Budget gimbal stabilizer maker Zhiyun-Tech have been on top of their game in 2018 and are now releasing yet another gimbal stabilizer – the Smooth 4, this time aimed at filmmakers, who prefer to use their smartphone to create stunning moving images. The smartphone stabilizer sub-segment is not only growing, with major players such as DJI announcing new stabilizers such as the DJI Osmo Mobile 2, but also getting even more competitive with manufacturers delivering superb stabilization at more and more affordable price points, and the Smooth 4 is no different, at least when it comes to price. At just $139 USD, the new Zhiyun Smooth 4 is sure to turn a few heads and raise a few eyebrows.
The company also a strong following in the single-grip stabilizer segment, where they released the Crane 2 (the follow up to the very popular Zhiyun Crane and Crane v2) and the Crane Plus+ at the beginning of 2018 – you can do some catch up on the Zhiyun Crane 2 here, and the here on the Crane Plus+.
So, what is the Smooth 4? The new model (as the rest of the Smooth family) is designed to be used with smart phone, however it has been re-designed for a slick new look compared the previous version, now featuring a focus wheel on the side (a la Crane 2), more ergonomic buttons for easier access to popular functions and modes. Zhiyun Tech have used high-quality compound materials to give users a better experience, while the matt paint texture adds unique premium feel. The classic ergonomic design makes it easy on the eye and comfortable to hold.
The unique clip-up design allows for an easy transition between standby mode and startup mode by folding and expanding the horizontal arm of the gimbal, making it very quick to deploy and pack away for travel. Portrait mode shooting is also supported.
Billed as “Born for Mobile Filmmakers” the new design of integrated control panel can reduce the need to touch the screen, and help users control both the stabilizer and mobile camera directly with hot-key buttons. The dedicated scroll wheel on the sidee of the Smooth 4 allows users to zoom in or out as you want to take close-up shots as well as enabling a “dolly zoom” effect with the addition of adjusting focus used by legendary filmmakers such as Hitchcock and Spielberg.
Check out the “Dolly Zoom/Vertigo Zoom” effect with the Smooth 4 below:
The Zhiyun Smooth 4 has a PhoneGo mode, which release the full potential of motors in a flash and adjust to faster movements when running or shooting from a moving car/bike etc. The new Smooth 4 stabilizer supports all kinds of advanced shooting techniques such as Timelapse, moving time lapse and Motionlapse, and more.
Object tracking is another big feature in the Smooth 4 gimbal, which can recognize human faces with much higher precision. You can frame the object you want to track on the screen, and the stabilizer can do the rest. This is all done through their dedicated app.
Battery life on the Smooth 4 is rated at 10 hours straight, which is pretty good. The addition of a front battery indicator tells you how much power is left, and thanks to the USB Type-C charging port on the side you can hook it up to a compact power bank and charge it while shooting.
The Zhiyun Smooth 4 has also been designed with a slider on its control panel and a trigger button on its back, to easily recognize and switch between different gimbal modes. Zhiyun also say the Smooth 4 will be able to support additional accessories such as microphones that can be mounted on the side, however it is not quite clear on how that is achieved yet. iPhone users with the latest models without a headphone jack need to investigate further as the lighting port will be covered when the phone is mounted in the gimbal cradle, so be aware of this.
The price of the Smooth 4 has been set $139 USD and sales should start soon. It appears there are two colour options – a white one and a black one, however there is no indication of a price difference between the two. For more details and detailed tech specs head over to Zhiyun Tech.