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My Review of the Zhiyun Crane 3-Axis Gimbal

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2 hours ago, ripper2020 said:

@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. 

If it helps, here are the photos.

The small ball head is actually needed to shift up the CoG a little bit, otherwise the Z (vertical) adjustment will be out of range and I won't get it balanced.

A good thing about the BMMCC is that it has three 1/4" holes at the bottom, I can use two of them to align the orientation.

You don't need to adjust the settings for balancing. When it's power off, it's not doing anything, balancing is pure mechanical. If the camera can stay at any position, you're ready to turn on the crane.

 

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6.jpg.863f1cf1275f676e726d49c4070b9723.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

@gsenroc

Thanks so much for the pics.  Forgive my ignorance but, is the small ballhead the thing attached to the top of your camera?  Also, any idea what the weight is of your camera setup?  I'm thinking weight is definitely related to my balance problem.

I ordered the crane M from amazon.  My plan is to try that out and see if it balances.  If it does, I'll probably return the crane.  If it doesn't, I'll probably just give up on my dreams of stabilized video :(

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5 minutes ago, ripper2020 said:

@gsenroc

Thanks so much for the pics.  Forgive my ignorance but, is the small ballhead the thing attached to the top of your camera?  Also, any idea what the weight is of your camera setup?  I'm thinking weight is definitely related to my balance problem.

I ordered the crane M from amazon.  My plan is to try that out and see if it balances.  If it does, I'll probably return the crane.  If it doesn't, I'll probably just give up on my dreams of stabilized video :(

I don't have a scale so I don't know the exact weight of my setup, sorry about that :anguished:

Yes the ball head is that tiny thing on the top of the camera.

But looking at the specs I would say my BMMCC weights about the same as a sony or even a bit less. Adding the ball head it should be above the minimum required weight.

The weight of your setup is sufficient, I'm pretty sure about it. since you are not able to balance it, I would say it's rather the CoG problem. Try to figure out in which direction you need to shift the weight, my guess is the same as mine, you probably need some stuff on top of your camera.

 

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@gsenroc

Hmmm...now I'm thinking I could try to add some weight to my camera, but not sure how.  I was thinking a quick release plate, but all the ones I've looked at on amazon don't seem to sit perfectly flat on the bottom.  Do you think the weight needs to be added to the top?  Or, just the camera in general?

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3 hours ago, ripper2020 said:

@gsenroc

Hmmm...now I'm thinking I could try to add some weight to my camera, but not sure how.  I was thinking a quick release plate, but all the ones I've looked at on amazon don't seem to sit perfectly flat on the bottom.  Do you think the weight needs to be added to the top?  Or, just the camera in general?

If all you're after doing is adding to the weight of the camera then one option could be to get one of these hot shoe to tripod screw converters and then put some heavy washers on the screw part. 

The advantage of using the washers is that you can progressively add them to build up to the correct weight if thats what is causing the problem.

If it doesn't work then you'll only be a few quid out of pocket and at least you've got a hot shoe to tripod screw converter which are always useful to have !

And some washers for general plumbing emergencies.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Camera-Mount-Tripod-Screw-Adapter-x/dp/B01KFUBALM/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1493939870&sr=8-4&keywords=hot+shoe+tripod+mount

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48 minutes ago, scotchtape said:

For the new model, does it use one battery or two? Also can it use the old 18650 as well? Thanks, I couldn't tell from any of the photos in the listings.

version 2 uses two batteries.  Not sure about the old batteries if that's what the 18650 is . 

2 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

If all you're after doing is adding to the weight of the camera then one option could be to get one of these hot shoe to tripod screw converters and then put some heavy washers on the screw part. 

The advantage of using the washers is that you can progressively add them to build up to the correct weight if thats what is causing the problem.

If it doesn't work then you'll only be a few quid out of pocket and at least you've got a hot shoe to tripod screw converter which are always useful to have !

And some washers for general plumbing emergencies.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Camera-Mount-Tripod-Screw-Adapter-x/dp/B01KFUBALM/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1493939870&sr=8-4&keywords=hot+shoe+tripod+mount

Thanks, I'll give that a shot!

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11 hours ago, ripper2020 said:

@gsenroc

Hmmm...now I'm thinking I could try to add some weight to my camera, but not sure how.  I was thinking a quick release plate, but all the ones I've looked at on amazon don't seem to sit perfectly flat on the bottom.  Do you think the weight needs to be added to the top?  Or, just the camera in general?

It's actually pretty simple to figure out why it's not able to get balanced.

Since I suspect a CoG problem in the vertical direction, you can try shifting the base plate to the front a little bit, maybe to the front end in extreme case, then point the camera upwards, and hold the tilting motor housing in its place.

Now pay attention to where the camera falls:

  • If the lens goes forward (tip down), adjust the slider on the tilt motor backwards when camera is pointing up
  • If the lens goes backward (tilt up),  adjust the slider  forwards
  • If the slider is already at the very end, then your CoG is out of range.

In this case:

  • If the lens goes forward, you need extra weight on top of your camera
  • If the lens goes backward, you need extra weight at the bottom of your camera

If you make it balanced, then put the camera horizontal, then balance it with sliding the base plate backward.

After that you can balance the roll motor, then pan motor.

The tricky thing is, that there are two degrees of freedom for the adjustments of the tilt motor, so pay attention to which one is off and which one you're actually adjusting.

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2 hours ago, gsenroc said:

It's actually pretty simple to figure out why it's not able to get balanced.

Since I suspect a CoG problem in the vertical direction, you can try shifting the base plate to the front a little bit, maybe to the front end in extreme case, then point the camera upwards, and hold the tilting motor housing in its place.

Now pay attention to where the camera falls:

  • If the lens goes forward (tip down), adjust the slider on the tilt motor backwards when camera is pointing up
  • If the lens goes backward (tilt up),  adjust the slider  forwards
  • If the slider is already at the very end, then your CoG is out of range.

In this case:

  • If the lens goes forward, you need extra weight on top of your camera
  • If the lens goes backward, you need extra weight at the bottom of your camera

If the lens is now pointing upward but not very stable, you have finished the first step. Now put the camera horizontal, balance it with sliding the base plate backward. Now the camera should stay at any tilt angle.

After that you can balance the roll motor, then pan motor. Add weight if needed and re-balance the tilt motor.

The tricky thing is, that there are two degrees of freedom for the adjustments of the tilt motor, so pay attention to which one is off and which one you're actually adjusting.

Edit: added info

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@gsenroc

Thanks, awesome explanation.  I'm a complete amateur so I have no idea what I'm doing and your instructions are very clear and easy to understand.  I will try your steps when I get home from work tonight.  Coincidentally, I have the crane M coming from amazon today so I'm also going to give that a shot.  90% of my video shooting will be with setup that weighs less than 600g.  

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20 hours ago, gsenroc said:

If the lens goes forward (tip down), adjust the slider on the tilt motor backwards when camera is pointing up

I believe this is my issue.  I have the slider pulled all the way backwards (when camera is pointing up) and the lens still falls forward.  The camera is not all the way to the front, but pretty far up. I think that's why it's so confusing for me, as moving the slider plate forwards and backwards and the moving the tilt bar both affect the tilt balance.  I ordered a hot shoe adapter someone recommended a few posts back and I'll try adding some weight to the top.  

I received the crane m today and was able to get a perfect balance with both of my smaller lenses.  However, I don't really like the feel of it as much - it's hard to explain but it feels like the camera is too much for it. I'm going to shoot some video and see how it turns out.  

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1 hour ago, ripper2020 said:

I believe this is my issue.  I have the slider pulled all the way backwards (when camera is pointing up) and the lens still falls forward.  The camera is not all the way to the front, but pretty far up. I think that's why it's so confusing for me, as moving the slider plate forwards and backwards and the moving the tilt bar both affect the tilt balance.  I ordered a hot shoe adapter someone recommended a few posts back and I'll try adding some weight to the top.  

I received the crane m today and was able to get a perfect balance with both of my smaller lenses.  However, I don't really like the feel of it as much - it's hard to explain but it feels like the camera is too much for it. I'm going to shoot some video and see how it turns out.  

Yea it seems to be the same issue as mine.

The reason to shift the mounting plate forward is to bring the tilt axis in a so-called "inverted pendulum" situation, it will amplify the instability if that slider is not properly adjusted. If you let the camera go, the lens will point down and forward in the end.

To verify your issue, you can now slide the mounting plate fully to the back end, and let the camera go again. This time the lens will pointing up and forward.

There are several ways to shift up the CoG, the easiest way is to add something on top of the camera, or you can look for a spacer to raise up the camera a little bit. 

There are people mounting their iphone on the crane, the result is very impressive :glasses:

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I did some very basic test footage of my son.  Strangely, to me, the unbalanced setup with the crane seemed more stable than the perfectly balanced setup (same exact setup) with the crane m.

Here is footage from the perfectly balanced setup on crane m: https://youtu.be/e6B3bsB8njQ

Here is the non balanced footage from full size crane: https://youtu.be/X1II_b7E7wY

When I say not balanced, basically the tilt and roll axis roll back to level shooting position instead of staying put.  I may just keep the full size crane and keep working to get it balanced...or just use unbalanced.  

 

 

 

 

 

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So, I got the hotshoe adapter and added the nuts included with the adapter and it now balances perfectly. Thanks to all for the suggestions and information!

Now, I'm looking to get a mini / tabletop tripod to 1) be able to setup and balance the crane on and 2) use as regular mini tripod with my camera.  Any suggestions?  Ideally, I'd like to get a quick release plate that would let me switch between the two quickly - e.g. use one plate on the crane and similar one on the tripod.  

 

  

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1 hour ago, ripper2020 said:

So, I got the hotshoe adapter and added the nuts included with the adapter and it now balances perfectly. Thanks to all for the suggestions and information!

Now, I'm looking to get a mini / tabletop tripod to 1) be able to setup and balance the crane on and 2) use as regular mini tripod with my camera.  Any suggestions?  Ideally, I'd like to get a quick release plate that would let me switch between the two quickly - e.g. use one plate on the crane and similar one on the tripod.  

 

  

I have and really like this one: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/687341-REG/Oben_TT_100_TT_100_Table_Top_Tripod.html

I use it without the ball head, which is awesome as well, but it's sturdy, all metal, and fits right inside the zhiyun case no problem. 

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12 hours ago, Parker said:

I have and really like this one: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/687341-REG/Oben_TT_100_TT_100_Table_Top_Tripod.html

I use it without the ball head, which is awesome as well, but it's sturdy, all metal, and fits right inside the zhiyun case no problem. 

Awesome, ordered it!  It's a lot cheaper than the other options I've been looking at too.  Thanks!

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On 6.5.2017 at 8:26 PM, ripper2020 said:

I did some very basic test footage of my son.  Strangely, to me, the unbalanced setup with the crane seemed more stable than the perfectly balanced setup (same exact setup) with the crane m.

Here is footage from the perfectly balanced setup on crane m: https://youtu.be/e6B3bsB8njQ

Here is the non balanced footage from full size crane: https://youtu.be/X1II_b7E7wY

When I say not balanced, basically the tilt and roll axis roll back to level shooting position instead of staying put.  I may just keep the full size crane and keep working to get it balanced...or just use unbalanced.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey, color looks awesome, movement on the unbalanced big crane too. What profile settings did you use? Did you do the firmware update for the 50mbit mode? cheers

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On 5/11/2017 at 1:25 PM, PannySVHS said:

 

Hey, color looks awesome, movement on the unbalanced big crane too. What profile settings did you use? Did you do the firmware update for the 50mbit mode? cheers

Hey thanks! I ended up keeping the big crane and got it balancing now so it's great.  I did do the firmware update but I believe that test footage was shot at lower bitrate...maybe even mpeg.  I shoot in aperture priority, DRO Lv4, vivid creative style with +2 contrast, -1 saturation, -1 sharpness.  I'm extremely lazy and I like the footage directly from the camera with those settings.  

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