The Zhiyun Smooth-C is a 3 axis stabilizer gimbal that will help you create awesome videos using your smartphone. This device works with smartphones below 7 inches. A perfect device if you want a lot more professional output from your smartphone.
Zhiyun Smooth-C Unboxing
Inside the rectangular box you will find the Gimbal, 2x 900 mAh rechargeable batteries, battery charger, user manual in Chinese and English, warranty card, camera protection sticker for pan axis motor, micro USB cable, contact card and 1x counter weight.
The Zhiyun Smooth-C body is made of metal and some part from good quality plastic. The device is indeed very smooth, in fact when you hold it you can feel the smoothness even when it is off. The stabilizing module will get activated only you power on.
This device is comfortable to hold and the motors are quite powerful. You can use smartphones below 7 inches. If the handset weight is over 190 grams you might want to attach the counter weight (check video review) for proper balancing.
To insert battery remove the cap at the bottom. A power on / off button is placed under the bottom cap. There are 3 buttons on the front with following options – mode, up and down. And there is an LED indicator too that gives you an idea about the battery levels as well as when the gimbal is active and ready.
On the left side on the handle you will find a micro USB port that can be used for online calibration and for upgrading the firmware. Do note: you cannot charge the battery using this micro USB port.
The smartphone mount comes with good quality rubber for added protection and grip. Check the video review or the images below to get an idea how the smartphone is to be mounted.
Press the power button (at the bottom of the handle) to power on this gimbal, wait for the LED to stop glowing and then press and hold the mode button (the left button) for few seconds. The smartphone attached to the stabilize module will rise and will start stabilizing.
By default the gimbal when switched on enters into the Pan following mode wherein camera remains locked in pitch and roll. Double press to enter into pan and pitch following mode wherein the pitch and pan axis rotates depending on how you move the gimbal. Single press the button again to enter locking mode wherein all axis are locked. The up and down buttons can be used in any of these 3 modes to adjust the camera angles.
If the gimbal is behaving weirdly you will need to initialize it, to do that just place it on a flat surface (check the manual on how it should placed) and then press power button and wait for few seconds.
If you want to calibrate the unit follow the instructions as mentioned in the user manual. You will need to connect it to your PC and when the calibration process begins, you will get an image on the PC on how to place the gimbal on a flat surface, just follow the instructions.
When the LED blinks 4 times battery % is between 75 to 100, when it flashes 3 times battery is between 50 to 75 %, when it flashes 2 times battery is between 25 to 50% and for under 25% battery juice the LED will flash quickly.
On a full charge you can expect battery backup of 2 to 5 hours depending on the handset weight and your usage. It takes less than two and a half hours to fully charge the batteries.
I started using the gimbal out of the box. There was no need for any calibration. I used the Samsung Galaxy A7 2016 handset without any issues.
Do check the video review that also includes some sample videos that I shot with and without the gimbal, you will easily notice the difference.
If you are looking to create awesome videos, similar to as seen in professional movies, then this the perfect device. The Zhiyun Smooth-C 3 axis stabilizer gimbal does come for a price. It is available from international stores for around $210. This is not the latest model.