Zhiyun Crane 4 Review: Easy Balancing With Improved Hold

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Key Takeaways

  • The Crane 4 is simply a lightweight, travel-friendly gimbal pinch beardown motors for soft footage connected nan go.
  • Built-in 10W capable ray and customizable clasp positions for easy interchangeable scenery and image shots.
  • Supports a assortment of mirrorless and DSLR cameras and offers a wide array of gimbal modes.

The Zhiyun Crane 4 is simply a lighter gimbal suited for some master users and those looking to amended each of their shots. With further tweaks to simplify balancing and guarantee comfortable use, nan Crane 4 intends to connection a premium gimbal acquisition for mirrorless and DSLR cameras.

Let's return a person look to spot really nan Crane 4 succeeds successful a wide scope of shooting scenarios.

zhiyun crane 4 tag thumbnail

Zhiyun Crane 4

The Zhiyun Crane 4 is simply a three-axis professional-tier gimbal that supports a assortment of mirrorless and DSLR cameras to supply easy interchangeable scenery and image shots. On apical of offering a assortment of gimbal modes, nan built-in 10W capable ray and customizable clasp positions let you to get nan perfect shots connected demand. With beardown motors and support for a assortment of accessories, nan Crane 4 offers a modifiable strategy for a wide array of users.

Brand Zhiyun

Selfie Stick No

Class Mirrorless/DSLR

Maximum Payload Unspecified - spot camera compatibility database

Bluetooth Bluetooth 5.0

Battery 2600mAh

Camera Control Yes

Weight ~3.69 pounds (1.673Kg) - without tripod

Charging Time 1 hr and 50 minutes (PD accelerated charging)

Tilt Mechanical Range Min: -72°/ Max: +142°

Roll Mechanical Range Min: -251° / Max: +71°

Pan Mechanical Range 360°

Size ~13.39 x 11.02 x 2.76 inches (340 x 280 x 70 mm)

Operating Time Max: 12 hours


  • Lightweight gimbal pinch beardown motors
  • Balance parameter lights supply easy feedback
  • Built-in capable ray removes nan request for an exterior ray source
  • A wide array of gimbal modes
  • Supports astir celebrated camera bodies and lenses


  • Sling grip grip could beryllium much ergonomic
  • Smaller 1.22-inch colour touchscreen

Zhiyun Crane 4 Technical Specifications

Zhiyun Crane 4 charging pinch included cableJames Hirtz / MakeUseOf

To support some master and opening users, nan Crane 4 intends to onslaught a good equilibrium of usability and powerfulness pinch its lighter weight of astir 3.69 lbs (1.67kg) without a tripod. It besides features an extended operating clip that reaches up to a maximum of 12 hours pinch a correctly balanced camera. As a bonus, you tin besides complaint your camera from nan Crane 4 itself.

When it comes clip to recharge, nan Crane 4 tin return to afloat successful arsenic small arsenic 1 hr and 50 minutes pinch a 15V PD accelerated charger For shorter shoots, nan gimbal's artillery capacity of 2600mAh tin easy beryllium stretched crossed respective days pinch nary discernable artillery discharge between.

Zhiyun Crane 4 packed for travelJames Hirtz / MakeUseOf

When you're fresh to battalion nan Crane 4 for an distant sprout aliases travel, nan gimbal folds down to a compact form. Those walking pinch nan tripod and nan combo package's sling grip and wrist remainder accessories will person a small much to tuck away, but nan Crane 4 tin beryllium easy transported successful its included carrying case. A silicone protective sleeve besides protects nan axis arms betwixt locations.

Zhiyun Crane 4 colour touch surface pinch camera relationship indicatorJames Hirtz / MakeUseOf

In position of buttons and functions, nan Crane 4 features a trigger fastener and beforehand dial instrumentality that tin beryllium customized erstwhile your camera is connected. Zhiyun provides its ain camera capacity list alongside disposable functions, controls, and lenses that nan included build sheet supports.

At nan back, a 1.22-inch colour touchscreen allows you to entree astir settings and shooting features. To further support everything successful a finger's reach, nan joystick, photo/video, and mode move buttons are angled, which allows for a much earthy property erstwhile holding nan gimbal. On nan downside, this creation prime limits nan colour touchscreen size, truthful you whitethorn find it a small little soft than nan likes of moving pinch nan Weebill series.

Balancing Your Camera With nan Crane 4

Zhiyun Crane 4 balancing armJames Hirtz / MakeUseOf

With Zhiyun's gimbals, there's been a inclination towards making nan first balancing process a much intuitive process. While this primitively came pinch charismatic design-based labeling of each of nan 3 axes, nan Crane 4 has taken this a measurement further. Zhiyun has included a equilibrium parameter ray that shines achromatic aliases reddish based connected nan equilibrium of each axis.

Rather than proceeding a shut-down sound and your gimbal abruptly going limp, this reddish ray provides an easy-to-see reference. If you're learning to equilibrium your camera for nan first time, this tin greatly trim backtracking since there's nary request to conjecture which axis is nan problem. Once everything is settled pinch nan lights, you'll want to return a infinitesimal to execute an auto-calibration via nan touchscreen to further fine-tune everything quickly.

Zhiyun Crane 4 axis equilibrium parameter ray indicating unbalanced axisJames Hirtz / MakeUseOf

The Crane 4 features improved motors alongside a longer limb and extended build sheet to support full-frame cameras. This is perfect for nan default scenery mode, but location are immoderate limitations erstwhile swapping to image mode via nan quick-release module. Certain camera and camera lens combinations will not beryllium balanced erstwhile swapping to image mode, truthful you'll want to support this successful mind erstwhile purchasing nan Crane 4.

As such, a Sony A7R3 balanced good successful image mode pinch nan Sony FE 24mm F1.4 GM lens; it wouldn't equilibrium decently pinch a Sony FE 50mm F2.5 GM lens. So, ideally, you'll want to double-check nan compatibility database if you want to return advantage of nan easy swappable horizontal and vertical fastener building for nan quick-release system.

Zhiyun Crane 4 smaller Sony lens mountedJames Hirtz / MakeUseOf

Trying Different Camera Positions

If you've opted to acquisition nan Crane 4 combo package, nan further wrist remainder and sling grip supply further ways to get a unchangeable grip connected nan gimbal. For many, nan two-handed attack pinch nan sling grip rotated to nan acold near will supply nan astir comfortable feeling. Both nan tallness of nan grip and nan position of nan grip tin beryllium adjusted; nan mechanisms should beryllium acquainted to anyone utilized to dealing pinch camera support accessories specified arsenic tripod equine extenders.

Zhiyun Crane 4 two-handed holdJames Hirtz / MakeUseOf

As a downside, nan sling grip doesn't supply arsenic overmuch optimal comfortableness arsenic nan upgraded wrist rest, which has a much skin-friendly texture. A much comfortable padding would beryllium perfect for longer sessions successful tandem pinch nan replacement sling mode.

Zhiyun Crane 4 sling modeJames Hirtz / MakeUseOf

For nan sling mode, this offers a overmuch much controlled measurement to get those lower-to-the-ground shots. While achievable pinch conscionable nan grip and an attached tripod, nan sling grip greatly reduces nan fatigue of specified an endeavor. Plus, erstwhile you're done pinch nan shot, it's a elemental matter of readjusting nan sling grip backmost to nan two-handed position.

In some cases, nan 1/4" screw spread connected nan grip opens up further customization options for those consenting to create their ain system.

Zhiyun Crane 4 selfie modeJames Hirtz / MakeUseOf

Besides nan 2 superior manus styles, nan action to spell one-handed pinch nan Crane 4 turned astir for a selfie changeable is different option. As a lightweight gimbal, nan Crane 4 makes this much feasible; it's easy to alternate betwixt modular and selfie viewing pinch nan trigger fastener arsenic required.

Stability Testing pinch nan Crane 4

While ergonomic features make a gimbal much appealing, you'll want stableness that's suited for your camera foremost. To trial nan spot of nan Crane 4, I opted to do mini shoots successful different locations and conditions.

Zhiyun Crane 4 step tally testJames Hirtz / MakeUseOf

As an utmost test, I opted to tally up and down nan steps of an isolated location astatine a dependable gait to spot really nan Crane 4 held up. Especially pinch nan lens support accessory, dependable mobility was conveyed while successful nan gimbal's Go mode.

Zhiyun Crane 4 rocky formation walkJames Hirtz / MakeUseOf

For much emblematic usage, I chose a rocky formation pinch periodically uneven terrain to do a locomotion test. With nan Sony A7R3 connected to nan Crane 4, I opted to do a bid of pans and lean-backs while besides doing immoderate taxable signaling pinch activity astatine nan beachhead. Once more, nan Crane 4 delivered incredibly smooth, seamless recording.

Zhiyun Crane 4 character and h2o shotJames Hirtz / MakeUseOf

As always, you'll get improved results pinch believe to your gimbal walk, but nan Crane 4 tin greatly simplify astir shots.

Exploring Crane 4's Different Gimbal Modes

If you're a newcomer to gimbals, 1 of nan astir basal aspects beyond balancing is exploring really nan different gimbal modes tin activity for you. You'll find akin modes present arsenic connected astir gimbals: cookware follow, follow, lock, point-of-view, go, and vortex; alongside a image mode for vertical shooting.

Zhiyun Crane 4 vortex gimbal modeJames Hirtz / MakeUseOf

When you harvester these different modes on pinch nan action to equine your camera either vertically aliases horizontally, there's a plethora of different ways to return nan shot. So if you're looking to replicate a very circumstantial shooting style aliases get much experimental pinch vortex mode, location are moreover much options disposable for your camera.

Zhiyun Crane 4 image equine styleJames Hirtz / MakeUseOf

Camera Connection

The Zhiyun Crane 4 tin beryllium operated independently of immoderate nonstop cablegram relationship to your camera. However, if you're consenting to get a deeper knowing of moving pinch your camera's settings and cheque Zhiyun's camera compatibility list, you tin spot what civilization functions tin beryllium handled erstwhile you're connected.

Zhiyun Crane 4 tripod positive sling holdJames Hirtz / MakeUseOf

Depending connected nan camera, different functions tin beryllium tied to different cablegram connections, truthful you'll want to research pinch nan options disposable to your camera to find which ones use you nan astir erstwhile disconnected successful nan section aliases unrecorded astatine a shoot. For instance, I enjoyed experimenting pinch nan physics zoom pinch 1 cablegram connection; physics focusing was only disposable pinch another.

Zhiyun Crane 4 physics zoom power changeable testJames Hirtz / MakeUseOf

Much of this functionality comes tied to nan power instrumentality of nan gimbal, truthful you'll want to spot which useful champion arsenic a shortcut option. When mixed pinch nan joystick, touchscreen, and buttons, it's wholly imaginable to debar having to fuss pinch your camera itself erstwhile mounted.

If you do tally into immoderate issues, it's usually related to your camera not having a mounting enabled that's required. While nan Zhiyun website will supply wide guidance here, you'll still request to delve into nan settings occassionally.

Getting Your Lighting Right With a Built-In Light

With nan Crane 4, Zhiyun has included a 10W capable ray built into nan gimbal, arsenic good arsenic a ray diffuser accessory. So really good does this ray perform?

Zhiyun Crane 4 diffused lightJames Hirtz / MakeUseOf

The 10W capable ray offers a colour somesthesia scope of 2700K-5500K. The brightness tin besides beryllium adjusted betwixt 10 and 100 pinch a imaginable maximum illumination of 3200 lux. Depending connected nan temper aliases mounting you're trying to cultivate, there's a wide scope of customization.

All of this is controlled via a mini scroll instrumentality located adjacent to nan powerfulness button. After holding nan instrumentality to move nan capable ray connected aliases off, you tin pat it to switch betwixt settings and scroll nan instrumentality to set nan values. It's a elemental summation that somewhat moves you distant from nan Crane 4's main power area; it's besides isolated capable that you won't accidentally unsighted different party.

Zhiyun Crane 4 extracurricular capable ray max brightnessJames Hirtz / MakeUseOf

Using nan ZY Play App

For distant power and fine-tuning, Zhiyun offers nan ZY Play app. While immoderate camera gimbal apps tin beryllium rather glitchy, nan ZY Play app doesn't get overly complicated. Beyond providing nan expertise to easy instal a firmware update to nan Crane 4, its controls and mounting options are overmuch much focused owed to nan simplified interface.

So if you're trying to group up nan cleanable changeable without your manus connected nan Crane 4, nan ZY Play app tin connection immoderate imaginable there. However, it's wholly optional and everything tin besides beryllium done connected nan gimbal itself. If you can't decide, a speedy exploration of nan app doesn't return very long, truthful you're free to research without a sizeable clip commitment.

Should You Buy nan Crane 4?

As a much master gimbal, nan Crane 4 will use those pinch newer cameras and lenses nan astir who are looking to empower their devices further. As a result, nan Crane 4 comes astatine a much premium value constituent to screen its array of comfortableness and usability features, particularly if you acquisition nan combo package.

Zhiyun Crane 4 gimbal comparisonJames Hirtz / MakeUseOf

Even for non-professional users, if you're aft incredibly soft footage from a three-axis gimbal without a ton of weight attached, nan spot of nan Crane 4's motors should beryllium considered.

Zhiyun Crane 4 wooded walkJames Hirtz / MakeUseOf

As a return to a much premium gimbal introduction successful Zhiyun's Crane line-up, nan Crane 4 offers various benefits if you put nan clip to study its intricacies. If you want a elastic camera accessory for some photograph and video, nan Crane 4 is worthy considering, particularly if you want to believe your shots much versus focusing connected keeping your hands still.

zhiyun crane 4 tag thumbnail

Zhiyun Crane 4

The Zhiyun Crane 4 is simply a three-axis professional-tier gimbal that supports a assortment of mirrorless and DSLR cameras to supply easy interchangeable scenery and image shots. On apical of offering a assortment of gimbal modes, nan built-in 10W capable ray and customizable clasp positions let you to get nan perfect shots connected demand. With beardown motors and support for a assortment of accessories, nan Crane 4 offers a modifiable strategy for a wide array of users.

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