Do You Really Need a Gimbal? Sony IBIS Versus DJI RS2 Gimbal

The technology inside cameras is growing at an impressive rate and even the older technology has been improved and refined to near-unthinkable levels. One such area is in-camera image stabilization (IBIS) to the point where it can rival a gimbal in certain situations. But just how many situations can modern IBIS compete with a gimbal?

For photographers, the advent of IBIS has been a revelation, allowing us to use much slower shutter speeds and shoot in lower light conditions with our motion blur. In video, it has also been helpful to keep the footage stable when shooting handheld. However, it has always had its limitations insofar as the movements it can compensate for aren't particularly large. If you are standing still and shooting handheld, IBIS could probably have you covered, but what if you wanted to walk or even run while shooting? That would typically require a gimbal.

Effective gimbals are cheaper than ever before and as long as the payload you require it to cover isn't too much (i.e, you're not shooting with a battery grip and super-tele!), then you can pick up an entry-level gimbal without too much outlay. Gimbals can cover a lot of movement and ensure that your footage is smooth. In this video by Dunna Did It, the DJI RS2 gimbal is pitted against the various IBIS modes on Sony cameras to see how they compare. While I'd argue the results aren't wholly unexpected, one area of interest is just how good the active stabilization was on Sony cameras. There are times when you are walking while filming that you want some movement to make it feel natural, but not so much that it's distracting, and Sony's IBIS did a great job.

Do you think it's going to get to a point where IBIS will replace gimbals completely?

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5 Comments

David Yoon's picture

For wide angles, you’d need a gimbal due to the ibis induced wobble on the edges of the frame.

davidlovephotog's picture

Do you really need a Sony?

Jan Holler's picture

Can one use "Gimbal + ISIS"? How does that work out? Browsed through the video, couldn't find the answer. Here, one possible answer, a short video (2:29) with footage. Conclusion: Yes, unless...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yc_aDB7VWpE

Fritz Asuro's picture

I'm not sure if using ISIS is a good thing. They can terrorize your shoot.

Rick Rizza's picture

So Sony IBIS has a vortex mode? Can pan and follow too? Wow