Zhiyun adds more lighting options and 25 hour battery life with the new Smooth 5S smartphone gimbal
Zhiyun has announced their newest 3-axis smartphone gimbal, the Zhiyun Smooth 5S. It offers some nice improvements over the Smooth 5, including a built-in LED light on the mounting arm, superior anti-shake performance and new motors to help with more extreme shots and camera angles. It offers up to 25 hours of use and when it does go flat, takes only two hours to charge back up from flat to full over a USB-PD fast charging connection.
As well as the new built-in light on the camera mount, you also get the option of two magnetic fill light fixtures, allowing you to either add more light in front of you or to have lights pointing away from you and towards you for when you’re regularly switching cameras in your device or when shooting dual video, utilising both front and rear cameras simultaneously.
The Zhiyun Smooth 5S features the same intuitive control panel of the Smooth 5 and in many respects looks very similar. You still get the dial on the side for adjusting focus or zoom, the menus work the same way and it has a very similar overall body design. It’s a somewhat incremental update that existing Smooth 5 owners may not be really be able to justify the expense of upgrading, but for those who were considering buying the Smooth 5, the Smooth 5S now seems to be the obvious choose.
It works with the Zhiyun ZY Cami App that’s available for both iOS and Android devices. This allows you to use various video templates, filters, transitions, stickers and get easy access to free music for use in your videos. You can quickly switch between PF, L, F and POV modes right on the smartphone screen through the app and lets you switch between zoom and focus for the wheel on the gimbal. Naturally, you also get the usual subject tracking, timelapse, panorama and other features available with many of Zhiyun’s other gimbals.
The internal battery provides up to 25 hours of use, letting you shoot all day and night non-stop. And when you need to charge it back up, it takes only two hours via a USB-PD charger or compatible power bank. Its built-in 2W LED light offers a 5,000K colour temperature with a 90+ CRI and you can still attach the magnetic light sources, too, for more power or front and rear simultaneously illumination.
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.