I'm a beginner in film making, and trying to take footage with my smartphones. To make it more professional, I'm thinking of using a Tripod or Gimbal stabilizer to create non shaky video.

I think gimbal will be more beneficial as I can take sliding shot, left to right movement and bottom to top etc movement with smooth footage. I think I can use it in all aspect of video production without shake. But I guess I can't use Tripod the same way, it is fixed in one position thats it?

I only have enough funds to buy one, but I don't know about the difference between these tool. Please help me to understand which one to use for which purpose.

  • 1
    I'm closing this as there is no right answer as to which one to buy as a beginner. It's entirely up to you and what you want to do.
    – Dr Mayhem
    Sep 26, 2017 at 21:39
  • 1
    @DrMayhem, I believe there is pretty clear answer to this question: both tool designed for different purposes, so we shall tell the difference. It is not like question is about two similar things.
    – Shultc
    Sep 26, 2017 at 21:56
  • Unfortunately, that wouldn't answer the question asked. If the OP can edit the question to describe the type of material they want to shoot, then I think the question can be reopened and answered. Sep 26, 2017 at 22:37
  • @DrMayhem I did a after post comment. Please check and let me know if i am good or not.
    – rram
    Sep 27, 2017 at 4:45
  • I have edited to make this work and reopened - please let me know if this wording is not suitable for you.
    – Dr Mayhem
    Sep 27, 2017 at 7:13

2 Answers 2


Gimbals are good for adding movement without shake, they're brilliant for run-n-gun documentary work where lugging a tripod slows you down. They're perfect when you're in the thick of things, using a wide lens to shoot close to the action.

They take a bit of time to master, you need to practise steering them and think about the movement. You also need a camera with good autofocus and you probably want to shoot with more depth of field; while you can focus-pull on a gimbal-mounted camera, particularly with a remote motor driven follow focus, it's challenging.

A major disadvantage of a gimbal is that you're limited in terms of the weight of the camera. Unless you're shelling out a lot, the cheaper gimbals are limited to something the weight of a DSLR. So if you're looking at using a cinema camera or shoulder-mount style video camera you're also going to be spending more on your gimbal.

A gimbal is fairly useless if you're shooting interviews, unless you're a fan of the camera-always-needlessly-moving style of interview shooting, and if you are, damn your eyes, you're a disgrace. For static interview set-ups a tripod will win hands-down.

You also wouldn't take a gimbal if you were trying to get shots of snow leopards in the wild, live sports, or candid long-lens documentary footage. You can't really stick long lenses on them, not just because of the weight, but also because even with the stabilisation the constant movement is still too much.

Another consideration is ergonomics. Even though the average video tripod weighs more than the average gimbal when you're lugging it to the gig, once you're there you put the tripod on the floor. Because you have to hold it while shooting, shooting for extended amounts of time with a gimbal can be exhausting. Also, the batteries on a tripod never go flat and the software doesn't ever need resetting.

Finally, a bottom of the range gimbal is going to cost you the same as a pretty good tripod. Worth considering if money is tight.

TL;DR Both are useful parts of the kit, but they have different uses.

  • Hi @stib thanks for your detailed answer. I'm not going to take interviews and wild life leopard videos. I'm planning to take a travel short film and music videos. Am thinking to buy gimbal for iphone or just buy gopro action camera. Can the above work for music video or travel short film?
    – rram
    Oct 7, 2017 at 4:26
  • Sure, sounds like a good set-up for travel. I'd recommend the phone+gimbal. GoPros are good for action footage but you're limited to wide angle shots, which don't always work for general purpose filming.
    – stib
    Oct 7, 2017 at 10:27
  • thank you for your help. This kind of music video is my ultimate destination. I can understand they have used lot of expensive equipment. But I want to get started with what I can afford. So Iphone or gopro or good DSLR which one you would suggest?
    – rram
    Oct 8, 2017 at 12:05
  • The DSLR if you can afford it. But that will also mean a bigger=more expensive gimbal.
    – stib
    Oct 9, 2017 at 0:54

It depends on the video that your are going to shoot. I suggest you to analyse what video you want to shoot and then select the tool accordingly.

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