In recent years, electronic and standard stabilizers have gone through a rapid development, especially for drones since they became very affordable and easy to use overtime. The addition of a stabilizer makes capturing footage so much smoother and easier to work with. However, handheld stabilizers have been lagging behind in regards to affordability and usability. That has changed with Zhiyun’s Z1-Evo GoPro stabilizer. Is it any good? Let’s find out in this review.
Zhiyun Z1 comes from a generation of products that have been very popular, particularly the Z1-Pround series. The new Z1-Evo, dubbed ‘Evolution’ series possess far better features. The Z1-Evoluton is equipped with a Third Gen Stabilizer Kernel, which makes it far smoother and reliable compared to previous generation products. You can handle the camera movements using the stepless joystick and on the bottom of the handle, there is a 1/4 inch tripod attachment thread so that you can attach it to a tripod or even extend the stick to an even greater length. You can easily attach all the included extension tubes, which includes the rocker arm, depending on your situation.
Zhiyun has changed the color of the packaging a pure white, in order to achieve a simple look. It feels like you’re opening up an iPhone box, which makes it feel that you have purchased a premium product. After opening the box, you can scan the QR Code on the official website of Zhiyun, where you can get access to the digital manual. The company is opting to be more environmental friendly by choosing to provide consumers with digital copies of manuals.
To sum up everything included in the box, we have the microUSB cable (For charging and firmware upgrade), an 18,650 battery charger, 3-pin and 4-pin miniUSB cable (For powering the GoPro), the stabilizer, an 18650 battery to extend the holder, and of course, the 18,650 lithium ion batteries.
This is how it looks after it has been completely assembled, with the GoPro action cam installed.
Rotation and Smoothness Test
Zhiyun has very boldly pitched the motor housing, and printed ‘Smart Cloud’, which is necessary in the internationalization of the product; but maybe some users would think that it’s pretty cool.
Coming to the Z1-Evolution’s main operating area, it has a gold power switch, All the standard controls and switches are available on the battery holder. The switch on the left is the status indicator and a continuously active joystick for control.
The constant active joystick will be able to move the gymbal in small or fast stages to get a panning effect. The new four-way control is also a lot more flexible than the previous three-button controller offered.
Operation Mode Test
On the operational area of the product, is the interface. Here, we have the microUSB cable that is used to charge and upgrade the firmware of the device. In order to protect it from dust buildup, the 3.5mm jack also features a dust cover, but surprisingly, the microUSB port does not.
After installing the GoPro, the pitch monitors will eventually calibrate and level out. There is a standard GoPro mount on the device, and the best thing about it is that it has a double sided tape which helps secure the GoPro and also avoid any damage to it while using it.
Zhiyun started providing the GoPro power line from the previous generation Z1-Pround, which can make use of the stabilizer’s battery to charge the GoPro camera as well. The great thing about this feature is that you will not have to carry around extra batteries. Z1-Evolution also offers power lines, and uses the Z1-Evo’s video output functionality. When connected, the GoPro’s LCD will turn off, and will activate the connected display.
The Z1-Evolution has the option to extend the battery with an extension sleeve, which can take up to two 18,350 lithium ion batteries to function, but will last for a considerably longer period.
Battery capping took a lot of workmanship as you can see, but the 1/4 holes at the bottom are very useful, because they can be used with any tripod or monopod. Additionally, the extension rod can be used with a suction cup, and also the camera’s accessories. Zhiyun Z1-Evolution is entirely made out of machined CNC Iron parts, and feels extremely durable.
Z1-Evolution Extreme Test
Z1-Evolution’s original 18,650 battery charger will be drawing power from the microUSB port, and will use 2A power supply. In order to charge the battery capacity completely, these batteries will have to be fed power continuously for two hours.
We always insist on POV, and when you want to capture impressive footage while keeping your camera equipment stable, you will require a stabilizer to fulfill this objective. That being said, we believe that Zhiyun Z1 Evolution is a great product that does not just feel that it is a premium piece of equipment, but it will do that job quite nicely, and go easy on your budget too.