Over the last month or so, we have noticed more and more people reaching out and asking for advice on the best gimbal for Panasonic gx8 cameras so we have decided to make this the subject of today’s article. Although the gx8 is not the most popular mirrorless camera out there, its user base do seem to be showing a steadily increasing interest in how to get some solid image stabilization via a handheld gimbal for their camera.
Our hope is that our article is going to be able to help any of our readers who own the gx8 and are looking to add a new gimbal stabilizer to their collection of camera accessories. Now, although the Moza Aircross 2 is a solid gimbal, we do feel that you will be able to get slightly better image quality with the Zhiyun Weebill S and with the Weebill S also having a lower price tag than the Aircross 2 at the time of writing, it makes it the obvious option.
Although the majority of people reaching out for advice on a gimbal for their Panasonic gx8 seem to be from the travel vlogging community, we would still recommend the Weebill S for any general videographers using the camera too. It offers some of the best image stabilization available and outperforms compeating units like the DJI Ronin S in our opinion while also being smaller, lighter, and cheaper too.
We feel that this is why the Weebill S is seeing exponential growth in its user base right now and how it has managed to earn such a good reputation amongst vloggers and videographers in such a short space of time. For its supported weight class of cameras, we see no real competition outside of the Aircross 2 but the Weebill S offers slightly better performance and is cheaper helping it dominate the space right now.
In addition to this, due to the Zhiyun technology being so much further ahead of what the various compeating brands on the market are offering right now, we doubt that any compeating gimbal is going to post any real threat to the Weebill S for the foreseeable future. DJI seems to have shifted their focus from their gimbal range to focus on their drones and outside of Moza, the other gimbal brands on the market pose no real thread to Zhiyun and are nowhere near the same level when it comes to the technology in their products.
Performance Of The Gimbal
As the Panasonic gx8 bing a small and light mirrorless camera body, it comes in with an initial payload weight of only 1.07 pounds meaning that the Weebill S and its maximum supported load capacity of 6.61 pounds of total camera rig weight should easily be more than enough. This means that you have 5.54 pounds of free load capacity to use as you please with all of the camera accessories that you want to use with your gx8 when recording your video footage.
Even the heavier popular gx8 setups probably won’t even come close to this allowing you to use heavier camera lenses, external microphones, video lights, field monitors and whatever else you need to get the footage you require with ease. This ensures that no matter what niche you are working in or what you are planning to do with your gx8, the Weebill S should easily be able to support the total payload weight of your setup with ease.
Another advantage of the Weebill S is that it is easily able to provide your gx8 with its excellent image stabilization when using a longer and heavier lens with your camera. Although many niches will not require a longer, high zoom range lens, some do and this is an area where many compeating gimbals can have issues. For example, the Feiyutech ak2000, their recent mirrorless camera weight class flagship gimbal just vibrates when you mount a longer lens to your camera, even if it is within its load capacity.
Although gimbal brands seemed to move away from trying to extend the battery life of their gimbals for a few years, it seems that the trend is picking up pace again. Although the average battery life for a mirrorless camera weight class gimbal is around ten hours at the time of writing, Zhiyun has made a few tweaks to their battery system and the Weebill S will provide you with around fourteen hours for each full charge. On top of this, the actual battery cell in the Weebill S has been designed to be as small and light as possible too being around a third smaller than the compeating batteries.
One area where we would say that Moza and Zhiyun are very close to each other is in their rapid recharge technology. Both the Weebill S and the Aircross 2 can be recharged back to full in just over three hours offering a solid recharge ratio that is better than the compeating gimbals on the market right now. If you are working in something like travel vlogging, this allows you to jack your gimbal into a power outlet in an airport during a transfer for a minimal time while getting maximum battery life out of your charging period.
If you are working in a niche like this where you may not be able to recharge all of your gear at the end of each day then adding something like a high load USB power bank to your camera accessories is probably a good idea. This allows you to recharge your devices while you are on to go without having to rely on being able to find a power outlet at the end of each day. This ensures that you are always able to recharge your devices as required and capture your content until you get back to civilization and are able to do a full recharge.
Although the last range of gimbals from Zhiyun has some of the best detection and correction technology we have seen, Zhiyun has decided to take it upon themselves to innovate away and improve pretty much every aspect of it to ensure that the compeating gimbal brands don’t take any market share from them. This is the main advantage that the Weebill S has over its only real competitor, the Aircross 2.
Although both the Zhiyun and Moza gimbal sensors are at a very similar level to each other, they both go about their job in a slightly different way but in all honesty, this is fine and performance is solid. Both the Weebill S and Aircross 2 beat their next nearest competitor, the Ronin S out of the water when it comes to their gimbal sensors though as the Ronin S just can’t compete with their accuracy or speed due to being a few years old now and having older technology.
Next up we have the gimbals balancing algorithm and although the Zhiyun, DJI, and Moza algorithms are all at very similar levels with each one offering advantages over the other in different areas, we feel that the Zhiyun algorithm is ever so slightly ahead. It is just as fast as the other two brands but Zhiyun has also added in the functionality for the algorithm to work out the most power-efficient countermovement to provide your image stabilization to put less strain on the battery without slowing the process down.
The final area is the gimbals motors and this is one area where Zhiyun really does leave the other tier-one gimbal brands for dust. Although this is without a doubt the main area of modern handheld gimbal stabilizers that the DJI range used to dominate, they have not released a new gimbal to their range for a few years now and Zhiyun have been left to not only catch up, but overtake the technology on the DJI gimbal motors.
Not only are they around a quarter smaller and up to a third lighter than some compeating motors, they are also very power efficient allowing you to get great battery life out of the smaller and lighter battery cell on the gimbal too. On top of this though, these next-generation motors are also able to provide you with up to three times the torque of the older gimbal motors on the market. This is why the Weebill S can easily handle a long lens on your Panasonic gx8 without having any problems with the level of image stabilization that it is able to provide you when recording.
Zhiyun really has put the work in when it comes to innovating for the technology on the Weebill S and this is why it has managed to earn so many great reviews and dominate its weight class in only a few months. Reading over some of those reviews can be a great way to see the opinions of third-party, totally independent videographers and vloggers who use the Weebill S and wanted to share their experience in various niches.
User Interface And Control System
In an age where a few of the less popular gimbal brands are trying to break through by adding touchscreen interface systems to their gimbals, we are actually happy that Zhiyun and Moza have decided to stick with the traditional joystick interfaces. In our opinion, the touchscreen technology is not at a level where it is ideal for use on a gimbal interface and the joystick systems offer much better control.
Thankfully, rather than trying to jump into using a touchscreen system that is not actually ready, Zhiyun has simply taken the older joystick based system and improved on it in every way. The main weakness of the older joystick control systems is that they did not have enough points of contact to translate the movements of the joystick when using in manual mode into smooth, fluid, natural-looking movements of your gimbal head.
Thankfully, Zhiyun has increased the points of contact on the joystick on the Weebill S up to sixteen and have decided to use a fully omnidirectional joystick to help ensure that you are able to capture the most natural-looking footage possible. With the technology on motorized gimbals advancing at such a rapid pace, the natural-looking footage was the main advantage remaining for the Steadicam style stabilizers but the Weebill S also has this advantage, as well as all the regular advantages of a motorized gimbal too.
Although balancing your gimbal used to be a nightmare, the modern gimbals all have very simple, user-friendly balancing systems that allow even a new gimbal user to balance their gimbal in less than a minute once they are used to it. Due to your Panasonic gx8 being such a lightweight camera body, the process is made even easier and there is absolutely nothing to worry about when it comes to balancing your gimbal.
Build Quality And Design
If you are an experienced gimbal user then you may be familiar with how Zhiyun are constantly innovating on the design of their gimbal and the Weebill S is no different and comes from their latest Weebill range of gimbals. Although Zhiyun also have their insanely popular Crane range of gimbals, they seem to be trying to focus the modern Crane gimbals towards super heavy DSLR setups.
This is where the Weebill range of gimbals comes into its own, they have been designed to provide the absolute best possible image stabilization for everything from a super-light point and shoot camera all the way up to a mid ranges DSLR rig and everything in between. With your Panasonic gx8 mirrorless camera rig being on the lower to middle range of what the Weebill S can support depending on the camera accessories that you use it makes it the perfect gimbal.
The Weebill range of gimbals has also been designed to be the perfect handheld travel gimbal too with their small, compact, lightweight design being ideal for any vloggers or videographers who need to travel around regularly. Another benefit of the lightweight of the Weebill S is that it makes it much easier to hold the gimbal for any longer recording sessions without getting aches and pains in your arms, back, or shoulders.
Zhiyun has also used the latest developments in plastic polymers in the Weebill S too so even though it is very lightweight it is surprisingly tough. This ensures that the gimbal is easily able to withstand the bumps coming it’s way during use as well as any publishment while being moved around in your videography bag without breaking. As 3 axis gimbal stabilizers are a few hundred dollars, it is nice to know that the Weebill S is not going to break quickly and that it will be able to last you for many years to come.
Another great feature that Zhiyun has added to the Weebill S as standard is that all three of the axis arms on the gimbal have their own individual locking system that you can activate or deactivate at the push of a button. This helps to ensure that once you have packed your gimbal, its axis arms will stay in place and not randomly rotate when in your bag resulting in a potential break.
The final point that we want to touch on about the build quality of the Weebill S is that Zhiyun has decided to go with a gel set handle instead of the solid plastic ones that older gimbals used. This not only offers a firm grip of your gimbal and Panasonic gx8 when recording but also offers a comfortable grip. This prevents your hands from aching or cramping up for those longer sessions and ensures that you can work those longer gigs without issue.
That concludes our article going over what we feel is the best gimbal for Panasonic gx8 cameras currently available on the market. As we touched on throughout the article, the Aircross 2 is probably the only other gimbal we would recommend to our readers but in our opinion, the Zhiyun Weebill S is definatley the best handheld gimbal on the market right now for anyone using a Panasonic gx8 by far.
It offers excellent image stabilization without you having to break the bank too, on top of this, a ton of third-party videographers and vloggers have chosen to publish their own reviews of the gimbal online. You can get a surprising amount of value from skimming over those reviews as they offer an absolute ton of insight into the gimbal and its performance in pretty much every single videography and vlogging situation that you can think of.