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DJI Osmo Mobile vs Feiyu-Tech SPG vs Zhiyun Smooth 3: smartphone gimbals

Posted: , by John V.

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Software


Feiyu-tech: It's as basic as they come, offering only the essentials when it comes to modes and settings. While there's an option to shoot at up to 4K Ultra HD resolution, there's barely any other manual controls at our disposal – just focus modes and adjusting the white balance, but that's it! 

Feiyu-Tech app - DJI Osmo Mobile vs Feiyu-Tech SPG vs Zhiyun Smooth 3: smartphone gimbals
Feiyu-Tech app - DJI Osmo Mobile vs Feiyu-Tech SPG vs Zhiyun Smooth 3: smartphone gimbals
Feiyu-Tech app - DJI Osmo Mobile vs Feiyu-Tech SPG vs Zhiyun Smooth 3: smartphone gimbals


Zhiyun Smooth 3
: Zhiyun's Play app offers the most well-rounded features and controls, offering video resolution up to 4K, in addition to manual controls for ISO, shutter speed, and much more. We prefer it the most, especially when it caters to diehard content creators who want as much control as possible with their compositions. 

Zhiyun app - DJI Osmo Mobile vs Feiyu-Tech SPG vs Zhiyun Smooth 3: smartphone gimbals
Zhiyun app - DJI Osmo Mobile vs Feiyu-Tech SPG vs Zhiyun Smooth 3: smartphone gimbals
Zhiyun app - DJI Osmo Mobile vs Feiyu-Tech SPG vs Zhiyun Smooth 3: smartphone gimbals


DJI Osmo Mobile: You'd think that DJI's app would be significantly more robust, but it's shockingly missing a couple of things that we feel are distracting. For starters, the app tops out at 1080p resolution with video recording, which is bizarre on its own. Furthermore, it lacks the depth of manual controls we get from Zhiyun's app, such as adjustment to the shutter speed and ISO. The only thing going for it is the fact that it's the only one to offer built-in live streaming to Facebook and YouTube. 

DJI Osmo Mobile app - DJI Osmo Mobile vs Feiyu-Tech SPG vs Zhiyun Smooth 3: smartphone gimbals
DJI Osmo Mobile app - DJI Osmo Mobile vs Feiyu-Tech SPG vs Zhiyun Smooth 3: smartphone gimbals
DJI Osmo Mobile app - DJI Osmo Mobile vs Feiyu-Tech SPG vs Zhiyun Smooth 3: smartphone gimbals


Tracking


Manually operating the gimbals is a fun experience on its own, but if you're a one person show and require to be on camera, you'll find their tracking features indispensable. And you know what? They work rather well. Whether it's the front or rear cameras, you'll be able to place the gimbals upright, or on a mount of some kind, and they'll do the rest when it comes to automatically tracking.

With the DJI Osmo Mobile and Zhiyun Smooth 3, all that's needed is to press on the tracking button within their apps, select the subject by forming a box around it, and from there it'll automatically track. Unlike the other two gimbals, the Feiyu-Tech SPG only offers facial tracking. When it's enabled, it'll analyze the scene for a face and proceed to track it. Sure, it works and whatnot, but we wish it offered the same object tracking as the other two gimbals.

Thankfully, if you're not satisfied by their sensitivity and speeds, you can adjust them accordingly via their respective apps.

Stabilizing Performance


Investing in a smartphone gimbal really means one thing, you want the utmost best stabilization! That premise is the core function of each and every gimbal, which is the main reason why we dove into this comparison in the first place. In testing out each gimbal with the LG V30, we opted to standardize the process by disabling OIS with the phone, shooting 4K resolution at 30 FPS, and using the native camera app for shooting – rather than the ones provided by the companies with their apps.

Which is the best or smoothest you ask? That's a little bit tough to determine without taking into consideration the different kinds of movements we're apt to perform. While one might perform better for walking, another might be more suitable for going up/down stairs. Rather than proclaiming a single best gimbal when it comes to stabilization, let's break them down to the following categories below. 

DJI Osmo Mobile - DJI Osmo Mobile vs Feiyu-Tech SPG vs Zhiyun Smooth 3: smartphone gimbals


  • Walking: Previewing the samples of each gimbal separately, one could assert that they all do the same fantastic job of stabilizing the phones for video recording. However, it becomes more apparent which ones are more superior when we compare their footage side-by-side. Walking normally, there's a slight bobbing motion that can be seen in the sample footage from the Feiyu-Tech SPG and Zhiyun Smooth 3, but it's subtle with the DJI Osmo Mobile. 
  • Climbing Stairs: This one is a cake walk for all three gimbals, wherein they exhibit the same level of steadiness as we ascend and descend stairs. Moving at a normal distance, it's clear that these gimbals no nicely to remain steady even as our feet hit each stair with a bit of force. However, if you're moving quickly through stairs, some jittering is evident with them. It's barely noticeable though. 
  • Running: Abrupt movement, such as running, can really test the performance of these gimbals, which they should given the kind of hasty movements they're trying to compensate for. Retaining that stabilized appearance is naturally tougher, but it's still significantly still better than just going handheld and relying on a phone's OIS. With all three gimbals, harsh jitters can be seen in the footage, but it's still more than usable.



Feiyu-Tech SPG, DJI Osmo Mobile, Zhiyun Smooth 3 - DJI Osmo Mobile vs Feiyu-Tech SPG vs Zhiyun Smooth 3: smartphone gimbals



Conclusion


Earlier we outlined the pricing of all three gimbals, something that plays deeply into their value. Both the DJI Osmo Mobile and Zhiyun Smooth 3 are priced at $300, which is a pretty significant investment to achieve that walking-on-air look. At $159, almost half the cost of its rivals, the Feiyu-Tech SPG offers the essentials without hitting you harshly in the bank. Whilst the savings is always wonderful, we also love it for its travel-friendly compact size, splash-proof construction, and versatile modes.

What about the other two? Well, if you want something that's going to offer the highest payload, especially if you intend on adding accessories to your phone, we'd recommend going with the Zhiyun Smooth 3. It's the heaviest gimbal out of the bunch, but its solid build quality warrants its price point. And lastly, content creators will love that Zhiyun's app is rich with manual controls and modes.

Lastly, the DJI Osmo Mobile features the most ergonomic design out of the bunch, making it unique amongst smartphone gimbals as a whole. It's fantastic at stabilizing footage while walking, having very little of that bobbing motion in the process. What's puzzling to us is that it lacks 4K capture through its apps, and it doesn't offer a standard ¼-inch mount on its underside like its competitors. Despite that, it's the only one to integrate live streaming via Facebook and YouTube.

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