While I've made a few videos on the Zhiyun Crane Plus, I don't think I've actually compiled my thoughts into a comprehensive review. So here it is, in all its disjointed glory!
Th Crane Plus is a superb gimbal that sits nicely between the Crane M and the Crane 2 in the Zhiyun range. The Crane M is great for small cameras, but struggles with certain lens combinations and isn't the most versatile. The Crane 2, on the other hand, can hold the actual world, the moon, and possibly Mars and Venus without breaking a sweat. It's a flagship product for sure, but huge! and, possibly... ever so possibly... slightly overkill for my needs. Especially if I'm shooting with smaller micro four thirds bodies.
So in comes the Crane Plus: premium build quality, very generous payload that will accommodate any of my camera and lens combinations, and a smaller form factor too. Wonderful. The Goldilocks gimbal.
I've used it for paid work as well as for some personal travel videos so far and I have to say, i'm struggling to find a downside. The battery life is superb, the footage it can capture is just stunning - it even made my clompy footwork smooth before I had mastered the ninja gimbal walk.
I love the Crane Plus dearly.
The software could be improved. While all the features are there - I particularly love the long exposure motion timelapses - they can sometimes be a little time consuming to set up. There are little niggles. For instance, during a timelapse - be that for twenty minutes or three hours - the phone screen must stay partially on, and you can't use your phone for anything else during this time.
It also works much more consistently on iphone than android, so I've taken to carrying round an old smashed iphone in my camera bag so i can make a timelapse and fly my drone at the same time. Using your phone for loads of things these days is convenient until you want to use two devices at once.
But i think on the whole that is such a small niggle to have, given the value the gimbal can add to a project. Since I'm privlidged enough to have the option of several gimbals, I can use the right tool for the job. And it's wonderful.
For short trips? The Crane M with the GX80 would work a treat.
For long jobs, like wedding videography, I'd rock the Crane Plus with the GH5; it does everything I want and it might not do my back in too much after 10 hours on my feet.
For jobs in more controlled environments, such as short films, or commercial shoots, I would choose the Crane 2. It's a flagship, and the extra weight can be a good thing when you want to get The Perfect Take.
Here's some affiliate links to the gimbals mentioned. They're all great, depending on what you want to use them for.