The Zhiyun-Tech Crane 2 is a 3 axis handheld gimbal stabilizer with 360deg rotation on all three axes. The button-powered, continuous rotation along the pan axis is possible. Manual non-stop circular rotation is available along with tilt and roll. We will be discussing the unique design and features of this gimbal in this blog.
Zhiyun Crane V2 Review
- 360-degree rotation on all three axes
- Compact cameras up to 3.9 lb.
- Attachable lens support for long lenses
- Three 32-bit MCUs run in parallel at 4000Hz.
- Four-way stepless joystick
- Attachment of a camera to a tool-less device using a thumbscrew
- 1/4″-20 threaded mounting hole at the bottom
- Built-in Bluetooth allows wireless control of an iOS/Android app.
- 12-hour runtime when using the included batteries
- Design that is compact and durable
- Impressive stabilization
- Solid battery life
- It is a much more affordable option than DJI Ronin M/MX
- The maximum payload for lenses with DSLRs is 1.8 Kg
- It is not suitable for prolonged, continuous single-handed use
What’s in the Box?
You’ll notice the Zhiyun Crane comes with a sturdy carrying case. This is very useful for when you travel, and you don’t need to buy an additional one. You’ll see all components in their respective arrangements made of nice, padded foam when you open the box. Let’s now take a look inside the box.
- Gimbal Stabilizer x 1
- Battery Compartment x1
- Battery Charger x1
- Batteries x 2
- Micro USB Cable x 1
- Lens Mounting Clamp x 1
- Lens Mounting Screws x 2
- User Manual x1
The Zhiyun Krae 3-axis Gimbal is suitable for compact DSLRs as well as mirrorless cameras. It can carry a payload of almost 1.8 Kgs. This is the wrong gimbal to use if you want to attach your long zoom lenses. The gimbal unit is just 950 grams, including the battery. The Crane V2 features an advanced slip-ring technology that allows users unlimited 360degx3 rotation control. Users also have the option to choose from a variety of angles for gripping gestures and camera placements, depending on how they intend to use the gimbal. For quick and easy mounting, the Crane has a unique dovetail slot that allows balance adjustments to be made with great precision.
We are very impressed with the build quality. It feels sturdy and not as fragile as some of the more expensive gimbals currently on the market. This gimbal can be used in harsh conditions without worry, thanks to its strength.
The Zhiyun Crane, unlike the DJI Ronin MX ($999), which requires a two-handed operation, is smaller and more elegant. It can be carried almost anywhere, even to the most difficult places, for taking the best shots. It has a 3/8-16 thread on the bottom, which allows you to mount it onto any tripod. The gimbal also features an integrated universal mount plate that allows you to balance your camera easily.
Here is where the Crane V2’s newer version will be noticeable. You will notice a larger control panel on the gimbal with a four-way joystick that allows you to tilt, pan, and rotate it. You also have the camera/power, mode, and shift buttons. This can be used with the USB cable you purchase to zoom in or out.
You don’t even need to touch the camera to use this button to stop or start recording. If you have a compatible Sony/Panasonic mirrorless camera, such as the a7S, or GH5, then you can use the Zoom-in/Zoom-out buttons without the need for a USB cable. This button layout is very simple and won’t confuse a beginner purchasing their first gimbal stabilizer.
Make sure your new gimbal is turned off before you begin to balance it. You shouldn’t turn the gimbal on without balancing it. This could cause damage to the motors. It is better to remove the batteries, so it does not turn on when you accidentally press the power button. After you have gotten it perfectly balanced, it should remain in the same spot you moved it. It should stay put if it does not. You can now remove the base plate from the gimbal by pulling a lever.
Pan-Follow, Lock, and Full modes are available on the gimbal. These can all be switched easily using the Mode button we discussed earlier. The Pan-Follow Mode is activated once the gimbal has been turned on. The gimbal will turn on when you twist the handle. However, it will not tilt if the joystick isn’t used. Once you press the Mode button, the Lock mode will open.
The Pitch is locked if you don’t adjust the joystick. Double-press the Mode button to go to Full Mode. The gimbal will track your movements using tilt and pan. Triple-click the Mode button to rotate the camera 180 degrees. This is an unofficial selfie mode. You can also mount the gimbal to a tripod using a 3/8-16 thread and a 1/4-20 adapter.
Zhiyun Assistant, a smartphone app that is available for both Android and iOS devices, can be used to control your Zhiyun Crane. This app allows you to pair your Zhiyun Crane using Bluetooth. You can then control the gimbal completely without touching it.
The app will open and display your battery percentage. You can calibrate, adjust, and control the stabilizer settings. You can adjust the following settings: Control dead zone, Control rate, Control rate, and Degree of smoothness. You can adjust each setting individually for the Pan, Roll, and Pan axis. The app will reset any deviations that occur on the horizontal and 3-axis of the gimbal.
Clicking on Control on the dashboard will give you a virtual joystick. This lets you control the actual device without needing to use the buttons on the unit. You can switch between the three modes the gimbal offers, which are Follow, Lock, and Full. This virtual joystick can adjust the roll axis, pitch axis, and pan axis to control the gimbal, depending on which model you have selected.
You can also tap the Restore button to bring the gimbal to its original position. Overall, the app is decent. It has a basic user interface and controls that are easy to use for beginners. The app is a little outdated, so people who are looking for more advanced features may be disappointed.
The Zhiyun Crane has 32-bit x 3-high-speed MCUs. It boasts a processing rate of up to 4000MHz on its own built-in Inertial Measurement Unit. This gives us confidence in the potential performance of this gimbal stabilizer.
Crane’s hardware allows for stunning shots thanks to its unparalleled motion sensitivity, precision control, and high-quality images. The Crane can respond to sudden twists with precise compensation thanks to Zhiyun’s Intune Algorithms. The motors of this gimbal can barely be heard while they are trying to stabilize video footage. We have no complaints.
The Crane V2 is a fantastic stabilizing tool for real-world situations. The Crane V2 cancels out any wobbles or shakes that may occur while you are running, walking, or driving. It almost looks like you are gliding through the air. The gimbal is capable of stabilizing your shots and can be used to capture great panning shots. It’s similar to the results you get with a tripod.
You can twist your wrists to ensure the gimbal’s head follows your route. However, the double handle kit is recommended for long-term shooting. Your hands may get tired, and the gimbal could feel heavy after a prolonged period of continuous shooting.
Balancing is the most crucial step in setting up the gimbal. You cannot just attach your camera and begin shooting. It takes at least several minutes to balance each axis. Even though this has been done a few times, it is still quite time-consuming.
A plate that can be moved to connect your camera is one of the nice features the original Crane didn’t have. It was connected to an RC2 base, and it is highly recommended that you do so. This makes it easier to connect the camera to your gimbal.
It will take some time, especially the first few times, to set up your balance for your lens and camera. Depending on how precise you are with the setup, this can take several minutes to complete. We will link some videos below. We recommend that you take the time to make sure it works, even if it doesn’t work right away. There is a learning curve, but you will get faster the more you practice.
The app is the second step in the setup process. Zhiyun Tech created the Zhiyun assistant for iOS and Android. This app was also used by us to calibrate and control the Smooth Q gimbal. You can control your gimbal with the app – it can be used as a kind of robotic head (it has 1/4”20 thread on its bottom), and you can also adjust many settings. We highly recommend this app. We find the speed at which the gimbal moves to be too fast for our tastes.
The Crane is still being used in a way that we are learning. Many factors can affect the final result. These are more related to how you use the Crane and how it is set up than how the gimbal works.
We have found that the camera can hit the motors or arms with certain movements. While you can learn to avoid this, it is possible to get frustrated at first.
We like the idea of attaching the gimbal on a tripod to create mini crane-like shots. Although it is not a substitute for a crane, it can be very useful in certain situations. While we still are trying to find out why the gimbal is doing this, we discovered that it has a small pan when performing large up and down movements. (See example in our video). We aren’t sure if this is due to our setup or another factor, but this shouldn’t happen.
We wish there were a way to tell what Mode you’re in, just like the Q smartphone gimbal we tried before. (Zhiyun added a small info screen on the Crane 2 to let them know that they are actually listening to their costumes. They are identical to the Q’s modes:
- Follow – The initial state of the gimbal when it is turned on. The camera will move with your hand left or right, and you can use the joystick to control the up/down or pitch movements.
- Lock – The camera will lock in a position and attempt to maintain the orientation of the camera as you move it. In this Mode, the joystick works in all directions (pitch/pan).
- Full – This Mode is identical to the following Mode. The camera will follow your movements, but you can control roll and incline (pitch and pause are disabled).
- Selfie (backward Mode) – The camera rotates to take a picture of the user.
We believe that the way you hold the Crane and how you move with it are very important. Hold it close with your two hands, and then roll your feet when you step. The two-handed accessory for the crane cane can significantly improve stability in almost all situations. We are eager to work with it soon.
Two Zhiyun 26500 lithium batteries are included in the Crane V2 gimbal stabilizer. They have a rating of 3600 mAh and can be charged within one hour. According to the manufacturer, the Zhiyun CraneV2’s batteries are capable of allowing you to operate the unit for between 10 and 12 hours. This is significantly more than the Crane V1’s battery time. It’s important to note that the actual battery time you get will vary depending on how much you use it.
Zoom, Shutter, And Record
Zhiyun Play / Zhiyun Assistant
Zhiyun Crane V1 vs V2
Version 2 also includes the Zhiyun Crane. Both models are similar, so the V2 is a minor update to the V1 but does not change the “Crane.”
- There are many differences in the types of batteries that are used. The Crane V1 came with 4 x 18650 lithium batteries and a transport case. Version 2 comes with two 26500 lithium-ion cells. Version 2 includes an adaptable charger.
- Other differences exist in the controls. You will now find the entire gimbal control on the front, below the joystick.
- The improved version 2 camera mount is also worth your attention. It acts as a quick-release plate and allows for faster and more precise mounting.
You can check other reviews to learn more:
The Crane version 2 is currently available for around $550, with the newer Crane 2 being sold for around 200. The new crane version 2 has some great features, including the OLED screen, follow focus. However, the Crane version 2 can be used with Canon cameras only and is priced at around $550. The Crane version 2 will work well if you are able to live without them.
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