The Best Stabilizer For Sony A5100 Cameras!

After making our post going over what we felt was the best gimbal for Sony A5100 cameras a few weeks back, we have noticed a fair amount of people reaching out about the best manual stabilizer for Sony A5100 cameras. Due to this, we have decided to make manual camera stabilizers and the Sony A5100 the focus of today’s article as we want to help any of our readers who may be looking to expand their collection of camera accessories.

Now, time was, the default answer for anyone asking for advice on a manual camera stabilizer was to point them in the direction of the Glidecam stabilizer range but times are most definatley changing. Back in the day, the community was willing to pay the premium price for Glidecam products as they were at the forefront of the manual stabilizer market pushing it forward with their innovation, excellent performance, and outstanding build quality.

In our opinion, Glidecam has dropped the ball over the last few years though and innovation has slowed down with their range becoming stagnant. In our opinion, Glidecam has failed to take advantage of recent developments in various materials and technologies to stay at the forefront and competing brands have managed to capitalize on this to their advantage.

Brands like Flycam have released the Redking and managed to take a large share of the market away from Glidecam in a very short space of time. It offers very similar performance to their manual stabilizers at a much lower price point. This is due to it using modern alloys and polymers to keep costs low and performance high. Since its release, the Redking just keeps going from strength to strength with itsĀ reputation just getting better and better amongst the community. This is why we feel that the Flycam Redking is the best manual camera stabilizer for the Sony A5100 at the time of writing and doubt that this will change anytime soon.

Performance And Functionality

FLYCAM Redking Quick Balancing Video Camera Stabilizer with Dovetail Quick Release (FLCM-RK) | Professional CNC Aluminum Camera Stabilizer for DSLR BMCC Sony Nikon DV Camcorders up to 7kg/15.4lb + Bag
As your Sony A5100 camera body comes in with a payload weight of around 0.62 pounds without any accessories mounted to it, the 15.4-pound maximum load capacity provided by the Flycam Redking ensures that you are able to support the heavier A5100 rights without issue. This pretty much allows you to mount any combination of camera accessories to the stabilizer that you like including some of the super heavy, long lenses that some competing stabilizers even at higher price points can struggle with.

The Redkings load capacity is almost double that of many of the competing Glidecam stabilizers while they are often almost double the price of the Redking. The amount of versatility that this solid little stabilizer offers you really does play to its advantage and is one of the reasons we feel that it has managed to be so successful in such a short amount of time.

The Redkings massive load capacity also offers you some great future-proofing against any future camera upgrades after your Sony A5100 too. The 15.4-pound load capacity is enough to support a large number of the popular DSLR camera setups that videographers commonly use without issue too. This offers another advantage over the lower load capacity Glidecam camera stabilizers as if you do upgrade to a heavier camera body, you probably won’t also have to upgrade your stabilizer to use it with your new camera setup.

All of the clips in the sample footage above have been recorded using the Flycam Redking and display a realistic example of the levels of image stabilization that the Steadicam style stabilizer is able to provide for your Sony A5100. As you can see, it provides some great, smooth, natural-looking video footage that does not have that slightly robotic look to it that some electronic motorized gimbals can.

Now, in our opinion, the new generation of motorized gimbals like the Zhiyun Weebill S blow the image stabilization provided by these manual stabilizers out the water. Technology has come on a long way and the point of view gimbal mode on the Weebill S is excellent and allows you to capture the natural-looking style video footage that gimbals previously struggled with.

In addition to that, the electronic gimbals like the Weebill S also offer all of the advantages of a gimbal over a manual Steadicam style stabilizer too. If you are going professional-level videography, we would highly recommend that you consider purchasing something like the Weebill S over a manual style stabilizer like the Redking due to the superior image quality it provides you.

That said though, a fair few videographers prefer the manual Steadicam style stabilizers over the motorized gimbals for their work. If you fall into this bracket then we feel that the Redking is the obvious option for your Sony A5100. Since its release, the Redking has also earned itself a bunch of third-party reviews from the videography community that you can read if you want an external insight into how the unit is performing.

User Interface And Control System

FLYCAM Redking Quick Balancing Video Camera Stabilizer with Dovetail Quick Release (FLCM-RK) | Professional CNC Aluminum Camera Stabilizer for DSLR BMCC Sony Nikon DV Camcorders up to 7kg/15.4lb + Bag
Now, unlike their motorized gimbal counterparts, manual Steadicam style stabilizers don’t really have or need a control system due to the fact that there really is not much to interface with like there is on a motorized gimbal. The adjustable head, central column, and balancing base plate are all very straight forward to use, even if you have no prior experience with using a stabilizer, we doubt you will have any issues with the system on the Redking.

On top of this, Flycam is well known for its detailed user manuals that offer a large amount of detail on how you are able to tweak the Redking for optimal performance. This ensures that no matter what videography niche you are working in or what task you have at hand, the Redking will be able to rise to the occasion and get the job done with your Sony A5100.

Balancing

Rather than typing out the initial setup and balancing process for the Redking we would just recommend that our readers check out the video above if you feel you will need any help. As we mentioned above though, the Flycam user manuals are excellent and offer a very easy to follow guide for the balancing process on the gimbal. In addition to that, the base plate and counterweight plates are very easy to adjust meaning if you are going to be using different camera rigs with the Redking, you can adjust accordingly without having to waste time.

Build Quality And Design

FLYCAM Redking Quick Balancing Video Camera Stabilizer with Dovetail Quick Release (FLCM-RK) | Professional CNC Aluminum Camera Stabilizer for DSLR BMCC Sony Nikon DV Camcorders up to 7kg/15.4lb + Bag
The build quality of the Flycam Redking is excellent and Flycam really has managed to do an excellent job with it. As we mentioned earlier in the article, Flycam has taken advantage of developments in both materials and gimbal technology to keep their costs as low as possible ensure that they are able to offer their customers excellent performance.

This has resulted in a camera stabilizer that is not only very tough and robust but also very lightweight for its maximum load capacity and the level of image stabilization that it can provide. One of the main issues with manual stabilizers, when compared to motorized gimbals these days, is that they tend to be heavy. In turn, this can sometimes result in aches and pains in your arm when recording with the stabilizer for longer sessions.

Thankfully, Flycam has nailed this and ensured that their Redking is as light as possible minimizing the chance of this happening. Additionally, the handle grip on the stabilizer is also very comfortable too so you can hold it for as long as needed when recording too. So many people overlook the importance of a comfortable handle and some gimbal brands, even in this day and age fail at it but Flycam has done a good job.

Now, the only weakness of the Redking in our opinion and this is being very nit-picky as it is a great bit of kit is that the handle grip can sometimes rotate around the handle. This can be a little annoying but only really happens if you are using heavier camera rigs with the Redking and it can easily be fixed too. We have seen a number of reports from people saying they simply applied a few drops of glue to under the handle grip to secure it to the handle and the random rotations stopped.

Our Verdict

That brings our article on what we feel is the best stabilizer for Sony A5100 cameras to a close. As we mentioned back at the start, so many people still feel that the Glidecam range is the way to go and depending on your needs, some of our readers may have to go with a Glidecam but theĀ Flycam Redking is a much cheaper alternative that offers very similar levels of performance. We are confident that a large number of our readers will be able to get everything they need out of the Redking while also saving a few hundred dollars.

If you still haven’t made your mind up then there are a number of a number of reviews from third-party videographers for the Redking online that you can read. We also have our own dedicated, in-depth review of the Redking but many of the points in it have already been covered in this article anyway.