The Canon sl2 is a popular camera body with both photographers and videographers due to its low price point, great image quality, solid functionality, and great build quality. Although there are definatley more popular budget-friendly DSLR cameras on the market, the sl2 has still managed to grow itself a large core customer base of users and we see a fair few of them reaching out each month and asking for advice on various camera accessories.
Today we are going to be focusing in on a question that we are seeing asked more and more from the videographers and vloggers who use the sl2 as their camera body of choice and are going to be going over what we feel is the best gimbal for Canon sl2 cameras on the market right now. We are hoping that our article will be able to help as many of our readers as possible who own the Canon sl2 and are looking to add a solid source of image stabilization to their collection of sl2 camera accessories.
Thankfully, although the camera is a DSLR, it is extremely light with its camera body actually being lighter than the heavy mirrorless cameras on the market right now. Due to this, there is no need to folk out and purchase something like the DJI Ronin S as there are much cheaper, newer, and better options on the market. In our opinion, if you are looking to purchase a gimbal for your Canon sl2, the Zhiyun Weebill S or the Moza Aircross 2 are the two best options by a long shot.
They are both loaded with the latest technology available in the handheld gimbal stabilizer space due to being the newest release to each brand’s respective gimbal range. Although both options are great and will make a solid addition to your camera accessories, we feel that the Weebill S has to be the primary gimbal recommendation due to it offering slightly better performance than the Aircross 2 while also being the cheaper option by a decent margin.
As you would expect from the latest Zhiyun gimbal, the Weebill S has a ton of innovation on it to ensure that your Canon sl2 gets the very best image stabilization possible no matter what niche you are working on. The gimbal has managed to rightfully dominate its respective weight class in the market and quickly earn one of the best reputations amongst the community that we have seen to date for such a new handheld gimbal stabilizer.
Performance Of The Gimbal
As we touched on earlier, the Canon sl2 is a very lightweight camera for a DSLR and its camera body and battery come in at just under one point of payload weight. This ensures that the 6.61 maximum load capacity on the Weebill S is more than enough for pretty much every sl2 rig we can think of and leaves around 5.61 pounds of payload weight free for other camera accessories.
This means that no matter what set up you want to use with your sl2, the Weebill S and its massive maximum load capacity should easily have you covered. This also includes a large number of the popular long lenses that so many other handheld gimbal stabilizers on the market right now can struggle with. Although using a longer lens with your sl2 will depend on the niche you are working in as well as the task at hand, a small number of our readers may be planning on using a longer, heavier lens when recording so it is good to know that the Weebill S can easily handle it.
Zhiyun have been putting a ton of work into developing their battery cell technology over the last few years to try and make it as small, light, and efficient as possible for their users. Thankfully, we feel that they have absolutely nailed it with the battery in the Weebill S being around a third of the size and weight of the compeating batteries on the market while also offering a fourteen-hour maximum battery life too. At the time of writing, this is around four hours longer than average for a gimbal battery and is a solid achievement due to the size and weight reductions that Zhiyun have been able to achieve at the same time.
The Zhiyun rapid recharge technology is also leading the way and comes as standard on the Weebill S allowing you to get around five usable hours of battery for each hour you spend recharging it via a mains power outlet. This allows you to fully recharge the gimbal in around three hours from totally empty to full. Not only does this minimize downtime when recharging all of your gear but it also allows you to top your gimbal’s battery up in your downtime when required on those longer sessions.
Although fourteen hours of battery life will likley be plenty between charges for most of our readers and allow you to capture all of the video footage that you require, we do know that some people may work in remote locations for days at a time. Niches such as travel vlogging may put you in a situation where you are unable to recharge your gear but still need to capture your content. If you are working in a niche like this then a USB power bank with a high load output can often recharge your devices while on the go and help keep you powered until you get back to civilization.
Zhiyun has made a ton of progress with the detection and correction system that they use with their Weebill S and are definatley leading the gimbal space with it. Although the DJI Ronin S used to lead the way, it is a fair few years old now and is definatley starting to show its age against the Weebill S and the Aircross 2. The lack of recent additions to the DJI gimbal line up have also allowed Moza to catch up to them as well as Zhiyun to run off way ahead with the technology on their gimbals.
Although some of the compeating gimbal brands seem to have forgot that everything starts with the gimbal sensors, Zhiyun has kept it top of their list of things to innovate on. If the data from the sensors on the gimbal is bad or slow then the whole image stabilization process that follows will suffer due to the knock-on effect of having poor information to start with. Zhiyun have had the best gimbal sensors for a few years now in our opinion and even before these recent tweaks, they were leading the gimbal space with few compeating gimbals coming close.
Although Zhiyun has made tweaks to improve the sensors and their ability to accurately detect movement at a faster pace over their older generation of sensors, the Aircross 2 from Moza has now been released onto the market and their sensors are also excellent. Both the Zhiyun and Moza gimbal sensors are able to accurately detect even the slightest vibration in the gimbal head at lightning speed to get the whole balancing process off to a solid start.
Next up, we have the actual balancing algorithms and although Moza and DJI also have some great balancing Algorithms that can compete with the Zhiyun algorithm, we do feel that Zhiyun are currently ever so slightly ahead. Although all three algorithms are lightning-fast and extremely accurate when detecting the optimal counter-movement for any detected movement, Zhiyun has another trick up their sleeve.
The Zhiyun balancing algorithm also works out how to be as power-efficient as possible when making the required correction to stabilize your Canon sl2 and the various camera accessories that you have mounted to it. Although this may not sound like a big deal, it is one of the reasons that the Weebill S is able to provide such a long battery life while having smaller and lighter batteries than the compeating gimbals on the market.
The final part of the system is where Zhiyun leaves DJI, Moza, and pretty much all other gimbal brands for dust and that’s with their next-generation gimbal motors. Zhiyun has been innovating away on their motors and have done an excellent job with their latest motors. They are around a quarter smaller and lighter than their older gimbal motors in their previous generation of gimbals while also offering up to three times the torque to stabilize your camera during use.
Although Zhiyun has done a great job with the gimbal in general, we feel that the Aircross 2 would have been much more of a thread to their dominance in this weight class if the Weebill S did not have these motors as they are so much further ahead than what the competition are offering that it’s not even close. Like we touched on earlier, DJI has not released a gimbal to their DSLR camera weight class for a few years now and the difference between these new Zhiyun motors and the DJI motors is night and day with Zhiyun showing their dominance in the 3 axis gimbal space once again.
Considering that retailers are currently listing the Weebill S for under $500, it is easy to see why vloggers and videographers are flocking to it and with this level of performance and functionality, it is not surprising that it has already established itself as the dominant gimbal on the market. A large number of the vloggers and videographers who are using the Weebill S have also published their own, independent reviews going over their experiences with the gimbal and offer some great insight into its performance and what you can expect.
User Interface And Control System
Aesthetically, there aren’t any major changes to the actual control system of the Weebill S over the last generation of gimbals from Zhiyun but they have made a few upgrades under the hood. For example, the joystick sensitivity has been increased on all sixteen points of contact offering the best possible control when using the gimbal in manual mode. On top of this, Zhiyun has been using omnidirectional joysticks as standard rather than the old school four way joysticks for a few years now allowing even entry-level gimbal users to easily get that super smooth, natural panning and tilting.
The actual LCD panel is exactly the same as their last generation of gimbals and comes with the anti-glare coat to make it easier to see the information on the screen when using it in direct sunlight. The backlight is great and ensures that if you are working in low light that you can easily see exactly what the panel is displaying. This ensures that no matter what conditions you are recording in that you will easily be able to make tweaks and adjustments to your gimbal with ease without having issues with not being able to see what you are doing on the LCD panel.
Another thing that Zhiyun has kept the same is the navigation system that they have used on the Weebill S and it is the same standard navigation system that Zhiyun has used for the last few years. In all fairness though, Zhiyun has nailed their navigation menu and it is easy for new gimbal users to understand and use while also offering all of the advanced customization and gimbal modes for a professional videographer. Even DJI and Moza have struggled to nail the best of both world’s navigation systems to ensure that the interface for their gimbals is ideal for all gimbal users no matter their level of experience.
Although Zhiyun has not technically made any changes to their balancing system, the high torque gimbal motors on the Weebill S are very forgiving if you don’t balance the gimbal perfectly. This makes it ideal for any first-time gimbal user as although your Canon sl2 is a very lightweight camera body, getting used to balancing your gimbal can be tricky. That said though, Zhiyun have a very straight forward and easy system that most people are able to balance in less than a minute once they are used to it.
Build Quality And Design
The actual design of the gimbal is where Zhiyun has pulled all of the stops out to ensure that they cement their position as the best gimbal brand in the world right now bar now. Other than Zhiyun, all compeating gimbal brands are still using the more traditional, heavy and bulky handheld gimbal design that has been around for years. Although at first glance, the Weebill range from Zhiyun look very similar to the older, larger Crane range, seeing them side by side lets you see just how compact and small the Weebill S really is.
If you are in a niche where you will have to be packing all of your gear up ready for traveling around on a regular basis then the Weebill S is ideal. It has the best load capacity and performance to size and weight ratio by far and is very lightweight helping you stick with any luggage restrictions when flying. The lightweight of the gimbal also offers another advantage as it is much easier to support the weight of the gimbal and your Canon sl2 for those longer sessions without getting pains in your arm or shoulder too.
Being a 3 axis gimbal stabilizer, any potential damage to any of the three-axis on the gimbal can essentially render it useless. As one of the most common areas of damage on a gimbal is to any of the axis while packed away and being transported, Zhiyun has added their axis lock system. They are essentially a small, easy to activate lock with one each of the three-axis that allow you to lock it in place when not using your gimbal. This prevents the moving parts of the gimbal from randomly rotating when in transit and potentially breaking.
Although this sounds like such a simple system, none of the gimbal brands had thought of adding it until Zhiyun did when making their Weebill gimbals. Since then, compeating gimbal brands have also started adding the feature to their own line up as it is such a solid little feature that is surprisingly helpful to videographers and vloggers.
That brings our article going over what we currently feel is the best gimbal for Canon sl2 camera users to a close. In our opinion, you will be hard-pressed to find a better gimbal for your sl2 than the Zhiyun Weebill S for years to come due to how far ahead the Zhiyun technology is to what the compeating brands are offering. We are confident that it will make a great addition to your sl2 camera accessories and help to ensure you get the best image quality possible via its excellent levels of image stabilization.
Although we mentioned it earlier, there are an absolute ton of independent reviews online for the gimbal that you can read. They have been published by third-party videographers and vloggers working in pretty much every niche that you can think of offering you valuable insight into how well the gimbal performs. Skimming over a few of those reviews can offer some valuable insight into its performance in the vast majority of situations that you are likley to find yourself in and offer some opinions on how the gimbal performs in them.