The Best Gimbal For Nikon D500 Cameras!

2019 DJI Ronin-S Essentials Kit 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer for Mirrorless and DSLR Cameras, Tripod, Gimbal Hook and Loop Strap, 1 Year Limited Warranty, Black(CP.RN.00000033.01)

In this article, we are going to be taking a look at what we feel is the best gimbal for Nikon d500 cameras currently available on the market right now. We see a steady stream of people reaching out each month asking about the d500 and suitable gimbals for the popular camera so we have decided to publish this to try and help as many of our readers in this situation as possible.

Now, unlike some of the lighter DSLR cameras on the market, the Nikon d500 camera body alone comes in at around 1.90 pounds making it a pretty heavy camera. Thankfully though, due to a whole bunch of advancements in gimbal technology over the years, the modern DSLR weight class gimbal stabilizers are easily able to support this. Additionally, they will also be able to support the weight of your d500 with a number of heavy camera accessories such as your lens, video light, and external microphone too.

We will be going over a quick summary of all three gimbals that we have decided to feature for your d500 below along with a quick and easy to read comparison table. Below that, we will be doing a full break down of each of the gimbals to go in-depth on why we feel each gimbal is a suitable option for your d500 and which circumstances they shine.

Comparison Table

Product
Our Recommendation!
DJI Ronin S
Zhiyun Crane 3
Moza Air 3
Image
2019 DJI Ronin-S Essentials Kit 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer for Mirrorless and DSLR Cameras, Tripod, Gimbal Hook and Loop Strap, 1 Year Limited Warranty, Black(CP.RN.00000033.01)
Zhiyun Crane 3 LAB 3LAB 3-axis Handheld Gimbal DSLR Camera Stabilizer for Sony A7M3 A7R3,Canon 1DX II 6D 5D IV,Panasonic GH4 GH5 GH5S,Nikon D850, Versatile Structure,ViaTouch Control,Payload 4.6 kg
MOZA Air 3 Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer with Dual Handle for DSLR Cameras, Max Payload of 7.1Lb, Auto-Tuning, i.e. Canon EOS, Sony A7, Panasonic GH5
Maximum Load Capacity
7.94 Pounds
10.14 Pounds
7.1 Pounds
Battery Life
12 Hours
7.5 Hours
12 Hours
Charging Time
2 Hours 15 Minutes
4 Hours
4 Hours
Prime Delivary
Smartphone App
Our Rating
2019 DJI Ronin-S Essentials Kit 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer for Mirrorless and DSLR Cameras, Tripod, Gimbal Hook and Loop Strap, 1 Year Limited Warranty, Black(CP.RN.00000033.01)
Zhiyun Crane 3 LAB 3LAB 3-axis Handheld Gimbal DSLR Camera Stabilizer for Sony A7M3 A7R3,Canon 1DX II 6D 5D IV,Panasonic GH4 GH5 GH5S,Nikon D850, Versatile Structure,ViaTouch Control,Payload 4.6 kg
MOZA Air 3 Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer with Dual Handle for DSLR Cameras, Max Payload of 7.1Lb, Auto-Tuning, i.e. Canon EOS, Sony A7, Panasonic GH5
Our Comments
The best DSLR camera gimbal on the market at the time of writing and is almost always a safe bet.
An excellent DSLR handheld camera gimbal if you need the higher maximum load capacity it offers.
A solid gimbal that is very similar to the DJI Ronin S with a slightly lower price tag and performance level.
Price
$559.99
$899.00
$399.00
Our Recommendation!
Product
DJI Ronin S
Image
2019 DJI Ronin-S Essentials Kit 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer for Mirrorless and DSLR Cameras, Tripod, Gimbal Hook and Loop Strap, 1 Year Limited Warranty, Black(CP.RN.00000033.01)
Maximum Load Capacity
7.94 Pounds
Battery Life
12 Hours
Charging Time
2 Hours 15 Minutes
Prime Delivary
Smartphone App
Our Rating
2019 DJI Ronin-S Essentials Kit 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer for Mirrorless and DSLR Cameras, Tripod, Gimbal Hook and Loop Strap, 1 Year Limited Warranty, Black(CP.RN.00000033.01)
Our Comments
The best DSLR camera gimbal on the market at the time of writing and is almost always a safe bet.
Price
$559.99
Buy Now
Product
Zhiyun Crane 3
Image
Zhiyun Crane 3 LAB 3LAB 3-axis Handheld Gimbal DSLR Camera Stabilizer for Sony A7M3 A7R3,Canon 1DX II 6D 5D IV,Panasonic GH4 GH5 GH5S,Nikon D850, Versatile Structure,ViaTouch Control,Payload 4.6 kg
Maximum Load Capacity
10.14 Pounds
Battery Life
7.5 Hours
Charging Time
4 Hours
Prime Delivary
Smartphone App
Our Rating
Zhiyun Crane 3 LAB 3LAB 3-axis Handheld Gimbal DSLR Camera Stabilizer for Sony A7M3 A7R3,Canon 1DX II 6D 5D IV,Panasonic GH4 GH5 GH5S,Nikon D850, Versatile Structure,ViaTouch Control,Payload 4.6 kg
Our Comments
An excellent DSLR handheld camera gimbal if you need the higher maximum load capacity it offers.
Price
$899.00
Buy Now
Product
Moza Air 3
Image
MOZA Air 3 Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer with Dual Handle for DSLR Cameras, Max Payload of 7.1Lb, Auto-Tuning, i.e. Canon EOS, Sony A7, Panasonic GH5
Maximum Load Capacity
7.1 Pounds
Battery Life
12 Hours
Charging Time
4 Hours
Prime Delivary
Smartphone App
Our Rating
MOZA Air 3 Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer with Dual Handle for DSLR Cameras, Max Payload of 7.1Lb, Auto-Tuning, i.e. Canon EOS, Sony A7, Panasonic GH5
Our Comments
A solid gimbal that is very similar to the DJI Ronin S with a slightly lower price tag and performance level.
Price
$399.00
Buy Now

Last update on 2019-11-19 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

As you can see, we have chosen the DJI Ronin S for our primary recommendation for anyone who is looking to add a gimbal to their collection of d500 camera accessories. At the time of writing, the Ronin S is pretty much the undisputed king of general-purpose DSLR camera gimbal stabilizers and we don’t see this changing anytime soon. The Ronin S is pretty much always a safe bet and it is a very popular gimbal within the community.

Next up, we have the Zhiyun Crane 3 that is an excellent gimbal option if you know that you are going to be loading your Nikon d500 with some heavy camera accessories during use. The massive maximum load capacity of the Crane 3 ensures that it will be able to take the additional weight but with its high price tag, you are definatley paying for the privilege.

Finally, we have the Moza Air 3. It is a great little gimbal stabilizer that serves as a solid budget option gimbal for your Nikon d500. It performs as a slightly lower level than the DJI Ronin S but it also has the price tag to reflect this so if you are on a tight budget then this could be the gimbal for your d500.

The DJI Ronin S

2019 DJI Ronin-S Essentials Kit 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer for Mirrorless and DSLR Cameras, Tripod, Gimbal Hook and Loop Strap, 1 Year Limited Warranty, Black(CP.RN.00000033.01)

 

First up, we have what we consider to be the ultimate DSLR handheld gimbal stabilizer on the market right now, the DJI Ronin S. Ever since its release onto the market it has only gone from strength to strength in its domination of both the DSLR and mirrorless camera gimbal markets. Its performance and build quality are outstanding and it is clear to see why the Ronin S enjoys a well deserved reputation within the community that only shows signs of continuing to grow at time goes on.

We have no doubt that the Ronin S will make a great addition to your collection of camera accessories for your Nikon d500 as there are a number of d500 owners already using the gimbal with their camera and reporting good things. Although the completing gimbal brands have recently released their latest gimbals to try and compete with the Ronin S, we feel that it still stands head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to heavier DSLR cameras like the d500.

Performance And Functionality

2019 DJI Ronin-S Essentials Kit 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer for Mirrorless and DSLR Cameras, Tripod, Gimbal Hook and Loop Strap, 1 Year Limited Warranty, Black(CP.RN.00000033.01)
Being able to support a 7.94 pounds maximum load capacity, the DJI Ronin S ensures that you have just over six pounds of load capacity left for any camera accessories that you need to mount on your gimbal for your session. We would imagine that the vast majority of our readers will be using camera rigs that come in well under this leaving plenty of payload wight spare when recording.

The gimbal is also able to provide you with eight to twelve hours of battery life depending on how much of the payload of the gimbal you are using when recording. If you are using a pretty average Nikon d500 setup that comes in at around the six-pound mark, we would expect you to get around ten to eleven hours of battery life per charge.

On top of this, the Ronin S was one of the first gimbals to the market that could be charged from empty to full in less than three hours. Its listed recharge time is two hours fifteen minutes but we have seen a few people saying that they have managed to do a full charge in under two hours. This ensures that you can quickly recharge and get out and about capturing the video footage that you require.

We feel that the cinematic video footage above is some of the best that we have ever seen that was captured using a Ronin S 3 axis gimbal stabilizer. It gives a great example of what you are able to expect when you mount your Nikon d500 to the gimbal and get started with your sessions. As you can see, for a handheld gimbal supporting so much weight, it makes light work of providing the image stabilization required to produce an excellent level of image quality in the video.

DJI have included some excellent technology to the Ronin S too including some of the commonly used gimbal modes like point of view, smart tracking, and timelapse mode. In addition to this though, the Ronin S has one of the best balancing algorithms we have ever seen and DJI are constantly upgrading it via firmware updates too.

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User Interface And Control System

2019 DJI Ronin-S Essentials Kit 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer for Mirrorless and DSLR Cameras, Tripod, Gimbal Hook and Loop Strap, 1 Year Limited Warranty, Black(CP.RN.00000033.01)
The user interface for the DJI Ronin S is shown in the image above and as you can see, it is based around the basic Joystick and control wheel system. Now, although this may be considered basic to some, we love it and can definatley see why DJI has chosen to stick with it.

The simplicity and ease of use of the system ensure that people purchasing their very first gimbal who have no prior gimbal experience are able to take the Ronin S out the box, mount their camera, balance the gimbal and start recording. The simple control system allows them to essentially learn as they go while still being able to capture some great footage as they learn.

On the flip side of this though, if you are an experienced gimbal user then you can use the rotary wheel to help focus adjust a ton of compatible cameras while the control system and smartphone app allow you to quickly and easily adjust the performance of the gimbal to your needs. We feel that DJI has done a great job of pulling off this best of both worlds system and landing in the sweet spot where the Ronin S is suitable for both entry-level and professional level videographers helping them to corner the market.

The DJI Smartphone App

2019 DJI Ronin-S Essentials Kit 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer for Mirrorless and DSLR Cameras, Tripod, Gimbal Hook and Loop Strap, 1 Year Limited Warranty, Black(CP.RN.00000033.01)
Smartphone apps for gimbals are a total minefield and for once, in this article we are featuring both of the brands that actually have decent quality apps for their kit. In our opinion, the DJI smartphone app is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition at the time of writing.

It is so easy to use, it pairs up with your gimbal easily, the navigation menu is easy to understand, and most importantly, when you tell it to save something to the gimbals active profile, it actually pushes the new settings live. In a time when there are so many low-quality gimbal apps, DJI really are the shining light of hope for other brands to aim to duplicate.

Build Quality And Design

2019 DJI Ronin-S Essentials Kit 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer for Mirrorless and DSLR Cameras, Tripod, Gimbal Hook and Loop Strap, 1 Year Limited Warranty, Black(CP.RN.00000033.01)
Just like every other DJI product on the market, the design team has definatley put the hours in when it comes to the Ronin S to ensure that you, the end-user get the absolute best product possible for your money. The result is a clean, professional-looking gimbal that although very practical, manages to hide the practical design features to keep its cool look.

As you would expect from DJI, the Ronin S has one of, if not the best build quality of any gimbal stabilizer on the market at the time of writing. Although it is pretty big, for the payload it can support, the actual gimbal itself is pretty lightweight. Additionally, it is sturdy and will easily take its fair share of bumps and knocks during use too.

Our Verdict

We love this gimbal, especially when it comes to use for DSLR cameras like your Nikon d500 and think it is the perfect gimbal camera accessory. Even if you are loading your d500 up with a ton of heavy accessories, we are confident that the Ronin S will be able to take it and help to get you the best image quality possible from its excellent image stabilization.

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The Zhiyun Crane 3

Zhiyun Crane 3 LAB 3LAB 3-axis Handheld Gimbal DSLR Camera Stabilizer for Sony A7M3 A7R3,Canon 1DX II 6D 5D IV,Panasonic GH4 GH5 GH5S,Nikon D850, Versatile Structure,ViaTouch Control,Payload 4.6 kg

Next up, we are going to be going over the newer Zhiyun Crane 3 that has proven to be very popular within the community. That said though, even though your Nikon d500 is a pretty heavy DSLR, unless you know for a fact you will be needed the massive load capacity of the Crane 3, we would recommend that you go with the DJI Ronin S over the Crane 3.

It is such an expensive gimbal and although its performance is excellent and it is easy to see why it has such a great reputation within the community the Ronin S is much cheaper and can provide you with very similar levels of image stabilization for your sessions. Due to this, we see no reason to spend the additional few hundred dollars at the time of writing to pick up the Crane 3 unless you know for a fact, you will be using its higher payload capacity.

Performance And Functionality

Zhiyun Crane 3 LAB 3LAB 3-axis Handheld Gimbal DSLR Camera Stabilizer for Sony A7M3 A7R3,Canon 1DX II 6D 5D IV,Panasonic GH4 GH5 GH5S,Nikon D850, Versatile Structure,ViaTouch Control,Payload 4.6 kg
As we mentioned, the Crane 3 is able to support an absolutely massive 10.14 pounds of payload and at the time of writing, it is the highest load capacity of all handheld gimbals on the market. This allows you to use some super heavy Nikon d500 setups with your Crane 3 and if you prefer to use a camera cage on your d500 then there is a good chance that the Crane 3 will be the optimal choice due to the additional weight and accessories mounted on your camera body.

In our opinion, the only other weak point for the Crane 3 in addition to its high price tag is the pretty low battery life of seven and a half hours. Now, we would imagine that over seven hours of battery life that is likely to increase when you use a lighter camera setup on the gimbal is plenty for most of our readers to capture what they need, it is pretty low by modern gimbal standards.

Only you will know if you think that this will be enough battery life to ensure that you are able to capture all the video footage that you are going to need for your sessions or not. When the gimbal does run dry, you are able to charge it back to full in around four hours from a regular power outlet.

We feel that the sample video footage in the clips above show exactly what the Zhiyun Crane 3 is able to produce for you and your Nikon d500. It makes light work of even heavy camera setups and ensures you gt some smooth image stabilization as seen in the clips above. Additionally, for a handheld gimbal, the two handle setup allows you to comfortably support the weight of the rig without getting cramps or aches too.

Just like the DJI gimbal, Zhiyun has ensured that all their latest gimbal modes are included with the Zhiyun Crane 3 as standard. Now, at the time of writing, we feel that Zhiyun actually have the best intelligent image tracking system on the market and it is featured on the Crane 3 too. This can make it very simple to smoothly track the subject of your video without having any problems with focusing or keeping your camera aimed in the right direction.

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User Interface And Control System

Zhiyun Crane 3 LAB 3LAB 3-axis Handheld Gimbal DSLR Camera Stabilizer for Sony A7M3 A7R3,Canon 1DX II 6D 5D IV,Panasonic GH4 GH5 GH5S,Nikon D850, Versatile Structure,ViaTouch Control,Payload 4.6 kg
The user interface on the Crane 3 is different to what Zhiyun have done with their gimbals previously and in all honesty, we feel that they have made a move in the right direction when it comes to gimbals for the heavier DSLR market. The majority of the control system for the gimbal is shown on the top handle as seen on in the image above whereas the joystick controller is on the bottom handle of the gimbal.

This allows you to easily tweak the performance of the gimbal stabilizer to meet your needs while recording your footage and still comfortably support the weight of your right. One of the few criticisms that the Ronin S covered above gets is that it does not feel very natural to hold if you have to support the weight of your gimbal with two hands on a single handle.

Smartphone App

Zhiyun Crane 3 LAB 3LAB 3-axis Handheld Gimbal DSLR Camera Stabilizer for Sony A7M3 A7R3,Canon 1DX II 6D 5D IV,Panasonic GH4 GH5 GH5S,Nikon D850, Versatile Structure,ViaTouch Control,Payload 4.6 kg
We aren’t going to sugar coat it, at the time of writing, the Zhiyun app is a total nightmare to use and around half the time, it simply won’t sync with your gimbal and when it does sync it has additional issues like randomly dropping the connection. The user interface and navigation menu of the app are a little confusing too and we can see why the app gets such a hard time from the community.

That said though, we have seen other people mentioned that Zhiyun is meant to be working on totally overhauling their current app to make it much more user-friendly and reliable. We really hope this is true as the other two featured gimbals in this article have much better smartphone apps than the Crane 3.

Build Quality And Design

Zhiyun Crane 3 LAB 3LAB 3-axis Handheld Gimbal DSLR Camera Stabilizer for Sony A7M3 A7R3,Canon 1DX II 6D 5D IV,Panasonic GH4 GH5 GH5S,Nikon D850, Versatile Structure,ViaTouch Control,Payload 4.6 kg
The build quality is of the Zhiyun is solid and although bits of it are made from high-quality plastic, this is by design to help keep the weight of the gimbal as low as possible rather than to try and minimize costs. Additionally, the plastics that Zhiyun have used are high-quality and very robust and feel professional rather than cheap.

The big thing about the Zhiyun Crane 3 is the design. It is the first Zhiyun gimbal to break their regular design and use the dual handle support system and the community seem to have taken to it very well. Although we doubt that this new design will filter across to their gimbals for lower payload cameras, we definatley think it will stay this way for the future generations of their high load capacity gimbals as it is much easy to support.

Our Verdict

The Zhiyun Crane 3 is an excellent gimbal and will make a great addition to your Nikon d500 camera accessories. That said, it is very expensive and unless you are planning to actually put the additional load capacity on the gimbal to good use, we feel that the DJI Ronin S will be a better investment.

It is cheaper, provides very similar image stabilization, and will be able to provide you with a very similar level of image quality to the Zhiyun Crane 3 without the higher price tag if you are using a light to mid-weight Nikon d500 setup.

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The Moza Air 3

MOZA Air 3 Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer with Dual Handle for DSLR Cameras, Max Payload of 7.1Lb, Auto-Tuning, i.e. Canon EOS, Sony A7, Panasonic GH5

The final gimbal that we have chosen to feature for Nikon d500 cameras is the Moza Air 3 and as we mentioned earlier in the article, the Air 3 essentially serves as a kind of budget friendly Ronin S. Although the price tag of the Air 3 is lower than the Ronin S, so is its level of performance so we decided to feature the Air 3 as our budget gimbal recommendation.

Now, that said, due to the price tag of the Nikon d500 we doubt many of our readers looking to pick up a gimbal for the camera will be looking for a budget gimbal. Chances are, if you are using a camera body like the d500, you are already an established videographer who has paying clients so you want the best possible footage. If this is the case then the DJI Ronin S is definatley the gimbal unit for you provided it can support your payload.

That said, we are still big fans of Moza and both their Air and Aircross range. For their price tag, their gimbals perform well and offer some decent image stabilization and they have rightfully earned themselves a well deserved reputation within the community.

Performance And Functionality

MOZA Air 3 Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer with Dual Handle for DSLR Cameras, Max Payload of 7.1Lb, Auto-Tuning, i.e. Canon EOS, Sony A7, Panasonic GH5
The Moza Air 3 has a maximum load capacity of 7.1 pounds and although it is the lowest payload capacity of the three gimbals that we have featured for your Nikon d500, we feel that it will be enough for many of our readers. The handheld gimbal can also provide you with a maximum battery life of twelve hours ensuring that you are able to capture all the video footage that you need when out and about for your sessions.

The image stabilization that the gimbal provides is great when it comes to regular forward or rear follow but it can seem a little robotic when it comes to panning or any gimbal movements that involve horizontal movements around your subject. This is why we feel anyone who has invested the money in a Nikon d500 should go with the DJI Ronin S over the Air 3.

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User Interface And Control System

MOZA Air 3 Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer with Dual Handle for DSLR Cameras, Max Payload of 7.1Lb, Auto-Tuning, i.e. Canon EOS, Sony A7, Panasonic GH5
Although we were big fans of the control system on the Moza Air 2, Moza seems to have chosen to dumb the system down on the Air 3 to make it easier to use. As we mentioned above, this can be an advantage for the gimbal against the competition as it allows both novice and professional gimbal users to operate the unit without issue.

Smartphone App

MOZA Air 3 Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer with Dual Handle for DSLR Cameras, Max Payload of 7.1Lb, Auto-Tuning, i.e. Canon EOS, Sony A7, Panasonic GH5
In our opinion, at the time of writing, Moza is the only other major Gimbal brand in addition to DJI who actually have a decent Smartphone app that performs well. The navigation menu is clean and easy to use and the process to pair the app and the gimbal to each other is quick and simple too. Downloading the free smartphone app can be a great way to get some wireless remote control functionality for the gimbal and help improve the image quality that you are able to capture depending on what niche you are working in.

Build Quality And Design

MOZA Air 3 Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer with Dual Handle for DSLR Cameras, Max Payload of 7.1Lb, Auto-Tuning, i.e. Canon EOS, Sony A7, Panasonic GH5
Considering that it is a cheaper gimbal, both the build quality and design are great and the gimbal performs very well. Only a few years back, any budget gimbal unit would be likely to have issues with friction on the moving parts as the run together during use. Thankfully, this is not an issue with the Air 3 due to its excellent design helping to lower the risk of you having any overheating issues with the gimbal when recording.

The build quality is solid too and we have no doubt that it will be able to take some knocks and bumps when in transit or during use without breaking. Although it is not the lightest gimbal on the market, for the load capacity and battery life that it can support, the Moza Air 3 has a decent unit weight that we feel most people will be able to hold for longer periods of time during those extended videography sessions.

Our Verdict

Like we said at the start of this section, if you are on a tight budget and are unable to stretch to the DJI Ronin S then the Moza Air 3 will get the job done. As we mentioned in the performance section though, the Ronin S provides better, more natural image stabilization and is definatley the better choice for anyone with paying clients.

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Wrapping It Up

That brings our article on what we feel is the best gimbal for Nikon D500 cameras to an end. We hope you have found our article helpful and that you understand why we have chosen to feature each of the gimbals as a recommendation for your d500. We also have a massive post for DSLR gimbals where we go over the five main gimbals for DSLR cameras and compare them to each other that may be helpful to you.