Camera

Top 10 Best 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizers

best-gimbal-stabilizers,-best-three-axis-stabilizers,-best-gimbals

Gimbal stabilizers allow users to take almost any camera and shoot beautiful, moving footage. For many years, gimbals were something only accessible to the budgets of Hollywood or at the very least, professional videographers. The good news is that prices have seriously dropped allowing access to prosumers and even consumers. This list covers the best of the best for DSLRs, smartphones, and larger cameras in a variety of price ranges. Whether your budget is $1,000 or $100, one can immensely improve the quality of their shots and footage using these stabilizer.

Here’s our top 10 favorite gimbal stabilizers.

1. Ronin-M 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer (Best all-around)

DJI ronin m gimbal, best stabilizers, best camera stabilizers, best smartphone stabilizer

(DJI)

This is the successor to the revolutionary stabilizer that started the affordable gimbal market, and it’s a huge improvement in every way to that initial revolution. It’s significantly lighter, faster, and easier to set up. The footage speaks for itself: if one is shooting a wedding or similarly produced event, the Ronin-M adds a wonderful, smooth panning and gliding effect to every and any shot it’s used in.

That said, even if you’re a casual filmmaker who can afford the Ronin-M, know that it’s not exactly effortless to set up. It requires calibration, practice, and after getting a handle of the actual stabilizer, focusing one’s camera can still to be challenging. There are a variety of ways to attack the focus problem, one can see some solutions in this video by Youtuber Michael Ronin. Few cameras have great autofocus in video, but there are still a few ways to mitigate this problem including staying a fixed distance from your subject, shooting at a high aperture (meaning everything is in focus), and using a wireless follow focus system (Browse Amazon for top-rated wireless follow focus systems).

Price: $999

Buy the Ronin-M 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer here.



Pros:

  • Praised as sturdy and solid piece of equipment
  • A must for wedding and event videographers
  • Drastically improves video quality
  • Can be set down and used to take smooth, fixed pans
  • Adds professional, cinematic look to footage and allows one to use prosumer cameras

Cons:

  • Balancing gimbal takes time (between three and ten minutes) and some technical understanding
  • Overkill for many users
  • It can struggle with heavier cameras, or at least be very tough to balance (one example is an FS5 with a large lens)
  • Some users report issues with drifting

Find more Ronin-M 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer information and reviews here.


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2. Roxant Pro Handheld Stabilizer (Best value)

roxant pro gimbal stabilizer, best stabilizers, best camera stabilizers, best smartphone stabilizer

(Roxant)


Capacity: 2.1lbs | Battery Life: N/A | Weight: 1.8lbs | Camera Type: Light to medium weight rigs | Warranty: Lifetime support


The Roxant Pro is the budget option, but make no mistake, while it’s cheap and requires some skill, it doesn’t have to be a huge compromise. Sure, on average, one’s footage using this device won’t be as smooth as with a gimbal stabilizer like the Ronin-M, but it’s still a dramatic improvement. Another advantage is that since it’s handheld, one is able to adjust the focus, since the camera is within arm’s reach.

Users report that it’s easy to balance and surprisingly simple to learn. Another unique perk that one won’t find in gimbal land: the Roxant is simple to setup. Of course, there are users who claim the device performs much better when “hacked,” but this is still only a one-time setup. The Ronin-M, for instance, generally requires calibration with each use, as it can be drifty, even once you have a consistent camera/lens setup. Users report it takes between five and ten minutes to do this. The Roxant takes practice and skill, but if one can’t afford a pricier stabilizer, it will be a rewarding challenge- one that has pleased many users.

Price: $64.96

Buy the Roxant Pro Handheld Stabilizer here.



Pros:

  • Compatible with GoPro, DSLR, mirrorless cameras, and point and shoot
  • Lifetime support from Roxant
  • Users report it as easy to balance
  • Unique design reduces fatigue according to manufacturer
  • Users praise it as affordable, effective, and fast to setup

Cons:

  • Some users say it only works best when hacked
  • One user said that gimbal did not provide stability at all
  • A few users report durability issues

Find more Roxant Pro Handheld Stabilizer information and reviews here.


3. Evo GP 3 (Best for GoPro 3)

evo gp3 gimbal stabilizer, best stabilizers, best camera stabilizers, best smartphone stabilizer


(Evo)


Capacity: Up to 155 grams (will work with LCD backpack or backpack accessory) | Battery Life: 2 batteries included, total of 5 hours | Weight: 1.4lbs | Camera Type: GoPro Hero 3, 3+, 4, some other action cameras | Warranty: 1 year


The Evo GP3 is loved by reviewers and GoPro owners. Surprisingly, GoPro has failed to deliver in two key areas: drones and to some extent gimbals. No matter, competitors have filled the space and the Evo GP3 is not only slightly cheaper, it works with the GoPro 3 and 4, unlike the Karma Grip, which excludes GoPro 3 owners. If you’re between the Evo and the Karma, the Karma’s motor is reported as more quiet. The GP3, however, is cheaper and many users report an excellent experience, including its ability to charge a GoPro while stabilizing it. Another big advantage is that compared to the GoPro Karma, this gimbal allows one to swap out batteries. It includes two, but it also allows one to purchase additional batteries. If you’re GoPro Karma dies, you’re pretty much SOL for around six hours while its internal battery charges (one can’t change the battery on a Karma).

Price: $279

Buy the Evo GP 3 here.



Pros:

  • Built-in charging capable of extending GoPro’s battery life
  • Multiple shooting modes such as heading follow, heading lock, head/pitch, and inverted
  • Pan button turns GoPro in multiple directions
  • Solid design, steady and stable motion
  • Replacement batteries are cheap and readily available
  • Motor praised as silent

Cons:

  • Not compatible with GoPro Hero 5 or waterproof case
  • Some users complained that motors were noisy, ruining audio
  • One user found gimbal to be flimsy
  • Does not include carrying case
  • Movements can be hard to get used to

Find more Evo GP 3 information and reviews here.


4. GoPro Karma Grip (Best for GoPro 5)

gopro karma gimbal stabilizer, best stabilizers, best camera stabilizers, best smartphone stabilizer


(GoPro)


Battery Life: 1 hour and 45 minutes | Weight: 2.5lbs | Warranty: 1 year


GoPro’s answer to the stabilizing gimbal is its Karma Grip. While GoPro was plagued with issues with its Karma drone, its grip has fared much better. The main advantage against the Evo GP3 above is its compatibility with the GoPro Hero 5. It also has considerably more quiet motor functioning, meaning one should be able to get cleaner audio. There are some drawbacks, however, namely the lack of a swappable battery. The Karma Grip’s internal battery cannot be swapped out. Therefore, once the Karma Grip’s short battery life withers away after (at best) an hour and 45 minutes, one will be stuck waiting for it to recharge. Bummer, but then again, it’s not that short an amount of time. Still, if one foresees this as an issue and doesn’t have a GroPro Hero 5, the GP3 may prove a better (if noisier) option.

Price: $299

Buy the GoPro Karma Grip here.



Pros:

  • Super simple camera controls
  • Compatible with GoPro Hero 5
  • Quiet motor functioning
  • Battery cannot be swapped
  • Better brand name and customer service than GP3

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work for GoPro Hero 3
  • Some users claimed that footage was shaky
  • A few users had issues with reliability

Find more GoPro Karma Grip information and reviews here.


5. Original Ronin 3-Axis (Best for heavy cameras/lenses)

ronin gimbal stabilizer, best stabilizers, best camera stabilizers, best smartphone stabilizer

(DJI)


Capacity: 16lbs | Battery Life: 6 hours | Weight: 9.26lbs | Mounting: Complex | Accessories: DJI Focus | Camera Type: All


There’s really only one reason to spring for DJI’s original Ronin: you’ve got a seriously heavy rig. This old beast is praised for its long battery life and large capacity; it can carry up to 16lbs. All of the drawbacks of the Ronin-M apply, however. The Ronin can be tough to setup and focusing is just as challenging as on the Ronin-M. Still, if one needs a cheap way to stabilize a huge camera, the Ronin is the way to go; a comparable product from Movi runs in the $6,000 range so it’s still a bargain for anyone who needs it.

Price: $1999

Buy the Original Ronin 3-Axis here.



Pros:

  • Holds almost twice as much weight as Ronin-M
  • Before Ronin-M, gold standard for affordable stabilization
  • Boasts three operation modes for different use cases
  • Built-in receiver and remote control that work with DJI app
  • Maximum capacity stabilizer from DJI
  • Best battery life of DJI stabilizers

Cons:

  • Somewhat noisy operation
  • Extremely heavy
  • Overkill for vast majority of users
  • Most expensive, oldest DJI gimbal stabilizer
  • Balancing gimbal can be a time intensive practice

Find more Original Ronin 3-Axis information and reviews here.


6. Ronin-MX 3-axis stabilizer (Best for rigs too heavy for Ronin-M)

DJI ronin mx gimbal, best stabilizers, best camera stabilizers, best smartphone stabilizer

(DJI)


Capacity: 10lbs | Battery Life: 6 hours (includes 2 batteries | Weight: 6.11lbs | Mounting: Vibration-absorbing, can mount to DJI drone Matrice 6000 | Accessories: DJI Focus, SRW-60G (Ground remote control)


Between the Ronin-M and Ronin-MX lies this middle of the road stabilizer. It boasts great battery life (since it includes two batteries) and compared to the Ronin-M, is capable of wielding much more weight, up to 10lbs. If one doesn’t need the absolute braun for the original Ronin, but the Ronin-M isn’t strong enough, then this is the option to go with.

Price: $1599.99

Buy the Ronin-MX 3-axis stabilizer here.



Pros:

  • 5 Complex operation modes
  • Boasts Lightbridge 2 technology for full app control and live video feed with range up to 3.1 miles says Newsshooter
  • Can mount two DJI batteries
  • Works with aerial drones, Matrice 6000 series
  • Supports two operator control out of the box
  • Motors are 50% more powerful than Ronin-M reports Newsshooter

Cons:

  • Many users have issues with MX and heavy cameras, like Reds
  • Second battery only powers camera and/or additional accessories NOT Ronin itself
  • Each battery has a different design can be confusing
  • Requires extension arms to carry heavier cameras like F5, FS700, or other cameras of that size
  • Balancing gimbal can be time-consuming and requires some understanding of software

Find more Ronin-MX 3-axis stabilizer information and reviews here.


7. Osmo Mobile

dji osmo mobile gimbal, best stabilizers, best camera stabilizers, best smartphone stabilizer


(DJI)


Capacity: Works with phones as large iPhone 7+ | Battery Life: 2 hours per battery | Weight: 201g | Mounting: Clamps to phone | Camera Type: Smartphone | Warranty: Depends on part, but usually one year


For those looking to use their smart phone camera, the Osmo Mobile offers an affordable and high quality stabilizing solution. The Osmo clamps onto one’s phone and has a very simple set-up. Usually, it works upon extending the arm just the right amount– so it’s literally configured in seconds. Footage can be anywhere from OK to outstanding, depending on your phone’s capability and the time of day (most phone’s can’t handle low light at all). The Osmo Mobile is great for a variety of users, and with certain apps and high quality smartphones, it certainly allows one to achieve high quality, stabilized footage.

Price: $287.04

Buy the Osmo Mobile here.



Pros:

  • Motion timelapses, light trails, and various other shooting options in robust DJI Go app
  • Active track technology lets the Osmo Mobile watch one’s face for a video selfie
  • Includes soft carrying case
  • Most affordable option

Cons:

  • Phone batteries can die quickly and iPhones use internal batteries, can be mitigated by charging phone while in Osmo
  • Some limitations in DJI Go app for Android users
  • Some users had issues with customer service

Find more Osmo Mobile information and reviews here.


8. Osmo 4k Camera Bundle

dji osmo gimbal stabilizer, best stabilizers, best camera stabilizers, best smartphone stabilizer


(DJI)


Capacity: N/A | Battery Life: 90 minutes | Weight: .44lbs | Mounting: Smartphone mounts to Osmo | Camera Type: Built-in camera | Warranty: Depends on part, but usually one year


The Osmo 4k stabilized camera offers one the most set-up free gimbal experience possible. It boasts 4K footage and solid stills at 12 megapixels raw. One issue with this camera is the field of view is on the wide side, leading to more of a GoPro or action camera kind of vibe. Nonetheless, it’s a lot of fun and for users looking to capture moving footage that doesn’t need to be quite cinematic in quality, the Osmo 4k camera offers unique value and simplicity.

Price: $539

Buy the Osmo 4k Camera Bundle here.



Pros:

  • Easy setup
  • 4K camera works great in daylight
  • Picture quality is praised as great, shots are extremely smooth
  • Easiest gimbal to setup, no balancing issues
  • Camera can be used remotely over Wi-fi
  • Includes SD card

Cons:

  • Many users suggest one needs extra batteries
  • Extremely wide field of view not preferable for some shots, Osmo+ can zoom in, but has host of other issues (see on Amazon)
  • Lowlight shots are noisy
  • Audio is dicey, one will need an external solution

Find more Osmo 4k Camera Bundle information and reviews here.


9. Mavic Pro

mavic pro gimbal stabilizer, best stabilizers, best camera stabilizers, best smartphone stabilizer


(DJI)


Capacity: N/A | Battery Life: 30 minute flights, unknown gimbal performance time | Mounting: Mounts to PolarPro Katana | Camera Type: Drone camera, struggles in lowlight | Warranty: 6 months for gimbal camera via DJI


Wait, isn’t the Mavic Pro a drone? Yes, yes it is. But believe it or not, if you’re in the market for a drone and stabilizer, and you’re looking for a particular kind of footage, the Mavic Pro can be an all-in-one solution. Using the PolarPro Katana one can wield the body of their Mavic Pro like a nice handheld camera. It’s an unconventional solution, but let’s be honest: drones are awesome. If one is in the market for both and doesn’t need the footage from their stabilizers to be cinema quality (the Mavic Pro’s camera is good for action footage and the like, but it falters in low light), this can be a fun and interesting option.

Price: $999 + $50 (for PolarPro Katana)

Buy the Mavic Pro here.



Pros:

  • One of the best drones on the market
  • Decent stabilization and footage from on-board camera
  • One can use drones for inaccessible panning and/or movement shots
  • Folds to be very small

Cons:

  • Camera isn’t great for indoor shots
  • Camera is limited to one lens
  • Overpriced for most who only need a gimbal
  • Does not let one use external camera

Find more Mavic Pro information and reviews here.


10. Zhiyun Crane

zhiyun crane gimbal stabilizer, best stabilizers, best camera stabilizers, best smartphone stabilizer


(Zhiyun)


Capacity: 1200 grams (1800 grams after firmware update) | Batteries: 2 batteries included (Manufacturer claims six hour lifetime) | Weight: 2.1lb | Mount: Standard tripod plate (quick mount) | Camera Type: Light mirrorless, DSLR, or any camera on a plate | Warranty: 1 year manufacturer’s warranty


Zhiyun has yet to make itself an established brand name in the gimbal space, but they’re definitely making a splash. Boasting a much smaller profile than anything like a Ronin, the Zhiyun lives in the middle ground, where one can easily transport it, and use it handheld for long durations of time. That said, it’s still complicated and requires 5-10 minutes of balancing. The other disadvantage is that some people had issues with their customer service after getting a bad unit. Still, if one can look past these issues and onto the perks, the Zhiyun offers a great, convenient setup for using your mirrorless camera with excellent stability.

Price: $644

Buy the Zhiyun Crane here.



Pros:

  • Most affordable gimbal for mirrorless cameras
  • Includes two batteries
  • Bottom of handle has a 1/4″ screw thread so it can be mounted to tripods, monopods
  • Works with A7SII, GH4
  • 4 modes for various shooting options
  • Includes hard carrying case

Cons:

  • Limited functionality for GH5
  • Some cameras are impossible to balance
  • Not good enough to counteract walking movement
  • Some users had issues with customer service

Find more Zhiyun Crane information and reviews here.


Still looking for the right gimbal stabilizer? Browse more top-rated gimbal stabilizers on Amazon.


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Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.

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