The Ultimate Gimbal Review Part 2

If you're in the market for a new gimbal you're probably overwhelmed with options. In today's video, I will compare the five most popular gimbals and let you know which one you should buy.

We've reviewed a lot of gimbals in the last few months. Our original favorite was the Zhiyun-Tech Crane, which has now been replaced by the Crane V2, and will be reviewed in this post. We were then sent the Moza Air which was able to become our new favorite because of a few additional features. Today, once again, we have found a new favorite gimbal, and luckily it's very affordable. 

Feiyu A1000

Price: $400

Load: 1000g

Pros:

Impressive build quality, features, and included accessories

Smallest gimbal we tested and easiest to pack

Off center back motor will not block cameras screen

This may be the best choice for smaller, mirrorless cameras

Cons:

Not made for larger cameras including the GH5 and we were unable to fully test it because our cameras would not balance

Zhiyun-Tech Crane-2

Price: $750

Load: 7 lb

Pros:

Fits the largest range of camera shapes and sizes

Able to hold almost all DSLRs and lenses even up to 7lb

Follow focus knob works with Canon cameras

Cons:

The largest gimbal we tested

Follow focus currently only works for Canon cameras and won't work with our GH5

The most expensive gimbal in this round of testing

Zhiyun-Tech Crane v2

Price: $400

Load: 3.9 lb

Pros:

Updated version to our favorite gimbal the "Crane"

New mounting system allows for more cameras and more precise balancing

The new batteries allow for the handle to be shorter

Cons:

The new thumb controller knob is worse than the original

It still doesn't have a quick release plate

Moza AirCross

Price: $419

Load: 4 lb

Pros:

Update to the acclaimed Moza Air

Slightly smaller gimbal (but holds less weight than the Air)

iPhone App updated to allow for significantly more adjustments to the gimbal

Built-in quick release plate with standard Manfrotto flat plate (but you have to put it on backward)

Other Moza accessories like two-handed grip and wireless remote control are available

Cons:

The battery charger is massive and doesn't fit in the included hard case

Conclusion

Unlike the last round of gimbals we tested, I actually liked all of these. The A1000 may be the best choice if you're looking to stabilize a smaller camera. The Crane 2 is certainly the best option if you're looking to stabilize a larger Canon DSLR and you want to use the follow focus feature. 

The Crane V2 and the Moza AirCross are extremely similar and I think either one of them is a great decision for the average user. For me, the quick release plate, and additional features within the AirCross' iPhone app push the AirCross slightly ahead for me, but I'm not happy about having to carry around this gigantic battery charger. 

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13 Comments

For those of you curious about the larger model, the Crane 2. I sold my Devin Graham Glidecam and just got one. This is before I adjusted the sensitivity so it could keep up with and prevent jerking. Shot with the 5D mark 4 and a 24-105mm. I find giving yourself a project is the best way to test and learn a new product so this was a video we did in a day and made it up as we went. Being able to set it down with the feet really helps not needing an extra tripod or having to remove the camera from the gimble.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdVlr3EMl4s&feature=youtu.be

Leigh Miller's picture

Good comparison...I think I'ma' go for your final choice..price is right and your footage was legit.

Pete Whittaker's picture

Thanks for the updated review Lee. Any plans to look at cell phone gimbals? Is the Smooth C still the best? Watching the Joey Wright tutorial and the behind the scenes was an eye opener on just how good video from a phone can be if the lighting is good and the moment is smooth and well planned out.

The smooth c works so well I don’t really wish for anything else.

Felix Wu's picture

The crane 2 works so fantastically with 5d4. Payload alone makes the gimbal The choice.

Felix Wu's picture

I did find some follow focus issue with my 35L original during recording. Like the lens tends to do minor focus shift. Some bugs I suppose? But no big deal.

Chris K.'s picture

An "Ultimate" Gimbal Review-and no Freefly or DJI gimbal... Doesn't seem that "ultimate"

Zenza Rino's picture

Thanks a lot! Could you also please add Crane Plus to the review? I'd like to know how it compares to Aircross...

Maybe you were testing a pre-release version of the AirCross by Moza. The quick release has a small extremely well made adapter that allows you to switch between Manfrotto and Arca Swiss to suit your preferences. The adapter switches in and out quickly and securely. Also, while I agree the charger is unwieldy, it fits in the gimbal case. The pelican like case has a spot for it inside. Maybe someone will make an 3rd party charger that you can buy to replace it soon.

Eric Arnold's picture

Lee, Have you done or will you be doing a review on gimbals for DSLRs that do not have a rotating screen which is most of the Nikon line? Also, are you seeing a limit across the board with lens length when it comes to balancing or is it more a weight issue between the body and the lens? Specifically, I'm looking for something acceptable with the D500 and D850 for wildlife work.

Really long lenses are hard to balance but for the most part you can simply look at "maximum load" and know if it will work with your setup.

You want to shoot wildlife with a gimbal?

Eric Arnold's picture

When doing video of Canada geese and such as they are grazing or moving locations during the molt.