Zhiyun announces the Crane-M2S gimbal for run and gun filmmaking

Zhiyun Crane M-2S
(Image credit: Zhiyun)

Gimbal specialist Zhiyun has launched a brand new gimbal aimed at “high velocity, run-and-gun filmmakers”, with low weight and cost, advanced features and broad camera compatibility, handling everything from a smartphone to a mirrorless camera, such as a Sony A7 III with a small prime lens attached.

Despite advances in camera in-body stabilization, a gimbal is still the best way to get smooth footage while moving. A gimbal doesn’t just stabilize the camera, it smooths out fast movements when panning, tilting or walking/running with the camera.

Zhiyun already makes some of the best gimbals for filmmakers and video, is pitching the Crane-M2S between its Crane M-2 and Crane M3 models, providing more features than the Crane M-2 and a lower price than the Crane-M3.

The Crane-M2s weighs just 549g yet offers stronger motors and extended movement axes compared to the company’s existing Crane-2 model. It has a built-in 0.66-inch display for showing gimbal and camera status and offers a range of modes including Pan Follow, Follow, Lock, POV, Vortex, Go and more.

One of the key features of the Crane-M2S is its built in light with “Lumen Amplifier” for generating over 1000 lumens, and it offers five brightness settings and four color filters.

The Zhiyun Crane-M2S is designed for everything from smartphones and action cams to lightweight mirrorless systems. It even has its own built in video light! (Image credit: Zhiyun)

USB PD fast charging up to 12W is supported via USB-C connector, and Zhiyun says full it can be fully charged in just 100 minutes – and will then have a run-time of up to 10 hours. What’s more, if you connect a compatible camera via USB-C (for direct shutter control), the Crane M-2S can supply up to 5V/1A of power to the camera, extending its battery life.

The M-2S also has the quick release technology from Zhiyun’s flagship gimbals, with dual safety locks.

The Crane M-2S is available on its own for $269/£259 (about AU$369) from the Zhiyun store and Amazon, or as a Combo pack for USD$349/£329 (about AU$479), which includes a custom bag.

Read more:

Best gimbals
Best video tripods
Best camera sliders
Best cameras for vlogging

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Rod Lawton

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at fotovolo.com but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at lifeafterphotoshop.com