Over the last few years, Zhiyun has been churning out gimbals fast! Their fast updates have made customers unsure of which one to buy. We’ve seen the Crane 3 LAB and Crane M2 since the late 2018 release of the Weebill LAB — and that’s only looking at their mirrorless/DSLR options.
The Weebill S, the successor to the Weebill LAB, is now available. And for the most part, it will be the most attractive. The ultra-portable Crane M2 is a niche product, whereas the Crane 3 Lab is pricey and inconvenient to use regularly. The Weebill S is a lightweight but capable piece of gear, hence its nickname, “tiny giant.”
What Is the Weebill S?
The Weebill S is a compact, motorized gimbal that you can use with mirrorless cameras like the Nikon Z7 II or Sony A7 III and even smaller models like the Sony A6600.
Weebill S Features
Nowadays, 3-axis gimbals are no longer the hottest piece of technology on the market. The majority of us are now acquainted with how a gimbal works. They stabilize video, and they all do a pretty good job at it.
With the previous Weebill LAB, Zhiyun broke the mold by deviating from the classic pistol grip design. Instead, they add a second grip to the back of the gimbal, making it simpler to hold with both your hands to take low-angle underslung shots. This design has a significant advantage over the standard gimbal form.
The 300 percent increase in motor torque and 50 percent increase in responsiveness over the Weebill LAB is the most impressive upgrade. When it comes to heavier camera and lens setups, the Weebill S is way more capable. With its predecessor, mounting a heavy camera was not possible.
Zhiyun also lengthened the gimbal arms to ensure that they could balance larger cameras properly. They made sure that the arms didn’t clip when tilting or rolling. In general, the Weebill S has remarkably more camera setup flexibility than the Weebill LAB.
Another significant feature unique to the Weebill S is that the wireless image transmission system is no longer a built-in component. Although this has some advantages (you now have the option to get a more reliable transmitter that can work on its own), a built-in one would have still been ideal. Why? No one likes to buy extra accessories.
Weebill S Modes
The dedicated buttons make switching between the different shooting modes quick and easy. Here are a few of them that we like to highlight:
Locked: The camera’s orientation and shooting direction will be maintained because all three axes are locked. You can quickly activate this feature by pressing down the PF/L mode switch.
Pan Following: Your camera will follow panning movements even though the tilt and roll axes are locked. You must push up the PF/L mode switch to activate this.
Following: Panning and tilting movements are tracked by the camera. Hold down the trigger located on the back of the bottom grip to activate this.
Vortex Mode: You can take a few of those zappy turn shots that seem to be all the rage these days by pressing the POV mode button twice.
POV Mode: For a completely immersive shot, this activates all axes, as well as roll. Press the POV mode button to use this mode.
Go Mode: This mode is similar to the following mode, but it significantly improves responsiveness. It is perfect for recording fast-paced action.
Handling Experience and Build Quality
Overall, the Zhiyun Weebill S has outstanding build quality, considering its price. Metal gimbal arms and motor surrounds feel solid. The body is a little plasticky isn’t an issue.
The axis locks can sometimes be challenging to unlock, and the tilt axis lock is the main culprit. However, you can quickly fix it by jiggling the camera slightly in the tilt plane while pressing the lock switch.
The Weebill S is light at only 926g without the tripod and batteries, making it far more appealing to carry in case you need it. It’s also better for longer shoots.
Weebill S has upside-down L-shaped handles, similar to the Weebill Lab. There are pros and cons to this design. On the plus side, both ends of the L have threads for attaching the included tripod as it can also function as a handle extension.
The primary motivation for most people purchasing a gimbal like the Zhiyun Weebill S is to produce more consistent and stable footage. Selecting the correct gimbal mode for your shoot and the effect you want to achieve is one of the most critical aspects of using a gimbal like the Weebill S.
All gimbal modes work well with Pan Follow, with Follow and Lock serving as good backup options. Point of View, Go, and Vortex modes provide creative possibilities but don’t go overboard with Vortex mode unless you want your viewers to go dizzy.
Zhiyun’s ZY Play app is well-designed and easy to use. The Weebill S connects quickly with the gimbal every time we turn it on, and it responds quickly to movements made via the app. Another great feature it has is its notification system. It tells you whenever a new firmware update is available and gives you the option to install it.
To summarize, we believe Zhiyun has produced an excellent gimbal that is worth your money. Its performance can surprise you. It is also compact and straightforward to set up and use, making it a popular choice for videographers to use mirrorless cameras. If you want a gimbal for professional and creative shoots, you can’t go wrong with the Weebill S.