Zhiyun Smooth 4 Review

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. To learn more about this handy gadget, dreamcheeky read Zhiyun smooth 4 review 

Zhiyun Smooth 4 Review

Contents

Zhiyun Smooth 4 Review 2022

Specifications

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

Pros

  • Smooth footage
  • High-quality construction
  • Zoom/focus wheel
  • Battery life is very long
  • Two-way charging

Cons

  • Weight
  • No joystick control
  • Limit on payload
  • Face tracking is not a good idea

The Smooth 4 is a tilt-and-roll, 3-axis gimbal. It can hold a surprising amount of smartphone payload. It can hold most smartphones, but it weighs in at just 210g. It does not include larger smartphones such as the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (228g), and the Samsung S21 Ultra (229g).

Both phones are loved by videographers as well as photographers, so it is not surprising that they weigh in at less than 210g.

Although the click wheel of the Smooth 4 doesn’t have joystick-style controls, it has excellent control panels. It is spacious and large and contains many buttons. These include pan-following to take quick still photos and locking the Smooth 4 for use as a tripod.

On the left-hand side of the control panel is a tactile wheel. You can use this to zoom in or focus, and you also have a button to toggle between them. It’s very easy to use. You can either follow the rocker located just behind the control button, or you can do it faster using “phone go”.

Smooth 4 does not include face-tracking, which is available in Smooth XS at a lower price. It is not a big issue but it is surprising it hasn’t been included in Smooth 4.

The Key Features

The Key Features

The Smooth 4 is a 3-axis Gimbal that can pan (though 300deg), tilt (both 240deg) and roll (both 240deg). However, the smartphone payload it can carry is surprising. It can handle most smartphones but weighs in at 210g. This excludes larger smartphones like the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (228g), and the Samsung S21 Ultra (229g).

They’re both phones that videographers and photographers love, so it’s not surprising that they weigh less than 210g.

The Smooth 4’s click wheel doesn’t provide joystick-style controls for manual movements, but the control panel is excellent. It is large and spacious, with many buttons, including pan-following for quick still photos, as well as locking the Smooth 4 to be used as a tripod.

The control panel’s left-hand side has a tactile wheel. This can be used to focus or zoom in, and there is also a button to switch between them. It is extremely easy to use. You will find a rocker just behind the control button that you can use to follow or do it faster in “phone goes” mode.

The Smooth 4 does not offer face-tracking, which is a cheaper feature than the Smooth XS, but it’s a missing feature. Although it is not an issue, it is surprising that it has not been included in Smooth 4.

Performance and Usability

Performance and Usability

The Smooth 4 is not easy to use. It is easy to position a smartphone in a balanced state using a small lock wheel. We had difficulty connecting the ZY Play app to the Smooth 4 via Bluetooth. It worked the first time, but it didn’t work the second.

This app is extremely tech-savvy. It can be used to create semi-professional features like time-lapse and time-lapse. You can also create panoramic photos and time-lapse motion modes. The gimbal supports HDR, scene modes, and filters as well as manual tweaks. It can also shoot at up to 4K 60fps.

It is easy to use the control panel of the gimbal because it has many shortcut buttons. However, there is a learning curve.

Smooth 4 is a solid build that produces fluid, stable footage across all axes. The special highlight of the Smooth 4 is the wheel to the side of your column. This makes it easy to fine-tune shots. The shortcut on the click wheel of your control panel allows you to switch between zooming and focus pulling.

One of the best things about the Smooth 4 is its battery power. The Smooth 4 can store 2,000mAh lithium-ion battery for up to 10 hours of shooting. This is something that you won’t need to worry about. But it gets even better. The Smooth 4 allows for two-way charging. Simply attach your smartphone to the micro USB slot located on the tilt axis arm to charge it.

This allows you both to charge your Smooth 4 and your smartphone at the same time. Although it is likely that the Smooth4 can be charged using a battery pack or other means, Zhiyun may have used the micro USB specification.

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.

Software

ZY Play is available for both iOS and Android. You cannot however use all the features of Android. You may also be limited by the model of your phone. All features are available through the ZY Play app. Some of the features are not worth it. Zhiyun is proud of Vertigo’s feature that uses a zoom wheel to replicate the effects of the movie of the exact same title.

The downside to the Smooth 4, unlike DJI drones and Parrot drones that have this dolly zoom effect, is its difficulty in setting up. You will need to be skilled in zooming and walking backward, so it is less likely you will achieve great results.

The zoom isn’t smooth; it’s jerky. Zoom is done in software, just like other gimbals. To achieve this effect, you can’t use your phone’s telephoto camera.

The ZY play app does provide subject tracking. However, it isn’t as efficient as DJI’s. If people move fast, it won’t be able to track them reliably. This is not surprising considering the amazing reviews we’ve heard about Smooth Q’s tracking system.

The good news? Zhiyun and FiLMiC have partnered to make FiLMic Pro fully compatible with Smooth 4, so that it can be paired instantly on the iPhone.

The zoom/focus wheels can now be used, something that was impossible a few months ago. You can choose from standard, full-auto, or manual shooting modes. Additionally, you can switch between standard and standard telephoto and standard cameras. If you’re serious about making great videos, this app is well worth the investment.

Qualitative Construction

Qualitative Construction

  • The Smooth 4 toy is lightweight and has a long-life battery.
  • The Smooth 4 is made for heavy-duty usage and has a rigid structure.
  • It doesn’t feel fragile but it could still be damaged by being stacked while doing crazy tricks.

Your head clamps can expand and contract easily to ensure your device is stable. You can also adjust the balance easily without having to worry about damaging anything. Smooth 4 is made with hammer paint and has a pleasant texture that provides it with a sense of quality as well as a high level of grip.

The Smooth 4’s brushless motors are stronger than the previous model. It can hold devices upto 8.5 cm (3.35m), high, and 210g (0.46lb). To really be creative, you can tilt and roll at 240 degrees or pan at 300 deg.

Controlling the Zhiyun Smooth 4

Controlling the Zhiyun Smooth 4

The Zhiyun Smooth 4 offers many controls that are not available on the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 To adjust settings like the exposure level and resolution, you don’t need to touch your phone’s screen.

The dial located to the left side of your hand grip can be used to adjust the zoom or focus. This feature is ideal for creative filmmakers, as most gimbals don’t allow you physically to adjust the focus. Digital zoom was smooth, and it did not exhibit the small increments you might see on other gimbals that have physical-digital zoom control.

To turn on the flash, you can also press the button in the middle of the controls. This gives you more convenience. Although it wasn’t something I used very often, it was definitely useful in certain situations. It saves time by being able to zoom in/out, activates the flash, and access other menus using the controls on your gimbal.

However, there is one caveat. Most of these functions can only be accessed through the ZY Play App. It’s an acceptable app. The latest version has addressed many of the issues it faced with Android users. I do not like that many of the functions on the gimbal are tied with the app.

Shooting modes

There are three basic gimbal modes available for the Zhiyun Smooth 3. The first two modes, Pan and Follow, keep the horizon at the same level. The pan axis will be tracked by the gimbal, but the camera can also be directed upwards or downwards.

The second mode, called “The following mode”, will allow it to follow your movements on tilt and pan axes. However, it will lock the roll axis. The gimbal will prevent the camera from rolling to one side or another to maintain a parallel line with the ground.

The last mode is locked mode. This mode locks all three axes. The Zhiyun Smooth 4 will help your camera maintain its orientation and focus on the target. This is useful when you are recording at concerts or mounting your camera on a vehicle.

PhoneGo Mode

Smooth 4’s feature “PhoneGo” is a clever one that can be activated by pressing the trigger button on your grip. Motor speed is increased making the gimbal more responsive to movement. This feature is helpful when you need to capture quick changes in direction.

Battery Life

The Zhiyun Smooth 4’s lithium-ion batteries are powerful and can record for up to 12 hours. It is one of the most reliable gimbals for battery life. The majority of people will not need to worry about batteries.

The Zhiyun Smooth 4 can’t double up to make it a portable power bank despite being a powerful battery. This is a unique gimbal.

Conclusion

Zhiyun Smooth 4 can be used as a gimbal stabilizer on cameras to produce smooth, cinematic videos. This is the latest Zhiyun product, with many great features that will make it an invaluable tool for anyone looking to improve their video-making skills.

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