COVID-19 might have caused the industry to grind to a halt, but Chinese brand Zhiyun are pushing on all the same with the announcement of their newest gimbal.
Zhiyun are undeniably one of the leading gimbal manufacturers in the world, with products designed for everything from DLSRs to smartphones. Their newest product, the CRANE 3S, has just been announced and looks to be somewhat of a flagship gimbal for them. While it has a lot of incremental improvements over previous versions, the CRANE 3S is also the first gimbal to offer built-in image transmission.
The focal points for Zhiyun with the CRANE 3S appear to be making it stronger and more versatile than previous iterations. They are achieving this through a number of ways: firstly, there are new "SUPER motors" to support larger cinema camera setups; the 3S now has a maximum payload of a very reasonable 6.5 kgs. Secondly, and in contrast to the first point, the gimbal isn't designed purely for these heavier payloads and its new modular system means it can be stripped back for smaller setups. This new design is allegedly highly compatible with motorized dollies, jibs, cable cams, and so on, though no specifics are available presently. Thirdly, the new battery pack system can run for up to 12 hours which is a welcome improvement.
The aforementioned first in the gimbal world is Zhiyun's TransMount Image Transmission Module which can stream video to up to three monitors, including smartphones. The respective app — ZY Play — also allows you to make adjustments to the camera and gimball remotely.
The launch of the system will be done via a live stream on YouTube which you can view below and will be held on 20th March.
Three options are available for purchase through Zhiyun directly:
CRANE 3S (with SmartSling Handle): $739
CRANE 3S-E (with EasySling Handle): $649
CRANE 3S Pro (with SmartSling Handle, PowerPlus Battery Pack, Zoom and Focus Controllers, Image
Transmission Transmitter, and Smartphone Clamp): $1149
These prices seem competitive to me and the 3S Pro would certainly be the most appealing to me. It'll be good to see some hands-on though.