ZHIYUN CRANE M3 REVIEW: A Gimbal for Smartphones, Gopro and Compact Cameras
In my case, that would be one for my smartphone one for my action, camera and one for my regular camera and choosing what to pack for a trip has become quite a challenge. Lately now ZHIYUN has released this compact size gimbal. It is a new CRANE, M3 and after using this gimbal for a few days. I do have many reasons to like this. A lot I hope, youre doing great. My name is Otto and welcome to the channel. This video is not the sponsored but ZHIYUN sent me this gimbal to test it out, but everything that I say is my own opinion. The CRANE M3 comes in three different versions. The standard package is the most basic version, but it comes with a small tripod color filters for the fill light and three different cables to connect the gimbal to your camera. The combo package has a slightly bigger tripod and it will also include a clamp for your smartphone and this medium sized backpack. That has a nice feel and looks great, in my opinion, with plenty of space to carry the gimbal, a small camera and a small lens. As well, the PRO package has everything from the previous packages plus this shotgun microphone and this expansion base to connect the microphone to the gimbal and the sound is going to be recorded directly to your camera. By connecting the supplied cable from the gimbal to your camera, the cable that goes from the gimbal to the microphone extends up to 4 meters or so, and the quality of this microphone is actually quite good.
As you can hear right now, the gimbal itself is compact and lightweight, and just for comparison, this is a CRANE M3. Next to the SMOOTH Q3 and the SMOOTH 5., the CRANE M3 with the quick release plate, has a weight of 730 grams, the mini tripod weights, 50 grams and the bigger tripod that comes on the COMBO or PRO package weights 150 grams. This is a 3 axis. Gimbal – and I really like how versatile it is, I have been able to use my smartphone my GOPRO HERO 10, the Sony ZV E10, which is an APS C camera with a few different lenses, and this gimbal will even hold my Sony A7III with a camera like This youre not going to be able to use heavier lenses, and it seems to me that the weight limit of the lens would be somewhere around 400 grams plus the camera itself. The stabilization worked really well with all these devices, and I did enjoy using this gimbal for long periods of time. The size and weight makes it perfect for B ROLL videos and for the same reasons, this gimbal is a great choice for vlogging. The CRANE M3 has an integrated fill light, which is bi color, with a color temperature of 2600 to 5400 kelvin. It is dimmable and it packs a lot of brightness. So vlogging at night is not going to be an issue with this gimbal, as you can see. On these videos, the color filters are magnetic and placing them on the fill light is quick and easy.
This gimbal has a battery that will last for about 8 hours. According to my tests and it charges in just about 2 hours. You can also charge and use the gimbal at the same time with a power bank. The design of this gimbal is quite attractive and the build quality is really good. All the axes have a locking mechanism, and this will lock the arms when youre not using the gimbal, and it will also make it easier to balance your camera. The new quick release system makes this gimbal more user friendly by avoiding the need to rebalance every single time you use it, and that is going to remain true until you start switching between different devices, this quick release plate is quite large and youre going to have To remove it to access the battery compartment ZHIYUN also have this custom quick release system that will match your camera, making the setup process faster and easier, and it will give you access to the battery compartment if you need it, the only problem is that these are Not included, and if you want to get one of these youre gon na, have to pay extra, and the only thing I personally dont like about these plates is that theyre not compatible with other quick release systems, but for most users this might not be an issue On the main body of the gimbal, the handle has just about the right space for my hand and on the back.
It has this rubber grip that feels very good. We also have a trigger and a control or adjustment wheel. The trigger will, let you recenter the camera or turn the camera around for vlogging, and it will also let you quickly activate sport mode by holding it down the control wheel. Will let you adjust the roll axis like this and according to ZHIYUN, in a later upgrade its going to let you zoom in or zoom out or change different settings like the aperture, the shutter speed or the ISO? On the left side, there is a wheel that will let you turn the light on or off change the brightness and the color temperature. We also have a quarter inch, expansion, port and on the right side, we have the power button and a USB C charging port on the front. We have a color OLED display, it is touchscreen and it feels very responsive here. You can see the info and the status of the gimbal change the gimbal mode and we can customize different settings like the gimbal follow speed, the joystick speed and the motor strength down. Here we have a full size, joystick that will move the camera around and you can control the speed of the movement. It is omnidirectional and it feels very good. We also have the M button that will change the different gimbal modes and below that we have the record button just to make it clear to use the record button, you need to connect a cable from the gimbal to the camera and right now.
Not all cameras are compatible with this, for example, it didnt work with the Sony ZV E10, but it did with the Sony. A7 III. Zhiyun does have a list of the cameras that are going to work with this button on their website and, on the other hand, the smartphones and action cameras are not going to benefit from this button either. Something else that you need to know is that this port is going to charge whatever device you connect here, which is something good, because cameras like these ones have poor battery life, but at the same time, charging other devices is going to drain your gimbals battery way Faster, so having a camera connected for a few hours might not be the best idea. The way I found it to be more efficient is to avoid connecting the cable to the camera. Unless the battery on the camera is running low. The CRANE M3 has the four basic gimbal modes that we expect to find on any gimbal which are pan, follow, lock mode, follow mode and POV. We also have 4 other modes available. Vortex mode will, let you spin the camera around, and this gimbal will spin without limits and, unlike other gimbals, the arms will never block the view. Underslung mode works without issues, and this will let you take low angle, shots by flipping the gimbal upside down. We also have GO mode which will make the gimbal react faster to your movements.
And finally, we have portrait mode – and someone gave me this tip to place the tripod over here, and this is actually a great idea. So thank you to activate the gimbal and install firmware updates, youre going to need the ZHIYUN PLAY APP to use the gimbal. We dont really need the app and were not getting any special features like face tracking slow motion or anything like that, and I think that the only feature worth mentioning is this remote joystick to move the camera around but thats just about it. If youre going to use this gimbal with a smartphone youre going to have to use the native camera app and use the settings that you have on your camera, so who is this gimbal, for? I would say that this gimbal is ideal for just about anyone. Looking for a compact and lightweight option that can work with different kind of cameras, including your smartphone and compact full frame. Mirrorless cameras like the Sony A7III, where the only real limitation is that you cant use heavier lenses. The link to this product is going to be on the video description and on the comments down below. Please dont forget to give this video a like dont, be shy and say something on the comment section.