Photographers and filmmakers can both attest to the importance of the equipment that they use. Many people know that high-end cameras can cost thousands of dollars. However, many aren’t aware that professional cameras used to create films and commercials can easily cost tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Of course, when the tools of your trade are this expensive, you’ll want to be sure that you’re getting your hands on the best possible product for the money. Along with a camera, the user will need a wide range of accessories so that they can get the most out of it, but low-quality add-ons can just end up making things worse.
Something like a camera stabilizer won’t give you too many hints on its performance until you take it out of the package. If you’re going to save yourself the disappointment, it’s important to do as much research as possible before picking up an attachment for your camera, and that’s where we come into the picture (no pun intended).
Today, we’re going to search for the best camera stabilizer on the market, and to do that, we have reviewed five different products of varying price ranges. We have gone with a variety of different models so that we can ensure that each of our readers can find something that works for them, regardless of price point and style.
We’ll cover three different kinds of camera stabilizers, starting with the best camera stabilizer for DSLR, and then working our way down to the best stabilizer for mirrorless camera. Finally, for customers on a budget, we also have the best camera stabilizer under 100 category.
But that’s enough of a delay, let’s get right to our reviews.
Best Camera Stabilizer For DSLR
Winner: DJI Ronin-M V3 Gimbal Stabilizer
DJI is one of the world’s foremost producers of drones, and we suppose that creating high-end gimbal mounts for those drones comes with the territory.
With this product, DJI has taken one of their drones’ gimbal mounts and adapted it for use with a camera, creating the best camera stabilizer DSLR on the market.
The first thing that you’ll need to know is that this stabilizer can handle a weight of up to eight pounds, which may seem relatively light for the price, but it’s due to the restrictions of the motors.
Unlike other stabilizers, this model uses electric motors to power the gimbal mount and keep it steady.
- Maximum payload capacity of eight pounds
- Designed for superior ergonomics; ideal for longer shoots
- Three modes of operation: underslung, briefcase, and upright
- Smartphone app compatibility
- The battery can last for three hours on one charge
- The frame is made of magnesium for lightweight and durability
Despite the complex electronics required for the electric motors in the gimbal, you’ll still find that this is one of the lightest handheld stabilizers on the market. The product’s low weight is due to its magnesium construction, which ensures that it remains resistant to impacts while keeping its weight at a minimum.
As for performance, the implementation of the gimbal motors makes this one of the best models in its price range. If you’re looking for professional-grade performance out of your new stabilizer, then this model from DJI will provide it without breaking the bank or compromising build quality.
You can even use your smartphone to adjust the settings on this camera stabilizer. You’ll also find that this stabilizer was designed with ergonomics in mind. There are handles in various positions so that the stabilizer can be used in each of its three modes, and the comfortable design makes it perfect for long takes.
One of the only downsides we came across was the battery life, only lasting three hours, which makes it ill-suited for day-long shoots. Apart from that minor complaint, we found that the DJI Ronin-M is the best camera stabilizer in its price range, especially for use with DSLRs.
Runner-Up: FLYCAM HD-3000 Micro Balancing Camera Stabilizer
The HD-3000 from FLYCAM is another excellent choice for customers with a DSLR, with a key difference between this model and the winner being that the HD-3000 costs an eighth of the price.
For a fraction of the cost of the Ronin-M, you get a surprising amount of features and excellent build quality.
If you’re looking for the best DSLR camera stabilizer when it comes to value for money, few products on the market can hope to compete with the HD-3000.
For example, this is one of the cheapest camera stabilizers that allow you to microbalance the weights, making it easier to set up and more accurate.
- Supports cameras that weigh up to eight pounds
- Micro balancing ensures that the stabilizer is accurately set up
- The top plate can be adjusted along the X and Y axes
- The three-axis gimbal features a foam handle for comfort
- The tool-less telescopic central post makes it easier to balance
- Aluminum construction for lightweight
- Comes included with a foam padded bag
Unfortunately, assembling and balancing this camera stabilizer is the worst part of owning it, and you’ll have plenty of headaches if you don’t have plenty of experience getting a stabilizer balanced. This makes the stabilizer a little intimidating for first-time users, and it’s what led to it being our runner-up.
Apart from this minor issue, you’ll find that this is an exceedingly well-equipped camera stabilizer. For example, the adjustable top plate lets you make alterations along the X-axis and the Y-axis. As with other quality camera stabilizers, it also features a quick-release mounting that will save you time.
The three-axis gimbal does a good job of keeping a camera stabilized while in use, and it features a foam grip that keeps it comfortable for the duration of longer shots. You can also adjust the vertical balance through the telescoping central post, and since it’s tool-less, you can do it on the fly.
Since this stabilizer is made out of aluminum, you’ll find that it’s light enough not to tire you during extended filming, though it’s still built to last. This model even comes included with a padded foam bag so that you can transport it without having to worry about potential damage.
Overall, this is the best budget camera stabilizer for customers that are using a DSLR.
Best Stabilizer For Mirrorless Camera
Winner: Zhiyun Crane 2 Gimbal Camera Stabilizer
The Crane 2 from Zhiyun is another pricey stabilizer, but this model is made to work with mirrorless cameras, which are usually far smaller than DSLRs.
The smaller size of this stabilizer makes it more affordable than the other high-end option on this list, though it still costs around 650 dollars.
For your money, you get a wide range of features that make this stabilizer easier to use, and you also get excellent build quality that you won’t find in cheaper models.
For example, this stabilizer is equipped with a three-position follow focus that helps make your camera easier to focus when it is mounted.
- Features three-level integrated follow focus
- Supports a max camera weight of seven pounds
- The handgrip features direct camera control buttons
- Equipped with an LED screen to show settings
- Comes with a standard quick release plate
- Can run for a maximum of 18 hours
- Comes included with three 18650 batteries
The camera cable connection for the follow focus is compatible with Canon DSLRs as well as all mirrorless cameras released later than 2008. With a max payload weight of seven pounds, this camera stabilizer offers a little less support than the competition, but it’s still more than enough for most mirrorless models.
One of the more impressive features on this stabilizer is that it comes equipped with an LED screen that lets you see the settings. This display makes the stabilizer far easier to use and ensures that you won’t have to use your smartphone to alter the settings, which is often a necessity with other stabilizers.
Along with the display, the handgrip on this stabilizer features direct control buttons that you can use to interact with the camera, as the cradle will be blocking the controls. The buttons share the entire stabilizer’s excellent build quality, improving reliability and making this product ideal for long-term use.
Thanks to the 32-bitx3 MCU parallel control, this stabilizer offers some of the best performance in its price range. This model is ideal for action shots where you’ll have plenty of shaking that needs to be canceled out by the mount. Overall, this stabilizer may be pricey, but it is worth the money.
Best Camera Stabilizer Under $100
Winner: Roxant Pro Video Camera Stabilizer
The Roxant Pro is one of the most affordable camera stabilizers on the market, but it’s also the best iPhone camera stabilizer.
This is one of the most versatile stabilizers out there, and its low price tag makes it an attractive choice for beginners who are just starting to film action shots that need a stabilizer.
Beyond being compatible with the iPhone, this video stabilizer from Roxant can work with DSLRs, point and shoots, and many more kinds of cameras.
One of the only mounting restrictions you’ll run into when using this camera stabilizer is that it can only support a payload of up to 2.1 pounds.
- Features a lower arm equipped with a no-slip grip
- Pro-style stabilization helps reduce idle sway
- Compatible with DSLRs, camcorders, smartphones, and point and shoots
- Supports cameras that weigh up to 2.1 pounds
- This low profile edition has a lower center of balance
- Comes included with free video tutorials
- Features three counter-weights
Using what Roxant has termed “Pro-style” stabilization, this model offers superior performance when compared to other options in the same price range. Even though this stabilizer can’t match more expensive options in build quality, it is still reliable enough for you to get your money’s worth out of it.
The inclusion of three counter-weights means that you can adjust the balance and stabilization based on the device that you’re using, which is a rarity in budget stabilizers. This is also the low-profile edition of the Roxant stabilizer, meaning it has a lower center of gravity, which makes it easier to use.
The inclusion of a no-slip grip makes it easier to hold on to this stabilizer while filming and will also help reduce the level of sway. If you’re new to using a stabilizer with your camera, then you’ll also appreciate the inclusion of complementary tutorials to guide you through how to use this product.
This product from Roxant is the best handheld camera stabilizer in its price range, and its versatility means that you’ll get more for your money compared to other products. Whether you want to stabilize a DSLR or your iPhone, this product will be able to do it for you.
Runner-Up: Sutefoto S40 Handheld Camera Stabilizer
The S40 from Sutefoto is the best cheap camera stabilizer on this list, with a price tag of only fifty dollars, which is more than ten times less than some of the more expensive options.
For the cost, you get a surprisingly reliable camera stabilizer that gets the job done, even though it may not have too many additional features.
In budget camera stabilizers, we have found that the most crucial characteristic is the build quality, as it’s the area where designers are most likely to cut corners.
We were impressed to find that this camera stabilizer was made as well as models that cost two to four times as much money.
- Can support a maximum weight of 3.3 pounds
- Quick balancing makes it easier to set up
- The foam handle is designed for superior ergonomics
- Aluminum construction makes for lighter weight and superior durability
- Features a quick-release plate for easier mounting
- Comes included with a one-year warranty
- Also comes with a free carry bag
The use of high precision bearings ensures that this stabilizer is manufactured to tighter tolerances, and it also features low friction joints for superior reliability and smoothness. The inclusion of foam padding on the handgrip ensures that you won’t get tired after a long day of shooting.
Since this model is made out of aluminum, you’ll find that it’s light enough to be carried around with ease yet strong enough to last a long time. There are six different weights included, allowing you to adjust the balance of the stabilizer to your liking.
Even though it only supports a max weight of 3.3 pounds, this stabilizer offers excellent performance thanks to its two sets of counter-weights paired with a gimbal. Unlike other affordable stabilizers, this model is easy to set up, and the weights can be added and removed without the use of a tool.
As with many of the best stabilizers, this product comes included with a quick-mounting plate that will save you time when moving the camera from one accessory to the other. The Sutefoto S40 is the best video camera stabilizer for customers that want to save as much money as possible without compromising performance.
What Features To Look Out For
The first thing that you’ll always want to account for when picking the best camera stabilizer for your needs is the payload capacity (weight limit) of the stabilizer. Different models will be able to support cameras in various weight classes, so you’ll have to consider how heavy your camera is before your purchase.
Beyond the weight of your camera, you’ll also have to take a look at how much each of the mounted accessories weighs. Things like shotgun mics can further increase the mass of your camera to the point that it may be too much for the stabilizer mount, and may end up causing a malfunction.
Type Of Stabilization
You’ll also want to consider the kind of stabilization that is used. The most popular system is a combination of a gimbal and counterweights that help keep the camera in a certain position. The inclusion of a gimbal ensures that the camera’s movement is independent of the support brace that is holding it.
There are other forms of stabilizers, however, and some will use electric motors hooked up to the gimbal to keep it steady instead of counterweights. Motors will be easier to adjust precisely, and they will be easier to initially set up when compared to counter-weights.
Digital stabilization is another kind of technology that is integrated into cameras directly, and it is less effective than mechanical stabilization such as the previous two types.
Types Of Shots It Can Take
There are a few kinds of shots that you can take with a stabilizer, and some are classed by the types of shots that they’re capable of. For example, tracking shots will follow the subject that is being filmed, whether they are moving forward, backward, or if the camera is following alongside them.
Running motion shots are also possible with camera stabilizers since they will cancel out the motion of the person behind the camera. If a stabilizer is less effective, then you may wish to perform a walking shot instead. Other shot types include side pan shots, where the camera will pan over the subject.
You may be surprised to find this aspect on this list, but some of the best camera stabilizers around will be able to connect to another device. Usually, stabilizers can connect to a computer or smartphone wirelessly so that you can adjust the settings. Connectivity is typically essential in electric motor stabilizers, but traditional models don’t need it.
When choosing the best camera stabilizer for your needs, you’ll want to look at the list of devices that the model is compatible with. The last thing you want is to pull your stabilizer out of the box only to realize that it isn’t compatible with your version of iOS or Android and it needs to be returned.
When it comes to something like a camera stabilizer, you’ll need it to be portable enough so that you can bring it to your shoots with ease. The degree of mobility provided by a camera stabilizer is a crucial concern, and it is dependent on the design of the product as well as the material that it’s made out of.
Most camera stabilizers will be made out of materials like aluminum, which are resilient yet light enough to facilitate transport. Another thing to consider is whether or not your camera stabilizer comes included with a carry case, as one can prevent damage during transport.
Ease Of Assembly
You’ll also want your camera stabilizer to be convenient, and one of the things that affect convenience the most is the product’s ease of assembly. Most camera stabilizers will arrive in their constituent parts (though some smartphone models may arrive assembled), and you’ll have to put them together.
Ease of assembly is defined by how the components fit together and whether or not the instructions that came with the product were clear enough to make the task simple. This aspect also includes the ease of adjusting and replacing the counter-weights, which will be necessary with many stabilizers.
Finally, you’ll also want to see whether or not your new camera stabilizer comes included with a warranty. Products such as these contain a lot of complicated parts, and that means that there is a lot that can go wrong. A warranty can save you quite a bit of money in a replacement product.
Keep in mind that the mere presence of a warranty isn’t enough. You’ll want to take a look at how long that warranty lasts, as that will give you an idea of the maker’s faith in their product. A longer warranty will typically mean that a stabilizer is well-made.
There are so many different camera stabilizers to choose from, but you have to be sure that you’re getting the best for your money. We hope that this buying guide has proven helpful. Feel free to leave any comments, questions, or concerns down below, and we’ll try to get back to you.