The FeiyuTech AK4500 is my goto large gimbal when using a heavier smartphone setup. Smooth, powerful and flexible, the AK4500 does it all.
Sometimes Bigger is Better
Sometimes more power and weight is a good thing when you want the smoothest camera movement. Why? Because momentum in movement can help smooth out small bumps and inconsistencies, and momentum comes with mass. When you have to apply a bit more force to get a heavier rig moving in a particular direction, it tends to want to continue moving in that direction unless enough force is applied to slow or stop it. That momentum, and resistance to change in direction absorbs some pressure in unwanted directions during a camera move that can show up in a shot with a lighter gimbal.
If you rig up your phone in a larger cage such as the Helium Core, Ulanzi Video Cage, Beastgrip Pro, Beastcage or similar, then you won’t be able to use a smartphone gimbal. These cages are great for accommodating larger lenses and filters, a DOF Adapter such as the Ulanzi DOF Adapter or Beastgrip DOF Adapter MkII. However you’ll wind up with a much heavier camera package.
The FeiyuTech AK4500
The FeiyuTech AK4500 is a DSLR/Mirrorless/Compact Cine camera gimbal that can support up to 4.6kg, which is plenty for a fully kitted out smartphone. It also includes a wireless lens focus motor, which I like to rig up to control my PolarPro Peter McKinnon Edition Variable ND Filters.
The dual handle grip and remote control handle allows for well balanced, comfortable handling both upright, inverted, and in flashlight mode. The remote control handle can also be used separately, for complete wireless remote control of the gimbal position and focus motor.
A gimbal like this will open up a lot more modes of operation than a smartphone gimbal can. It’s overkill and more than you need for many situations, but for specialized movement, and when you need to carry a heavier configuration, the FeiyuTech AK4500 is an excellent choice.
My Reason for the Four Star Rating
One of the primary things I most wanted to use this gimbal for is motion lapses. This is a time-lapse video but captured while the camera orientation is slowly and smoothly moving. The FeiyuTech AK4500 has a motion lapse mode, but it is designed with DSLR and mirrorless cameras in mind whereby the gimbal itself can trigger each exposure at precisely the correct time. The movement of the gimbal happens between each triggered exposure so that the camera is stationary for the duration of each exposure. Since there is no sync possible with a smartphone, I found the resulting motion lapse video had uneven movement.
This is not a fault of the gimbal, but for a smartphone application (which, granted this gimbal was never designed for), unfortunately, it means smooth motion lapses are not possible.