Closer Look at the Zhiyun Crane 3S Gimbal

Every day seems to bring another gimbal. The good thing is that every time it seems like they are getting better and more affordable for the features provided. If you didn’t see the latest release, that would be the Crane 3S from Zhiyun.

What makes the Crane 3S different from the vast majority of releases is that this one can work with true cinema cameras, like the RED Raven, Canon C200, or Sony FS7. If you are interested in checking it out, Alexander J. Cheung was fortunate enough to have a pre-production model before launch and put together a first look about it.

Since Cheung had a pre-production unit, he didn’t have the exact specs for the unit. Now that it has launched, let’s run through the basics. It will hold a payload of up to 14.3 lb, has a new detachable “SmartSling” handle, an updated axis-locking system, a 55-degree angled roll axis that keeps your camera and screen in view. Also, there is an included extension arm for fitting larger cameras.

This is obviously a next step up from the CRANE 3 LAB and looks quite similar to the WEEBILL series. Cheung makes sure to show how easy it is to snap on the handle and proves that it will work easily with a C200 or RED Raven. Also, the extension arm seems invaluable since it allows larger cinema cameras to work in underslung mode.

An updated locking system should make balancing a lot easier. Cheung took it upon himself to name the different options since he didn’t have a manual to go on. Each of the three axes has a lock which has an unlocked setting, half-lock position, and full-lock position. 

Unlocked is for in use, and the locks are very useful for balancing one axis at a time. The difference between the half and full is interesting. It seems half has a little bit of give whereas full prevents all movement. Useful for moving around when not actively using it. 

One very nice change is that the side controls now provide information on modes and settings using a well-designed LED light system. This means you can still perform all your necessary changes even when the handle is detached. And there are other optional handles and an app for iOS and Android that can provide additional settings.

Power is straightforward, with three included batteries lasting up to 12 hours and a DC port that can work with optional battery packs. If you haven’t yet found a gimbal for your cinema camera and don’t want to spend a fortune the Zhiyun Crane 3S might be just right for you. Interested?

[source: Alexander J. Cheung]

Order Links:

Zhiyun-Tech CRANE 3S Handheld Stabilizer (B&H, Amazon)

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