Best handheld camera stabilizer for Mirrorless and DSLR in 2018 – BUYERS GUIDE

Best gimbal stabilizers for DSLR & mirrorless cameras
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Stabilizer enables to shoot video, significantly smoothing the shakes and rattling even during running

Both professional photographers and amateur photographers know a lot about the difficulties that arise during hand-held shooting. Even a slight hand tremor can often make the image look muddy and unclear. Best handheld stabilizer for DSLR camera can fix that situation as it offers more accurate adjustment of the focus.

How to choose the right stabilizer for a DSLR camera?

Stabilizer is an auxiliary device for stabilizing DSLR cameras. It is a movable handle support device with a rigid counterweight system where the camera is fixed.

The purpose of the stabilizing device

It is worth to purchase the stabilizer when there is a risk that the accidental movement of the camera might negatively affect the quality of the image. The device can be useful for dynamic shooting in motion, for example, while climbing the stairs.

Optical stabilization successfully smoothes the camera tremble even for sharp and quick movements. Its movable platform enables to easily move the device in different directions – this helps the cameraman to smoothly slide across the entire shooting area.

The criteria for choosing a stabilizer

The purpose of using the camera

Ordinary indoor shooting does not require a stabilizer – in this case you can simply use a conventional tripod. However, active shooting in motion requires having a best handheld stabilizer with 3-axes of control (roll, pan and tilt axes).

Design features

Compact and lightweight devices usually cost more but provide comfort even during long-term shooting. In addition, such stabilizing devices are usually multifunctional. When choosing a device, it is worth paying attention to the ergonomic factor – the strength and clarity of the mechanical settings of the regulating elements.

Load capacity

Another important issue is the load capacity – some models can handle a payload of up to 10 pounds. Such models are usually more massive and heavy.


Of course, the issue of price is always very important when buying any new item. The simplest models are cheap, but they do not provide smoothing action in all three axial directions. Customized stabilizers can handle the function of vibration suppression much better – but their cost is much higher.

TOP-5 handheld stabilizers for a DSLR camera 2018

  • Zhiyun Crane 2 2017 Follow Focus 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer.
  • MOZA Air 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer for DSLR and Mirrorless Camera.
  • DJI Ronin M Kit (Version 3).
  • Ikan Beholder 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer with Encoders for DSLR and Mirrorless Cameras.
  • EVO Rage Gen 2 3-Axis Gimbal for DSLR & Mirrorless Cameras.

Table of comparison of the main characteristics of stabilizers

Picture Product name Main characteristics Price on Amazon
Zhiyun Crane 2 2017 Follow Focus 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer Zhiyun Crane 2 2017 Follow Focus 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer Item weight: 2.76 pounds.
Max payload: 7 lbs.
Battery runtime: 18 h.
Tripod: aluminum alloy.
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DJI Ronin M Kit (Version 3) DJI Ronin M Kit (Version 3) Item weight: 5 pounds.
Max payload: 8 lbs.
Battery runtime: 3 h.
Tripod: aluminium alloy.
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Ikan Beholder 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer with Encoders for DSLR and Mirrorless Cameras Ikan Beholder 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer with Encoders for DSLR and Mirrorless Cameras Item weight: 4.4 pounds.
Max payload: 4.5 lbs.
Battery runtime: 10 h.
Tripod: aluminium alloy.
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EVO Rage Gen 2 3-Axis Gimbal for DSLR & Mirrorless Cameras EVO Rage Gen 2 3-Axis Gimbal for DSLR & Mirrorless Cameras Item weight: 2.09 pounds.
Max payload: 4.4 lbs.
Battery runtime: 12 h.
Tripod: aluminium alloy.
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  1. Zhiyun Crane 2 2017 Follow Focus 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer

Innovative one-handed stabilizer by Zhiyun Tech was warmly welcomed by many professional cameramen and photographers due to its multifunctionality.

A new generation of stabilizers acquired the function of built-in follow focus control using the wheel on the arm, which enables to control the focus with an accuracy of 0.02 degrees. It is compatible with the cameras of famous brands including Canon, Nikon, Sony and Panasonic.

Miniature controller gives the opportunity to quickly change the speed of exposure, aperture, sensitivity of the camera. All selected settings, as well as the battery charge level, are displayed on the OLED display.

The stabilizer supports the offline operation during incredible 18 hours. You can also recharge the camera during the shooting with this device.

The shipping package includes a set of batteries, a charger, a handle, a carrying case, and all necessary cables.


  • Follow Focus function.
  • Long-lasting operation for 18 hours without the need of recharge
  • Maximum payload is 7 pounds.
  • Intuitive OLED display.
  • Innovative design.


  • It is too heavy and uncomfortable for prolonged use.


Unlike its predecessors, Crane 2 got the function of camera focus control right on the arm. The model is perfect for professional photographers who enjoy using the latest technology innovations.

The new model by Gudsen brand has become even lighter and more innovative, incorporating all the latest technology achievements and developments. The model has 3-axis hinges providing smooth and sliding 360˚ rotation of the camera.

Moza Air can handle the payload of up to 5.5 lbs. Considering the light weight of the stabilizer itself, the device is easy to use even with one hand.

Moza Air supports wireless control which enables the camera to work in dual operator mode. This means that not only one person, but also the second cameraman can also have remote control of the camera and gimbal itself.

The dual handle enables to shoot video even more smoothly. It also distributes the weight on two hands, which makes it easier to work with the stabilizer.

The battery life is 8 hours, which is not the best time among stabilizers.


  • Remote control via smartphone.
  • Lightweight – 2.4 lbs.
  • Multiple camera control modes.


  • Might be difficult to calibrate and configure the device.


Moza Air is a good device which easily copes with its basic functions. This model might be a good fit for beginning photographers and cameramen, while the professionals might need more serious equipment. Professionals will find this stabilizer not too functional.

  1. DJI Ronin M Kit (Version 3)

This camera stabilization system is designed specifically for professional cameramen working in harsh and difficult conditions. Only advanced technologies and modern, accurate sensors were used for development of this model.

It is very simple to start using the device – initial balancing and setup starts right after you press the button on the device.

The device can be disassembled by removing the upper handles in case you want to save space and reduce some weight. It is easy to assemble and disassemble this stabilizer in seconds.

The built-in Smoothtrack technology enables the camera to intuitively rotate in the right direction without any assistance of cameraman.

The frame is made of magnesium which provides increased stiffness and a lower weight of the model.


  • Handles the payload of up 8 pounds.
  • Quiet work.
  • Can be controlled by two cameramen.
  • Supports Bluetooth connection via mobile phone application.


  • Expensive.
  • Heavy – the weight is 5 pounds.
  • Heats during operation.
  • The shooting time without recharging is only 6 hours.


DJI Ronin M Kit will be an excellent purchase for professional operators which will let them create distinct video material even in extremely difficult conditions.

  1. Ikan Beholder 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer with Encoders for DSLR and Mirrorless Cameras

3-axis Ikan Beholder electronic stabilizer is designed to work with light and medium digital cameras 2-4.5 pounds total weight.

The equipment is very compact (14*7*39 in, weight – 4.4 lbs) – it is convenient to carry it in case and shoulder strap which come in a bundle.

The model is equipped with three motors which ensure the rotation of the camera in all directions. This stabilizer flawlessly suppresses shaking, trembling and other unwanted hand movements.

In addition, the stabilizer can be installed in a tripod – there is a special socket in the handle specifically for this purpose. There are also sockets for connecting additional accessories on the sides, such as a monitor or a microphone.


  • Affordable price.
  • Easy and convenient balancing.


  • Does not support many popular camera models.
  • Not designed for holding cameras weighing more than 4.5 lbs.
  • Poor quality of assembly.


It is a compact stabilizer in an affordable price category. Supports the operation with small cameras; handles well with all basic tasks.

  1. EVO Rage Gen 2 3-Axis Gimbal for DSLR & Mirrorless Cameras

This 2017 model got an updated, improved design that meets all the requirements – it’s now easier to setup and operate the camera. You can open and close the shutter, adjust the zoom and start shooting right from the handle.

The stabilization system guarantees clear images without the “noise” effect due to its fast processor with 4kHz frequency.

EVO Rage Gen2 is equipped with additional useful options, such as panoramic shooting and intelligent tracking mode.

You can also buy a remote control joystick in addition to the stabilizer – it works in a distance of up to 40 foots.


  • Affordable price.
  • Multiple modes of shooting.
  • Autonomous working time up to 12 hours.
  • 1 year warranty.


  • Not designed for holding cameras weighing more than 4.4 lbs.
  • Poorly holds the equipment weighing more than 2.2 lbs.


This device copes well with its main function – it will be a good fit both professionals and amateurs. However, a loading of more than 1 kg can reduce the quality of the shooting.

Best camera stabilizer for DSLR

When it comes to choosing a stabilizer, you firstly need to consider your financial capabilities and individual needs. A novice cameraman might start with inexpensive devices which have a minimal set of functions.

A professional should pay attention to more serious models withstanding heavy payload of the camera and its massive lens. Besides, such model must be convenient in terms of transportation and control.


What is the best dslr stabilizer?

Of course, all models shown in our review have their own unique advantages and disadvantages, but our winner for today is MOZA Air 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer for DSLR and Mirrorless Camera gimbal stabilizer by the Chinese brand Gudsen. The stabilizer is designed for compact cameras, as well as small and medium-sized DSLR cameras.

This device provides perfect image stabilization and it also offers many additional useful functions. The ‘spark’ of this device is the ability to remotely control using both joystick and a smartphone screen. In addition, the model is in the affordable price range, which is an additional advantage.

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