allows you to balance it ever better for portrait shooting. This also allows you to raise the maximum mechanical shutter burst rate to 11fps, while the rear screen is based around a more flexible design too. You also get an arguably better control layout, much higher viewfinder magnification, better video specs, an extra card slot and much more. The X-T20 does, however, have a built-in flash and a touchscreen, both lacking from the X-T– but if you want the best the X-series has to offer, it’s the X-Tor its X-Prosibling that deserve your attention.

Complex menu and control system

Along with the Hasselblad X1D, the GFX 50S has kicked off a new breed of mirrorless cameras that make the medium format system far more practical for many. True, its price tag places it out of the reach of most, but it was launched at a far cheaper price than was expected for a medium-format system. Imbued with so much that we love from Fujifilm’s X-series cameras, and blessed with a tilting 3.69M-dot EVF and new top-plate LCD, the camera was launched alongside a brand new series of lenses that already stretch over a broad range of focal lengths. It’s image quality is truly superb, and for still-life, landscapes and other static subjects it looks set to be a very sought after camera.


Act 3, the opening night and Cirque at end were shot on Sony Alpha a6000. The rest was shot on a Canon C100 II.

Panasonic Lumix GH(and for a sweet deal the GHtoo!)

Killer video shooting set-up. Panasonic GHwith Rokinon 35mm lens and a DIY light gel.

A Gift From Me To You

Shot on Canon C100 Mark II. Sigma 18-35mm. Canon 70-200mm. With strobe lights. A wig. Sunglasses. And a willing wife.

Camera Buying Guide: convince your spouse to dress up as a DC comics super villain don her Black Swan alter ego for the sake of playing with your new camera, then power to you my friend.

Clinton Stark

Clinton directs and shoots videos for Stark Insider. Recent projects include BTS short LUZIA with Cirque du Soleil, short film collection WHO IS STARK INSIDER?, and art-doc WRONG’S WHAT I DO BEST shot on location at the San Francisco Art Institute. His Broadway shorts, such as SHREK UNMASKED, have garnered acclaim. He’s worked with DreamWorks, Disney on Ice, and “studied under” filmmaker Werner Herzog. He also writes on Stark Insider about the San Francisco arts scene, Napa, Silicon Valley and gadgets.

The Background

For those of you who are knew to cameras and Micro 4/lenses, this will cover some background information on how they work.  The more you understand about Micro 4/cameras and lenses, the more confident you will be in picking out the right gear.

Lenses are usually described in terms of their focal length and their aperture.  An example is the Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.to use the example of a lens that we recommend later. If it’s a zoom lens, both will be expressed as a range, like the 40-150mm or 150-300mm. Roughly speaking, the focal length describes how wide or zoomed out a lens will be.

The aperture is a measure of how wide the lens opens.  This determines how much light it can let in. It’s a fraction, so a smaller number is actually better — f/1.lets in more light than f/2.Letting in more light means that you can shoot when it gets darker out more easily.  The more light that is allowed in to the sensor means the faster the shutter can open and close.  Therefore you will a hear a f/1.and smaller referred to as a “fast lens”.  Wide open lenses mean that you can get your backgrounds  blurred, giving better subject isolation.  It is called bokeh which is Italian for “blurry”.

That seems pretty straight forward and for full frame cameras (like the Nikon D8or the Canon 5D Mark IV) it is.  For Olympus and Panasonic cameras which use a Micro 4/sensor, they have what is called a “crop factor” and used the term “lens equivalent”.

When you see a lens mentioned, it’ll also say another number that’s its “equivalent focal length”. What this is saying is how what it looks like through the lens compares to universal standard—a 35mm sensor, also known as “full frame”. This 35mm equivalent changes depending on the sensor size.

Which full frame sensors, there is no magnification, on other DSLRs like the Canon EOS Rebels and the Nikon DX cameras, it’s around 1.times.  On the Micro 4/sensor, it’s two times. That means that if you’re using a 25mm lens on a Micro 4/cameras, you’ll see the same level of zoom as if you were using a 50mm lens on a full frame camera.  If would incredible if Olympus, Sigma, and Panasonic made that clear on their lenses and boxes but often they do not.

The other part of this is that the depth of field of an image, (how much of it is in focus, is much wider on a Micro Four Thirds lens).  A f/1.on a Micro Four Thirds camera will show more of an image in focus than f/1.on a full frame camera. Which is tricky if you’re trying to blur out backgrounds and foregrounds and get your main subject well isolated. However, f/1.on either of those cameras will still let in just as much light, and photograph just as quickly. All the following lens focal lengths are quoted as actual, rather than the effective length.  It is what Sigma, Olympus, and Panasonic all do.  That means the real-world length will be twice that number.

Lens Stabilization

If you’re shooting with a Panasonic camera, keep in mind that you might want to favor Panasonic lenses over those from Olympus.  Olympus cameras have stabilization built into the camera itself, not the lens. Panasonic builds it into the lenses rather than the camera, so if you have a Panasonic and are shooting Olympus lenses, you’ll get no image stabilization unless you are shooting a Panasonic Lumix GHwhich has in body stabilization.  If you’re shooting Panasonic lenses on an Olympus, you’ll be paying for more stabilization in lenses but would only be using the in-body stabilizer.

Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 40-150mm f2.PRO

It’s an ideal for sports but also for shooting indoor events like weddings, concerts, or even school assemblies.  It excels in poor lighting conditions but where you need exceptional quality photos.

It trumps the traditional 70-200 f/2.lens and takes the focal length equivalent from 80-300 but is still fast at f/2.8.   It isn’t just one of the best Olympus lenses out there, it is one of the best lenses out there period.

Olympus M. Zuiko ED 75-300mm F4.– 6.II

If you are shooting wildlife photography or some outdoor sports, you need looking at either lens.   There is a bit of a gap between this lens and the 14-42mm so you will want a 40-150 from Olympus or Panasonic but it does give some extra reach that you will love (and it includes stabilization for Panasonic shooters). With a 600 mm-equivalent maximum focal length, both lenses are a really long lens that is comparable to the Sigma 150-600mm (Contemporary & Sport) or the Tamron 150-600 lens at a much lower price. Comparable 150-600mm lenses from Tamron and Sigma for full sized DSLRs and they cost double that.  Not only that but they are four times as heavy.  I found myself in Banff National Park this summer.  If I am going to haul myself up a mountain pass on a hike, I’d rather carry one of these lenses than a full sized DSLR and lens any day of the week.  If you are a Micro 4/user, they are worth adding to your kit.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm f4.0 PRO

Again Olympus has brought out an amazing pro quality wildlife lens in the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm f4.0 PRO.  Relatively compact for its 600mm equivalent focal length, the Micro Four Thirds optic is able to go more places easier, and thanks to integrated optical stabilization (Good news for Panasonic users), good for stops of shutter speed, handheld imaging is capable of producing tack sharp photographs. This in-lens system also works in tandem with the in-body stabilization of select MFT cameras to create the 5-axis sync IS method, which further improves handheld shooting by compensating for up to stops of camera shake.  Combined with the Olympus OM-D E-MII, it becomes a wildlife photographers dream setup.

Benefitting both stills shooting and video recording, a 240 fps high-speed AF motor is both quiet and precise, and a focus limiter function can be employed to constrain the focusing range for even quicker performance. Additionally, the physical design of the lens utilizes a gapless construction that renders it both dust- and moisture-resistant for use in inclement conditions. And while its lightweight, compact form factor is suitable for handheld shooting, the 100-400mm f/4-6.also features an integrated rotating tripod collar for fast switching between horizontal and vertical shooting orientations when working atop a monopod or tripod.

Normal Lenses

The Micro Four Thirds cameras excel right now is with prime lenses (ones that don’t zoom) which are generally faster than zooms, more compact and of higher image quality. Both Panasonic and Olympus have options that are the best on the market.

A good prime lens tend to be one of the first lenses that get recommended for new photographers. They are absolutely fantastic to shoot with. It might take a little bit of time to get used to moving from lenses with a zoom to those without, but the payoff is fantastic: better images and photography skills.

Zooming with a lens isn’t the same as zooming with your feet, and using a prime lens teaches you how to move your body to get that shot you really want. It forces interactions with your subject which creates new potential for creativity.

As we would with all camera systems, we recommend a fast prime—one that has a large maximum aperture for letting in lots and lots of light.

Macro Photography

We love macro photography because photographing anything that is really small is a lot of fun.  Lots of people take macro shots of of bugs or plants but fine details on many things become fascinating.  While it is a lot of fun, to do it, you need a good lens.

The lens

Many people are attracted to bridge cameras by their big zoom lenses without asking themselves whether they need such a lens. In reality, there are fewer uses for a 500mm or 1000mm equivalent lens than most people think. The most obvious applications for such lenses are nature and wildlife photography and sport. In these cases you may not be able to get close enough to your subject to fill the frame. If you want to photograph deer in the park, birds in your garden, or the kids playing in school sports tournaments bridge cameras come into their own (though with fast moving subjects the contrast detect AF system may struggle to keep up). Long lenses can be good for travel too, and for candid portraiture. But for most day to day shooting the vast majority of images are taken within the focal range provided by the average 10x zoom lens.

The size and shape

If you have big hands, and find compacts too fiddly, you may prefer the design and shape of bridge cameras which, like DSLRs, offer a substantial grip, a lens you can support more easily and a good number of decent sized buttons, reducing the need to keep going into the menu.


Before rushing into the different types of gimbals, it’s worth taking a look at some camera movements. Some say that panning and tilting are the most fundamental camera movements. Panning is a horizontal, while tilting is a vertical motion from a fixed position. You can imagine these easily if you think of your head as it moves from left to right (pan) or up to down (tilt).

These basic movements are essential if you’re eager to make your videos more interesting for your audience.

A little more advanced movement is to roll, or in other words to yaw or pitch. Rolling means that the camera moves diagonally, which makes the footage wonky or unstable. It’s a rotation around the Z axis, which results in the camera being constantly pointed at the same subject. This movement is less common in everyday usage, but it should be mentioned in this section.


First of all, we must differentiate between servo and brushless gimbals. It’s really simple – their names stem from the name of their motors. Servo gimbals have servo motors built in, which are lighter and cheaper than the other. However, these gimbals provide less professional results. Using a servo gimbal can be the right choice if you want to make a relatively smooth video, but the weight of your gimbal is limited – for example, if you want to use a drone for a long time without charging.

But be prepared!

This type of gimbal won’t make your footage perfectly smooth! On the other hand, if you’d like to use the gimbal for taking photos, especially motion time-lapse photos, a servo gimbal can be a perfect fit for you.

As you might have guessed, brushless gimbals have brushless motors inside. This kind of gimbal provides a much smoother video but it’s heavier, which shortens your flight time if you use a drone, and also more expensive to buy. In most cases, it’s generally recommended to use a brushless gimbal, especially, in the long run.

Gimbals can also be sorted based on the number of their axes: there are 2-axis and 3-axis gimbals. The 2-axis gimbals have rings with motors.

It enables roll and tilt movements with a stabilization system just like a 2-axis mount but it also provides stabilization when the user would like to pan the camera. The third axis smooths the panning motion from left to right. We’d like to note that you don’t need this function in all cases – it depends on what you’re planning to use your gimbal for.

To sum up, the main factor to keep in mind when comparing 2-axis and 3-axis mounts is the fact that a 2-axis mount is much easier to monitor and control for a single operator than a 3-axis mount.

Some say the 2-axis types keep the feeling snappy while the 3-axis types takes the intensity out of the movement. However, you can argue against both of these statements, saying that a 2-axis gimbal simply enables a more controlled movement as opposed to a 3-axis one, which gives you perfect smoothness.

Mid-range camcorders

Anyone buying a mid-range camcorder should expect full-HD resolution, a high-quality zoom lens and more control over shooting than a budget model provides.

Such camcorders cost between £250 and £650, with pricier models having more features and delivering better quality. A large LCD screen will help to frame the action, and the more pixels the better. Consider a 260,000-dot screen as a minimum. Many new camcorders omit a rear viewfinder, so bear this in mind if you’re used to traditional video cameras: you’ll have to use the flip-out LCD screen on the side.

Image stabilisation is included in almost all new models. Electronic stabilisation is the most basic but can still be effective. For the steadiest shots, optical systems work best, and may allow you to use full zoom without a tripod.

High-end camcorders

If you’re serious about getting the best-possible quality for capturing your child’s first steps or an important wedding, you’ll have to spend more money.

Features to look for in high-end camcorders include three sensors, one each for red, green and blue. This will produce better colours in good light, but a larger, single sensor may deliver better quality in low light. Also look for a range of manual controls; even if you don’t use them to begin with, features such as manual exposure are well worth having when you want to get more creative. Similarly, a microphone input will also be missed when you decide you want better quality sound than the built-in mic can capture.

The lens also plays a large role in determining image quality, but a good way to find out how suitable a given model will be is to read our reviews. When comparing zoom ranges, be sure to look for the optical zoom rather than digital figure. The latter merely enlarges a portion in the middle of the image, but can’t add any more detail.

Sony HDR-CX405

It’s got a sleek, classic look, one that we’ve come to expect from Sony’s Handycam range. Aside from excellent video capture capabilities, it’s the little things like the USB cable built-in to the strap that give the Sony HDR-CX40the edge.

Black High Stoga Dfun STD003

For those on a budget, this practically unbranded camcorder isn’t actually a bad option. For fewer than fifty sheets, this camcorder allows you to record up to 720p onto an SD card. Bear in mind that the maximum storage option you can use with it is 32GB, so you might want to check how full your card is before a day of recording.

The screen flips out into three different shooting positions, while there’s a thread to attach a standard tripod. This is a great choice if you want a back-up camcorder or simply don’t want to break the bank.

Sony HDR-PJ620

Aside from recording in full HD, this Sony Handycam has a great trick up its sleeve with its built-in projector. One of those things you don’t realise you need until you get it, admittedly, but once you have it it’s really useful. You can show your friends what you’ve shot, or show the family your holiday videos without plugging the camcorder into a computer.

The generous 3in screen is an excellent viewfinder, while the functionality to take still images even when recording video is a superb addition. At the higher end, but you’ll appreciate the extra quality on offer time and time again.

If you plan to do professional aerial photography, you will definitely want to go for a 3-axis gimbal. Despite its weight and cost penalty, a 3-axis gimbal produces far better video than a 2-axis gimbal. Video stability is crucial when producing documentaries or Hollywood-grade films which is why 3-axis gimbals are the favorite choice of professional aerial photographers. Using 3-axis gimbals will result in shorter flight times so to solve this problem, simply bring along extra batteries when you go out flying.

It is also important to note that 2-axis gimbals can perform as well as their 3-axis counterparts when it comes to taking still images. The only thing that really sets these two gimbals apart are videos. So if you focus strictly on taking still images from the air and hardly do any videos, a 2-axis gimbal will do just fine especially when you have a tight budget.

For the FPV Enthusiast

Although 2-axis gimbals tend to produce more horizontal shake in your video feed, it is not significant enough to affect your flying. Generally speaking, FPV enthusiasts prefer to fly without any gimbal, mounting the camera directly onto the frame. This setup allows for a far more agile drone but if you must have a gimbal when flying FPV then go for a 2-axis gimbal.

The Yuneec Q500 Typhoon has one of the best 3-axis camera gimbal system in its class (photo by Yuneec).

For All Those in Between





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Final Word

First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.

Most important, have fun and choose your camera stabilizer wisely! Good luck!

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