Zhiyun launches new Smooth 5S AI gimbal for smartphones

Zhiyun has launched its new flagship gimbal for smartphones. The Zhiyun Smooth 5S AI gimbal features a magnetic AI module for improved target tracking.

Unique design

The Zhiyun Smooth 5S AI gimbal has a unique design with a textured translucent material used for the axis arms. The gimbal’s control panel also features a dual-layer cover design, with a translucent shell. As it’s designed to be used with smartphones, the Smooth 5S AI only has a payload range of 5.3-10.5 ounces (150-300 g). However, Zhiyun says that the gimbal is compatible with all the larger smartphones including the iPhone Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy Ultra. Without a smartphone, the Smooth 5S AI gimbal weighs 22 ounces (625 g).

Zhiyun says that the Smooth 5S AI has an orthogonal three-axis structure. The gimbal is designed with enough space to allow full 360-degree rotation, so you can achieve the popular barrel roll Vortex Mode effect. In addition, the Smooth 5S AI features an advanced stabilization algorithm combined with high-torque motors. Zhiyun says that this delivers professional-grade smoothness. The control panel on the Smooth 5S AI also gives you the controls you need to adjust the parameters of the gimbal.

Zhiyun Smooth 5S AI
Image courtesy Zhiyun

AI tracking module

The headline feature of the Smooth 5S AI gimbal is its advanced magnetic AI tracker module. This module attaches to the top of the gimbal and can be placed at the front or rear. Once you have activated it with a single tap, you can access the intuitive gesture control. You can use hand gestures to start and stop face tracking and recording, as well as setting custom framing. In addition, Zhiyun says that the tracking module delivers rapid and responsive target tracking, unaffected by strong light interference. It will even reidentify and recover object tracking after reframing.

Fill lights

The Smooth 5S AI features a built-in fill light on one of the axis arms. This powerful light delivers up to 680 lux, with a robust airflow design for efficient heat dissipation. In addition, you can attach two additional magnetic fill lights to the top and bottom of the gimbal. These increase the total light power to an impressive 2,040 lux.

Battery life

The Smooth 5S AI will operate for up to 26 hours on a single charge when the gimbal is in Standby Mode. Even with the AI tracker module and built-in fill light on, you still get seven hours of continuous use. However, this drops to only two hours and 20 minutes if you add the two additional fill lights. Thankfully, the gimbal supports PD fast charging and will fully charge in only two hours.

What we think

Zhiyun Smooth 5S AI close views
Image courtesy Zhiyun

The Zhiyun Smooth 5S AI gimbal is ideal for content creators who use smartphones. The built-in and optional fill lights are also a useful addition for vloggers and other shooters who want to travel light. In addition, the gesture control means that even solo shooters can create footage with dynamic tracking and camera movements. The modular nature of the gimbal means that you can reduce weight and increase battery life for the times when you don’t need the AI tracking as well. If you are looking for a new gimbal for your smartphone, this gimbal could be the perfect solution.

Pricing and availability

The Zhiyun Smooth 5S AI gimbal is available now. The basic gimbal, which comes with a tripod base and charging cable, costs $169. You can also get a Pro package which comes with the AI tracker module and additional fill lights for $249. If you just want the AI tracker module, there is a Combo package which retails at $219.

Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.

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