Zhiyun CRANE-M2 Announced – New Definition of Compact Gimbal

July 22nd, 2019
Zhiyun CRANE-M2 Announced - New Definition of Compact Gimbal

The Zhiyun Crane-M2 was just announced and it is smaller than most of its competitors. It weighs 1.1 lbs (500g) and can carry compact cameras, light mirrorless cameras, mobile phones, and action cameras weighing up to 1.58 lbs (720 g). It features enhanced camera control via Wi-fi and Bluetooth, new stabilizing modes, and up to 7 hours battery life. Available now for $269.

Zhiyun Crane-M2 compact gimbal. Source: Zhiyun-Tech

Zhiyun-Tech is a Chinese company specializing in electronic gimbal stabilizers. They have been on the market for a few years already and their CRANE gimbals have gotten quite popular.

In general, despite their overuse in many fields of filmmaking, the popularity of gimbals has been steadily increasing over the past years and manufacturers are trying to offer products for all weight classes of cameras. DJI introduced their compact gimbal for mirrorless cameras last week with the Ronin-SC. Gudsen introduced the MOZA Aircross 2 for lighter payloads during this year’s NAB.

In their last generation of gimbals, Zhiyun-Tech already has two products for different payloads. The CRANE 3 LAB can support payloads of up to 10 lbs (4.5 kg) and the WEEBILL LAB is aimed for payloads of up to 6.6 lbs (3 kg). Now Zhiyun-Tech announces very compact gimbal Zhiyun CRANE-M2. What are the specs?

Zhiyun Crane-M2

The Zhiyun CRANE-M2 is truly a compact tool – the dimensions of the gimbal are 10.5 x 2.7 x 5.4″ (267 x 69 x 138mm) and it weighs 1.1 lbs (500g). It works with multiple devices including compact cameras, light mirrorless cameras, mobile phones, and action cameras – maximum payload is 1.58 lbs (720 g). Please mind, that a dedicated accessory is required for mounting mobile phones or action cameras.

The gimbal has a new quick release plate which makes it much easier to remove the camera from the stabilizer and remount it again. The scale mark and positioning memory lock mean that balancing only takes seconds. The axes can be locked in position by one button and prevented from swinging around during storage, which lets the CRANE-M2 fold up and lock quickly to fit into a backpack or even a pocket.

Zhiyun Crane-M2 compact gimbal. Source: Zhiyun-Tech

The handle provides easy access to all the controls. For example with a single push of the slider on the handle, users can operate the camera’s zoom. There is a bright OLED display which shows gimbal mode, Bluetooth and Wi-fi status, battery level and other important parameters.

On top of three basic modes known from previous Zhiyun-Tech gimbals:

  • Pan Follow (PF)
  • Follow (F)
  • Lock (L)

CRANE-M2 offers some additional modes:

  • Full-range POV mode allows 360° synchronous movement on all three axis
  • Vortex mode enables 360° barrel shots in all dimensions
  • Go mode allows a fast pan or tilt to capture fast moving subjects (on some gimbals it is called sport mode)
  • Selfie mode quickly turns the camera 180° to face the person holding it – made for vlogging (this mode has also been included in previous Zhiyun gimbals).

Zhiyun Crane-M2 compact gimbal. Source: Zhiyun-Tech

CRANE-M2’s Wi-fi and Bluetooth features provide seamless wireless camera control through the gimbal handle and Zhiyun’s ZY PLAY app. Zhiyun-Tech published a list of cameras which are currently supported for the wireless controls:

  • Sony ILCE-5100/6000/6300/6400/6500, DSC-RXO/RXOM2/RX100M4/RX100M5/RX100M6/WX500/HX90/HX99
  • Panasonic DMC-GX85/ZS110GK/LX10GK, GF10KGK, DC- GX9KGK/GX9GK/GF9KGK/GF9XGK/ZS70GK/ZS220GK/LX100M2GK
  • Canon M50
  • GoPro HERO 5/6/7

For smartphones, Zhiyun only states that most popular smartphones on the market are supported. The ZY PLAY app brings more additional features like remote control, time-lapse, panorama and vertigo shot.

Zhiyun Crane-M2 compact gimbal. Source: Zhiyun-Tech

The Zhiyun Crane-M2 also features ¼-inch threaded holes to attach audio, lighting and monitoring equipment. The battery runtime is up to 7 hours. CRANE-M2 itself can charge cameras, phones and other devices, and it can also be charged from a power bank or other source.

The Zhiyun Crane-M2 is available now for pre-order. The price has been set to $269 US (in Europe around €289 incl. VAT).

It will be interesting to see which setups can work with such a small gimbal – to look for its limits. When I briefly checked the FUJIFILM X-T3’s weight, which (according to B&H, body with battery and memory card) is 1.19 lb (539 g). I think it might even be possible to mount this camera with a lightweight prime lens. I am curious to see.

We will update this article with buy links from our sponsors B&H and CVP when those become available.

What do you think of the new Zhiyun Crane-M2? Do you need a compact gimbal like this? Which camera would you use it with? Let us know in the comments below the article.

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Kristin Hanes
Kristin Hanes
Guest
December 20th, 2019

The thing I can’t figure out about the Crane M2 is how to do audio. I have mics that attach to my camera via a 3.5 mm cord. Any ideas?

John
John
Guest
January 8th, 2020
Reply to  Kristin Hanes

You can get mounts that will go under the gimbal (where the tripod is).

Joseph D.
Joseph D.
Guest
December 3rd, 2019

Would you know when will it be fully compatible with samsung s10

Shooter
Shooter
Guest
November 29th, 2019

Took a while and had to chat with tech support on Zhiyun website in order to get it to work with my Sony rx100vii. Had to download a firmware update and then attach to iPhone app but, despite the initial frustration, it is working well. easy to balance both the camera and the iPhone. One problem so far is that the controls on the gimbal will not activate a still shot for this particular camera. Lots of youtube help for how to balance and use the gimbal.

Ralph
Ralph
Guest
October 19th, 2019

Hi, I have a Nikon Coolpix A900 camera. Will the Zhiyun Crane M2 support this camera? Due to the location of the tripod mount on the coolpix I am concerned that it may not fit properly on the Gimbals quick release plate.
Thanks

Dominik
Dominik
Guest
September 30th, 2019

Does the Crane M2 really charge the camera? For example the Sony RX100V? Which cable did you use for this?

Mark
Mark
Guest
July 24th, 2019

It’s work for cannon d4000???

CJone
CJone
Guest
July 23rd, 2019

Does it able to connect cable to Sony rx100 Vi so that it control the camera? I don’t want to use WiFi only

Member
July 22nd, 2019

no word about payload – you know more?

Sangay wangchuk
Sangay wangchuk
Guest
October 11th, 2019
Reply to  Jakub Han

Will m2 carry canon 750d with 18-55mm

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