Professional Yet Accessible Stability for Content Creators


Zhiyun-Tech, known for its powerful, compact motorized gimbal stabilizers, has released the CRANE-M2 S and the CRANE-M2 S Combo bundle, both very attractive options for those seeking the middle ground between the M2 and M3 three-axis gimbals. Paring down the M3 allowed Zhiyun to shave off $100, exactly what TikTokkers and YouTubers have been begging for since the release of the M3, in 2021.

Zhiyun-Tech CRANE-M2 S 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer

Zhiyun-Tech CRANE-M2 S 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer

Sweet Spot

The M2 S can be thought of as an upgraded M2 and a cost-effective version of the M3. Perfect for content creators on smaller budgets, this device smooths out vlogging footage and action shots without costing a fortune. They do so by striking some of the impressive, but extraneous, features of the previous model. For example, the M2 S doesn’t have the capacity for Bluetooth camera control as does the M3, using a cable instead, although it can connect to the smartphone app wirelessly. Its screen is smaller, 0.66" as opposed to 1.22", and it does not have a touchscreen like the M3. It lacks the M3’s control wheel, instead using the joystick to point the gimbal where it needs to face. The benefit of downsizing is that the gimbal is noticeably lighter than the M3, ideal for spending the day on your feet to explore a new city or just packing your luggage for a flight.

Boosted Torque

In a major improvement from the M2, the M2 S supports a wide range of mirrorless cameras, action cams, and smartphones. For example, it can support popular camera models like the Sony a7 III, the Sony a7C, the FUJIFILM X-T30, and the Nikon Z6. It has nearly the same payload capacity as the M3.


The improved battery surpasses the M3, clocking in at 10.5 hours of run time, as opposed to the 8 hours of the higher-priced model. Its 12W PD fast-fast charging battery beats the M3 by half an hour, reaching capacity in 90 minutes.

Quick Actions

Vloggers will love the 180-degree rotation that occurs when you press the trigger three times, flipping the camera for an on-camera comment, then rotating back again. The M Button switches between modes, along with switching the gimbal to standby to conserve the battery.

Smart, Intuitive Modes

The gimbal has several smart modes based on the idea that the gimbal can either sway with you or remain focused straight ahead as you move. Pan Follow keeps the horizon level and straight ahead, whereas Follow lets you tilt down and up. Point of View mode lets you roll the world on its side by 90 degrees. Go mode keeps the horizon level, but quickly follows the handle to track a flying ball. Vortex mode enables a corkscrew rotation that is controlled by the joystick. Finally, Lock mode would let you shoot a time lapse to zoom smoothly through a hectic scene. In several of these modes, you can manually reposition the camera in your preferred orientation, hold it for two seconds, and it becomes fixed at that angle.

Fine Tuning

Set individual motor torque parameters for tilt, roll, and pan movements, as well as for follow speed, joystick control, and smoothness. With this customization, you have the capability to match the aesthetic of your film with the mood you want to create, be it frenetic or cinematic.

ZY Play

Make the most of your hardware with this app, which features fine-tuning capabilities, as well as video editing and a platform to share your creations. Firmware upgrades are accessible through its interface to keep your gimbal as up-to-date as possible.


Wired control is possible with the included cable that connects the camera to the gimbal. Losing the Bluetooth connectivity is not so disappointing when you consider the boost in battery life you get by shutting off your camera’s wireless signal. You can connect your smartphone to the gimbal via Bluetooth.

Well-Exposed Close-Ups

Its built-in LED fill light doesn’t have the bi-color control of the M3, but it does come with red, orange, blue, and yellow magnetic filters to change the temperature between cool for shade on a sunny day, or warm for sunsets and artificial lighting at night. Turn the light on and off by flipping the side toggle with your thumb.

Quick-Release Plate and Standard Tripod

Speed is of the essence when daylight is burning, and the quick-release plate enables fast battery swaps, card changes, or just the ability to switch locations at the drop of a hat. The tripod is designed to screw on and off easily, and it adds a few extra inches to the handle for selfies, high/low-angle shots, or creative camera moves. Also, the handle can be screwed in sideways to capture vertically oriented shots.


The design allows for a quick and intuitive way to balance your camera or smartphone. A one-button motor torque adjustment performs several micromovements to test the power required to pan, tilt, and roll the camera.


The gem in this bundle is the backpack—custom designed to keep your gimbal and its accessories in one safe place. Its flap configuration gives you quick access to the inside and is made of a thick, padded material. The cell phone mount is perfect for creators who want to pack light, leaving the larger camera at home. An upgraded tripod helps get those third-person shots as you record yourself in action. Altogether, you’ll save more than $50 by getting the combo, as opposed to buying each accessory individually.

Zhiyun-Tech delivers professional-grade features in this consumer-level stabilizer. Smooth footage is within reach for content creators who need to capture viewers instantaneously with engaging camera movements. Brilliantly engineered and packed with features, the Zhiyun CRANE M2 S has the power and precision to thrust your work to a higher plane.

What are you thinking of filming with this stabilizer? Let us know about the shots you have in mind in the Comments section, just below.