Zhiyun Crane 3 LAB: pro gimbal takes the strain out of handheld video

Zhiyun Crane 3 LAB

To shoot smooth handheld video footage, the professional solution is to use a gimbal. This motorised contraption is a mechanised cradle, that ingeniously dampens any movement – allowing you track, pan and follow subjects and still get shake-free video. But the heavier your camera, the bigger the gimbal needs to be.

The Zhiyun Crane 2 was already one of the best gimbals for DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. Now its successor is here, promising to take support heavier camera set-ups, with bigger lenses. The Zhiyun Crane 3 LAB can support camera/lens combinations of up to 4.5kg (compared to the 3.2kg limit of its predecessor). 

The motors in the three-axis stabilizer are also said to be the twice as powerful, half as noisy, and one-and-a-half times faster. The rechargeable batteries give up to 7.5 hours of operation.

The Crane 3 has a built-in OLED display that shows vital info about he camera and the gimbal itself – such as shutter speed, ISO setting, aperture, and battery. 

The device can also be linked wirelessly to a smartphone, to give you an external HD monitor via the ZY Play app. A mobile phone holder is available as an optional accessory. The Crane 3 Lab will be available in a number of packages that bundle the gimbal with the phone holder, and with various other accessories. 

The Zhiyun Crane 3 LAB, is available for pre-order now, but goes on sale in January for £879 / $899.

Zhiyun Crane 3 LAB: Key Specifications

Tilt range: 273°
Roll range: 360°
Max load: 4.5kg
Key features: Go Mode for fast movement; Panorama, Focus Timelapse, Motion Timelapse, Long Exposure Timelapse and more.
Usage time with single charging: Up to 7.5 hours
Charging time: approx. 4 hours
Dimensions: 205 x 366 x 331 mm
Weight: 1880 g 

Read more:
Best gimbals for iPhones, GoPros, and cameras
Best 4K cameras for filmmaking

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Chris George

Chris George has worked on Digital Camera World since its launch in 2017. He has been writing about photography, mobile phones, video making and technology for over 30 years – and has edited numerous magazines including PhotoPlus, N-Photo, Digital Camera, Video Camera, and Professional Photography. 

His first serious camera was the iconic Olympus OM10, with which he won the title of Young Photographer of the Year - long before the advent of autofocus and memory cards. Today he uses a Nikon D800, a Fujifilm X-T1, a Sony A7, and his iPhone 11 Pro.

He has written about technology for countless publications and websites including The Sunday Times Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, Dorling Kindersley, What Cellphone, T3 and Techradar.