A wedding filmmaker’s review of the Zhiyun Crane 2 (vs Glidecam & Ronin-M!)

A wedding filmmaker’s review of the Zhiyun Crane 2 (vs Glidecam & Ronin-M!)

– Hey guys, my name is
Matt Johnson and today, I want to talk to you
about this little fella, the Zhiyun Crane 2
electronic camera gimbal. Look at this thing. It’s so cool. Now, this review is not
gonna be your typical review where I just read off a spec sheet and take it out of the box and show you the first five minutes
of footage that I filmed with the drone, doot, doot, doot, running around in my backyard. No, that’s not how I want
to review this gimbal because I want to review
this gimbal in the context of filming weddings, so if
you are a wedding filmmaker or wedding videographer, I hope this review will be helpful to you. If you are not, well, stick around because it’ll probably
still be entertaining. With all that said, I
want to review this gimbal in two contexts. The first context is how easy
is this gimbal to set up? Can I put my camera on it
quickly, get it balanced and begin shooting as quickly as possible? The second context that I’ll
be reviewing the crane in is that as I review the Crane
2, I will be comparing it to the Glidecam HD 4000 and the Ronin M because I assume that there
are those of you out there that are already using one
of these two gimbals already or you are considering purchasing one of these three gimbals, the Glidecam, the Ronin or the Crane 2. All right, I gotta put
these things down now. They’re heavy. Now, I’m sure there are
a lot of you out there that have already watched my
previous review of the Ronin M and how I compared it to the Glidecam. If you didn’t see it though,
here was my conclusion about the Ronin M. In my case, shooting
weddings, needing to move from location to location very quickly, getting a ton of shots,
not wanting to mess with electronic calibration or batteries, I’m gonna stick with the analog Glidecam that really only requires
basic weights and muscles. My beard was so short back then. I’m an old man now. Anyways, I’ve been continuing to shoot with the Glidecam HD 4000 for
about the past year and a half ever since I made that Ronin
M review and I’ve loved it. My camera has been on this
thing the majority of the time. It has been trusty,
reliable and with that, my opinion about electronic
gimbals hasn’t changed a ton. I’ll let my brother
explain to you my opinion about electronic gimbals
versus the Glidecam. – He really talks like that, JK. But that really was my
opinion of electronic gimbals. Why would I switch to an electronic gimbal whenever I’m getting awesome
shots with my Glidecam? That said though, I did say this at the end of my Ronin M review. If DJI or another company make a Ronin M or another electronic gimbal
that is smaller, lighter, quicker to set up and has
an actual stand, then I will definitely, heavily consider
that over the Glidecam. Clearly shorter bearded Matt was hoping that something would
come out that would fix the shortcomings of the Ronin M. Enter the Crane 2 and the
Crane 2 piqued my interest for two reasons. The first reason is because
of its large weight capacity. This thing can hold
cameras up to seven pounds, so I can use it with my
A7S II and a battery grip and a heavy lens and
it handles it no sweat. The other reason that I was
interested in the Crane 2 is because it uses a
Manfrotto quick release plate. Yes, the quick release plate that I use on all of my cameras my
tripods, my slider, my Glidecam. This is huge for filming weddings because you do not have a lot of time whenever you’re filming. So when the Crane 2 was announced, I pre-ordered it on the
same day and it came about a week before I had two
weddings two weeks in a row, the perfect opportunity
to test this gimbal, and to be clear, I spent
$750 of my own money on this, plus about another 100 on accessories. I’m not being sponsored by
Zhiyun Tech to make this video. I bought this because I was interested and wanted to try it out for myself. That said though, Zhiyun
Tech did reach out to me about a month ago and said
hey, we like your videos. We’d love to send you a
Crane 2 and I said awesome! I already have one, but then I had an idea and I reached out to my contact
at Zhiyun and I said hey. I’ve already been using my Crane 2 extensively for months now. I don’t really need a second Crane 2, but would you be willing to
send me a second one anyways? And they said sure, why not? Here, take the second one,
take some accessories, have a good time and I said really? Because I am now excited to tell you that I am in possession of this, a brand new unopened,
unboxed, untouched by me except for the outside here, Crane 2 and I’m gonna be giving
it away to one of you. Yes! So I will have more
details about the giveaway at the end of this video. For now, we need to
actually review this thing. So let’s start talking about the Crane 2. Let’s start by talking
about the weight capacity of this gimbal. Zhiyun advertises it as being able to hold up to seven pounds and in
the marketing materials, they show it holding a Sony
FS5, a Canon 1DX Mark II, bigger cameras, and it’s
supposed to be able to hold them with ease and so I was excited
because I use a Sony A7S II with a battery grip. I was really pumped to
be able to hold my camera on this gimbal, but what
Zhiyun does not tell you is that if you are using a taller camera, such as the 1DX Mark II or the Sony A7S II with a battery grip you
are not going to be able to balance this camera on this gimbal. It is too tall and this bar
here does not go down low enough for it to be able to
achieve perfect balance. I was able to achieve roll balance, but whenever it came to
achieving tilt balance, where the camera tilts up
and down, back and forth, I was not able to achieve balance, so the camera would want
to slam down rather hard and it was kinda terrifying. Now you would think with the motors being as strong as they are
would be able to compensate for this lack of balance and
they do, until they don’t. I discovered this whenever I
was driving down a dirt road in Colorado, filming B Roll
of the forest for a wedding. I went over a big bump in the car and the motors had to
compensate for the extra stress, but they got overloaded
and shut off, which meant that my camera was suddenly
flinging itself around and slamming into the bottom of the gimbal and it was kind of terrifying. So because I was in the
mountains of Colorado and I wanted to continue using my Crane 2, I set out to do what I feel
like most filmmakers would do in this situation, I went to Home Depot and I bought some washers and some screws and these washers and screws
actually fit perfectly here into the bottom of the
Crane 2’s plate here. You can see that there are
some mounting points for them. So I started screwing
these screws and washers into the bottom of this plate
here to increase the weight on the bottom of the camera
and thus make it balanced. It worked and I used this for two weddings and everything was fine. It was a little janky, don’t get me wrong, but the physics were solid, I think. You’ve probably noticed
that there are no screws or washers on the bottom
of my Crane 2 anymore, and it does appear to be properly balanced and the reason for that is
that someone at Zhiyun realized that there are people
that have taller cameras that were not balancing properly and so they needed to
release a fix for that. In January, they announced
the gravity adjustment plate, which is actually just this
little piece of metal here. For comparison, here is
the old piece of metal. You can see that it is
about one inch longer. That is really the only difference between these two different plates, but this one inch was critical because by lowering the
camera a little bit more, I was able to achieve proper balance and it makes shooting with
the Crane 2 so much easier because I’m not terrified about the motors being overloaded and shutting off. Even with a heavier lens like
this Sigma 24 millimeter 1.4, my Crane is properly balanced
and I can still flip it upside down and use it in inverted mode. (glass clangs) Ah, I’m hitting my chandelier. Isn’t that cool, though? It’s so great! This gravity adjustment plate
costs $29 and I will have a link to it down in
the description as well. And to put this all in
perspective, my Glidecam HD 4000 can easily balance, even
with the A7S II battery grip and Sigma 24 millimeter lens,
which is one of the reasons that I’ve been using it for so long. Alternatively, the Ronin M is not going to be able to support this set up because the camera with the battery grip and a Manfrotto quick release plate that I would need to put on
it is going to be too tall for the stock Ronin to be able to handle. I have read that you can
purchase extended mounted bars for the Ronin M that
will enable you to lower the center of gravity even more, but I have not tried
those out and the Ronin M has other drawbacks you can hear about in my Ronin M review video. Now that I’ve talked
about the weight capacity of the Crane 2, we need to
talk about the setup time, Namely, how quickly can
I set up the Crane 2 on a wedding day and
have it ready to shoot? Well, the Crane 2 comes
with this very nice semi-hard case here and
the benefit of this case is that you can keep the Crane
nearly completely assembled. All that I need to do to
make sure the Crane is ready on the wedding day is screw in
the little bottom tripod feet and because I’m using the
extended gravity plate here, I need to adjust this
screw and slide this over just slightly whenever I store it. So if I’m at the start of the wedding day and I’m getting out all my
gear and getting it all ready, I can have the Crane 2 ready
to go in about two minutes and that is awesome. To put that in perspective,
with the Glidecam, I always keep mine fully assembled. Just throw it in the car like this, take it out and it’s ready to go. The only setup that I really
have to do with the Glidecam is to put the camera on
top of it, slide it up, lock it and it’s ready to go,
so this is very, very quick. In comparison, the Ronin M
requires a lot of setup assembly to make sure that it’s working properly and this was one of my biggest
complaints about the Ronin M because whenever you are
filming on a wedding day that has multiple locations,
I would often find myself needing to tear down the
Ronin every single time that I moved to a new location. That got to be a major
pain and what’s funny is that I started receiving
comments from people saying you don’t need to tear down the Ronin! No, I just put mine in the car seat and I buckle it in with the seatbelt. Seriously, that is a thing. A lot of people do this. I never thought about
strapping my Ronin into the car like it was a child. Good technique though. In comparison to the
Ronin, though, the Crane, once I get it set up to this level where I have it balanced,
ready to go, it’s small enough that I don’t have to worry
about disassembling it just to transport it to another location. I can gently lay it on top of some things in the back of my car or in the floorboard whenever I’m moving from
location to location at a wedding and I don’t have to worry
about the Crane being damaged. So in that context, the Crane is just as good as the Glidecam. Another huge perk for the
setup time of the Crane 2 is that it uses the
Manfrotto 501PL base plate, which, as I said, I use on all
of my cameras and accessories so whenever I need to swap
from a monopod or tripod or even handheld to the
Crane 2, I can do it in about 20 seconds with
this quick release plate. That is wonderful whenever
you’re shooting a wedding and you do not have a lot
of time to go get shots. Unlike the Crane 2, whenever
I was using the Ronin M, I kept finding myself having
to take off the Manfrotto base plate and put on the
proprietary DJI base plate and that can be a major pain whenever you’re filming a
wedding and you’re like, “hold on, don’t kiss, just wait!” You cannot do that on a wedding day. You do not have the luxury
of that sort of time. Another thing to consider if
we’re talking about setup time is what if you want to
swap lenses on your camera? Normally, most of the time, I’m shooting with this Sigma 24 millimeter
lens on both the Crane 2 and my Glidecam because I
love the wide, sweeping shots that I can get with it,
but what if I wanted to use this smaller 50 millimeter lens? This lens is much lighter
than the 24 millimeter, so I’m gonna have to
make major adjustments to all of the knobs here to make sure that it is balanced
properly on the Crane 2. I also have to make sure
that I find a flat surface that I can put it onto so that
I can balance it properly. With the Glidecam, on the other hand, because all that I have to
do to adjust the balance is adjust this screw here
and this back screw here, I can change my lens and
still be walking, holding it and adjusting the balance as I go. This can save a lot of
time and in this category, the Glidecam wins again. So if you’re a person
that likes to swap lenses or uses longer zooming lens
like say a 24 to 70 millimeter that extends out, the Glidecam
may work better for you because you can adjust it much quicker than you can the Crane 2. Lastly, in regards to swapping lenses, the Ronin M is gonna behave
very comparably to the Crane 2 in that you need to adjust
the balance every single time that you switch lenses. The con of the Ronin M
though, over the Crane 2 is that the Ronin M requires
you to have this huge, stinking stand here to make sure that you can balance it properly. Without the stand, good
luck balancing your gimbal. With the Crane 2, look at this. It has feet! I know I already mentioned this, but this is still very exciting to me because this is one of the biggest things that I wanted from a gimbal. I wanted legs built into
it so I can put it down whenever I want and not
have to carry around a big, hunking stand like I have
to do with the Ronin. This is wonderful. Moving on, let’s talk about usability, namely, how good is the
Crane 2 whenever it comes to actually filming weddings? Well, to sum it up, it’s really good. It takes a lot of the
strengths of the Glidecam and adds to them, which is really awesome. I’ll tell you a story. I was shooting establishing
shots at a wedding a few weeks ago and I was
on a very limited timeframe, so I opted to use my
Glidecam because I still feel a little bit more comfortable
with it than the Crane 2, but towards the end of shooting
the establishing shots, I had this one shot of the reception venue that I really wanted to get. There was this awesome oak tree with its branches hanging down overhead and I had this tilt down
shot that I wanted to get from the tree leaves tilting down, revealing the reception venue. It was gonna look so awesome, but I ran into a difficulty
with my Glidecam. One of the most difficult
shots to get with the Glidecam is a tilting shot because the way that you normally use a
Glidecam is you have one hand on this handle here and then
you are using your fingers to control rotation of the Glidecam, but if you’re doing a tilting shot, you need to have your
hands on the Glidecam post while it’s tilting and this
can lead to the Glidecam wanting to rotate while you’re tilting it and so the shot doesn’t look
perfectly smooth coming down. I did the shot multiple
times with the Glidecam with the trees and the venue, but I wasn’t super in love with it. So then I had an idea. I went out to my car, got out my Crane 2, mounted my camera onto it, set
the Crane 2 to follow mode, where, wherever you tilt it,
it will also tilt the camera, went back and did the tree
shot and it looked awesome. I nailed it on the first
try with the Crane 2. Likewise, I had that wedding
in Colorado a few months ago. The one where I had to go
to Home Depot and buy screws and washers to properly balance the Crane and I took the couple out on a hike the day after their wedding
and I opted to bring the Crane 2 with me
and I had this one shot that I wanted to get, where the couple was walking down this
little forested path, the sun was shining down from the trees and I thought it would look
so cool to have a super low to the ground shot of the couple walking. So I took the crane, I flipped
it over so it was inverted and then I pressed follow mode again and pretend that this
is lower than it was, down near the ground, but
you won’t be able to see it if I do that and I walked after the couple with it slightly angled
up and it looked gorgeous. Now, I could’ve done the
shot with the Glidecam if I had wanted to. I could’ve shortened down
the center post a little bit, flipped it over upside down and
used it inverted in this way but with- ah, I keep hitting
my chandelier, dang it! The way that the Glidecam
works is I would’ve had to have my hand on this
handle, which would’ve put me very awkwardly low to
the ground, hunched over as I’m filming and that
would’ve been really difficult. Totally doable still,
but far more difficult than the Crane 2. In these two scenarios, the
Crane performs far better than the Glidecam and I
would say it’s about on par with the shots that you’re
able to get with the Ronin, but what about less crazy shots? What if you don’t wanna
do any crazy tilting or panning movements and you
just wanna pick up the Crane and do nice, smooth walking shots. Well, I’m pleased to say
the Crane handles that very well too. When I was at home visiting
my family a few weeks ago, I brought along the Crane 2
and showed it to my brother and within a minute of him
picking up the Crane 2, he was getting awesomely
smooth stabilizED shots and he has never used a gimbal before. The Crane is really easy
to just pick up and use. With that said, the Crane
2 does struggle in one area where the Glidecam does not. Whenever you’re filming with the Glidecam, you’re holding onto this
handle and this handle isolates a lot of your body movement. It isolates horizontal body
movement and it isolates vertical body movement because
the handle twists like this. So a lot of the normal
bouncing that occurs whenever you’re walking normally, even though it’s nearly imperceptible, whenever you are using the Crane 2, that bouncing is translated
because it has no vertical movement dampener
like the Glidecam does. To compensate for this bouncing movement, you need to make sure that
whenever you’re walking with a Crane 2, you are
walking as slowly as possible to minimize any vertical
movement in your video. We also talk about long term
usability of the Crane 2. Whenever you’re shooting
a video for eight, 10, 12 hours at a time or
even longer, you need a gimbal that’s not gonna completely
break your biceps and your back. Thankfully, between the
Crane 2, the Ronin M and the Glidecam, the
Crane 2 is the lightest without a camera, weighing
in at only three pounds, seven ounces. To put that into
perspective, the Glidecam, without a camera, weighs
five pounds seven ounces and the Ronin M weighs
six pounds, 15 ounces. Yes, nearly seven pounds
for this entire setup and I haven’t even added a camera yet. How heavy of a camera
can the Ronin M carry? Up to eight pounds. How heavy of a camera
can the Crane 2 carry? Up to seven pounds. That is very impressive
that something this size can almost carry as much as this. Now let’s add a camera onto those weights. My A7S II with the camera,
battery grip, lens adapter and 24 millimeter lens
weighs in at four pounds. So with my Crane 2 and the camera, this entire setup is 7.7 pounds. With the Glidecam, it is 9.7
pounds and with the Ronin M and that camera, that entire
setup is 10 pounds 15 ounces, nearly 11 pounds. I’ve been shooting with the
Glidecam HD 4000 since 2011 and I’m kinda surprised at this point that I don’t look like
that bodybuilder dude from Lady in the Water. You remember that movie? M. Night Shyamalan, fairytale,
came out long time ago? There’s a dude that works
out only one side of his body so one bicep is huge and
the other bicep is small? That’s kinda how I feel at this point because I always carry my
Glidecam with my left hand, which means that this bicep is
definitely far more developed than this bicep, just
being totally honest here. Now let’s compare the
handling of the Glidecam to the Crane 2. With the Crane 2, I can
hold it just like I do with the Glidecam, with my left hand or I can hold it with two
hands, kinda like a lightsaber, which, hey, that’s just awesome. You know, you gotta love that. Or I can even switch over
and use my shriveled up right bicep with the Crane 2. That is so awesome because
unlike with the Glidecam, where I’m really only good
using it with my left arm, once I get tired with my left
arm, I’m really out of luck. I just have to keep on shooting
and get more and more tired. With the Crane 2, I can
shoot with my left arm. When it gets tired, I
can switch to the right. The Crane 2 is very versatile
and can enable you to shoot for a significantly longer period of time than you can with a Glidecam. Now, let’s say that you’re
coming from the Ronin M or another two handed electronic gimbal and you prefer to hold
your gimbal with two hands. Well, I have good news for
you because Zhiyun Tech has released this handle adapter kit so you can put this on your Crane 2 and turn it into a dual handled gimbal. This is one way that you
can mount the handles to the Crane 2 and it
essentially turns it into an upright mode Ronin M,
but it has an added benefit of still having its little
tripod feet down here so if you need to put it down, you can just set it down normally without worrying about it
falling over, unlike the Ronin M. Do you prefer your gimbal
to be hanging low though like the Ronin M? Well, ta-da, look at this. It’s a little baby Ronin M. How cool is that? Plus, if my arms get tired,
I can just grab it here, flip it over to upright mode
and put it down anywhere on the tripod feet. I love that. All that said though, I
don’t really find myself using the dual handles of
the Crane 2 very often. They remind me a little
bit too much of the Ronin M which gave me great struggles
whenever I was needing to hold it out or up,
but if you’re somebody that had less upper body strength, the dual handles may be
a great choice for you. We also need to talk about the visibility of your camera monitor whenever
you’re using the Crane 2. If you remember from my Ronin M review, one of my bigger complaints
was that I had to use an external monitor mounted
to the top of the Ronin M because the camera’s held down so low that whenever you’re
filming, you gotta squint and the battery’s blocking
your view, so it’s really hard to see your camera screen, which is why you need a monitor up top. With my Glidecam on the other
hand, whenever I’m holding it in its natural shooting
position, you can see how close my face is to the viewfinder
here, so I can immediately tell if everything is in focus and exactly what my camera is seeing and if I need to change
focus, I can just grab onto the pole here, adjust
my focus a little bit and then go back and continue shooting. Likewise, with the Crane
2, it is very similar to the Glidecam in the respect
that I can hold it up here and see the screen very
clearly and if I need to, I can hold it like this,
adjust my focus a little bit and then keep on shooting. Another thing that I was
very pleased to discover is that the Crane 2 does not
suffer from a major issue that a lot of other pistol
grip gimbalS in this style suffer from. Namely, most gimbals like
this have a design issue where this bar that runs along the back blocks your visibility of the screen and from this angle, it
kinda looks like it does, but because I actually shoot
a little bit off to the side, and with it angled a little bit, I can still see the screen perfectly fine. Now this is only really in my case because I use the battery
grip on the A7S II, which raises it up high
enough to be visible, but this still a major
win and if you’re like me and you want to have your
camera raised up like this, you will not have any issues
being able to see your screen. This has been enough of an issue that in the past year or so,
I’ve seen gimbals come out that actually lower this
bar here down to about here and that is a style of what a lot of gimbals are moving towards, but I find that with my setup, I do not have to worry about the bar. Oh and if I wanna change
my A7S II batteries, I don’t have to take this
whole camera off the gimbal. I can just undo this little
notch here, flip this out, pull my batteries and swap
them, put them back in. Easy. Speaking of batteries, the Crane 2 has phenomenal battery life. Zhiyun rates it at 18 hours and I’m inclined to believe them. That said, I still did buy
an extra set of batteries, just because I’m paranoid like that. I will link to them
down in the description if you want to check those out. We also need to discuss the smartphone app that Zhiyun makes called ZY
Play, that you need to download if you want to adjust some of
the settings on your Crane 2. Yes, there is a little
screen back here with a menu and options, but these
options do not cover all of the settings for the Crane 2. For that, you’re gonna need the app. The reason that I recommend
downloading the app is that the Crane 2’s
default settings for panning are very sensitive and I
highly recommend changing them. What I mean by panning is that
whenever I rotate the handle of the gimbal here,
you can see how quickly it wants to pan the camera left to right. It is very sensitive, too
sensitive in my opinion to really be able to get
dramatic sweeping slow panning shots, so you need
to change these settings in the app. What I do is I open up the ZY Play app, select connect my device and
let it connect to the Crane 2. Then I tap the gear in the top right and then in the far right
column that says pan, I turn the follow rate to
30, the control rate to 20, the smooth degrees to 200
and the dead zone to 15 and I find that these settings
make the Crane’s panning much smoother. Lastly, we need to talk about
auto focus and manual focus. I’ve been shooting with
my Glidecam HD 4000 since way back in the day
whenever I had my Canon 7D. Yes, I’m an old man. This is far before the days
of dual pixel autofocus or any sort of video autofocus
that was even remotely good for that matter, so if you
wanted to focus your lenses, you had to do it manually
and you had to like it. Thankfully, I got pretty good at it. But then the Ronin M
came out and this thing is nearly impossible to use
with manual focus lenses because if you wanna adjust your focus, you have to lift it way up here, probably hold it with one hand and then adjust the focus a bit
and that can be a major pain so I ended up going out and buying a Sony 16 to 35 millimeter autofocus lens, which got me some use
whenever I used the Ronin and then once I switched
back to using the Glidecam, I went back to manual focus lenses and promptly forgot about autofocus and it’s been going great. All that said, with the
Crane 2, Zhiyun integrated this really nifty little
follow focus knob directly into the stabilizer and that sounds
really awesome on paper. The issue is that currently,
this follow focus knob only works with Canon cameras. Yes, the cameras that already have amazing dual pixel autofocus
so you’re not gonna wanna really manually focus anyways, have the ability to use
this for manual focus. I think it’s hilarious
that the only camera system that actually supports
this is also the one with the users that are
least likely to use it. Now, Zhiyun have come out with something for Sony and Panasonic shooters. It’s a remote mechanical follow focus that mounts to the
Crane 2 right about here and then will mechanically
interface with your lens to adjust the focus, but the issue for me is that if I had to add that to the Crane, I have to add weight and more importantly, that’s gonna affect how quickly
I can take off the camera and put it back onto the gimbal and I guarantee you that
if I have to slide it on then line up the follow focus gears, and make sure that’s
all calibrated properly, that’s gonna be significantly longer. So for me, that’s not that
appealing on a wedding day and I’m gonna stick with
manual focus lenses. That said though, if Sony puts
the same awesome autofocus capabilities that are
in the A9 and the A7 III into the A7S III and I buy that, whoo, I might need to purchase
some autofocus lenses ’cause that sounds really appealing. So in conclusion, I
really like the Crane 2 and I feel like there
are two camps of people that are considering buying this gimbal. You’re in the first camp if
you’ve never bought a gimbal before, but you wanna start
adding stabilized moving shots to your videos, so you’re
considering purchasing the Crane 2 or a Glidecam. We’re not gonna talk about the Ronin M because I feel like the Crane
2 and Glidecam are far better choices whenever it comes
to filming a wedding. You can watch my Ronin M review
video if you wanna see why. Pros of the Crane 2 include
that it is much easier to get started shooting
with than the Glidecam. With little to no experience,
you can start getting beautiful cinematic imagery
in your wedding films or any other video, for that matter. The con of the Crane 2 and
really all electronic gimbals is that there is something
between you and the camera, namely there is a computer system in here that’s doing a lot of calculations to smooth out all of your shots. With the Glidecam on the
other hand, it is just you, your camera and basic
physics keeping it stable and in my opinion the
Glidecam still has a bit more of an organic feel to it,
which can be very appealing in filmmaking. Keep in mind that the Glidecam is gonna be more difficult to learn, Much like a tender lover,
you’re gonna have to learn how to touch it, caress
it and hold it in a way that can get you the shots that you want. Yeah, Glidecam’s a little more difficult. Don’t worry camp one, I
will answer the question in just a second if you should buy the Crane 2 or the Glidecam, but for now, I wanna address camp two and
you’re in the second camp of people if you already own a Glidecam. If you know how to use it, if
you’re pretty happy with it and you’re really kinda wondering
about electronic gimbals because everybody won’t
stop talking about them and the hype is real,
so what should you do? Should you melt down your
Glidecam and purchase a Crane 2? That’s a tougher decision. This isn’t like having a
tripod and buying a slider. No, these two tools are very similar. This is the old guard, the
tried and true, the analog. It’s a great gimbal,
but this is the future. The digital, where everything is going. For me though, the Glidecam
still wins in organic feel. I love the way my videos look
whenever I shoot with it, but like riding a bike,
the Glidecam is gonna take significantly longer for
you to learn how to use than the Crane 2, which out of the box, is gonna give you 80 to 90%
of the same quality of shots that you’re gonna get with the Glidecam. So which one do you buy? Camp one, if you are starting
out in wedding filmmaking, you have never owned a gimbal before, in that case, I would buy the Crane 2. You are gonna get phenomenal shots with it right out of the box and
then after you’ve shot some weddings with it and
mastered how to use it, if you’re still not fully
happy with the shots you’re getting from it and they still feel a little mechanical to
you, then in that case, I would consider purchasing a Glidecam. The good news is that
if you buy the Glidecam after buying the Crane 2, it should be a significantly easier learning curve than just buying the Glidecam first. Now, camp two. What if you already own a Glidecam and you get really great shots with it? Well, if you’re expecting
to buy the Crane 2 and have radically better
shots that are mind-blowing, well, I’m sorry, it’s not gonna happen. That said, though, I would
still buy the Crane 2 as another tool to supplement your work. There are some things that it’s better at, such as tilting shots and
low to the ground shots. Also, you will not be nearly as tired at the end of the day whenever
you shoot with a Crane 2 over a Glidecam. In an ideal world, you
would own a Glidecam and an electronic gimbal,
which would enable you to get an even greater variety of
quality shots in your videos. For that reason, I’m keeping my Glidecam and using the Crane 2 more as a supplement whenever I have shots that
are more difficult to get with the Glidecam. So yes, it is time to
buy an electronic gimbal and the Crane 2 is a very nice option, but to be clear, it is not
the only option out there. There are a ton of quality gimbals for you to be able to choose from and if you’re not in
my specific situation, where I needed a much heavier payload, I’ve heard wonderful things
about the Zhiyun Crane v2, their smaller model that
holds lighter cameras that retails for about 470, which hey, that’s definitely cheaper
than the $750 this thing cost or you can look at the brand Moza. They have some really awesome gimbals that are cheaper in price too. I believe their new Moza AirCross, which has pretty decent reviews, is retailing for 420 bucks right now. That’s not bad at all. If you wanna watch
reviews for Moza gimbals, I highly recommend checking out my friend Dan Watson’s YouTube channel. He has a ton of awesome gimbal reviews. I’ll link to him up in the corner and down in the description if you wanna check his stuff out. He’s reviewed basically
all electronic gimbals at this point. Every single time I go to his channel, he has a new one that he’s tried. It’s really awesome. The DJI Ronin S is also
coming out later this year and that thing is gonna sell like hotcakes ’cause everything that
DJI makes sells like that. It’s just crazy. I’m betting you that
it’s probably gonna be a pretty good gimbal
though, so if you have time, you might wanna wait for
that, but if you want a solid electronic gimbal
that’s out right now that isn’t too expensive,
that has a heavier weight carrying payload, that has a
Manfrotto quick release plate standard and most importantly,
has a gosh darned stand, so you can put it down wherever
you are without worrying, then in that case, I
would highly recommend the Zhiyun Crane 2. I think it’s a fantastic investment. Thank you so much for watching. I hope this video was helpful to you and gave you some great insight into whether you should
purchase the Zhiyun Crane 2. Speaking of the Crane 2, I have one to give away. And I’m gonna be giving away this Crane 2 to a person who’s subscribing
to my email newsletter. Don’t worry, I’m not gonna spam you. I don’t have time to spam you, but if you wanna win this
thing, you do need to click the link down in the
description of this video and enter in your email address into the giveaway entry form. If you’re already an email subscriber, please go down there and
enter your email again. Don’t worry, I will not email you twice or something ridiculous like that, but I do need to have your email so you can be entered into the giveaway. Also, this won’t help you
win, but please leave me a comment below letting me
know what ridiculous thing you would film with the Crane 2. Lastly, this contest is open
to people that are 18 or older that live inside the
continental United States. I’m sorry, I wish this could be worldwide, but this is literally just
me going to the post office and sending this to you. I’m not a big deal. I hope to, in the
future, do more giveaways and hopefully make them
worldwide, but unfortunately, that’s how it has to be for now. The giveaway’s gonna be
ending on midnight May 1st and I’m gonna be notifying
the person that wins by using the email address they used to sign up for the giveaway, so please make sure that your
email address is accurate. I would then love to be
able to send this to you and you can use it just in time for the beginning of the
summer wedding season and I’m excited to see what stuff you’re gonna be able to film with this. As always, if you have
any questions or comments about this video or about
the giveaway actually, please feel free to leave one below or get in touch with me through
my website whoismatt.com. It is also a Crane 2
payload sized help to me if you would consider liking this video and subscribing if you
wanna see more videos like this in the future. I also have links down in the
description of this video, so many links. If you click the little
read more button down there, all the links will appear to you. I have links to my Kit
page, where you can not only check out all of the gear that I use, but you can now actually sign up for one on one consulting with me. Before, you could only
do it through my website. Now, you can book through
my website and my Kit page. Pretty cool. I also have links down in the
description to my Facebook and my Instagram pages if
you wanna check those out or to my wedding film production company, Film Strong Productions. All of that is linked
down in the description. Thank you so much for
watching and have a great day. – I’ll be back with Glidecam! – [Matt] Just ad lib
Arnold Schwarzenegger. – You want to get big? Use Glidecam. Glidecam feel like this weight. Weight is huge, make your
arms big like Glidecam. It feels the same. So strong, I get so strong. I’ll be big in no time. Glidecam make your arms strong! Get huge on Glidecam. Oh, I’m tired. (Matt laughing)

100 thoughts on “A wedding filmmaker’s review of the Zhiyun Crane 2 (vs Glidecam & Ronin-M!)

  1. ❗The Crane 2 Giveaway is OVER, but you can still signup for my email newsletter here: http://go.whoismatt.com/

  2. Do you know if the follow focus would work with an old Canon, like the 60D? Thank you so much for this review! ♥

  3. Probably the best review that I've ever viewed on youtube. One question: I haven't got a smart phone, so can I do the "app" adjustments via a laptop?

  4. Hi Matt, you know what? your video and you are awesome! I really enjoyed watching this review and purchasing Zhiyun Crane 2 today. Thank you! 🙂

  5. Hi Matt!

    I've just subscribed due to your super helpful premiere pro tutorials, but 30 minute videos? That's long man! I'm just about to start watching this but the 30 minute mark kind of turns me away.

  6. I'm looking to get the DJI Ronin S and have what might seem like a stupid question. although I want to use this with my Canon DSLR . I wanted to know if I can just buy an adapter to use this gimbal with my iPhone or my GoPro?

  7. What I love about these electronic gimbals, I will be able to focus and zoom without taking my hands off the grip. All glide cams disappointed me in this area. Prefocus, not my cup of tea.

  8. Such a great review and i am really impressed. Appreciate your selfless character on recommeding your friends channel to check it out.. Long live the film makers and Film makers Unity & creations!

  9. Hey Matt! Thanks for all your videos and tips! I recently purchased the Zhiyun crane and I been in a constant battle with the "Roll" When Im walking through a house (real estate videos) and round a corner into a room the gimbal rolls about 5-15 degrees and takes FOREVER to recover back to level position resulting in a worthless shot because the room is crooked, how can I fix this??

  10. Why does every review nowadays begins with the person saying that this will not be your typical review of reading specs from a sheet?

  11. Crane 3 is out but weird shit cause it's not compatible with DSLR's it only accepts mirrorless cameras.

  12. great review Matt…what do you think of this Crane 2 vs. the Ronin-S or some of the TBA Zhiyun Weebil Lab? THANKS, in advance!!

  13. Thank you for your detailed, but most importantly, your honesty… it's priceless. I pray you never get caught up in misleading your subscribers, like so many YouTubers.


  14. So, I am wanting to use this to record some better footage while hiking around. The camera that I have has built-in image stabilization which gets pretty good shots in general, but the side-to-side motion while hiking is still not good. The up-and-down motion is not that bad, however. Do you think that the Crane 2 would be beneficial to me? I know this video was about wedding footage in specific, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask.

  15. I'm definitely interested in the Crane 2 after this video. I'm still hunting equipment so that I can make a better decision with stuff. Thank you for this review.

  16. There's no shortage of people giving opinions online which is why I usually avoid longer videos. Mostly they end up being a waste of time. However, the information you provided was so useful that I didn't realize this was a 30 minute video until 20 minutes in. Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences. I'm actually going to reconsider some purchasing decision I was about to make for my new film company.

  17. I can see that you get great video shots but is the audio you record as good? I guess you probably have a guy with a field recorder and boom, right?

  18. If you have the Glidecam, you have the option to wear a vest to hold the weight with your upper body for longer shots.
    The following is a steadycam brand, but it has the same stabilization method of the Glidecam.

    'Dancing with the stars' steady cam operator:
    Behind camera starts at 2:19 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Zk2nHs-X0o
    The result: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qn9Q5y5h6Xg

    This is the organic feeling achieved with the Glidecam physics stabilization.

    If your camera is very light and you want to use Glidecam, you can add a plate below your camera and also at the bottom of the Glidecam to create more stabilization vertically. After the shot, you can increase the stabilization using the following setup in Adobe After Effects:
    – Stabilization Result: Smooth Motion
    – Smoothness: 50%
    – Method: Position
    – Borders framing: Stabilize, Crop, Auto-scale

  19. bro i have shoot a wedding on a gopro..not professional…but for family …only…but from your video i learned a lot of new things bro keep making this kind of videos … i dont have that much money to buy a dslr ….as i just finished my studies.. recently..so i wanted to go in videography…as i m also a vlogger as well … from india do check me out as well…just new new… to youtube …love from Goa….

  20. Matt, I just love your honest, down to earth review. I have seen so many reviews of gimbals and all of them are so similar and it almost seems like reviewers tend to soften the deficiencies in all those gimbals. I can't help but think the reviewers try to give softer reviews so they can thank manufacturer for free gift. I agree with you once gimbals become lighter, smaller, painless to assemble, man, I will gladly pay extra but I would know what I pay for.

  21. Nice video dude! About this vertical movement dampener thing at 15:22 I was wondering already which company will release first their gimbal with a car or bike like suspend sytem inside the grip. I guess or hope they are working on it already. Another field I could see improvement is to have auto balance system, that would be awesome. Anyway like your videos however sometimes a bit too much manic fast talking for me but funny also. Cheers!

  22. Q: if the lens use has also VC (stabilization), will help to the final smothness of the video? Best Regards and Thank you

  23. Thank you for the nice informativ Video. I found all the answers for my questios about the Crane 2. And WOW you made me watch a 30 min Video…never happens😜

  24. Hey Matt, quick question; right now I have the Crane V2 and am wondering if it is worth the jump to Crane 2 (yeah I know it the name difference for the models is weird). It worked very well with my A6300 but the A7III (my new main camera) feels a little too heavy for the job.

    Thanks in advance!

  25. "Much like a tender lover, you're going to have to learn how to touch it, caress it, and hold it …" rejuvenated my listening at the end of the video. LOL. Great review with real working information and not just another "best of" sampling of clips often found on youtube. I'm currently purchasing a Crane 2 and was also concerned with balancing on the fly during hurried set ups as mentioned. One of my studio still cameras presented a solution: Lock your Manfrotto plate in place and add a double sided tape and guide strip with etched indicators for lens length and balance points. We'll see if it works! Thanks again! Definitely a new subscriber!

  26. Just to defend the steadicam slightly, you definitely can get a smooth tilt you're just using the wrong technique. You don't have to hold it while tilting, you should be using the natural drop of the steadicam while tapping as usual to prevent it rotating. It highlights the importance of drop time as well as you need a good 2.5 to 3 seconds to achieve this. I would say it's definitely harder but not un-doable as you suggest.

  27. I'm new to video and stabilization and after checking so many references, this was the best video I came across to summarize the logistics of using these different tools, many thanks!

  28. I have a much larger camera (Panasonic AG HMC 160) that I need a great stabilizer for I was just considering the Glidecam – Is the Zhiyun Crane a good unit to use instead of the Glidecam?

  29. Hey Matt, I watch and enjoy a lot of your videos and have noticed a piece of gaff tape covering the name brand of your camera above the lens and I’m curious why? We see the camera make and model in other shots and you always tell us, so why cover the one on front? Extra tape storage in case you need it? Anti theft device? Avoiding reflections or misdirected eyes? Thanks!

  30. I use combination glide cam 4000 and rig shape gh5 works easy and quick and I like. Just put rig on top glidecame(use west) ( take off shoulder pad off from rig) this work for me…

  31. Hi, great videos! Thank you! Quick question. I have a Canon 80d so I don't need the follow focus servo, is it ok to to just it as a zoom servo so I control zoom with wheel? It works fine so far, just obviously once the zoom is reached it clicks a gear or 2. Any potential harm you see?

  32. Are there any good gimbals not made in China? I don’t want to support China. I have never been an isolationist but in light of recent events with China coercion and lack of human rights and free speech I am making an exception.

  33. Question: if my camera has severe rolling shutter problems and it is only capable of 30fps.
    Would you recommend Glidecam or Gimbal for cinematic recordings?

  34. this video is a bit older now, but I ended up selling the Crane 2… didnt like it.. too hard to balance and motors were not as good as Ronins

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