Could the Zhiyun Crane M3 be the best smartphone gimbal?
2 kilograms, which is around 5 pounds, give and take and thats a lot of muscle for such a compact gimbal. That payload gives you a lot of flexibility when it comes to deciding what camera or cameras you can mount on it and thats. What i think is key to decide whether this is the right smartphone gimbal for you and, yes, you can handle an a7s3, although pushing it right up to its limit. But in my opinion, this gimbal is probably better suited to compact aps c type of cameras, lightweight camera, setups or smartphones. So if filming on a phone is your thing, this gimbal is probably all youre ever gon na need for years to come. Could this be the best smartphone gimbal in the market today lets find out? This is a good gimbal. It feels really nice its plastic, but you can tell its quality plastic if there is such a thing, but you definitely feel youre holding something of certain quality. The locking motors are sturdy and easy to engage, which also makes me think that the components inside are good. It honestly feels really good when you hold it, and you can clearly see that every aspect in this gimbal has been well thought out and designed. Someone has put some time and good work into this. Gimbal ive been using it for a couple of weeks and ive had a blast, but there is always a bat and its not perfect, and although, for a lot of people, this could be the ideal gimbal for others.
It might feel a bit too much now for transparency, see you and send me this screen m3, but in no way they have a say whatsoever on what i say and how so ill show you the good stuff, but also theyre, not so good, and then youll Be able to make an informed decision as to whether this is the right gimbal for you or not. Balancing this gimbal is super easy, the 2.2 kilograms or 5 pound payload means you can easily handle whatever accessories you throw at. It really is as simple as that. So no need to worry anymore as to whether a phone case or a lens or a filter is too heavy or not whatever you want to use this gimbal can handle. Balancing is fairly quick and easy, and really nice touch is that all access bars have markings on, so you can easily find the street spot for the payload or camera setup. You plan to use. I personally really like that, and once balanced correctly, all movements are really smooth whatever mode you use. Cinema provides the gimbal with a camera base plate and a formant, and this phone mount is actually really good and sturdy. The phone is literally going away and if, on the other hand, you use larger case like this one, which is what i like to use with my phone, you can simply screw the case to the base plate and thats that this is a heavy case for a Smartphone but the gimbal can handle it without a problem.
Honestly ive been well impressed by the overall performance of this gimbal Music. The best thing about this gimbal is that every setting possible can be adjusted within the gimbal itself. You get this fairly big lcd touchscreen. That is actually quite responsive. The menu is super simple to navigate and making adjustments is really quick and simple. You honestly cant go wrong. No, the gimbal that i know of in this price range offers anything like this. You literally dont need to use the xeon app at all, which is ideal for anyone that uses third party apps like filmic pro, and it will also save you a lot of time and hassle, and one thing that i find really cool and actually very useful. Is the balance section in the lcd? It shows you if any axis is slightly off or incorrectly balanced. What you want is all the sliders in the middle when in the resting position. So if you have any access incorrectly balanced, you see a color pattern, either side. So if you see that you know that you have an axis incorrectly balanced and its really easy to correct, as a matter of fact, you could probably balance the whole thing just by using this menu, although its probably not intended for that. But to just give you a visual reference that everything is okay, all gimbal modes can be said through the lcd screen and you get the usual ones. Follow full lock pad, follow, t, lock, pov, vortex or inception mode, the go mode which is like sports mode and then vertical or portrait.
I dont know what else can you say here really i mean theyre all really well implemented. Although id say that, if vertical portrait is your thing, i dont think this is the right gimbal for you. Yes, you can do it, but pretty much for just grabbing a quick shot here and there not for long term filming and although you can mount the tripod, it comes with on the quarter, inch thread on the side of the gimbal, and that helps me. Things start to look a bit funny and i just dont think this gimbal is designed for vertical filming really for vortex. I always recommend people to shoot at 60 frames per second and then slow down in post, because this is the kind of shot that, if you do it quickly its just uncomfortable to watch. If you press the m button, you can switch between pan, follow, lock and follow modes, and if you press twice, you enter pov. These are probably the four modes that most people will ever need to use and im, not surprised that these are the ones that xeon has mapped out to change quickly using the m buttons, the rest of the modes. You change going into the lcd, but all can be done really quickly. Is it well implemented and responsive? Yes, there is no lagging at all. So the moment you select the mode you want. The gimbal enters the amount immediately Music, its pretty remarkable. What xion has done with the current m3 in terms of size and bit its a lot smaller than i ever imagined way smaller than the smooth 5 for the g6 max? And that is a surprise, because this gimbal packs, quite some muscle inside you, see the kind of gimbal you can fit in your pocket.
Well, yes, if you have big pockets, but i dont think this is the kind of gimbal you want if thats, what youre after the overall build is good and you can feel the quality of the components way better in my opinion than the smooth five, but then Again, this gimbal costs almost three times as much, so you would expect all axes are lockable and the actual locks are really good. They dont slide or become loose, and you dont feel confident that the gimbal is safe. Locked and one thing that i really like is the tripod that comes with it, its a really long little tripod, which makes the whole thing way more stable when the gimbal is on. As a matter of fact, the legs are so long that you can easily use it as a sort of extension stick when in vlogging mode. Personally, i think this gimbal is perfect, for using with a third party, apply filmic pro for the simple fact that you can access and adjust all the settings on the gimbal itself. Siyun gives you the cy play app, which allows you to manually control the iso shutter speed and so on, but theyve made the option so smooth to access that its actually hard to set them up correctly. The app doesnt have a tracking feature and that might put some people off, but on the other hand, you get the option to control the gimbal remotely for those situations when you might want or need to control the gimbal at a distance.
Most people will probably never use that feature, but its nice to know the option. Is there? If you ever need it now, you might open the app and decide that you are totally fine with it. I mean it does what a camera app is supposed to do, but i expect most people to be using a third party. The simple fact that you get a much more extensive range of features than you get using the zoona unless maybe when doing time lapses, where using the zoom app might actually be handy and easier to set up. One of the best uses for a gimbal is time. Lapses because you can introduce movement in a short rather than keeping the camera static, you can get some really cool and creative moving shots that otherwise you would need some pretty expensive equipment to replicate. The problem with using gimbals is that the moment you get a little bit of crosswind, they move or shake a lot because they are so lightweight and flimsy. They literally just cant handle, but not with the m3. This gimbal is solid and the motors are strong and reliable. So if your footage is shaky because of wind, the weak point is likely to be your tripod and most likely the base plate setting up time lapses on the ceiling. App is really easy, and even though you get a number of key frameable points, most people will probably never need to use more than two points.
To be honest, and just as the smooth five you get the option to adjust the interval and the duration of the time lapse, and you also get a reading of how long that playback will be at normal speed. What is also really cool about it is that you can set the gimbal to remote operation and then set the start and end points remotely. So you can then do the time lapse. Using your preferred third party app. I myself use filmic pro and the range of settings that i get are phenomenal. So if you rather do your time lapse using your preferred third party app rather than this see, you know at least you get that option to easily do it, and that is brilliant. If vlogging is your thing, obviously you can use the front selfie lens, but if you care about quality, you want to use the rear, lens or lenses. The main white lens, usually is the better lens, but the ultra wide is the lens that more often than not youll want to use. The crane m3 makes it really easy. You just tap three times the reset switch and the whole gimbal turns around. So you facing the real lenses. This is how you want to vlog, because the quality of the rear, lens or lenses are so much better than the front selfie one by a long margin. If you film it in low light, i recommend that you add an ultraviolet lens to the main white.
Your low light shots will look much better and the gimbal can handle whatever accessory or lens you put on. So in that regard, you have nothing to worry about, and, although you dont see yourself from the screen its hard to be off camera when in ultrawide, especially as you can use the feet or tripod that comes with the gimbal as a sort of extension, stick to Add an even wider field of view after a while, you get used to it and you dont really need the screen. If anything, it distracts you from looking directly into the lens, but one thing that this gimbal gives you that is amazing for vlogging is a built in led light and the light is actually quite bright and you can easily dial up and down the intensity. And this is so good honestly, and not only that, but you can also change the color temperature. And i think this is really great, because its not the same to be using the light during the day than at night simply hold down the button. And it will switch from brightness to temperature and you can then dial up or down whatever temperature you want. It really is as simple as that. This is really well implemented by xenon, and you know the fact that is built in means that you dont have to worry about forgetting Music with the pro package. You get this cardioid microphone and its white, and not black as most.
If not all microphones are that im aware of, but the important thing here is not me, giving you reasons as to how why you need to use this microphone. You can easily work that out for yourself. If this is something you find useful or not, the main question is: is it any good? The best way to show you this is to analyze the microphones noise flow, because it does record voices thinner than most other microphones, but you can do wonders with eq these days to make it sound full. But if the signal is scrapped to start with well, you screw from the world go so lets. Do a quick comparison here ill be using the xenomic a shore sm58 and an audio technica mic, which is the one that i use to record my sound in my videos. This is the audio technica microphone and its speaking at 12. This is the shure sm57 microphone with a booster and its picking at 12.. This is the zion microphone its picking up 12, and this is on hypercardioid setting. This is now the zion cardioid setting in the microphone now lets listen to the zeo mic. If i attach a mic booster lets see if that makes any difference at all. This is the zhiyun in hypercardioid with a mic booster. This is the xeon microphone on cardio setting, but that was interesting. You can clearly see that in normal circumstances, the noise floor of the cmic is far from ideal and nobody as good as soda.
But if you add a relatively inexpensive mic booster in the cardio setting its just about okay. This should give you an idea as to whether the mic is good or not. Is it useful to have the mic with the receive attachment id say? Yes, if you do live interviews and if, for instance, your reports are working on new stories and you need to have stabilized footage and, at the same time the ability to record interviews on the go without any delay. Setting up, i would say, then this is a good option and you can use whatever other microphone, not just the zoom one because of the extension mount. So you get that flexibility. I would have loved if siyun had made the receiver to be wireless and for the mic to have a built in transmitter. That would make the proposition really interesting, because you wouldnt need to deal with cables. But then again i guess it all depends on price and what people may or may not be willing to pay after using it for a few weeks. There is only one thing that i find irritating, although its something that i can easily walk around, but still irritated. They try to make the gimbal so compact that in doing so, the roll access bar has to be always all the way in to lock it, and this is a real problem. If you have your phone nicely set up and you dont want to transport it to another location, lock the motors and go well, you cant really do that.
You just physically cant. Do it. I guess its a compromise. You have to live with so that you get a smaller overall size. You can always set the gimbal in the sleep mode and walk around until your next shot, but some people might find this far from ideal. Some people might be okay, some people might not, but this is worth mentioning and thats that i mean this is all negative that i have to say about the rig overall, its a really good gimbal. So the big question is: who is this gimbal? For? Is it as good as it seems, and everyone is raving about? The short answer is yes, this gimbal is a great gimbal for smartphones. If youre, someone who films using both an aps c camera and a phone, this would be an amazing gimbal for you, because it gives you a lot of flexibility if you film, using your phone only. This is also a great gimbal. The future proves your purchase in case that one day you decide to upgrade to a compact camera or even a mirrorless camera for that matter, simply because the gimbal can handle up to 2.2 kilograms in payload thats a lot of room for growth in terms of cameras, Accessories or whatever you want to mount on, should you go for the pro version over the standard? Is the mic and extra accessories worth the few extra hundred dollars? The main benefit from the standard over the combo is the extra long tripod, but thats a lot of money for a mini tripod.
The bag is actually a very good quality. So if you are someone who likes to travel light and can imagine only needing that small bag to carry the gimbal and a couple of accessories, because you literally wont be able to fit anymore, then the back is great. It all comes down to what youre likely to need and use the pro key comes with a microphone and input adapter, and this is a tough one, because i can only recommend it if you genuinely see a practical use for it like interviewing people on the go. As you feel, if you decide to go for the microphone, youll want to get a mic booster, for which i leave links in the description below, so that you can get a distance signal and volume. But if you think of this mic as a competitor to sennheisers or audio technicas or other microphone, manufacturers, then think twice, im being honest here, i dont need to sugarcoat. It youve listened to the samples, so you can make your own mind. Personally, i think, for most people the standard setup is all theyll ever need, because the main thing you want is the gimbal and all the other accessories you can buy separately as or when you need them. Bear reminder that if you buy the standard over the combo, you wont get a smartphone mount and the tripod will be a small one rather than the big one that youve seen in this video and if, after all of these youre, still wondering whether the gimbal is The right thing for you to get – i have a video just here where i show you some cool and unique shots that you can do with just a smartphone, a gimbal and a monopod that will get your inspiration going in no time.