This DJI RSC 2 competitor is less expensive, lighter, and sturdy enough to be used for full-frame filming.

Despite its compact size and affordable price (US$269 / £259, approximately AU$470), the Crane-M2S includes a number of useful features that are not present on the Crane-M2, such as the ability to charge the gimbal while you’re filming, a built-in fill light for illuminating subjects, Zhiyun’s latest Quick Release 4.0 system, and significantly longer battery life. Despite its size and attractive price (US$269

The battery life is rated at 10 hours, which is somewhat less than the 14 hours you’d get with the DJI RSC 2, but still plenty for the majority of sessions. Aside from that, according to Zhiyun, the support for USB Power Delivery fast-charging implies that the battery can be recharged in around 100 minutes.

Because the Crane-M2S can be used with a smartphone or action camera, it is quickly becoming a popular choice among mobile filmmakers. You can purchase the gimbal right now in two configurations: a regular bundle (US$269 / £259, approximately AU$470) and a Combo option (US$349 / £329, approximately AU$595), which includes a bespoke gimbal bag.

Smoothing out the rough edges? 

Because they assist to eliminate unwanted shaking or wobble from your videos, gimbals have become more popular among YouTubers and vloggers who want to improve the overall quality of their video productions. In addition, while Zhiyun isn’t quite as well-known as DJI in the drone industry, the Chinese company isn’t far behind – notably with options like the Crane-M2S (see below).

While we’ve found Zhiyun’s gimbals to be reliable in the past, we’ve had some concerns about their usability – both in terms of the time-consuming setup and balancing procedure, as well as the associated applications. When we tested the Zhiyun Smooth Q3, we found that the interface was not quite as straightforward as the DJI Mimo app and that several functionalities were hidden behind a paid-for membership barrier.

Fortunately, the Crane-M2S looks to solve those concerns, notably with its new fast-release plate, which should make balancing and adding extra cameras much easier than they were previously. It should be a little more approachable for novices if you combine this with other quality-of-life improvements like the built-in fill light (which can create up to 1,000 lumens of light) and the rapid charging.

The DJI RSC 2 continues to be a more capable alternative for professional videographers, and we appreciate its folding style and accompanying app. It is shaping up to be a more economical alternative for individuals who use tiny mirrorless cameras or full-frame cameras with compact prime lenses, as well as those who use full-frame cameras with larger prime lenses.

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