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Gimbal vs. Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS): What's the Difference?

by Anshika Malik 19 Jan 2024

Gimbal vs. Electronic Image Stabilization

In the dynamic world of photography and videography, capturing smooth and stable footage is essential. Two technologies that have revolutionised the way we achieve stability in our shots are gimbals and Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS). In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of Gimbal vs. Electronic Image Stabilisation, helping you understand the differences and choose the right tool for your shooting needs.

Understanding the Basics

Before we jump into the comparison, let's establish a foundation by understanding the basics of each technology.


A gimbal is a mechanical stabilisation system that uses motors and sensors to keep the camera steady during movement. Gimbals typically consist of three axes – pitch, yaw, and roll – allowing for precise control over the camera's orientation. This technology has been widely adopted in the filmmaking and photography community, offering fluid and professional-looking shots.

Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS):

On the other hand, Electronic Image Stabilization is a software-based solution designed to correct shaky footage in post-processing or in real-time within the camera itself. EIS works by cropping the frame slightly and adjusting the position of each frame to reduce the impact of shakes and jitters. It is commonly found in action cameras, smartphones, and compact cameras.

Let's now explore the differences between these two stabilising technologies.

1.Mechanism of Stabilization:

The fundamental distinction between gimbals and EIS lies in their stabilisation mechanisms.

Gimbal: Gimbals employ a physical, mechanical approach to stabilisation. By utilising motors and sensors, they counteract movements in real-time, resulting in smooth and steady footage. The multi-axis design of gimbals provides a high level of stability, making them ideal for professional videography where precision is crucial.

EIS: Electronic Image Stabilization, on the other hand, relies on software algorithms to stabilise footage after it has been captured. By analysing motion sensors within the camera, EIS corrects shakes and vibrations during playback or in post-production. While this method is effective to some extent, it may not match the level of precision achieved by gimbals.

2.Image Quality:

Another crucial aspect to consider is how each technology impacts the overall image quality.

Gimbal: Gimbals excel in maintaining image quality as they stabilise footage by physically moving the camera. This results in smooth and shake-free shots without sacrificing image resolution. Professional filmmakers often prefer gimbals when shooting high-quality video content as they offer unparalleled stability.

EIS: While EIS effectively reduces shakiness, it comes with a trade-off. To compensate for movements, EIS crops the frame slightly, leading to a potential loss in image quality, especially in terms of resolution. This can be noticeable, particularly in lower light conditions or when shooting at higher resolutions.

3.Flexibility and Portability:

When choosing between a gimbal and EIS, consider your shooting conditions and how portable you need your setup to be.

Gimbal: Gimbals, despite providing excellent stability, can be bulkier and heavier. They are ideal for planned shoots and situations where the extra weight is manageable. Professional filmmakers who prioritise stability and have the luxury of planning their shots often opt for gimbals.

EIS: Electronic Image Stabilisation offers greater flexibility and portability, making it suitable for on-the-go shooting. Action cameras and smartphones frequently integrate EIS due to its lightweight and convenient nature. If you prioritise mobility and don't want to be encumbered by additional equipment, EIS might be the more suitable choice.

4.Battery Life:

Consider the impact of stabilisation technology on the best battery life of your device.

Gimbal: Gimbals, being mechanical devices, consume more power than EIS. The motors continuously work to stabilise the camera, and this can result in a faster depletion of battery life. It's essential to have spare batteries or a reliable power source for extended shoots.

EIS: Electronic Image Stabilisation is a more power-efficient option as it doesn't rely on physical components that require constant energy. This makes it a favourable choice for users who prioritise longer shooting sessions without the need for frequent battery changes.

5.Cost Considerations:

Finally, the cost difference between gimbals and devices with EIS can be a significant factor in your decision-making process.

Gimbal: Gimbals, particularly those designed for professional use, can be relatively expensive. The precision engineering, motors, and advanced stabilisation technology contribute to their higher price tag. If you are willing to invest in top-notch stabilisation and image quality, a gimbal might be worth the expense.

EIS: Electronic Image Stabilisation is a cost-effective solution, often integrated into consumer-oriented devices like smartphones and action cameras without a substantial increase in price. For casual users or those on a budget, EIS provides a more accessible entry point into stabilised videography.

How to Choose gimbals and EIS

In conclusion, both gimbals and EIS have their merits, and the right choice ultimately depends on your individual preferences and requirements. As technology continues to evolve, it's exciting to witness the ongoing advancements in stabilisation, offering users an array of options to capture stunningly smooth footage in any scenario.

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