A flexible, portable gimbal for smartphones.
A couple of years ago, I was introduced to my first gimbal. Admittedly, I was a bit confused on how it was supposed to work. I questioned whether or not I really needed it for video productions. I did find that with some practice, I became much more accustomed to how the stabilizer worked and I saw the benefits of using a gimbal regularly. The only issue I’ve really had with the gimbals I’ve worked with have been their weight and complicated controls. That’s why I’m grateful to have found the MOZA Mini-S.
The Mini-S is designed to be foldable (5.12 x 2.68 x 7.68 inches W/D/H) and easy to use. It’s top two features are described as ‘‘extremely foldable size’ and ‘quick and simple’. The gimbal is able to switch between landscape and portrait mode and object tracking ensures that objects can be followed accurately. There are multiple shooting modes that users have access to including hyper-lapse, inception,
SPECS & FEATURES
- Extremely foldable size: Just put it in your pocket (5.12*2.68*7.68 inches W*D*H).
- Quick and simple: No-tool adjustment algorithm, and simple operations save your time and effort.
- Object tracking ensures that object can be followed accurately.
- Portrait mode: MOZA Mini-S is able to switch from landscape to portrait mode.
- Multiple shooting modes: hyper-lapse, Inception, sport gear mode, vertigo and many others.
- MOZA Genie App: The MOZA Mini-S can be connected to the MOZA Genie APP to create film.
- Weight: 1.9lbs
- Max Payload: 4.0lbs
- Supported Phones: iPhone X, 8/8Plus, 7/7Plus, 6S/6S Plus, 6, 5S; Huawei P10/P10 Plus, Mate 10/Mate 10 Pro; Samsung Galaxy S8, Note 8; Xiaomi Mi MIX 2, Mi
- Mechanical Endpoint Range: Pan Axis 270º, Roll Axis 315º, Tilt Axis 200º
- Battery Capacity: 2000 mAh
- Battery Life: 8 hrs
- Charging Time: 1.5 hrs
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Input: USB-C
- USB Output Port: 5V 600mA, Micro USB
I’ve been able to try out a variety of gimbals/stabilizers over the past couple of years and have found them to be somewhat awkward and hefty. The Mini S is not heavy or awkward at all. It’s made with heavy-duty plastic and that keeps it very lightweight. The Mini S is also designed to be portable and so it folds up for easy storage. While the design lends itself to this function, I did find it a little difficult to fold up. I found myself constantly concerned that I wasn’t going to be able to fold it up without destroying the motors inside.
Aside from that, the operation of the gimbal is pretty straightforward. You can slide your phone into the support and the Mini S will automatically balance when it’s turned on. It is important, however, to make sure the phone (no matter the model) is secured in the middle of the support. Using a gimbal can be a little tricky and I have to admit that since I don’t use them everyday I have to relearn parts of the operation every time I try one out. If you don’t use any additional functions of the Mini S, it will provide you with a stabilizer for your phone’s camera. You can walk with it and a lot of the shake you would normally capture from a handheld recording will be eliminated. You can take it a step further and use the joystick to move the gimbal into the position you are looking for in order to capture some truly unique video footage.
I did several tests with the gimbal and found that it really helped provide steady camera movements. One of the best tests I could think of involved following our new puppy around the yard. He loves to play a ‘chase’ game with us where he runs and we chase him. As you can probably imagine, this gets tiresome, but he loves it so we follow him around and I caught some of the game on video. I was using an iPhone XS and recording in 4K and thought the Mini S did a great job of helping me to follow the puppy without the bounce of a hand-held recording.
The Moza Genie app provides an even better experience for videographers. It allows you to access things like manual exposure control, follow motion, and even zebra striping for the camera on your phone. I downloaded it for iOS and love the interface. I’ve included some screenshots below that I took as examples of some of the features that are included with the app. I used the keyboard on my desk as a neutral background so that the features of the app were highlighted more. I do feel that this app actually enhances a user’s experience with the gimbal and would recommend downloading it.
If you are looking for a gimbal for your mobile phone, I can recommend this model as it is easy to use — especially for beginners — and it’s very inexpensive. It does a great job stabilizing video and I really didn’t find a lot of problems with the system. It does only come with the Micro USB version of the camera control cable and it doesn’t seem like you have the option to select which one you get when you order one. That would be a nice upgrade in future versions.