Gimbal manufacturer Zhiyun-Tech has introduced zoom control as well as focus control for its new flagship model, the Crane 3 Lab. The new model, which is now ready to ship this month, will allow also feature a transmission system that will send full HD footage from the camera to a smartphone or tablet for more convenient monitoring of the footage as it is recorded.

The company has redesigned the grip of the gimbal with a second handle that extends from the rear of the device that makes working in the underslung position, and the process of getting there from the ‘normal’ upright position, much smoother. The second handle has an updated control panel for accessing menus as well as for controlling the gimbal and some of the features of the camera in use. The panel has an improved LED screen and the grip more buttons and physical control points so users don’t need to access the menu so often.

A bracket has been added to the main stem of the gimbal that is designed to hold a smartphone that can be used to help control the gimbal. With the camera connected via HDMI to the new built-in transmission box an HD preview of the footage being recorded by the camera is sent directly to a wirelessly connected smartphone.

Using the Zhiyun app on either Android or iOS devices the picture can be monitored and the gimbal itself can be controlled. The phone can be used as a motion control sensor so the gimbal will mirror the movements of the phone, or simple on-screen icons can drive gimbal rolls, tilts and turns. The focus and zoom of the lens attached to the camera can also be controlled via the app or by using a pair of wheels on the body of the gimbal.

Recent Videos

Below is a demonstration of the Crane 3 Lab in action, captured and shared by Cinema5D:

Zhiyun says that it has made the arms of the gimbal a bit longer to allow it to accommodate large cameras, and the maximum weight it can shoulder has risen to 4.5kg/9.9lbs (minimum weight is 500g/1lb). New motors have double the torque of those in the Crane 2, and perform with half the noise and will much improved speed of response. The 2600mAh battery runs for 7.5hours and charges in 4, and has been repositioned from inside the main grip.

The Zhiyun Crane 3 Lab is due out later this month, and will cost $899. For more information see the Zhiyun-Tech website

Press release

Zhiyun Announces 2018’s Best DSLR Camera Stabilizer, CRANE 3 LAB

4.5kg payload, wireless image transmission, remote control, and synchronous zoom/focus

Shenzhen, China, November 14th, 2018, Zhiyun, the world’s leading gimbal manufacturer, is pleased to announce the all-new CRANE 3 LAB gimbal for professional DSLR and cinema-grade cameras. The CRANE 3 LAB is the most anticipated stabilizer of 2018 and revolutionizes the way stabilizers will be designed as it features a unique L-shaped design. Defining new features that make the CRANE 3 LAB stand out in the gimbal market are its wireless image transmission system and ViaTouch Control System to allow anyone to shoot the best footage with the CRANE 3 LAB, whether working alone or as a team.

The CRANE 3 LAB sports a protruded control stick which provides stability and comfort. It creates a natural and ergonomic way to hold your stabilizer in a traditional vertical manner, or underslung for low-angle shots. The handheld tripod at the base is used as an extra grip and can easily be removed for high-activity shots with the least amount of interference.

In underslung mode, the CRANE 3 LAB is perfectly balanced for one-handed use, a testament to its build quality and high-quality materials. Despite its low weight and light feel, the CRANE 3 LAB supports camera setups up to 4.5 kg / 10 lbs.

CRANE 3 LAB – The perfectly controllable stabilizer
The CRANE 3 LAB features an advanced control stick with a bright OLED display that shows vital information about the camera and the CRANE 3 LAB itself, such as shutter speed, ISO setting, aperture, as well as battery and connection status. It also features the most common settings buttons, a quick-select control dial, and gimbal joystick, all within a finger’s reach, making switching settings on-the-go a breeze. The hands-on control method works no matter at what angle the CRANE 3 LAB is used. Popular features from other Zhiyun products are also introduced, such as an easy Pan-Follow/Lock switch and the popular PhoneGo mode, which turns the motors into overdrive to film high-performance sports and action scenes.

Advanced wireless operation
As a part of Zhiyun’s premium LAB features, the CRANE 3 LAB is equipped with a wireless image transmission system that allows smartphones and tablets to function as a Full HD monitor, reducing the need for an external monitor. Beyond use as just an external monitor, the ViaTouch Control System allows for remote operation of the CRANE 3 LAB through any Android or iOS device running the ZY Play app. Controlling the CRANE 3 LAB can be done through a touch-interface or through motion-control. This allows for perfect framing of shots, even when the operator is not near the gimbal. Using ViaTouch allows for advanced features like follow focusing and object-tracking through a connected device, to allow a new level of footage to be shot with the CRANE 3 LAB.

Synchronous Zoom/Focus
The CRANE 3 LAB supports synchronous zoom and focus on almost all cameras with the TransMount Servo Zoom/Follow Controller Max & TransMount Servo Zoom/Follow Controller Lite. With the zoom trigger and the focus wheel, filmmakers have instant control of the zoom and focus which gives an instantaneous response of the actions performed by the filmmaker. This is a huge benefit over last-generation products that can only realize either one of zoom or focus function at a time. The TransMount Servo Controllers are available separately or through the Creator & Master Package.

CRANE 3 LAB bundles with TransMount accessories
The Creator and Master Package of the CRANE 3 LAB come with all the TransMount accessories to level-up your shooting experience. Included in the Creator Package are the TransMount phone holder with crown gear, servo focus & zoom combo kits, telescopic monopod (1.2m/4ft) with locking buckle, camera belt, quick release base plate, and quick setup kit, which adds quick-release options for the monopod or tripod. The Master Package adds a protective and durable gimbal backpack to the package.

Rethinking the DSLR camera stabilizer
The CRANE 3 LAB was developed based on the feedback of many users of Zhiyun CRANE products. For easier setup and maximum portability, each axis/motor has a locking-tab in bright red sturdy aluminum, to lock each axis in place for balance or during transportation. Additionally, each axis is longer and together with the stronger, aviation-grade engines, allowing it to operate with almost all best-selling DSLR cameras and lenses on the market. Power is provided by universally available 18650 batteries that can be easily swapped or charged through a USB port, for up to a promised 7,5 hours of runtime.

Pricing and availability
The CRANE 3 LAB will be available for preorder at major photo retailers including B&H for $899: