The CRANE 2 is popular amongst professional filmmakers, blending size, weight and price perfectly.
The gimbal is renowned as a workhorse, with a dedicated following, so any update needs to be a major rework or needs to pack in plenty of desirable new features that make it appealing to existing, and new users.
Sure enough, from what we’ve seen during the zoom press briefing, the new model looks impressive. The new CRANE 2S, in looks at least, is almost identical to the previous model but builds on the features that made the CRANE 2 so popular. It now adds the ability to support greater payloads and boosts the performance.
New Crane 2S features
One of the biggest issues that any handheld gimbal user will face is rebalancing. The usually tedious task of rebalancing the system once a lens is swapped can be lengthy, but thankfully no more with this new model. Now with advanced optimised motors, the CRANE 2S is powerful enough to handle many lens and camera swaps with only the slightest rebalance.
Those new motors offer greater flexibility when filming, enabling you to go from a lightweight mirrorless to DSLR quickly. A new generation 9th Instune Algorithm is utilised to ensure smooth, reliable performance even in time-sensitive tasks.
Further helping with the ease of setup and camera and lens swapping is the FlexMount System. FlexMount helps to increase the speed and ease of the setup process while also ensuring safety with a double mechanism.
This enhanced mechanism features a safety knob on the tilt axis which enables the user to swap to vertical shooting without the need for accessories.
One issue with many handheld gimbals is weight, and here the new model features a lightweight carbon fibre handle that should ensure strong and secure handling.
While the CRANE 2S may look very similar to the CRANE 2, there have been many small tweaks and additions to the design.
One of the most obvious additions is the new 0.96-inch OLED screen. This offers easy navigation of the menu system, mode switching and enables swift settings changes.
A new axis lock system has also been incorporated to protect the gimbal during transport.
A selection of new mounting points also features raising the amount from one on the CRANE 2 to 4 on the 2S.
There’s a 1/4-inch mount on the back of the quick release base plate, and a further two 1/4-inch and a 3/8-inch giving plenty of options.
If you’re using the TranMount Image transmitter, then this can be fitted neatly to the bottom side of the quick release plate.
Since the original CRANE 2S was launched, there have been many advances in the handheld gimbal stabiliser market, all designed to help enhance filmmaking.
The CRANE 2S builds on the feature set of its predecessor with built-in focus wheel and servo follow focus motor that enables precision control.
Six gimbal modes enable a good variety of shooting styles including; smooth, fluid movement, basic to advanced pan following, locking, following, full range POV, Vortex and Go mode.
There are also advanced cinematic effects such as panorama, timelapse, motionlapse and long exposure timelapse.
Providing plenty of power to see you through the day, 12 hours, the CRANE 2S is fuelled by three removable 18650 Li-ion batteries. As these batteries are removable, they can simply be replaced to extend the runtime further.
TransMount is Zhiyun’s accessory mount ecosystem, and the CRANE 2S takes full advantage with full compatibility with the TransMount image transmission, monopod, mini dual grip, dual handle and far more.
The CRANE 2S looks like a major update to the original and we’re excited to see what it’s really capable of. We’ll bring you the full review soon.
Pricing and availability
Zhiyun CRANE 2S comes in three versions:
1) Standard at MSRP £599/€659
2) Combo at MSRP£649/€699
3) Pro at MSRP TBC by the end of August 2020