Review: Zhiyun Crane 3-axis Handheld Gimbal – Worth Your Money?

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

In this review, we are looking at the Zhiyun Crane 3-axis handheld gimbal is designed to steady your footage for DSLR and mirrorless cameras that weigh up to 1.2kg.

The gimbal reasonable priced, making it one of the cheapest compared to other gimbals for DSLR cameras.

Real life use

The 3 axis can all be used to be rotated up with 360 degrees and the crane of the Zhiyun has a nice joystick to adjust the axis while operating, should you need to change the camera angle at speed.

Zhiyun also offers a free downloadable app giving you the ability to to control its gimbals wirelessly via Bluetooth. – see here: Zhiyun dowloads


The grip of the gimbal holds 2 batteries that will last for around five or six hours of constant usage.

You will need 18650 batteries for the device to work.

The grip also has a quarter inch screw head section that is very useful to mount your gimbal onto things such as a tripod.

As the gimbal is extremely easy to balance and setup, it should only take you a few minutes before you are fully operational. The camera footage is extremely level and smooth, even in the most blustery wind conditions.

Zhiyun Crane Gimbal Specifications

  • Gimbal Payload – 0.8 – 2.65 lb (0.35 to 1.2 kg)
  • Filming Range – 360° button-powered continuous rotation along pan axis, and 360° manual rotation along tilt and roll axes
  • Zhiyn Crane Battery life – Up to 6 hours using 18650 battery (included), and up to 12 hours using the optional 26650 battery
  • Battery type- 18650 (included)
  • 3.7 V, 2000mAh, Li-ion
  • Operation Temperature – 32 to 113°F (0 to 45°C)
  • Operational Current – 80 to 6000 mA
  • Dimensions – Height: 15.3 to 15.8″ (3.9 to 4.0 cm)
  • Length – 6.6″ (15.5 cm)
  • Width – 6.25″ (16 cm)
  • Weight Without Battery – 2 lb (0.95 kg)

Pros & Cons

There are a few things to keep in mind if you are looking to purchase, the first is the weight limitation of 1.2kgs.

1.2kg, or 2.6 lbs, will be just fine for most consumer and entry level pro dslr cameras, for example the Sony A7 Bellow with a heavy lense is fine.


But, If you are looking to use something bigger that a compact DSLR or mirrorless camera, such as a Nikon D4  or a Canon 1DX then you will have to look for a different dslr gimbal.

The Zhiyun Crane will not be able to support bigger DSLR cameras.

Another thing to keep in mind is getting use the the joystick.

We would advise you have a play around with it before you want to shoot any serious footage as it can take a while to get use to.

The last thing we wanted to point out is if need to switch from tripods and monopods quickly.

We would advise you using a quick-release adaptor for your gimbal.

If you have any other camera accessories, just be careful not to exceed to weight, and also be aware that the gimbals crane movements can be limited with camera add-ons such as microphones.

Overall review

Our friends used the Zhiyun Crane gimbal quite excessively for a few days to test the waters and its performance was silky smooth and it produced really good footage.

As advised earlier, the joystick can take a little bit of time to get use to, but once you do, changing the axis is easy as pie.

For the price, we think it’s one of the better handheld gimbals out there at the moment, with a really great price.


You might also like
  1. Jason Allan says

    The best gimbal you can buy in my opinion, especially considering the price tag this come with. The build oozes quality and the pans are super smooth when using the joystick on the handle in all modes. The Bluetooth controller works perfectly and never loses connection and the battery life is awesome for 2 sets of batteries. The best point for me is that the handle can be unscrewed so that you don’t need to take the travel case with you. I would really recommend this thing, even more so if you have a small DSRL or mirror less camera.

  2. Camwerkz says

    We are camwerkz, Camera rental house like us appreciate this kind of review. Especially when there are so many gimbals available in the market today. Thanks for taking time to review this.

  3. Tom Hardwick says

    There’s now a version 2 of the Crane that handles a heavier payload. But are there other advantages in owning version 2 over the cheaper version 1?

    1. topgimbals says

      Yes, so Zhiyun Crane V1 VS V2, what’s the difference?

      – The case is exactly the same thing
      – Batteries are different, on the V1 they provide 2 sets of 18650 batteries, while the Crane V2 ships with 2X 3.7V 3600mah batteries (more compact), if you already have 18650 spare batteries for your gear, that can be something to be aware of.
      – The battery charger changed to accomodate these new batteries (again it may mean one more charger for you)
      – The base plate is completely different, it slides back and forth (quick release knot), making it easier to adjust according to the weight of your camera + lense. You can fine-tune much better with the new base plate than the one on the V1.
      – The buttons are different, the new zhiyun crane V2 uses a dji osmo style D-pad instead of the joystick on the V1, it’s a bit better, less hassle better build and more ergonomic

      If you already have the crane V1 it’s not enough to upgrade, but if you are getting it now, for sure go with the zhiyun crane V2.

      The new plate especially is a much better solution.

  4. joey says

    the tube that holds the battery was stripped by accident, where can I buy a replacement

  5. Scott Spencer-White says

    Excellent write up on it! I was worried as it is priced as a cheaper option, but when I think about it I’m only doing personal videos and have a very light mirrorless (Sony A6300 with a pancake lens). Great info, Many thanks!

  6. Jon says

    I have a Nikon P900, can you recommend a gimbal for this camera as I am concerned when the lens is extended it to zoom may effect the balance on the gimbal.

  7. arriola6001 says

    I have bought a Zhiyun Crane 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal to see how it works with a Nikon D3300.
    Could I adapt the Zhiyun Crane 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal to record videos with an Iphone 11 weighing 194 grams and stabilize it properly. Is this possible ?

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.