Why We Love the Zhiyun Smooth Q
Over the Christmas season we got our hands on the Zhiyun Smooth Q, a stabilizer designed specifically for mobile devices. At the beginning of 2017 we had purchased the Zhiyun Crane stabilizer to replace our Glidecam HD-4000 and we were completely in love with the purchase! Naturally, we were excited to try out the Crane's younger cousin, and it sure didn't disappoint! If you missed our first test run of the Smooth Q, you can read and watch all about it here.
Here are the top three reasons why we love the Zhiyun Crane Smooth Q, and why we think it'll make a great addition to your videography gear bag!
1. Affordability Meets Quality Stabilization
Many videographers, especially those starting out, are often looking for the best, and cheapest possible gear options. The Zhiyun Smooth Q delivers in both of those areas. Coming in at around $149.00 (CAD) you'll be hard pressed to find a cheaper unit that will produce similar results. In my opinion, the Smooth Q, paired with my iPhone 8 Plus holds up really well against the DJI Osmo. I loved my Osmo when I owned it, but there was something about recording on a similar unit, albeit much cheaper, while using my phone that I really liked. Here's the truth, in the 21st century you can make a pretty good film using your iPhone. So if you're looking for a perfect pairing of price and quality production value, you've found it here.
2. Simplicity and Ease of Use
The Smooth Q is really easy to use. From the time you open the box, you'll find that the hard case is perfectly simple, and that the unit itself is really easy to use. I had my phone mounted and recording in the first 60 seconds out of the box. The ZY Play app works seamlessly and has all sorts of customizable features, but you can use any filming app you wish and while you may lose some hardware functionality, the unit does what it needs to do: stabilize your videos.
3. Unique Features
There are a few features on the Smooth Q that we're absolutely in love with! The controls are super simple and straightforward. A joystick for movement, a record button, a zoom function and the mode button. Our top favourite features include selfie mode and the built in USB charger. By pressing the mode button three times, the camera will spin around and allow you to film yourself with the back facing camera, of course you could always use the front facing camera and monitor yourself with the screen, but with most mobile phones that will mean a decrease in camera quality. The ability to charge your phone while recording can't be understated. In Winnipeg, where outdoor temperatures are regularly freezing cold, having your phone charging will keep it from freezing and shutting down.
Overall, we're big fans of the Zhiyun Smooth Q. If you're looking for a mobile stabilizing unit, this is an option you won't be regretting!
Lauren & Jordan