The Best Gimbal For Sony A6500 Cameras!

Zhiyun Crane Plus Zhiyun Crane V2 Upgrade Version in 2018 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer 5.5lb Payload FPV Mode Intelligent Object Tracking Motion Memory Nightlapse

The Sony Alpha mirrolress camera range is a very popular camera line with many photographers and videographers picking up a Sony Alpha camera leading to it having a massive core customer base that only keeps growing. As with any product that has a large customer base, we often see people reaching out about the best accessories on the market to help videographers and photographers improve their image quality during their sessions.

Due to this, for today’s article, we are going to be going over what we feel is the best gimbal for Sony a6500 cameras on the market right now. We have chosen to feature three different gimbals that are all popular within the community and each of them have their own strengths and weaknesses. We have our usual comparison table below that shows a quick and easy comparison of each of the gimbals and just below that we have a brief overview of what each of the gimbals are able to offer you. For the remainder of the article, we have our deep dives into each of the gimbals going over them in-depth for those of you who have the free time to read more about each of the stabilizers.

Comparison Table

Product
Our Recommendation!
Zhiyun Crane Plus
DJI Ronin SC
Feiyutech AK2000
Image
Zhiyun Crane Plus Zhiyun Crane V2 Upgrade Version in 2018 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer 5.5lb Payload FPV Mode Intelligent Object Tracking Motion Memory Nightlapse
DJI Ronin-SC 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer
FeiyuTech Feiyu AK2000 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer with LCD Touch Panel Compatible with Canon/Panasonic/Sony/Nikon Cameras, 12H Runtime, MAX Payload 2.8KG, M4 Kernel MCU, WiFi Bluetooth Dual Mod
Maximum Load Capacity
5.5 Pounds
4.4 Pounds
6.17 Pounds
Battery Life
12-18 Hours
11 Hours
8-12 Hours
Charging Time
3 Hours
2.5 Hours
5+ Hours
Prime Delivary
Smartphone App
Our Rating
Zhiyun Crane Plus Zhiyun Crane V2 Upgrade Version in 2018 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer 5.5lb Payload FPV Mode Intelligent Object Tracking Motion Memory Nightlapse
DJI Ronin-SC 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer
FeiyuTech Feiyu AK2000 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer with LCD Touch Panel Compatible with Canon/Panasonic/Sony/Nikon Cameras, 12H Runtime, MAX Payload 2.8KG, M4 Kernel MCU, WiFi Bluetooth Dual Mod
Our Comments
An excellent gimbal that is perfect for use with cameras of this weight.
Another solid gimbal that only just loses out to the Zhiyun Crane Plus.
A little clunky and has some common bugs and faults that are a pain.
Price
$369.00
$439.00
$379.00
Our Recommendation!
Product
Zhiyun Crane Plus
Image
Zhiyun Crane Plus Zhiyun Crane V2 Upgrade Version in 2018 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer 5.5lb Payload FPV Mode Intelligent Object Tracking Motion Memory Nightlapse
Maximum Load Capacity
5.5 Pounds
Battery Life
12-18 Hours
Charging Time
3 Hours
Prime Delivary
Smartphone App
Our Rating
Zhiyun Crane Plus Zhiyun Crane V2 Upgrade Version in 2018 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer 5.5lb Payload FPV Mode Intelligent Object Tracking Motion Memory Nightlapse
Our Comments
An excellent gimbal that is perfect for use with cameras of this weight.
Price
$369.00
Buy Now
Product
DJI Ronin SC
Image
DJI Ronin-SC 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer
Maximum Load Capacity
4.4 Pounds
Battery Life
11 Hours
Charging Time
2.5 Hours
Prime Delivary
Smartphone App
Our Rating
DJI Ronin-SC 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer
Our Comments
Another solid gimbal that only just loses out to the Zhiyun Crane Plus.
Price
$439.00
Buy Now
Product
Feiyutech AK2000
Image
FeiyuTech Feiyu AK2000 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer with LCD Touch Panel Compatible with Canon/Panasonic/Sony/Nikon Cameras, 12H Runtime, MAX Payload 2.8KG, M4 Kernel MCU, WiFi Bluetooth Dual Mod
Maximum Load Capacity
6.17 Pounds
Battery Life
8-12 Hours
Charging Time
5+ Hours
Prime Delivary
Smartphone App
Our Rating
FeiyuTech Feiyu AK2000 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer with LCD Touch Panel Compatible with Canon/Panasonic/Sony/Nikon Cameras, 12H Runtime, MAX Payload 2.8KG, M4 Kernel MCU, WiFi Bluetooth Dual Mod
Our Comments
A little clunky and has some common bugs and faults that are a pain.
Price
$379.00
Buy Now

Last update on 2019-11-19 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

As you can see, the Zhiyun Crane Plus comes out on top and is our primary gimbal recommendation for anyone who uses a Sony a6500 as their camera of choice. In our opinion, the Crane Plus is the king of the mirrorless camera gimbal market and it makes a great general-purpose gimbal for this weight class of camera and it has proven to be a big hit with the community since its release.

Coming in as a very close second to the Crane Plus is the DJI Ronin SC that is the newest of the three featured gimbals and is quickly establishing itself as a leading gimbal for mirrorless cameras. The Ronin SC’s big brother, the DJI Ronin S dominates the DSLR camera market and DJI wanted to launch a strong contender for the mirrorless camera market. Although the SC is an excellent gimbal, we feel that the Crane Plus pulls out ahead of it and is a better overall addition to your Sony a6500 camera accessories.

The final gimbal that we are featuring for the a6500 is the Feiyutech AK2000. Now, we have made no secret of the fact that we are not big fans of this gimbal, it still has a large customer base of videographers who use it as their go-to gimbal of choice and seem to love it. That said, it does have a few issues that hold it back making the two gimbals above much better options in our opinion.

The Zhiyun Crane Plus

Zhiyun Crane Plus Zhiyun Crane V2 Upgrade Version in 2018 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer 5.5lb Payload FPV Mode Intelligent Object Tracking Motion Memory Nightlapse

With all of the above covered, let’s get started with our first deep dive into our featured gimbals and as the Zhiyun Crane Plus is our primary recommendation, we may well get used to that. As the older Zhiyun Crane v2 was the previous dominant handheld gimbal for mirrorless cameras like your Sony a6500, Zhiyun decided that it was overdue an update as some competing brands were starting to catch up. They called on all of the experience that they have gained from their other previous gimbal stabilizers that have also been very successful and produced the Crane Plus.

Now, it should be no surprise that due to the excellent reputation of Zhiyun and their gimbals, there was a ton of hype around the launch of the Crane Plus and we are happy to report that it has definitely managed to live up to the expectations of the community. Since its launch, the Crane Plus just keeps going from strength to strength each month as its customer base grows and more people start recommending the gimbal to their friends.

It offers you some excellent levels of image stabilization, its build quality it great, it is very easy to use, and it also has an outstanding reputation within the community that is only getting stronger. There are also plenty of other Sony a6500 owners who use it as their go to gimbal of choice and are happy with its performance.

Performance And Functionality

Zhiyun Crane Plus Zhiyun Crane V2 Upgrade Version in 2018 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer 5.5lb Payload FPV Mode Intelligent Object Tracking Motion Memory Nightlapse
As your Sony a6500 camera body comes in at around one pound of body weight, the Crane Plus is easily able to support it with its maximum load capacity of 5.5 pounds. This leaves around 4.5 pounds of spare weight available for popular camera accessories such as your lens, a video light, an external microphone or anything else that you like to use. Off the top of our heads, we are unable to think of any a6500 camera setup that will need more load capacity on a gimbal so you should be covered for pretty much any set up you use.

With such a light camera body, you can also expect the handheld gimbal to provide its advertised eighteen hours of battery life each time you charge it too. This should be plenty of juice to meet your needs and ensure that you are able to stay out and about capturing the footage that you require for as long as needed each day. You can then recharge the gimbal back to full at night while you sleep and its quick charge feature means that a mains power outlet will charge the gimbal in as little as three hours!

Now, the video footage above was actually captured using the Sony a6300 rather than the Sony a6500 but the camera was mounted on the Zhiyun Crane Plus and gives you some great sample footage that has plenty of examples of just how well this gimbal can perform for you. You can see how smooth and effortless the gimbals image stabilization is and gives you an idea of what you will be able to capture when you mount your a6500 to it.

Although a few years back, the Glidecam range was pretty much the undisputed king of that natural look and feel for your footage when you panned left or right while recording, modern electronic gimbals like the Crane Plus have quickly over taken them. The manual mode and point of view mode on the Crane Plus is excellent and allows you to easily capture some excellent natural-looking video footage when panning that does not have that robotic feel to it either.

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User Interface And Control System

Zhiyun Crane Plus Zhiyun Crane V2 Upgrade Version in 2018 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer 5.5lb Payload FPV Mode Intelligent Object Tracking Motion Memory Nightlapse
The control interface for the handheld gimbal is shown in the image above and if you have used any other Zhiyun gimbals it will be very similar to what you have used previously. Both Zhiyun and DJI have mastered the art of producing control systems for their gimbals that are very easy to use for first-time gimbal buyers while also having the customization and advanced featured that a professional level videographer will need.

The Crane Plus is no different and no matter what your level of experience is using a 3 axis gimbal stabilizer, we are confident that you will be able to get it working right out the box without running into any issues. The joystick is very responsive too and keeps the same level of sensitivity during use even when your thumb is cold or wet and we love this as a nice little added upgrade over the Crane v2.

The Smartphone App

Zhiyun Crane Plus Zhiyun Crane V2 Upgrade Version in 2018 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer 5.5lb Payload FPV Mode Intelligent Object Tracking Motion Memory Nightlapse
Thankfully, Zhiyun are putting more work into their smartphone app as app usage for gimbals is steadily increasing and the Zhiyun smartphone app was definatley lagging behind the DJI app. Now, although they are releasing upgrades that are fixing a number of the issues the Zhiyun app has, there are still a few random connectivity issues and we feel the actual navigation menu needs cleaning up as it is a little confusing to understand until you have used it a few times. That said though, it gets the job done and performs well.

Build Quality And Design

Zhiyun Crane Plus Zhiyun Crane V2 Upgrade Version in 2018 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer 5.5lb Payload FPV Mode Intelligent Object Tracking Motion Memory Nightlapse
As we touched upon earlier in the article, the Zhiyun Crane Plus is essentially all of the knowledge, experience, and feedback that Zhiyun has gained over the years all compounded into this one gimbal. They always slightly tweak their gimbal designs with each new generation as they take feedback onboard from their users and this helps evolved the Crane range into the absolute beats that it is today.

Zhiyun have also done a great job on the build quality of the gimbal too and it is pretty lightweight when you consider the weight of some of the other popular gimbals on the market right now. This ensures that you can hold the gimbal for hours at a time if needed when out and about on your videography jobs without getting any aches or pains. If you are a wedding videographer or anything like that where the event can go on for hours this can be a great feature.

Additionally, the Crane Plus has also had some upgrades when it comes to the materials that the gimbal uses to help increase how robust it is. It can take plenty of little bumps and knocks during use and not be phased by them.

Our Verdict

It wouldent be our primary gimbal for your Sony a6500 is we didnt think that the Zhiyun Crane Plus was an excellent bit of kit but dont just take out word for it. All of these independent third-party reviews of the gimbal have been left by other videographers who use it as their go to gimbal of choice for their cameras. They offer some great insight into the performance of the gimbal and exactly what you can expect from it if you choose to add it to your collection of a6500 camera accessories.

If you would like more information on the Crane Plus then our dedicated review of the gimbal goes into much more detail than we could in this article. We go into the various updated and overhauled gimbal modes as well as a number of other things so it may be worth reading.

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The DJI Ronin SC

DJI Ronin-SC 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

As we mentioned back at the top of the article, we consider the DJI Ronin SC to be a very close second in the race to be the best gimbal for Sony a6500 cameras. DJI has managed to do an excellent job of putting the SC together and although it has only been available for a few months at the time of writing, it is quickly growing a large customer base and earning a great reputation for itself.

Now, we do feel that the Ronin SC is very close to being the perfect gimbal for any mirrorless camera but in our opinion, the Zhiyun Crane Plus has three main advantages and that is why we placed the Ronin SC as our second option. The Crane Plus is cheaper, has a higher load capacity, and a longer battery life. In our experience, these are usually the three main factors that videographers look for in a gimbal in addition to the performance of the gimbal and both the Crane Plus and Ronin SC have almost identical performance to each other.

Performance And Functionality

DJI Ronin-SC 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer
The DJI Ronin SC is able to support Sony a6500 setups going as high as its 4.4-pound maximum load capacity, over a pound lower than what the Zhiyun Crane Plus is able offer you. That said, we do know a few DJI purists who just prefer the majority of their kit that can be DJI, to be DJI rather than using other brands. Although the Ronin SC does have a lower load capacity, we feel that it should still be able to support the majority of the common Sony a6500 setups due to it being such a lightweight camera.

The Ronin SC is able to support up to eleven hours of battery life for each full charge of the gimbals and this is a pretty consistent battery life for it no matter how much of the available load capacity you use up. Again though, the Crane Plus can offer up to eighteen hours of battery so its another area where it has the Ronin SC beat. Although the charging time of the Ronin SC comes in at around half an hour shorter than the Crane Plus, that additional thirty minutes gets you an additional eleven hours of battery life.

The clips above show off just what the DJI Ronin SC is able to provide you and your Sony a6500. You can see how smooth the footage is when you mount your camera rig to the handheld gimbal stabilizer and how professional the clips look. The various gimbal modes on the Ronin SC are second to none though with many of them being slightly better than what the Crane Plus is able to provide you with.

For example, the smart tracking feature on both the Crane Plus and the Ronin SC are excellent but in our opinion, the DJI tech is better and much easier to use too. The motion memory feature on the Ronin SC is also better in our opinion too with modes such as the point of view and manual modes being able to go either way for either gimbal depending on what you are going to be using it for.

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User Interface And Control System

DJI Ronin-SC 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer
As you can see from the image above, the Ronin SC also uses a solid little control system that is very easy to learn, you can literally get the gimbal out the box and get it working efficiently even if this is the first gimbal that you have ever used. The control interface and smartphone app for the Ronin SC also ensure that even a professional level videographer is able to get everything out of the Ronin SC that they need.

The Smartphone App

DJI Ronin-SC 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer
As we just mentioned, the DJI smartphone app offers you so much additional functionality and unlike many of the other smartphone apps from other brands on the market, the DJI smartphone app actually works. It can sync to your gimbal within seconds and does not have any issues with any random disconnects either. Another thing that we would like to say is that the design of the app is much better than what the other brands offer, it is very easy to learn and you can navigate it without issue allowing you to quickly and easily tweak settings as required.

Build Quality And Design

DJI Ronin-SC 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer
The design of the Ronin SC is very similar to that of the DJI Ronin S that has proven to be very popular within the DSLR camera owning community. DJI have essentially built on the feedback that they have received from their Ronin S users to make the Ronin SC as best as they can. When it comes to the build quality of the gimbal it is an excellent bit of kit, DJI has ensured that it is really lightweight, tough, and offers your camera a full range of motion with the best image stabilization possible even with heavy lenses.

Our Verdict

Like we said, the DJI Ronin SC is an excellnt bit of kit and you can read a bunch of independent reviews from videographers who own it. On the flip side of this though, like we mentioned at the start of this section, the Zhiyun Crane Plus is not only a cheaper gimbal, but it offers very similar levels of performance, a large load capacity, and a longer battery life. In our opinion, we would recommend you take the Crane Plus over the Ronin SC.

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The Feiyutech AK2000

FeiyuTech Feiyu AK2000 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer with LCD Touch Panel Compatible with Canon/Panasonic/Sony/Nikon Cameras, 12H Runtime, MAX Payload 2.8KG, M4 Kernel MCU, WiFi Bluetooth Dual Mod

The final gimbal that we are going to be featuring for your Sony a6500 is the Feiyutech AK2000 that has a pretty large customer base considering how many issues the gimbal actually has. We will be covering each of these issues in this section but despite the fact we are not big fans of the AK2000, it has managed to grow a decent reputation within the community amongst videographers so it may be a gimbal that you want to consider picking up.

It is a modern gimbal from the same generation as the two gimbals covered above and it also has a bunch of the latest gimbal technology in it to try and offer the best image stabilization possible for your Sony a6500. The problems the gimbal does have are also well documented and Feiyutech do seem to be doing their best to fix the issues of the gimbal too. All this said, as we would recommend either of the gimbals covered earlier in the article over the AK2000, we will just be skimming over this section of our article.

Performance And Functionality

FeiyuTech Feiyu AK2000 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer with LCD Touch Panel Compatible with Canon/Panasonic/Sony/Nikon Cameras, 12H Runtime, MAX Payload 2.8KG, M4 Kernel MCU, WiFi Bluetooth Dual Mod
Let’s start off with the positive side of the gimbal, it has the largest payload potential of the three featured gimbals coming in with a payload of 6.17 pounds. Additionally, it also has a respectable battery life of around twelve hours but the recharging of the gimbal can be very hit and miss. The official recharging time is listed as “Over Five Hours” and the gimbal just seems to randomly decide its recharging time from between five and seven hours.

Now, onto the negatives with the performance of the gimbal. The first one is that the head of the gimbal can randomly start to vibrate during use and this is a confirmed fault with the design of the gimbal and has been diagnosed to be with the hardware the gimbal uses. If this was down to a software issue, Feiyutech would be able to just patch it with a software update, due to it being with the hardware, you have to fix the issue yourself and at this price tag, we feel this should not be something you have to do.

The next issue with the performance of the handheld gimbal is that if you are trying to do any timelapse based work and you use the gimbal in smooth mode, your time-lapse will essentially be ruined due to the gimbal having a bug where it will slowly pan. As this one is down to a problem with the software of the gimbal, we are hoping the Feiyutech can patch it and fix the issue soon.

User Interface And Control System

FeiyuTech Feiyu AK2000 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer with LCD Touch Panel Compatible with Canon/Panasonic/Sony/Nikon Cameras, 12H Runtime, MAX Payload 2.8KG, M4 Kernel MCU, WiFi Bluetooth Dual Mod
We actually like the control interface of the Feiyutech AK2000 with its touchscreen interface we feel that Feiyutech were close to leading the way if it wasn’t for all these other issues with the gimbal. We feel that in the next two to three years, all the major gimbals on the market will be using a touch screen interface.

Build Quality And Design

FeiyuTech Feiyu AK2000 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer with LCD Touch Panel Compatible with Canon/Panasonic/Sony/Nikon Cameras, 12H Runtime, MAX Payload 2.8KG, M4 Kernel MCU, WiFi Bluetooth Dual Mod
Now, the final issue with the AK2000 that we want to mention is a problem with the build quality of the gimbal but it actually impacts the performance of the gimbal too. The grip on the gimbals handle is not permanently fixed like with the grips on the other gimbals above. During use with a heavy camera setup, the grip of the handle starts to slide up the handle and eventually starts touching the buttons on the control panel.

This can then cause your gimbal to randomly tilt or pan during use and ruin your video footage as the grip presses the buttons on the control panel of the gimbal. Now, as you can imagine, with the other issues that this gimbal has, this is the last thing it needs but like we said, the AK2000 still has a large number of users even with all of these problems.

Our Verdict

Like we mentioned back at the start, we would recommend that you take the Zhiyun Crane Plus or the DJI Ronin SC over the AK2000 as we feel that they are better additions to your camera accessories for your Sony a6500.

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