Jump to content
Mattias Burling

My Review of the Zhiyun Crane 3-Axis Gimbal

Recommended Posts

6 hours ago, BasiliskFilm said:

Close up shots will be a problem as the stabiliser is compensating for angular movement, not lateral movement. If you keep your camera level but move it up and down by a few mm, then on a close up of a flower a few mm movement will show. In the distance a few mm makes little difference.
What would be interesting is if putting a gimbal on a cheap monopod to stabilise it further would give you the effect with a longer lens of using an heavy duty tripod. Needless to say, not having to carry around a heavy duty tripod with a fluid head is quite a cost and weight saving.

I think that's when a image stabilized lens really matters as the 3 axis doesn't compensate for lateral movement.  You're probably not going to get a perfectly still shot but at some effort in holding it still, you'd get some minor smooth movements.  Hopefully my Z1 Crane arrives today.  I'm looking forward to trying a 80D with a 55-250mm IS STM lens on it just to see if it can handle it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

I finally got my crane to work today, but only briefly and only after I plugged a micro usb into the port up near the motors. Im pretty sure my unit is defective and I'm not sure I want to wait three weeks to get a new one shipped to me, very dissapointing

 

Share this post


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

I finally got my crane to work today, but only briefly and only after I plugged a micro usb into the port up near the motors. Im pretty sure my unit is defective and I'm not sure I want to wait three weeks to get a new one shipped to me, very dissapointing

 

That sucks.  Sounds like a battery issue.  Which actually sounds less serious than a broken motor.  Possibly something you can fix yourself if you want to deal with the hassle.  Maybe the batteries are defective.  The cells go permanent hibernation after they dip below 3V.  They are not too expensive online to replace.  Probably less than $10-20 for a pair of 18650's or 26650's. 

I have been waiting 3 weeks for mine and bought from the absolute cheapest ebay reseller.  $551 to be exact with free international shipping.  Maybe I shouldn't have been so cheap...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update.  My Z1 Crane is here.  It took me less than 5 minutes to balance my Canon 80D with the LCD flipped outwards.  I wanted to do an extreme test so I put my 55-250mm IS STM lens on there.  The motors are strong enough to where I can flip the LCD back in, zoom all the way out on the 55-250mm, and without having to rebalance it.  The stabilization is smooth.  There is no studder, jerkyness, and fine tuning does not seem to be required.  I zoomed it all the way out to 250mm (~400mm equivalent), and I was able to smoothly track moving cars very fluidly.  I'm sure the IS on the lens helped a lot as well.  Normally, I plan to walk around with the 10-18mm STM during travels.

As for turning it on (in response to the user who was having trouble with his Crane), When you hit the gold button, you can see the LCD immediately react.  However, you need to hold the gold power button a few seconds until the LCD becomes yellow.  And a second later, the motors will snap into place.  

My package came with 2 sets of 2 18650 batteries (not 26650 batteries that some come with now), no remote control (some resellers are packaging that in), nice plastic carrying case for $551 USD with free international shipping from ebay.  Order was placed on the 20th, the product's warranty card say August 24, and it was shipped on the same day.  Unfortunately, that seller is selling it for $730 now so I don't have a link, but you can find under $600 deals on ebay.  I'm very happy with it on how it performs with a 1100g sitting on it.  It easily does everything I was hoping that it would do (outperform my Pilotfly H1+ in every way).

I'll be happy to answer any questions if you have them.

 

I made a video with my impressions.  Please excuse the video quality and my speaking.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D76MeyAl0Z8

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, Michael Ma said:

My package came with 2 sets of 2 18650 batteries (not 26650 batteries that some come with now), no remote control (some resellers are packaging that in), nice plastic carrying case for $551 USD with free international shipping from ebay.  Order was placed on the 20th, the product's warranty card say August 24, and it was shipped on the same day.  Unfortunately, that seller is selling it for $730 now so I don't have a link, but you can find under $600 deals on ebay.  I'm very happy with it on how it performs with a 1100g sitting on it.  It easily does everything I was hoping that it would do (outperform my Pilotfly H1+ in every way).

I'll be happy to answer any questions if you have them.

You got a great price! I paid $650 for mine, including remote, which I have yet to use (any mobile can do the same with the Zhiyun Assistant app though). Also nice to hear that everything works fine. Not sure what's wrong with the other poster's unit, He doesn't say whether he checked the polarity of the batteries, whether the remote Bluetooth was turned on, or whether the blue light was blinking at all when the unit was turned on. Also, no video showing the problem. The unit comes with two sets of batteries, so it would be simple a simple enough procedure to see if the batteries were the problem, but he doesn't say if he tried the other set or not. If he really wanted the unit, why does he say he's not sure if he'll go ahead and ask for a replacement? What other manufacturer offers such a fine stabilizer for only $600? None! Finally, there's no need to wait for weeks for the gimbal, I received mine in a matter of days. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, jonpais said:

You got a great price! I paid $650 for mine, including remote, which I have yet to use (any mobile can do the same with the Zhiyun Assistant app though). Also nice to hear that everything works fine. Not sure what's wrong with the other poster's unit, He doesn't say whether he checked the polarity of the batteries, whether the remote Bluetooth was turned on, or whether the blue light was blinking at all when the unit was turned on. Also, no video showing the problem. The unit comes with two sets of batteries, so it would be simple a simple enough procedure to see if the batteries were the problem, but he doesn't say if he tried the other set or not. If he really wanted the unit, why does he say he's not sure if he'll go ahead and ask for a replacement? What other manufacturer offers such a fine stabilizer for only $600? None! Finally, there's no need to wait for weeks for the gimbal, I received mine in a matter of days. 

Having owned many gimbals by now, I would say that the Z1 Crane is the gimbal that everyone has been waiting for.  It's probably as user friendly it's going to get.  So if he did get a broken one (which is very unlucky because it does come in a nice padded carrying case that should survive pretty rough shipping) I would say it would be definitely be worth the trouble of replacing it.  Bad luck happens, but considering the other options out there and how much they cost, I would not go with anything else.

Share this post


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

Update.  My Z1 Crane is here.  It took me less than 5 minutes to balance my Canon 80D with the LCD flipped outwards.  I wanted to do an extreme test so I put my 55-250mm IS STM lens on there.  The motors are strong enough to where I can flip the LCD back in, zoom all the way out on the 55-250mm, and without having to rebalance it.  The stabilization is smooth.  There is no studder, jerkyness, and fine tuning does not seem to be required.  I zoomed it all the way out to 250mm (~400mm equivalent), and I was able to smoothly track moving cars very fluidly.  I'm sure the IS on the lens helped a lot as well.  Normally, I plan to walk around with the 10-18mm STM during travels.

As for turning it on (in response to the user who was having trouble with his Crane), When you hit the gold button, you can see the LCD immediately react.  However, you need to hold the gold power button a few seconds until the LCD becomes yellow.  And a second later, the motors will snap into place.  

My package came with 2 sets of 2 18650 batteries (not 26650 batteries that some come with now), no remote control (some resellers are packaging that in), nice plastic carrying case for $551 USD with free international shipping from ebay.  Order was placed on the 20th, the product's warranty card say August 24, and it was shipped on the same day.  Unfortunately, that seller is selling it for $730 now so I don't have a link, but you can find under $600 deals on ebay.  I'm very happy with it on how it performs with a 1100g sitting on it.  It easily does everything I was hoping that it would do (outperform my Pilotfly H1+ in every way).

I'll be happy to answer any questions if you have them.

 

I made a video with my impressions.  Please excuse the video quality and my speaking.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D76MeyAl0Z8

 

Thanks for that - looks great. Do you have an example of footage shot at the longer end?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Saw it for 550€ on Amazon Germany today (actually shipped by Amazon) but once I managed to convince my better half that I totally need to buy that, price was 699€ again. And buying from China gives me bitter 19% VAT on import. The shame, oh the shame!

Share this post


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

Thanks for that - looks great. Do you have an example of footage shot at the longer end?

It's a little short, I can shoot a longer one tomorrow if you'd like.  It was a extreme example of something I wouldn't attempt with this setup but I was just curious how well it could do it, if it could do it at all at 400mm equiv distance.  And I think it did a pretty good job considering just how much precision was required.  I'm probably more than 100 meters away on the 13th floor of my apartment.

I should also point out although the gimbal is doing a hell of a job stabilizing the roll and pitch, the vertical axis stabilization is done all by the lens.  You'll need IS on the lens for this room range even with a gimbal.

Surprisingly they weigh about the same.  Only because the H1+ requires an external battery to do anything and the Panasonic 7-14mm is a very heavy lens for it's size.

KakaoTalk_20160908_204046503.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Phil A said:

Saw it for 550€ on Amazon Germany today (actually shipped by Amazon) but once I managed to convince my better half that I totally need to buy that, price was 699€ again. And buying from China gives me bitter 19% VAT on import. The shame, oh the shame!

I live in Vietnam and ordered through AliExpress, Coog Technology. They put value at just $80 USD on the waybill, and I believe I only paid around $20 in customs fees. But that doesn't always work... Even if you paid $750 USD, it's well worth it, and still hundreds of dollars less than any comparable stabilizer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there, 

I`m waiting for my Crane and thinking of getting monopod too.  I just saw this video, it`s kind of amateur but the idea of using monopod to place gimbal on top for getting big jib/crane like shots looks interesting. 

https://youtu.be/tlhNrbGQfas?t=32s

What do you think?  I`m still trying to find monopod which is strong enough to have crane and camera both on top.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Michael Ma said:

Having owned many gimbals by now, I would say that the Z1 Crane is the gimbal that everyone has been waiting for.  It's probably as user friendly it's going to get.  So if he did get a broken one (which is very unlucky because it does come in a nice padded carrying case that should survive pretty rough shipping) I would say it would be definitely be worth the trouble of replacing it.  Bad luck happens, but considering the other options out there and how much they cost, I would not go with anything else.

Even though I was getting good results with my DS1, I sold it because I couldn't completely eliminate a slight drift. 

Very tempted to try the Crane. I have a shoot following people on the beach doing fun beach activities, the a7rII can eliminate the jitters but I still have to move slow. Id like to use the a6300 on a gimbal and use the a7rII for shallow DOF stuff. 

Hmm....

Share this post


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

Hi there, 

I`m waiting for my Crane and thinking of getting monopod too.  I just saw this video, it`s kind of amateur but the idea of using monopod to place gimbal on top for getting big jib/crane like shots looks interesting. 

https://youtu.be/tlhNrbGQfas?t=32s

What do you think?  I`m still trying to find monopod which is strong enough to have crane and camera both on top.

I'd say with the Crane, the video would look about 90-95% identical.  You can change how the pitch is corrected (follow or stabilized) to allow jib like pitch correction which will open up a few more creative shot options.  

What it would help with would be the sudden shifts to the YAW axis which a very few are present in the video.  It will smooth those out.  At that height, there probably isn't much ROLL or PITCH stabilization required.  Much of the unwanted motion, if you are looking for a perfectly smooth shot, is the up and down motion.  To stabilize that, it's all in your technique of walking and holding your gimbal.  You have to walk flat footed and hold the gimbal horizontally as far as comfortably possible away from the body.

Share this post


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

Thanx.

What about the battery time? 

I`m thinking about getting extra batteries so any battery with the search name ``26650``  will work or do I need some special ones?

You won't need to buy extra batteries. The gimbal comes with a spare set, they last forever, not kidding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/8/2016 at 5:20 AM, Beqa said:

Hi there, 

I`m waiting for my Crane and thinking of getting monopod too.  I just saw this video, it`s kind of amateur but the idea of using monopod to place gimbal on top for getting big jib/crane like shots looks interesting. 

https://youtu.be/tlhNrbGQfas?t=32s

What do you think?  I`m still trying to find monopod which is strong enough to have crane and camera both on top.

I tried this with a G7 and Crane, if extended beyond half a meter of length, the moment of force on the controlling end of the monopod-gimbal combo becomes too high to control with precision. It lacks the smoothness of a jib due to a lack of a counterbalance. Still, I hope that you try it, because its mighty fun and YMMV (check out the video below). It is an excellent idea to use with smartphone/gopro gimbals but difficult to get right with a heavier gimbal and camera combo.

Video of a guy using a DS1 + monopod as a jib:

https://youtu.be/20znTvRnaJU

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there everyone,

Just wanted to chime in and give a big thank you for all of the support! Zhiyun has done a fantastic job with the Crane and we think the product really speaks for itself. We essentially sold out of almost all of our stock within a few days when the Crane initially launched. As one of the main distributors of Zhiyun products in the USA, we wanted to let you know that we're offering a 5% discount off orders when ordering direct through our website, www.zhiyun.us. Feel free to use the code "EOSFORUMS" at checkout to apply the discount, this should help some of you save around $30.00+ dollars on the Crane if you've been holding out on purchasing it.

As one of Zhiyun's main USA distributors, we offer an exclusive 1-year domestic warranty on all products purchased directly from us or one of our authorized dealer stores, meaning if something goes wrong, you don't need to ship it back to Zhiyun-Tech in China and wait weeks for replacement. We hope that this warranty along with USA-based support really helps Zhiyun shine in the months to come, and we'd be happy to get your feedback and suggestions so we can continue help improve Zhiyun's products for consumers in the US.

@RNvideo, feel free to contact us directly on our website so we can try to help you out with this problem if it hasn't been resolved. We're not sure if you ordered directly through us or not, but we'd be happy to do what we can to get that Crane working if it's still in your possession! If all else fails, we'll make it a priority to see that you can get a replacement from Zhiyun as soon as possible.

Share this post


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

Hi there everyone,

Just wanted to chime in and give a big thank you for all of the support! Zhiyun has done a fantastic job with the Crane and we think the product really speaks for itself. We essentially sold out of almost all of our stock within a few days when the Crane initially launched. As one of the main distributors of Zhiyun products in the USA, we wanted to let you know that we're offering a 5% discount off orders when ordering direct through our website, www.zhiyun.us. Feel free to use the code "EOSFORUMS" at checkout to apply the discount, this should help some of you save around $30.00+ dollars on the Crane if you've been holding out on purchasing it.

As one of Zhiyun's main USA distributors, we offer an exclusive 1-year domestic warranty on all products purchased directly from us or one of our authorized dealer stores, meaning if something goes wrong, you don't need to ship it back to Zhiyun-Tech in China and wait weeks for replacement. We hope that this warranty along with USA-based support really helps Zhiyun shine in the months to come, and we'd be happy to get your feedback and suggestions so we can continue help improve Zhiyun's products for consumers in the US.

@RNvideo, feel free to contact us directly on our website so we can try to help you out with this problem if it hasn't been resolved. We're not sure if you ordered directly through us or not, but we'd be happy to do what we can to get that Crane working if it's still in your possession! If all else fails, we'll make it a priority to see that you can get a replacement from Zhiyun as soon as possible.

Do you know of any plans to have an authorised European distributor?

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...