If you’re into mobile videography, there’s not a chance you don’t use somekind of gimbal, the small gadget that makes mobile videos stabilized with a 3-axis motor. 2 of the leading manufacturers, DJI and Zhiyun, have launched their latest models during August 2019, which are focused on new product design for an even smaller footprint and overall weight. In this post i’ll try to compare the 2 new products, even though only the DJI is currently in the market.
Here’s my post reviewing some of the older models that are still in the market, where I concluded I liked Zhiyun’s Smooth over DJI Osmo Mobile 2.
DJI Osmo Mobile 3 vs. Zhiyun Smooth Q2
A few months after introducing the DJI Osmo Pocket which was a true revolution in the super-mini gimbal market, DJI introduced the DJI Osmo Mobile 3. If you have read me above post on the DJI Osmo Mobile 2, you already know that in my opinion it only won against the original DJI Osmo Mobile version, not against the Zhiyun Smooth series with better pricing and battery life.
The DJI Osmo Mobile 3 brings innovation into the mobile gimbal market, being smaller in size and better motor design- a foldable gimbal that can fit in your pocket (assuming it’s a big pocket). If you already own the Osmo Mobile 2, you might not rush into buying the Osmo Mobile 3, unless you really need you gimbal to take less space in your bag. With a price tag of $119, the Osmo Mobile 3 weighs 405 grams and it’s folded footprint is 15X13X4.6CM. DJI does not publicly share it’s maximum payload (Osmo Mobile 2 could handle 202 grams), but the improved axis design allows it to carry Moment lenses without the need for a counterweight like in previous models, which is a big plus. Another big plus in the new Osmo Mobile 3 is that the charging port isn’t blocked anymore, meaning you can use a USB-C microphone without having to find weird gadgets that will help you attach one without losing balance.
The Osmo Mobile 3 comes with a trigger, similar to the first version of this product, allowing you better control in Active Track mode where you want to quickly track moving objects, like a ball game. It’s also a lot easier now to switch the smartphone’s orientation from landscape to portrait, which was an impossible job in previous models with flagship smartphones as they were just too big to use in portrait mode, but with the new “Story” trend on every other app, people are shooting more video content in portrait mode and that is becoming a very important feature.
The battery life and built quality remained similar to the Osmo Mobile 2 and the control is now done using the MIMO app which is also used to control the DJI Osmo Pocket and DJI’s extreme action camera, you can read more about the app in my Osmo Pocket review.
Zhiyun Smooth Q2
A few questions comes to mind when looking at the new Zhiyun product. Why wasn’t it called the Smooth Q5? Considering Zhiyun already have in market the Smooth Q3 and the Smooth Q4, should have been an easy naming prcoess. The 2nd and more intrigueing question is why the Zhiyun people chose to launch a Kickstarter campaign for the Smooth Q2 instead of actually launching a new product to the market, as they have done many times in the past. Did the Zhiyun people wait for the Osmo Mobile 3 to be introduced so they can launch a better competing product? Those questions will remain unanswered, but 24H after the Kickstarter campaign launched, the goal was met. So now we wait to receive the unit and put it to test.
The new Zhiyun Smooth Q2 will reach the market, meaning those who were first to back the Kickstarter campagin, late October 2019 at a price tag of $139, if you were quick enough, you got a better early bird price.
While the new Smooth Q2 isn’t foldable like the Osmo Mobile 3, it’s truly a pocket sized mobile gimbal, the size of a Cola can, significantly smaller than the Osmo Mobile 3. It doesn’t fold, it’s just small at 20X1oX4CM and 380 grams, with an official max payload of 260 grams (The new Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ weighs 196 grams) and can also work with external lenses like Moment. Unlike the DJI Osmo Mobile 3, the Smooth Q2 has a universal tripod screw at the base of the unit, which allows you to use your own tripods, whereas the Osmo Mobile 3 requires it’s own unique tripod. The Smooth Q2 will also let you connect microphones to the USB-C port with no hassle.
For the first time ever, we no longer need an app to control the mounted phone, the Smooth Q2 can connect to it via Bluetooth, which is a major improvement, that should also works with other 3rd party apps like Filmic Pro or the Moment Pro Camera app.
The first to receive a working beta vesrion of the Smooth Q2 is Potato Jet, see his short review and comparison below.
Both the DJI Osmo Mobile 3 and the Zhiyun Smooth Q2 offer similar shooting modes: object tracking, panorama, motion timeplapse and many more, the Smooth Q2 has the ability to shoot in Vortex mode, where the gimbal rolls the phone to create infinite 360-degree barrel shots.
Bottom line: Both products will do the job in stabilizing your next mobile video, in a very similar price and features. I choose to wait a bit longer for the Smooth Q2 for it’s size and phone control via Bluetooth with are major features for me.4