Using an iPhone gimbal when shooting videos for work or play will instantly up the production value of your videos by creating smooth, steady shots, even when you’re moving around. Thus, a high-quality gimbal is a must-have for aspiring social media influencers, professional videographers, and whoever else wants to shoot amazing iPhone videos.
Why buy an iPhone gimbal?
Simply put, it’s nearly impossible to create professional-quality videos when shooting on an iPhone held by an unsteady hand. On the other hand, an iPhone gimbal compensates for unwanted camera movement so that you can achieve smooth, cinematic shots while walking, moving, or even skating down the street. Also, unlike many pieces of complex video equipment, iPhone gimbals are often quite affordable, so even those on a budget can accomplish amazing videos for under $100.
What should you look for in an iPhone gimbal?
- Compatibility: Not every iPhone gimbal will be compatible with your iPhone model, so make sure that the gimbal you purchase is fully compatible before making the investment. Also, some gimbals are better than others at accommodating iPhones with cases. So, if you like to keep your case on while recording, be sure to choose a compatible gimbal.
- Features: While excellent stabilization is an important factor, features such as object tracking, advanced shooting modes, and customizable panning can really take your videos to the next level if used properly. When shopping for a gimbal, be sure that its features cater to the types of videos you like to shoot. That being said, next-level features won’t compensate for a gimbal with sub-par stabilization.
- Battery Life: If you’re a professional that shoots videos for up to eight hours a day, a gimbal that sports a five-hour battery life probably won’t cut it. Thus, be sure to closely consider a gimbal’s battery life and read plenty of reviews to see how users have fared. Keep in mind that how you use your gimbal will affect how long its battery lasts, so be sure to do your research in order to find the right product for you.
What’s the difference between two-axis and three-axis stabilization?
When you’re recording a video on your iPhone, your iPhone can move on three axes (pitch, roll, and yaw) which may reduce the quality of the final product. A two-axis gimbal will stabilize your camera in terms of pitch and roll, meaning it will be prevented from tilting up or down or rotating on the axis of the lens. This alone will greatly improve the quality of your videos, giving them a professional feel.
However, a three-axis gimbal accomplishes this as well, with the added benefit of mitigating unintended panning, or yaw. That being said, three-axis gimbals require more juice from their battery and are often heavier than two-axis gimbals due to the extra motor.
Hohem iSteady Mobile Plus
This gimbal features excellent stabilization and a wealth of easy-to-use features that are perfect for upgrading your video quality.
Pros: Featuring an easy-to-use design and simplified object and face tracking, the Hohem iSteady Mobile Plus is the gold standard when it comes to affordable three-axis iPhone gimbals. This gimbal works well with a wide variety of smartphones and is more adept at stabilizing heavier phones compared to top competitors such as the Zhiyun Smooth 4. It also scores points for its impressive 12-hour battery life and reliable stabilization, making it an excellent purchase for creative people of all walks of life.
Cons: One thing about the iSteady Mobile Plus that doesn’t outperform the competition is its app, which is pretty mediocre, if we’re being honest. Thankfully, this gimbal is easy to use without the app, so downloading it is completely optional. This gimbal is also somewhat less rugged than other options in its price range but holds up well if treated with care.
Bottom Line: Given its next-level stabilization and plethora of nifty features, it’s easy to see why this gimbal has quickly become a favorite for iPhone users. While this isn’t the most rugged gimbal out there, it’s definitely durable enough to put its impressive “sports mode” to the test. If you’re seeking excellent stabilization and advanced features that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, this gimbal is well worth the investment.
Zhiyun Smooth 4
This gimbal impresses in terms of its rugged build quality and easy access to its many features.
Pros: The Zhiyun Smooth 4 is one of the most rugged gimbals on the market at its price point and offers above-average three-axis stabilization to take your videography to the next level. This gimbal features an intuitive wheel for zooming and focusing, a crucial upgrade over many competing models. Thanks to its long, robust legs, its tripod also outperforms similar products, which offer much more stability than your average gimbal tripod.
Cons: This iPhone gimbal is not a good option for those who own heavier smartphones, so definitely do your research and confirm compatibility with your phone before going all-in on this device. Also, those seeking excellent object tracking will probably be better served by the iSteady Mobile Plus, as this gimbal’s object tracking functionality can be hit or miss.
Bottom Line: Although this isn’t the best gimbal you will find for your iPhone at its price point, it performs its primary function well enough to be an instant upgrade over most budget options. It’s also a safe pick for those who record rugged activities such as biking or skating due to its durable build quality.
Obudyard Stabilizer for Smartphone
This nifty stabilizer can be used as a selfie stick or tripod and supports 360-degree rotation.
Pros: If you lack the funds to invest in a two- or three-axis gimbal, the Obudyard Stabilizer is an excellent one-axis stabilizer that offers more than enough helpful features to justify its price tag. This budget-friendly stabilizer comes with a Bluetooth remote that makes it easy to shoot videos from a distance, making it a great pick for solo vloggers. It also supports 360-degree rotation, giving it the ability to record some awesome shots that even more expensive gimbals are incapable of.
Cons: This stabilizer’s biggest drawback (other than the lack of three-axis stabilization) is its limited battery life, which will have you charging your device every couple of hours during continuous use. However, the upshot of this is that it also charges up incredibly quickly, but it’s still wise to keep some extra portable battery packs on hand if you purchase this device.
Bottom Line: While this product is more of a selfie stick/tripod than it is a gimbal, it’s still a great tool to upgrade your iPhone videos on a budget. It’s also much more rugged than its low price might indicate, making it a perfect option for aspiring social media influencers who are seeking to improve their content without emptying their wallet.
DJI OM 5 Smartphone Gimbal
This sleek iPhone gimbal is incredibly light and compact, yet it can accommodate larger iPhones than similar models.
Pros: The DJI OM 5 Smartphone Gimbal is another solid option for those with a large phone (such as the iPhone 12 Pro Max) and is one of the sleekest iPhone gimbals out there thanks to its unique color offerings and compact design. This gimbal stands out with its extendable arm and handy video modes, as well as its app, which is a huge step above the Zhiyun Smooth 4.
Cons: Designing such a light, compact gimbal was obviously no easy feat, and the end result is a fairly mediocre battery that taps out after about 6 hours. It’s also worth noting that this gimbal is a little more expensive than other top models. That being said, its price point indeed isn’t outrageous given the amount of awesome functionality that is packed into this product.
Bottom Line: If your iPhone is recording videos in the heavyweight division, your gimbal options are likely limited. Thankfully, this product offers enough in terms of stabilization and functionality to be an excellent buy for almost any iPhone user. That being said, be prepared to accommodate its limited battery capacity if you plan on using it all day long.
DJI Osmo Mobile 3
Featuring a foldable design that is made for travel, this gimbal excels at tracking faces.
Pros: If you’re in the market for an ultra-portable gimbal with next-level face tracking, the DJI Osmo Mobile 3 is an excellent choice. Thanks to its versatile clamp, this gimbal offers wide-ranging compatibility with large and small iPhone models. It outperforms most competitors in terms of battery life. In terms of stabilization, it also leaves very little to be desired (more on that below), making it an excellent option at a competitive price.
Cons: While the Osmo Mobile 3’s face tracking functionality works like a dream, tracking non-human objects is nowhere near as effective as it should be. That being the case, think closely about how you plan on using this gimbal, as it isn’t the perfect product for every videographer.
Bottom Line: For a gimbal that folds up into such a compact package, this one is incredibly sturdy and straightforward to set up. It’s also an ideal buy for vloggers due to its awesome face tracking. However, those seeking next-level object tracking are better off investing in our “Best Overall” pick.
There’s more variety than ever when it comes to iPhone gimbals. If you do your research and select a gimbal that is tailor-made for the type of videos you shoot, you should be elated with the results.