Review – Today, content creators are everywhere. Photos are great, but videos are still the rule of engaging content. Nothing breaks a clip faster than a jerky video. It can make the content boundary unviewable. Zhiyun released the new Zhiyun Smooth Q3 smart phone PTZ. Let’s check to see if this can eliminate the bumps in your road to social media stars.
what is it?
Smooth Q3 is a three-axis stabilizer Yuntai Used in smart phones. It provides a variety of stable modes and comes with ZY Cami software to help you develop your talents.
What’s in the box?
- Zhiyun Smooth Q3 Smart Phone PTZ
- Removable tripod
- USB-A to USB-C charging cable
- Disclaimer and warranty manual
- Service card
- Quick start guide
- Product Size
- Folding: 45*154*180 mm
- Unfolding: 90*127*279 mm
- Weight: 12 ounces
- Tilting mechanical range: -260°~ 80°
- Roll mechanical range: -170°~170°
- Translation mechanical range: -150°~ 150°
- Battery running time: up to 15 hours; 7h standard
- Charging time: 3h
- Mounting clip support: 55mm~90mm
- Smart phone thickness: 7mm ~10mm
- IOS video frame rate: 24fps, 25fps, 30fps, 60fps
- Android video frame rate: 24fps, 30fps
- Load weight: 150g~280g
- Mobile phone connection: Bluetooth
- Fill light: one-piece, 180° rotation, three-level adjustable brightness
Design and features
Zhiyun Smooth Q3 mobile phone PTZ is relatively small. The camera stand (with the SMOOTH-Q3 label) slides down along the handle for storage.
Loosen the silver thumbscrew and you can slide your arm up to the locked position.
When you lock it in the extended and operating position, the electrical contacts in the arm mate with the corresponding contacts near the thumbscrew. This allows the device to operate.
Your phone is fixed to your arm with a clip that can be deployed up and down.
On the right side of the image above, you can see the axis of tilting the phone. For storage, this is also locked in place by a tab that snaps into the small channel. Before turning on the power, you need to unlock it.
Zhiyun Smooth Q3 smartphone pan/tilt controls are located on the front, back and side of the handle.
On the left, we see the wide-angle/telephoto switch. The gray buttons with red lines are the shutter release and video start/stop buttons. Above is the mode button and mode LED. These LEDs double as charge indicators and 25% of each LED. The dial on the right is the joystick.
- Pan follow-the pitch and roll axis motors are locked, and the pan axis follows the movement of the stabilizer handle; push the joystick up, down, left and right to control the tilt axis and pan axis; PF LED light
- Locked-all three motors are locked and will not follow the movement of the stabilizer handle; push the joystick up, down, left and right to control the tilt axis and pan axis; L LED light
- Follow-the roll axis motor is locked, the pitch axis and translation axis motors follow the movement of the stabilizer handle; push the joystick up, down, left and right to control the tilt axis and translation axis; F LED lights
- Viewing angle-all three motors follow the movement of the stabilizer handle; push the joystick up, down, left and right to control the tilt axis and pan axis; POV LED lights
- Eddy current-all three motors follow the movement of the stabilizer handle; push the joystick up, down, left and right to control the roll axis and pan axis POV LED flashes
- PhoneGo——When the roll axis is locked, the camera pans and tilts with the rapid movement of the stabilizer; the joystick does not work; the F LED flashes
On the back of the handle, we found two other buttons.
The top button is the power button.
- Click to check the battery level of the gimbal
- Press and hold for 3 seconds to turn on/off the power
- Press 8 times to reset Bluetooth
The bottom button is the trigger button
- Click to turn on/off smart follow
- Double click to reposition
- Press three times to switch between landscape mode and portrait mode
- Long press to enter PhoneGo mode
At the very bottom of the handle, we found a tripod socket where you can install the included tripod or any tripod.
There is a fill light on the top of the phone holder.
Tapping the top of the light will cause it to pass through several different brightness levels.
The light is designed to provide you with illumination when shooting close-up shots. It is not designed to illuminate distant scenes.
Below is a summary of all buttons and functions.
The settings of Zhiyun Smooth Q3 mobile phone gimbal include downloading the ZY Cami application and pairing with the gimbal.
Pairing does not work for me.
Reading the document, I found that pressing the trigger button eight times will reset the Bluetooth on the gimbal. Once I did this, my phone was paired with the gimbal and I started doing business. Speaking of documentation, it is unusable for me. The printed matter in the brochure is too small to be read. Fortunately, all documents are available online.
You need to install your mobile phone on the Zhiyun Smooth Q3 smart phone gimbal.
Part of the Zhiyun Smooth Q3 smart phone gimbal installation process is to balance your phone so that it is more or less centered. With my Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, this was impossible because I placed it in the center of the clip so that the clip was right on top of my power button. As long as I install it, the clip is next to the power button and everything works fine. If I deviate further from the center, the gimbal will not rotate the camera from horizontal to vertical. Another consideration is that the harder the gimbal must work to stabilize the camera, the faster it will consume battery power.
Another thing to note is that the phone holder is not very deep. There is a very thin phone case on my phone, which can hardly fit in the clip. The clip is designed for bare metal.
Zhiyun Smooth Q3 smart phone PTZ provides a large number of functions, modes and shooting styles.
I took it outside and tried some basic functions. The first thing I noticed is that the zoom switch works in reverse-“W” zooms in, “T” zooms out-exactly the opposite of what I expected. The same is true for the joystick. It turns out that this is a setting. When I dig into the settings, I flipped a few switches and everything worked as I expected. It turns out that many videographers prefer reverse operation, so it is great that the stabilizer supports these two modes.
I started by driving a golf cart and tested the stability while I was driving.
In general, the video is very smooth even when driving bumps on the golf cart. This was especially noticeable at 1:20 towards the end when I climbed over the curb at the end of the driveway and then over the threshold to enter our garage. Both are very good bumps, and the video is very smooth. This is my third attempt. In the first attempt, ZY Cami crashed within about 10 seconds of shooting. In the second attempt, Bluetooth disconnected. When the video continues to be shot, without connecting to the phone, all the controls of the application do not work, which means I cannot stop the video without pressing the button on the screen.
Next, I set the Zhiyun Smooth Q3 mobile phone gimbal to pan-follow mode, flip to the selfie camera, and drive it again.
Once again, the video is good and smooth, and when I move the gimbal back and forth, the gimbal does a good job and keeps me centered. The same thing happened when I tried to stop the video when I drove into the lane, but had to tap the screen once I stopped.
I did a quick test of the vortex mode, you can use the joystick to control the tilt access.
You can really make a video that will cause motion sickness! However, if you are a creative type, I can see how you can add some real interest to your video.
Finally, I tested the cart zoom function included in the ZY Cami app. Dolly zoom is a video effect in which the camera zooms in or out on the object, but the background remains still, thereby producing a visual zoom effect.
I aimed at the yellow flower and walked towards it.
I’m walking, you can definitely see this in the video.
Then I tried the opposite method and walked away.
The two things I noticed again are that the video is not smooth, you can see that I am walking, and the zooming effect is not smooth-it seems to be intermittent.
The app supports gesture control, so you can be in the video. It also supports tracking of targets that want to appear in active videos, such as a Tic Tok. If you want, there are plenty of beautification effects and editing options.
Because this is a Bluetooth gimbal, it should work with any camera application you want to use. I tried the default Android app. After pairing the gimbal with the mobile phone, I can take pictures and start/stop the video, but the zoom joystick does not make the camera zoom. However, once I pair the phone with the gimbal, the ZY Cami app will no longer be paired via Bluetooth. When I unpaired the phone, the app still couldn’t connect, and I had to reset the Bluetooth connection again. Then, the universal joints are displayed as two different universal joints with extensions “-1” and “-2”. Bluetooth integration does not seem to be well thought out.
what do I like
- Multiple stable modes on the gimbal
- There are many options in the app
- Feels very sturdy and sturdy
- In stable mode, the universal joint can produce smooth video well
What will i change
- The size of the phone holder should fit the thin case on the phone
- The zoom switch is difficult to reach and operate
- Bluetooth is unstable and disconnects frequently
- The app crashed several times in the test
- Pairing the gimbal with a mobile phone will destroy the connection ability of the ZY Cami app
As a gimbal, Zhiyun Smooth Q3 mobile phone gimbal looks pretty sturdy. It has many stabilization modes to choose from, which can help aspiring filmmakers get wet and provide beautiful, smooth and creative videos. The included application ZY Cami tries to provide many things for many people. Bluetooth integration definitely requires some work because it is flawed, inconsistent, and prone to failure. This is too bad, because its price is very good, if it fulfills its promise, it will be a very good deal. Due to the inconsistency of the performance of the application and the gimbal and continuous Bluetooth problems, this is not my first choice as a video stabilization tool.