The Sony a7 range is one of the most popular camera bodies around at the time of writing and it just keeps on growing in popularity as more and more variants of the a7 are released onto the market. The range has proven to be a popular option with both photographers and videographers due to the excellent image quality that the camera is able to provide for you and the camera is also extremely versatile too.
Due to the Sony a7 range being so popular, we are always seeing photographers and videographers reaching out with questions on-camera accessories that they can purchase to help improve the image quality that they are able to capture. One question that we have seen more and more a7 owners reaching out about from the videography and vlogging side of things is for advice on the best gimbal for Sony a7 cameras. We have decided to focus on this for today’s article in the hope that we are able to help any of our readers who are in this same situation and assist you with getting the best gimbal possible to meet your needs.
Now, as far as mirrorless camera weight class handheld gimbal stabilizers go, we feel that the Zhiyun Weebill S is without a doubt the best option available at the time of writing. We feel that it is the best gimbal to have ever been made to date and that it offers some of the best image stabilization possible without you having to break the bank. Although the Moza Aircross 2 is a close second, there is a large gap in the performance to the third-place gimbal.
As the Weebill S is one of the latest gimbals to market that has only been available for a matter of months, it comes with all of the latest gadgets and systems from Zhiyun to help ensure it is providing you with the best image quality possible. The image stabilization that it provides is second to none and the excellent reputation that the gimbal has earned amongst the community would suggest that the videographers and vloggers who have tried the Weebill S agree with us.
Although the Aircross 2 is a solid gimbal, we do feel that the Weebill S should definatley be your primary consideration to add to your camera accessories for a Sony a7 camera as it is slightly better while also being slightly cheaper too. Throughout the rest of the article, we will be taking a more in-depth look at the Weebill S and why we feel that our readers should be adding it to their camera accessories.
Performance Of The Gimbal
Now, as we touched on earlier, there are a number of different variants of the Sony a7 available they all seem to have a camera bodyweight that comes in at around the one point of weight mark. On top of this, we then have to add the weight of your camera accessories to come up with the total payload weight of your camera setup but with the a7 being a mirrorless camera, the vast majority of popular rigs are very light in the grand scheme of things.
This means that it is very easy for the Weebill S to support your setup and provide you with some butter-smooth image stabilization as it is able to support up to 6.61 pounds of payload weight without issue. On top of this, the load capacity that is listed as supported for the Weebill S is the true load capacity of the gimbal without having any issues with the level of image stabilization it can provide. A few compeating brands have started to list a load capacity where the gimbal will start to vibrate and struggle the closer you get to the listed maximum you get but this is not an issue with the Weebill S.
That said, the vast majority of the popular setups for the Sony a7 camera rang come in well below its 6.61-pound maximum load capacity anyway. On top of this, the Weebill S has some of the highest torque gimbal motors on the market right now so it can support any setups with a long or heavy lens without issue too. This is another area where some compeating brands can struggle but the Zhiyun Weebill S, Moza Aircross 2, and DJI Ronin S all perform very well when it comes to their image stabilization with a longer lens that can shift your camera rigs center of gravity.
Zhiyun has also put a bunch of time and effort into the battery technology and the energy consumption of the Weebill S too offer one of the better battery life’s available right now too. The Weebill S is able to provide you with around fourteen hours of power with every charge of the battery. At the time of writing, the industry average is around the ten-hour mark meaning that the Weebill S comes in at well above the average battery life for a gimbal.
Although we would guess that fourteen hours will be plenty of battery for the majority of our readers, we know that there are some niches such as wildlife videography or travel videography where you may be out in remote locations away from a power supply. Due to this, you can add a high capacity USB power bank to your collection of camera accessories to keep your gimbal and Sony a7 topped up with power when away from a regular wall based power plug.
Zhiyun has also developed its quick charge technology for the battery in the Weebill S and managed to shave off an hour off the recharge time when compared to their older gimbals. You are now able to recharge the Weebill S back to full in around three hours helping to get your gear ready to go again as quickly as possible without wasting time.
Although the older Zhiyun gimbals were still leading the gimbal market and still slightly ahead of their compeating gimbals, Zhiyun has decided to innovate again for the release of the Weebill S and further improve their detection and correction system in a number of ways. First up the gimbal motors on the Weebill S offer the highest levels of torque available for their size and power consumption coming in at three times the torque of the previous generation of Zhiyun gimbal motors.
The actual gimbal sensors on the Weebill S have also been slightly upgraded to improve their sensitivity as well as the speed that they are able to process their data. This helps get the required information into the Zhiyun balancing algorithm that is the industry leader quicker to speed up the whole system. The actual balancing algorithm has also been tweaked ever so slightly too helping ensure that it sends an accurate counter-movement to the gimbal motors to reduce the power draw on the gimbals battery when stabilizing your Sony a7 camera rig.
The whole process happens within the blink of an eye and results in some of the fastest image stabilization that we have ever seen. On top of this, the speed and sensitivity of the gimbal motors also make the gimbal extremely diverse too. This ensures that you are able to use it in a number of niches while getting excellent image stabilization including those with a large number of short bumps or vibrations that happen rapidly where handheld gimbals have traditionally struggled to perform well.
No matter what videography or vlogging niche you work in, chances are that you will be using gimbal modes with your a7 at some point to help make your life as easy as possible. The Weebill S supports the older follow, lock, pan, and manual modes but also features the new Zhiyun track mode that offers excellent and accurate real-time subject tracking as well as their vortex mode that is proving to be more popular than we initially thought it would be.
When you take into account that the second-place gimbal, the Moza Aircross 2 is around $100 more expensive than the Zhiyun Weebill S at the time of writing depending on the retailer but offers a slightly lower level of image stabilization, it is easy to see why the Weebill S is the best option. Although it has only been on the market for around four-month, it has rapidly grown a massive customer base of videographers and vloggers with many of them publishing their own, independent reviews of the Weebill S sharing their own opinions on the gimbal. As you can see from the number of excellent reviews the gimbal has, most people definatley seem to agree with us that the Weebill S is an excellent camera accessory to invest in.
User Interface And Control System
Although the Weebill S uses the traditional gimbal control interface that is based around a directional pad, a few buttons, and an LCD panel, Zhiyun has tweaked the actual system and navigation menu to make sure that it is as quick and easy to use as possible too. The whole interface is ideal for anyone who is new to using a handheld gimbal stabilizer as it emphasizes ease of use and can be learned within a matter of minutes.
On the flip side of this though, if you are an experienced, professional-level videographer who is doing paid videography work with your Sony a7 then the Weebill S is also able to offer all of the advanced functionality and customization that you will need too. As the control interface for the gimbal offers a best of both worlds scenario for videographers no matter their level of experience it is proving to be very popular. It can last an entry-level videographer for years without the need to upgrade to a professional level gimbal in a few years as the Weebill S offers all the professional level features you could need with a very easy to learn interface.
Another thing that sets the Weebill S apart from the compeating gimbals on the market right now is that its joystick is fully omnidirectional rather than being a standard four way system like many compeating gimbals use. This ensures that you get the best possible control over the gimbals head with your Sony a7 mounted to it as you can rotate the joystick as needed to adjust its positioning.
If you are planning to do a whole bunch of manual work with the gimbal then this alone can be the reason to take it over any of the competition. An omnidirectional joystick offers super smooth panning and tilting that has that natural look to it rather than that robotic look that four way joysticks provide too. The difference in image quality between the two is obvious and like night and day helping ensure that your work is as professional as possible when using the Weebill S.
It is pretty common knowledge that even just a year ago the Zhiyun was in a really bad place and would randomly drop the connection to your gimbal or simply refuse to sync no matter what you tried. Thankfully though, Zhiyun has put a ton of time and effort into their smartphone app and all of these issues have been corrected over the previous twelve months resulting in a solid little app that performs well.
We love the fact that you can use the Zhiyun app to change your gimbals seconds within a few seconds that then have to waste a few minutes doing it via the physical interface. If you are the type to tweak your gimbal settings on a regular basis then this can end up saving so much time over the course of a session that downloading the free app is an obvious option. That said though, for a mirrorless camera like the Sony a7, we would imagine that the default config that comes loaded in the Weebill S will offer great performance anyway.
If you are working in a videography niche where using a remote control can be useful then the wireless remote control setting on the smartphone app can score it even more points. It wirelessly syncs to your gimbal and allows you to control it from up to twenty-five meters away as if you were using the handheld control system. This can be a great way to position your gimbal rig with your Sony a7 mounted to it without having to actually stand there and can come in handy for stuff like wedding videography so you can capture the vows without standing up on the alter with the happy couple.
The final main feature of the Zhiyun app at the time of writing is the quick and easy tracking system that makes the Zhiyun tracking mode a breeze to use. If you do plan to use the tracking mode on the Weebill S then we would highly recommend that you download the Zhiyun smartphone app as it makes the whole process much easier. It literally allows you to touch the area on your smartphone screen that you want the gimbal to track and be done with it making it a set and forget system that is extremely easy to use compared to the compeating brands tracking systems.
Build Quality And Design
Chances are that any experienced gimbal user will know how often low angle video footage can help improve the overall quality of the video footage that they capture when working. Unlike the other gimbals on the market right now that require third-party, aftermarket gimbal accessories to provide you with underslung functionality, Zhiyun has done a great job of tweaking the design of their Weebill range of gimbals to natively offer this functionality right out the box.
The 3 axis gimbals in the Weebill range have a detachable handle that can be switched between the base connector and the rear connector on the body of the gimbal within seconds. This offers videographers and vloggers a quick and easy way to switch between traditional, upright handheld gimbal use and underslung, low angle gimbal use without having to unmount your Sony a7 to make the switch either.
Zhiyun has also set itself the target for making the Weebill S a compact travel gimbal that is as small and lightweight as possible while offering professional level, general-purpose gimbal levels of image stabilization too. Thankfully, we are pleased to confirm that they have definatley managed to do this and that the Weebill S is one of the best travel gimbals that we have ever seen but offers the performance of its larger and heavier gimbal competitors with ease too.
As more and more travel vloggers are starting to add a handheld gimbal like the Zhiyun Weebill S to their camera accessories and many videographers have to travel on a regular basis this can make your life much easier. That said though, the compact, small size, and lightweight of the gimbal is not its only advantage when it comes to travel. Zhiyun has also decided to add individual axes lock to each of the three axes on the gimbal too. This prevents the aces from randomly rotating and potentially putting itself at risk of damage while being transported and helps keep your gimbal in good working order.
Zhiyun has also used some very tough materials on the Weebill S too that ensure that it is as robust as possible to take and knocks coming its way without having to hike its weight up. Although some other gimbals on the market are very tough like the DJI Ronin S, they are usually very bulky and extremely heavy. Zhiyun has managed to keep the weight of the Weebill S as low as possible while also making it one tough little gimbal.
That brings our article going over what we feel is the best gimbal for Sony a7 cameras to a close and we would definatley recommend that our readers make the Zhiyun Weebill S their primary consideration. We feel that it blows the vast majority of the compeating gimbals out of the water and although the Moza Aircross 2 does come close, in our opinion, the Weebill S just beats it while also being cheaper too. In our opinion, it will make an excellent addition to your collection of a7 camera accessories and ensure that you are able to get the best image stabilization possible for your camera.
We know that some people will likley still be on the fence about the Weebill S but as we touched on earlier, there are still an absolute ton of independent reviews online for the gimbal posted by videographers and vloggers. These offer insight into how well the gimbal performs for a large number of independent people in a massive number of situations. Those reviews can offer some excellent insight into the performance of the gimbal and the level of image quality you can expect if you invest in the Weebill S so are well worth reading in our opinion.