Xiaomi Mijia Action Camera Gimbal

Xiaomi Mijia 3-way Handheld Gimbal

Xiaomi Mijia Handheld Gimbal

Xiaomi created a gimbal exclusively designed for Xiaomi Mijia 4K Action Camera. The camera is very well secured using the 1/4″ thread on the bottom of the camera and connected with the gimbal using the micro USB port. This way you can start/stop video recording, take a photo and change exposure using the buttons on the gimbal’s grip. Xiaomi Mijia camera can also be powered by the built-in 5000 mAh battery of the gimbal to extend recording time. When charging the gimbal with the camera mounted, both of them get charged.
Xiaomi Mijia 3-way gimbal offers 360° rotation on the pan axis and -35° to +90° on the tilt axis. On the bottom of the grip there’s a 1/4″ thread to mount the gimbal on a tripod e.g.. Xiaomi gimbal weights 340g without camera.

 

Body, Buttons and Ports

Xiaomi 3-way gimbal for Xiaomi Mijia Action Camera

Xiaomi 3-way gimbal for Xiaomi Mijia Action Camera

On one side of the grip you can find the 4-way joystick (6) to control the gimbal’s head. Below there’s a photo button (8) to take photos based on the settings. When long pressing this button it activates / deactivates camera charging via the gimbal’s battery. Below there’s the power/video button (9). Long press it to turn the gimbal on and off, short press it to start / stop video recording. On the backside there’s a toggle switch to control the camera’s exposure (15). Below is the trigger button to select the different modes (14). On the side of the grip you can find a micro USB port to charge the gimbal which takes about 4 hrs (7).

Xiaomi Mijia Gimbal - Exposure Control

Xiaomi Gimbal – Exposure Control

Modes

The modes can be selected with the trigger button (14). The gimbal powers up in Pan-Follow mode, which means the camera will follow the movement once you pan the gimbal. Double pressing the trigger button restores neutral position.
When you press and hold the trigger button all axes are locked. You can now move the grip and the camera will always face the same direction.
Tripple pressing the trigger turns the camera 180°, in case you want to do a selfie. Do so again and the camera will turn back.

LEDs

Above the 4-way joystick there’s an indicator LED light (5). When the blue light is on the camera is connected with the gimbal. During recording the LED flashes red. If the light is red constantly the camera is not connected!
On the bottom of the grip are 4 small LEDs indication the battery status (10).

App

Via Mi Home App you can change the settings of Xiaomi Gimbal. To do so the camera has to be connected to the gimbal and to your smartphone via wifi. Within the “scene settings” you can adjust the follow speed and the headband of the gimbal. There are also predefined selections available. I saw a screenshot that you can adjust the motor’s strength, but I didn’t manage to find that setting.

Xiaomi Mijia 3-way handheld gimbal app settings

Xiaomi Gimbal – App Settings

 

Competition

Xiaomi Mijia gimbal is made for Xiaomi Mijia Action Camera. If there will be similar models in future, they have to be the same shape so you can use it with this gimbal, otherwise it becomes useless. There are some smartphone gimbals available which can also be used with action cameras. When browsing for them make sure they feature 360° rotation on the pan axis! Gimbals that only feature 320° rotation like Feiyu Vimble CVimble 2 or DJI Osmo 2 can’t turn 180°, therefore you can’t hold the gimbal with the controls facing you and the camera facing forward. Only with an adapter but more on that later. There are 2 popular gimbals that offer 360° rotation and work fine with Mijia:

 

Feiyu SPG

Feiyu SPG offers 3 great features, beside the fact that you can use it with a smartphone: It’s splashproof, the gimbal is made of metal and the batteries are exchangeable. On the downside you need two foam pieces to mount an action camera. Not only Xiaomi Mijia but almost any brand. These foam pieces bear another negative aspect, the shutter button on top partially covered, so it’s hard to press. The touchscreen on the back is almost fully covered, there’s only a tiny hole in the center which you can use to frame your shot. It’s almost impossible to scroll the menu or change settings, you need to remove the camera.
Important to note: the shutter button on the grip does not work with Xiaomi Mijia Action Camera, only with smartphones!

Feiyu SPG with Xiaomi Mijia 4K Action Camera

Feiyu SPG with Xiaomi Mijia 4K Action Camera

 

Zhiyun Smooth Q

Zhiyun Smooth Q looks and works pretty similar, there are a few differences compared to Feiyu SPG. Most noticeable the clamp is turnable and holds the camera sideways. This way you don’t need anything else to mount the camera. Secondly the shutter button on top is not covered and can be accessed easily. In contrast to Feiyu SPG, Zhiyun Smooth Q has a body made of plastic and the battery is built in. Same as SPG it’s splash-proof and works with smartphones as well.
Note: The shutter button on the grip only work with smartphones, not with Xiaomi Mijia Action Camera!

Zhiyun Smooth Q with Xiaomi Mijia 4K Action Camera

Zhiyun Smooth Q with Xiaomi Mijia 4K Action Camera

There is a second advantage of the clamp system holding the cam sideways. You can also use your camera within an underwater case. As mention Zhiyun Smooth Q is splash proof!

Zhiyun Smooth Q with Xiaomi Mijia in underwater case

Zhiyun Smooth Q with Xiaomi Mijia in underwater case

 

Adapter

As described above with Zhiyun Smooth Q the screen is not visible at all, with Feiyu SPG only a small part of it. A fix for that could be an adapter, but I experienced 2 problems with them: 1) There is currently no adapter for Xiaomi Mijia Action Camera available. The one shown below is for GoPro Hero5 black, therefore the screen is again a bit covered and the camera is mounted a bit crooked. 2) The weight of adapter & camera is 220g and that’s also the max. payload stated for Zhiyun Smooth Q. (For Feiyu SPG no payload is stated by the manufacturer.) So you are operating the gimbal’s motors with max payload which can cause them to break earlier.

Xiaomi Mijia Action Camera with Gimbal Adapter

Xiaomi Mijia Action Camera with Gimbal Adapter

 

Conclusion

To me gimbals are my favourite action camera accessory as they stabilise your footage and therefore add quality to your videos. All three of them work well with Xiaomi Mijia Action Camera. Xiaomi gimbal has the most convenient features: You can power the camera, control it via the buttons on the grip and the touchscreen is fully visible and clickable. Therefore it’s the best and my first choice to use with Xiaomi Mijia Action Camera. If you want to be flexible there are other solutions that work well, however come with a few negative aspects.

 

Retailer / Price Comparison

Here’s a price comparison of 3 mentioned gimbals:

Xiaomi Gimbal

Feiyu SPG

Zhiyun Smooth Q

 

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