Zhiyun Crane M3 Gimabl First Look Crane M3 - a compact but fully featured gimbal

Earlier today Zhiyun announced a new portable gimbal – the CRANE M3 which features a built-in LED light and an optional microphone.

The Crane M3 – Vloggers best friend

After Zhiyun released the larger WEEBILL 2 Gimbal earlier this year (which we reviewed as well as its impressive remote transmitter and controller) the company decided to update its smaller, compact vloggers series of gimbals.

The Crane M3 has a long list of features some of which are unique to this gimbal. These include 1.22″ full-color OLED display, USB-C charging with an 8-hour 1150mAh battery (2-hour charging via 25W PD charger), built-in Wi-Fi that supports remote zoom, shutter, and video start/stop control and a BT with the ZY Play mobile app.

The ZHIYUN Cran-M3 side LED


One of those unique features is a built-in LED with over 90 CRI which outputs 800 lumens and you can gel to get different colors or temperatures with some magnetic color filters.

For those looking to add external audio to their, kit Zhiyun has a specific combi which includes the TransMount Shotgun Microphone and the TransMount Expansion Base so you can connect wireless mics or a wired shotgun mic to your camera via the gimbal.

The gimbal with the TransMount Shotgun Microphone and the TransMount Expansion Base

The M3 gimbal with the TransMount Shotgun Microphone and the TransMount Expansion Base

Although the Crane M3 is about 230g heavier than the older M2 it is still considered a very compact gimbal at 730g.

The Crane M3 should be able to fit most mirrorless cameras on the market including many full-frame ones although it is advised to use it with more compact lenses.

Zhiyun also released Crane M3 TransMount Quick Release plates for several different cameras and although these are not Arca compatible (for some reason)they should make the mounting and unmounting of the camera faster and easier (current supported models include ​​Sony A7 III; Sony A7C; Sony A6000; Sony A7S; Sony ZV-E10; Canon M50; Fuji X-S10, Fuji XT-4, and Nikon Zfc).

Can carry full-frame cameras (with small-mid lenses)

Price and availability

The Zhiyun Crane M3 will start selling in the next few weeks starting at $370 for the standard kit (the full Pro package will sell for $650).

The M3 with the Pro package kit

The M3 with the Pro package kit

Reviews from around the web

A number of hands-on reviews have been published so far and here are a few of them:

Arthur R on the M3

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The hybrid shooter on the M3

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Pascal Basel on the Crane M3

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Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of LensVid.com. He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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