Zhiyun SMOOTH 4 handheld gimbal out of the box
Appearance: Bring the camera's dial to the gimbal
The SMOOTH 4 handheld pan/tilt is made of hard plastic and is available in black and white versions. We get a white version, the button area is designed with white mirror plastic, and the other parts are frosted and the texture is very strong. The SMOOTH 4 handheld pan/tilt is divided into a device fixed area, an operation area and a holding area.
Fixed area and other handheld heads are similar
The equipment fixing area is basically similar to similar products. The mobile phone clip part adopts a spring structure, and the silicone pad is attached as the inner lining. The overall holding force is large, which is a good guarantee for the safety and stability of the mobile phone.
The ZHIYUN lettering is printed on the rotating device
A more user-friendly design of the SMOOTH 4 handheld pan/tilt is a snap in the fixture area. This design solves the problem of answering the phone during the shooting process. When a call is made, there is no need to disassemble the mobile phone. Just lock the buckle and the pan/tilt enters the sleep mode, so that the mobile phone can be operated on the pan/tilt. Easy to answer calls.
This design is very intimate. In the past, when you used the PTZ, it was a very difficult thing to answer the phone. With this button, it was much easier to answer the phone with the PTZ.
The buckle in the fixed area is a very user-friendly design
On the mobile phone clip arm, SMOOTH 4 has a Micro-USB interface, which is used to charge the phone emergency, of course, you need to purchase additional adapter cable.
Charging interface is Micro USB
The most eye-catching area of the operating area is the middle dial and the huge scroll wheel on the left, and other buttons are arranged around the dial. This design is similar to the operating area of a SLR camera, with buttons, dials, and even a scroll wheel, and the ZY Play App can perform almost all shooting operations. In the ZY Play App, the dial can be adjusted to adjust parameters such as exposure, aperture, ISO, etc. This dial design can almost replace the operation on the touch screen of the mobile phone.
There is no rocker in the operating area, instead it is the dial
The main function of the left wheel is to focus and focus. Taking photos and recordingvideoWhen you scroll, the scroll wheel can focus and focus, and the focus/focus can be switched by the button in the lower left corner of the operation area. Such a design is a plus or a sub-item for both operability and functionality. The only regret is that such a design is unfriendly to users who have left-handed hands and have little left-handed operation.
The wheel on the left side of SMOOTH 4 is the most distinctive part
The right side of the SMOOTH 4 operating area is the Type-C charging port. There is a vertical rounded rectangle button on the back, divided into upper and lower parts, the upper part is the "mad dog mode" selection button, the lower part is the "full follow mode" selection button, double-click to restore the default mode.
Two buttons on the back of SMOOTH 4
There are plastic anti-slip treatment on the left and right sides of the grip area, and a colored power indicator on the front. The accompanying tripod is also a hard plastic with good opening and closing damping, and a non-slip mat at the bottom. The card connecting the stabilizer is designed with a standard screw and the installation is smooth. Each bracket is printed with a red Zhiyun LOGO, which is full of science and technology.
The bottom is a removable bracket with a cushion for cushioning
Control: You can use the mobile phone to do things with the cloud platform
Zhiyun SMOOTH 4 has many physical buttons placed in the handheld part of the PTZ, and even has a simple camera to control the visual sense. The advantage of this is that almost all operations can be done through the handheld pan/tilt, which is more feature-rich and more playable. However, such a design inevitably brings some trouble.
The operation area button design is one of its characteristics, and it is also the problem
The first is the increase in learning costs. Similar to Zhiyun SMOOTH 4, Dajiang Lingbi OSMO mobile cloud head 2 This kind of handheld cloud platform that uses mobile phones to shoot video, mainly for users who are non-professional and like to shoot video. For this part of the user, more physical buttons mean more time to get familiar with the product.
When I first started SMOOTH 4, it took 30 minutes to know what the button did, let alone skilled operation. However, Zhiyun officially produced a series of short videos.TutorialThrough these tutorials, you can shorten your study time, but you only need to spend some time to become proficient.
Shooting mode in the app
Second, the conflict between PTZ operations and App operations. SMOOTH 4 needs to work with ZY Play's official app to get the most out of it, and the interactive logic of this app is designed for PTZ physical operation. In other words, using the physical button on the pan/tilt feels much better than touching the phone screen. When we operate directly on the screen of the mobile phone, it feels a little uncomfortable.
In addition, Zhiyun canceled the joystick design on SMOOTH 4, which means that in some modes, we can't adjust the shooting angle through the physical keys. What if you have to adjust the shooting angle? Of course, it’s fine to go directly to it.
Experience: Let you play crazy for an afternoon
Although the Zhiyun SMOOTH 4 does not have a joystick, many buttons on the platform provide a variety of shooting modes. There is a mode switch above the power button. This switch is mainly used to switch between left and right follow mode (PF) and lock mode (L).
To explain briefly, in the left and right follow mode, the pan/tilt will ensure that the lens rotates when it rotates left and right, while the roll axis and the pitch roll are locked, which means that the camera can be rotated when the pan/tilt is rotated left and right in this mode. Correspondingly, the lock mode will lock all directions, no matter how the handle lens is shaken to ensure the current picture is taken.
The left and right follow mode is suitable for shooting left and right or 360 degree surround images; the lock mode is suitable for shooting fixed or linear motion.
Front and rear button mode assignment map
In addition, the two buttons on the back of SMOOTH 4 can turn on full follow mode and mad dog mode. The full follow mode only locks the roll axis. When the handle is rotated, the lens will move to the left and right. Similarly, when the pitch is up and down, the camera will follow. The difference between the left and right follow mode is that it only locks the roll axis, and the lens will rotate when it is rotated up and down or left and right.
These models are relatively basic. Below we focus on the mad dog mode and SMOOTH 4's more unique features: Hitchcock shooting.
1, the mad dog mode can not stop
The mad dog mode is one of the most distinctive modes of the SMOOTH 4, which locks the roll axis and allows the lens to quickly follow the up, down, left and right movements, which is almost the same as taking the selfie stick. The reason why it is said to be almost the same is because the PTZ model has a benefit compared to the selfie stick: steady.
The biggest use of the mad dog mode is to shoot a fast transition picture. This mode allows for a fast-moving picture because it allows the lens to quickly turn around. When you enter the mad dog mode, the lens will quickly return to the correct direction, and the entire string of the gimbal will be as tight as it is.
Shoot fast shots with mad dog mode (picture taken from official tutorial)
This mode is simple to use, only need to press and hold the corresponding button, but it can make you crazy for an afternoon. With the mad dog mode, you can shoot a lot of interesting pictures, such as turning the dress in the same scene or the fast-moving darts in the movie. In addition, when we encounter some emergency scenes and want to quickly transfer the lens to the scene, the advantage of the mad dog mode is reflected.
Use the mad dog mode to shoot the mouth to the "dark" (picture taken from the official tutorial)
2, interesting Hitchcock is not easy to shoot
Hitchcock's shooting technique
do you understand? The tower as the main body of the picture did not change in size, while the background behind it showed a change in the distance. This kind of picture can be taken with the smart cloud SMOOTH 4 with the mobile phone, and there are two ways to shoot:
Method 1: Manual shooting
First switch to the zoom mode by pressing the button in the lower left corner of SMOOTH 4, then move closer to the subject from the fixed point line, and adjust the zoom through the left side of the pan/tilt to keep the subject size unchanged.
This kind of shooting method is suitable for the stabilizer that supports zoom, but there are certain requirements for the photographer's zoom control ability, and the advantage of the Zhiyun SMOOTH 4 is that the left wheel can adjust the focal length more accurately. In addition, the ZOO Play App for the SMOOTH 4 has Hitchcock shooting mode, which is simpler than manual shooting.
Picture taken by Hitchcock (picture taken from official tutorial)
Method 2: "Hitchcock" mode shooting
In the ZY Play App camera mode, select the “Hitchcock” in the shooting by opening the menu with the “MENU” button on the pan/tilt. In this mode, you need to set more than two shooting points to complete the shooting. Let's take two shooting points as an example.
There is a special Hitchcock mode in the shooting menu.
First, set the first shooting point at a certain distance from the main body. You need to adjust both WT (zoom) and AF (focus) to ensure the size and sharpness of the subject in the picture. Then proceed toward the subject, move to the second shooting point, and perform the same steps at the second shooting point. Finally, return to the first shooting point and adjust the shooting time. Press “Start shooting” and then move from the first shooting point to the second shooting point to finish shooting.
Set WT and AF values
There are several shooting points in this: First, ensure that the size of the main body in the first shooting point and the size of the main body in the second shooting point are the same, which needs to be achieved by zooming; second, control the length of the shooting.
Compared to manual shooting, this mode eliminates the need for manual zooming, but it is still not easy to get started. In the actual shooting process, after three or four adjustments, I felt that I had a doorway. I wanted to be skilled in shooting, and I was afraid that I would not be able to make a satisfactory result.
to sum up:
We mainly experienced the mad dog mode and the Hitchcock mode on SMOOTH 4, and other basic functions such as 180-degree panoramic view, time-lapse photography, and even the stability of the PTZ to the shooting picture.
From the use of these two days, SMOOTH 4 adds some interesting features to the handheld PTZ, making the handheld PTZ more than just a stable shooting tool. However, the increase in playability also brings a certain learning cost. For the average user, it takes some time to familiarize with the practice for the first time.
In the past two years, the enhancement of smart phone hardware has given mobile phone handheld PTZ an opportunity to enter the public's field of vision. At present, the stability effects of most stabilizers on the market are not much different, and the difference is concentrated in the experience and function. As mentioned above, SMOOTH 4 has obvious advantages, more functions, and more gameplay, but the user needs to have the spirit of "tossing".
If you only want to use your mobile phone to stabilize the picture, you don't need much functionality, then SMOOTH 4 is probably not the best choice, but if you like research and want to shoot some special and interesting videos, consider SMOOTH 4.