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I’ve been seriously lusting over a gimbal stabilizer ever since we got back from Mexico and all I had to show for it was a crazy shaky travel video. Even the Mister made a comment about how bad the footage was. Back in 2014, however, there were very limited options and basically the only one on the market at the time was the Nebula 4000 Lite. I read as much as I could about it and watched a ton of YouTube videos… but it just seemed too quirky and hard to use for as much money as it was. So I waited. Then more companies started coming out with newer ones. But still I couldn’t bring myself to shell out the money. So I waited some more. And now there are a ton of different options on the market and it’s impossible to know which one to buy.
Thankfully I stumbled across a video from Fstoppers which reviewed 6 different popular gimbals on the market. (The Mister watched with me and rolled his eyes while I drooled over not only the stabilizers but also how cute Lee is… he reminds me of Ashton Kutcher in the video and I really can’t resist a man in a ball cap and beard. Can I please marry Eric Church? Oh wait, I’m already married? I think I’ve gotten distracted…) Anyway, his ultimate recommendation was the Zhiyun Crane, but I ended up getting the baby brother to that one, the Zhiyun Crane-M. I looked all over the interwebs to see if anyone had been using the X100F with the Crane-M and couldn’t find much information. I knew that, in theory, the X100F should work as it was under the weight limit. But I was a little worried about the actual dimensions of the camera and whether or not it would be too wide.
But I’m happy to report that it DOES fit; it does balance. There are a few quirks, however. The camera is too wide to switch into inverted mode (where the handle is above the camera). And there are a few directions you can’t move the handle because it will bump the base plate. Kind of a bummer, but not really a deal breaker. Aside from the price difference, I really wanted to make this smaller one work because I want to take it along when we travel, or when we are out and about at the park with Girlfriend. The Crane-M fits nicely into my Lily Jade Madeline diaper bag which has a dimension of 6.25″ (W) x 14.5″ (L). My understanding is that the bigger Crane has a much longer handle (almost absurdly long from some reviews I’ve read), and I wanted something as compact as possible for traveling.
I’ll update with a more thorough review once I’ve had some more time with it. It’s only been in my possession for a couple of days and I’ve really only used it running around in my backyard. But I did want to share some sample footage in case anyone out there was interested. (Please note that this was literally only a couple hours after I got the stabilizer, so I was still trying to figure it all out. There are a couple times where one of the motors gets in front of the lens… derp! Ha!) Anyway, enjoy, and feel free to leave any questions in the comment box below!