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Mattias Burling

My Review of the Zhiyun Crane 3-Axis Gimbal

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On 9/10/2016 at 4:00 AM, BasiliskFilm said:

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

Hey BasiliskFilm,

We're not 100% sure on the status of an authorized EU distributor as of yet, but we'd be happy to keep you informed if we learn otherwise. We're also considering opening up shipment to certain EU countries from the USA, the only problem with that is customs/VAT charges that customers may need to incur, which is unfortunate.

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10 hours ago, Zhiyun USA said:

Hey BasiliskFilm,

We're not 100% sure on the status of an authorized EU distributor as of yet, but we'd be happy to keep you informed if we learn otherwise. We're also considering opening up shipment to certain EU countries from the USA, the only problem with that is customs/VAT charges that customers may need to incur, which is unfortunate.

From the reviews the product seems to be receiving, it seems like it would be certainly worth having an official channel where it would be clear on any import charges and business users could buy with confidence and correct paperwork.
Thanks for your reply

 

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I really think the 1200g payload is a conservative estimate to give people who don't want to always balance perfectly to be off balance a bit.  I put 1100g on this thing, and even off-balance, it performs perfectly.  With perfect balance with a prime lens for example, I think it should be able to handle more than 1200g.  Anyone able to test this?  Unfortunately, none of my gear will add up to more than 1200g.  I wonder how the 5d Mark IV with the 16-35mm f4 IS or the 14mm 2.8 L would do.  Around 1475g (plus maybe a little bit more for the battery).

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I just got the Zhiyun Crane and am definitely impressed. It worked perfectly with my 70D + 10-18 IS. But I tried pushing the 1200g limits and was disappointed. My 70D + Sigma 18-35/1.8 Art = 755g + 811g = 1566g. If I'm extremely careful, it hangs in there and can pan, but walking with it just about always introduces the slight fast up & down bounce that someone else mentioned they got with the Sigma 50/1.4 Art. This was the same with and without the lens support. I will be trying other lenses on it. But I might not find the right one-handed low-light narrow-depth-of-field Dual pixel AF smooth gimbal setup until I get the Sigma 35/1.4 Art (150g lighter and 1.2" shorter) and/or the EOS M5 (only 455g, but you need the 110g EF to EF-M adapter). Unfortunately even when I can get a GH5 someday it won't lighten things up, considering the weights of GH4 + Metabones Speedbooster Ultra (569g + 172g = 741g). Sure would be nice to have a little beefier version of the Crane available since I'm not planning to step up to the bulky and imposing Shining, but for some people I can see the Shining (4kg limit) would be the answer. I'm still curious if the Crane would be any better with the 26650 batteries (and where to get them?).

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4 hours ago, lwestfall said:

Initially I was lured into this by the repeated claim by the manufacturer that it can handle up to 1800g: https://www.facebook.com/ZhiyunGlobal/videos/1748167985456710/

 

But they do still say <1200g is "best."

Physics also is affected by how compact the camera is, not just the weight. A heavy object a long way from the centre (like a big front element on a long lens) requires more force to move than if it was nearer the centre. That is why it is difficult to give absolute weight limits.

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5 hours ago, lwestfall said:

Initially I was lured into this by the repeated claim by the manufacturer that it can handle up to 1800g: https://www.facebook.com/ZhiyunGlobal/videos/1748167985456710/

 

But they do still say <1200g is "best."

Ah, I see.  It's up to 1800g with select combinations.  I'm guessing a heavier body would fare better with a heavier lens rather than something like a 70D/80D and a really heavy lens up front.  It's interesting how Zhiyun in the YouTube comments keeps saying 1800g.

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31 minutes ago, Michael Ma said:

Ah, I see.  It's up to 1800g with select combinations.  I'm guessing a heavier body would fare better with a heavier lens rather than something like a 70D/80D and a really heavy lens up front.  It's interesting how Zhiyun in the YouTube comments keeps saying 1800g.

It seems a pistol grip stabiliser with a DSLR is not the best option at the moment. For 4K there are many more mirrorless options, and for HD, there are some real bargains. 
Probably better to get a second camera for the Crane, and use your DSLR on a tripod. Sony A5000 with kit lens costs about as much as the lens on its own!

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5 hours ago, BasiliskFilm said:

Physics also is affected by how compact the camera is, not just the weight. A heavy object a long way from the centre (like a big front element on a long lens) requires more force to move than if it was nearer the centre. That is why it is difficult to give absolute weight limits.

Exactly. I was bummed because stabilizing the 18-35/1.8 would be awesome, but I guess (at least on my 70D) it's just a little too long & front-heavy for the Crane to do well. (Too much torque) 

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1 hour ago, lwestfall said:

Exactly. I was bummed because stabilizing the 18-35/1.8 would be awesome, but I guess (at least on my 70D) it's just a little too long & front-heavy for the Crane to do well. (Too much torque) 

You could try that lens on an A6000 with the PhotoDiox adaptor (if you want AF). Should save a few grammes, and shift back a bit to balance, reducing torque.

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On 9/13/2016 at 6:02 PM, lwestfall said:

I just got the Zhiyun Crane and am definitely impressed. It worked perfectly with my 70D + 10-18 IS. But I tried pushing the 1200g limits and was disappointed. My 70D + Sigma 18-35/1.8 Art = 755g + 811g = 1566g. If I'm extremely careful, it hangs in there and can pan, but walking with it just about always introduces the slight fast up & down bounce that someone else mentioned they got with the Sigma 50/1.4 Art. This was the same with and without the lens support. I will be trying other lenses on it. But I might not find the right one-handed low-light narrow-depth-of-field Dual pixel AF smooth gimbal setup until I get the Sigma 35/1.4 Art (150g lighter and 1.2" shorter) and/or the EOS M5 (only 455g, but you need the 110g EF to EF-M adapter). Unfortunately even when I can get a GH5 someday it won't lighten things up, considering the weights of GH4 + Metabones Speedbooster Ultra (569g + 172g = 741g). Sure would be nice to have a little beefier version of the Crane available since I'm not planning to step up to the bulky and imposing Shining, but for some people I can see the Shining (4kg limit) would be the answer. I'm still curious if the Crane would be any better with the 26650 batteries (and where to get them?).

So I came across a video of someone who had the same bouncing pitch issue using the 18-35mm on an a6300 with the MC-11 adapter (a total of 1490g, just a little less than my 70D setup but just as front-heavy) on the Crane: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSOvOESAwHM The brilliant thing is, he figured out that using the third mode on the Zhiyun smartphone app ("Full") does indeed provide stability even though the first two modes are unstable. (Unfortunately it seems only the first two modes are accessible via the built-in joystick...) So I tried the Full follow mode with my 70D, and it's stable!!! Hallelujah! So I won't need to get an a6000 or anything else just to use this setup. And whenever I move to the GH5 + Speedbooster (about the same weight), the Sigma 18-35/1.8 should be usable on the Crane in this mode too!

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On 9/13/2016 at 6:02 PM, lwestfall said:

I just got the Zhiyun Crane and am definitely impressed. It worked perfectly with my 70D + 10-18 IS. But I tried pushing the 1200g limits and was disappointed. My 70D + Sigma 18-35/1.8 Art = 755g + 811g = 1566g. If I'm extremely careful, it hangs in there and can pan, but walking with it just about always introduces the slight fast up & down bounce that someone else mentioned they got with the Sigma 50/1.4 Art. This was the same with and without the lens support. I will be trying other lenses on it. But I might not find the right one-handed low-light narrow-depth-of-field Dual pixel AF smooth gimbal setup until I get the Sigma 35/1.4 Art (150g lighter and 1.2" shorter) and/or the EOS M5 (only 455g, but you need the 110g EF to EF-M adapter). Unfortunately even when I can get a GH5 someday it won't lighten things up, considering the weights of GH4 + Metabones Speedbooster Ultra (569g + 172g = 741g). Sure would be nice to have a little beefier version of the Crane available since I'm not planning to step up to the bulky and imposing Shining, but for some people I can see the Shining (4kg limit) would be the answer. I'm still curious if the Crane would be any better with the 26650 batteries (and where to get them?).

I'm guessing it's not just about weight, but also leverage/inertia.  That lens (I have it and want to use it on a gimbal too!) is not just heavy, but also on the long side.  Even when perfectly balanced, I can't imagine very small motors being able to tame the whipping force that's generated when up and down motion is introduced right at the weight limit of the gimbal.  I had success on the Ronin M, and there are single that take bigger payloads, but...

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22 hours ago, lwestfall said:

So I came across a video of someone who had the same bouncing pitch issue using the 18-35mm on an a6300 with the MC-11 adapter (a total of 1490g, just a little less than my 70D setup but just as front-heavy) on the Crane: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSOvOESAwHM The brilliant thing is, he figured out that using the third mode on the Zhiyun smartphone app ("Full") does indeed provide stability even though the first two modes are unstable. (Unfortunately it seems only the first two modes are accessible via the built-in joystick...) So I tried the Full follow mode with my 70D, and it's stable!!! Hallelujah! So I won't need to get an a6000 or anything else just to use this setup. And whenever I move to the GH5 + Speedbooster (about the same weight), the Sigma 18-35/1.8 should be usable on the Crane in this mode too!

I'm not sure if firmware matters, but after I updated the firmware for both the BLE and gimbal, I can get to "Full" mode by a double click.

For the joystick button:

1 click = toggle between modes 1 and 2.

2 clicks = full mode

3 clicks = turns 180 degrees

long click = turns motors off (power is still on).  long click again, and it goes back to neutral position.

Anyone know what that golden lever under the gold power button does?

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Hello guys, just received the gimbal and have a question about one strange thing: in LOCK mode it is always sloooooowly rotating in left side. It is almost unseen in short shots but if you shoot about one minute or so, you can see that camera already moved left a lot. And looks like its only make it in LOCK mode. I have updated to the new firmware 1.50 but it didn't help me. Thanks in advance for help.

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