After seeing a steady number of people reaching out for a dedicated Glidecam Centurion review over the last few months we have finally managed to find the time to review this once hyped gimbal stabilizer. Now, although the Glidecam brand used to stand for innovation and excellence our regular readers will know that we feel that they have dropped the ball over the last few years allowing brands like DJI, Zhiyun, Moza, and Flycam to clean up.
Additionally, in our opinion, the Glidecam Centurion was not up to scratch when compared to the competition back when it was released never mind now when its a few years old and showing its age. We would highly recommend that any of our readers considering adding the Centurion to their collection of camera accessories seriously consider the Zhiyun Weebill S instead.
At the time of writing, the Weebill S is the latest Zhiyun on the market and their current flagship and does the majority of things that the Centurion can but better. It is jam-packed with all of the latest Zhiyun technology and it’s not surprising that the Weebill S has managed to earn itself such a great reputation amongst the community in such a short period of time. In our opinion, it has the potential to be a much better addition to your camera accessories than the Glidecam Centurion and provide you with much better performance and image stabilization.
We just wanted to get that out of the way as early in the article as possible rather than you read the full review, get to the end only for us to recommend a competing product. Although the DJI Ronin S is starting to show its age too, it is also a much better stabilizer than the Glidecam Centurion in our opinion but keep in mind that you will have to purchase aftermarket accessories for the Ronin S to get the dual handle, inverted, and underslung functionality.
Anyway, we will still be going over our Glidecam Centurion review below and explaining our thoughts on the stabilizer, why it never really managed to take off as well as why we feel it is a poor option and should be avoided. Unless you are working in a very specialist niche, we are confident that either the Zhiyun Weebill S or DJI Ronin S will be a better option for a motorized gimbal.
Performance And Functionality
Although a few years back, a maximum load capacity of four to five pounds on a handheld gimbal was commonplace, technology has evolved and even back when the Glidecam Centurion was released with its maximum load capacity of around five pounds competing handheld gimbals like the DJI Ronin S were being released with load capacities closer to the eight-pound mark. We still see many people asking about how the Centurion compares to the latest gimbal range and while it’s still there with its five-pound load capacity, the Zhiyun Crane 3 offers users more than double that.
Now, we are fully aware that many videographers will be fine with a handheld gimbal that has a load capacity of five pounds but we simply don’t feel that it warrants the premium price tag of the Glidecam range. There are better, cheaper options available that simply blow the Centurion out the water with ease. Even the Zhiyun Crane Plus offers better performance and load capacity and the Crane Plus is three generations of Zhiyun releases old now.
Moving over to battery life and things really don’t get any better. The Glidecam Centurion is able to provide you with between three and eight hours of battery depending on what you are doing with the gimbal and the amount of load capacity that you are using. This massively falls shorts of the mark for modern gimbals with the Crane Plus being able to support up to and including eighteen hours of uptime per charge!
Although on paper, the three to four hour recharge time for the Glidecam Centurion may seem like it can compete with the quick charge 3-hour recharge systems from DJI and Zhiyun, you have to factor in maximum battery life too. For example, each hour spent recharging the Glidecam Centurion provides you with between forty-five minutes to two hours of usable battery life. Put that up against something like the Crane Plus and each hour spent recharging the gimbal provides you with six hours of usable battery life.
In our opinion, this is due to Glidegam going with sub-par sensors and motors on the Centurion that we feel were already dated and beaten by the systems on Zhiyun, DJI, and Moza gimbals upon release. The Glidecam balancing algorithm also has its work cut out for it too falling short of what should realistically be expected from a modern handheld gimbal stabilizer too further limiting the performance of the Centurion too.
In our opinion, this is why the gimbal failed to take off after release and never managed to gain much of a following or positive reputation within the community. There were simply better options available at lower price points that beat everything the Glidecam Centurion potentially provided for you. Although Glidecam tried to push the 360° Pan, Tilt, and Roll axis control as a unique selling point, the competing gimbals from Zhiyun and DJI at the time already offered this feature with better overall performance.
User Interface And Control System
Many people who required this from their gimbals were going off and having to purchase third-party, aftermarket gimbal accessories that would not always fit their gimbal correctly or may have a much lower load capacity so Glidecam did a solid job on that. The thing is, we feel that their implementation of the features was just too confusing for most people and could have been implemented much easier.
Initially, the Glidecam Centurion was one of the only gimbals to natively offer this functionality but this was for good reason, they seemed to have rushed to market when Zhiyun were taking their time coming up with their Weebill range. In our opinion, the quick and easy single-handed system with native underslung mode within seconds on the Weebill range is just much better.
The interface system is also pretty limited in the control it offers you over the gimbal head too. This just pushed gimbals like the Crane 3 and Weebill S further and further ahead of the Glidecam Centurion in our opinion as the offer superior control for your camera. More and more videography work is involving more use of manual mode from the gimbal so if you are a professional level videographer then the actual control system on the Glidecam Centurion is sub-par in our opinion.
If you do end up with the Glidecam Centurion and are new to using a gimbal stabilizer then we have no doubt that you will be able to balance it without issue. A number of older gimbals could be a total pain to balance but the more modern units from the last two to three years have cleared the issues up and are very easy to balance.
Build Quality And Design
If you know that you will have to be traveling a whole bunch with your gimbal of choice, especially if it is via plane then the Glidecam Centurion is a very bad option. It is just too large and too heavy when there are options like the Zhiyun Weebill S that are very light and very small and offer much better performance. The arms of the Glidecam Centurion can be a bit of a pain to pack away for transit too and you actually have a surprising amount of work to build or debuild the gimbal each time.
We have touched on the design of the Centurion in the article and as we said, we like what Glidecam has tried to do but feel that they have implemented it poorly. This is why so many gimbal brands just keep on sticking to the standard handheld gimbal design for their products as if they do try to innovate and fail then it can contribute to their product failing.
That brings our Glidecam Centurion review to an end and as you can probably tell, we would not recommend that our readers add the Glidecam Centurion to their collection of camera accessories. In our opinion, there are much better options for all circumstances and the Zhiyun Weebill S, Zhiyun Crane 3, Moza Aircross 2, and DJI Ronin S are all much better options. We would highly recommend that you check them out and see if either of those gimbals are able to meet your needs as we feel they will be a much better addition to your camera accessories than the Centurion.