Bought a Zhiyun Evolution gimbal, but....... at DVinfo.net
DV Info Net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old September 26th, 2017, 02:13 PM   #1
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: LIncolnshire, UK
Posts: 2,213
Bought a Zhiyun Evolution gimbal, but.......

I had been toying with the idea of an electronic stabiliser for a while to use for some varied shots at weddings. After buying the Yi 4K camera a couple of weeks ago to go alongside my GoPro and clones, I finally bought the Zhiyun Evolution gimbal last week after seeing several reviews on YouTube etc. The footage looked sttable and the battery life excellent, so at 189 on Amazon Uk I ordered one. It arrived last Thursday and with a wedding on Saturday thought I would put it through its paces.

I unpacked it, charged the batteries and removed the GoPro clamp which wouldn't fit the Yi. A rubber band solved the problem and I immediately started recording some footage. THe stabiliser felt comfortable, the pan, tilt and rotate functions from the joystick were very easy to use and the follow and other options very useable. I was very pleased with the stability of the footage and decided to use it with the Yi for the first time at the wedding. I thought I would get a bit more handling practice the next morning, attached the Yi again, pressed the power button and ........Nothing!!!! It was completely dead! The batteries should have been nearly fully charged, but I put them back in the charger until I got the fully charged light, but again nothing.

A more comprehensive search in Google and on Amazon reviews suggested that failures of that sort not long after purchase were not uncommon so sadly it has gone back. However, as Zhiyun generally seem to have a reasonable reputation, I came across the Zhiyun Smooth Q gimbal which is designated as being for phones but not suitable for GoPros etc. As it was only 129 on Amazon UK and included a case, I researched some more and found a number of people have done a very simple bodge to fit a GoPro style action cam.

I ordered one which arrived today and am so far very impressed with it. It took me 5 minutes to sort out how to mount the Yi and my other action cams and it seems to do pretty much everything that the more expensive Evolution does. In addition modern smart phones can be mounted straight into the clamp which can be switched between portrait and landscape fitting . Using a phone to film, the gimbal will control the phone via an app, and can even be set up so that the gimbal will track a subject's movements automatically, something I can potentially see as being very useful, especially as the stabiliser has a 1/4" tripod screw on the base. Battery life is also reputed to be up to 12 hours.

Once I have used it in anger, I'll report back on reliability and actual results. Anyone else using one or had reliability problems with the Evolution?

Roger
Roger Gunkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 3rd, 2017, 04:18 AM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: London, UK
Posts: 1,393
Re: Bought a Zhiyun Evolution gimbal, but.......

I'm using a selfie stick (without extending the pole) and have a Zhiyun Z1 Rider M attached to it with my Yi 2 4K camera.

It's not that great in low light but for day light steadicam style shots it's perfect and does the job adequately.

I'm tempted to get the Zhiyun Crane v2 when it costs around 300. Would be lovely to attach my A7Sii to cover daylight and low light conditions.
James Manford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 3rd, 2017, 05:27 AM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: LIncolnshire, UK
Posts: 2,213
Re: Bought a Zhiyun Evolution gimbal, but.......

Hi james,

I just bought a remote controller for the Smooth Q, I think it would also work with your Z1 Rider. Cost me 17.99 from a Milton Keynes based supplier via Amazon. As the Smooth Q has a 1/4" tripod mount screw on the base, I can now mount it onto a lighting stand and remote control the pan and tilt from up to 30ft away. Perfect for a different angle during the ceremony as you can change it at will.

I was hoping to use it at this weekend's wedding, but my wife is filming one wedding and won't take the Smooth Q until she is used to it. My wedding is photography only, so I'll have to wait until the following week to try it in anger.

I also found another use for the tripod screw fixing on the Zhiyun, I have attached a small extention plate to it with my phone on a ball head connection mount. That puts the phone screen in an ideal position to monitor the Yi camera and settings, plus stop and start when using the stabiliser hand held.

Roger
Roger Gunkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 21st, 2017, 07:38 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Reading Berkshire UK
Posts: 871
Re: Bought a Zhiyun Evolution gimbal, but.......

I have on order an electronic gimbal with Amazon, which is the Neewer Crane 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Neewer-Hand...ZVWDS6Z4C4KV8W

Regular price is a rather large 549 but it has been on a lightning deal today at 391.

It is to all intents and purposes the Zhiyun-Tech Crane v2 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer as in B&H:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1268163-REG/zhiyun_tech_zyc_zhiyun_tech_crane_professional_3_axis.html/BI/2855/KBID/3801

I haven't found a review of the Neewer one but the Zhiyun one appears to be well regarded both in the large number of comments on the B&H page and in a detailed Youtube report by the excellent Dustin Abbot:


If I were to use a gimbal at all I would want to be able to use one of my Canon 5D Mark IV's and with constant aperture lenses. I'll be using my ancient Canon 20-35mm f2.8L (yes it did exist), and my equally ancient metal construction 50mm f1.8 (which is only 200g c.f. my 50mm f1.2L at 640g).

I will pop a Rode videomic pro on top of the body. Thats140g so the total gets close to its new limits of around 1800g (new design and firmware update of the gimbal), but Abbot mentions that the weight can be exceeded anyway.

I use a Canon 24-105 f4L a lot when on a monopod and that combined with its 3 stop image stabilisation and the excellent Canon 5D-IV autofocus has been very useful. I had been switching to a new version of the Tamron 24-70 f2.8 as it has an amazing 5 stops of image stabilisation; but the gimbal will give so much more variety especially when shooting very low or if clipped onto a long monopod or boom pole.

I hadn't been paying attention. Thought it was still all about mixing weights onto stabilisers and fiddling about for ages to calibrate them :- )

Off topic: you can now get the IV grey market for just 2109 at efinity and 2140 at Panamoz. Still 3300 at UK main dealers. OK 4k is painful to use but I wouldn't routinely use it anyway and will skip the generation to 8k in due course.

Pete
Peter Riding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 21st, 2017, 12:30 PM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: LIncolnshire, UK
Posts: 2,213
Re: Bought a Zhiyun Evolution gimbal, but.......

Hi Pete,

I considered a Zhiyun Crane for one of my Panny FZ1000s but decided that the cost involved wouldn't be justified by the use I would get from it. On the other hand, the little Yi4K gives me the opportunity to shoot 4K in reasonable light for some fun shots on a cheap and very efficient gimbal.

Not sure why you feel 4K would be a pain, as I film in 4K for every wedding and love editing with it for the cropping, or zooming and panning within the frame. It's definitely been a boon for wedding and stage productions and has speeded up my work mode..

Roger
Roger Gunkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 21st, 2017, 01:56 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Reading Berkshire UK
Posts: 871
Re: Bought a Zhiyun Evolution gimbal, but.......

Hi Roger, yes I looked at your thoughts when you suggested it a month ago. However in my own case I reckoned I'd use gimbals a lot more if they would work well with the heavier gear - I want to be able to shoot in low light, in full frame, in narrow depth of field, and specifically in the Canon dSLR scenario, in great colour and fast accurate auto-focus etc - and that did require much more cumbersome stabilising kit.

There are compelling reasons for smaller Panasonic and Sony but I'm unconvinced. I've tried the Panny stuff with a main dealer and studied up on the Sony options. There's always big "but's". The small G80 is OK for hiding but there's the poor battery life, poor audio, poor choice of fixed wide aperture lenses etc. The GH5 looked too good to be true and it was - though maybe it will now be better at auto-focus. Even so it needs a battery grip and an XLR add-on, making it not small at all. And of course its 4/3 :- ( I haven't handled the Sony's. The professional reports of inferior colour, poor battery life, ridiculous menu system etc are enough to kill it for me. Plenty of Sony and Panny protagonists but its not for me.

I don't really want to use two different systems either - Canon and ..... I did that with panny for a long time, got fed up with it.

So its the pricier gimbal of nothing for me. Oh well.

The 4K problem I mentioned is specifically in relation to Canon dSLRs. I use it occasionally but the file sizes are well known as ginormous.It provides printable 8mp JPGs - and 8mp was the photo file size of my top of the range Canon 1 series bodies not that long ago e.g. 1D Mark II. This thread on DPReview illustrates how the JPG's from 4k video can work great:
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4216072
I do photography cropping very extensively with the Canon 5DS-R. Its a 50mp body (c.f. the 30mp Canon 5D Mark IV). I use a Sigma 85mm f1.4 Art now instead of a much larger heavier Canon 70-200 f2.8L IS. Its transformed my workflow. I still use the 70-200 for video though even adding a 1.4x converter occasionally.

I don't think I'd be shooting in 4k even if the bodies I use were similar to the Panny and Sony bodies, not for wedding video anyway; still feels like a solution looking for a problem other than for cropping. But 8k will be a different animal.

I'll probably use a gimbal and 4k next month when I go to the seal breeding beech at Donna Nook which is not that far from your part of the world:

Donna Nook Weekly Seal Update | Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust

Oh, and Westonbirt Arboretum sooner than that:

https://www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt

Pete
Peter Riding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 21st, 2017, 02:51 PM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,426
Re: Bought a Zhiyun Evolution gimbal, but.......

Quote:
The small G80 is OK for hiding but there's the poor battery life, poor audio, poor choice of fixed wide aperture lenses etc.
Poor batterylife compared to which other camera? It's not worse then any other camera in it's price range, I"d say even better, enough at least to shoot a entire ceremony on one battery.

What do you mean with "poor choice of fixed wide aperture lenses"? M4/3 has about the widest choice available to use from Canon, Nikon, Sigma etc and it's own native panasonic and olympus lenses with f-stops up to f0.95 or f1.2, either natively achieved by the lens or with the help of a speedbooster.

edit: the internal audio is not that good but which dslr has good internal audio? You can always plugin a mike and get better audio.

Quote:
Even so it needs a battery grip and an XLR add-on making it not small at all
The gh5 doesn't "need" a batterygrip, you get the grip if need to record longer then at least 1,5 hour continuously or just if you don't want to change batteries too often, with the grip you can record for hours non stop. It also doesn't "need" a xlr add-on because there are other ways to record sound but it's a great add on for those who want to capture higher quality audio right into the camera, it's small, cheap and designed specifically for the camera, what more can you ask?

a GH5 with a batterygrip and xlr add on is still quite small and light especially compared to full frame dslr's, with the exception of Sony.

Quote:
I don't think I'd be shooting in 4k even if the bodies I use were similar to the Panny and Sony bodies, not for wedding video anyway; still feels like a solution looking for a problem other than for cropping. But 8k will be a different animal.
If you think 4K is painful to use, wait until you get to deal with 8K :) 4K codecs that are taxing on most systems are 10 bit 4K codecs from a GH5 and they do require a latest generation CPU to be able to handle them smoothly enough but 8bit codecs edit easy, even on older generation cpu's. I shoot 4K on all my camera's now, the image is more detailed on all of them and there are less artifacts, only the GH5's 1080p looks equally good as 4K downscaled. Why do you think 4K is a problem?

Last edited by Noa Put; October 21st, 2017 at 03:58 PM.
Noa Put is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 21st, 2017, 04:52 PM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: LIncolnshire, UK
Posts: 2,213
Re: Bought a Zhiyun Evolution gimbal, but.......

Hi Pete,

I had a look at Donna Nook, but we are in South Lincs at the bottom corner of the Wash and Donna Nook means the dreaded joirney up the A17 and the coast road, no fun at any time of the year. I might be able to top that though as we have a little seagoing Motorsailer moored 5 minutes from our house, and Seal Island off Kings Lynn and a couple of other basking areas closer to our mooring are within easy reach. We are doing some engine work on the boat through the Winter, but in the new year hope to get out and dry the boat out on the sands to get some close up shots of the seals. I brought the boat round through the Wash a few weeks ago and passed about 200 seals basking on Seal sand, but it was too rough to get any decent photos.

Coming back to video, I love my Canon DSLRs for stills, with the ability to use the f1.8 50mm, or the f1.8 35mm primes, then swap to a telephoto when required, BUT I hate them for video. canon video file bitrates always seem to be far higher than other brands for no noticeable visual improvement and huge file sizes. I also don't like audio from the camera and am not a fan of using XLRs via an adapter and definitely not wired mic connections when I can use a variety of easily synched pocket recorders or wireless through a 3mm connector. I love using the FZ1000s for the instant 25-400 zoom, f2.8 at wide angle, wide range of resolutions and to my eyes much better Colour rendition. I've always found lens changing a pain in the rear end as I work very quickly at weddings and fast set up, break down and run and gun is what I do best.

We all work different ways with different gear and I know that you have a photography background so are comfortable with the Canon DSLRs. I would certainly agree with Canon being my favourite brand for photography, but I do seem to be using one of my three FZ1000s more frequently for photography at weddings at pressure times. Vicars and registrars also love the fact that they are virtually silent for stills and of course I can lift stills from the 4K footage, giving me tens of thousands of backup photos available if I miss a conventional still.

We all use what we find the best for us and I wouldn't dream of trying to change your views, but it's always interesting to see how others work :-)

Roger
Roger Gunkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 22nd, 2017, 11:33 AM   #9
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Romsey, UK
Posts: 1,261
Re: Bought a Zhiyun Evolution gimbal, but.......

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Riding View Post
I don't think I'd be shooting in 4k even if the bodies I use were similar to the Panny and Sony bodies, not for wedding video anyway; still feels like a solution looking for a problem other than for cropping. But 8k will be a different animal.
I confess to being amused by this line which I think you've used before on this forum. Tell me, do you think the Resolution increase for stills in the 5D Mark IV over the Mark III was a solution looking for a problem, or did you just appreciate the extra megapixels. :)

A 4K sensor makes for better HD and aside from some exceptions, Canon DSLR HD is rather soft with many comparing it more to 720 in actual resolution. I think 6K is the next step and if anything it'll probably only lead to better quality 4K. It's hard enough to appreciate 4K on a 60" TV from a reasonable distance and many don't have a TV that large.

When 6K or even 8K comes along, it'll be more for cinema screens. Still never say never and technology moves in mysterious ways. Perhaps by the time 8K is here we'll be watching it through VR headsets or some other gizmo. Frankly, I don't see the future an excuse to ignore the present and the one thing I can say about the possibility of 4K is that it's potential link with HDR, which I feel will bring more noticeable benefits to the casual viewer than resolution alone.

Not a reason to be shooting 4K now I admit, and whether you prefer not to will be down to personal taste, your PC performance or whether you're a Canon user, but certainly not a reason why you should write it off so readily.
Steve Burkett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2017, 01:58 AM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Posts: 3,530
Re: Bought a Zhiyun Evolution gimbal, but.......

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Riding View Post
Hi Roger, yes I looked at your thoughts when you suggested it a month ago. However in my own case I reckoned I'd use gimbals a lot more if they would work well with the heavier gear - I want to be able to shoot in low light, in full frame, in narrow depth of field, and specifically in the Canon dSLR scenario, in great colour and fast accurate auto-focus etc - and that did require much more cumbersome stabilising kit.
Welcome back Peter. Has your video workflow changed? Previously you used small locked off handycams while shooting stills with your full frame Canon DSLR as detailed on your website Professional Wedding Video for Berkshire and the South of England by Ashton Lamont
Nigel Barker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 24th, 2017, 01:55 PM   #11
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: New Haven, CT
Posts: 1,004
Re: Bought a Zhiyun Evolution gimbal, but.......

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
Anyone else using one or had reliability problems with the Evolution?

Roger
Is it ok to report NOT having any reliability issues with the Zhiyun Evolution? :)

I have shot scores of videos using the Evolution gimbal and the Yi 4K+. The Yi fit perfectly in the *included* holder - I think you got an older version - the newer one has longer screws.

It stabilizes very well, is quiet, and the battery really lasts, so I just turn it on and leave it on for a full session of shooting. It is great not having to worry about battery life (we are talking 12-14 hours!).

Here are two of my latest 4K 60P videos:


This one records sound using an external mic (Sony ECM CS3) attached to the camera USB-C port (with adaptor) and clipped to the gimbal:


No motor noise.
Mark Rosenzweig is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 24th, 2017, 03:46 PM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: LIncolnshire, UK
Posts: 2,213
Re: Bought a Zhiyun Evolution gimbal, but.......

Hi Mark,

My evolution was bought as the latest model through Amazon, however I have no real way of knowing whether it was actually the new model. It looked and felt very solid and comfortable, but as it broke down virtually immediately, I returned it. I also found a number of similar reviews with the same problem. The Smooth Q that I bought instead was significantly cheaper and has so far proved to be completely reliable The electronics are probably the same as the Evolution and the battery life is giving me a full days use at a wedding and still showing me a full charge after a number of uses over a long day. I also like the fact that I can choose to use it with a smart phone if I wish and get extra options like automatic face tracking control of the gimbal.

I bought the remote control which would also work with your Evolution and that has been brilliant for controlling the stabiliser mounted on a stand, from up to 30ft away.

I'm very pleased with results from my Yi 4K, very good in reasonable light and useable in moderate low light. I'd be really interested to see some footage from your 4K+ of something like a theatre show, or dance with typical club type lighting, to see how it performs as I may want to get one when our new wedding season starts in the early Spring.

Roger
Roger Gunkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 26th, 2017, 07:55 AM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: LIncolnshire, UK
Posts: 2,213
Re: Bought a Zhiyun Evolution gimbal, but.......

Not sure how others are using their gimbals, but I thought I would post a couple of pics of how I use mine.

Although the Smooth Q gimbal is meant for phones, it was very easy to mod it to take my Yi, Gopro or SJ4000 cams. It needed a balance weight to move the load out slightly, so I use a spare Gopro battery, black tacked to the camera mount alongside the camera. My Gopro doesn't have a backpack screen, but the Yi4K does, but I find it very difficult to view normally unless it is close to my face and I'm looking straight at it. On the gimbal it is obscured anyway, so I much prefer to monitor it and control it from the phone. I use a very simple camera light attachment on the tripod socket at the base of the stabiliser handle to hold a standard phone clamp on a very cheap ball mount. That enables me to view and control very easily whilst walking with the gimbal, particularly useful if doing low or high shots.

For remote work, the stabiliser simply gets mounted to a tripod or stand, with the phone moved to a clamp on my main camera tripod and the gimbal remote control attached to the tripod pan handle for instant control of the gimbal pan and tilt up to 30ft away. With that setup, I can change the view from the gimbal camera at any time, stop and start and take video or stills as required.

I've now used the setup at two weddings and it has been very quick to setup and easy to use.

Roger
Attached Thumbnails
Bought a Zhiyun Evolution gimbal, but.......-p1070694.jpg   Bought a Zhiyun Evolution gimbal, but.......-p1070700.jpg  

Bought a Zhiyun Evolution gimbal, but.......-p1070701.jpg  
Roger Gunkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 30th, 2017, 06:41 PM   #14
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: New Haven, CT
Posts: 1,004
Re: Bought a Zhiyun Evolution gimbal, but.......

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
Hi Mark,


I'm very pleased with results from my Yi 4K, very good in reasonable light and useable in moderate low light. I'd be really interested to see some footage from your 4K+ of something like a theatre show, or dance with typical club type lighting, to see how it performs as I may want to get one when our new wedding season starts in the early Spring.

Roger
Here's the closest I can get to a "theatre show" at night:


4K 60P, 200 Mbps. Zhiyun Evolution gimbal (has not failed me yet).
Mark Rosenzweig is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 31st, 2017, 05:08 AM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: LIncolnshire, UK
Posts: 2,213
Re: Bought a Zhiyun Evolution gimbal, but.......

Hi Mark,

I saw your other thread first and posted on that, but thanks for posting it here. The footage looks very good, but is more akin to me working with extra lighting. The vast majority of my low light requirement is the evening part of wedding receptions when they reduce the lighting for dancing etc and guests are seated in quite dimly lit areas. I can get good results using my Panasonic cams, but really want to be able to use the stabiliser and an action cam sized camera for much more unobtrusive shots and cut away locked off shots.

If you get a chance to get any evening bar or party type footage, that would be great to see how it performs compared to my Yi 4K and GoPros before committing to a new cam for the coming wedding season. Maybe I am looking for too much from such small cams, but I live in hope as technology moves on.

Roger
Roger Gunkel is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY USA

Scan Computers Int. Ltd.
+44 0871-472-4747
Bolton, Lancashire UK


DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:58 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2021 The Digital Video Information Network