Checkout our BEST DSLR Camera Stabilizers, Gimbals & Steadicam reviews to ensure you get the right stabilizer for your DSLR camera.
See Also: GoPro Gimbal Reviews
After researching online and spending many hours testing these DSLR Stabilizers, I have shortlisted the best DSLR stabilizers which you can buy right now from Amazon.
Related Article: How to walk with a gimbal
This product review is intended to serve as a guide for consumers to choose the best camera stabilizer that provides great value and meets their needs. If you are looking for a waterproof gopro gimbal check out this article.
BEST DSLR STABILIZERS 2018
MAKE / MODEL
WHERE TO BUY
Zhiyun Crane v2
IKAN MS1 Beholder
OFFICIAL ROXANT PRO Stabilizer
Neewer Carbon Fiber 24 inch Stabilizer
SUTEFOTO S40 Stabilizer Pro
FLYCAM HD-3000 Stabilizer
BEST DSLR GIMBAL 2018
BEST DSLR Stabilizers Gimbals 2018
Zhiyun Crane v2 Gimbal Stabilizer
"Best DSLR Gimbal Stabilizer 2018"
Official Roxant Pro Stabilizer
"Best Steadicam for DSLR Cameras 2018"
Zhinyun Crane v2
DSLR Cameras, Mirrorless Cameras
Product Review Rating
Featuring 360° rotation across all three axes, the Zhiyun Crane recommends a max payload of up to 3.96 lbs., which is about average as far as the market for these pieces of equipment goes. This should be sufficient weight for most heavier DSLR cameras.
What’s more, this model carries an attachable lens support, an optional extra not always seen on handheld gimbals. This enables the device to be used with a greater range of lenses, extending the scenarios in which it is useful.
Connecting a camera to the gimbal and using the different settings is very simple. Attaching a camera only requires users to tighten a thumbscrew, meaning that no tools need to be carried around with the camera, leaving more capacity in carrying bags for additional peripheries such as memory cards, batteries or straps.
When using the device, the full range of gimbal motions can be controlled via an accessible control panel that sits in easy reach of the user’s fingertips.
Another advantage that this model has over others is the inclusion of a cushioned carry case, which has room for the crane itself as well as a heap of equipment, including a micro USB cable, two batteries with an accompanying charger, and a mini tripod.
Though this may appear to be a small benefit, it is useful to have the additional storage space, particularly in the case you prefer to keep the gimbal’s equipment separate to that of the DSLR.
The Zhiyun Crane Gimbal Stabilizer has a payload of 1.8kg which makes it ideal for mirrorless cameras and smaller DSLRs.
It features brushless, encoded motors that can rotate 360 degrees, and can be controlled through the joystick or the optional remote control.
Read on for our full review and find out why the Zhiyun Crane is our pick for the winner of the BEST DSLR Camera Gimbal.
Made from solid aluminum, the Zhiyun Crane feels premium through and through. The handle houses two 2,000mAh rechargeable batteries (you get four total) and it also has the joystick, on/off button and toggle switch.
There is also a Micro-USB port and LED indicator for various functions. The rest of the build is all mechanical with solid aluminum all around. You can manually adjust the knobs at each axis to balance the camera, and with some practice it gets easier.
The Zhiyun Crane Gimbal stabilizer can be controlled either by the optional remote control or using your IOS/Android device wirelessly via bluetooth using an free Zhiyun application.
The gimbal comes with 4 lithium-ion 18650 2000mah batteries. It takes 2 batteries to operate. Really nice that Zhiyun provides a second set of batteries. Under normal operation you should get 2-3 hours on a set.
Pan Following Mode:
Pan axis (rotation left and right). This is the default mode and makes the camera follow the movement of the gimbal. You can adjust the pan and tilt using the joystick in this mode.
All three axes are locked (pan,tilt and roll). In this mode you can use the joystick to pan and tilt or move left and right.
Pan and Tilt Following Mode:
The roll axis is locked. Tilt and pan axis rotate to follow the movement of the gimbal. You can use the joystick to adjust the roll handle left and right.
- 360 degree rotation along all three axis
- Remote controlled via IOS/Android App or optional remote controSupports cameras up to 1.8kg
- There is a slight learning curve
- Clearance for moving parts could be improved
The Zhiyun Crane DSLR Camera Gimbal comes with everything you need to get started including its own hard case to protect your investment. Having a range of 360 degrees allows you to create amazing 3-d videos with the assistance of software. The motors are totally silent and extremely fast.
Users who buy the Zhiyun Crane gimbal will get a lot of value for their money. Few other models include a carrying case packed with accessories, nor additional support for DSLRs with longer lenses. What’s more, it has one of the simplest systems for attaching a DSLR, without the need for tools.
With such an impressive array of extras, it is surprising to see that the crane does not include a function designed to quickly reset the camera to its default position; however, when this is one of only a few minor flaws to find with the gimbal, photographers can rest assured that they’ll be getting a high-quality product with the Zhiyun.
DSLR Cameras, Mirrorless Cameras
Product Review Rating
The Ikan Beholder is a gimbal designed for small- to medium-sized DSLRs, with a maximum weight capacity of up to 4.5 lbs. Owing to the larger capacity when compared to the other two gimbals recommended here, the inclusion of a dual-grip handle is much appreciated, providing a better grip on the heavier range of DSLRs that the Beholder can support.
With all of that in mind, the Beholder does not cut an imposing figure; it is in fact very compact and can easily be folded up into a size that means a separate carrying case really isn’t a necessity.
One major advantage of the Ikan Beholder is that it is equipped with a 32-bit controller and 12-bit encoder. Though not a feature of all gimbals, encoders have some major benefits, including increased motor torque from smaller motors, better precision of movement, and better optimized battery current.
Above all, gimbals using encoders will generally recover more quickly from disturbances and allow the different axes to work in conjunction with one another more smoothly.
The ikan Beholder 3-axis Gimbal is lightweight and simple to operate. It is designed for mirrorless cameras with a payload up to 1.9 lbs.
A number of cameras are well-suited for the Beholder including the Sony a7S, RX-100 and NEX series, Panasonic GH4, Samsung NX500, and Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera.
It features a 3-axis brushless gimbal motor to stabilize your camera for the smoothest and most stable video footage possible.
The ikan Beholder Gimbal has a 5-way joystick which offers ‘follow’ and ‘lock’ mode, as well as pan/tilt control, all of which can be controlled by the joystick with your thumb.
The gimbal has a sliding plate and base plate that allow you to balance the camera from left to right and front to back. Easily mount and balance your camera with the quick release balance baseplate. No additional tools are required to balance your camera.
There is a 1/4" 20 thread mount at the bottom that allows you to attach it to any slider, tripod or monopod.
The gimbal comes with 3 lithium-ion 18650 2600 mah batteries that fit inside a removable cradle in the handle, and must be removed for charging that takes 4-5 hours to charge completely.
I'd recommend you have one or two spare sets of batteries as you only get 2-3 hours of run time on a single charge. Another option is to use a lithium-ion fast charger.
This DSLR camera gimbal is limited to cameras under 1.9 lbs. Be sure to verify you camera weight including the typical lenses you will be using.
- Easy to balance
- All aluminium construction
- USB port
- Limited to cameras less than 1.9lbs
The ikan Beholder Gimbal is limited to cameras weighing less than 1.9 lbs. It comes with a soft carry case to protect your gimbal, especially for those that like to travel and shoot.
The all-aluminium construction means extra durability for this DSLR gimbal stabilizer.
The Ikan Beholder can support a payload of up to 4.5 lbs., and with the included dual-grip handle, supporting that additional weight won’t be a problem. It also means that there’s more scope for fitting heavier lenses to the DSLR.
The modes available on this model are also a strong selling point, with auto-inversion being something not seen on every competing model on the market. What’s more, this model comes with encoders, which have a range of benefits not seen in models that are lacking this component, such as improve torque and more precision of movement.
Some small niggles exist around the positioning of certain buttons and the usability of the included software when it comes to configuring settings, and this can be frustrating given the price of the gimbal.
However, as far as drawbacks go, they are minor and certainly not enough to prevent us recommending this gimbal to buyers.
EVO Rage Gen2
DSLR Cameras, Mirrorless Cameras
Product Review Rating
Though the Evo Rage 3-axis Gimbal may not come with encoders included, it is the industry's first 4Khz effective refresh rate gimbal, boasting X3 parallel 32 bit CoreMark MCUs.
In combination, these components give the Rage a competitive edge against other models, with some of the most advanced stabilization technology available, all whilst coming in at a modest price.
The EVO Rage Gimbal also utilizes CCI technology, which extends control of the camera through the gimbal's handle. From the controls mounted onto the handle itself, the user gains full control over the DSLR's video start and stop functions, the camera shutter, and zoom.
What this means to a photographer is that once the camera has been mounted, there’s little need to interact with anything but the gimbal itself. Thus, the user can focus on positioning and their subject, rather than having to worry about control over the DSLR.
In terms of the gimbal’s functionality, the shooting modes offered are extensive and are improved upon even further by the associated EVO mobile application, which includes an automatic motion time-lapse feature.
Other supported shooting modes as part of the gimbal are Pan Follow Mode, Lock, Full Follow Mode and Underslung, providing a range of ways in which to approach a scene.
- 4 Khz effective refresh rate
- All aluminium construction
- Can be controlled by Evo mobile App
- CCI control cable sold separately
Where the Evo Rage excels is in the design, from the industry-first refresh rate, through to the CCI control direct through the gimbal’s handle. Though the CCI control cable is not included in the gimbal package, the very fact that it is supported outweighs any negatives here.
The ability to control the Rage remotely using just a smartphone extends the capabilities offered to the photographer by this gimbal, allowing remote start and stop of video recording, zoom functionality and control over camera shutter.
Encoders would be a welcome addition to this package, but the rest of the components included in the specification more than make up for their absence, and they are more of a nice-to-have than an absolute requirement.
I was very interested in The Original Roxant Pro Stabilizer because it has great rating on Amazon and rated as the best stedicam for DLSR cameras.
I hoped the product would help me produce smoother videos while walking or running. Does it live up to my expectation?
Its ergonomic design and construction ensure stable image taking for a professional effect. It is a very versatile mainly because it has such a basic design.
Keep reading for my review of the stabilizer.
The Roxant Pro DSLR Stabilizer is a simple device to use although I do have to say it takes a little practice to get the feel for how to make your movements smooth while using it.
Best DSLR Camera Stabilizer
It also may take you a little time to figure out just the right settings for your particular camera. The Original Roxant Pro stabilizer will help you create professional looking, smooth scenes whether you’re walking, running, skating, driving etc.
The stabilizer has a small grip with a rubber coating that improves stability even when used by someone with sweaty hands.
The weights can be adjusted without any tools and the mount supports a wide range of DSLR camera models.
It can handle cameras up to 2.1lbs.
Balancing can be a challenge for beginners, but once you get the hang of it, you should be able to re-balance your camera after changing lens.
- Lightweight aluminum construction
- Works with DSLR cameras
- May be difficult for beginners to balance
The Original ROXANT PRO DSLR stabilizer is indeed one of the best selling stabilizers on Amazon. With over 700 reviews on Amazon, you can be assured it is one of the BEST DSLR Stabilizers available. If you are looking for the best camera stabilizer for a low price, this is the one for you.
Don't be fooled by the many imitators on the market.
The Neewer Carbon Fiber Camera Stabilizer is a lightweight stabilizing system created for DSLR cameras weighing up to 6.6 lbs.
There are four weight discs to balance your camera on the stabilizer. These can be added or removed based on your need. The weights are fastened on the weight plate with standard sized camera base screws.
It can be extended from 15.2 inch to 24 inch to adapt to the weight of the camera.
- This stabilizer has the special system which is good for cameras, video capable DSLR cameras, and DVs.
- It allows high and low angle shooting with high precision bearings and low friction joints.
- With the stretch adjustment, it improves weight ratio and reduces the clumps weights greatly.
- It also comes with the sponge covered grip which makes you feel comfortable when handle it.
- High quality materials
- Difficult to adjust left-right balance
The Neewer Carbon Fiber Stabilizer is a lightweight, high quality DSLR stabilizer that offers good value for the price. Its lightweight and ability to work with the heaviest of cameras is definitely a benefit.
The SUTEFOTO S40 Handheld Stabilizer Pro is very flexible and versatile and suited for stable shooting with almost all cameras.
It is compact and classic in design with black powder coating. It is extremely durable, and will last for many years to come.
The S40 incorporates a comfortable handle, and helps keep you camera stable and balanced.
It has one of the best low friction joints and top quality and high performing bearings.
- Economical price
- Powder coated
- Learning curve for beginners
The SUTEFOTO S40 Stabilizer Pro for DSLR Cameras is built to last. Once you get the hang of balancing your camera, you will be able to re-adjust the balance when changing lens. Great stabilizer for the average video producer.
The FLYCAM HD-3000 Handheld Stabilizer for DSLR cameras is lightweight in design and capable of supporting cameras up to 3.5kg.
Its designed with weights at the bottom and it has a universal mounting plate that can be used on almost any camera. It offers exceptional stability, even for a less experienced user.
Its aluminium telescopic post, multi-angle comfortable handle and precise adjustment balance platform provides smooth and graceful shots, and unparalleled controllability at an affordable price.
Constructed from black anodized aluminium which gives it a rugged look and feel, but also durability.
It rotates smoothly over 360 degrees and offers you precise balance once you get used to it. There are plenty of mounting options at the bottom giving you lots of versatility.
The Quick Release, tool-free, drop-on camera mount plate allows swift attachment or removal of your camera. Plate has both 1/4" and 3/8" mounting slots to accommodate a variety of camera bases.
Camera Mounting Platform allows you to adjust the camera’s horizontal & vertical balance. Ergonomic, control knobs allows an easy and precise adjustment of the top stage’s back and forth and side-to-side movement.
- Economical price
- Easy to use
- Professionally designed
- Can't be used with smart phone
The FLYCAM HD-3000 Stabilizer steadicams for dslr is lightweight with a professional basic design. It is easy to use will assist even the novice video photographer.
Buyers Guide - BEST DSLR Stabilizers 2018
Electric vs Mechanical Stabilizers
The biggest factor that sets non-motorized stabilizers apart from motorized units is not cost but control. You have much more control over the subtle movements of the camera with a non-motorized stabilizer.
If you’re tracking a moving subject with your camera on a non-motorized stabilizer and you want the camera to slightly lean into the turns to accentuate the action, you can do this very easily with most systems. Trying to get that same shot on a motorized stabilizer would be very hard, if not impossible.
The drawback to having this type of control is that non-motorized systems take longer to learn how to operate as far as making your camera movements look smooth. They tend to require more operator interaction than their motorized counterparts.
If you're use to doing a lot of hand-held operating, than you’ll probably be getting smooth shots fairly quickly and with ease; gradually, you’ll be able to get shots that you might not have ever thought were possible even with a stabilizer.
In time, much like panning and tilting on a tripod, you’ll find that the movement becomes second nature.
The biggest advantage to a motorized stabilizer is that, with most units, once it’s set up and balanced, you can grab it and start shooting. It doesn’t take long to get used to operating a camera on a motorized stabilizer.
The stabilizer will maintain smooth level shooting, you just have to frame the shots. Most models will allow you to set up the camera with a tilt up or down if you want to get high or low angle shots. The stabilizer will maintain that angle for you.
The only drawback is that you sometimes can’t deviate from this during the shot, or else changing the angle will require a second operator controlling the camera.Another advantage to a motorized stabilizer is that you don’t always have to be right next to it.
You could use a cart or wagon as a dolly, mount the stabilizer to it, and get shots that you might have needed a dolly on tracks to get.The biggest disadvantages that some motorized stabilizers have is weight and set up time. Some of the larger units can be very heavy once your camera is mounted, so spending a long day shooting hand-held might be challenging.
Many of the more complex units are computer controlled and require you to alter settings on the unit when you want to change anything that alters the weight or balance of the payload like changing lenses or cameras; the process isn’t always quick and easy, but it is something the manufacturers are working on improving.
Roll – The movement the camera makes left and right while on the gimbal platform, or the rotation around the front-to-back axis.
Pitch – The movement the camera makes front to back while on the gimbal platform, or the rotation around the side-to-side axis.
Yaw – The movement the camera makes side to side while on the gimbal platform, or the rotation around the vertical axis.
Gimbals use a function known as Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) to translate commands made by a camera operator, into movement responses while utilizing its three different brushless motors to level the camera. To learn more about how 3 axis Gimbals work.
Thanks for checking out our digital DSLR Stabilizer Reviews. I hope we were able to help you pick the best stabilizer for DSLR cameras. If you are having a tough time picking which stabilizer is best for the digital SLR camera we have the best steadicam for dslr reviews.
Capturing a smooth, flawless image isn’t always easy; even the steadiest hands can’t achieve a perfect image every time, particularly when the subject of the lens is constantly on the move. When it comes to capturing video, this task becomes even harder, which is why the camera industry responded by creating the handheld gimbal, a device that seeks to offer greater image stabilization than can be achieved by the camera alone. Though DSLR cameras have built-in image stabilization, there are limitations to this feature and the results that it can achieve.
On a basic level, a gimbal uses complex computation happening inside the device itself, which comes together to cancel out jarring movements made by the user holding the rig. This results in a far smoother video recording than could be achieved by an individual simply attempting to hold a camera still. The benefit is even clearer in situations where the photographer and subject are moving while shooting, as the gimbal is capable of completely smoothing the image.
The gimbal is not unique to photography; in fact, it has been used by other devices for several years, including smartphones and gamepads, and in more recent years, drones. Usually on 3 axes, and using a function termed Inertial Measurement Unit, or IMO for short, a gimbal converts physical movements into responses built into the device, which in turn uses the three in-built brushless motors to keep the camera level. Various shooting modes and locks mean that you can specify the range of movement that you wish the camera to have during a shoot.
What this means from a user’s perspective is that you’re empowered to film video that is smooth and unaffected by jolts, swaying or blurring. The result is that gimbals are now used for a variety of applications, from capturing movie footage to recording video tracks for workout machines, whether that be using a handheld gimbal, a vehicle mounted device and so on; the possibilities are vast.
What to look for in a handheld gimbal
There are many factors to take into consideration when purchasing a handheld gimbal: those that relate to the camera and lens equipment already owned, and those that relate to the intended use of the gimbal itself. These factors will determine the best device for the buyer.
The first consideration should be the camera(s) that will be used with the gimbal, as rarely will somebody be shopping for a gimbal before they even own a DSLR camera. Consideration should be given to the size of the DSLR and lens that will be used in conjunction with the gimbal, as well as the weight and whether the length of the lens requires any additional support. Different gimbals come with different maximum payloads, whereas others have support specifically for longer lenses, in the form of attachments. It would be a mistake to purchase a gimbal without knowing these factors and ending up with a piece of equipment incompatible with an already-owned camera.
The next consideration should be the intended use of the DSLR and what type of video the user will be shooting using the gimbal. Some devices offer better image stabilization than others, such as the industry-leading Evo Rage gimbal detailed below, whereas others offer specialized modes such as auto-inversion, offering the ability to shoot upside-down. Some also boast connectivity to smartphone apps, allowing remote control of the axes, or the ability to control camera functionality directly through a gimbal’s handle. It all comes down to the expected use of the device.
Field of view and composition
Field of view and composition are both important factors to consider when setting up the perfect shot, as well as when deciding what equipment to use. They are also important factors in getting the best out of a gimbal. Field of view is very important; even unstable shots can appear smoother if a wide field of view is used, for example between 120° and 180°. Many action cameras such as the GoPro use a wide field of view by default, but to achieve such a setup with a DSLR will require a lens of around 10mm or more. The larger the lens, the more heavy and difficult to carry the DSLR can become. Therefore, you should always consider whether a gimbal with support for larger lenses is required, especially if regularly shooting fast-moving subjects or environments.
Constantly being aware of shot composition is equally important when it comes to creating a smooth shot, which requires the naked eye, not just an expensive piece of equipment. When filming a moving subject using a gimbal and DSLR, care should always be taken to allow for a buffer above and below the person or object being tracked. Should a sudden movement occur, the shot will be less likely to be ruined by part of the subject being cut from the frame, which will help to keep the image smoother and more consistent.
It's also worth noting that close-up shots should be avoided, as keeping the subject in the shot will be difficult. Any rapid movement of the gimbal could result in them falling out of frame, and what's more, with close-ups, it is easier to notice drift or bounce. Thus, when taking portrait shots, where close-ups of the face may be common, a better approach is to film from the waist or chest and above, as focusing on the head alone can create the problems mentioned above.
Movement is important
Above, we’ve covered the equipment needed, as well as the photography techniques that should be taken into consideration. Finally, we should examine the movement of a user’s body and how this is important when shooting a subject. Though the abilities of handheld gimbals are impressive, it’s important to remember that they are not intended to be an instant-fix solution that means a photographer can sprint at full pelt while maintaining a stable image.
What gimbals handle brilliantly is swaying, jerking and generally unsteady hand movements that would normally be associated with handheld camera use where a gimbal is not utilized. Through the use of motors, all of these actions can be cancelled out. However, users still need to be wary of how they move their bodies; when moving rapidly, footsteps should be kept smooth and fluid, with minimal vertical movements or “bobbing,” which the equipment is less capable of handling. In no time, you’ll be used to a new form of movement, which will ensure that you get the most out of a gimbal and the smoothest video possible.
When shopping for a handheld gimbal, one should always remember to consider both the intended DSLR camera to be used in conjunction with the device, as well as the intended use of the gimbal itself. A comparison can then be made against the functionality offered by each model, as the specifications are often quite different.
For those who are searching for a value-for-money handheld gimbal, any one of the three models documented above would be a good starting point. Each has its own quirks, whether you’re looking for something with greater weight capacity, industry-leading effective refresh weight, or a bunch of bundled accessories and greater lens support.
In terms of usage, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t all come down to the equipment that you use. Consideration must also be given to field of view and composition, the very way in which the shot is framed. With a high-quality DSLR camera, a gimbal, and the proper technique, you can be sure of a smooth shot, unaffected by bounce and drift.
See Also: Waterproof GoPro Gimbals
I hope we helped you determine which gimbal is best for DSLR cameras. Feel free to leave a comment below.
Submit your review
I totally agree the Zhiyun Crane is awesome. Works really well with my Canon 70D. My youtube subscribers have all commented on how nice my videos look now since I started using a gimbal.
It's a little tricky to get camera balanced for the first time user-- YouTube videos and patience were my best friends.
But once you practice (a little), with balancing and shooting- it becomes super simple to use. Love this thing, the videos I've created are amazing and my subscribers have all commented how my videos look much more professional.
At first I had a really difficult time balancing the camera on the gimbal. It helped to have a pattern on a wall that could be viewed on the camera's screen. It worked well with my Sony A6000 and a SEL1118 lens. Then I put a Canon Vixia HF-G40 on board. That was a little tricky.
The camera's eyecup rubber impeded the motion of the gimbal until I bent the eyecup towards the lens. After that, it managed the camera just fine. It really smoothes your movements when shooting. The resulting video was nice. You almost need to use a monitor when shooting because when you flip out the camera screen, it changes the balance. I was able to adjust for that, however.
I think it could be handy to attach to a tripod for DSLR still shots that are totally level no matter where you move the tripod. I like the build quality. It feels very solid. The case is a great accessory and the batteries last a LONG time.