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Mattias Burling

My Review of the Zhiyun Crane 3-Axis Gimbal

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23 minutes ago, Ki Rin said:

What is that caused by? is it a faulty unit? I'm thinking about getting one of these... 

Funny: at first, I mounted the camera on the middle slot of the mounting plate. A few minutes ago, I used the left slot and compensated with roll axis adjustments. Now the camera would stop tilting beneath ~ 80° but not fall back. Instead, tilt movements in pan and tilt following mode are jerky - which wasn't the case before. This lets me hope that it's a 'pilot error' and that I'll find a solution eventually. It's only a few hours after unboxing ...

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20 minutes ago, Ki Rin said:

Oh, maybe you are not balancing it correctly? have you watched the videos about balancing and calibrating it?

 

Yes. I have some experience, owning the Ronin M and before that quite a few steadicam-like stabilizers. I noticed in the videos that small cameras are sometimes mounted left and sometimes in the middle. Can't think of a reason why this should make a difference, but apparently it does. It took me under two minutes to balance the thing. I will re-watch all of them (downloaded them). I will also calibrate it with the software and be patient.

That said - and for you to evaluate -; if this was an unsolvable issue, the Zhiyun was already useable for me as it is now, simply because I don't tilt to that degree. It seems all the positive reviews so far are fully justified.

The behavior needs tweeking however (see mojo43's video), because ootb the pan following is too responsive. This of course depends on your own preferences.

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It looks like the camera is too far forward.  Try moving it back and rebalance.  I had a similar problem which was sorted by rebalancing.    Try balancing the tilt first, with the camera pointing straight down, using the slider on the motor.  Once it points straight down, move the camera backwards/forwards til it sits level.  I had a similar problem where the tilt motor did the same.  It was down to a front heavy camera (GH4, Sigma 10-2o, Speedbooster).  The motor would hold it for a short time and then "give up".  If you do the above and it still does it, it might be a faulty motor/encoder.

 

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5 hours ago, Axel said:

Yes. I have some experience, owning the Ronin M and before that quite a few steadicam-like stabilizers. I noticed in the videos that small cameras are sometimes mounted left and sometimes in the middle. Can't think of a reason why this should make a difference, but apparently it does. It took me under two minutes to balance the thing. I will re-watch all of them (downloaded them). I will also calibrate it with the software and be patient.

That said - and for you to evaluate -; if this was an unsolvable issue, the Zhiyun was already useable for me as it is now, simply because I don't tilt to that degree. It seems all the positive reviews so far are fully justified.

The behavior needs tweeking however (see mojo43's video), because ootb the pan following is too responsive. This of course depends on your own preferences.

I'm pretty sure your camera is just balanced incorrectly as well. I would not suggest calibrating the gimbal, it's only necessary if you run into extreme temperature situations.

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6 hours ago, Peter Parker said:

It looks like the camera is too far forward.  Try moving it back and rebalance.

Will do that.

5 hours ago, Ki Rin said:

Ok that's good. Let us know if you figure it out though. 

Of course. Monday is my day off. Stay tuned.

4 hours ago, jonpais said:

I would not suggest calibrating the gimbal, it's only necessary if you run into extreme temperature situations.

Well, unfortunately, I think I have to. I probably de-calibrated it accidentally before I left for work today. I had too little time. Before I had placed the gimbal in all the positions depicted, ZGT had went through all steps and displayed the calibrated check-mark. Next time (Monday) I will take my time and learn the positions in advance from this video:

 

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12 hours ago, Axel said:

Will do that.

Of course. Monday is my day off. Stay tuned.

Well, unfortunately, I think I have to. I probably de-calibrated it accidentally before I left for work today. I had too little time. Before I had placed the gimbal in all the positions depicted, ZGT had went through all steps and displayed the calibrated check-mark. Next time (Monday) I will take my time and learn the positions in advance from this video:

 

Here's a video I sent to Zhiyun a few months back, regarding a problem with the screws not staying tight. They've since changed the way they manufacture the Crane, and it is no longer a problem. Just wondering if you can move the camera back and forth, side to side and the camera will hold position like in the video. If not, it's not balanced properly.

Video.MOV

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Hi there.

I've been tryin to find out info on which batteries to buy for the gimble - but without luck so far. Does anyone have any experience with third party batteries?

I would like to buy around 10 batteries (with a charger) as I will be using the gimbal in a remote place without electricity. The original batteries are quite expensive.

Any ideas on which (third party) batteries to buy would be really helpful.

Thank you

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On 2/11/2017 at 2:42 AM, Axel said:

So I've got the Zhiyun Crane for my new A6500.

It seems to share Alex Uzans issue:

(his video)

With heavy 18-105 as well as with very light 16mm pancake. Wrote a message to him. Wouldn't like to send it back before I've even started practising :confused:

 

This has happened to me when I am not balanced properly. I think the motors have too much trouble. Are you sure that you are balanced right?

On 2/10/2017 at 6:01 PM, Phil A said:

Some of the best review/tip vids I've seen lately @mojo43 , way better than watching a 15 minutes unpacking. Thanks!

 

What backpacks are you guys using that can swallow up the Zhiyun crane? Both my Incase sling and my CaseLogic backpack have a small bit of the grip sticking out if I put the crane in head down.

I've solved my mounting problems / desires now with getting a new quick release system that is rather light, quick and affordable. I've bought a whole bunch of Cullmann Revomax RX448 clamps and plates. I have clamps on my crane, on the ballhead for my tripod, one on top of a manfrotto quick release plate for my fluid head (which also is the mount for my LCD viewfinder loupe and fits into my shoulder rig) and on a mini tabletop tripod that serves as a stand for the crane but can also fold together into a grip for handholding the camera.

Now all I need is a way to mount my field monitor and maybe a rodelink receiver to the crane. Guess a super clamp with a magic arm will be the best solution. What a pity that the crane has no accessory thread on the side like some other one hand gimbals. The a6300 is borderline flying blind on the crane thanks to the dimming screen.

I am planning to do a quick tut on how I pack my bag and grab it quickly. I use the Dakine Sequence bag. It was on sale last month for $80 off and it has a side pouch where you can put it temporarily. Hopefully I will get to all of these tutorials before i head out the door on the next shoot.

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8 hours ago, Matjaž Pinter said:

Hi there.

I've been tryin to find out info on which batteries to buy for the gimble - but without luck so far. Does anyone have any experience with third party batteries?

I would like to buy around 10 batteries (with a charger) as I will be using the gimbal in a remote place without electricity. The original batteries are quite expensive.

Any ideas on which (third party) batteries to buy would be really helpful.

Thank you

Google 18650 batteries and you should find what you are looking for.

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56 minutes ago, scotchtape said:

Just buy the original ones.  Unless you know where the battery is coming from it can be very low quality.

Agree 101% First of all, the Crane comes with two sets of batteries, and they last forever. Secondly, I wouldn't go out in the wilderness with untested Chinese batteries that may not even last as long as the originals, so it may end up costing more in the long run. 

12 hours ago, Matjaž Pinter said:

Hi there.

I've been tryin to find out info on which batteries to buy for the gimble - but without luck so far. Does anyone have any experience with third party batteries?

I would like to buy around 10 batteries (with a charger) as I will be using the gimbal in a remote place without electricity. The original batteries are quite expensive.

Any ideas on which (third party) batteries to buy would be really helpful.

Thank you

Have you bought the Crane already? Are you aware how long the batteries last?

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7 hours ago, mojo43 said:

Google 18650 batteries and you should find what you are looking for.

That's what I did for the DS1. The branded batteries came in a good 5mm short of the Chinese made '18650' batteries that came with the unit. So I would advise caution when buying any extras ahead of getting exact specifications and measurements for anything that comes from tiny Chinese factories.

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On 11.2.2017 at 3:23 PM, Peter Parker said:

It looks like the camera is too far forward.  Try moving it back and rebalance.  I had a similar problem which was sorted by rebalancing.    Try balancing the tilt first, with the camera pointing straight down, using the slider on the motor.

That did the trick after proper calibration. Worked with the 18-105 (A6500 + SDXC-card + battery + lens =880g), and I used the middle slot instead of the left slot - as this guy does not with this camera. Now I can tilt 360°, so the unit isn't faulty, thank God.

BUT I can't balance the camera properly with the 16mm pancake (67g - total weight 550g). Every tutorial shows that I first have to have the lens face down, but it won't, even if the camera is as far in the front as possible and even if I pushed the pitch lever completely down. The camera seems to stay horizontally just fine, but it won't stay tilted down. So I guess this combo not front-heavy enough. Will have to find a very heavy sunshade or sth. like this. The Sigma 19mm weighs 160g, I thought of buying it. Right now I'm leaving to test the Sony 35mm f1.8 OSS in the shop, which weighs about the same (155g). I hope that's enough. Thanks everybody.

I also dialed in mojo43's settings, and they feel right, thanks!

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Weight under the camera won't help to balance it, the lens is just too light. I used the crane with the 16-50 kit lens, 35 1.8 OSS and 50 1.8 OSS and you can balance all of those but the moment my a6300 is in the smallrig cage it's not possible anymore to balance it because the lenses are too light in comparison even if I move it all to the front. What you could try is to add a screw with some washers as extra weight into the bottom lens support thread facing forward from the camera as was suggested in this thread before.

Tried to balance the a6300 with the Zhongyi lens turbo ii and a Samyang 35 1.4 this weekend but couldn't get it to work in the short time I had before heading out. I'd just wish Sony had the lens lineup of Fuji for their APS-C line. Would love the 16mm 1.4 or 23mm 1.4 wide open but with Sony's good AF-C for gimbal use.

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12 hours ago, scotchtape said:

Just buy the original ones.  Unless you know where the battery is coming from it can be very low quality.

I actually asked their support to send me some more batteries and they told me to check on amazon. :)

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1 hour ago, Phil A said:

Weight under the camera won't help to balance it, the lens is just too light. I used the crane with the 16-50 kit lens, 35 1.8 OSS and 50 1.8 OSS and you can balance all of those but the moment my a6300 is in the smallrig cage it's not possible anymore to balance it because the lenses are too light in comparison even if I move it all to the front. What you could try is to add a screw with some washers as extra weight into the bottom lens support thread facing forward from the camera as was suggested in this thread before.

Instead of that I screwed an old Kaiser ballhead (110g) into the thread.

Zhiyun%20%2B%2016mm.jpg

Doesn't change. Won't fall in this direction! Obviously the weight has to be the lens itself. No drama though. 16mm look weird anyway - perspective changes too suddenly when you pan. Ordered the Sigma 19mm (wasn't in stock). And the 35mm works nicely.

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Anyone travel with one of these yet? How do you carry it around?

I actually have the smaller Crane M for my RX100 V, took it on a 2-week trip to Japan just last month, and while I loved the results I got, it was a huge PITA to travel with.

Anyone know of a lens case (or similar) that can fit this thing top first? Most times I just wrapped the top part with the camera attached with a t-shirt and threw it in my bag, but I want something more elegant. Or maybe I could get one of those camera backpacks that will allow me to lash it to the side, like a tripod..

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