Reviews |ZHIYUN WEEBILL 2 Pro

ZHIYUN WEEBILL 2 Pro Review

Professional camera stabilisation, video transmission and focus in a compact package

WEEBILL 2 Pro review
Review

Price when reviewed

£509

$549
Check current price

Our Verdict

The WEEBILL 2 Pro kit offers a compact gimbal solution for mirrorless and small DSLR filmmakers. The Pro kit builds on the already impressive standard kit, adding a focus puller and wireless video transmitter.

As compact gimbal stabilisers go, the new WEEBILL 2 copes with ease with the Sony A7 III, Nikon Z6, and Canon R with a standard fixed lens mounted, proving itself one of the best stabiliser options out there for mirrorless filmmakers.

The Pro-Kit takes the WEEBILL 2 video making gimbal to the next level with a focus puller that directly interfaces with the wheel on the gimbal inteslf and TransMount Video Transmitter that beams back footage to ZY Play mobile App.

Use the WEEBILL 2 Pro kit, and you instantly feel like you have a professional filmmaking tool in your hands and one of the best stabiliser options out there.

It’s all incredibly well-integrated, and while there are a few missing or difficult to locate features, it provides a far more effective solution than you’d expect for under a grand!

For

  • Great stabilisation for mirrorless cameras
  • Easy control via the touch-screen
  • Better ergonomics than the Weebill-S

Against

  • Noticeably heavier than the Weebill-S
  • Internal battery
  • No quick release plate

What is the WEEBILL 2 Pro kit?

WEEBILL is the entry-level model of Zhiyun’s gimbal range, designed for mirrorless and small DSLR’s. For that reason, it has until now lacked the Wow factor and attention that the larger Crane range has afforded.

However, the WEEBILL has a dedicated following. Its small size and price have made it very attractive. While it has always been small, when used with the right cameras, it’s a highly effective stabilising solution.

WEEBILL 2 Pro review

The WEEBILL 2 has proved to be an equally excellent gimbal stabiliser building on the foundations of the previous versions. You can read the full review of the WEEBILL 2 here.

Of course, the WEEBILL 2 standard kit is just the gimbal stabiliser, and there’s nothing wrong with that it is very good. But if you want a bit more than is on offer with just the WEEBILL 2 gimbal, then there’s the Pro kit.

The WEEBILL 2 gimbal itself is identical in the Pro kit to the one in the standard kit. But in the Pro kit you get a very neat carry case, the TransMount Focus/Zoom Control Motor 2.0 and the TransMount Video Transmission Transmitter (AI).

As the WEEBILL 2 is exactly the same in whatever kit you buy, you can upgrade the base kit with the accessories as and when you can afford it.

There’s also the WEEBILL Pro Plus kit which includes the ZHIYUN MasterEye Visual Controller VC100. This is a full wireless remote control and one up from using your mobile phone and the app.

Specification

  • Product type: Motorised stabilising gimbal
  • Announced: 1st July 2021
  • Tilt mechanical range: Max: + 190°, Min: -150°
  • Roll Mechanical Range: Max: +80°, Min: -260°
  • Pan Mechanical Range: 360º
  • Gimbal modes: Pan Follow, Locking, Point of View, Follow, Go, Vortex
  • Battery life: 9 hours
  • Dimensions: 35 x 22.5 x 15cm
  • Weight: 1.47Kg including the internal battery

Build and Handling

The WEEBILL 2 is an entry-level gimbal or at least one designed for use with mirrorless cameras and small DSLRs. It’s a good mix of design and materials, providing a good ergonomic feel for the user.

The weight comes in at a touch under 1.5kg, which makes it well balanced compared with previous versions, but as ever, you do need some upper body strength to utilise the gimbal properly.

WEEBILL 2 Pro review

As with the gimbal, the two main accessories that make up the Pro kit, the focus puller and video transmitter, are both well made.

The TransMount Focus/Zoom Control Motor 2.0, now on version 2, is a solid upgrade over the previous release. The design is simple and attaches with a single hand tightened bolt below the camera base plate.

Once in place, the gear can be moved into position to meet the lens gear ring. ZHYIUN has included two gear rings in the box, which is handy and shows a good understanding of their user base and kit.

These lens gear rings are quick to fit simply wrapping around your lens focus ring, then a push-fit clamp holds it in place. Removing the ring is equally easy with the push-fit clamp releasing the gear end with relative ease.

Once the hardware is in place, a USB Type-C cable connects directly into the gimbal arm. The focusing here works by manual geared mechanics, and it works well. It may seem slightly crude in a world of such advanced electronics, essentially having one cogwheel turn another, but in truth, this is exactly how it’s done for most camera systems.

WEEBILL 2 Pro review

The TransMount Video Transmission Transmitter (AI) takes a little more to fit. Firstly, a small plate needs to be screwed in under the camera base plate, and then the TransMount Video Transmission Transmitter (AI) is slotted in place.

The two antennas are then folded out, one on either side of the lens. Then three cables need to be plugged in. The first is the USB Type-C plugs into the slot below the follow focus on the gimbal arm. This USB is also used to charge the TransMount Video Transmission Transmitter (AI).

On the opposite side of the TransMount Video Transmission Transmitter (AI) are two more ports; the first is the HDMI, and a cable links this to the cameras HDMI port. The next is another USB Type-C which plugs in the camera control port.

Once everything is in position and all cables attached, you’re ready to connect.

Loading up the ZY Play app and you have a variety of options. Rather than heading to the usual WEEBILL 2 option, you scroll through to the TransMount Video Transmission Transmitter (AI).

WEEBILL 2 Pro review

Click connect, and it will ask you to connect to the TransMount Video Transmission Transmitter (AI) wifi. This is self-explanatory, and all you need to do is select the ZHYIUN Wifi network.

Once connected and back in the ZY Play App, you can now enter the TransMount Video Transmission Transmitter (AI) section.

The interface shows a variety of different options but no live view initially. To fire up live video streaming to your mobile, you need to click the live option at the top of the screen; the live view video transmission starts after a few seconds.

The clarity of the transmission is surprisingly good, with only a short delay between the live-action and the streamed footage.

Through the app, you can also control the full movement of the gimbal and the focus through the focus puller. It’s all well integrated within the app.

As well as the standard manual features that enable you to adjust the camera position on the gimbal, start and stop the camera recording and focus you also have access to some of the auto motion features.

The auto-tracking is one of the best features of the WEEBILL 2 Pro; tap the option, highlight the subject you want to track and let the gimbal take care of the rest. With the TransMount Video Transmission Transmitter (AI) attached, you can see exactly what the camera is recording.

In both cases, these two accessories add powerful features to your video kit.

Considering the price and size of the WEEBILL 2 Pro kit, this is extremely impressive stuff.

Performance

Let’s start with the TransMount Focus/Zoom Control Motor 2.0. I would highly recommend this accessory or its equivalent for any gimbal user.

Utilising your camera autofocus is handy when filming but doesn’t always allow you the full creative control you need, such as pulling focus.

WEEBILL 2 Pro review

The complete redesign of the WEEBILL 2 body gives the gimbal a far more ergonomic feel. The knurled focus wheel enables excellent purchase, especially one-fingered when the gimbal is used in the sling position.

One issue is that the new design is heavily weighted for those who are right-handed. Even so, the new position of the focus wheel and joystick make it far easier to use.

As ever, I found delving into the settings and pulling back on the speed of the joystick and wheel were required to get the right amount of control, but this is a personal preference.

When it comes to focusing delay between the wheel and the lens, it’s slight and almost unnoticeable; again, once you’ve played around with the focus speed options, you’ll find the balance that works well for you.

WEEBILL 2 Pro review

Obviously, as with all focus pullers, you have the option to use this for either the focus or zoom. As there is only one in the kit, I’ve used this with a 35mm on the Sony A7 III and a 50mm on the Canon R.

Testing it out on the Sony A7 III with 24-70mm fitted, and the follow focus hardware works just as well with the zoom.

Reassuringly on the plate that the follow focus bolts to is another screw thread for another follow focus, so a second could be attached if required.

Ultimately, the TransMount Focus/Zoom Control Motor 2.0 is essential; it’s well made does the job, and if you’re buying the WEEBILL 2 for your mirrorless camera, you’d be a fool not to stretch the budget to get this as well.

A bit more of a stretch when it comes to the budget is the TransMount Video Transmission Transmitter (AI), although once you’ve started to use it, it’s difficult to see how you could use the gimbal without it attached.

The TransMount Video Transmission Transmitter (AI) becomes so useful that it’s handy without the gimbal at all. Plug it directly into your camera, then using the cold shoe mount in the box, pop it onto your camera hotshoe and off you go.

The transmitter gives you a perfect LiveView stream direct from the camera and enables you to fire the shutter or record video using your smartphone and the dedicated app.

Final thoughts

The new WEEBILL 2 Pro kit makes an already formidable motorised gimbal even better. Its small size and relative lightweight, even when loaded, makes it an attractive proposition.

It’s designed for mirrorless and small DSLR users and what’s apparent as you get into the use of this gimbal is that it’s all been very carefully thought out. There’s a refinement that’s a level above that of the Crane series.

The size and balance are all extremely well thought out; the small joystick on the side is in exactly the right position, if you’re right-handed at least, as is the focus wheel.

WEEBILL 2 Pro review

Once the follow focus is connected, the smoothness of the rotation and degree of adjustment makes it a very powerful tool.

The ergonomic design of the WEEBILL 2 Pro kit is a long way from the original compact gimbal; it’s so much more refined.

The maximum load may be limited compared to the two more professional Crane Models from ZHIYUN, but in truth, you’d hardly notice with most mirrorless setups.

Stick a fixed focal length on the front of your camera, wire up the transmitter and follow focus, and you instantly have a very proficient movie-making kit in your hands.

With the wireless feed able to stream back live footage, you can leave the gimbal on stage while you control it from the audience. Alternatively, your director of photography can monitor your skills on the big screen and bark commands at you while filming. It is big-screen stuff in a very small package.

Then there’s the following focus, this is fast and direct, and while there is a slight delay, it’s not enough to be an issue and again works exceptionally well.

The main point of the WEEBILL 2 Pro kit is to put professional filmmaking tools into the hands of everyone, and there is no doubt that it does exactly that.

Of all the gimbals on the market at present, and considering the size and price, I would have to say that the WEEBILL 2 Pro would be my top choice.

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