To use the Zhiyun Smooth Q3 with your iOS or Android smartphone, you need to download the ZY Cami app. In the app it will prompt you to make a connection with gimbal. Once you’ve done this, you’re ready to go. It takes seconds, and is very easy to do.
The app was a little flakey when I was first setting it up. It was initialising and kept getting hung up at 90%. After reinstalling it, though, I’ve had no issues.
When you turn on the gimbal, the Smooth Q3 defaults to portrait format. Simply press the trigger button three times if you want to film in landscape mode, and away you go.
I took the Zhiyun Smooth Q3 on a walk in the woods. It’s a bumpy stretch with a lot of uneven ground. Overall, I was pretty impressed by the stability the Smooth Q3 provides, particularly for a gimbal at this budget price point.
There are slight hints of movement in the videos I shot, but for the most part it does a great job of flattening your footsteps if you’re filming while walking. And filming from a moving vehicle, there was no noticeable movement at all.
The zoom and joystick are great options that allow you to change your angle of view and add some visual diversity to your videos. However, I found their movements a little too abrupt – mainly the joystick. A more subtle response to your touch would make your videos look more natural. I found that when I used the joystick to pan around a scene, the effect was a bit choppy.
As I walked with the gimbal I also noticed a little bit of drift. I could compensate for this with the joystick to keep my intended view in the frame, but every so often I would need to re-centre the gimbal.
Overall, in all the tests for my Zhiyun Smooth Q3 review I found that it does a pretty good job. It really smooths out motion in vehicles, even a bike (riding one-handed and holding the gimbal; I wouldn’t recommend) on pavement. It was only when walking that I noticed faint hints of my footsteps. But then, I was looking closely. If you’re filming a Sunday walk with your family or a boat cruise on holiday, are you really looking for these minor deficiences? No, probably not.
So when commenting on the quality of footage the Smooth Q3 provides, it’s important to consider the context of the intended user. For anyone who has been filming their kids’ birthday parties or tourist adventures on their phone handheld, this will be a dream.