Zhiyun Crane 4 is a lighter gimbal with a bigger payload and a built-in fill light

Zhiyun has launched the latest generation of its Crane gimbal. The new Zhiyun Crane 4 gimbal has been designed for DSLR and cinema cameras.

Larger payload

Zhiyun says that the Crane 4 has a lighter design compared to previous generations, which means you can work longer without getting fatigued. The Crane 4 weighs around 3.7 pounds (1,673g) without its tripod. However, it also has a boosted payload capacity which means it is compatible with larger cameras. Zhiyun’s compatibility data includes cameras such as the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro and even the Sony FX6.

Ergonomic design

The Crane 4 has a new adjustable sling grip and an ergonomic wrist rest. The sling grip can also be adjusted to match the gimbal’s central axis. This means you can switch easily between sling style and a more traditional two-handed mode as you prefer. In addition, with the quick-release module, you can quickly change between landscape or portrait filming modes.

Balance indicator lights

The Crane 4 has balance indicators lights for each motor to help you achieve perfect balance with the gimbal. These lights are red when the corresponding axis is unbalanced and white when it is balanced.

Built-in fill light

The Crane 4 has a built-in 10W fill light. It’s a bicolor light with a CCT range from 2,700K to 5,500K. The light also has a CRI of 95 to ensure that colors are reproduced accurately. In addition, it has a maximum light output of 3,200 lux. Don’t expect to light a dark room, but it will be useful to brighten your talent’s face and add a catchlight to their eyes.

Other features

The Crane 4 has an integrated 1.22-inch color touchscreen. You can use this to see real-time status information and adjust the gimbal’s functions such as balance and operating mode. It also has four high-capacity 18650 batteries which give you up to 12 hours of runtime. The batteries can be fully recharged in under two hours via USB PD fast charging, so you won’t have too much downtime on set. In addition, the Crane 4 supports Bluetooth shutter control with mainstream cameras. This means you can start and stop recording or take still photographs via the recording button.

What we think

The Zhiyun Crane 4 gimbal has been upgraded with some great new features. The balance indicator lights are a neat addition to help you set up your gimbal. The fill light is also a nice to-have feature. However, the improved payload is the biggest advantage of the Crane 4. Being able to use it with cameras as large as Sony’s Cinema Line FX6 makes it a very versatile piece of kit. You might need to start working out more often though if you are shooting with such a payload, even with its reduced weight. If you are looking for a new gimbal, especially one that can handle heavier camera and lens combinations, the Crane 4 might be worth a look.

Pricing and availability

The Zhiyun Crane 4 is available now and is priced at $699. It is also available as the Crane 4 Combo with MasterMove accessories and a storage bag for $749.

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.

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