Jump to content
Mattias Burling

My Review of the Zhiyun Crane 3-Axis Gimbal

Recommended Posts

EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs
5 minutes ago, Baz said:

Is this Zhiyun Crane the best 3-Axis Gimbal out there ?  I've just seen information on a new Gimbal by Moza here: http://www.gudsen.com/moza-air.html which takes up to 2.5kg, so i'm not sure whether to wait for the Moza to become available or get the Zhiyun.

I'm wondering the same thing actually. I was about ready to order the Crane when I saw the Moza. It looks good on paper, but unfortunately there aren't really any real reviews yet. So I guess its a bit of a gamble, until more people can get their hands on them. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Zhiyun Crane, v.2

Zhiyun actually quietly updated the original version before this one, with screws that tighten the arms more securely, but this one adds even more convenience, with longer lasting batteries (twice as long), a quick release plate, and moving buttons to one side of the gimbal for ease of use.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Phil A said:

Also looks shorter, I think that would be a huge advantage.

Arguably. Depends. A shorter handle is easier to hold with one hand, whereas a longer one (or prolonged, i.e. with folded table tripod) is easier to hold with both hands - for occasions when you don't move much with a heavy camera/lens or in inverted mode. The same is true for the dual handle. Useful for certain shots, not so much for others. I experiment a lot. Screwed the Zhiyun on a monopod, screwed a hook at the other end, hung my camera bag on it as a counter weight and had a makeshift crane indeed. Wondered how to perform the perfect dolly shot on my parquet floor - too uneven for a Pico dolly, as I had learned before. I stuck a soft broom at the end of the monopod and shoved it gently (instead of wheels). Not a brushless gimbal any more ;-)

Version 2 looks like an improvement. Still happy with mine, but for those who still don't have one it could be better to wait. Battery life of 12 hours seems to me kind of overkill. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They should have updated the payload too.  Mine has started to make a quiet grinding sound in the pan axis when slowly moving.  I also reduced the follow rate to like 25 degrees/s and smoothness 200 so not sure if that had anything to do with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've found this gimbal to be extremely versatile, however one movement I have some issues with is the 'dolly in' with the camera facing talent and you're going straight at it. Is there a trick to make it less 'swingy'? minor left and right movement is inevitable when I slowly walk straight towards my subject. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, baksteen said:

I've found this gimbal to be extremely versatile, however one movement I have some issues with is the 'dolly in' with the camera facing talent and you're going straight at it. Is there a trick to make it less 'swingy'? minor left and right movement is inevitable when I slowly walk straight towards my subject. 

I quote myself from another thread (external monitor for A6500 on a gimbal, my so-so solution were video goggles, now I wait for smallHD Focus of course):

Quote

I found a simple and effective method to further stabilize my one-hand-gimbal shots, in particular steps. It's kind of the poor man's Armor-Man Exoskeleton, without the ridiculous Transformers approach. I make my own arm a spring arm. Got a giveaway from my pharmacy: a four feet long yellow rubber band (you're probably supposed to do stretching exercises with it). Used it like an arm sling so that I need some force to hold the Zhiyun in a 90° angle. Evens out some of the up-down movements when I walk (and yes, I know how to walk with a steadicam). Thought of building a more sophisticated version with a vest and biker's rubber bands - but why?  Reduce to the maximum!

I find it works quite well. Left and right movements are easier to avoid than up and down movements. Whatever you do: use your camera display's crosshairs. Helps a lot. Aim and steer. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I changed my settings for smoother use and I like it so far.  Speed is like 25deg for pan and smoothness 200.  Dead zone is 1.

 

If you are having problems try slowing the follow rate and increasing smoothness.  You might want to increase dead band too.

 

I think the defaults are way too fast for 24p

I find the length of the gimbal and size is super annoying to deal with as nothing fits it, so shorter is welcome.  For my rungun stuff I leave it assembled but it takes up so much space and sticks out of my bag pretty far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/26/2017 at 9:41 AM, Axel said:

Arguably. Depends. A shorter handle is easier to hold with one hand, whereas a longer one (or prolonged, i.e. with folded table tripod) is easier to hold with both hands - for occasions when you don't move much with a heavy camera/lens or in inverted mode. The same is true for the dual handle. Useful for certain shots, not so much for others. I experiment a lot. Screwed the Zhiyun on a monopod, screwed a hook at the other end, hung my camera bag on it as a counter weight and had a makeshift crane indeed. Wondered how to perform the perfect dolly shot on my parquet floor - too uneven for a Pico dolly, as I had learned before. I stuck a soft broom at the end of the monopod and shoved it gently (instead of wheels). Not a brushless gimbal any more ;-)

Version 2 looks like an improvement. Still happy with mine, but for those who still don't have one it could be better to wait. Battery life of 12 hours seems to me kind of overkill. 

Yep, a shorter handle helps to reduce the bulk but makes for poor ergonomics. Fine for small cameras but even something around 4lbs total is a struggle to hold steady without both hands. I have a Beholder and their short handles makes it difficult to use two-handed. I had to rig a separate detachable handle for better support and weight distribution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/28/2017 at 7:09 AM, Axel said:

If the camera can only be balanced by shoving it completely to the front AND by going beyond zero cm, the tilt won't work = it's too light for this particular gimbal or has the wrong form ( ie. smartphones). It doesn't help much to put on more weight, which I tried as well, here. If at all, you had to make the lens heavier (lead sunshield :grimace:), not the camera (cage, QR-plate) or the gimbal (my example) ...

Axel,

New to gimbals and just got zhiyun crane v2.  I spent about 6 hours this weekend watching videos of how to balance / setup the crane and trying it myself.  I could not get it to balance with my sony a6000 and my sel3518 or my sigma 19mm.  Both of these combos are well under 600g ( I think about 450 ) but I thought this would work based on zhiyuns minimum load of 350g.  Also, there seems to be a lot of youtube footage of the a6000 with kit lenses which I think are pretty light ( I don't own any ).  After finally finding this forum and reading your posts, I added my largest zoom lens and I was finally able to get the tilt axis to balance.  However, then I tried to get the roll axis to balance and could not.  Would this also have to do with the weight of my setup?  Even with the zoom lens the weight of the setup was ~650g.  

So, does this mean I should go for the smaller crane m?  Or, am I just doing something wrong?  I tried to follow your instructions above in this page but couldn't follow.  If I can balance the tilt, does that mean the roll should work as well?  Thanks in advance for any advice.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ripper2020 said:

Axel,

New to gimbals and just got zhiyun crane v2.  I spent about 6 hours this weekend watching videos of how to balance / setup the crane and trying it myself.  I could not get it to balance with my sony a6000 and my sel3518 or my sigma 19mm.  Both of these combos are well under 600g ( I think about 450 ) but I thought this would work based on zhiyuns minimum load of 350g.  Also, there seems to be a lot of youtube footage of the a6000 with kit lenses which I think are pretty light ( I don't own any ).  After finally finding this forum and reading your posts, I added my largest zoom lens and I was finally able to get the tilt axis to balance.  However, then I tried to get the roll axis to balance and could not.  Would this also have to do with the weight of my setup?  Even with the zoom lens the weight of the setup was ~650g.  

So, does this mean I should go for the smaller crane m?  Or, am I just doing something wrong?  I tried to follow your instructions above in this page but couldn't follow.  If I can balance the tilt, does that mean the roll should work as well?  Thanks in advance for any advice.  

Welcome to the forum, Ripper. Could you share a video showing how you are balancing the three axes?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ripper2020

The Sigma 19mm is indeed quite easy to balance (don't know if the A6000 is perhaps a little lighter than the A6500?). With the sun shield mounted (you want it to be front heavy) and on Crane V1, the front screw's head beneath the camera is 4 mm away from the mount for the lens support. Pitch/tilt axes (with ruler) = also 4 mm (gives you an idea if you are not familiar with metric distances). Roll axis = 10,5 mm. Yaw axis: 0 mm (ruler mark just disappearing under the metal). Gimbal Tools setting "weak" (although "medium" seems to work too, I sometimes forget to change after the SELP18105, the latter can't be mounted with sun shield, because then the lens bumps against gimbal parts in some positions, I have no idea how others do that with bigger cameras and longer lenses).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@jonpais

I'll try to get some video on my phone today after work.  

 

@Axel

The a6000 is quite a bit lighter than a6500 - it's less than 350g for body only.  I guess my question is, should I not use this gimbal if my setup is less than 600g? I.E. is it physically impossible to balance a setup that weighs less than 600g?  I was thinking about getting the crane m which seems to support lighter cameras.  I'm mostly going to shoot with primes so my total weight will almost always be less than 600g.

Lastly, I have the "notify me of replies" option checked when I reply in this thread but I didn't receive any notice in my email.  Is there something specific that has to happen to trigger that notification?  Thanks again. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, Here is my first video.  Sorry about the crappy footage, all I have is my phone to record. https://youtu.be/eKbsrQSNTxE

You can see that with my sel55210 I was finally able to get the tilt axis working so it stayed in position when I let go.  

The next video is trying to balance at all with the simga 19mm - https://youtu.be/wRE0M3pKWVQ. There is only one small spot in terms of moving the mounting plate forwards and backwards where the camera will sit anything close to level.  If I want it to point up to the ceiling, I have to move it all the way to the front and push the tilt axis adjustment all the way up.  However, then when I tilt the camera down, it swings back up.  Let me know if anyone has any tips.  I'm basically just trying to figure out if it will work with my setup or I'm just doing something wrong.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got my Crane. It's the Ver.2.

Balacing my BMMCC with Sigma 19/2.8 was perfectly done in just 5 minutes. Then the crane fires up without any issue for such a lightweight set. Motor set to weak, rest are just default, I'm quite happy with the result. :glasses:

Build quality is ok, but the connection between the pan motor and the handle is not well designed. It works but too compromised for the cost.

The only issue I have is that the pan motor has some little ticking noise when it rotates, even when it's powered off. It's not too serious since my mic is not picking it up, I'll leave it as is and hope it's not going to fail.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@gsenroc

Your setup sounds very similar in weight to mine.  Do you mind posting a picture of where your camera is mounted and the tilt axis adjustment.  Also, do you know if any of the motor settings affect balancing when the gimbal is off?  I'm trying to get my a6000 balanced and ready to send the gimbal back as everything I've tried hasn't worked so far. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...