While image stabilization is a major selling point for smartphones and action cameras, nothing can beat the professional look and fluidity that a motorized Gimbal can bring your video.
With its three-axis stabilization and host of other features, the Zhiyun Crane M2 does more than smoothen out shaky videos. It is packed with creative features, flexible enough to stabilize not only smartphones and smaller action cameras but also larger mirrorless cameras.
In this blog, we’ll be reviewing its features in more detail to help you understand the Crane M2’s capabilities.
Zhiyun Crane M2 Review
Highlights of ZHIYUN CRANE-M2
- High payload and small body (up to 720g).
- Compatible with a wide variety of video gears (smartphones and action cameras, compact, and mirrorless cameras).
- 6 creative modes + Selfie mode;
- Continuous 360-degree rotation on the PAN axis
- Simple balancing using the memory lock on your scales
- Plate quick release
- OLED status display;
- Remote control via APP and wireless connectivity
- Seamless camera control (compatible models);
- Battery life up to 7 hours
- Very well made
- Cameras up to 720g can be stabilized
- There are many shooting modes
- Setup is easy with Fiddly
- The app is not intuitive
- Should Full compatibility for all cameras be included in the list for a better filming experience?
Build Quality and Design
The Crane M2 retains the traditional Crane M2 design of a handheld 3-axis gimbal stabilizer, but Zhiyun put in the effort during design to ensure that the Gimbal was as compact and small as possible. It is, to our knowledge, the smallest and lightest available Gimbal for sub-two pounds payload weight. This Gimbal also delivers outstanding performance.
This allows you to add the Crane M2 without taking up too much space if you’re involved in niches like travel vlogging and travel videography. The lightweight of the Gimbal means that you will not be charged extra for excess baggage.
Zhiyun also did a good job making sure the Crane M2 was as sturdy as possible. This will ensure that it is resistant to bumps during use or transit and that no long-term damage occurs. Gimbal manufacturers are trying to be as competitive as possible in order to offer image stabilization with their accessories.
Zhiyun has also added their locking pin system for the Crane M2 after it proved so popular with the Weebill line. It adds a variety of locking pins to your Gimbal in various locations and allows you to lock all three-axis.
This prevents your Gimbal from rotating or being damaged if you place it in your bag for transit. It also locks the axis in place while keeping your Gimbal still to prevent it from rotating freely. You also get a balance lock that locks the system, so after you release the pin locks, your Gimbal should still be balanced and ready for action.
During use, the Crane M2 supports these axis ranges:
- Tilt mechanical range: 310deg, Roll mechanical range: 324deg
- Mechanical range: 360deg unlimited turn / tilt Adjustable angle: -45deg260deg
- Roll Adjustable Angle: -70deg > 70deg (Switch between landscape and portrait mode using a 40deg angle).
- Adjustable pan angle: -180deg ~ 180deg
The Gimbal has a great range of movement, so no matter what your needs are, you will find it can do them all. The Zhiyun Crane M2 provides the same movement as other competing stabilizers, even if you use a mirrorless camera with an extended lens. This ensures that you can move freely and get superior image stabilization from it.
Zhiyun also managed to reduce the size of the Gimbal by a few inches. It measures 10.5×2.7×5.4 inches. This means that you can carry it in your handbag, backpack, or pocket, depending on what you need. The Gimbal is light at 1.1 pounds, so you won’t even notice it.
Performance And FunctionalityUnfortunately, because to the Zhiyun Crane M2’s 0.29-pound minimum weight capacity, you may struggle to attach some action cameras to it because the majority of action cameras fall under its minimum load capacity.
If you have an action camera and wish to utilize it with your Crane M2 alongside your heavier camera bodies, you may occasionally raise the weight of your action camera by placing it in its waterproof cover before attaching it to your gimbal to bring it over the minimum weight requirement. However, if you are looking for a gimbal only for an action camera, something like the Hohem iSteady Pro 2 is a much better alternative because it is a wonderful tiny action camera gimbal stabilizer
We want to mention the Zhiyun Crane M2’s handle grip. The handle grip is very comfortable, allowing you to reduce aches and pains while working for longer periods. It also makes it easy to hold even when your hand is cold or wet. It ensures that your Gimbal is always in your grasp and reduces the chance of it being dropped.
Just below the status screen are a decently sized 4-way joystick and record buttons. The power switch can be found to the right of your grip. This is a soft switch. To turn it on/off, push it up and hold it for a few seconds. The menu button can also be found on the right and opens the following screens: WiFi history, Motor torque, WiFi history, Joystick, About, and WiFi history.
The trigger switch is located on the back, just below the gimbal headlock. It has the following functions.
- To enter Full Following mode, press once; to return to the previous mode, press once more.
- Hold for longer than 2 seconds to trigger Full Following mode. Release to return to the previous mode.
- Double-press to return the motor to its original mode.
- Triple-press to rotate pan axis motor 180deg.
- The Mode button lets you toggle between different working modes. To toggle between PF and L, press once. Press twice to switch to V.
Zhiyun-Tech claims that their Crane M2 has six modes (Pan and Follow, Lock, POV. GO, Vortex, Lock, POV. GO, Vortex, and POV. However, the selfie mode actually has 7. There are many YouTube videos that explain the Crane M2’s functions and how to use them. I won’t go into detail because there are so many.
The “VORTEX” mode is my favorite. The camera aligns with the central axis when it is activated. (Tilt axis rotates upwards 90deg automatically.) It then rotates in any direction that you choose (clockwise or anticlockwise).
The “Go” mode makes the Gimbal respond more to movement by increasing its motor speed. This mode is useful when you want to capture moving subjects, such as your dog.
Zy Play App
The APP unlocks a variety of features, such as remote controller and auto-panorama. First, we tested it on an Android phone. Despite the fact that my Samsung S7 phone can record 4K videos, we were able to capture Full HD videos using ZyPlay. There was also a limitation on the frame rate. Next, we installed it onto an iPhone 7. It seems to be more compatible with iOS devices. The resolution options were the same as for the stock camera utility.
There are two types of interfaces for ZyPlay: phone and camera. It also has eight main functions such as zoom control, zoom control, stabilizer settings, and calibration.
We often see new users of gimbals worry about the balancing process. Fortunately, Zhiyun has had the easiest balancing processes for many years, and the Zhiyun CraneM2 is no exception.
. It is very simple to balance the Gimbal. The manual includes a detailed tutorial that will help you balance it properly. Zhiyun also has the video below on their YouTube channel explaining how to balance your Gimbal. It is a simple process, and it is unlikely that you will have any problems.
According to manufacturer labor tests, the 1100mAh lithium battery can provide approximately 7 hours of work time with Minolta’s X700 camera and 45mm F2 lenses (520g +125g). These numbers can fluctuate depending on the camera weight, balance, camera weight, movement, and rotation of the gimbal head.
After 3 hours of testing, the battery was still at 25% (1 of 4 lines). The battery cannot be replaced because it is integrated. If you wish to continue filming for hours, an external power bank is your best option.
User Interface and Control System
Zhiyun has always been at the forefront of innovation in the control system, and user interface for their gimbals. They have made some tweaks to the Zhiyun Crane M2 system to make it even more efficient. They have done a fantastic job. The Gimbal is easy to use, making it ideal for anyone who has just purchased their first stabilizer. The Crane M2 supports all advanced features any advanced videographers might need on their Gimbal.
The control interface for the Gimbal is built around the same design as the LCD panel. It also includes a joystick and a few buttons. The push slider, which Zhiyun added to Crane M2 in order to make it easier to use, is seen on the left side of the main interface. This allows for quick zoom control without the need to use a cumbersome magic wheel or increase the size of your Gimbal.
The LCD screen on this Gimbal is bright and easy to see. It allows you to easily see all the pertinent information, even in low-light situations. We would like to mention that the joystick cover can be removed by some users.
This is not a design flaw. However, some people have reported that their joystick covers are attached to the Gimbal. It is a very small number of people. We believe this is a minor error in the Crane M2 batch build, but we want to highlight it.
The standard Zhiyun navigation menu is used on the M2 to make it easy for you to navigate the options menu quickly and efficiently. We are confident that you’ll be able to navigate the Zhiyun Crane M2 system with a modern smartphone. It has been designed to make it as easy and straightforward as possible.
To make your life easier, the gimbal comes with additional controls from the grip controls. These additional features are compatible with the following cameras bodies at the time of writing:
- Sony ILCE – 5100, 6000, 6300, 6400, 6500
- Sony DSC – RXO, RXOM2, RX100M4, RX100M5, RX100M6, WX500, HX90, HX99
- Panasonic DMC – GX85, ZS110GK, LX10GK, GF10KGK
- Panasonic DC – GX9KGK, GX9GK, GF9KGK, GF9XGK, ZS70GK, ZS220GK, LX100M2GK
- Canon – M50
- GoPro – HERO 5, 6, 7
Also, please note that even if your chosen camera body is not listed in the Zhiyun Crane M2, it will still provide excellent image stabilization. However, some features such as auto zoom and gimbals handgrip will not work. Zhiyun releases firmware updates on a daily basis to increase the number of supported cameras. It is possible that the list below will no longer be current.
Price And Availability
The Crane M2 is priced at PS259/$269 and can be ordered directly from Zhiyun’s Aliexpress store or Amazon UK.
It’s quite a lot more than other smartphone gimbals. The latest DJI Osmo Mobile 3 is only 119/PS99, but it is still very affordable by the standards for mirrorless stabilizers.
A separate camera cage will be required to mount a GoPro. Zhiyun only includes mounts for smartphones or mirrorless cameras with M2 so this box doesn’t cover all three types of cameras.
You can check other Gimbal for your devices here:
Although I didn’t have the best experience when I tried to stabilize my camera and connect it to WiFi, I would be happy to let that go. This gimbal can be very useful if it suits your style of photography and, more importantly, your camera. Although I am not trying to become a professional videographer, I wanted something that could make my videos or tutorials more dynamic. This gimbal does exactly that. I think the footage would be good enough for my needs. I might also consider taking it along on shoots to add some video footage to the final gallery.
Zhiyun Crane M2 has a remarkable runtime of up to 7 hours. This will keep you going all day. The CRANE-M2 can be used to charge your phone and also charged by a power bank. Black Friday is a good time to buy it.
We hope the Zhiyun crane m2 review will be helpful for you. if you are interested in knowing more about other reviews, you can access our website: Lucidcam.com to learn more. Thank you for reading!