Zhiyun Crane 3 LAB Camera Gimbal Review 13

Zhiyun Crane 3 LAB Camera Gimbal Review

Charging & Balancing The Camera »


The Standard Package: includes the following items:
  • Zhiyun CRANE 3 LAB
  • Foam carrying case
  • Mini tripod
  • Manfrotto quick release plate
  • Trans mount quick-change base plate
  • Trans mount phone holder with crown gear (for free in some stores)
  • Cable case
  • HDMI Mini to HDMI Micro HD HDMI cable
  • HDMI Mini to HDMI Mini HD HDMI Cable
  • USB 3.0 to USB mini camera control cable
  • USB 3.0 to USB micro camera control cable
  • USB 3.0 to multi camera control cable
  • USB 3.0-to-C camera control cable
  • USB 3.0 to USB mini 8P + 2.5 mm plug camera control cable
  • Micro USB cable
  • Cable case
  • Charger
  • 3x 18650 Li-ion batteries
  • User's manual
The Creator's Package includes all of the above along with the following items:
  • Foam carrying case
  • TransMount multifunction camera strap
  • TransMount telescopic monopod with buckle
  • 2x Quick release tripod/monopod/adapters
  • Focus and zoom servo control combo (1x max & 1x lite)
  • TransMount quick release baseplate

The white carton package does not offer any protection. However, in it, we find a sturdy carrying case into which all the components of the Standard package are placed inside of individual pockets. The user's manual is a short illustrated installation guide covering the basics. If someone needs more information, we did find a detailed guide here. Assembly is pretty straightforward since everything falls in place with the latches unlocked.

A Closer Look

The Crane 3 LAB is a professional gimbal, and one would expect it to be durable and include many functions that help filmmakers with their tasks. The body is made out of aluminium alloy and plastic. Even though both aluminium and plastic are lightweight on their own, the gimbal is heavy at 4.19 kg with the plate, batteries, and tripod. However, the Crane 3 is very sturdy, which it has to be in order to accommodate a camera, lens, and all accessories. The maximum payload is 4.5 kg (10 lb), and once you mount a heavy camera and lens combo like the GH5 Panasonic with a Sigma 18-35 mm F1.8 DC HSM lens we used, you will end up with around 6 kg (12.22 lb).

Lots of DSLR and mirrorless cameras are compatible with the Crane 3, but pay attention to the weight of the lens you will use. A table with some examples of how to adjust the motors over the gimbal's hand-grip menu is attached below.

While of substantial size, this gimbal is foldable for a smaller footprint. All of its components go into respective pockets inside an included carrying case to ensure portability and that none of the accessories or the gimbal are damaged when traveling.

The gimbal's horizontal hand grip is broader than the others because it holds the battery compartment.

The ergonomic handle resembles an aircraft joystick and has an all-inclusive control panel, dials, buttons, and an OLED screen, which makes for a great set of controls for the gimbal and mounted camera. The handle is set to a fixed position that cannot be changed.

Other than the horizontal hand grip, there is an additional grip at the bottom of the gimbal that is also the gimbal's tripod, allowing you to rest your arms when shootings. The three legs of the tripod/base are covered in PU pleather for a more comfortable grip. A vertical hand grip has also been put at the front of the gimbal.

There are two charging points—one at the front of the gimbal and another above the mode trigger, which can charge a smartphone. Another with 8 V output for the mounted camera has been put on the control system plate.

Red anodized aluminium latches on each axis can be locked in place individually, while balancing the rest. If you wish to leave the camera on the gimbal and set it aside until your next shooting session, you may lock every axis in place to have the gimbal become a camera stand. Unlocking one doesn't mean you will have to balance out the camera again, either.

The quick-release plate has two thumbscrews instead of screws, which makes mounting a camera a breeze. Only one bolt secures the quick-release plate to the camera.

A large, tactile wheel that glows in the dark is there for follow focus, but the same can be accomplished with ViaTouch on a smartphone, which is an iOS and Android-based control system. The embedded dial helps with setting the camera's parameters.

The trigger on the upper hand grip is for zoom in/out control.
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