If you’ve checked out my GoPro Hero 9 review you may have noticed I mentioned there are not a lot of gimbals that support the Hero 9 yet. One gimbal that does though is the Zhiyun Crane M2. It doesn't have a frame that fits a specific size of camera, but a plate that you can attach a large number of cameras to.
The Zhiyun Crane M2 feels like a good quality product and looks like a professional gimbal for big DSLR camera’s only smaller. It’s a little heavier than the Feiyu-Tech G6 that I also reviewed recently.
In order to use the GoPro Hero 9 on the gimbal you have to balance it out, which took me a little bit of time, a little longer than I hoped to be honest, but now that I know how to do it I’m sure it’s a lot easier to do it next time.
The gimbal comes with a little tripod, which I use quite a lot to set the gimbal down so that is nice and it has a small oled screen so you can see what function you are using.
When it comes to steadiness of the gimbal I think the difference with the G6 is minimal to none. The gimbal keeps the camera smooth as you would expect.
The nice thing about the Zhiyune Crane M2 is that it also takes bigger camera’s like the Sony a6400 that I have. So I can bring a gimbal for my Sony with me when I travel without having to drag along my Dji Ronin gimbal, which is a lot heavier and bigger. It can take a maximum payload of up to 1.58 lbs (720 grams) So pretty much any smaller camera, phone or even a compact camera with a small lens on it. You just attach the camera like you would on a tripod and calibrate the gimbal for the weight of the camera.
The main thing for me in using it when I'm running is the weight, it is a little bit heavier so if you have to cary it while being active that might make a difference. That being said, the difference is very small. The Zhiyun Crane M2 weighs 1.1 lbs (500 grams) and the Feiyu-Tech G6 weighs 1.05 lbs (478 grams).
The Crane M2 handles really well and it's easy to manoeuvre the gimbal around while still getting very steady shots. The different functions allow you to keep the camera pointing at one certain spot, follow your movement while keeping the horizon level or point at where you want it to point. The buttons work pretty easy to change the settings, so after some getting used to what they do you should be able to handle the gimbal without even looking at it.
The Zhiyune Crane M2 is not waterproof, now for a lot of people this might not make a difference, cause how often are you going to want to film in the rain, but for me if I take it out on a run and it starts raining I might end up getting the gimbal really wet. For me that is a big plus the Feiyu-Tech G6 has, I can take it with me in the rain without having to worry about it. But that just depends on how you use the gimbal.
Overal I think it's a great gimbal and the fact that you can use different size cameras on it make it a versatile gimbal and especially for someone who travels and can't bring a lot of heavy gear with them, this gimbal is great to take with and supports a large range of cameras. That and the fact that the price is also a lot more affordable then one of the bigger gimbals gives the Zhiyune Crane M2 a one up on the big boys.