With mirrorless cameras taking more and more of the market share from DSLR cameras these days we have noticed a steady increase in the number of videographers reaching out about gimbals in the mirrorless camera weight class. Although we have covered a number of gimbals in the past that have been ideal for use with mirrorless cameras, we have decided to put two that we often see people asking about head to head with each other.
We have seen a few people ask for a Moza Aircross Vs Zhiyun Crane Plus comparison article and we have a bunch of spare time right now so thought that we would sit down and type up our article. Now, as you may know, the new Zhiyun Weebill Lab and DJI Ronin SC have been released onto the market recently and in our opinion, both of these options are better gimbal stabilizers for mirrorless cameras than the Aircross or the Crane Plus.
As they are newer gimbals, they have better technology and performance but on the flipside of this, they do tend to come with a higher price tag. Additionally, Zhiyun has tried something new with the design of the Weebill lab and some people seem to prefer the regular handheld gimbal design that they are used to. Due to this, we feel that both the Aircross and Crane Plus can still be solid options for mirrorless cameras as well as some lightweight DSLR setups if you are on a budget or just want to pick something up for casual use that won’t break the bank.
Now, since their release, both the Zhiyun Crane Plus and Moza Aircross have been in direct competition for the same market share targeting the mirrorless camera weightclass of videographer. Additionally the Crane Plus has a great reputation within the community but the reputation of the Moza Aircross' reputation is also solid too allows it to hold its own too. Both gimbals have also recently received a price reduction to help them stay more competitive against newer releases meaning they are both considered to be more budget-friendly mirrorless camera gimbals now too.
Last update on 2020-01-18 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Performance And Functionality
Although the Crane Plus can definatley support a large number of camera setups along with heaver camera accessories, the vast majority of popular mirrorless cameras on the market right now will be under the 3.9-pound payload limit of the Aircross. That said, if you also have a DSLR camera or plan to add a DSLR camera to your collection in the future then the Zhiyun Crane Plus is the obvious choice to future proof yourself.
Moving onto the maximum battery life of the gimbals, the Crane Plus blows the Aircross out the water again offering a maximum of eighteen hours of battery per charge over the twelve hours of the Aircross per charge. Although we would imagine that twelve hours of battery would be plenty for many people, there are some niches where you may not have access to a power outlet to recharge your get for a few days at a time.
For example, a travel vlogger friend of ours picked up the Crane Plus on release just because of its amazing maximum battery life that at the time of writing is the best available. They know that they may have to go days without access to a power outlet as they often hike to remote waterfalls and other locations for their vlogging channel. If you are in a similar niche then again, the Crane Plus is the obvious choice over the Aircross.
The actual recharge times of the cameras is pretty similar with the Crane Plus coming in with a three-hour full recharge and the Aircross coming in at four hours. That said, the Crane Plus has the shorter recharge time while also charging a much higher capacity that offers a third additional battery life.
In our opinion, Zhiyun has one of, if not the best balancing algorithm on the market right now ensuring that the gimbal is able to quickly and easily respond to any rapid movements it detects. With Zhiyuns high torque gimbal motors able to easily manage the payloads of many popular camera setups, this results in butter smooth stabilization that ensures you get excellent image quality for your video footage.
Additionally, as we mentioned, you should really be going with the Zhiyun Weebill Lab if you are wanting the best mirrorless camera weight class gimbal available right now so the Aircross and Crane Plus are more budget-friendly options. If you are on a tight budget then the lower price tag of the Aircross is its main advantage over the Crane Plus, especially when its image quality is almost as good as what the Crane Plus provides.
Both of the gimbals offer various gimbal modes too with the Crane Plus having slightly more than what the Moza Aircross supports but in reality, the modes that the Crane has over the Aircross will rarely be used if ever by most people anyway. Both of the gimbals have an excellent manual control mode that is very easy to use allowing you to capture some excellent, natural-looking footage when required too.
In our opinion, the intelligent image tracking on the Crane Plus is one of the best systems we have ever seen though and the system on the Moza can’t even compare. The video below shows just how efficient and easy to use the Zhiyun tracking technology is and it puts the Crane Plus ahead of the majority of older mirrorless camera gimbals on the market right now.
User Interface And Control System
This best of both worlds approach is used by the vast majority of modern gimbals as it opens the stabilizer up to use to the largest possible market share possible. Due to both systems being so similar we are going to score them equally as although there are a few aesthetic differences, the actual functionality of the system used on both gimbals is almost identical.
Additionally, the system on both the Crane Plus and the Aircross are just as responsive to touch when your hands are cold or wet as they are in ideal conditions. This ensures that you are able to get optimal performance from the gimbal no matter the conditions that you are recording in. The joystick system for the manual mode to control the gimbal head is also smooth and responsive ensuring precise and accurate movements too.
Due to both the Zhiyun Weebill Lab and the Zhiyun Crane 3 requiring the Zhiyun smartphone app for some core functionality, Zhiyun have totally overhauled their smartphone app recently bringing it up to par with the Moza app. This overhaul of the app has corrected the connectivity issues that it was having in the old versions as well as made the user interface smoother and easier to navigate.
Although both of the gimbals manual control systems allow you to tweak the settings on the gimbal, the smartphone app for each respective gimbal allows you to do it within seconds rather than minutes. If you are doing any type of paid client work and you know you will be switching your gimbal settings up throughout the session then this can actually end up saving you a surprising amount of time.
Additionally, both apps also offer some wireless remote control functionality too but the usefulness of this will depend more on the niche that you are working in and what you are wanting to use your gimbal for. Again, we are going to rate both the Moza app and the Zhiyun app as tied equally as there really isn’t much between them regarding the gimbals in question.
Now, balancing is probably the main thing that any new potential gimbal owner worries about and both gimbals have a pretty solid and easy to do balancing process. That said though, we feel that the balancing process on the Zhiyun Crane Plus edges out just ahead of the one on the Moza Aircross and is more forgiving to anyone who has never used a gimbal before.
The additional load capacity capability on the Crane Plus is more forgiving if you are using a lighter camera and ensures that the gimbal motors are still able to do a solid job of providing your with image stabilization even if the gimbal is not balanced perfectly. Both gimbals come with their respective balancing process covered clearly in their user manuals and both have a number of tutorials on YouTube too.
Build Quality And Design
Now, build quality is one of the areas where the Moza Aircross has advantages over the Crane Plus. Although both gimbals are robust and lightweight, we feel that the Aircross has the advantage as its build quality feels solid while also being a little lighter than the Crane Plus. Now, there are a small number of videography niches where this could push the Aircross out ahead of the Crane Plus but in general, the actual performance and image stabilization of a gimbal is the area most people care about where the Zhiyun Crane Plus dominates.
Another area where we are going to have to tie the two gimbals is on their handle. Although it may seem like such a small detail, the handle of a gimbal can be incredibly important as you may have to hold it for extended periods of time with a tight grip during use. Thankfully, unlike some of the competing brands on the market, both of the gimbals have a very comfortable handle that will help prevent your hand from cramping when using the gimbal.
That concludes our ultimate Moza Aircross Vs Zhiyun Crane Plus comparison article and as we mentioned back at the start of the article, in our opinion at least, the Zhiyun Weebill Lab or the DJI Ronin SC is a better option than either of these two featured gimbals due to them having the latest technology and better performance. That said though, the Crane Plus and the Aircross are cheaper and essentially serve as an entry-level gimbal in the mirrorless camera weight class so still have their place.
In our opinion, the Zhiyun Crane Plus is the better option and will serve the majority of people much better than adding the Moza Aircross to your camera accessories could. It offers superior performance that can help improve your image quality via its better image stabilization making it the better option in our opinion.
Additionally, the Zhiyun Crane Plus has a number of additional independent reviews online that you can read if you wish. They offer an external, third-party insight into the performance of the gimbal from people who are using the Crane Plus as their go-to gimbal stabilizer of choice so if you have the time available, we would highly recommend that you check them out.