What Are the Pros and Cons of the Zhiyun WEEBILL-2

There are a lot of gimbals out there today and they just keep getting better. Zhiyun-Tech made some big moves with their options by directly taking on bigger names like DJI. The WEEBILL series is what brought them to many shooters’ attention. Now, they have taken the series up a notch with the release of the WEEBILL-2.

It definitely has nice spec improvements, though that isn’t the whole story with any product update. If you are in the market for a new gimbal and the WEEBILL-2 is on your radar, then you should watch this video from filmmaker Se Park as he got to spend a lot of tie testing it out.

Pro #1: Quality Improvements

Immediately you can see that the actual construction is of a higher quality. A majority of the system is metal with limited plastic and rubber where they needed it. The grip is also much better, somewhat mimicking the RSC 2. A nice change is that you can hold the WEEBILL-2 without hitting any buttons. No accidents here.

The record button is nice since it actually has a two-stage press – just like many cameras. You can lightly press it in to initiate features like autofocus with certain cameras. The joystick gives you some nice control over movement and is sensitive to how much you move it. Smaller movements are slower for more precision. There is also a dial to make adjustments to things like aperture, ISO, and more.

Finally, there is a much nicer axis lock on the WEEBILL-2 which is a noticeable improvement compared to the original WEEBILL.

Pro #2: User-Friendly Design

Generally speaking, the WEEBILL-2 made some adjustments and tweaks that make the user experience a lot more enjoyable. For example all the axis locks are now facing up towards the user for easier use. The balance screw also now has a lever design that is a lot easier on your fingers to get tight.

Last, there is a flip-out touchscreen on the WEEBILL-2. It gives you quick, clear access to all the settings. You can use touch controls or use some of the physical dials and buttons to configure the gimbal if that is what you would prefer.

Image Credit: Zhiyun Tech

Pro #3: Powerful and Smooth

The WEEBILL-2 upgrades the load capacity of the series to a 7.3 lb payload. It feels stronger than the original and performance is better with heavier systems. Park uses some cages now so there is a bit more added weight and there is some extra processing to make sure it stays smooth when you are making some more aggressive moves.

Con #1: No Transmount Quick Release

On the WEEBILL-S you could mount some transmount quick release plates. It made it very quick and easy to adjust the configuration of the gimbal and mount different things, like a tripod, in seconds. Unfortunately, the WEEBILL-2 doesn’t have the same modularity as the earlier models. Plus if you do get the kit with the quick release system it actually isn’t the smoothest and requires extra tightening to make sure it stays in place.

Con #2: No Arca-Swiss Plate

Arca-type quick release plates and incredibly common and standard. It’s the standard for photo equipment. The WEEBILL-2 moves away from some Arca-type systems. Previously the plates had excellent modularity that took seconds to go from balanced and mounted to handheld. Now it doesn’t have that.

Image Credit: Zhiyun Tech

Con #3: Built-In Batteries

This is going to be an issue for some. Built-in batteries are nice because they are convenient and you don’t have to worry about them. Unfortunately, having them built-in means you aren’t able to swap them out if you need more juice for a long day.

You can’t exactly charge up easily if you are using it throughout the day or at an event like a wedding. It’s got a decent rating of about 9 hours of runtime, but that may not be enough for some.

You can take some power-saving precautions like putting it in standby or making sure the screen is closed whenever possible, but it’s not fun to have to keep monitoring.

Related is the placement of the power button. It’s a bit tough to get to at a moment’s notice and since it is used for doing things like turning off the screen or entering standby mode this might mean there are moments when you don’t hit it and end up burning more battery than you would want.

[source: Se Park]

Order Links:

  • Zhiyun-Tech WEEBILL-2 Gimbal Stabilizer (B&H, Amazon)

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