“Your video is good, but it made me nauseous.”
Ever wonder if that is what people are really thinking about your work?
Shaky video is a killer, and can ruin great footage.
Thankfully, 3-axis DSLR gimbal stabilizers are making it easier than ever to create smooth shots in any scenario.
When paired with the right camera, using a gimbal can replace jibs, sliders, and dollies and allow you to produce high quality video content.
Anyone with a heavy DSLR model who wants to capture video without shakes or jitters can benefit from a good gimbal stabilizer.
But which one should you choose? What is worth the investment?
We have searched high and low and compiled the list of the very best gimbals guaranteed to take your filming to the next level.
Best DSLR Gimbal Stabilizers 
|Ikan Beholder DS1||Deep features||$$||★★★★|
|Zhiyun Crane||[Top Pick] Overall performance & value||$$||★★★★★|
|Glidecam HD-2000||Good results at lower cost||$$||★★★★|
|DJI Ronin-M||[Highest Quality]|
Best performance, but expensive
|Autopilot by ProAm USA||Cheapest DSLR gimbal||$||★★★|
Zhiyun Crane is our top pick for a 3-axis stabilizer because of quality and overall value. It produces extremely high end results at a reasonable price point.
We found the Zhiyun Crane to have great balance and bea reliable handheld gimbal for small and medium sized DSLRs in any situation. It produces a smooth and clear image which is jitter-free captures even for highly dynamic shots.
In basic walking shots there is essentially no evidence of shakiness. Remarkably it is just as good in rough weather conditions.
Your hair might be blown out of place, but your video will still look slick.
This 3-axis gimbal can be rotated a full 360 degrees while its crane id featured with a joystick that can be used to adjust its axis during the operation in case you would like to speedily change the angle of the camera.
A couple more perks to note…
As with our other top gimbals, the Zhiyun Crane has great battery life. You will be able to film extended sessions without stressing about the battery winding down.
It also features a well supported mobile app that makes it easy to control remotely, or update your firmware when necessary.
We can summarize this way:
The beholder is motorized and gives a great range of motion to capture shots at different angles with a relatively smooth video. You will need to really be jostling around before you break the gliding effect on the video.
This gimbal will definitely upgrade your videos that involve walking or other basic movement. It produces a smooth image every capture.
Technology aside,the Ikan is a good physical tool. We found it to be durable for its price point, and the battery lasted longer than we expected.
It is also strong without being cumbersome. The Beholder is an ideal DSLR gimbal stabilizer because it can support cameras that weigh up to 3.7 pounds.
The lightweight Glidecam HD-2000 is a relatively inexpensive gimbal that can still get the job done for your DSLR.
There is some great value to be had here because it is about half the cost of some others on our list.
Part of that price difference is that the HD-2000 is not electronic and relies on a weighting system. This has pros and cons which we will get to…
Let’s just state the key takeaway right now.
The HD-2000 is good – very good for the cheap price.
It gives very consistent performance and shots are almost always going to look smooth and stabilized as you are aiming for.
Now about that weighting system…
You can essentially add weights as needed to balance out your stedicam. This works well, but it won’t be intuitive to new users at first.
It’s true, you will spend time getting used to the balancing required to get the perfect shot. Fortunately there are many helpful videos on YouTube that can walk you through it.
Just trust us that the investment is worth it.
Once you get the hang of it, the quality of your shots is going to stand out.
A nice benefit of not relying on electronic equipment is that the Glidecam HD-2000 is much more durable than others on this list. You can take it into any situations and expose it to all sorts of weather with a much lower risk of damage.
The Ronin-M is the best handheld gimbal stabilizer on the market in terms of raw technical power.
The Ronin-M uses the latest 3-axis gimbal technology, and is an excellent overall stabilizer for video footage. This is the right pick if you would like to add the best DSLR gimbal to your production kit with all the bells and whistles.
This handheld stabilizer consistently removes the jitters and small movements that can ruin otherwise great shots.In just about every situation, the Ronin produces beautifully smooth videos with none of the noticeable shakiness of most other gimbal stabilizers.
It is a bit heavier than others, but it handles well and lasts a remarkably long time on one battery charge.
We also found the case that comes with the standard package is top notch. It packs everything efficiently and makes it easy to bring the Ronin from one shooting location to another with minimal hassle.
Just be aware that this wouldn’t make a list of best cheap gimbals…
While your videos will look professional, the Ronin is not especially friendly for newcomers, nor is it as simple to handle as the smaller hand held stabilziers on this list.
It will take a bit of a learning curve to get used to the Ronin, and to get the balancing right.
Fortunately there are lots of resources that can help but be prepared to dedicate some time to getting the most out of this impressive machine. Once you do, nothing else in the consumer market will produce professoinal looking results like this.
For this list we wanted to include a truly cheap DSLR gimbal. It works well, just not as well as the others we have covered.
But it sure is cheap 🙂
They even offer a lifetime warranty and money back guarantee. Hats off for offering a ton of value!
If you don’t need a 3-axis gimbal stabilizer and you aren’t always going to be moving around while filming, this is a great option.
It will give you great performance for panning and walking shots. High paced, dynamic shots get risky, but the Autopilot can still surprise you there.
Given the incredible price point, don’t be surprised that videos just don’t look as smooth as medium or high end gimbals.
But if you just need some minor smoothing out for basic shots then this will give you what you are looking for.
While it is a good ‘beginner’ gimbal because of the price tag, it isn’t particularly user friendly. It will take a lot of getting used to and set up is somewhat cumbersome. Fortunately, you will get the hang of it with a bit of practice.
Physically, the Autopilot is a comfortable handheld stabilizer, and can handle up to 6 lbs of camera making it a good stabilizer even for large DSLRs.
The key thing to remember here: value. The Autopilot is the cheapest DSLR gimbal that still delivers what the average user will need to smooth out their video.
That concludes our list! Let us know if we missed anything in the comments below. We will keep this list updated with new DSLR gimbal stabilziers as they become available.
Important Gimbal Stabalizer Features
Manual vs Motorized
This is a big disctinction in gimbals, especially when it comes to the price point of what you are going to pair with your DSLR.
Motorized gimbals are far more expensive, but are capable of far more impressive shots with a range of angles and convenience settings.
Modern electronic 3 axis gimbals can generate really amazing footage. However, when balanced properly, a manual gimbal can achieve smooth video almost as effectively in simple scenarios.
If you do opt for a more functional electronic gimbal, then you will need to keep in mind the battery life. Nothing is more frusterating than cutting your film session short because your gimbal runs out of juice.
This is of course one of the advantages of a mechanical gimbal that does not rely on an electronic motor.
If you are planning long sessions away from power sources, then be sure to invest in extra batteries, and that your chosen gimbal won’t quit on you too fast.
Size & Weight
In addition to the technical capabilities, it is important to choose the gimbal that will gel with your physical requirements and life style.
Gimbals like the Ronin-M are technically impressive, but are not nearly as convenient as handheld gimbals like the Ikan Beholder.
Consider how important portability and size is to you before makng any purchasing decisions. That way your videos will look good, and you have a good experience making them.
That’s all on gimbals for now! If you are gearing up for video producting or vlogging, be sure to check out our buyers guide on how to pick the right camera for YouTube.