Updated: Aug 19, 2021
Written by Claudio Chock and Jacqueline Cai (Tech360.tv Community Creators)
As videographers and content creators, gimbals are part and parcel of our workflow. In the last 3 to 4 years, technological and design advancements of gimbals by the various manufacturers have actually been pretty amazing. However, amongst them all, Zhiyun Tech has constantly stood out. With the launch of the brand new Weebill-S, it’s as if Zhiyun has once again pushed the limits of what a lightweight mini gimbal can do.
While we love the original Weebill Lab (which we’ve been using for the past year), the new Weebill-S is like the better, upgraded version of the original gimbal (something like the S versions of the iPhone in the past). Featuring a 300% increase in motor torque and a 50% increase in response speed, this might just be the perfect gimbal we’ve all been yearning for!
Here are 5 things about the Weebill-S that we love:
1. Better Locking Mechanism (Than the Weebill Lab)
The redesigned locking mechanism for the respective axis are not just easier to use, they feel sturdier and gives more confidence to the gimbal operator. The turning screws for the tilt and roll balance have also been replaced by levers – this makes it easier to know immediately if everything is tightened and locked in nicely.
2. Ability to Balance Heavier Lenses
One of the shortcomings of the original Weebill Lab was its inability to balance heavier lenses. While we managed to balance the Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master on it, it often felt like we were maxing out the gimbal’s power. We were also unable to activate Vortex Mode properly with the same camera-lens combi without removing the eyecup.
With the brand new Weebill-S, balancing the Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master feels much steadier and the overall experience feels more responsive. What’s more, you can even balance the heavier set-up of the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master on it.
3. Easier to Set-up And Shoot With Auto-Tune
The auto-tune feature of the Weebill-S has been our favourite. While we recommend to always balance your gimbal correctly before switching it on for best operating performance, if you are rushing for time and the gimbal is not perfectly balanced for your camera, the auto-tune is a godsend as it tunes its power to best adapt to your device set-up.
4. Sync Motion
The coolest new feature has got to be Sync Motion. Connect the Weebill-S to your smartphone via the ZY Play app and you’ll be able to control the movement of the camera on the gimbal. While it might take some time getting used to, it’s really fun and easy to work in this mode as the app gives you full control over the speed and smoothness of the pan, tilt and roll of the gimbal. Coupled with the Image Transmission Module, it opens up the doors of possibility for real-time monitoring and synchronous motion control with a camera assistant.
5. Ability to Change Gimbal Settings Without Using App
This has to be our favourite upgrade from the original Weebill Lab! No longer do you need to connect the gimbal to your smartphone and use the ZY Play app to change the parameters for tilt, roll, and pan. Personally, we’ve always felt that connecting the gimbal to a smartphone just to change in-depth settings was somewhat cumbersome.
Now, you can just change everything from the gimbal’s OLED screen!
What’s Next: TransMount Image Transmission Module
We’re looking forward to testing the Weebill S together with the soon-to-be-available redesigned image transmission module! By making the image transmission module into a separate unit (no longer in-built like the Weebill Lab), you can now not only wirelessly stream to your smartphone or tablet, but also have the ability to wirelessly transmit to a professional monitor (say, for example, the Atomos Ninja) with a separate receiver module. This would be really useful for production sets where off-camera monitoring is required.
Smaller, lighter, having the ability to hold heavier loads and a best-in-class, the Weebill-S is probably one of the best gimbal out there in the market now for content creators and videographers!
Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars
Thanks to Tech360.tv and Alan Photo, JacqandthebeanChock (my partner Jacqueline and I) had the privilege of taking the Zhiyun Weebill-S out to shoot around Singapore. Being owners of the original Weebill Lab ourselves, we were able to compare both gimbals while doing this review.