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Mattias Burling

My Review of the Zhiyun Crane 3-Axis Gimbal

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Ok, a review unit dropped in my mail today. But first let me say this:
I know diddely squat about gimbals. I really don't pay any attention to them. In my work world a gimbal shot is like a drone shot or under water, in other words, something special that you use for a purpose and then you rent or borrow the gear + crew that are good at it.
In my hobby and youtube world Im far to in love with proper camera shakes that I dont want to get rid of them.
Of my +200 youtube clips 0 are done with a gimbal and maybe 2 clips in total have stabilization in post.

Moving on.
With that little disclaimer out of the way, I will know share my experience with this thing and be as honest as I can.
And also do the best I can to give it an honest chance and learn how to use it. Even though I, at this time, dont feel any need to have one of these.
Would be even more fun then if I turn out to really like using it.

And YOU can contribute with questions that you want me to find out and that can be used in a review, since I dont really know what people want to know.

First Impression

Hello.md.jpg

It comes in a normal box, all the specs and such is written in english. So is the manual.
Rather surprising is the nice and sturdy "pellicase" that all the stuff is well secured and foamed in.

Hello-2.md.jpg

Hello-5.md.jpg

I have roll of T-Max in a stand develop so I might not be able to do more than look at it today. Also my BMPCC isn't here today and I think my GM1 is to light.
The general feel is that its well made. It feels sturdy, all the joints are smooth, mostly metal and the plastic also feels nice.

Hello-4.md.jpg

Here is some info:
Weight without battery: 950g
Payload Minimum: 350g Maximum: 1200g
Battery run-time: 6-12h
360 degrees on Tilt, Roll and Pan.

It can apparently feel every 0.02 degree change interval (what ever that is).
Claim to be the first handheld gimbal with CCI (camera control interface) to control focus and shutter.
Tool-less.
Can be controlled via smartphone.
First with three 32-bit MCUs running parallel at 4k hertz, "The number is far beyond reach of any other gimbal" (sounds pretty cool I guess, a bit nerdy but cool ;) )
Lastly some other long paragraph about degrees ad milliseconds... sounds swell.

Thats it, need to rinse my film. Will update as soon as I have it running and maybe a test shot.

Hello-3.md.jpg


 

 

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

i love your work Mattias, i'm more than happy that you will be the first one to review this gimbal as i my self ordered it but it is still on the way and it will be the first time for me to use a gimbal. Waiting your full review and test footage

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Just saw this video.  Seriously impressed how powerful the motors are.  I get the impression Zhiyun is really serious about making good gimbals and are willing to spend money doing the R&D some (not all) other companies out there that have put out products, but I feel they are untested for real world long term use and are unwilling to make any improvements or fix any issues that the customers are having, and they are too busy making 10 other gimbal models that are not thoroughly tested for professional reliability. I guess it's just early adopter issues.  Anyway, looking forward to more reviews on the Z1 Crane

 

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So, here is the first time I put in the batteries, mount the camera and turn it on.
No tools, setup, no nothing. Just out of the box.

When running Im not trying either. I wanted to show what the worst type scenario is. 

 

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27 minutes ago, Mattias Burling said:

So, here is the first time I put in the batterier, mount the camera and turn it on.
No tools, setup, no nothing. Just out of the box.

When running Im not trying either. I wanted to show what the worst type scenario is. 

 

So even after purposely leaving it unbalanced, the stabilization looks great.  After balancing, your battery probably should last all day.  Also, very nice video too and grade.

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1 hour ago, jonpais said:

@Mattias Burling I love your dog! Was the longish handle grip awkward to use at all? Did you do any shots holding the stabilizer at 45 degrees like in the Zhiyun videos?

Cool :)
No the grip was fine, I also left the little tripod on there.
Yes, I would say most runs are with it at 45 degrees or upside-down. You can hold it right side up and then go to 45 to upside-down and back again smoothly.

29 minutes ago, elgabogomez said:

So, what lens are you using? With oss and 24mm ff eq? Great first try by the way

The Sony kit zoom.

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On 7/2/2016 at 3:47 AM, Michael Ma said:

Just saw this video.  Seriously impressed how powerful the motors are.  I get the impression Zhiyun is really serious about making good gimbals and are willing to spend money doing the R&D some (not all) other companies out there that have put out products, but I feel they are untested for real world long term use and are unwilling to make any improvements or fix any issues that the customers are having, and they are too busy making 10 other gimbal models that are not thoroughly tested for professional reliability. I guess it's just early adopter issues.  Anyway, looking forward to more reviews on the Z1 Crane

 

Yep - deeply regret getting the DS1, which looks great in the hands of the makers but not so good in most other people's hands.

If you have a problem - please contact the seller.

I'll wait for the vast majority to be pleased with both a 3 axis gimbal and the after sales service before trying again. Until then, I'll stick with a cheapo Hague - at least I can get smooth footage with one of those and they are super light.

 

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Thank you for this review Mattias. I've been on the fence whether to dive into gimbals(have used Glidecam stabilizers) and what has always put me off is reading the reviews of others struggling with trying to get them stabilized and or needing something of a computer science degree to program. If your opinion is it's easy to setup and go, I'm sold. The only thing that concerns me is I'd be attempting to use this with a BM Micro and smallhd dp4 so I think it may be over the weight limit.    

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4 minutes ago, eekamouse said:

Thank you for this review Mattias. I've been on the fence whether to dive into gimbals(have used Glidecam stabilizers) and what has always put me off is reading the reviews of others struggling with trying to get them stabilized and or needing something of a computer science degree to program. If your opinion is it's easy to setup and go, I'm sold. The only thing that concerns me is I'd be attempting to use this with a BM Micro and smallhd dp4 so I think it may be over the weight limit.    

If you mount the cables with enough care, I think you might be able to mount the screen on the handle. The motors are very strong, so a loose HDMI cable like the Atomos or similar might work. I don't have a monitor but will try to "simulate" it somehow.

You would of course loose the whole 360 spin thing, but how often will that be really needed.

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So totally non-scientific question...knowing you like to shoot handheld, and forgive my presumption here, like me, may not like the robotic smoothness of a stabilizer (does not visually feel like either a dolly or steadycam)...after using this once, can you see this as a part of your kit for the future?

The gimbal itself seems very impressive in spite of my question...

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1 hour ago, Fritz Pierre said:

So totally non-scientific question...knowing you like to shoot handheld, and forgive my presumption here, like me, may not like the robotic smoothness of a stabilizer (does not visually feel like either a dolly or steadycam)...after using this once, can you see this as a part of your kit for the future?

The gimbal itself seems very impressive in spite of my question...

Sure, but personally I would have so little use for it that the money could be better spent on gear I use all the time. And then I can borrow one if needed. Same as a drone imo.

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Understood...I'm not a big fan of excessive camera movement but could see this used by someone getting pushed very slowly through a doorway in a wheelchair for a dolly shot or maybe an exterior car shot from another car...impressive how quickly the unit goes together though and to be honest after seeing your impromptu demo for that price I'm actually considering it...having used it, do you think with care and some mechanical advantage it could be used in a "dolly" shot or too much movement...great review by the way...

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6 minutes ago, Fritz Pierre said:

Understood...I'm not a big fan of excessive camera movement but could see this used by someone getting pushed very slowly through a doorway in a wheelchair for a dolly shot or maybe an exterior car shot from another car...impressive how quickly the unit goes together though and to be honest after seeing your impromptu demo for that price I'm actually considering it...having used it, do you think with care and some mechanical advantage it could be used in a "dolly" shot or too much movement...great review by the way...

You could definitely pull of some sweet dolly shots with it.

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