Zhiyun SMOOTH Q2: Review.
Sergio Montana
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Zhiyun SMOOTH Q2: Review.

Professional stabilizer for your smartphone.

Frames shot on a smartphone using Steadicam are strikingly different in their smoothness. Moreover, this is characteristic not only for cheap smartphones without an optical stabilizer, but also for expensive camera phones with a high-quality optical stabilizer.

We learn about the latest representative of electronic stabilizers for smartphones from the Chinese company Zhiyun - Smooth Q2.


Stabilizers for smartphones are compatible with absolutely all modern smartphones of standard shape and weighing up to 260 g. The width of the holder is 65–86 mm.

For such stabilizers, everything is much simpler. Starting with balancing. Zhiyun Smooth Q2 has such powerful motors that, in principle, balancing is not needed here. Simply place the smartphone in the middle and you can turn it on. Q2 does not have any jolts and blockages during the shooting process. Of course, if you intentionally shift the smartphone left or right, you should not expect proper stabilization. Ideally, of course, as it should be for any electronic steadicam, it’s better to achieve the right balance.

Balancing here occurs only in one position. First, we attach the smartphone holder to the steadicam, and then the smartphone itself is more convenient.


We tilt the smartphone with the display down and adjust the balance in this position, moving the smartphone left-right and slightly back and forth until the smartphone reaches a stationary parallel position. At the same time, it is important to install the smartphone so that it does not “see” the stabilizer shoulder in front of you - for flagship models with ultra-wide-angle cameras this is true.

The mount here is with a special mechanism, not only the springs, so that adjustment takes place without much effort. There are thick rubber inserts to prevent damage to the phone.


By the way, such a solution in the form of a separate removable holder for a smartphone is very convenient. For example, you needed to quickly remove the phone to make a call - just loosen the clamp and remove the phone with the pad, and then it is also easy to install it back, but without re-balancing.


In the box

It is delivered to steadicam in a small box:


Inside the stabilizer itself, a platform for attaching a smartphone and a separate box in which there is a USB cable and a wrist strap.



Design

The Smooth Q2 case is made almost entirely of metal. The handle is covered with special rubber, which creates a pleasant tactile sensation and prevents slipping.


There are two connectors here: Micro-USB and USB Type-C. These connectors can be used as a power source, and not only to power the smartphone, but also, for example, to connect an additional light source. To charge the smartphone via the Micro USB connector on the stabilizer shoulder, you need a special cable, which is purchased separately. The battery of the stabilizer itself is charged via the USB Type-C connector on the handle - here the manufacturer draws attention to the fact that in no case can the charger be charged via Micro-USB, otherwise there is a risk of a short circuit.


Speaking of the battery, a replaceable lithium-ion battery of type 21700 with a capacity of 4500 mAh is used here. According to the specifications on a full charge, it provides the Steadicam for 17 hours, in practice this value turned out to be even greater.


Control

There are only three controls on the Zhiyun Smooth Q2 handle: the network button, the record button, and the joystick. In addition, there are four information LEDs that show the current mode of operation, as well as the battery level with a single short press on the power button.


When you press the power button twice, the smartphone returns to its original position. And when pressed three times, the smartphone rotates 180 degrees.

Using the joystick, you can change the position of the smartphone. When you press the joystick, the mode changes: with a single entry, the next mode is activated, and with a double previous one.

With a long press on the joystick, the stabilizer goes into standby mode and the motors turn off. By the way, you can enable the standby mode by forcing the horizontal stabilizer arm to be folded - this is convenient.


The recording button is also multifunctional: when pressed once, a photo / video is created, when pressed twice, the camera switches between the rear / front cameras, and when tripled, the tilt axis is raised (necessary when using a wide-angle camera if the stabilizer body enters the lens).

There are five operating modes in total:

PF - the mode of tracked panning (the smartphone rotates left and right, the vertical tilt can be changed using the joystick)
L - lock mode (all axes are locked, the position of the smartphone remains fixed, you can only change it with the joystick)
F - tracking mode (the smartphone rotates left and right, as well as up and down, keeping the horizon level)
POV - tracking mode on all axes (the smartphone follows any movement of the hand)
VORTEX - rotation mode (controlled by joystick)

As a rule, most users shoot in - PF mode.

The stabilizer can also be shot in portrait mode - the device accurately monitors the rotation and automatically turns on portrait mode, you do not need to specifically configure anything for this. For other models of stabilizers, this must be done manually by turning the mount of the smartphone.

Smooth Q2 uses a new processor and more powerful brushless motors compared to the previous generation. According to Zhiyun, engine power and reaction speed increased by 40 and 30%, respectively. The maximum possible load is 260 grams. By the way, the stabilizer mount allows you to install even an action camera here.


Work with the application

Zhiyun has a free Zy Play app available for iOS and Android. To use the full functionality you need to connect your smartphone to the stabilizer via Bluetooth. It happens fast.

The application has two display formats for the camera display: “Simple” and “Normal camera”. The Normal Camera mode is more functional and convenient. Everything is intuitive.


An interesting tracking mode becomes available through the application - if the object in the frame does not move sharply, then it works quite tolerably. For example, you can use it when recording yourself on video, for example, for a YouTube channel, while attaching the steadicam to a tripod (for this there is a standard 1/4 inch jack below).


Additional camera settings are available: video recording quality, white balance, manual mode, grid, flash and stabilization.

For shooting video, there are several additional features: slow-motion shooting (only for the main camera), time lapse and shooting with movement.

In the "Normal Camera" mode, motion shooting has many settings: focus, zoom, smartphone position.

The application can automatically create a panorama of 180 and 360 degrees, turning the smartphone on its own and after stitching frames. And there is another 3x3 panorama, that is, 9 pictures are created in the process and then they are also stitched together.

Streaming is supported on SinaWeiBo, Facebook and RTMP. Already one RTMP protocol is enough - this allows you to configure the stream to any service, including Youtube and Facebook.


Conclusion


Zhiyun Smooth Q2 is an inexpensive and at the same time high-quality stabilizer. There is not a large number of controls on the handle, however, there is everything you need for shooting.

The setup process of Zhiyun Smooth Q2 is very easy, and attaching a smartphone using a separate platform is really convenient. Zhiyun SMOOTH-Q2 copes with its main task perfectly.








ZHIYUN Official SMOOTH Q2 Pocket size Gimbal for Smartphone iPhone Samsung Vlog Handheld Stabilizer


$199


$119








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