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Top 5 Best DSLR Gimbal Stabilizers To Buy in 2018

Any videographer who wants to shoot high-quality videos with their DSLR will need a gimbal stabilizer. Gimbal stabilizers greatly stabilize your videos by keeping it steady through mechanical and/or electronic components.

This results in smooth transitions throughout the video and works especially well when combined with in-built camera image stabilization.

Best DSLR Gimbal Stabilizers in 2018

A DSLR gimbal stabilizer can cost you anywhere from less than $100 to over a thousand bucks. It’s an intimidating range to dig through to find one that is not only at the right price for you but also has all the necessary features you’re in search for.

We’ve reviewed our five favorite gimbal stabilizers on the market right now that can handle most modern DSLRs and their attachments/accessories. These include both mechanical as well as electronic gimbal stabilizers.

To help you with your purchase, there’s also a buyer’s guide at the end featuring all the important details and factors you should consider.

Our Top Pick

Our Top Pick

Zhiyun Crane 2

The Best Overall Gimbale Stabilizer

The Zhiyun Crane 2 is coveted by many enthusiast videographers for its great performance and reliability. It provides a plethora of different advanced controls to the user thanks to its great app and has a fantastic battery life of up to 18 hours.

We recommend the Zhiyun Crane 2 above all other gimble stabilizers if you have the money to pay for it. It falls in the “just right” price range (though it is slightly on the pricier side) and offers unparalleled features.

Budget Pick

Budget Pick

Neewer 24”/60cm

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The Neewer 24”/60cm is a mechanical gimbal stabilizer that comes at an affordable price. It is compact thanks to its telescopically foldable design and utilizes carbon fiber for a mix of sturdiness and weight reduction. It also has a massive loadbearing capacity of up to 5kg.

For anyone looking for a good gimbal stabilizer for under $100, the Neewer 24”/60cm is the ideal choice and will handle most DSLRs.

Zhiyun Crane 2 3-Axis

The Zhiyun Crane 2 is our favorite gimbal stabilizer for most professional and enthusiast videographers. It’s been around for a long time, and save for a handful of changes, much of the concept remains the same.

This handheld gimbal stabilizer grants incredible control to the user that makes it ideal for advanced user thanks to its impressive Zhiyun App. You can also use a camera cable connection and control the focus of your lens with a precision control that gives plus/minus 0.2-degree adjustment for the camera lens.

The motors grant high-quality anti-shake stabilization. There’s also a small screen on the gimbal stabilizer that shows you the battery life and other parameters. Speaking of battery life, this Zhiyun Crane 2 can shoot videos for up to 18 hours at a time.

The Zhiyun Crane 2 has a maximum load of 7 pounds or 3kg, which is more than enough for even the largest DSLR cameras out there.

Pros

  • Huge set of controls
  • Excellent stabilization
  • Capacity for all kinds of cameras
  • Incredible battery life

Cons

  • Expensive

DJI Ronin-M 3-Axis

If you’re a professional videographer shooting industry standard videos, you’ll want the best of the best. When it comes to such requirements, there isn’t any update under $1000 than the DJI Ronin-M. It features a modern design and is manufactured using a magnesium frame for the ultimate durability.

Yet despite its intimidating size, the DJI Ronin-M weighs 5 pounds. While that’s not lightweight for prolonged use, its design is such that it won’t cause excessive strain to the sure. It can support cameras weighing up to 3.6kg or 8 pounds, which is more than most gimbal stabilizers.

The camera is mounted on a plate that is attached to a moveable arm that allows for high precision and control. It features a six-hour battery life, which is rather limited given its size and target audience.

Pros

  • Professional grade design
  • Excellent stabilization and overall performance
  • Capacity for all kinds of cameras
  • Easy to handle despite weight and size

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Average battery life

Neewer 24”/60cm

For its price, the Neewer 24” adjustable handheld gimbal stabilizer is one of the best offers for anyone looking for an affordable, mechanical stabilizer.

It comes with several features that make it a great option for new videographers, including a quick-release plate. The quick release plate also offers weight compensation for the camera.

The frame of the Neewer is built from carbon fiber, which means this gimbal stabilizer is extremely lightweight. There are weights added to the bottom plate for stability purposes, as you’d expect from a mechanical stabilizer. You also have the option of adding additional weights.

Its lightweight design and easy handling through the cushioned handle combine exceptionally with load-bearing capacity of the Neewer. You can mount a total load of up to 5kg on this affordable gimbal stabilizer. When you’re done using it, you can fold it telescopically and keep it in your bag.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Compact and further folds up
  • Easy to handle

Cons

  • A bit rudimentary
  • Weighty for such a small stabilizer

FLYCAM HD-3000

For its performance, the Flycam HD-3000 is a great option for any videographer looking for a good gimbal stabilizer. The Flycam HD-3000 has one of the biggest load ranges out there as it can support cameras up to 3.5kg in weight, essentially covering all major brands and DSLRs.

The Flycam HD-300 features weights at the bought for the stabilization process and has a universal mount 3-axis plate for a wider scope of use. The stability is great, but it does require a bit of initial setup and can give balancing problems if set up incorrectly.

Like the Neewer, the Flycam HD-300 is strictly mechanical. The 3-axis gimbal stabilizer is adjusted by moving the cushioned handle. The build of the Flycam HD-3000 is of high quality, as it is made of aluminum. However, this also makes it a bit heavy, making it strenuous to use.

Pros

  • Huge set of controls
  • Excellent stabilization
  • Capacity for all kinds of cameras
  • Incredible battery life

Cons

  • Expensive

Beholder DS1

The Beholder DS1 is a great little stabilizer that creates the right balance for your videography needs. This gimbal stabilizer is suited for DSLR cameras weighing anything between 0.75kg to 1.7kg, which essentially covers a wide range of Canon, Nikon, and Sony digital SLRs.

The model comes with a 3-axis stabilization. It moves like a glidecam and can be connected to extension rods for extra mobility. There is also external remote control support, dual sensors, and the ability to boot at any angle. The accuracy and stability of the camera stabilizer are top notch.

You’ll have to take around 10-15 minutes to set it up initially before you turn the stabilizer on. The motor operation is a tad limited for extreme videography and fast movement, but for slow and organic video recording it functions exceptionally.

Pros

  • Easy to control
  • Supports a wide range of DSLR cameras
  • One-handed operation possible
  • Great battery life

Cons

  • Takes time to set up
  • Doesn’t handle fast motions well

Buyer’s Guide

    You have to figure out the load of your equipment before you click the purchase button. Each gimble stabilizer has a load bearing range with a defined minimum and maximum weights.

    To know what the weight of your equipment is, first mount all the accessories on your DSLR (lens, flash, viewfinders, etc.). Next, remove the batteries of the DSLR (if you plan to buy an electronic gimbal) and weigh the entire assembly.

    Once you know the weight of your video shooting equipment, you can decide which gimbal stabilizer would work for you.

    The weight of the stabilizer itself is very important because, well, it’s going to be a load on your shoulders. Literally. The heavier the gimbal stabilizer and camera, the more weight you’ll be carrying around. Shooting lengthy videos with lots of weight is strenuous and unhealthy for your joints.

    We don’t recommend buying a stabilizer that will combine with your DSLR to go beyond the 12-13 pounds mark if you’re shooting longer videos.

    Cheaper stabilizers will mostly be mechanical and not require batteries. However, most models will require batteries to power the brushless motors. Additionally, these batteries will also power your DSLR that you mount on it.

    It is thus important that you consider the battery life of the gimbal stabilizer you are going to buy if you’re going for a motorized one. You want a battery life that will suit the length of videos you’ll be shooting.

    Can I use these DSLR gimbal stabilizers for GoPro cameras?
    DSLRs are significantly larger and bulkier than GoPro cameras, and most of these gimbals are designed specifically for the former. Stabilizers need a certain amount of load to work properly, so a GoPro would need a lot of additional dummy weights and ways to secure the camera tightly to make it work. We’d recommend buying separate stabilizers for GoPro instead.
    What’s the best material for gimbal stabilizers?
    Aluminum, Carbon Fiber, and Magnesium are the three materials you’ll find in gimbal stabilizers. Magnesium and Carbon Fiber tend to provide the balance between durability and weight. Aluminum is used in most affordable or minimalistic stabilizers, or in parts of high-end gimbals for weight distribution.
    Should I opt for an electrical or mechanical gimbal?
    Mechanical gimbals are simpler and more affordable. They generally have a limited number of axes and utilize real weights and the load of the camera itself for the stabilization. Electrical gimbles have 3 axes and use motors to stabilize the camera.

    Which one you want will depend on how much you’re willing to dish out and/or what kind of videos you’ll be shooting.

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