The Zhiyun Crane 2 motorized gimbal capabilitywith Canon cameras

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
5,875
468
Alberta, Canada
As a few of you know I made the purchase of the Crane 2. It arrived yesterday and since I had to clean the 1DX2 extension foot I accidentally burned I was delayed getting it into operation. Not a good idea to be learning new gear into the wee hours of the night but that's what I was doing - just like a child.

Well, the small confusions that existed for me today have vanished and I can report that everything seems to be fine. At this moment I have shot video with the 24-70 F4 and the 11-24. The actual balancing of both is relatively easy especially if you're balanced for one and then switch to the other.

The range of motion with the 11-24 is more restricted but not enough to be an issue IMHO. For example I could walk with the collapsed feet in my midsection like a flagpole without losing control. Great care needs to be exercised if one intends to flip the unit over etc. as certain parts will contact in the extreme movement case and likely scratch something.

So, at this moment I don't feel any twinge of regret in the purchase.

The video I watched where the 70-200 2.8 was mounted looked touch and go but again if you are careful to keep the gimbal upright there should be adequate travel. Perhaps it's reasonable to assume that shooting at 200 is not going to be a situation where you expect major movements.

Being new to video, I'm happy to contribute my thoughts but I have no expertise so hopefully others will chime in on the topic of gimbal stabilizers, technique and so forth.

Jack
 

ethanz

1DX II
Apr 12, 2016
942
200
ethanzentz.com
Also for those who would like more information/background, start with this thread: http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=34484.msg711397#msg711397
 

ethanz

1DX II
Apr 12, 2016
942
200
ethanzentz.com
Thanks Jack, I'm glad to hear its working well. I would think for the most part people aren't going to be flipping the gimbal around. What I would use it for is pans or moving shots of people. If you recommend it, I think I will go ahead and buy one too.
 

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
5,875
468
Alberta, Canada
ethanz said:
Thanks Jack, I'm glad to hear its working well. I would think for the most part people aren't going to be flipping the gimbal around. What I would use it for is pans or moving shots of people. If you recommend it, I think I will go ahead and buy one too.
Well, I'm a poor one to depend on in that regard because even if it isn't superb I'm blown away by what it offers me, shaky old me! ;)

I can't imagine you being disappointed but we're all different.

I'm wondering now about remote control over distance (the Bluetooth offers only 10m max). Maybe Scott will advise relative to the CamRanger I previously purchased. If one could plant the camera with 70-200 close enough to wildlife then a really long lens wouldn't be required. Could be for photos or video.

Jack
 

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
5,875
468
Alberta, Canada
The manual states something like this.

Fine tune the stabilizer: enter Std By,
Rotate dial, press right to enter “angle”
Adjust the value of the tilt and roll axis angle to your actual need.

I'm wondering if this is a way to limit the travel so as to not hit any part of the gimbal when a big camera and lens is used?? Lots to learn and not the greatest manual.

Jack
 

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
5,875
468
Alberta, Canada
ethanz said:
How fast is it to remove the camera from the gimbal to take pictures? Or would it probably be best to leave it on?
It's trivial to remove the camera. If you leave the plate it's 2 seconds or maybe 10 removing the plate with a coin. One thing, I'm thinking of putting a wee bit of lube on the dovetails so they slide a bit easier. The camera and lens is heavy and unless you relive some of the pressure, it's hard to slide a mm. Now if they would have built in a fine adjust screw vernier it would be much easier - coarse balance, lock and then screw adjust. Of course that would add weight and bulk and expense.

I agree with others online that balancing is trivial once you get the hang of it but initially it's confusing.

Jack
 

ethanz

1DX II
Apr 12, 2016
942
200
ethanzentz.com
Jack Douglas said:
Here goes another "dumb" question. I presume I can't do anything with the crane 2 from my Windows 7 computer and must use a phone to set the parameters to suit my liking due to lack of blue tooth??

My wife has the smart phone and says that when she went to download the app it said something about Google play and payment but I'll have to try to verify what's going on myself. With no phone of my own I have reasonable savvy of computer operations but not the phone (I know it seems trivial but there is a learning curve at the beginning) :)

Anyone else find the joystick operation to be backward by default - guess I function like a teeter totter. :-\

Jack
Hi Jack, lets use this thread ;)

I would assume no you cannot use a computer. I have not had a chance to hook my phone up to it yet, been super busy with easter stuff. I got to use the gimbal yesterday, still getting used to it. I would not think the app would cost anything, but maybe she doesn't have a google play account yet, I think they always want credit card info to just start the account.
 

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
5,875
468
Alberta, Canada
Thanks Ethan, I think you're right about Google Play. My wife has no computer background and was then introduced to the cell phone and muddles along like most old folk including me. Our kids are no longer at home so we don't have quick access to help with such things. I had sent her a link thinking she could just download it but now I understand she needs and account first.

I did finally get a daylight video of my deer visiting and it sure is amazing compared to previous attempts without a gimbal!! However, I've got to slow the movements and change the joystick direction.

Jack

Update April 3 - as usual when I'm confused there usually is some reason even though I feel like a total dummy. With my wife's help I kind of came up to speed on the android phone and managed to get the downloaded app (there are two or three) functioning (of course it uses Blue Tooth - duh) and changed some parameters, in particular slowing motion to match my novice capability. I've rationalized why I prefer the joystick reversed - it's my previous use of a Jobu gimbal - tip the camera down to raise the lens - the teeter-totter effect, of course.

Finally, it seems there is not as much interest in the Crane 2 as I imagined so I won't likely post more in this thread unless there is a need. There are lots of good videos to Google. Still luvin the gimbal.

HOW to make it work with the CamRanger, oh please??! ;)
 

ethanz

1DX II
Apr 12, 2016
942
200
ethanzentz.com
I just played around with the app too, Jack. The settings can certainly make it do different things, I wasn't able to play with it enough though.

I finally understand the PF mode after using the gimbal several times.

With the app, you could have the gimbal stationary and use the PTZ control to remotely move it, which is pretty cool.
 

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
5,875
468
Alberta, Canada
Hey Ethan ... I think this site is among the best and he goes over all kinds of things, well.

https://www.youtube.com/user/MrJMMedia/videos

Apparently there is new firmware giving another mode but I haven't gotten into that yet. I can access the gimbal from the phone but didn't succeed with the USB from my Windows computer. The computer started installing drivers and then something went off track, but I'll try again.

Yes it can be on a tripod and fully controlled but my big concern is how do I get the CamRanger video back from the camera so I can see where it's aiming. That would be super for a hide and doing video of birds and animals.

No time to play either as I'm presently finished cutting the stainless steel and will now start welding the remaining pieces for my deck canopy. Welding stainless is more tricky and I've been away from it now nearly three years

Jack
 

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Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
5,875
468
Alberta, Canada
Seems I didn't have the necessary drivers etc. on my computer cause now all is well with the tools app and I've downloaded Firmware V 1.72 that gives the POV mode. This is all just too cool!

I find it much more controllable now from the joystick with the slower settings.

Jack
 

snappy604

EOS RP
Jan 25, 2017
222
91
I'm all curious for learning on these. very limited video experience as well, but keep getting asked by buddies to video their shows with an SLR.

Hesitant given some things i've read about gimballs (some don't hold weight well), but sounds like you tried it with a fairly heavy SLR compared to my 80d... so now I am interested... are you still happy? What model? B&H has a few, one with follow focus? do you hand hold it or mount or ?
 

ethanz

1DX II
Apr 12, 2016
942
200
ethanzentz.com
Hi Snappy,

This is the model that both Jack and I have: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1359107-REG/zhiyun_tech_crane_2_3_axis_handheld_stabilizer.html
If it can support our 1dx with big lenses, it will support your 80D just fine.

The Crane 2 has a focus wheel that you can use to manually focus, or I've just been using the DPAF, which I'm sure your 80D would do just fine with too.

You can hand hold the gimbal or mount it to a tripod or set it down somewhere. I am very happy so far with it. I use it at my work for videos.
 

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
5,875
468
Alberta, Canada
Just adding a thing or two to Ethan. Although the gimbal is not very heavy, add it to a 1DX2 and a 70-200 2.8 and you've got a body building device. Just look at the upper arms of the guy I linked that's doing all the gimbal videos, they're huge ... unlike mine. ;) However, I'll handle it, just not for really long bouts.

One issue if you go more telephoto is that any movement gets amplified visually and it gets hard to move it precisely with the joystick. And it can be challenging to see the display. However, you can slow those movements down with software so not a big deal. If you've done hand held video, like me, and been embarrassed by the swaying then you'd be thrilled with this. If you're on a big tripod then the gimbal to a large extent is not having to do much and really isn't necessary. This is way more convenient and you can shoot while walking and turning around etc. Amateur shoot turns into almost professional with practice.

There are so many videos that if you watch enough you'll know clearly what the advantages are.

BTW the camera settings are controllable at you thumb and so shooting manual you can tweak the ISO on the fly easily. Since video generally uses a slow shutter like 1/125 for 4K 60, there is more latitude than say shooting BIF at 1/2500 and say ISO 1600.

Jack
 

snappy604

EOS RP
Jan 25, 2017
222
91
thanks.. looks heavy on its own, let alone with an SLR and lens.

was trying to figure out the differences between the v2 and the crane 2 with canon focus follow (which you linked). v2 seems like handheld only ... crane 2 seemed to have tripod... what is focus follow? does it try to keep subject selected in focus as you move? or can it track an object by moving gimballs if you leave on ground (is it stable enough?)
 

ethanz

1DX II
Apr 12, 2016
942
200
ethanzentz.com
DPAF (built in by Canon) will give you a reasonable level of focus following a subject. The focus wheel on the Crane 2 I really haven't used yet. I'm not sure how valuable it actually is. It just acts like the focus ring on a lens.
 

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
5,875
468
Alberta, Canada
When thinking about weight and bulk what you have to ask yourself is, do I want professional looking video with a 40 lb setup and crew. This is so portable you can walk down a mountain path while panning without virtually any shake. I hate video with jerky movements. The alternative is to set up a tripod. You can't get the same perspective as half running while you're panning or whatever. On the other hand I don't fancy walking though a busy tourist store holding this but an historic church would be OK. You're going to be noticeable for sure but for many situations that's not too problematic.

The focus wheel is very smooth and easy to use however the live view screen is not very large and so manual focus is not something I plan to use much. Tapping on the screen to establish focus on a different area works so well with Canon and its DPAF and it really sticks if you choose tracking.

For sure you have to eat your wheaties and exercise!

Compromises, compromises.

Jack
 

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
5,875
468
Alberta, Canada
Since I'm new to video editing I was asking for advice on which programs to consider. I was close to purchasing a CS6 version of Adobe Premier Pro but at over $500 CAD, I was uneasy. Since I already owned Corel VideoStudeo X9 I had inquired whether an upgrade to X10.5 would give me panning and zoom of 4K. The uncertain answer appeared to be no and thus I had decided to abandon Corel.

However, in order to double check the upgrade situation I opened X9 and up pops an upgrade offer for $30 to get me the new 2018 Ultimate (quite a few desirable improvements) and upon checking features and reviews I was convinced that the price was low enough to deserve one last kick at the can - like what's $30 compared to $500+.

If anyone's interested check it out: https://www.videostudiopro.com/en/products/videostudio/ultimate/

I'd be interested in ongoing feedback on the topic since I may still choose something else.

Jack
 

leGreve

Full time photographer and film maker omnifilm.dk
Nov 6, 2010
308
0
Denmark
vimeo.com
Jack Douglas said:
Since I'm new to video editing I was asking for advice on which programs to consider. I was close to purchasing a CS6 version of Adobe Premier Pro but at over $500 CAD, I was uneasy. Since I already owned Corel VideoStudeo X9 I had inquired whether an upgrade to X10.5 would give me panning and zoom of 4K. The uncertain answer appeared to be no and thus I had decided to abandon Corel.

However, in order to double check the upgrade situation I opened X9 and up pops an upgrade offer for $30 to get me the new 2018 Ultimate (quite a few desirable improvements) and upon checking features and reviews I was convinced that the price was low enough to deserve one last kick at the can - like what's $30 compared to $500+.

If anyone's interested check it out: https://www.videostudiopro.com/en/products/videostudio/ultimate/

I'd be interested in ongoing feedback on the topic since I may still choose something else.

Jack
Davinci Resolve.... sure, the learning curve is a bit higher, but it has superior grading tools and by next version it will probably be on par for most users with Premiere Pro in terms of editing.

We hardly use anything else on our TVC productions etc.