Is it Worth Upgrading to the Zhiyun WEEBILL 3S Gimbal?

First shown off at NAB, the WEEBILL 3S is an evolution of Zhiyun’s popular gimbal series. This is certainly an area that is not lacking for choice, but Zhiyun has done a good job of separating out their gimbals from the competition with unique features.

The WEEBILL especially as it brought a built-in microphone and light to the conversation.

With the 3S they have revamped the quick-release system and kept emphasizing a compact and lightweight form factor that is perfect for everyday content creation using advanced DSLR and mirrorless systems.

For more details on what may make the WEEBILL 3S a worthwhile upgrade check out this overview from Momentum Productions.

The WEEBILL is the largest and most capable of Zhiyun’s gimbal lineup. It still has a heavy emphasis on remaining compact and lightweight, but it has a wide compatibility with modern mirrorless cameras and lenses.

One example is support for the Sony a7S III with 24-105mm or Panasonic S5 with 24-70mm – both hefty pieces of kit.

With the 3S we aren’t talking about a whole generational leap here, though some of the upgrades may be enough when you think about how important ergonomics are when working for long periods of time with a gimbal.

Zhiyun WEEBILL 3S Gimbal Stabilizer

Image Credit: Zhiyun

Among the changes between the 3 and 3S is the removal of the mic input. It was originally located on the top of the gimbal. Zhiyun may have had some interesting reasons behind adding it, but nobody really used it so it has been rightfully cut.

A bigger change is a redesigned quick-release mechanism that allows users to quickly switch between portrait and landscape orientation. Considering how common vertical shooting is becoming this is an essential upgrade for modern creators.

Talking about the power button reveals a huge nuisance on the original WEEBILL 3. The location at the base meant that in some cases with some users, you could accidentally apply pressure to it and cause it to turn off. The 3S moved it up towards the top where you can’t hit it accidentally.

Quick releases are always good to have when it comes to support systems and Zhiyun has added on the 3S at the base. This should make it a lot faster to switch between different rigs or to add or subtract the mini tripod stand when you aren’t using it.

Zhiyun WEEBILL 3S Gimbal Stabilizer with Camera

Image Credit: Zhiyun

The wrist rest has been upgraded with thicker foam and a better adjustment system to get it dialed in. The underslung handle can also be repositioned to the side for a dual-handed setup.

Performance is actually very similar when you talk about stabilization. Interestingly, they did remove one of the battery cells which results in about half the runtime – down to 11.5 hours. That’s still plenty for a full day of shooting.

Now, this is all minor stuff if you are coming from the WEEBILL 3. If you don’t have a gimbal or have something smaller or older then you might want to check out the WEEBILL 3S. What do you think of Zhiyun’s latest?

[source: Momentum Productions]

Order Links:

  • Zhiyun WEEBILL 3S Gimbal Stabilizer (B&H, Amazon)

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