For today’s article, we are going to be taking a quick look at the commonly seen question “is a gimbal worth it”? We have lost count of the number of entry-level videographers and vloggers posting on niche forums or social media asking if the trusty gimbal really is an essential part of the kit. After seeing a steadily increasing number of people asking the same question month on month we have decided to publish this article to try and help as many people as possible.
Now, the truth is, it is doing to depend on the type of work that you are planning to do, especially for the vlogging side of things. For example, say you are planning to just sit in front of your camera and talk about your life and what you have been up to and want to try and build your YouTube channel around that, a simple decent quality tripod should be able to provide all the image stabilization that you need.
That said if you are planning to be working in a vlogging niche where you will be required to move around and walk while talking into the camera than your image quality is really going to suffer without a gimbal. In the increasingly competitive world of YouTube Vlogging, the image quality of your videos can make or break your channel so we would highly recommend that you pick up a gimbal if possible for niches where you will be walking with the camera.
On the flip side of this, an entry-level videographer, especially one with paying clients is going to have a much harder time getting away with using a tripod as their primary source of image stabilization for their work. Any moving footage will be captured handheld and the video will not be smooth at all and can end up having a negative effect on your reputation as a videographer and end up causing issues with getting work in the future.
What Difference Does The Gimbal Actually Make
What Gimbal Do I Need
Well, this is definatley going to depend on the type of camera that you are using to record your video footage as well as the weight of the accessories that you will be mounting on your camera when recording your video footage. Realistically though, there are currently only three main types of gimbal rig for the videography and vlogging space so we will quickly go over each of them below.
The Point And Shoot Camera Setup
The standard point and shoot camera set up is usually based around something like a Sony RX100 (Click here to check for product prices and availability) or a Canon G7X (Click here to check for product prices and availability) camera and is especially popular with the vlogging community. Although it can also be suitable for an entry-level videographer, we would recommend that you try to upgrade to a mirrorless camera setup as soon as possible if you are doing any type of paid client work.
Thankfully, due to a number of developments in gimbal technology over the years, the gimbals designed to be used with point and shoot camera rigs are pretty budget-friendly, especially when you take into consideration the performance and image stabilization that they offer you. In our opinion, the best gimbal for a point and shoot camera set up is without a doubt the Zhiyun Crane M2 (Click here to check for product prices and availability).
If by chance you are using either of the cameras we mentioned above, we also have a dedicated article covering the best gimbal for the Sony RX100 as well as a dedicated article covering the best gimbal for a Canon G7X. But to save you the time of reading either of the articles, we would just recommend that you go with the Zhiyun Crane M2 as it is an excellent bit of kit.
The Mirrorless Camera Setup
Moving on, we have the mirrorless camera rigs that are the next step up from the standard point and shoot rigs and pretty much the bread and butter of the intermediate vlogger and videographer but many entry-level users also choose to invest in a Mirrorless camera set up straight away to save the cost of a camera upgrade later down the line.
When it comes to mirrorless cameras vloggers and videographers usually go their separate ways with a vlogger usually going some something like the Canon M50 (Click here to check for product prices and availability) where as a videographer has multiple options with the Sony a6000 (Click here to check for product prices and availability) being a very popular choice.
As mirrorless cameras usually do a much better job of allowing you to mount accessories to your camera body then the more basic point and shoot cameras covered above, you usually need an intermediate level gimbal stabilizer that can support their payload weight. In our opinion, when you get to the mirrorless camera level, you will want to be looking at gimbals like the Zhiyun Crane Plus (Click here to check for product prices and availability) that have been specifically designed to be used with the heavier mirrorless rigs.
The DSLR Camera Setup
The final setup that we have is the professional level DSLR camera set up and chances are, if you are reading this and use a DSLR camera setup, you already know that a gimbal is an essential bit of kit for any DSLR based videography work. That said, when it comes to the vlogging side of thing, there are only a small number of niches where you need to upgrade to a DSLR and most channels can get away with a decent mirrorless camera.
Anyway, when you get to the DSLR level you need a professional level gimbal stabilizer like the DJI Ronin S (Click here to check for product prices and availability) with the higher payload capacity that is able to support a DSLR camera and all of the camera accessories that you will be using with it. Depending on the number of accessories and the weight of your camera rig, you may actually want to look at the Zhiyun Crane 3 (Click here to check for product prices and availability) as it provides you with a higher payload for those super heavy rigs but it has the price tag to match.
Wrapping It Up
The brings our little article to an end and we hope that you have found it helpful and now understand the difference that a decent gimbal is able to make to the image quality of the video footage you record. We would highly recommend that you invest in a decent gimbal as early as possible if you are looking to do any type of professional videography or vlogging style jobs.