The Panasonic fz1000 is an increasingly popular bridge camera that is steadily increasing in popularity with more and more photographers making the switch. Not only does it offer some of the absolute best image quality available for its price point by far but it is also surprisingly versatile for a modern bridge camera. Over the last few months, we have noticed more and more people using their bridge camera for videography tasks in adding to the traditional high zoom photography niches too.
Due to this, we have noticed a slight increase in the number of people who own the camera reaching out and asking about the best gimbal for Panasonic fz1000 camera owners. Now, in addition to helping to assist you with any videography tasks that you may have with your fz1000, a decent gimbal with an accurate manual mode can be a great way to accurately adjust the angle and azimuth of your fz1000 during use without having to risk disrupting its positioning too.
Due to this, we feel that the obvious option for the fz1000 is definatley the Zhiyun Weebill S at the time of writing, it is without a doubt one of the best handheld gimbal stabilizers available on the market and offers some of the best performance that we have ever seen. Not only that but it also comes with one of the best manual modes going as well as some great wireless remote control functionality too that you can activate through a wireless remote control or via the free Zhiyun smartphone app too.
This basically ensures that you have all of the ticks in the box if you choose to add the Weebill S to your Panasonic fz1000 camera accessories and that it should be able to meet all of your needs. Zhiyun has also slightly tweaked the design again with this release offering better support for cameras with longer lenses, this ensures that you have a full range of motion with your fz1000 lens when extended too.
As the Weebill S has only been available for a few months at the time of writing, it comes with some of the latest gimbal technology available ensuring that it will easily last you for many years to come too. On top of this, it has also proven to be a big hit amounts the videography and vlogging communities too rapidly earning itself a great reputation and establishing itself as one of the dominant gimbals on the market.
Performance Of The Gimbal
Unlike the vast majority of other camera bodies that we have written about previously, the Panasonic fz1000 is a bridge camera with a mounted lens meaning that its listed camera body weight of 1.83 pounds of payload weight is very close to its actual weight. Although you may mount a microphone or a video light during use, chances are, the total payload weight of your setup will still likley be less than four pounds total. This means that the maximum load capacity on the Weebill S of 6.61 pounds of total camera weight should be more than enough to support your rig.
In addition to this, the gimbal motors on the Weebill S offer some of the highest levels of torque relative to their small size meaning that even when you fz1000 lens is extended, the Weebill S can still provide some great stabilization. Many of the other handheld gimbal stabilizers on the market right now can struggle with this as it shifts the actual center of gravity from the balanced center of gravity and ends up causing issues.
The open design on the gimbal head of the Weebill S also means that your Panasonic fz1000 has a full range of movement when mounted too. This is another common area where many compeating gimbals can struggle due to the design of bridge cameras with their set lenses potentially restricting movement. Due to more and more videographers using larger and heavier lenses, Zhiyun adjusted the design of the Weebill S to ensure that this would not be an issue with the gimbal.
The Weebill S comes in with a maximum battery life of around fourteen hours (four hours longer than average at the time of writing) ensuring that it has plenty of juice from each charge to allow you to capture all of the footage you need with your Panasonic fz1000. In all honesty, the majority of people will likley be able to get everything they need between charges with fourteen hours of power but if you need more then you can also add a USB power bank to your camera accessories too.
The more modern power banks have a high enough output level to charge larger devices such as your gimbal as well as your Panasonic fz1000 too. This lets you top your devices up while on your adventures and without needing access to a wall-based power outlet. When you do get to plug the gimbal into a wall socket, the Zhiyun rapid charge system will charge it back to full in just over three hours.
Now, the usefulness of the advanced detection and correction system on the Zhiyun Weebill S is definatley going to depend on what you are planning on doing with your Panasonic fz1000. As bridge cameras are extremely versatile cameras, you may never use the Zhiyun system to its full potential, on the flip side of this though, some videography and vlogging niches can push it to its max and still get some excellent image quality with ease.
Zhiyun has put a ton of work into their gimbal sensors over the last few years to help ensure that they have cemented their position as a leading gimbal brand amongst the competition. Although little has changed between this generation of their sensors and the previous generation of their sensors, the older Zhiyun gimbal sensors were still market-leading leaving little innovation left with the technology available right now. The few improvements that they have made to the sensors have been based around improving the accuracy of the detection of movement in the gimbal head as well as the speed at which the sensors can detect movement.
The next step in all gimbal detection and correction systems is the balancing algorithm and in our opinion, the Zhiyun balancing algorithm has been leading the way for the last three years or so with ease. Although the DJI algo used to be excellent, the lack of new gimbal release to the DJI has limited what they can offer. Moza has put a ton of work into their balancing algorithm over the last year or so too and although we feel they are just behind the Zhiyun system, we do think that the Moza system is better than the DJI system at the time of writing.
Not only is the Zhiyun algorithm lightning fast at working out how to correct any movement detected by the gimbals sensors but it also tries to work out the most power-efficient movement too. As the Weebill S uses smaller and lighter batteries than most other gimbals, the algorithm has to try and ensure that it is able to get every last drop of power out of them for optimum battery life and Zhiyun have nailed it.
The final part of the system is the next generation, high torque gimbal motors that are definatley the best gimbal motors available on the market at the time of writing by a large margin. Not only are these next-generation Zhiyun motors around a quarter smaller and lighter than the older Zhiyun motors but they are also able to offer up to three times the power while also being quicker to respond to correction commands too.
The Weebill S really does present a great little bargain for anyone looking for a great source of image stabilization to add to their camera accessories due to its lower price tag when compared to the more expensive gimbals like the DJI Ronin S. It offers some of the best performance we have seen in a gimbal to date and has managed to win over a large following of videographers and vloggers already with many publishing their own independent reviews of the gimbal covering their thoughts and experiences.
User Interface And Control System
Although Zhiyun has done a ton of innovating in the detection and correction system and general design of the Weebill S, they have thankfully left the actual control interface alone. Our regular readers will probably be aware that we are big fans of the old school joystick control interface for gimbals as it offers much better manual control over your camera once mounted to the gimbal. Although Zhiyun has upgraded the actual joystick to increase sensitivity and control, everything else is as you would expect if you have used any of the older gimbal stabilizers on the market.
Rather than the older four way joysticks, the Weebill S comes with a fully omnidirectional joystick that has sixteen detection points to ensure that you get the smoothest control over your gimbal head possible. Depending on what you are doing with your gimbal and your Panasonic fz1000 this can be a godsend as you can slowly and smoothly pan or tilt the gimbal head as required at higher zoom levels without sudden jumps. This allows you to easily adjust positioning for wildlife, birds, or astrophotography with ease without causing sudden movement that may spoil your footage.
Zhiyun is known for keeping their navigation menus as simple and straight forward as possible while also including all of the advanced functionality and customization available too. This ensures that the system is as easy to learn as possible for any first-time gimbal owners while also offering everything that you could ever need for a professional level videographer or advanced gimbal user. This best of both worlds menu is great if you are an entry-level user as you can use the Zhiyun system from being an entry-level videographer all the way up to doing paid gigs with ease.
Although the balancing processes for gimbals did have a bad reputation about five years back, the three main gimbal brands have overhauled and innovated their systems to the stage they are at today. The Zhiyun, DJI, and Moza balancing processes are extremely easy and can be done in less than a minute once you are used to the process. As we mentioned earlier in the article, the gimbal motors on the Weebill S are strong enough to counter the extension of your lens without causing issues with balancing too meaning that once you balance the gimbal, you can adjust your zoom as needed while still getting great image stabilization.
Build Quality And Design
The Weebill range from Zhiyun has been redesigned from the very start to try and revolutionize the gimbal space and allow them to dominate for the foreseeable future. Although Zhiyun was already a market leader with their Crane range of gimbals, the Weebill range really has enabled them to up their game and set the bar for the competition. Various brands have already started to rip featured off from the Weebill range of gimbals and add them to their own gimbals to try and stay competitive and not let Zhiyun run off ahead with no hope of ever been caught.
The obvious change is that to the eye, the Weebill S just looks like another handheld gimbal stabilizer until you see it side by side with another handheld gimbal like the DJI Ronin S. When you do this the compact design of the Weebill S is obvious as it is a much smaller and lighter gimbal making it much more travel-friendly. The lightweight of the Weebill S also makes it much easier for you to hold in your hand for those longer sessions without having to take as many breaks due to pains in your shoulder or arm that are common with the Ronin S.
Two more new features of the Weebill range is the detachable handle and the individual axis locks helping to increase the quality of the performance of the gimbal. The detachable handle has a bottom and rear mounting point to let you use the Weebill S as a regular handheld gimbal or as an underslung gimbal for low angle use with you being able to switch between the two within seconds. All other gimbals outside of the Weebill range at the time of writing either do not offer this functionality or require additional third-party, aftermarket gimbal accessories.
The independent axis locks are another great feature. Their main use is to lock all of the axis on the gimbal in place to ensure that they stay in place when packed away and do not randomly rotate and potentially break. That said though, another great use that is particularly effective with the Panasonic fz1000 and other bridge cameras is that you can lock the axis of the gimbal in place with your camera mounted while walking around. This stops your camera from randomly rotating around with the lens extended and potentially rotating and knocking into something.
With that, we come to the end of our article on what we feel is the best gimbal for Panasonic fz1000 camera users. Although there are a few suitable options, in our opinion, nothing even comes close to the Zhiyun Weebill S making it the obvious option. It offers everything you could ever want from a handheld gimbal stabilizer and we have no doubt that it will make a solid addition to your fz1000 camera accessories too. The image stabilization that the Weebill S provides is second to none and can easily help to ensure that you are capturing the best possible image quality with your fz1000.
Like we touched on earlier in the article, a large number of videographers and vloggers have quickly taken to the Weebill S and use it as their go-to gimbal stabilizer of choice. Many of these have chosen to write an independent reviews of their own going over their thoughts on the gimbal. If you have the time available and have not made your decision yet then they are well worth reading in our opinion as they offer solid insight into how the gimbal performs in a number of situations.