Zhiyun Smooth 4 Review 2022: Is It A Good Choice?

Zhiyun Smooth 4 Review 2022: Is It A Good Choice?

  • Dream Cheeky

Are you looking for a handheld camera gimbal that will help you improve your filmmaking skills and ease of use? You might be a good candidate for the Zhiyun Smooth 4. The Zhiyun Smooth 4 can help you stabilize your footage and smoothen your motion making your videos look professional. Let’s be with Dreamcheeky to learn more about the handy gadget in this Zhiyun Smooth 4 Review.

Zhiyun Smooth 4 Review

Zhiyun Smooth 4 Overview

Specializations

  • Compatibility: Smartphone (65 to 82mm width)
  • Stabilization: 3-axis
  • Dimensions: 123x105x328mm
  • Weight: 560g
  • Battery life (approx): 10 hours

Pros

  • Flowing footage
  • High-quality construction
  • Wheel for zooming and focusing
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Charging in both directions
  • Object tracking

Cons

  • Weight
  • There is no joystick control.
  • Maximum payload
  • Face recognition isn’t done well.

The Smooth 4 is a tilt-and-roll gimbal with three axes. However, the amount of smartphone data it can transport is startling. Although it can carry most smartphones, it is somewhat heavy at 210g. Larger devices, such as the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (228g) and the Samsung S21 Ultra, are not included (229g). It’s no surprise that they both weigh less than 210g because they’re phones that videographers and photographers adore.

Although the Smooth 4’s click wheel lacks joystick-style features for manual movements, the control panel is fantastic. It’s big and roomy, with a lot of buttons, such as pan-following for rapid still photographs and locking the Smooth 4 to use as a tripod.

A tactile wheel is located on the left side of the control panel. This may be used to focus or zoom in, with a button to swap between the two. It’s quite simple to use. You may do it faster in “Phone go” mode by following the rocker directly behind the control button.

Face-tracking is not featured in the Smooth 4, although it is included in the Smooth XS for a lower price. Although it isn’t a severe flaw, it is odd that Smooth 4 does not contain it.

The Smooth 4 is less expensive than the Smooth 3 and has a considerable makeover. There’s a huge zoom and focus wheel on the side that you won’t find on other gimbals, as well as a ton of controls on the front so you don’t have to touch your phone screen while filming.

Take a look at our post – Best Gimbal For Iphone if you want to find more other product

Zhiyun Smooth 4 Review

Performance and Usability

Performance and Usability

Starting the Smooth 4 isn’t easy. It’s simple to balance a smartphone with the help of a little lock wheel. However, we had difficulty connecting the ZY Play app to the Smooth 4 through Bluetooth. The connection didn’t materialize right away the second time we tried it, despite the fact that it worked the first time.

This app is really technologically advanced. It may be used to make semi-professional effects like time-lapse, time-lapse, and hyper-lapse. Panorama shots, time-lapse motion modes, and long exposures are all available. HDR, scene modes, filters, manual tweaks, and the option to shoot in 4K 60fps are all included. The control panel of the smartphone gimbal contains a variety of shortcut buttons that make it simple to navigate. However, there is a learning curve.

The Smooth 4 is a solid build that produces smooth, stable footage across all axes. The wheel on the side of the column is a particular highlight since it makes fine-tuning photos a breeze. Using the control panel’s click wheel, you can switch between zoom and focus pull.

One of the Smooth 4’s outstanding qualities is its battery life. For up to a 10-hour shot, it can accommodate 2,000mAh lithium-ion batteries. You don’t have to be concerned about this. But there’s more to come.

The Smooth 4 has two-way charging, letting you connect your smartphone to the micro USB port on the tilt axis arm. This allows you to charge both the Smooth 4 and your phone at the same time. The Smooth 4 is most likely to be charged from a battery pack, but it’s unclear why Zhiyun stuck with the obsolete micro USB slot.

Zhiyun Smooth 4-Software

Both iOS and Android versions of ZY Play are available. However, you will not be able to access all of Android’s capabilities. Your phone model will also restrict your options.

All the features are available through the ZY Play app. Some of them, though, isn’t worth it. Zhiyun is particularly fond of the function in Vertigo that uses the zoom wheel to reproduce the effects from the film of the same name.

The issue with the Smooth 4 is that it is tough to set up, unlike DJI and Parrot drones, which also offer this dolly zoom effect. It also necessitates the ability to zoom and walk backward, which can make it less likely that you will achieve excellent outcomes. The zoom is choppy, and not smooth. Zoom, like other gimbals, is controlled by software. This effect cannot be achieved using your phone’s telephoto camera.

Although the ZY play app can monitor subjects, we found it to be less successful than DJI’s. It is difficult to track persons that move quickly, especially when they are traveling quickly. This is odd, given the glowing reviews we’ve received regarding Smooth Q’s monitoring technology.

The good news is that FiLMiC and Zhiyun have teamed up to make the FiLMic Pro app fully compatible with the Smooth 4, allowing it to be connected to the iPhone instantaneously. It’s now possible to use the zoom/focus wheels, which was not allowed just a few months ago. You may select between telephoto, regular, and selfie cameras, as well as between standard, full auto, and manual shooting modes.

If you’re serious about making outstanding videos, this app is well worth the money.

Qualitative Construction

Qualitative Construction

  • A lightweight toy that has long battery life.
  • A strong frame and is designed for heavy-duty use.
  • It can still be broken if your skateboard is stacked as you do crazy tricks, even though it doesn’t seem delicate.

The Smooth 4 is Zhiyun’s first handheld stabilizer with an integrated tilt axis motor. This enables more natural panning and tilting actions, making fluid, cinematic shots easier to record.

To keep your gadget stable, the clamps on your head may simply extend and shrink. It’s also simple to change the balance without risking breaking something.

Smooth 4 has a beautiful hammer paint texture that gives it a premium feel while also providing a level of grip.

Brushless motors in the Smooth 4 are more powerful than those in the preceding model. It can accommodate gadgets that are up to 8.5 cm (3.35m) tall and weigh 210g (0.46lb). To go very creative, tilt and roll at 240 degrees and panning at 300 degrees are options.

Zhiyun has a micro USB connector near the clip for charging your phone, but no cords. You’ll have to look for your own.

Controlling the Zhiyun Smooth 4

Controlling the Zhiyun Smooth 4

Unlike the DJI Osmo Mobile 2, the Zhiyun Smooth 4 includes a lot of controls. To change settings like the exposure level or resolution, you don’t have to touch your phone’s screen.

The dial to the left of your hand grip can be used to adjust the zoom and focus. Most gimbals do not allow you to physically shift the focus, thus this function is ideal for creative filmmakers. The digital zoom was smooth and didn’t have the little increments than other gimbals with physical-digital zoom control might have.

To turn on the flash, hit the button in the middle of the controls. This adds to the convenience. It wasn’t something I used all the time, but it comes in handy in certain situations.

The ability to use the gimbal controls to access menus, zoom in/out, turn on the flash, and so on saves time.

However, there is one caveat: the majority of these features are only available while using the ZY Play App. It’s a decent app, and the most recent version has addressed many of the concerns that Android users had with it. However, I don’t like how many of the gimbal’s capabilities are dependent on the app.

Missing Joystick

Many gimbals include a joystick that may be used to electronically tilt and pan the camera. The DJI Osmo Mobile 2 and Zhiyun’s earlier Smooth Q both have this functionality.

However, DSLR gimbals, as well as the Movi Cinema Robot for high-end smartphones, lack pan/tilt joysticks.

Shooting Modes

For the 3-axis Zhiyun Smooth 4, there are three basic gimbal shooting modes.

The first two are Pan and Follow, which keep the horizon level. The smartphone gimbal will not only track your pan motions but will also counteract movements that aim the camera upwards or downwards.

The second mode, termed the following mode, allows it to track your tilt and pan axes motions. The roll axis, on the other hand, will be locked. If the camera rolls to one side or the other, the gimbal will stop it in order to keep it parallel to the ground.

The final option is locked mode, which locks all three axes. The Zhiyun Smooth 4 will assist your camera focus on its objective by maintaining its orientation. When recording on stage at a performance or installing it on a car, this is useful.

PhoneGo Mode

The Smooth 4 has a handy function called “PhoneGo,” which you may use simply by pushing a trigger button on the rear of your grip. The gimbal’s response to movement is improved by increasing the motor speed. When you need to fast capture changes in direction in your recording, this is useful.

Photo Modes

The ZY Play app makes it simple to snap a variety of images.

Photos are taken in a single take (very easy thanks to the dedicated snap button on your gimbal).
180-degree panoramas (33 panoramas)
Motion timelapse and timelapses

Vertigo Effect

The vertigo effect mode hasn’t been seen on any other smartphone gimbals. Despite the fact that it’s a cool camera effect, I haven’t found myself employing it that often.

FiLMiC Pro App- Supported Third-party App

Most users end up using the Zhiyun Smooth 4’s ZY Play App to record their movies in order to fully utilize its capabilities.

The app is an excellent gimbal companion. Despite having had some challenges in the past, many of the bigger issues with Android devices have been resolved.

Smooth Zhiyun 4- Battery Life

Lithium-ion batteries power the Zhiyun Smooth 4, which can record for up to 12 hours.

In terms of battery life, this makes it one of the top gimbals. The majority of people will not have to worry about batteries.

Despite having a great battery, the Zhiyun Smooth 4 cannot be used as a portable power bank, which is a little frustrating. This is not the case with other gimbals.

Performance

With an iPhone X, we tested the Smooth 4’s clamp. It was a good fit. The iPhone XS Max is a little too big and heavy for me. It couldn’t balance correctly even at maximum extension. To keep it horizontal, it had to use additional battery power.

It can be difficult to get used to the tilting trigger because it takes some time to get used to. But if you stick with it, you’ll get the outcomes you want. When we used the ZY Play app, the gimbal would flutter if we moved it too quickly. We were unable to adjust to this new situation. There were a few instances where the gimbal couldn’t find our device in the list but wouldn’t connect right away.

Despite our reservations about the Smooth 4, it delivers incredibly stable footage. Even while you’re standing still, strolling, or jogging, the Smooth 4 can take usable video.

It’s probably best to use your phone’s camera’s native app to access all modes. We discovered that the app did not allow us to select 25fps at 1080p or 4K. We could, however, use the native app. However, it prevents you from using the gimbal’s buttons, so it’s not a great workaround.

Verdict

The Smooth 4 is an affordable stabilization solution that offers excellent value. It includes many on-body controls including a wheel for zooming or focusing. The Smooth 4 is tactile and simple to use. It can be combined with ZY Play to create motion lapses, panoramic photos, and time lapses.

This gimbal is a great choice for smartphone content creators looking for a prosumer DSLR-like experience.

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