Do You Need A Gimbal For iPhone? When To Use One

by | Stabilization

Gimbals have become more and more popular in the past few years.

You may have seen them used by photographers and videographers, but did you know that they can be used with your iPhone as well?

In this blog post, we will discuss whether or not you need a gimbal for your iPhone and when it might be worth using one.

We will also offer some recommendations for beginner gimbals to use with your iPhone!

Do you need a gimbal for iPhone?

Modern smartphone companies have invested enormous amounts of time and money into their smartphone cameras.

This means your smartphone’s camera (whether iPhone or otherwise) likely features stabilization built into its video modes.

Modern video editing software also offers high-quality video stabilization in post-production.

Thanks to these features and options, the short answer is that you do not need to use a gimbal with your iPhone to capture smooth smartphone footage.

That said, there are a number of reasons why you may still consider purchasing a gimbal to up your iPhone video — keep reading to learn more.

How Gimbals Can Help Your iPhone Footage

While modern smartphones offer many features for image stabilization, gimbals can help to further stabilize your iPhone footage.

The truth is that lighter camera devices will be more susceptible to shaking and vibration than heavier ones. Obviously, smartphones tend to be on the lighter side, making them very susceptible to micro-movements.

So, if you are shooting video, gimbals can be extremely helpful in ensuring that your footage is smooth and steady — without the inevitable shake and vibration caused by your natural body movement.

Even if you are just taking photos with your iPhone, a gimbal can help to keep your camera level and avoid any unwanted shaking or blurriness at low shutter speeds.

If you are someone who regularly films, gimbals can also help you to get creative with your shots. We will touch more on this shortly.

Gimbals can help steady your smartphone video footage

When To Use A Gimbal With Your iPhone

Gimbals can add increased steadiness to your iPhone footage, but that doesn’t mean you need to use one all the time.

Let’s look at some situations that best call for a gimbal.

Vlogging and YouTube

If you are interested in becoming a vlogger or YouTuber, then a gimbal is a great first purchase.

Most gimbals these days offer a “selfie mode” that allows you to film yourself — making it ideal for video content creators.

Some gimbals even integrate with your phone via an app. This integration lets your gimbal track you as you walk around, meaning you don’t need a camera operator to film dynamic shots of yourself!

Gimbals will also add an air of professionalism to your B-roll footage.

Filming Anything Professional

If you plan to use your iPhone to shoot anything professional, ten a gimbal is a must!

A gimbal will likely help you to avoid the terrible look of smartphone camera shake.

However, rather than looking at a gimbal as an unfortunate extra cost, you can actually look at it as an economic way to shoot professional footage on a budget.

Your smartphone is likely able to shoot very high-quality footage. The reason phone footage tends to look less professional is usually due to the phone operator — not the camera quality.

So, rather than going out and purchasing an expensive camera like a Sony A7Riii, try capturing some professional-looking footage with the phone you own and a reasonably priced gimbal (check out our recommendations below).

Shooting Sports, Concerts, or Family Events

Sometimes you might not need your footage to look professional, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t.

A gimbal can take the iPhone footage you usually capture and step it up a notch or two.

Bringing your gimbal along for use at sports games, concerts, and family events will give your home movies and social media posts an air of professionalism.

Gimbals are great for vlogging with your iPhone

Best iPhone Gimbals For Beginners

There are many different gimbals on the market but not all of them are created equal.

Here are our picks for the best iPhone/smartphone gimbals for new users:

Hohem iSteady Mobile Plus

Hohem iSteady Mobile Plus is a great mobile gimbal for beginners.

This gimbal can often be found up on sale for less than $100 — meaning it’s great for those who just want to experiment with phone stabilization.

Don’t let the cheap price put you off though, this gimbal still comes with a lot of features — CCD anti-shake, optical stabilization and motion speed auto-adaptation, face & object tracking and three high-torque brushless motors are all included.

Check out the Hohem iSteady Mobile Plus on Amazon!

DJI Osmo Mobile

The DJI Osmo Mobile is another affordable mobile gimbal for beginners.

This one might not be quite as cheap as the Hohem iSteady Mobile Plus, but for a high-quality DJI product, you are still looking at a good deal.

This gimbal features many functions that allow you to vlog and shoot including gesture control, dolly zoom, panoramas, slow motion, timelapse, hyper-lapse, sport mode, handy convenience, and story mode.

The DJI Osmo Mobile also has a convenient folding mechanism for travel.

Check out the DJI Osmo Mobile Plus on Amazon!

Zhiyun Smooth Q

The Zhiyun Smooth Q is a great option for mobile gimbal beginners interested in the Zhiyun brand.

One of the Smooth Q’s unique features is an integrated rotatable fill light. This light includes a touch button with three adjustable brightness levels.

The Smooth Q might not be “top-of-the-line” when compared to some of Zhiyun’s other products, but at a very reasonable price, it’s a great entry-level gimbal.

Check out the DJI Osmo Mobile Plus on Amazon!

Why You Might Not Need A Gimbal For Your iPhone

If you are just shooting photos or taking occasional videos, a gimbal may not be worth the investment.

Gimbals can be expensive and they can also add extra weight to your iPhone.

As previously mentioned, iPhones also help to stabilize your footage using their built-in software.

So, if you are just shooting casual videos, a gimbal may not be necessary.

That said, there are still ways to step up your iPhone video game without a gimbal. Keep reading for some examples.

Also, if you plan on primarily shooting still or static shots, a gimbal is unnecessary. As we will touch on in a moment, a tripod or monopod will do the trick.

Gimbal Alternatives For iPhone

If you decide you don’t want to use a gimbal for your iPhone, there are still some alternatives that can help you stabilize your footage.

Tripod or Monopod

If you are at all interested in photography and video, then there is a good chance you already own a tripod or monopod.

Did you know there are tripod and monopod adapters for your iPhone?

By attaching your gimbal to a tripod or monopod, you will be able to adjust your phone to the perfect angle and capture nice still shots.

Tripods specifically are a great option for vloggers!

Selfie Stick

Another great option for vloggers is the selfie stick.

While selfie sticks won’t offer much-added stabilization, they do allow you to film yourself from a distance.


iPhone grips offer enhanced stabilization by offering a better way to grip your phone while filming.

These devices function similar to a pistol grip — giving you a unique way to shoot video.

Using a tripod with your iPhone is a cheap alternative to purchasing a gimbal

Bottom Line

Now that you know more about gimbals and whether or not you need one for your iPhone, it’s time to make a decision.

If you’re looking to take your filmmaking to the next level, then a gimbal is definitely worth the investment.

However, if you’re just starting out, there are plenty of other options that can help you stabilize your footage.

Whichever route you decide to go, we hope this article has helped clear things up.

Happy shooting!

New To Gimbals?

With so much to learn, mastering your new gimbal can be hard. Get started with our in-depth beginner guide to gimbal filmmaking.