The d5500 is a very popular entry-level DSLR camera body from the Nikon range that has managed to earn itself an absolutely massive user base of photographers and videographers over the years. The camera offers some great image quality with a solid build for a low price tag while also being very lightweight too. This has also made it a popular option for any travel vloggers or social media influencers who like to travel as light as possible too.
With the d5500 having such a large user base with many of the people using the camera often being new to photography or videography, we often see a large number of questions each month about the camera. Although the is usually a large number of questions based around an absolute ton of different camera accessories, one that we have seen asked on an increasingly popular basis is about the best gimbal for Nikon d5500 camera users.
As we know so many of our readers use the Nikon d5500, we have decided to publish our own article going over what we feel is the best gimbal for the d5500 to try and help as many of our readers in this position as possible. We have seen so many people see that the camera is a DSLR can instantly think that they have to fork out for the old and expensive DJI Ronin S but this is not the case at all!
Due to the Nikon d5500 being such a light camera body, something like the Zhiyun Weebill S or even the Moza Aircross 2 will easily be able to provide you with the image stabilization that you are looking for. Both of these handheld gimbal stabilizers are much cheaper than the Ronin S and have a great reputation amongst the community.
That said though, the Weebill S is currently around one hundred dollars cheaper than the Aircross 2 depending on the retailer while also offering slightly better performance with some better technology in it. This is why we would highly recommend our readers who own the d5500 and are looking to purchase a gimbal stabilizer go with the Weebill S. Since its release, the Weebill S has rapidly gained an excellent reputation amongst videographers and vloggers due to its great performance and low price tag.
Performance Of The Gimbal
As we mentioned, your Nikon d5500 is only around one pound in payload weight with its camera battery in its housing, this is very light for a DSLR camera body making the d5500 lighter than many of the popular mirrorless cameras that are currently on the market right now. This essentially leaves the gimbal market wide open for you but with so many different 3 axis gimbals being available, it can be a bit of a minefield and that is why we always recommend the Weebill S or the Aircross 2 as they are brand new and great bits of kit.
With the Weebill S offering you an absolutely massive maximum load capacity for its size of 6.61 pounds of total camera payload weight, it can easily make light work of all of the popular d5500 camera rigs we can think of. Even if you are planning on using one of the heavier setups, we doubt that you will be getting to the five-pound of payload weight mark, never mind close to its maximum load capacity.
This means that you are free to pretty much mount any camera accessories that you require to ensure that you get the best image quality possible. This means heavy lenses, heavy video lights, and heavy external microphones as required without having to sacrifice the image stabilization from your gimbal. The Weebill S also has the proven ability to stabilize camera rigs using a longer lens that some compeating modern gimbals can still struggle with.
We would imagine that the fourteen-hour maximum battery life on the gimbal will likley be plenty for the majority of our readers but you can add a USB power bank to your collection of camera accessories if you wish to allow you to top your devices up while on the move. The Zhiyun battery technology has been updated since their last round of gimbals too with their newest cell on the Weebill S being around a third of the size and weight of their older one while also offering up to four hours more battery per charge too.
Although the Aircross 2 from Moza also has some solid recharging technology, the Weebill S lets you charge the battery from totally empty back to totally full in just over four hours. This means you get just over four hours of power for each hour that you spend recharging your gimbal helping to get your kit turned around and ready to go again as quickly as possible. At the time of writing, the Zhiyun system offers the best charging to usable power rating available followed very closely by the Moza system with the DJI system coming in third.
Over the last five years or so, Zhiyun and DJI have basically been compeating with each other with each brand’s systems leapfrogging each other to take the top spot with each passing year. That said though, DJI has not released a new gimbal in a few years now due to focusing on their drone range and the Ronin S is starting to show its age. That said though, Moza has essentially put an absolute ton of work in and helped to leapfrog DJI to become a strong contender to the dominance of Zhiyun.
That said though, as we mentioned earlier in the article, the Weebill S offers slightly better performance than the Aircross 2 due to having a better detection and correction system. The Zhiyun sensors on the Weebill S are very similar to what Moza has on the Aircross 2 but in our opinion, the Zhiyun sensors do have a slightly higher accuracy level allowing them to detect smaller and shorter movements resulting in better image stabilization.
This information is then fed directly into the balancing algorithms and again, we feel that the Zhiyun algorithm just beats the Moza algorithm due to being slightly faster at working out the correct counter-movement. That said though, Moza has already released one firmware update since the release of the Aircross 2 to help improve their algorithm so we feel that they may release more in over the course of the next year or so.
At this stage of the game, both Zhiyun and Moza are starting to pull away from DJI and even brands like Feiyutech and Evo who have always been tier two gimbal brands are catching up on the DJI technology if not beating it. In our opinion, it’s going to take something massive from DJI if they want to retake a top in the top two brands as both Zhiyun and Moza are putting a ton of work in and innovating away to push their ranges forward.
The main area where the Weebill S beats the Aircross 2 is in its gimbal motors as Zhiyun has managed to outdo themselves and produce the best motors we have seen to date. The Zhiyun motors from their last generation of handheld gimbals are still only just behind the technology that Moza has on their Aircross 2 but they have been innovating away to produce these next-generation gimbals on the Weebill S.
They have essentially improved on them in every way by making them around a quarter smaller, lighter, increased power efficiency while also managing to increase the torque by up to three times of their previous generation of motors. This is why even though the Weebill S has a small and compact travel gimbal design, it is easily able to support the professional heavy payload setups of a heavier and larger gimbal with ease.
Zhiyun really has done a great job with the Weebill S and it would seem like the vast majority of the videographers and vloggers who have tried the gimbal agree with us. Many people who use the Weebill S as their go-to handheld gimbal stabilizer of choice have opted to share their own, dedicated reviews of the Weebill S. Skimming over a few of those are well worth your time in our opinion as they offer some great insight into just how good of a gimbal it actually is from independent videographers and vloggers.
User Interface And Control System
One of the key things that Zhiyun and Moza have done with this latest generation of gimbals is to stick with the good old joystick control interface and improve upon it rather than try to jump over to the touchscreen system too early. A few brands have tried to get the drop on the competition by putting an early touchscreen interface on that gimbals that was nowhere near ready for release With the Feiyutech AK range of gimbals having a bunch of problems with their touchscreen system that has resulted in very poor sales and damage to their brand and reputation in our opinion.
Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, both Moza and Zhiyun have realized that touchscreen technology is not at a level where a gimbal user can get everything they need out of it and that the joystick controller is still the better option. Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, they have just decided to make the traditional joystick interface even better and both brands have definitely succeeded.
Both the Zhiyun Weebill S and the Moza Aircross 2 use a fully omnidirectional joystick for superior control when using your gimbal in manual mode. Although the omnidirectional sticks are commonplace in this day and age, both Moza and Zhiyun have done a great job of upgrading the sixteen contact points for the sticks to help increase the sensitivity of their controller.
This ensures that you are able to switch either gimbal into manual mode with your Nikon d5500 mounted to it and then naturally pan or tilt your gimbal head as required to track your subject during use. In our opinion, this overcomes the main weakness of the older motorized gimbals as these new gimbals do not have that older, slightly robotic feel to their video footage that older gimbals have. This ensures that your footage with the Weebill S or Aircross 2 will be as natural looking as footage from a Steadicam stabilizer getting the best image quality possible for you when recording.
Zhiyun, Moza, DJI, and Evo have all got very straight forward balancing systems on their gimbals these days and although the Feiyutech systems do still have issues, they are definatley trying to fix them. If you are brand new to using a 3 axis gimbal then you may take a few minutes to initially balance your Nikon d5500 on your Weebill S or Aircross 2 but after you have gone through the process a few times, you should easily be able to get everything balanced and ready to go within a minute.
Build Quality And Design
Zhiyun has made a ton of improvements to the design of their new Weebill range over the design of their older Crane range of gimbals. Although they both follow the same general handheld gimbal stabilizer design philosophy, the Weebill range is much smaller and lighter than the older Crane range while offering the same, if not better levels of image stabilization with ease.
In our opinion, this is due to the excellent gimbal motors that Zhiyun has developed to make the Weebill S have the same lifting and stabilization capacity as a much larger and heavier gimbal while being the size and weight of a small travel gimbal. If you are a travel vlogger or working in a different videography or vlogging niche where you have to travel on a regular basis then this can be a godsend, especially if you usually travel by plane.
Another advantage that the Weebill S and Aircross 2 both have over the compeating gimbals on the market right now is that due to being so new, they have the latest plastic polymers that had not been developed back when the compeating gimbals were designed. This allows them to be light while also being as tough and robust as possible to withstand the punishment of use and travel without breaking.
Another advantage that the Zhiyun Weebill S has over the Aircross 2 is that it offers each the three independent axis on the Weebill S have their own individual axis lock. The system is very simple and quick to lock or unlock as required but this is something else that makes the Weebill S the obvious option for anyone who is going to be traveling via air when their gimbal.
One of the leading causes of damage to a 3 axis gimbal stabilizer is due to the gimbal being packed away in your videography kit back only for one or more of its independent axis to rotate when being transported. Another object in your kit bag can then knock against it and potentially break the gimbal but these axis locks prevent this. They allow you to pack your gimbal and lock the axis in place to ensure that they can’t randomly rotate when in your bag and accidentally take damage.
Zhiyun has also used a new gel set hangle grip on the Weebill S to make the gimbal even easier to use. Its lighter weight helps to prevent aches and pains in your back, shoulder, and arms when holding your rig for longer recording gigs but the handle grip also increases grip comfort. So many people overlook this only to find out that their hands cramp up due to a poor handle grip on the gimbal but the new gel set grip on the Weebill S is very comfortable and easy to firmly grip too.
That brings our article going over what we feel is the best gimbal for Nikon d5500 camera users to an end. Although we feel that Moza has done a great job with the Aircross 2, our primary recommendation to any of our users who own the d5500 has to be the Weebill S due to it is a cheaper, yet better gimbal and a great addition to your camera accessories.
We know that investing in a handheld gimbal stabilizer can be a costly camera accessory to purchase so we would recommend that you check out some of these reviews from independent videographers and vloggers if you have not made your mind up yet. They have been published by third-party users of the Weebill S and offer some great external insight into how the gimbal has helped them improve the image quality that they have been able to record with their cameras.