Let’s talk about the ZHIYUN Crane M2, a versatile yet compact gimbal that’s perfect for travel vloggers, content creators, and anyone who wants to take their video production to the next level. In this video, we’ll take a closer look at its features, ease of use, performance, and if it’s the right gimbal for your needs.
Inside the box, you get a bunch of accessories. A quick-release plate, the USB type C charging cable, a phone clip mount, a leather strap, a tripod stand, and a ¼ inch screw for fastening a camera or phone to the gimbal and then, the gimbal inside. The phone clip has a ¼ inch hole at the bottom for mounting the phone on the gimbal. First, you lock the quick-release plate on the gimbal, by pressing on holding the metal lock, and then fastening in the phone grip.
There are some key buttons and sliders to take note of though. On one side, is the power slider and menu button, then we have the joystick, the mode and record button, and the screen, the USB type C charging port and SLIDER with an extra ¼ inch mounting hole, and finally the trigger button. For those who may complain about losing the mounting screw, try inserting at the ¼-inch screw hole on the side.
The ZHIYUN Crane M2 is a lightweight and compact gimbal that’s designed to support a variety of cameras and smartphones. It’s made from high-quality materials and feels sturdy in your hands. With support for a maximum weight capacity of up to 720g, you can confidently use this for some mirrorless cameras, compact cameras, and action cameras. It’s also compatible with smartphones, so you can easily switch between shooting with your camera and your phone. Now I do say smartphones and cameras, but, there’s a catch. And that is, it is not meant to hold up every camera. Unless of course, you’re using something like a point-and-shoot camera or an APS-C mirrorless camera like the Canon M series or Sony A6000 series with a small lens setup, this gimbal may not be able to hold it up well.
Balancing this for the first time is sort of annoying and frustrating to some extent. Fortunately for me, I have pre-knowledge of balancing the Zhiyun Weebill Lab and Weebill S, so this wasn’t so much of a hassle. And unlike the bigger gimbals, this Crane M2 doesn’t come with many locking axis options. The gimbal is very easy to set up and use. Once you’ve balanced your camera or phone on the gimbal, you can start shooting right away. The Crane M2 also has a range of modes and features, such as the ability to pan, tilt, and roll the camera, as well as follow and lock modes. These modes make it easier to get smooth and steady footage, even when you’re on the move.
Another great feature of the Crane M2 is its battery life. It has a built-in rechargeable battery that can last up to 7 hours on a single charge. That is impressive for a gimbal of this size. The gimbal’s motors are powerful and responsive, and the control buttons are well-placed and intuitive to use.
Adopting a WiFi and Bluetooth control module, CRANE-M2 allows you to control your camera wirelessly through the gimbal handle. Once paired via ZY Play, your camera, and the gimbal will automatically pair again when turned on. CRANE-M2 features a single unique locking pin and latch design to prevent the axes from swinging around during travel.
Here’s the result of shooting a video on my phone, using the Zhiyun Crane M2 gimbal. Kindly note that the phone has no form of image stabilization, either optically or electronically. As you can clearly see, you can get some decent shots on just a smartphone and this gimbal. But, for much of my steady shots, I would recommend shooting on an ultrawide lens and with some form of video stabilization.
Here’s another shot, this time, with the gimbal turned the other way and the camera, facing me.
I also tried running with it a couple of times and here’s how a running shot looks. Lemme know how it looks to you in the comments below.
Finally, let’s talk about the price. The ZHIYUN Crane M2 is a mid-range gimbal, priced reasonably well, I should say. I don’t have the actual pricing for this, since, it’s a bit older now, there are so many discounts flying around on Ali Express, Amazon, and Ebay. I’ll drop a link to a few interesting ones in the description below. While it’s not the cheapest gimbal on the market, it’s a great value for the performance and features you get.