Zhiyun announces new ultra-portable Crane-M 3S and Weebill 3S gimbals

Zhiyun has announced the launch of two new gimbals: the Zhiyun Crane-M 3S and the Zhiyun Weebill 3S. They are both ultra-portable gimbals designed for you to be able to create dynamic content anywhere and anytime.

Zhiyun Crane-M 3S

Zhiyun Crane M 3S
Image courtesy: Zhiyun

The Zhiyun Crane-M 3S is the successor to the award-winning M3. It’s compact, measuring 11.2 inches (284.2 mm) wide, 2.9 inches (74.5 mm) deep and 6.4 inches (163.5 mm) high. The new gimbal is also lightweight, weighing under 25 ounces (705 g). However, the Crane-M 3S has a higher load-bearing capacity than its predecessor. This means that it works with more mainstream full-frame cameras and lens combinations, as well as mobile phones, mirrorless and action cameras.

No need to rebalance

The CraneM 3S has a customized two-in-one quick-release system with plates for each camera mode. This means that mainstream camera batteries can be changed without camera assembly or disassembly. So once the stabilizer is balanced, it won’t require rebalancing again. The Crane-M 3S also has Bluetooth shutter functionality so that you can wirelessly control your camera’s zoom and record with one touch.

Other features

The Crane-M 3S has a tiny built-in bi-color fill light which Zhiyun says is no bigger than a fingernail. However, despite its diminutive size, the light outputs up to 1000 lux thanks to the company’s own Lumen Amplifier technology. The color temperature of the light can also be varied from 2700K to 5500K. The Crane-M 3S has a maximum battery life of up to 7.5 hours. In addition, fast Power Delivery (PD) charging means that you can recharge the battery in under two hours.

Zhiyun Weebill 3S

Zhiyun Weebill 3S
Image courtesy: Zhiyun

The Zhiyun Weebill 3S is a little larger than the Crane-M 3S, measuring 12 inches (305mm) wide by 8.3 inches (210 mm) deep and 2.9 inches (72.5 mm) high. It’s also heavier at 37.2 ounces (1054.8 g). The new gimbal has tenth-generation balancing algorithms that give you smooth camera movement with most DSLR and mirrorless cameras on the market, according to Zhiyun. In addition, the Bluetooth shutter control on the Weebill 3S connects to most mainstream camera models, so you can start and stop recording.

Portrait mode

The Weebill 3S has an innovative quick-release system which means you can easily switch between landscape and portrait modes. Zhiyun also says that you can do this without having to rebalance the gimbal. The company has also improved the ergonomics of its pioneering industry-first sling grip for either one or two-handed operation.

Other features

The Weebill 3S has a built-in fill light as with the Crane-M 3S but with a slightly wider CCT range at 2600K to 5500K. Battery life is also longer at up to 11.5 hours, but you can still fully recharge in two hours with a PD charger. In addition, the Weebill 3S is compatible with Zhiyun Transmount accessories, including the following focus and zoom units, the Image Transmission system and the MasterEye Visual Controller VC100.

What we think

Both the Zhiyun Crane-M 3S and Weebill 3S gimbals have a lot to offer. The Crane-M 3S is aimed more at vloggers and live streamers, whereas the Weebill 3S is better suited for more traditional filmmaking. Which suits you best will be a personal choice based on your shooting style and camera. Zhiyun hasn’t released details of the maximum weight each gimbal can carry. However, they have produced detailed lists of compatible cameras. For example, the Blackmagic Design Pocket 4K and 6K are only listed for the Weebill 3S, so this may be due to the weight or the larger width of those cameras. It’s always better to have a hands-on test with a gimbal before deciding which one to buy. But between the Crane-M 3S and Weebill 3S, Zhiyun should have a gimbal to suit your needs.

Pricing and availability

The Zhiyun Crane-M 3S is available now. The standard kit costs $299 and comes with the gimbal and tripod. You can also get a combo pack for $359, adding a phone clamp and backpack.

The Zhiyun Weebill 3S is also available now, with the standard kit costing $319. The Weebill 3S combo pack costs $439, which also includes a backpack, sling grip and wrist rest.

Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.

Related Content