The Perfect Gimbal for Mirrorless Cameras?
Zhiyun are world renowned for their gimbals, they are many content creators first choice when it comes to gimbals, due to their price and quality. Does the Crane-M2 continue the brands legacy?
Now let me tell you why it is my current favourite gimbal for my Sony ZV-1 and phone.
First off the form factor and build quality.
It feels amazing in your hand, ergonomically it has a great grip, your index finger naturally fits in the groove for the trigger on the rear and the handle is very comfortable.
It is light but feels sturdy, also having a slight grippy texture to the plastic that reassures me I have it held properly.
The button layout is good, although I do have a little qualm with the placement of certain things.
The joystick is great, the record button and mode button are perfectly placed for easy thumb reach.
However the ‘power on‘ switch is not ideal, needing to be pushed up and held to turn on.
While it means it will most likely not be accidentally turned on, I am not a fan of the push up switch, it’s just a little awkward. So I’d like to see that revamped in a future version.
Same goes for the zoom switch on the opposite side, they just feel slightly out of place, needing you to change hand position or use your other hand.
Not a massive problem, just improvements for future versions.
As for the functionality of the Crane-M2, we are spoiled.
You can use it with a mirrorless camera, GoPro or smartphone, meaning no matter what portable beast you are running with, this has you covered.
There are also 6 modes to the gimbal:
PF Mode: The camera pans as you turn the gimbal left and right.
F Mode: The camera will follow the handle movements.
L Mode: The camera direction is locked.
Full-Range POV Mode: 360° synchronous movement on all three axes.
Vortex Mode: Gives you the freedom to make 360° spinning barrel shots.
Go Mode: Speeds up the reaction so you can capture every fast movement.
Buttons for starting recording, modes, zooming and a trigger for easily switching from selfie to standard view, as well as holding it down to temporarily switch to F mode to get a certain shot.
It also has a handy way to fold up into a smaller package, all of the axis line up, then with a small push on the top, locks down with a single central pin that stops all of them from swaying out of line.
You can connect the Crane-M2 to your camera over bluetooth or WiFi, meaning you can use the buttons on the gimbal to start / stop recording and zoom in / out (as supported by your camera).
I personally use this on my Sony ZV-1, which was rather easy to set up, you connect the Zhiyun app to your camera, then your camera to the gimbal.
This lets me never have to take my hand off the gimbal and tinker with the camera for those adjustments I need. I love it, so handy.
You can also control the gimbal from your phone, moving the head, zooming, recording, so you could put your camera on the gimbal, plant the gimbal down on the included mini-tripod legs and then use it remotely! How cool is that!?
So we now know there are plenty of features packed in, but just how good is it at doing it’s primary job, stabilising footage?
Well you’ll be happy to know that it is GREAT, comparing videos without the gimbal and with the gimbal is night and day. It is super smooth as stopping the bumps and steps, plus you get the slick movement of the head that can get you beautiful panoramic shots.
I primarily find myself using PF mode, for standard days where I want to film little clips from my view in a more cinematic way, as well as L mode for getting slick slider-like shots.
I’m also experimenting with Vortex mode for those Inception style feels.
Overall, the Zhiyun Crane-M2 is a little powerhouse.
If you are using a Mirrorless camera or smaller, it is a no brainer.
You get a portable, lightweight, sturdy, SMOOTH and creatively eye opening gimbal that is relatively cheap! What is not to love? Here is a little thing I filmed at the beach with it.
Priced at £199.99 you will not regret it!
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