Are you tired of trying to walk around with your camera, holding it still but still ending up with shaky footage? Then you should probably get a gimbal.

And I know what you're going to say "there's no great gimbal that fits my small device". Well, that's just not true anymore. Because ZHIYUN designed the Crane M3 with small devices in mind. Read along and learn all about it in this ZHIYUN Crane M3 review.

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

If you're looking for a new gimbal but aren't sure which one, you could always rent or subscribe to one on Wedio!

zhiyun crane m3 overview review lightweight compact gimbal

ZHIYUN Crane M3 key features

  • Weight: 1.87 lb / 700 g
  • Dimensions: 8.2 x 4 x 11.4" / 208 x 102 x 290 mm
  • Battery runtime: approx. 8 hours
  • Battery charging time: approx. 2 hours
  • Output: 5V, 1A
  • OLED-Touchscreen 1.22"
  • Built-in Fill Light
  • Fill light color temperature: 2600 - 5400 K
  • Fill light brightness: 650 - 750 lumens
  • Compatible with: action cameras, compact cameras, full-frame mirrorless cameras, and smartphones.

ZHIYUN Crane m3 review: pros and cons


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


  • Pricey
  • Can be dicey to adjust
  • Can be hard to balance

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Design, size, and handling

The ZHIYUN Crane M3 is made with transportability in mind. It is lightweight and compact and great for using while walking around.

ZHIYUN Crane M3's size also means that you can't use cameras with large lenses or too heavy cameras. But that's not a design flaw it's just not what the Crane M3 is made for. As the size and weight suggest, the Crane M3 is designed for handling smaller devices.  

And the ZHIYUN Crane M3 handles devices pretty well. Whether it's a smartphone, a GoPro camera, or an A7III with a smaller lens, the camera handles the stabilization smoothly.

Other than being functional, the ZHIYUN Crane M3 also just looks good. It is black with a white finish and has a very modern look to it.

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Mounting and balancing

As mentioned earlier, the ZHIYUN Crane M3 is designed for smaller types of cameras, such as smartphones, action cameras, or smaller digital cameras.

What does this mean for the gimbal? It means that it handles lightweight devices much better than other gimbals. Whereas you'd typically see other gimbals struggle to balance "underweight" devices the Crane M3 is specifically designed to handle these.

The Crane M3 allows you to do a 360° pan, 333° roll, and 309° tilt. Each motor can be locked in various positions, allowing for an easy balance between them.

Intuitive touchscreen

The ZHIYUN Crane M3 also has a touchscreen on the back, allowing several options. Besides selecting one of several modes, you can also monitor the balance, calibration, and many other things.

The touchscreen is a 1.22-inch LCD screen that's pretty intuitive. However, if you have big fingers, it might be a bit difficult to properly use them.

Expansion possibilities

When ZHIYUN makes gimbals, they also make sure that they're as functional as possible. And if they're not, they create designed it to be modular, so you can always expand. And the Crane M3 is no different.

With the regular version, you get a 1/4-inch expansion port for things like an external grip. But if you buy the pro bundle, you can get an expansion base that allows you to get an extra expansion port as well as a holder for Bluetooth camera control and mic input.

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Integrated light

The ZHIYUN Crane M3 comes with integrated light in the form of built-in fill light. The fill light has a color temperature of 2600 – 5400 K and a brightness of 650 – 750 lumens.

So there's plenty of variability in the type of lighting it allows for you. It has a separate dial on the front of the gimbal handle, which allows you to manually adjust the brightness.

This fill light is such as great addition, as it adds something to your videos and makes sure that whatever you're filming is always in somewhat good lighting. This makes it especially great for vlogging and filming in dark areas if your camera doesn't have great low-light capabilities.

Final verdict: Is the ZHIYUN Crane M3 worth it?

The ZHIYUN Crane M3 retails at $369,99, which sounds like a lot, but it does have loads of great functionalities.

First of all, if you have a large camera or a camera with a large lens, don't bother buying the Crane M3. It's just not made for that.

Now that we've got that out of the way, consider how much you'll use this gimbal. If you're a newly started videographer, this gimbal can do wonders for your work. This also goes for if you're doing stuff like travel filmmaking.

It's basically great for any videography job where stabilization is required. However, if you're mainly using your camera at home for your YouTube videos or rarely use your camera, you should consider if spending $370 is the right thing for you.

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Rent or subscribe to a ZHIYUN gimbal

I hope this article helped you realize the pros and cons of the Zhiyun Crane M3.

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

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Are ZHIYUN gimbals good?

Yes, ZHIYUN gimbals are good quality, with great features!

Is ZHIYUN Crane M3 worth it?

Yes, the ZHIYUN Crane M3 is worth it if you have a device that fits.

Can you use ZHIYUN Crane M3 for iPhone?

Yes, you can use the ZHIYUN Crane M3 for the iPhone.