Insta360 Flow vs Zhiyun Smooth 5S: Gimbals Comparison
By Naila Syifa
Updated January 2024
Both Insta360 Flow and Zhiyun Smooth 5S are handheld gimbals used to stabilize footage while shooting. They are designed for content creators who want to capture smooth, professional-looking footage.
In this article, we will compare each gimbal across 4 key consideration aspects to help you decide which one is right for you.
Insta360 Flow has better portability due to its foldable and lightweight design, while Zhiyun Smooth 5s has better flexibility due to its rear motor design and built-in fill light for low-light shooting.
Portable All-in-One Gimbal
✓ 3-Axis Stabilization
✓ Built-In Selfie Stick, Tripod, Power Bank
✓ Deep Track 3.0 Technology
✓ Foldable and Lightweight
Insta360 Flow costs around US$159 for the standalone, and it can also be purchased in a bundle with some accessories like a spotlight or an all-purpose tripod at a higher price.
Meanwhile, the Zhiyun Smooth 5S is slightly more expensive. The Standard version, which includes the gimbal, a tripod, and a type-C charging cable, is priced at US$169. The Combo version, which adds some more accessories light a fill light, fill light filters, and a protective bag, costs even more expensive at US$219.
Zhiyun Smooth 5S
Both the Insta360 Flow and Zhiyun Smooth 5S feature a 3-axis design that allows for smooth and stable footage. Both gimbals are available in white and grey color options, and have a wide compatibility with various smartphones with a maximum weight capacity of around 300 grams.
Insta360 Flow has some advantages with its foldable and lightweight design, making it easy to carry around and store. It even incorporates a selfie stick and tripod stand in its design, providing more versatility in its use.
Zhiyun Smooth 5S is not foldable and is almost two times heavier, making it less portable than the Flow. However, Zhiyun paid a lot of attention to its motor design, placing it on the back of the gimbal to prevent it from blocking the footage, allowing for more flexibility when filming from all angles, even in low or super-wide shots.
Additionally, Zhiyun Smooth 5S also comes with a built-in fill light in its design, which is useful for filming in low-light conditions. You can also purchase up to two magnetic fill lights to attach to the gimbal for even better lighting options. The Insta360 Flow, on the other hand, offers a spotlight accessory in the Creator Kit which also provides additional lighting options for low-light conditions.
Zhiyun Smooth 5S
Both gimbals have a range of features that make them attractive to content creators. They each have their own unique features, but some features, like gesture control and subject tracking, are available on both gimbals.
The subject tracking in the Insta360 Flow is more advanced, powered by the Deep Track 3.0 technology combined with person re-identification, subject recovery, all-angle tracking, and zoom tracking. These features make it easier for the Flow to track subjects even in complex scenarios such as crowded locations.
The Insta360 Flow has another advantage with its 1-Step Rapid Deploy capability. Just by unfolding it once, the gimbal is ready to use, making it more convenient and quicker to set up. The Zhiyun Smooth 5S, on the other hand, has no quick launch feature. You have to press and hold down the button for a few seconds to turn it on each time.
Both gimbals have their own apps, the Insta360 app and the ZY Cami app, which offer various shooting modes and editing features. The popular dolly zoom and some other effects are also available on both apps, making both gimbals great options for creative content creators.
Zhiyun Smooth 5S
Insta360 Flow is powered by a 2900 mAh battery that can last for up to 12 hours in a balanced position, while the Zhiyun Smooth 5S is powered by a 2600 mAh battery that can last for up to 24 hours in standby mode. However, the battery life can be greatly reduced in actual use, especially when using the fill light feature in peak brightness on the Smooth 5S.
One capability that both the Insta360 Flow and Zhiyun Smooth 5S share is the two-way charging feature. This means, both gimbals can be charged by a portable power bank, but can also serve as a power bank to charge your phone while filming. This can be useful for content creators who need to film for extended periods of time without access to a power source.
Insta360 Flow vs Zhiyun Smooth 5S
Overall, both the Insta360 Flow and Zhiyun Smooth 5S are great options for content creators looking for a handheld gimbal to stabilize their footage. Each gimbal has its own unique features and advantages, so it ultimately comes down to personal preference and specific needs.
The Insta360 Flow is more affordable, lightweight, and has advanced subject tracking technology, while the Zhiyun Smooth 5S has a more flexible motor design, built-in fill light, and longer battery life. Consider your priorities and what features matter most to you when deciding which gimbal to invest in.
If you like to read more on Gimbals, check out our other relevant guides here:
DJI Osmo Mobile 6 vs DJI Osmo Mobile 5
DJI Osmo Mobile 6 vs DJI Osmo Mobile SE
DJI Osmo Mobile 6 vs Zhiyun Smooth 5S
DJI Osmo Mobile 6 vs Insta360 Flow
DJI Osmo Mobile 6 vs Hohem iSteady M6
Insta360 Flow vs Hohem iSteady M6
Zhiyun Smooth 5 vs 5S
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