Selecting the best DSLR gimbals is definitely not an easy task. The 3-axes gimbals are becoming a very popular stabilization tool. They are relatively affordable, compact, and perform their functions just great in most situations.
Just a few years ago, perfect stabilization tools were mainly devices for professional filmmakers. Meanwhile, bloggers and social media celebrities’ video quality were suffering due to the lack of professional gear, which was difficult to afford.
The DSLR gimbals have changed the situation completely. While those devices are small enough and budget-friendly, they also produce buttery-smooth footage that serves well both professional filmmakers and amateurs.
There are different types of stabilizers: from superior gimbals for phones (DJI Osmo Mobile, for example) to devices for professionals (the MoVi Pro, for example, or also DJI Ronin 2).
Some of them are very expensive, while there are also ones that are more budget-friendly. Basically, the DSLR gimbals world is so diverse, that any filmmaker will find a device, perfect for their needs.
This article on RightChoice intends to guide you in the world of DSLR gimbals that is full of impressive devices. By analyzing the main qualities of the stabilizers, I will identify the best 8 devices to stabilize your video footage and break them into certain categories.
- 1 Best DSLR Gimbals Overview
- 2 Among Good DSLR Gimbals: DJI Ronin-M
- 3 FLYCAM Redking: Best DSLR Gimbals Award Contender
- 4 Beholder DS1: Among Best DSLR Gimbals For Technophobes
- 5 Zhiyun Crane 2: Belonging To Old Best DSLR Gimbals
- 6 G2X Tilta Gravity: Among Best DSLR Gimbals In Terms Of Build Quality
- 7 Zhiyun LAB Crane 3: Good For Heavy Cameras
- 8 One Of Two Best DSLR Gimbals: Moza 2 Air
- 9 DJI Ronin-S: Definitely Best Gimbal For DSLR
- 10 Choosing The Best DSLR Gimbals: Conclusion
Best DSLR Gimbals Overview
There are a few very good gimbals for cameras that are worth considering when making a purchase.
Yet, after analyzing various qualities of different good DSLR stabilizers, I managed to identify the best 3 gimbals. Here there are:
- Gimbal, good for heavy cameras: Zhiyun Crane 3 LAB
- Another best DSLR stabilizer: Moza Air 2
- The best stabilizer in all terms: DJI Ronin-S
Later, I am going to look at all those devices more closely.
Among Good DSLR Gimbals: DJI Ronin-M
This stabilizer, issued in 2015, was present in the market for quite many years already. One of the best stabilization devices quickly became the most famous gimbal and a very good device for video stabilization. Yet, this gimbal was not budget-friendly at all with its price of $1199 when released.
The device is different from most stabilizers available in the market nowadays. The DJI Ronin M is a device with two hands. If you place a recording device, you can put it in between. This gimbal for the camera features two handles on the sides. This design is great since it allows you to hold your gimbal with both hands. This feature enables you to reach extra stabilization and comfort while shooting.
Nevertheless, even one of the best DSLR gimbals has a big disadvantage. The DJI Ronin M is very big and cumbersome. It is not easy to place it in the backpack. It might also be heavy to carry it along with you. Also, due to its size, it will attract a lot of attention while you will be filming.
Since the gimbal is quite old, it does not feature many modern characteristics, either. For example, it does not provide newer tools, such as keyframing. Those features are available in newer DJI devices.
The DJI Ronin M is definitely a good gimbal for those who use bigger digital cinema cameras. Yet, if you have a regular DSLR or mirrorless camera, you probably are not going to want to use this device. It is not very practical.
If you really appreciate that this device has two handles, then you simply can choose to buy an additional accessory for your regular gimbal for the camera.
- The good payload of 3.6 kg
- Two grips – increased stabilization
- Big size
- High price
✅ Read the full information about this gimbal
FLYCAM Redking: Best DSLR Gimbals Award Contender
This stabilizer is not one of the traditional 3-axes gimbals. The FLYCAM Redking, in fact, is a glide cam. Those devices have been the most popular stabilizers before the gimbals conquered the world of filmmakers.
Even at present times, when the 3-axis gimbals for the camera are most commonly used everywhere, the glidecams can still serve as decent stabilization tools. Looking like a long stick with a camera on it, it does a good job with the footage stabilization, following the main motion rules.
The video that you get as a result looks stable, but natural, which might be appropriate for certain situations.
Nevertheless, it is important to note that it is rather difficult to achieve the same stabilization quality with a glide cam. Using a gimbal feels more natural and simple. Glidecam stabilization requires more proficiency. In fact, this is a tool for professional filmmakers and operators.
- Not expensive
- Decent stabilization
- Appropriate rather for professionals
- Big size
✅The full review and more information about the FLYCAM stabilizer are available Here
Beholder DS1: Among Best DSLR Gimbals For Technophobes
If you do not like dealing with complicated technical stuff, but still would like to achieve perfect and smooth stabilization quality, the Beholder DS1 will definitely be a good choice for you. However, on the other hand, this gimbal is pretty old, as it was released a few years ago. Therefore, it does not feature any modern impressive qualities that most filmmakers are used to.
The Beholder DS1 is a good gimbal in terms of stabilization quality; however, it still has a noticeable shake when filming. Other than that, this gimbal does not do anything else. You just attach your camera to this gimbal, calibrate, and begin shooting.
Even though the Beholder DS1 is an old gimbal, it still costs $439, which is quite expensive. Therefore, I would not purchase it, even though it features decent stabilization quality. For a slightly higher price you can buy the newer models of more impressive gimbals – Moza or Zhiyun stabilizers, for example. If the DS1 price decreases, it would be a decent gimbal for a low price, though.
Good things 🤩
- Simple to use
Improvement Ground 😐
- Does not support heavy devices
- A low value for money
✅ Learn more about Beholder DS1.
Zhiyun Crane 2: Belonging To Old Best DSLR Gimbals
The gimbal for the camera, which is not a new device with an impressive package of great gimbal features – the Crane 2 by Zhiyun offers great value for money. Available for a discounted price, it is also commonly sold as a second-hand device.
Its maximum payload is quite big, too. Being able to support devices of up to 3200 grams, it is compatible with many heavier camera setups. It also has a very good battery that can last up to 18 hours. Also, the battery is removable, so you can always buy extra spares.
Despite it features a lot of great qualities, the Crane 2 by Zhiyun still has disadvantages as an old gimbal. Its rear motor is not offset. This means that the motor will be partly covering the screen of your camera when shooting. Moreover, its handgrip is simply a metal cylinder, which makes this device not so comfortable to use.
- Good battery
- Impressive compatibility
- Not ergonomic
- Motor covers camera display
✅ A Detailed Comparison of Crane 2 and Ronin S in this review
G2X Tilta Gravity: Among Best DSLR Gimbals In Terms Of Build Quality
Tilta is a company, which was not famous for producing gimbals or stabilization devices. However, when they produced the Tilta Gravity G2X, many filmmakers have been impressed with the build quality of this DSLR gimbal. Even compared to other great stabilizers – the DJI Ronin-S, for example, the G2X stabilizer for the camera still looked great.
The G2X is also quite a compact gimbal. It weighs about 4 lb with the batteries in place and supports up to 8 lb. The device is compatible with a wide range of cameras. The device costs $790, which is not such an expensive price for a good stabilization device. However, even though the device looks good, it still can be called the best DSLR gimbal.
Many users complained about certain features of the Tilta Gravity. For example, its app is very poor and does not work properly. Also, there are calibration errors and poor localization. Besides this, some filmmakers found their gimbal motors shutting off at no reason occasionally.
- Superior build quality
- Great design
- Buggy app
- Various issues
✅ Read more about Tilta Gravity G2X.
Zhiyun LAB Crane 3: Good For Heavy Cameras
The Zhiyun Crane 2 was acknowledged as one of the best affordable DSLR gimbals with a price tag under $1000 for quite a long time. Later, though, DJI introduced its Ronin-S, which became an absolute leader in this market. However, people still remembered the success of the Crane 2 and were anticipating its successor.
Finally, two newer gimbals followed the Crane 2 release. The first received the name Zhiyun Crane 3 LAB, and the second is known as the Weebill LAB. The second was a great stabilization tool for the lighter mirrorless cameras. Yet, the first device was made specifically for heavier cameras with big lenses.
Costing $899 in most stores, the Zhiyun Crane 3 LAB is one of the most costly camera gimbals available out there. However, its high price can be justified by a set of impressive qualities that this gimbal features.
The main advantage of this stabilizer is that it has two independent grips. This way, you can choose the way that is comfortable for you to hold the device. Moreover, an extra grip ensures special stabilization. Also, you can practice your creativity easily by setting-up the low-angle shots.
Among all other stabilizers that are one-handed, the Zhiyun Crane 3 LAB is the only gimbal that is compatible with cameras with a total weight of 4.5 kg. This quality ensures that the owner of this stabilizer can use almost any types of camera and lenses, which gives extreme freedom.
Last, but not least, this gimbal has a great feature of wireless image transmission. Just imagine, you can show the footage on a smartphone screen using a WiFi connection. This way, you can control the video-making process easier, adjust the settings accordingly, and monitor the quality of your footage.
All these qualities make the Crane 3 LAB a great device for all filmmakers who have heavy cameras. It is suitable not only for beginners but also for professional filmmakers. However, it does require paying more money than other devices do, specifically, the Ronin-S. At the same time, it does not seem to be an equally good stabilization device. Yet, you should still consider purchasing this device when choosing a stabilizer.
✅ Read the full review on Zhiyun Crane 3 LAB.
One Of Two Best DSLR Gimbals: Moza 2 Air
It might be difficult to find a device that offers great value for money. Yet, the Air 2 by Moza is an amazing, but budget-friendly gimbal for cameras. Before its release, there was only one really good stabilizer available in the market. This gimbal changed everything.
This stabilizer cost amounted to only $599 when it was released. It was much cheaper than most gimbals for DSLR available out there. It was a pleasant surprise to find out that the gimbal offered at such a great price also included a set of impressive features.
What I found to be particularly special about Moza’s device is the way you control the gimbal. It was so simple and nice to adjust the gimbal’s settings, pan, and tilt, and focus simply using the stabilizer’s panel. It also has a special display that you should use to navigate through the menu. The controls are direct; therefore, they are very simple and quick. In most cases, you are not going to need the Moza app to change the settings, as you can do it directly.
With this gimbal, you can forget about the common headaches of most filmmakers – balancing the camera. Its special plate allows for the quick release of the camera. You can take it off very quickly and put it back without a need to rebalance the whole thing. This way you can easily use the stabilizer and a tripod in situations when you need to do this quickly.
This gimbal is great in terms of its compatibility as well. It can support setups with a total weight of up to 4.2 kg, which makes it a great stabilization tool for most heavy cameras and lenses. Also, its four portable batteries allow the Moza to film up to 16 hours without any interruptions.
Even this perfect device has its disadvantages too. Its construction quality is not as durable as one of some other stabilization devices. Its software is not that great, as it is inferior. Also, the system for accessories could be developed better. Some users also complained about their customers’ support center, which is also worth noting.
Good Points 🤩
- Control system
- Weak battery
- Easy to mount the camera
- Poor accessories system
- Weak app
✅ If you consider purchasing this gimbal, read the full review on Moza Air 2 here.
DJI Ronin-S: Definitely Best Gimbal For DSLR
Finally, we are at the part of our overview, when I am ready to introduce the best gimbal for DSLR – the DJI Ronin-S. Even though there are a lot of decent gimbal manufacturers, the DJI is still the company that produced the biggest number of successful stabilizing devices.
Nevertheless, for quite a long time, DJI was a manufacturer of rather expensive professional gimbals. All of their device’s costs amounted to more than $1000, given their impressive build quality, ergonomics, and stabilization performance.
However, the DJI Ronin-S changed it all. In 2018, this gimbal was one of the most anticipated stabilization devices. Moreover, many filmmakers bought it already during pre-orders.
DJI Ronin-S Features
This stabilizer met the expectations of the anticipating filmmakers. In fact, the DJI Ronin-S is almost an ideal gimbal for DSLR out of all devices offered in the market. Of course, it does have a few small shortcomings, and also it weighs a lot. However, it is definitely better than all its competitors.
First of all, the Ronin-S’ build quality is great. It feels durable and can participate in various adventurous shoots. I do not like the plastic gimbals by the majority of popular brands. Therefore, I was glad to see the difference.
Another thing that I liked was the DJI app. The software works great, it enables many features on the gimbal and does not have any bugs. Should I even mention that the DJI Ronin-S stabilization performance is perfect?
The device supports setups weighing up to 3.6 kg. Therefore, it is possible to use it with heavier cameras and bigger lenses. This makes the device almost universal.
The biggest problem of the Ronin-S is most probably its weight. I often see people complaining about it on the web. However, I do not see it as a big problem, as I believe that this is something you can get used to.
Therefore, I do not think that the mirrorless camera users could purchase a gimbal that would be any better than the Ronin-S. Even though it is heavy, when packed down, it gets smaller than any other DSLR stabilizer. Therefore, it is also perfect for travel.
With this being said, the DJI Ronin-S is almost a perfect gimbal for any filmmaker, using a DSLR camera. Its weight is not a big issue at all, given all the impressive qualities that it has.
- Build quality
- Stabilization performance
- Good software
- Battery life
- Travel-friendly, if packed
- Big weight
- The battery is not portable
✅ A detailed comparison of the DJI Ronin-S and the Zhiyun Crane 2 can is available here
Choosing The Best DSLR Gimbals: Conclusion
In days, when DSLR cameras are no longer at the peak of their popularity, many gimbal manufacturers tend to produce stabilizers that are more compact and easier to carry along. In fact, those stabilizers are more comfortable, they do not attract people’s attention, and they are easier to work with.
However, while being good stabilizers for heavier setups on paper and in manufacturers’ marketing offers, in fact, most of the new devices do not work well with the DSLR cameras. Their motors are simply not compatible with the heavier weights, which, of course, affects the stabilization quality.
This is the reason why in my overview I recommend the gimbals that are compatible with the heavier setups. The best DSLR gimbals are stabilizers that can support heavy cameras and lens combinations. This explains perfectly why my top 3 gimbals are Zhiyun Crane 3 LAB, Moza Air 2, and DJI Ronin-S.
While all three of them do a good job in terms of video stabilization, the DJI Ronin-S is still my favorite device. It is ergonomic, travel-friendly, and compatible with many DSLR cameras. I do recommend you to purchase this device if you are looking for a truly good device.
I hope that this overview of the 8 best DSLR gimbals was useful for you. If you are still hesitating on which stabilizer to choose, I recommend you to read the detailed reviews on all of the gimbals available at the link at the end of each stabilizer’s description.