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Zhiyun Weebill 2 camera gimbal gives you good reason to dump DJI

Aimed at pros, this three-axis stabilizer adds a ton of control and promises improved performance over its predecessor while staying impressively compact.

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Zhiyun

Camera-stabilizer-maker Zhiyun announced the Weebill 2 motorized three-axis gimbal on Thursday. The new model is an update to its Weebill-S and, although it remains compact like that model, it features a new control layout, stronger motors, an updated algorithm and improved axis locks. It's also the first to have a 2.9-inch flip-out color touchscreen that lets you control your camera and, when paired with the company's TransMount Video Transmission transmitter, you can use it to monitor your shot and activate a one-touch Smart Follow feature to track your subject. 

The Weebill 2 starts at $549 for the gimbal and a handheld tripod, but you'll be able to get a Combo package that adds a carrying case and a quick-connect sling grip handle for $649. Going up to $899 is a Pro kit that includes everything in the Combo plus the video transmitter and a focus/zoom control motor. A $1,099 kit adds Zhiyun's MasterEye to the Pro kit, which is a motion controller combined with a monitor and image receiver. The Weebill 2 will start at £509 in the UK and AU$899 in Australia.

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The new layout and touchscreen keep all your controls both in reach and out of the way.

Zhiyun

The gimbal uses an Infineon-made sensor that, combined with upgraded motors and its core algorithm, is able to precisely compensate for micro-jitter and speed up stabilizer response, Zhiyun said in its announcement. It can handle a payload of up to 4 kilograms (8.8 pounds). All of this should make it perform better than the Weebill-S, but combined with the redesigned controls you'll have even more reason to upgrade.

Most of the Weebill-S' controls are on the handgrip, which means they're under your hand while you're using the stabilizer and more easily pressed accidentally. With the Weebill 2, the joystick to control your camera's position is within easy reach of your thumb. A control wheel to the rear of the joystick lets you adjust axis, aperture and ISO or zoom and follow focus if you have the optional motor attached. A switch in between the stick and wheel lets you quickly switch stabilizer modes, and next to it is a record button. 

A trigger in front repositions your camera or flips it to selfie mode among other things. And then there's the rotating flip-out touchscreen that lets you control even more of the gimbal's features including setting up time-lapse and gesture control. Basically, you don't need to connect your phone and use an app to fully control this gimbal. 

Also read: Best vlogging camera for 2021

Zhiyun switched to a built-in rechargeable battery for this model, which can run for up to 9 hours and can be quickly recharged by USB-C in 1.6 hours. Plus, you can continue to use the stabilizer while it charges. If you need swappable batteries and a longer runtime, though, you'll want to consider the Weebill-S or higher-end Crane 2S.

The Weebill 2's price falls between category leader DJI's $499 RSC 2 and $849 RS 2 but the features come closer to the latter and blow right past it when it comes to the touchscreen and control layout.