Zhiyun Crane-M 3S review: small and powerful handheld stabilization

Zhiyun’s latest Crane-M 3S offers a deceptively powerful gimbal perfect for vloggers and content creation

Zhiyun Crane-M 3S gimbal stabilizer
(Image: © Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Zhiyun Crane-M 3S is a top-notch gimbal option for vloggers and content creators aiming to enhance their footage quality, regardless of whether they use a mirrorless camera or smartphone. This gimbal strikes a perfect balance between lightweight design and impressive power, accommodating various mirrorless camera and lens combinations. With user-friendly controls, including an ample array of buttons, dials, and a convenient mini touch screen for settings, it is an ideal choice for beginners. Footage captured with the Crane-M 3S is exceptionally smooth, surpassing handheld shooting and in-body/lens stabilization. While single-handed operation with mirrorless cameras can be physically demanding, its robust and modern construction exudes a stylish appeal, although a darker color variant might make it even more desirable.


  • +

    Very easy and fast to set up

  • +

    Solid and well built

  • +

    Super smooth and steady shooting

  • +

    Easy to switch between modes and styles


  • -

    One-handed use is limited with most cameras

  • -

    Touch screen registers a lot of accidental touches

  • -

    Wish it came in a black option

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Zhiyun Crane series of handheld camera stabilizers has rapidly gained widespread popularity among videographers and filmmakers. Launched only in 2016, they have quickly become renowned for advanced features and compact design, with a more wallet-friendly price than other rivals.

Versatility is a key characteristic of the Zhiyun Crane series, as it is compatible with a broad range of cameras, from smartphones, to mirrorless cameras to lightweight DSLRs. Zhiyun has continuously refined and expanded the Crane series, introducing models with improved capabilities and ergonomics. With its affordability, user-friendly interface, and impressive performance, the Zhiyun Crane has become a go-to choice for videographers of all levels of expertise.

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Gareth Bevan
Reviews Editor

Gareth is a photographer based in London, working as a freelance photographer and videographer for the past several years, having the privilege to shoot for some household names. With work focusing on fashion, portrait and lifestyle content creation, he has developed a range of skills covering everything from editorial shoots to social media videos. Outside of work, he has a personal passion for travel and nature photography, with a devotion to sustainability and environmental causes.