Are you unsure of which gimbal to purchase in this increasingly saturated market?

If you want a good bang for your buck, you should consider the ZHIYUN CRANE series.

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Gabriel Miranda

ZHIYUN Crane M3 Pro: The Ultimate Review by Gabriel Miranda

In Gabriel’s ultimate review learn more about the key features, excellent connectivity, mic, integrated LED lights and more 🎉

Trailer

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Intro

1

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Overview

54

Unboxing

82

Testing

135

Modes

160

Key features

243

Ending

243

Why rent?

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We look at two of ZHIYUN's most popular gimbals, ZHIYUN CRANE-M2 vs. ZHIYUN CRANE-M3 Pro. Read along to learn all the features, pros, and cons and how they compare.

A gimbal is an excellent asset in your gearbox but far from the only one. Explore what else there is of essential camera equipment.

ZHIYUN Crane–M3 Pro key features

ZHIYUN CRANE–M3 Pro key features

  • Weight: 1.61 lb / 730 g
  • Payload: 4.85 lb / 2.2 kg
  • Dimensions: 11 x 2.9 x 6.2" / 280 x 74 x 157mm mm
  • Battery runtime: approx. 8 hours
  • Battery charging time: approx. 2 hours
  • OLED-Touchscreen 1.22"
  • Built-in Fill Light
  • Fill light color temperature: 3000 - 5400 K
  • Fill light brightness: 800 lumens
  • Compatible with: Mirrorless cameras, action cameras, smartphones

ZHIYUN CRANE–M3 Pro: pros and cons

Pros

  • Awesome design
  • Compact
  • Good battery life
  • Quick charging
  • A versatile built-in fill light
  • Compatible with a wide variety of cameras and phones

Cons

  • Pricey
  • It can be dicey to adjust
  • It can be hard to balance

ZHIYUN Crane–M2 key features

ZHIYUN CRANE–M2 key features

  • Weight: 1.10 lb / 500 g
  • Payload: 1.58 lb / 716 g
  • Dimensions: 10.5 x 2.7 x 5.4" / 267*69*138 mm
  • Battery runtime: approx. 7 hours
  • Battery charging time: approx. 2 hours
  • Compatible with: compact devices like action cameras and smartphones

ZHIYUN CRANE–M2: pros and cons

Pros

  • Great design
  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Good battery life
  • Quick charging
  • Great for compact cameras

Cons

  • It can be a bit hard to setup
  • Payload is fairly small

Payload

ZHIYUN CRANE M2 vs. M3 Pro: Payload

The payload really sets apart the ZHIYUN CRANE M2 and M3 pro.

  • The M3 Pro can handle up to 4.85 lb, which means you'll be able to use your mirrorless camera, smartphone, and action camera.
  • The M2 "only" has a payload of up to 1.58 lb, which is way less. It only holds compact cameras like action cameras, smartphones, or smaller digital cameras.

However, the payload is not necessarily a factor where higher is better. It all depends on what kind of device you want to use.

If you wish to use a gimbal for your compact device only, you'll probably be better off using the M2.

The M3 Pro will require a bit more nudging with the balancing if you want to use a compact camera, so the easiest solution is the M2. But if you have a mirrorless camera or a camera that exceeds 1.58 lb (including the lens), then the M3 Pro is the way to go.

ZHIYUN CRANE M2 vs. M3 Pro: Weight and ergonomics

The ZHIYUN CRANE M2 weighs a bit less than the M3 Pro. So even if your plan is to attach a smartphone, you'll notice the difference.

In terms of handling it, the M2 and the M3 Pro are similar, but the M3 Pro comes with an OLED touchscreen that makes your life easier in the long run.

Ergonomically speaking, gimbals are very nice to hold onto.

ZHIYUN CRANE M2 vs. M3 Pro: Battery life

  • The M2 has a battery life of approx. 7 hours,
  • while the M3 Pro has a battery life of approx. 8 hours.

So either way, you'll have plenty of battery life for whatever project you do.

Unfortunately, the batteries are not replaceable, so you'll have to charge them up between shoots. Luckily, the recharge time is a measly 2 hours for a full charge, so it should be no problem!

Final verdict

Final verdict: is the ZHIYUN CRANE–M3 Pro worth it?

The ZHIYUN CRANE–M3 pro has the advantage that it has a higher payload, and it has a built-in fill light, which is excellent to use in low-light situations.

So if that is something you think you'll use, then the M3–Pro is your choice!

If you have a larger camera, then the M3 Pro is the way to go for you, but if you "only" have a smaller compact camera, it will be easier to go for the M2.

Rent or subscribe to a ZHIYUN gimbal

I hope this helped settle the ZHIYUN CRANE–M2 vs. M3 Pro debate for you!

If you want to get a gimbal, but don't want to spend hundreds of dollars, consider renting or subscribing to it on Wedio.

Is ZHIYUN Crane-M3 Pro better than M2?

Yes, in many ways. But if you have a small device, you will be better of buying an M2.