Zhiyun strength in the single-handed motorized gimbal stabilizer market is quickly increasing with the popularity of the Crane and Weebill series. Now the company has announced the Zhiyun Crane M3, one of the most advanced compact stabilisers yet.
This new gimbal stabiliser instantly stands out, boasting a striking design and innovative features.
Unlike many gimbal stabilizers on the market, the Crane M3 has been designed to carry a wide range of smaller cameras, from mirrorless to mobile and action cameras.
Usually, gimbal stabilizers of this type have a minimum and maximum weight limit, which has been an issue for users with smaller or lighter DSLR and Mirrorless cameras. It’s also meant that mobile phones and action cameras have been off-limits.
When it comes to the Crane M3, this new gimbal will support mirrorless, mobile phones and action cameras equally well making it one of the most versatile gimbals on the market.
Zhiyun has announced several all-new features for the Crane M3.
The first is the all-new look and design; Zhiyun wants to stand out with a striking white chassis with black and red detailing.
Size-wise the Crane M is far smaller than any previous Crane at roughly the same size as a 550ml water bottle and made from robust composite materials.
The reverse-loaded motors and optimised axis arm structure are all tailored to give the user a better experience.
A new quick-release design has also been employed and is compatible with 90% of mirrorless cameras. It will enable you to swap easily between your camera, smartphone and action camera so that you can get the shots you need with any camera. All this swapping of cameras and kit can be done without the need for time-consuming rebalancing.
As gimbals enable videographers to carry their entire video rig with one arm, Zhiyun has created an expansion base for the gimbal that enables the connection to a professional microphone.
With the mic connection away from the camera and gimbal arms, there’s no need for rebalancing or the annoyance of additional cables. What’s more, as standard Zhiyun is including a ShotGun mic in with the Crane.
As well as incorporating an intelligent audio solution Zhiyun has considered the importance of lighting. A new 800 lumen LED has been built into the Crane M, further adding to the device’s convenience.
Hot-swap cameras quickly with TransMount
The Crane M3 features an upgraded TransMount quick release plate that will enable easier balancing, assembly and disassembly. This makes the gimbal an ideal choice for videographers who like to swap between a variety of equipment.
The new plate also eliminates the need for rebalancing after each camera change. We’ll report on how this works and whether it’s just down to the power of the motors once a review sample arrives.
The Crane 3M will feature locks and latches for safe storage, as seen on the previous generation of Crane gimbals. Zhiyun has also developed two storage modes; half and full. In half storage mode, the gimbal can be packed away without the need for rebalancing when expanded.
The addition of light
The Crane 3M will feature an 800-lumen lamp built-in; this lamp is even more remarkable because it is powered by the heat generated from the gimbal.
The lamp offers a natural fill light with full step-less dimming and temperature control via a control wheel.
At 6W peak power, the M3 offers colour temperature levels of 2600-5400K, brightness for the warm light of 650-750, white light 850-950 and CRI (Colour Rendering Index) 90+.
When it comes to audio, Zhiyun has developed the TransMount Expansion Base into which professional microphones can be directly connected,
By connecting to the base rather than the camera, you get around having additional wires coming from the camera to external devices.
As standard, the M3 will shop with a TransMount Shotgun Microphone alongside the 6.5mm audio port that enables you to connect your mic of choice.
Touch screen control
Following hot on the heels of the Weebill 2 and the addition of the fully-featured touch screen, the new Crane 3M will also feature a small 1.22-inch screen. This screen enables the adjustment of the gimbal parameters and a variety of shooting modes such as portrait, vortex and go-mode.
The screen will also show status updates such as camera connection, battery life etc.
The Crane 3M has a built-in receiver paired with the transmitter module for complete wireless control of cameras equipped with Bluetooth.
Meanwhile, for direct control on the Crane 3M, a versatile control wheel and joystick enable the adjustment of the roll axis, aperture, shutter, and ISO.
The new Zhiyun Crane 3M looks to be one of the most exciting and versatile gimbal stabilisers to be launched this year. We’ll bring you the full review soon.
Zhiyun Crane M3 Pricing and availability
Available here from 8 November 2021, pricing is as follows:
Standard package: Crane M3 + standard tripod – £369
Combo package: Crane M3 + Tripod Plus + Cell Phone Mount + TransMount EasyGo BackPack – £449
Pro package: Crane M3 + Tripod Plus + Cell Phone Mount + TransMount Shotgun Microphone + TransMount Expansion Base +TransMount EasyGo BackPack – £649
Customized TransMount Quick Release plates are available for the following camera models: Sony α7M3; Sony α7C; Sony α6000; Sony α7S; Sony ZV-E10; Canon M50; Nikon ZFC; Fuji X-S10; Fuji XT-4.
- Dimensions: 280.3mm x 74.88mm x 157.06 mm
- Weight: 700g (without a tripod and quick release plate)
- Battery Power: Maximum battery 8 hrs run time
- Charging:Type-C charging port, 2 hrs charging time, Support 12W PD fast charging, Supports portable power bank charging while operating