Zhiyun Weebill 2 at Shop
Zhiyun has long established itself as one of the leading manufacturers of electronic stabilizers. Every year the company presents a number of interesting new products. Such a novelty, I must say a very anticipated novelty, is the third version of the Weebill series steadicam. In this review, we will get acquainted and test in detail the capabilities of the new Zhiyun Weebill 2. Let’s go!
In some ways, the Weebill line is experimental. The company implements unique technological solutions in these devices, which are subsequently used by other manufacturers. One of these innovations was the axle lock, which appeared in the very first Weebill Lab device (our review), which has now become a kind of standard. The blockers have simplified the process several times and reduced the balancing time, and now they are installed in almost all electronic stabilizers on the market. The new Weebill 2 is no exception and has received a number of unique innovations. So let’s get to know each other better.
The form factor of the stabilizer remains the same. It retains the shape of a seven, which allows the operator to conveniently shoot in the standard position of the camera and greatly simplifies shooting in gimbal mode from a low angle. Previous models were equipped with one tripod, which also played the role of a handle, which had to be rearranged after balancing, and this was not very practical. The Combo now comes with both a tripod and a special Sling Grip Handle. Thus, for shooting from lower angles, we do not need to rearrange the tripod. https://jiji.co.ke/nairobi-central/accessories-and-supplies-for-electronics/zhiyun-weebill-2-at-shop-8XBWwRLNMLO4lJ17vZ5SI7YM.html
We were pleased with the build quality and materials. Plastic is not subject to scratches, there are many metal parts. Everything fits very tightly, no creaks or crevices. But, as before, like any other electronic steadicam, there is no protection from dust and moisture. Overall, the gimbal looks very modern and stylish!
Comparing with the previous model, you can see that the new product has gained in size and weight. Moreover, the weight has increased significantly – by as much as 400 grams. But at the same time, the grip has become more comfortable and the stabilizer has become really more convenient to work with.
All handles where the grip is provided have a rubberized coating. The main vertical handle has a comfortable stop.
The redesigned layout of the controls also adds comfort. If earlier it was almost impossible to take the gimbal so as not to touch the joystick or other buttons, now the buttons and the joystick do not interfere with holding at all, and interaction with them is very convenient. It should be noted that there are fewer controls – the power button, photo / video button, trigger, mode switch, follow-focus wheel and that’s it! The travel of the foul focus wheel has become softer, thus avoiding unwanted jerks when working with it. Separately, I was pleased with the physical switch of operating modes – it is three-position, that is, the operator can tactilely remember the position of each of the modes. The joystick is positioned exactly under the first finger, but only if you are holding the gimbal in your right hand. Holding the steadicam in the left hand is likely to have some difficulty.
There is an LED indicator next to the power button. It informs about the battery charge level.
It seems that some management opportunities are missed. However, it all lies in the main innovation of this device – the built-in rotary touch display. Nothing like this has ever been seen in any stabilizer. In addition to the fact that it allows you to configure the gimbal and select other modes, it can also display the image from the camera, provided that the TransMount Image Transmission Transmitter AI is connected. But we’ll talk more about the display a little later.
The roll arm of the Weebill 2 has become longer, which increases the outreach of the camera by the motor and it becomes more convenient to sight through the camera display. In addition, it became possible to install large cameras, which, by the way, is also facilitated by the decently increased power of the motors. By the way, we managed to install a Fujifilm GFX100S medium format camera with a Fujinon GF32-64mmF4 R LM WR lens with a total weight of 1.7 kg on this kid and the steadicam worked perfectly. The manufacturer has always indicated a list of compatible cameras, in terms of connectivity for controlling the camera from a gimbal, but besides that, the maximum possible load was previously indicated. Now this parameter of the possible load is not indicated, there is only a list of cameras and lenses with which the steadicam will have both electronic pairing and perfect balancing. However, our setup is not on the list, so this list should not be considered final. So come to the store with your camera and lenses and try it on yourself.
The first disappointment I ran into was non-replaceable batteries. I think it’s not worth explaining why this is a disadvantage. According to the manufacturer, there are three 2600mAh 18650 Li-Ion batteries installed here, which provides 9 hours of operation. It’s nice that Power Dilivery support has appeared, this in some sense compensates for the “non-replaceable” batteries, because an hour and a half is enough to fully charge the batteries, and after 20 minutes of charging using the Power Delivery protocol, the stabilizer can work for 2 hours. So I recommend that Weebill 2 users get a PowerDilivery-enabled power bank so that they don’t suddenly end up on set with a non-working steadicam. I’m not talking about filming with a constantly connected power bank, no. It’s just enough to connect it at least for a short while during breaks and then there will be no surprises.
There are four USB Type-C on the body of the steadicam. One on the bottom of the handle is just for charging the batteries. There is no adapter included, it is supposed to use any charger from a smartphone. Again, I recommend that this is a PowerDilivery-enabled adapter to shorten the charging time, as if the adapter does not support this technology, the process can take up to six hours. The other three USB ports are located on the tilt arm. One is for connecting a camera, the other two for connecting two follow focus motors, or one motor and one TransMount Image Transmission Transmitter AI.
The steadicam is now equipped with the usual Arca Swiss platform, and not the convenient quick-release, which were in the two previous models. What is the reason for this decision, I can not guess. Previous quick release pads allowed the camera to be removed and re-balancing was avoided.
Zhiyun Weebill 2 at Shop