As a professional videographer, you may be wondering what are the best gimbals for mirrorless cameras in 2018. Have you recently upgraded your camera gear wanting to create more cinematic footage for your wedding photography or videography business.
In the past, a tripod was a must for getting the best shots. Now that a basic digital or mirrorless camera can create amazing videos in 4K resolution, it's even more important to have a gimbal stabilizer. If you are looking for a gimbal for your smartphone, check out my review of the EVO Shift handheld gimbal.
See Also: 3 of the best waterproof GoPro gimbals
It can be quite difficult to make a decision with so many options. I hope this article helps you take the next step in your career or hobby, which ever it may be. You may also want to check out my article on how to walk using a gimbal.
9 Best Gimbals for Mirrorless Cameras 2018
1. PilotFly H2 Professional Kit Review
DSLR, Mirrorless Camera
370 x 190 x 190mm
2.6lbs (1.2kgs, including battery)
Introducing a completely new way of creating videos with the versatility, flexibility, and power efficiency that is demanded by Videographers. The 32-bit electronics with triple MCU's and integrated IMU sensors offer the most powerful motors in the industry.
The PilotFly H2 has an lightweight ergonomic handle with an easy to use 4-way joystick. A joystick gives you more control on the gimbal movements over the standard 4-button controller.
Another feature gives you the ultimate flexibility is the 3 integrated 1/4" mounting screw holes (one on each side and one on the bottom) for mounting other devices, like an external display or microphone.
The mounting possibilities are endless. You can use it as a single handed gimbal, 2-handed stabilizer, on a tripod, extension pole, slider or even a jib. Now you don't need to bring a huge case of gear with you on a shoot. You can even detach the handle and connect it to any surface mount to get the ultimate footage.
The CNC aluminum alloy construction and tool-less design makes it easier to swap cameras and balance much faster than ever before. PilotFly reduce the motor size by 30% using brushless motors with integrated MCU's. The ergonomic design makes this the most elegant gimbal stabilizer on the market.
The PilotFly H2 can rotate 360 degrees without limitations on YAW and ROLL. No more worries about pinching cables or binding. This gives you the ability to use the full 360 degrees even when taking time-lapse video.
The PilotFly H2 has the latest technology and capable to handle a payload up to 2.2 Kgs. The 4S lithium battery has the longest battery in the industry with 26 hours of continuous use.
I've never had an issue with the PilotFly H2 going dead. Charge it once before my shoot and that's it. My cameras are another thing. When was the last time you did a full day of shooting and never changed your camera batteries. That's what I thought.
- 32bit Alexmos with Triple-MCU technology
- High pay-load motors with integrated encoders
- Tool-less design
- Quick-release plate
- 360° Yaw (no limitation)
- 4-way joystick
- Detachable handle
- 3 x ¼“ screw holes (one on each side and at bottom of the handle)
- 5 pre-configured profiles (Follow Mode, Pitch Lock, Full Lock, Follow Roll and Home Move)
- Auto-Invert-Mode (all profiles can be also used in this condition)
- Roll axis 180° turnable to mount cameras with flip screen
- Integrated 4S Li-Po battery with an operation time up to 26h
- Status LED for power and battery level
- Integrated Bluetooth module for remote control (RM-01 remote control is coming soon)
The PilotFly H2 gimbal stabilizer is the one of the highest quality one handed gimbals available for your mirrorless camera. The motors are extremely quiet and powerful with a limit of 2.2kgs. Unlike other gimbals it supports 360 degree movement without restrictions. You can be assured it will not run out of power with the large 4S lithium battery pack with a reported 26 hours of use between charges.
2. CAME-TV Optimus Review
DSLR, Mirrorless Camera
Not Specified by Manufacturer
The CAME-TV Optimus is the successor to the very popular CAME-Single 3-axis gimbal. The top added feature is the ability for the motors to move the full 360 degrees giving it more range of movement and flexibility.
The CAME-TV Optimus has an ergonomic handle and is controlled by a 4-way joystick and comes with a wireless remote you can use while mounted on a tripod, slider or jib.
The CAME-TV Optimus gimbal stabilizer is designed for small cameras. It's not suitable for the Sony FS5 or Canon C300. I use it with my Sony A7S II and a Sony Carl Zeiss 16-35mm f4 lens. The maximum payload of this gimbal is around 1.2kg / 2.6lbs.
If I need to use my Canon C300 I use my PilotFly H2. The CAME-TV Optimus benefit is that it's small and comes with a rugged hard-shelled case with foam padding that hold the gimbals securely in place. It's small enough that I don't need to check it in when traveling my air.
You can switch between single handle to dual handle relatively easily within minutest once you get the hang of it. This is definitely an advantage over other gimbals on the market.
Balancing the gimbal for the first time can be challenging, as most are until you get familiar with it. the first time took me about 30 minutes to balance but now I'm much faster.
It’s definitely worth taking the time to make sure you get this part correct, otherwise it will have an adverse effect on the stability of the gimbal and may impact the longevity.
Another great thing about the Optimus is the battery life. The Optimus comes with two small clip-in batteries that boast an impressive ten hours of battery life. I’ve had the gimbal now for over 3 months and have been really impressed with how the batteries hold their charge.
I doubt you’ll ever get through more than two batteries while out shooting for the day. They are also relatively quick to charge so you can guarantee that one battery will have fully charged by the time the other runs out of juice.
one thing I noticed was I need to get a special right-angled micro-HDMI cable to connect my camera to an external video screen. The one I found was only 60cm in length and ribbon like cable found in a laptop. I bought 3 cables before finding the right one.
The CAME-TV Optimus gimbal stabilizer is my favourite gimbal for my smaller cameras. With the limit of 1.2Kgs, I really need to be careful with my lens selection. The quick release camera plate allows for fast and easy balancing and calibration without tools. Overall, the operation of this gimbal is very user-friendly.
3. IKAN Beholder DS1 Review
DSLR, Mirrorless Camera
360 x 184 x 79mm
The IKAN Beholder DS1 3-Axis gimbal stabilizer is designed for single handed operation. The Beholder DS1 uses dual IMU sensors and incorporates the most advanced technology.
Allowing you to capture smooth, jitter-free video. Whether you are an Youtuber, event videographer or a hobbyist, you will be amazed by the professional results you will get from the IKAN Beholder DS1 gimbal stabilizer.
The DS1 can handle up to 2Kgs according to the documentation but you are limited by the physical size of the camera. It works well with the Canon 5D. Just had to beware of the lens I was using. It might be just fine with a Sony A6300 or Lumix GH4, or something of light weight and small form factor.
They claim the gimbal supports the following cameras, Nikon D810 or D800, Canon 5D or 7D, DMC series, NEX series, Canon 5D or 7D, GH4 or GH7 and the Sony A7 series. Here is the link to their compatibility List of supported devices.
It has a tiny joystick on the grip that allows you to pan left and right as well as tilt up and down. The pans are really nice and very smooth. Depending on the size of your camera the tilt may be an issue. Again a smaller camera works best.
When it comes to calibrating the IKAN Beholder DS1 it was quite a disappointing. Even though it has a quick release plate that mounts on the bottom of the camera, which is proprietary and can't be found easily.
Each time you change the len or make minor adjustments, the gimbal needed to be re-calibrated. This is time consuming and something to be aware of. If you're using one camera and the same len, this may not be an problem for you.
Battery life was disappointing compared to other gimbals I've tested. With a rated 3-4 hours you need to be able to charge them between shoots. This is the biggest draw back for me. For a few dollars more you I would get the DJI Ronin-M or PilotFly H2. Not only is the battery life much better but quality of the stabilization is much more precise.
The IKAN Beholder DS1 is good but not my choice for a couple reasons. First its good for smaller cameras but has a difficulty staying locked with larger cameras.
Second is the battery life sucks compared to others that give 10 plus hours of use. This alone is an issue for me. I'm never around a power outlet to charge batteries and bring many camera batteries with me already.
Third is that it doesn't support 360 degrees of motion, causing my camera to bind or chatter during certain situations.
4. EVO Rage Review
DSLR, Mirrorless Camera
120 x 105 x 295mm
The EVO Rage Gen2 gimbal works with both DSLR and Mirrorless cameras. Using high torque brushless motors with automotive grade encoders and the first 4Khz 32-bit chipset make it one of the fastest gimbal on the market.
The Rage features a new built-in CCI camera control technology that links with your mirrorless camera using the optional CCI control cable. This allows you to control your cameras zoom and shutter functions right from the gimbal handle.
No other gimbal offers this feature. The CCI control cable is compatible with Sony and Panasonic Lumix Series cameras
The EVO Rage Gen2 gimbal can also be controlled using a remote or the EVO remote app available on Google Play or iTunes. You can get some really awesome shots buy mounting the gimbal on a tripod and controlling it remotely. You can control the gimbal with the remote from 40 feet away.
Calibrating the gimbal was a breeze. I'd recommend that you mount your gimbal on a tripod when attempting to calibrate. First thing be sure your are using the lens you want for the shot as this will impact the camera balance.
Now all you need to do is adjust the 3 axises until does not try try to adjust it self when you release it. Taking the time to calibrate your gimbal will save your motors and may extend your battery life.
The Rage comes with 2 sets of batteries which last between 4-6 hours each giving you plenty of time to complete your shoot. You can always charge one set while using the other. I always carry a USB power bank for charging my batteries when I'm not near a power outlet.
- 4-Way Joystick: Easily navigate through the EVO Rage controls with an ergonomic joystick
- Unlimited 360°: Pan, Tilt and Roll. Up to 12 Hours of Run Time
- High Performance: The X3 Parallel 32 Bit CoreMark MCUs which operate at refresh rate of 4 KHz
- Tripod Compatible
- CCI Technology: Control your Camera from your EVO Rage handle.
- Versatility: Use the remote App to wirelessly control it when mounted on any tripod
- No Complex Setup: Easy to calibrate in minutes
- Shooting Modes: Pan Follow Mode, Pan Lock Mode, Pan & Pitch Follow Mode and Inverted Mode
Pan Follow Mode – Tilt & Roll axis are locked. Pan axis rotates smoothly with turn of wrist. Use joystick up & down to control tilt angle of camera
Lock Mode – Tilt, Roll and Pan axis are locked. Use joystick to manually control pan & tilt
Full Follow Mode – Roll axis is locked. Pan and Tilt axis smoothly follow handle. Use joystick left and right to adjust the horizon angle
What's Included in Box
- EVO Rage 3 Axis Handheld Gimbal
- 2 IMR 26500 3600mAh Rechargeable 3.7v Batteries
- 26500 Li-Ion Charger
- Micro USB Cable (for Charger & Software Update)
- Lens Mount
- Camera Tray Screws
- Storage Case
- Battery extension tube
- Warranty Card ( 1 Year USA Parts & Labor Warranty)
- User Manual
- Download User Manual Here (pdf)
- Compatibility List (pdf)
Overall, I'm extremely pleased with the EVO Rage Gen2 gimbal's quality and stabilization performance. Controlling the gimbal was easy using the 4-way joystick. Unlike other gimbals, calibration was extremely easy. I would highly recommend this gimbal from EVO or any of their products as they are made in the USA and stand by their warranty.
5. DJI Ronin-M Gimbal Stabilizer v3 Review
DSLR, Panasonic GH3 and GH4, Small Camcorder, Sony DSLR
500 x 210 x 420mm
The DJI Ronin-M stabilizer is by far the most professional looking stabilizer at such a low price. The gimbal weights weights about 5lbs and is made mostly of magnesium, aluminum and carbon fiber keeping the weight down while maintaining the strength and durability.
It can support up to 3.6Kgs, allowing you to mount almost any mirrorless camera and accessories such as display screen. The high torque digital motors can just about handle any load. Be sure to balance your camera to ensure continued use. Here is the DJI Ronin-M User manual if you have any concerns.
The DJI Ronin-M comes with 2 batteries that are mounted externally on the gimbal.This allows you to be able to swap them out very quickly. Each battery takes about 1 hour to charge and last between 3-4 hours giving you plenty of time to charge the second set.
Even if you don't bring a charger with you, this gives to 6-8 hours of use for the day. That should be plenty of time to complete your video shoot.
The DJI Ronin-M stabilizer does not come with a case when you buy it. You can use a camera backpack such as the Lowepro 350AW which I find works well or you can purchase a dedicated DJI Ronin-M case with foam inserts.
If you are using a backpack to carry it, all you need to do is remove the two side handles and put the main body in first. I prefer to use a backpack, so I will leave that choice up to you.
Having used the DJI Phantom in the past I’d had experience with DJI apps, and to be honest I wasn’t full of excitement in using the app with the Ronin-M. I prefer to use the included remote instead of the app.
DJI Remote Control
The DHI Ronin-M Stabilizer one of the best remote controls available. Its very similar to the one used on the DJI drones. It required two hands which can take some time to get comfortable with but once you figure it out, you can do some really crazy things.
This allows you to have one person move around your subject with the gimbal and the second person to control the camera views. This really takes your cinematic footage to the next level.
UNDERSLUNG: Film effortlessly and comfortably in the most common shooting mode, holding the Ronin-M directly in front of you at chest level.
UPRIGHT: Shoot at or above eye-level by flipping and lifting the lightweight Ronin-M above your head. This mode is perfect for shooting out of a car’s sunroof or above a crowd of people.
BRIEFCASE: Filming in narrow spaces or moving through a doorway is effortless with Briefcase mode. Turn the gimbal vertically and hold it by your side close to your legs, just like a briefcase.
The DJI Ronin-M stabilizer is a pleasure to use and built to last. Being able to switch between modes and taking off the side handles makes it one of the most diverse mirrorless camera stabilizers on the market. Using briefcase mode to capture shots near the ground is so easy. It's like carrying a bag thru the airport. At this price point you can't get a better stabilizer. Only draw back is you can't convert it to a single handed gimbal.
6. Feiyu Tech MG Review
DSLR, Mirrorless Camera
267 x 120 x 318mm
The Feiyu Tech MG 3-axis handheld gimbal works with DSLR & Mirrorless cameras and support a payload of 3.6lbs. The Feiyu MG is an excellent choice for casual filmmakers, vloggers, and anyone who requires a very light and affordable gimbal.
It can be configured as a one-handed gimbal for vlogging where you may want to show your surroundings and also be able to do selfies. Mounting the gimbal in 2-handed mode gives you more stability for the perfect cinematic footages.
The Feiyu MG gimbal stabilizer comes shipped in it's own plastic carrying case with foam inserts to protect the gimbal. When you open the case you will find all the gear securely pack with everything you need to get started. It is constructed of a lightweight aluminium alloy and nicely finished in a satin black paint or smooth rubber.
There are two sets of batteries included with the gimbal so you can be charging one set while using the other. It takes about 2 hours to charge a set of batteries which provide from 4-6 hours of use depending on your gear and how hard the gimbal needs to work to keep your shots stable.
Having a second set of batteries allows you to concentrate on your videos and not be worried about running out of battery life. The provided charger can be plugged into your laptop or and external USB powerbank.
4 Different Configurations Modes
- 2-handed camera mounted below
- 2-handed camera mounted above
Before you turn on your gimbal for the first time it's very important that you balance the gimbal on all 3 axises. I'd recommend you start on the tilt axis first with your camera powered on and lens extended.
Now that you have the tilt axis done, move onto the roll axis. Bring the camera up to face forward and release it. If the camera rotates you need to make adjustments. You want the camera to not rotate when you release it.
The last adjustment is the pan axis and the easiest to do. Simply adjust the setting once again to the point where the camera stays stationary when released. After a while you will be able to balance your gimbal quickly without much effort. Doing this ensures your batteries last longer and the motors don't need to work as much to keep your camera stable.
The Feiyu Tech MG comes with a small two button remote that can be operated from 15 meters. Setting the gimbal in manual mode and mounting the gimbal on a tripod is how I've used the remote. This allows you to follow your subject. It does take a bit of practice to maintain your subject in the frame.
The Feiyu Tech MG gimbal stabilizer is the perfect gimbal for the hobbyist or amateur videographer wanting to take their videos to the next level. Like the DJI Ronin-M it can be configured as one-handed or 2-handed depending on the situation. Offers great value for money, roughly half the price of the DJI Ronin-M but offering more than half the performance.
7. Feiyu Tech a2000 Review
DSLR, Mirrorless Camera
340 x 280 x 2800mm
The Feiyu a2000 3-axis handheld gimbal stabilizer offers 360 degrees of rotations of pan, tilt and roll. It supports a payload of 4.4 lbs (2Kg) allowing you to use it with most DSLR or Mirrorless cameras.
You can configure the a2000 as a handheld, 2-handed or surface mount quite easily. The one-handed or handheld configuration is perfect for vlogging or in crowded situations, such as walking along a beach or crowded street in New Orleans during Mardi Gras.
Two-handed is great when you have a planned scene with lots of space such as a wedding, commercial or video presentation. surface mounted is great for mounting your gimbal on jib, car or motorcycle. Mounting it directly on a tripod is also possible and great for time-lapse videos.
The handle can be removed and the gimbal section used separately (e.g. mounted on a tripod or monopod). There are multiple 1/4"-20 mounting holes all around, including on the gimbal section and the bottom of the handle. Included as a free download with the a2000 is the Feiyu app for iOS and Android, which allows you to remotely control the gimbal when you have it mounted on a tripod or other support.
It comes with four Lithium Ion batteries which makes the gimbal last an incredible 12 hours before needing another charge. Keep in mind that the gimbal only takes 2 batteries at a go so you get two ‘spare’ ones – a big plus! The a2000 has the standard tripod mount 1/4 inch female thread hole at the bottom as well as the back of the handle.
A very important step with any gimbal is balancing prior to powering it on. Feiyu-tech provides an in-depth description of how this should be done in the supplied manual. Balancing your gimbal prior to powering it up will ensure your batteries last longer and your motors are efficiently stabilizing your camera. Something you need to do on any gimbal you purchase.
Tilting and rolling direction are fixed, and the camera lens moves according to the hand movement of the user.
The rolling direction is fixed, and the camera lens moves according to the hand movement of the user.
Camera stays in its current orientation. All panning, tilting and rolls are restricted.
Auto Rotation Mode:
The user sets a rotational path with their hand, and the gimbal moves along that path at a constant speed.
The gimbal rotates 180° on the panning axis to face the user.
The Feiyu Tech a2000 gimbal stabilizer is one of the best gimbals Feiyu manufacturers. Its quick to calibrate and convert from one-handed to two-handed depending on the shot your are trying to capture. If you are looking for an inexpensive mid-level gimbal look no further that the Feiyu a2000.
8. MOZA Lite v2 Review
DSLR, Mirrorless Camera
500 x 250 x 350mm
The MOZA lite v2 3-axis gimbal stabilizer is truly a professional 2-handed stabilizer. Every MOZA stabilizer ships with it's own rolling hard case, perfect for transporting your gear and accessories to and from your location. If you need to travel by air you will need to check it in as it's a little larger than allowed for domestic flights.
Not only does the gimbal look professional but it's has to be the best I've used in regards to stabilization. No matter what I did, the videos came out incredible. Everywhere I went people would stop me and ask if I was shooting a documentary.
Balancing the stabilizer for the first time was quite a challenge. Every time I thought I had it, I would power up the gimbal and it would start to shake uncontrollable. After reading the instructions several times, I resorted to watching a few Youtube videos that showed me the best way to calibrate. Should have done that from the start.
The Moza Lite II package includes a thumb controller that has some unique features to it. The most unique is the flat joystick-like control that you can pan and tilt. This is extremely useful for situations where you might mount the gimbal onto something like a jib or car mount and want to control it remotely.
The thumb controller also allows quick access to a few key controls: setting the speed of gimbal movements when using the joystick, the ability to lock the pitch/yaw, and start/stop recording on a number of popular cameras from Canon, Sony, Panasonic, and Blackmagic.
Basic, Premium, and Professional Versions Available
Includes everything you need to get started with standard gimbal operations.
Everything the basic has plus you will receive a Wireless Thumb Controller for manually pointing the camera, a Power Distribution Unit, which adds a USB power output on the bottom of the baseplate, and a Tuning Stand for easily balancing your gimbal before shooting or for when it’s not in use.
You get everything from the Premium kit plus a custom waterproof case for storage and transport.
The Moza lite 2 gimbal stabilizer outperforms all other 2-handed stabilizers on the market. It can handle even the heaviest of cameras with a payload of 11lbs (5kgs). The biggest challenge was the initial balancing of the camera but once I watched a few videos on youtube and contacted support I was able to start shooting.
If you're a professional videographer, the Moza lite 2 is the stabilizer for you and I can assure you will not be disappointed.
9. Zhiyun Crane v2 Review
DSLR, Mirrorless Camera
154 x 159 x 389mm
2.1lbs (0.95kg, battery excluded)
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.
The gimbal rotates 180° on the panning axis to face the user.
The Zhiyun Crane v2 Gimbal is my choice of gimbals for mirrorless cameras. It's motors are silent and very responsive.
Mirrorless Camera Stabilizer Buyer's Guide
Selecting the best gimbal for Mirrorless Cameras
The most important thing to consider when selecting a stabilizer is the weight of your camera and your budget. All gimbals provide the maximum payload they support and may have a compatibility list. Just be aware that these lists may not include the weight of lens you are using.
Going over this payload may impact the initial balancing but will highly cause early motor failure. If possible weight your camera setup how you tend you use it on a small digital kitchen scale before shopping for a gimbal.
Related Topic: How does a gimbal work?
Single or Dual Handed
Single handed gimbals are quite flexible and can be used in many ways. They are much smaller than dual handed rigs and work well for shooting vlogs where you would want to switch from follow mode to selfie mode quickly.
Another option is to mount the gimbal on a tripod and control remotely for time-lapse videos. Single handed gimbals also are limited by the weight of the camera. You may also find your arm may tired or sore from carrying gimbal. Try to limit your shoots to give your arm time to recover.
Dual handed gimbals give you more stability and cause less stress on a single arm. These rigs offer a higher payload allowing you to use a larger camera with large lens. You will get better cinematic quality videos. Great for creating music videos, commercials or video presentations. These are mostly used by Professional Videographers.
If you're looking for the best of both worlds, consider getting a gimbal that can be converted from a single handle to dual handle like the PilotFly H2 or Feiyu Tech a2000. My choice would be the H2 if you can afford it.
Are the batteries built-in or easily replaced is important. Do the batteries last 2 hours or 10 hours? do you do video shoots in the wild where there is no power outlet to charge the gimbal or batteries? Are your video shoots 1 hour or 12 hours? These are the question you need to ask yourself before choosing a gimbal.
When I look for a gimbal I want to be able to use it all day without running out of power. Built-in batteries just don't work for me because I need to stop shooting to charge the gimbal. I like the PilotFly H2 because it has the longest battery life of 26 hours. As long as the batteries can be removed and charge remotely, you can charge one set while the set is charging.
How to Balance your Mirrorless Camera
Once you have a camera setup that is within the specific weight & size parameters compatible with your gimbal, you are ready for the balancing process. Balancing your camera properly is perhaps the most important thing you can do in order to achieve the smoothest, most stable shots in your productions.
Though all gimbals have their own unique physical characteristics, the balancing process is generally the same. You want to make sure that the camera is able to stay stable along all 3 of the gimbal's axis points, including the Pitch, Roll, and Yaw.
My two top picks for the best gimbals for mirrorless cameras in 2018 are the PilotFly H2 and the DJI Ronin-M as they both have the highest payload and can function as an handheld or two-handed gimbal. This gives you the best of both worlds.
I hope we were able to help with selecting the best gimbal for mirrorless cameras. We welcome your feedback by leaving a comment below.