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Want to shoot movies on your phone like Rian Johnson? Grab this 3-axis gimbal for $58.49

Stabilize your videos for a fraction of what it used to cost. Plus: An incredible deal on royalty-free stock images.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
4 min read

Raise your movie game with a 3-axis gimbal like this one.


In case you missed it, Star Wars director Rian Johnson recently created a movie using nothing but an iPhone 11. OK, "movie" is a stretch. He basically shot a bunch of clips while visiting Paris, then stitched them together and put some piano music in the background. To be honest, it's nothing special. I suspect you or I could craft something just as good, if not better.

Of course, the point was merely to prove how amazingly good our phones have gotten at recording video. Point made. But if you have aspirations beyond, well, video travelogues, there's one extra tool that's worth having: a gimbal. It uses a combination of weights and motors to keep a camera steady while it's in motion. That means you can walk, run, pan, swoop and so on and enjoy much smoother video than you could just holding the phone in your hand.

These things used to cost hundreds of dollars, but not today. For a limited time, and while supplies last, Midgar's Best (via Amazon) has the Neweer three-axis handheld gimbal for $58.49 with promo code GIMBL1019. Regular price: An already-pretty-good $90. Just make sure that Midgar's Best is the selected seller -- lots of other vendors on Amazon carry this same product, but the code won't work for any of them. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.

As noted, this is a three-axis gimbal. It can turn up to 330 degrees on one axis, 325 on another and 180 on the third. Some other gimbals I've seen have slightly greater ranges, if you think that's important for your filmmaking needs.

Make sure your phone will fit, too: Neweer says the holder can accommodate models "up to 6 inches," but it's not clear whether that's screen size or phone length or what. The iPhone XR , for example, is on the compatibility list, despite having a 6.1-inch screen. 

The gimbal offers three basic modes -- lock, pan-follow and pan-and-tilt -- all of them accessible via a simple toggle button. You can also add Neweer's app to the mix for more advanced options like face- and object-tracking.

There's a rechargeable 3,000-mAH battery built into the gimbal, good for up to 12 hours of operation, according to Neweer. One cool side-perk: A USB power-out port lets you charge your phone or another device if needed.

I haven't tried this model myself, but I've used similar ones and found them quite good overall. There's a learning curve, though, so be sure to follow the instructions and maybe seek out some how-to videos as well. I think for $58, this is an amazingly affordable way to add stability to movies you shoot on your phone -- or just take your TikTok game to the next level.

Bonus deal: Stock up on stock images for just $59

If you're a content creator -- and by that I mean you're the one in charge of the newsletter, the Facebook ad campaign, the website, the mailer, and so on -- you know the value of having access to a monster library of royalty-free images.

You also know the cost: A single photo might run you $25, $50 or even more. That's why I seriously dig deals like this: For a limited time, AppSumo is offering a 1,000-credit Yay Images plan for $59. This is an AppSumo exclusive. Yay Images proper offers only monthly subscription plans, and those start at $19 (good for 20 images per month). Here you're getting way more bang for the buck.

Yay boasts a library of 10 million images and 1 million vectors/illustrations. Each one costs one credit, and each can be used for commercial purposes: ads, marketing campaigns and the like.

There are lots of image repositories like this one, but Yay stands out by offering an unusually robust set of search tools. You can filter based on things like color, people, available space for text overlay and so on. (You can browse the library right now at Yay Images, but those advanced search options are available only to plan-holders.)

Feel like you might burn through those credits pretty quick? AppSumo also offers 2,000- and 3,000-credit plans, though the cost rises accordingly; no volume discounts.

I've taken advantage of similar AppSumo stock-photo deals before, and they've paid for themselves many times over. If you have even the slightest need, I can't recommend this enough.

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