Today we are looking at the newly-redesigned Weebill gimbal by Zhiyun. Zhiyun has been pushing for some years now to innovate and create competitive products in the stabilizer market.
The Weebill version 2 is similar in size to the previous version but comes with a whole list of innovations and improvements.
This upgrade is more responsive, featuring a new algorithm with the revolutionary Infineon Chip, plus new image transmission hardware and UI.
The new Zhiyun WEEBILL 2 Gimbal – folds to a compact size just like its predecessors
In the box
The Weebill 2 ships in 3 different kits, so make sure you know what you’re ordering. In our box, we got a nice semi-hard carrying case, the gimbal itself, a tripod, a top handle, video transmitter, follow focus and adjustable ring, various adapters, and cables.
Ours is the Pro kit. There is also a combo kit and a Pro+ kit with a visual controller.
The design has kept the familiar sling grip, but with a new and improved detaching top handle. The axes locks have been redesigned, and feel a lot more sturdy now. All the motion controls have been moved up to make it more ergonomic.
This gimbal comes with stronger motors that allow for a better weight performance. There is now an integrated battery with Fast Charge and up to 9 hours of working time. It’s equipped with new sensor technology to improve stability performance and provide a quicker responsiveness and smoother following.
The most interesting part of this big upgrade is the new UI that eliminates the need for the app to set panorama, timelapse & motionlapse shooting. To implement this UI, the Weebill 2 features the industry-first integrated 2.88’’ flip-out screen to access the menu and to use as an external monitor, wirelessly receiving video feed from the image transmitter.
More powerful motors – WEEBILL 2 Gimbal
From the very first look, this gimbal is impressively compact and well-built. It shows that Zhiyun took their time to pay attention to the details. The design features interesting locks and quick release mechanisms.
And we were of course blown away when we realized that there is an integrated screen. The whole implementation just seems well-thought-out…
Even though ours is a pre-production model and we had some trouble with getting everything to work smoothly. So in this video, we are just going to do a quick overview and hands-on, and we’ll put out another video after we’ve had more time to work with it.
The footprint of this new Weebill version is smaller than some of the other gimbals that we have in the studio. While it’s very compact at about 33cm high (13’’) and weighing 1.47kg (3.24lbs), it’s designed to carry some pretty heavy camera/lens combinations, like Sony A7III+FE 24-70mm F2.8 or the Canon 5D4+EF 24-70mm F2.8.
Wireless transmitter under the camera
Zhiyun is the first to incorporate a feature-rich 2.88’’, full-color, flip-out HD touchscreen to fully command the gimbal. This screen allows the user to access the menu and camera controls, adjust parameters, and enter the smart follow mode, gesture control, and timelapse — all without the need to use the app.
The screen placement is well thought out. For transport, it folds face down and tucks away over the body of the gimbal. When in use, you just flip it out and tilt it to face you. The tilt range is less than 180 degrees, but that should be enough to make it visible in any position that you would operate the gimbal.
The screen is also great because it eliminates the need to attach a field monitor to this setup. You can view the video feed from the transmitter wirelessly, so this is a great addition.
This is an upgraded version of the transmitter. (specs) In the kit, you get this quick release plate that screws onto the bottom of the tilt plate. The unit easily attaches to the plate. We were surprised to see that there is no fail-safe for this release plate, but in all fairness, it’s in such a position that it would be pretty hard to knock it out of place.
The transmitter connects to the gimbal for power on one side and has an HDMI and a camera control connection on the other side.
This makes a total of four cables that you need to connect everything on this rig, but they are just the right length, and they come in the kit.
Different accessories – WEEBILL 2
The SmartFollow mode is a neat tool for hands-free operation. You can use it in the app, where you simply connect to the gimbal, enter into follow mode, and by moving your phone or tablet around, the gimbal pans and tilts to mimic your movements.
Depending on camera compatibility, the gimbal’s SmartFollow mode can also follow the subject to keep him in the center of the frame. The subject can gesture control to start and stop the recording by raising his hand.
We had some trouble with the connection on our pre-production unit, so we weren’t actually able to check this feature out, but it sounds pretty exciting.
The fourth cable is to connect the electronic follow focus unit to the gimbal. The unit sits on this rail that comes with a screw-on attachment for the bottom of the release plate. There is a set of two follow focus rings in the kit.
The unit has a button on it to toggle between zoom mode and follow focus mode. To operate the follow focus, set the wheel control menu to “follow focus”.
The follow focus unit – WEEBILL 2
In this redesign, the gimbal controls have been moved out the way, so that you don’t accidentally hit anything when handling the gimbal. The new placement of the controls is pretty comfortable, they are easy to reach. The joystick feels a little wobbly for our likes, but in all, the implementation is really good.
In the front of the gimbal, you have the trigger to quickly switch between modes. Next to the trigger on the right side is the joystick that gives you tilt and pan control. Behind the joystick is the mode selector. This is a welcome addition since this avoids having to go into the menu. And on the back part of the gimbal is the control wheel that you can assign different functions to.
4 different cables for controlling the camera
The ZY Play app connects to the gimbal to update the firmware, give the user a remote joystick, and enter into panorama and timelapse modes. Depending on camera compatibility, video and photo controls are available through the app as well.
Another neat feature is being able to connect from the app to the video transmitter to use your tablet as a director’s monitor.
As for the pricing, the Weebill 2 sells for $550, the combo kit with the sling handle and carrying case for $650, the Pro kit with the video transmitter and follow focus for $900, and the Pro+ kit with the visual controller for $1100 (you can get the controller on its own for $500).
There is definitely more to be said about this gimbal, so we’ll have to make another video after using it for some time.
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