Although Feiyutech are yet to reach the levels of Zhiyun, DJI, or Moza when it comes to their gimbal range, they definatley have a solid following of videographers and vloggers who use their gimbals when capturing their video footage. Although their previous generation of gimbal was slowly earning Feiyutech a respectable reputation amongst the community, their AK range of gimbals has been plagued with issues and almost tarnished everything that the original A range had built.
We see a number of videographers reaching out each month and asking for advice on the new AK range from Feiyutech with their flagship AK2000 being one of the models that we see asked about the most. Due to this, we have decided to publish our own, dedicated Feiyutech ak2000 review in a bid to try and prevent any of our readers from making a massive mistake and actually purchasing the Feiyutech ak2000.
Although this may sound a little harsh, we really can not stress this enough! Do not add the Feiyutech ak2000 to your collection of camera accessories! It just has too many issues to make it worth taking the risk on at its price point and their are much better options available. Although the Feiyutech ak2000 has only been on the market for around twelve months, Feiyutech have already released the Feiyutech ak2000s (notice the addition of the S at the end of the name) that is everything that the regular Feiyutech ak2000 should have been.
When Feiyutech decided to release the successor to the ak2000 so quickly after its release, it should be obvious that even Feiyutech feels that the ak2000 is a mark on their reputation that they rather just forget about. Even though the ak2000s is a much better gimbal than the regular ak2000, we would still recommend that our readers add either the Zhiyun Weebill S or the Moza Aircross 2 to their camera accessories instead.
Both the Weebill S and the Aircross 2 are much better handheld gimbal stabilizers that come in at around the same price point but offer much better levels of image stabilization resulting in better overall image quality. Now, for whatever reason, Feiyutech has not put anywhere near as much marketing into making the community aware of the release of their new ak2000s so we still see countless people reaching out and asking about the ak2000. Due to this, we are still going to go over our full review of the ak2000 below to go over the various problems and issues that the gimbal has and why it should be avoided like the plague.
Performance Of The Gimbal
On paper, the Feiyutech ak2000 looks like any other modern 3 axis gimbal stabilizer that has been released over the last year or so with a very respectable 6.17 pounds of maximum load capacity falling well within the range of what you should be expecting for this day and age. Unfortunately though, the listed maximum load capacity and actual maximum load capacity of the ak2000 is very different and we have seen reports of people having issued with poor image stabilization from the gimbal when using rigs as light as 4.3 pounds of total payload weight.
Unfortunately, the closer that you get to the listed 6.17-pound maximum load capacity the more frequent these issues and reports become with issues ranging from issues with vibrations in the gimbal head to the gimbal motors outright failing and not being able to support the gimbal head anymore. This is why we would highly recommend that our readers go with the Zhiyun Weebill S or the Moza Aircross 2 instead of as they are both excellent bits of kit with great reputations amongst the community.
If you are planning to use a heavier or longer lens with your Feiyutech ak2000 then the issues just keep on getting worse. We have seen reports of people using very light mirrorless camera setups with the gimbal but their long lenses cause issues with the gimbals supported center of gravity range making it a total pain to use.
Another issue that the gimbal has is with its battery life and it has a listed maximum battery life of twelve hours per charge that is currently around two hours longer than average for modern gimbals. Unfortunately, though, there are multiple reports from the community saying that they are getting as low as eight hours of power per charge with usable battery life ranging drastically.
Depending on what you are planning on doing when capturing your content, eight hours may be enough but due to the various other issues with the Feiyutech ak2000, we would highly recommend that you go with another compeating gimbal instead. Even going with the newer version of the ak2000, the Feiyutech ak2000s would be a better option than the ak2000 although the Zhiyun Weebill S is probably the best option on the market at the time of writing.
In addition to the various issues with the image stabilization of the ak2000 that we have covered above, Feiyutech has confirmed that there is an additional issue that can randomly cause vibrations in the gimbal head during use. Although not every ak2000 has this problem, reports suggest that around a fifth of the ak2000 gimbals produced do have this issue.
In this day and age, there is no excuse for something like this to make it into the retail version of your product and is probably the reason that Feiyutech have been so quick to correct all of the issues on the ak2000 and push out its successor, the ak2000s as quickly as they have. That said though, this has definitely shaken the communities confidence in the Feiyutech brand as we doubt Zhiyun, Moza or DJI would ever release their flagship gimbal with so many problems.
As much as we would love to start moving onto the good points of the ak2000, unfortunately, it is just more problems with the gimbal with fundamental basic features. Although the gimbal does support a number of popular gimbal modes, their timelapse mode on the ak2000 is not fit for purpose and Feiyutech has not released a firmware update to correct the issue making us think that they are just going to leave the fault in the gimbals system.
Essentially, when using the gimbals timelapse mode, where the gimbal head should be held in a set location to allow your camera body of choice to capture a timelapse, the gimbal slowly pans either left or right. This does not seem to be related to the various issues with the gimbal motors on the ak2000 as it happens with super light camera setups too and does seem to be a problem with the coding in the gimbals timelapse mode. As you can imagine, this totally ruins the timelapse as the gimbal will pan your cameras focus away from the subject making it a total waste of time.
User Interface And Control System
Feiyutech are the first gimbal brands to test out touchscreen technology with their gimbal stabilizer range and although the actual touchscreen system that they have gone for does work well, we feel that the latest Zhiyun and Moza systems are much better. If you are a professional level gimbal user doing paid client work or know that you will be working with the gimbals manual mode on a regular basis, the Weebill S or Aircross 2 are much better options than the ak2000.
They both come with omnidirectional joysticks that offer superior manual control to the compeating joystick systems on the market right now that in turn offer better manual control over the ak2000 touchscreen system. The latest systems on the Weebill S and Aircross 2 use a sixteen content point system to ensure that everything you do with the joystick is accurately transferred to the gimbal head offering the best manual control that we have ever seen.
Although the navigation menu and button setup on the ak2000 is pretty solid in all fairness to it, this is outweighed by the fact that Feiyutech has not used a fixed handle grip on the gimbal. Unfortunately, the handle grip can slide up the gimbal handle and eventually make its way up to the control interface and eventually start applying pressure to various controls to get the gimbal to do random things. As you can probably imagine, this totally ruins your footage as you may be capturing video and then the handle grip randomly tells the gimbal to pan or tilt for no reason.
This problem just becomes even more of an issue when using heavier camera rigs on the ak2000 as they just force this issue to happen quicker and on a regular basis. Although you can pull the handle grip back down the gimbal handle, this is surprisingly difficult to do and takes more time than you would imagine. If you are on location doing a paid gig you may not have the time to spare to take five minutes out to pull the handle grip down every hour to prevent this issue from happening.
We have seen a number of people mention that they have tried super gluing the handle grip in place for a temporary fix but it seems that after a few videography sessions, the glue ends up giving way and the issue just starts again. We have seen a few reports of videographers simply cutting the handle grip off the gimbal completely to prevent the issue but then you have the issue of potentially having to hold the gimbal with your camera rig mounted without a camera grip to help keep your hand comfortable resulting in pains and cramps in your hand.
Although Feiyutech has put some work in when it comes to their balancing procedure over their older system on their previous generations of gimbals, if you have one of the gimbals with the vibration issue we mentioned above with the fix in the video, you are flat out of luck. Even if you balance your gimbal perfectly, you can still have the issues with the vibrations meaning that you have to go through the process above in the official video from Feiyutech, potentially every time you use your gimbal and there is also a chance that the official fix will not actually correct the issue either.
Now, this next issue is not specific to Feiyutech alone as Evo and a few other gimbal brands also have terrible smartphone apps. Even Zhiyun who are currently the kings of the gimbal space have had multiple issues with their smartphone apps but they have put the work in to correct them with their app currently being in a solid place. Although at the time of writing, only a few videographers actually use gimbal apps, the number of people using them is rapidly increasing.
Unlike the actual ak2000, we feel that Feiyutech should be able to fix the syncing and connectivity issues in their smartphone app with an update. The question is if they will even both as the ak2000 is not the only gimbal in their range having these issues, the ak4000 suffers from almost all of these problems as well with the ak4500 having a number of them too. This has resulted in poor sales across the board for Feiyutech and fixing their smartphone app will take money that they may not actually have.
Build Quality And Design
The Feiyutech ak2000 follows the same traditional handheld gimbal design that the vast majority of other brands on the market use these days. The regular design of the handheld gimbal has proven to be such a popular option due to its ease of use and ensuring that even an entry-level gimbal user can get the most out of the design with ease. The vast majority of compeating brands still stick to some variation of this same design even today so we are not going to hold the lack of innovation in design against Feiyutech as it is commonplace.
When it comes to the actual construction of the ak2000, Feiyutech really has done a great job, we just wish that the performance and interface of the gimbal had been held to these same high standards. Although the gimbal is not as small, compact, and lightweight as the Zhiyun Weebill S for its size, the ak2000 is what we would expect. On top of this, it is also surprisingly touching and could easily take a fair few knocks without issue.
Although Feiyutech have done a solid job of putting the gimbal together, it is just a case of too little too late as the gimbal has too many issued for use to come even close to suggestion that it may be worth purchasing. There are just too many compeating stabilizers on the market that blow it out the water in pretty much every single way.
That brings our Feiyutech ak2000 review to an end and as you can probably guess, we would not recommend that any of our readers add the ak2000 to their collection of camera accessories. It offers poor levels of image stabilization on a regular basis with a large number of additional issues essentially making it a waste of money when you can go with something like the Moza Aircross 2 or the Zhiyun Weebill S that retail for a similar price tag.