Whether you use a smartphone, action camera or full-frame mirrorless camera for vlogging, gimbal manufacturer ZHIYUN the solution has a name: the new ZHIYUN’s CRANE M3 gimbal.
The latest in the highly regarded CRANE series from ZHIYUN, the CRANE-M3 gimbal is presented as an ultra-versatile vlogging companion. Proving it’s more than just an upgrade, the M3 is a professional, 3-axis gimbal, claiming five industry firsts for looks, unmatched versatility, easy operability and trademark high-performance ZHIYUN design. The CRANE-M3, the company says, “is compatible with smartphones, action cameras, and full-frame mirrorless cameras with certain lenses.”
Sporting an all-new, modern white chassis, punctuated with black and red, the CRANE M3 is, “visually-striking”, according to ZHIYUN. Small yet mighty, the CRANE-M3 is the size of a 550ml water bottle made of robust, composite materials, its compact body design, reverse-loaded motors and optimized axis arm structure, deliver a better gripping and user experience.
Compatible with over 90% of mirrorless cameras, the CRANE-M3 is designed with convenience in mind. The gimbal’s quick-release design enables rapid interchange between compact action, DSLR cameras and smartphone as well as battery-changes without the need for rebalancing. Furthermore, easy connection to a professional microphone via the expansion base reduces the need for rebalancing.
Hot swapping capability
With its upgraded motors with stronger torque, guaranteeing stable movements and brand new in-built dual color 800-lumen LED temperature lighting and professional audio solution, the CRANE-M3 gimbal offers, professional videographers, the company claims, outstanding filming experience without extra equipment.
The hot swapping capability of the CRANE-M3, thanks to the upgraded TRANSMOUNT Quick Release plates enables easier balancing, assembly and disassembly – perfect for professional filmmakers who might like to use a variety of equipment within a shoot. The customized plates also eliminate the inconvenience of rebalancing the stabilizer after changing cameras, and facilitate seamless battery change. Anyone using a variety of media or for vloggers who wish to upgrade from a smartphone to a compact mirrorless camera further down the line, a quick change “universal” plate comes standard with the CRANE-M3.
Once the plate is in place, the CRANE-M3’s 3-click mechanism reliably secures the camera in position via tilt, roll and pan axes locks. The locks with their transverse palm-rejection, efficient design protect cameras and offer optimal responsiveness and stabilization capabilities, meaning that videographers can concentrate on the action at hand, without worrying about their camera or shakiness.
In-built 800 lumen LED fill light
ZHIYUN says that the M3 features innovative locks and latches for storage. Gimbal can be adjusted to half-storage/full-storage mode. No axis arm adjustments are required when switching to half-storage mode with a mounted camera, and no rebalances needed when expanded.
Impromptu low-light shooting is no longer a problem with the CRANE M3. Thanks to its pioneering in-built 800 lumen LED fill light, powered uniquely from heat generated by the gimbal, the stabilizer offers an intense natural lighting solution with full stepless dimming control and temperature settings via a control wheel. The light adopts high-level cooling technology to quickly dissipate the heat while providing great brightness. Additionally available are magnetic light filter accessories for the LED light, in four different colours. At peak power 6W, the M3’s lighting reads are as follows: colour temperature levels: 2600-5400K, brightness: warm light 650-750, white light 850-950, CRI (Colour Rendering Index) 90+.
On-the-hoof, live interviews couldn’t get easier with the CRANE M3’s TransMount Expansion Base to which professional microphones can be directly connected. The base bypasses connecting the microphone via the camera, thus removing the need for: additional cables, extra weight on the camera, and further adjustments to the gimbal. The M3 comes with a TransMount Shotgun Microphone as standard, however, the 6.5mm connecting audio port can also support a range of wired professional microphones for clear audio performance with cardioid/hypercardioid patterns.
ZHIYUN’s CRANE M3 gimbal: price
The CRANE-M3 offers the professional filmmaker a range of exceptional control options. The new gimbal has a built-in receiver at the base which can be paired with the transmitter module for wireless control of mainstream cameras via Bluetooth. Furthermore, the M3’s design brings one-handed, ergonomic operation capabilities through its versatile control wheel and joystick buttons that support adjustments to roll axis, aperture, shutter and ISO to optimally position your camera for perfect footage.
New to the CRANE series is the added feature of an interactive 1.22-inch, full-colour HD interactive, touchscreen enabling parameter adjustments to a range of gimbal mode settings (portrait, vortex mode and go-mode) as well as follow speed. The intuitive display panel also indicates camera operational status, connection to the gimbal and battery levels.
The ZHIYUN’s CRANE M3 gimbal is available from the Zhiyun Store with the following prices:
- Standard package: $369 for CRANE M3 + standard tripod
- Combo package: $449 for CRANE M3 + Tripod Plus + Cell Phone Mount + TransMount EasyGo BackPack
- Pro package: $649 for CRANE M3 + Tripod Plus + Cell Phone Mount + TransMount Shotgun Microphone + TransMount Expansion Base +TransMount EasyGo BackPack
Customized TRANSMOUNT Quick Release plates are available for easy balancing. Not included in the package, needs extra purchase.