Zhiyun Crane 4 review

Capture a range of smooth Hollywood camera moves with this heavy lifting gimbal

Zhiyun Crane 4 gimbal
(Image: © George Cairns / Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

If you need to make some cinematic camera moves with a full frame DSLR or mirrorless camera then the Crane 4 should be an attractive choice, especially as the task of balancing your kit is made easier by its motor warning lights. The addition of a Weebill 3S style sling grip enables you to capture fast and low dolly shots which then crane effortlessly upwards and the adjustable wrist rest helps you single-handedly carry your kit in more comfort.


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    Smooth roll, tilt and pan action

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    Built-in fill light

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    App control

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    Adjustable sling grip and wrist rest

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    Bluetooth shutter control

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    Magnetic wrench


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    Tilt axis can nip your finger

Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

To date, I’ve tested and reviewed nine gimbals for Digital Camera World, with the Crane 4 being my tenth. They all do the same job of enabling you to track, dolly, pan, tilt and occasionally roll your camera or smartphone without the need for a cumbersome tripod or tracks.  

On the gimbal spectrum, the Crane 4 fits into the heavy-lifting category, so smartphone users needn’t consider it. If you’re a smartphone filmmaker check out my ZHIYUN Crane M2S and Smooth Q4 reviews. I tested the Crane 4 with a mirrorless full-frame Lumix S5 sporting a Lumix 20-60 mm lens, though I'm confident it could handle a heavier payload.  ZHIYUN doesn’t specify a specific payload weight for the Crane 4 but you can find a list of compatible cameras here

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George Cairns

George has been freelancing as a photo fixing and creative tutorial writer since 2002, working for award winning titles such as Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N-Photo and Practical Photoshop. He's expert in communicating the ins and outs of Photoshop and Lightroom, as well as producing video production tutorials on Final Cut Pro and iMovie for magazines such as iCreate and Mac Format. He also produces regular and exclusive Photoshop CC tutorials for his YouTube channel.