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How to Find the Right Smartphone Gimbal
Smartphones that shoot 4K video are now common enough that even amateur videographers can capture high-quality videos. A gimbal—a pivoting suspension device that mechanically stabilizes a camera—can replace an expensive tripod or dolly to make cinematic video effects accessible to anyone. Primarily, gimbals smooth out hand tremors or a bumpy gait if you are filming while walking. They can also make pans look smooth and consistent, or automate time-lapses and other tricky shots. Additionally, they can serve as souped-up selfie sticks that allow you to hold a phone farther away from your face for better framing.
Gimbals consist of two parts: On the bottom is a handle, which you hold much as you do a selfie stick. The handle usually includes a mix of buttons, joysticks, and wheels. The gimbal sits on top of the handle and looks like an arm with a gripper that holds your phone or attaches to a built-in camera. When you wiggle the handle, the phone or camera stays in place.
If you like filming video with your existing smartphone and don’t mind spending around $100 to achieve more professional-looking results, a gimbal can be a good choice. It’s a nice tool to bring along for filming scenery on vacation or for an active hobby like snowboarding. The ability to film yourself also makes it useful for social media and live streaming.