Modern gimbals are highly compatible with a large range of cameras and smartphones.
However, there is one factor that should be paid close attention to when pairing cameras with gimbals.
That factor is weight.
Gimbals have a maximum weight or “payload” that they can handle before problems start to arise.
So, just how much weight can a gimbal actually hold?
The average weight limit of a smartphone gimbal is 278 grams and the average weight limit of a camera gimbal is 4 kilograms. That said, gimbal payloads and camera weights vary wildly, so make sure to conduct the appropriate research before attaching a camera or smartphone to your gimbal.
With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at gimbal payloads and their importance.
What Is A Gimbal’s Payload?
A gimbal’s payload refers to the maximum amount of weight that can be added to a gimbal without causing malfunction or damage to the gimbal (or camera).
Payload may also be referred to as “maximum weight capacity” or “weight limit.”
How Heavy Is Your Payload?
Typically, the weight or payload added to a gimbal will be in the form of a camera or smartphone.
With this in mind, I would recommend researching the weight of your camera or smartphone to make sure it is compatible with the gimbal you are interested in using.
However, adding other gear and accessories to your camera or smartphone will add weight as well.
Extra weight could include external microphones, lenses and filters, and cases added to your camera or smartphone. Keep these extra accessories in mind when calculating the weight of your gear and your gimbal’s payload.
With this in mind, weighing your setup on a scale could be a smart idea, if you are suspicious that your setup may exceed your gimbal’s payload.
What Happens If You Exceed Your Gimbal’s Weight Limit?
Exceeding your gimbal can cause a slew of problems ranging from simple malfunction to total damage.
Gimbals operate using powerful motors.
However, despite being powerful, these motors can only hold so much. This is where your gimbal’s payload comes in.
By exceeding your gimbal’s maximum weight limit, you run the risk of straining your gimbal’s motors.
If you have exceeded your gimbal’s payload just slightly, you may experience gimbal shake and vibration as your gimbal attempts to function with added weight.
If you seriously exceed your gimbal’s weight limit, your gimbal could break down completely or even physically break — damaging both your gimbal and attached camera or smartphone.
Read More: Why Is My Gimbal Shaking? Causes & Solutions
Smartphone Vs. Camera Gimbal Payloads
You’ll likely notice that smartphone gimbals and camera gimbals have radically different payloads.
You’ll also likely notice that these two types of gimbal also feature radically different designs.
This is no coincidence.
Smartphone gimbals typically feature smaller, more simplistic construction as they are only intended to be used with smartphones.
Smartphones are obviously quite light, at least when compared to the average DSLR camera.
Gimbals designed to be used with cameras typically boast much higher payloads and heavy-duty construction to match.
If you are researching a gimbal to purchase, keep in mind the difference in design and payload between smartphone phone gimbals and camera gimbals!
Average Smartphone Gimbal Payload
Based on the range of smartphone gimbals included in the below table, the average smartphone gimbal’s maximum capacity is 278 grams.
The highest payload on this list is an impressive 900 grams offered by the MOZA Mini-P.
The lowest payload on this list goes to the Feiyu Tech Vimble2A at just 135 grams.
The iPhone 12 weighs 164 grams, so unless you choose to purchase a smartphone gimbal with a significantly lower weight capacity or a particularly heavy smartphone, most gimbal-phone combinations should be well under the acceptable payload.
Smartphone Gimbal Weight Limits
Here is a list of popular smartphone gimbals and their maximum weight capacity in both grams and pounds.
|DJI OM 5||290 Grams||0.63 Pounds|
|DJI OM 4||290 Grams||0.63 Pounds|
|DJI OM 3||200 Grams||0.44 Pounds|
|Zhiyun Smooth 5||300 Grams||0.66 Pounds|
|Zhiyun Smooth 4||210 Grams||0.46 Pounds|
|Zhiyun Smooth-X||200 Grams||0.44 Pounds|
|Zhiyun Smooth-X2||200 Grams||0.44 Pounds|
|Zhiyun Smooth Q2||260 Grams||0.57 Pounds|
|Zhiyun Smooth Q3||280 Grams||0.61 Pounds|
|Feiyu Tech Vlog Pocket||240 Grams||0.52 Pounds|
|Feiyu Tech Vlog Pocket 2||250 Grams||0.55 Pounds|
|Feiyu Tech Vimble One||250 Grams||0.55 Pounds|
|Feiyu Tech Vimble 2S||200 Grams||0.44 Pounds|
|Feiyu Tech Vimble2A||135 Grams||0.29 Pounds|
|MOZA Mini MX2||280 Grams||0.61 Pounds|
|MOZA Mini-S Essential||260 Grams||0.57 Pounds|
|MOZA Mini-MI||300 Grams||0.66 Pounds|
|MOZA Mini MX2||280 Grams||0.61 Pounds|
|MOZA Mini-S||260 Grams||0.57 Pounds|
|MOZA Mini-P||900 Grams||1.98 Pounds|
|MOZA Nano SE||280 Grams||0.61 Pounds|
|Hohem iSteady Multi||400 Grams||0.88 Pounds|
|Hohem iSteady V2 AI||280 Grams||0.61 Pounds|
|Hohem iSteady X2||280 Grams||0.61 Pounds|
|Hohem iSteady X||280 Grams||0.61 Pounds|
|Hohem iSteady||280 Grams||0.61 Pounds|
|EVO Shift||220 Grams||0.48 Pounds|
|Vlog Pocket||240 Grams||0.52 Pounds|
|Vlog Pocket 2||250 Grams||0.55 Pounds|
|Gimpro One||260 Grams||0.57 Pounds|
|Freevision VILTA-M Pro||275 Grams||0.6 Pounds|
Average Camera Gimbal Payload
Based on the range of camera gimbals included in the below table, the average camera gimbal’s maximum capacity is 4 kilograms.
For reference, the ever-popular Sony A7iii weighs only 945 grams with a kit lens attached.
Camera Gimbal Weight Limits
Here is a list of popular camera gimbals and their maximum weight capacity in both kilograms and pounds.
|Zhiyun Crane-M2 S||0.7 Kilograms||1.5 Pounds|
|Zhiyun Crane-M2||0.7 Kilograms||1.5 Pounds|
|Zhiyun Crane-M3||6.5 Kilograms||14 Pounds|
|Zhiyun Weebill 2||3.3 Kilograms||7.27 Pounds|
|Zhiyun Weebill S||0.92 Kilograms||2 Pounds|
|Zhiyun Crane-2S||3.2 Kilograms||7 Pounds|
|Zhiyun Crane-3S||6.4 Kilograms||14.3 Pounds|
|Zhiyun Crane 2||3.2 Kilograms||7 Pounds|
|DJI RS 2||3 Kilograms||6.6 Pounds|
|DJI RSC 2||3 Kilograms||6.6 Pounds|
|DJI Ronin 2||13 Kilograms||30 Pounds|
|DJI Ronin-SC||2.2 Kilograms||4.8 Pounds|
|MOZA Air 2S||4.2 Kilograms||9.25 Pounds|
|MOZA Air 2||4.2 Kilograms||9.25 Pounds|
|MOZA Air||1.1 Kilograms||2.4 Pounds|
|MOZA AirCross 3||3.2 Kilograms||7 Pounds|
|MOZA AirCross 2||3.2 Kilograms||7 Pounds|
|MOZA AirCross||1.8 Kilograms||3.9 Pounds|
|MOZA Air X||6.0 Kilograms||13.2 Pounds|
|MOZA Pro||10 Kilograms||22 Pounds|
|MOZA Lite 2P||7.0 Kilograms||15.4 Pounds|
|MOZA Lite||7.0 Kilograms||15.4 Pounds|
|Feiyu Tech Scorp-Pro||4.8 Kilograms||10.5 Pounds|
|Feiyu Tech AK4500||4.6 Kilograms||10.3 Pounds|
|Feiyu Tech AK2000S||2.2 Kilograms||4.8 Pounds|
|Feiyu Tech Scorp C||2.5 Kilograms||5.5 Pounds|
|Feiyu Tech Scorp||2.5 Kilograms||5.5 Pounds|
|Feiyu Tech AK2000C||10.6 Kilograms||4.85 Pounds|
|FeiyuTech G6 Max 3||1.2 Kilograms||2.65 Pounds|
|FeiyuTech G6||0.6 Kilograms||1.3 Pounds|
Do Gimbals Have Minimum Weight Capacities Too?
Yes, they do!
A certain, minimum weight (like payload, it differs depending on the gimbal) is required for a gimbal to operate properly.
This is because gimbal motors are designed to fight gravity and counteract the weight of your camera or smartphone. With too little weight, the motors may fight too hard, causing problems like shaking and vibration.
However, in this article, we are focussing on the maximum weight that gimbals can hold. We are not focussing on minimum weight requirements because most camera and smartphone setups will be more than heavy enough for your gimbal.
There is much more risk involved in exceeding your gimbal’s weight capacity than in doing the opposite.
Final Thoughts On Gimbal Weight Capacity
Hopefully, this article has helped you to better understand how much weight gimbals can carry and the importance of adhering to gimbal payloads.
If you are in the market for a new smartphone gimbal, then make sure to research the weight of your phone and use the Smartphone Gimbal Weight Limits table for reference to ensure compatibility.
If you are looking to purchase a new camera gimbal, then I would suggest attaching your heaviest lens to your camera, along with any other accessories (microphone, filters, etc.) and weighing your setup on a scale.
Once you have an idea of your setup’s full weight, then you can reference the Camera Gimbal Weight Limits table and find a gimbal that works for you.
As long as you don’t exceed your gimbals maximum weight capacity, you should be all set to capture smooth gimbal footage.