Its no secret that the handheld gimbal stabilizer space was starting to become stagnant with each new generation of gimbal essentially being the exact same design as the last with little to no new innovation only slightly better motors and sensors. This went on for around five years in total before Zhiyun broke the mold with their Weebill range of gimbals. Not only have they innovated on the design to allow native underslung use within seconds of switching from handheld mode but they have also implemented a ton of upgrades across the board too.
Just as we expected from a gimbal with so much functionality and an excellent level of image stabilization, since its release the first product in the Weebill range, the Zhiyun Weebill Lab has taken the market by storm and is growing its customer base at an exponential rate. Since its release just under a year ago, the Weebill Lab has managed to rightfully earn and maintain an outstanding reputation amongst the community that just keeps on getting stronger and stronger with each passing month.
Now, before we get any further into our dedicated Zhiyun Weebill Lab review we just want to point out that the second release from the Weebill range, the Zhiyun Weebill S is not available and does improve on the Weebill Lab in almost every way. If you have the budget available then the Weebill S is definatley the better option to add to your camera accessories. On the flip side of this though, due to the release of the Weebill S, Zhiyun has run a price reduction on the Weebill Lab essentially turning it into a bargain for anyone on a budget making it the best cheap gimbal stabilizer on the market by far in our opinion.
Anyway, we just wanted to point that out before getting any further into our review of the Weebill Lab as we have seen multiple people reaching out for advice on both Weebill gimbals and asking on the better model for their situation. If you are an entry-level videographer or on a budget then go with the Weebill Lab, if you have the budget available then the Weebill S due to its superior performance, design, and build quality.
Performance And Functionality
Thankfully though, times are definatley changing and Zhiyun has made a number of breakthroughs when it comes to their gimbal motors to ensure that their Weebill gimbal range leaves the competition for dust. The Zhiyun Weebill Lab can support a maximum load capacity of 6.6 pounds of camera payload weight with ease while providing its excellent levels of image stabilization all the way up to its maximum load capacity without having issued with vibration or hang.
At the time of writing, 6.6 pounds of load capacity is easily enough to support the vast majority of popular mirrorless camera setups as well as a large number of light and mid-weight DSLR camera rigs too. This ensures that unless you are using a super heavy DSLR setup were something like the Zhiyun Crane 3 would be more appropriate, the Weebill Lab should easily be able to meet your needs without issue.
In addition to working out a way to increase the toque of their gimbal motors for the Weebill Lab while also keeping them as small and compact as possible, Zhiyun also managed to work out a way to have them run as efficiently as possible when it comes to power consumption too. This means that the Weebill Lab can provide you with a very respectable maximum battery life of around ten hours with each charge of its battery.
Now, you may be thinking that the industry standard for battery life is around the twelve-hour mark but you also have to factor in that the Weebill Lab has been designed to be a small, lightweight, compact travel gimbal stabilizer. Something like the DJI Ronin S is massive and very heavy in comparison to it and only provides you with two hours additional battery life. In addition to this, with Zhiyun always striving for innovation, their new Weebill S the successor to the Weebill Lab has newer batteries that provide up to fourteen hours of power per charge.
Once the Weebill Lab is low on power, you can recharge it back to full in just over three hours giving you around three and a half hours of usable power for each hour you spend charging it. This helps to minimize any downtime that you may have while out on a shoot capturing your video footage. Additionally, more and more videographers have taken to adding high output USB power banks to their collection too.
A decent power bank can increase the amount of time that you are able to stay out away from a regular power outlet for days at a time allowing you to charge your devices from it. If you are a wildlife or travel videographer or vlogger then these are extremely useful as you may not know when you will next have a chance to plug all of your gear into a wall socket to charge everything back up.
We have already touched on the various improvements that Zhiyun made to their gimbal motor technology earlier in the article but they further improved their detection and correction system by upgrading their gimbal sensors and balancing algorithm too. The next generation gimbal sensors in the Weebill Lab really are in a league of their own, especially back when they were released and offer some of the quickest motion detection available. They are also some of the most sensitive gimbal motors developed to date too ensuring that they can pick up even the slightest movement in the gimbal during use too.
In our opinion, the top three balancing algorithms on the market right now are from Zhiyun, DJI, and Moza and out of those three, the Zhiyun algorithm is ever so slightly ahead of the other two due to its speed. Once the gimbal sensors have detection motion they send that data into the algorithm to be processed and then the relevant correction is sent to the high torque gimbal motors on the Weebill Lab to stabilize your camera. The whole process takes place at lightning-fast speeds and is seamless so the user’s video footage is fluid and flows naturally.
Just like all modern handheld gimbal stabilizers, the Zhiyun Weebill Lab also supports a number of gimbal modes including the traditional pan, lock, and follow modes that are commonly found on gimbals these days. In addition to this though, Zhiyun have also added a number of their own modes for the Weebill Lab and the main one that seems to be getting the most use is the vortex mode.
In all honesty, we thought that the vortex mode would just be a gimmick back when it was announced and see minimal real-world use. Essentially it rotates the gimbals head and gets your camera to perform a barrel roll type movement. This allows you to capture commonly recorded landmarks in a new and more exciting way while also providing you with some more unique and modern ways to transition between clips if you are on the vlogging side of things.
It really is not surprising that the Weebill Lab has managed to grow its customer base of videographers to the size it has in under a year. The performance and functionality of the gimbal is outstanding and it would seem that the wider videography community agrees with us judging by the number of excellent, independent reviews the gimbal has from the community. With its recent price reduction, we doubt that sales of the Zhiyun Weebill Lab will be slowing down anytime soon either and expect the customer base of the stabilizer to keep growing at the rapid pace it is even though the Weebill S is now available.
User Interface And Control System
The Zhiyun intelligent object tracking system is probably the best tracking system available at the time of writing and the integration with their smartphone app makes it very easy to use. For optimal performance, it is advised that you have your smartphone in an easy to view and easy to reach location during use and the smartphone mount provides the perfect solution. We know that some of our readers may never even use this technology on their gimbal but it can be an excellent tool that you can use to your advantage.
The LCD panel on the gimbals control system is excellent when compared to what some compeating brands are providing. Now only is it very clear and accurately displays the required information in an easy to read manner but it is also very bright too. If you are working in a niche where you will be working in low light conditions then this ensures that you can always see the information that the LCD panel on the Weebill Lab is displaying without issue.
Zhiyun have also been developing their joystick technology over the years and although they have upgraded the tech even further with their newer Weebill S, the tech on the original Weebill Lab is great. It is very responsive and extremely sensitive allowing the user to accurately move the gimbal head when used in manual mode to capture the footage that they require on their sessions.
One of the few areas where the traditional manual camera stabilizer still has an advantage over the newer motorized gimbal stabilizer is with its natural panning. Some gimbals can still have that slightly robotic feel to it but the manual control with the super-sensitive joystick helps the Weebill range catch up and pan with a very natural feel to its footage. This essentially brings the Weebill gimbal range up to par with the only remaining advantage of manual stabilizers while also still providing all of the advantages that a gimbal presents.
Another thing that gimbals have had in the past, including some of the older ones in the Zhiyun range is that the sensitivity of their joystick can drop in wet or cold conditions. Thankfully, Zhiyun with the Weebill Laband Moza with the Aircross 2 have worked out a way to keep the joysticks on their newer gimbals as sensitive as possible no matter the temperature. This ensures that no matter what conditions you are working in, you can always have excellent manual control over your gimbal if needed.
The final point that we want to make about the user interface for the Weebill Lab is that is has a two in one quick release plate system. This allows you to quickly and easily mount or unmount your camera rig with either a Manfrotto or Arca-Swiss quick release plate. If you do use multiple cameras while also having different camera accessories that you need to hot-swap your camera between this can really save you a bunch of time over the duration of a recording session.
The app is very easy to use and has a nice, clean navigation menu while also providing some great features and functionality. We have already covered the intelligent object tracking system earlier in the article but it also offers some great wireless remote control performance as well as some quick and easy access to the Weebill Lab gimbal settings.
Depending on the niche that you are working in the wireless remote control functionality of the app may never be needed or used but the access to your settings is a great little tool to have. Although you can make tweaks in other ways, the app allows you to make changes within seconds rather than minutes. Over a days worth of recording, this can actually end up saving you a surprising amount of time if you are the type to tweak your gimbal settings on a regular basis.
Build Quality And Design
In our opinion, this shakeup is exactly what the gimbal space needed and Zhiyun has essentially set the bar for the compeating brands to match or be left behind. In addition to this, Zhiyun have also made the Weebill range as small and light as possible while still being extremely powerful and being able to support some of the heaviest camera rigs out there.
Although Zhiyun have further improved on the design of the Weebill range with the newer Weebill S to make the whole process easier, the original Weebill Lab was an excellent effort that now dominates the entry-level gimbal space due to its recent price reduction. Although the Moza Aircross 2 does come close to the Weebill S, the other compeating brands in the space have essentially been left for dust.
Another great change that Zhiyun initially implemented on the Weebill Lab that has since spread into their other gimbal ranges is their locking pins for each of the supported axes on the gimbal. This allows you to quickly and easily lock each of the axes in place when not in use. For example, if you are planning to travel with the gimbal and want to prevent random movements of the gimbal head while in transit you simply lock each of the pins in place.
The Weebill Lab also has an extremely light build quality coming in at only 2.14 pounds of weight with dimensions of 2.8 x 7.5 x 11.8 inches. This is much smaller and lighter than everything currently available from the competition that operates in this weight class making either of the two current gimbals from the Weebill range the ideal travel gimbal. It allows you to travel light to keep within your luggage allowance when traveling via air without taking up much space too.
On top of this, Zhiyun has also built the Weebill Lab from high-quality polymers to ensure that while lightweight, it is also very robust too and can easily take plenty of bumps while in transit or during use without breaking. This helps to ensure that the gimbal will be able to last you for many years to come without breaking, especially if you are in a niche where the gimbal could face regular punishment.
The final point that we want to make is that the Weebill range is very ergonomic with a comfortable and easy to grip handle too. This ensures that you are able to use the gimbal, even when supporting camera rigs towards its maximum load capacity without issue. Something like the DJI Ronin S is much heavier and can often lead to cramps or aches when recording on those longer sessions but this tends to be less of an issue with the Weebill range gimbals.
That concludes our ultimate Zhiyun Weebill Lab review and as you can probably tell, the Weebill Lab really is an excellent little gimbal that can offer some outstanding image stabilization if you do choose to add it to your collection of camera accessories. It is one of the fastest-selling gimbal stabilizers on the market right now and has proven its worth amongst the community by earning plenty of other glowing reviews from other videographers who use it as their gimbal of choice.
As we mentioned earlier though, the Weebill Lab is one generation of gimbals old now and the newer Weebill S improves on it in every way and would likley make a better addition to your camera accessories. It is also growing its customer base at a very fast pace and has also managed to earn a large number of independent reviews from the community too. We also have our own dedicated review of the Weebill S that may be helpful too if you are considering purchasing the Weebill S over the Weebill Lab.