Since its release, the Zhuyun Crane M2 has proven to be a hit within the community due to it being such a great handheld gimbal stabilizer for use with a number of popular point and shoot cameras. As we are writing this article a few weeks after the gimbal released on to the market, we are constantly seeing people reaching out to ask about how they can best set up the Crane M2 without wasting their time of having any problems.
Now, it seems that the main issue with the Crane M2 is that it is designed to work with a large number of entry-level cameras meaning many of the people purchasing the M2 are first-time gimbal owners. As it is an expensive bit of kit when it comes to entry-level videography, I’m sure we can all appreciate the worries first-time gimbal owners may be having when it comes to the initial set up of their new gadget.
That said, Zhuyun has learned an absolute ton over the last few years with the massive success of the majority of their gimbal range. This has provided them with plenty of feedback to give then ideas on how they are able to make the initial setup processes for their 3 axis gimbals as simple as possible.
Prepping Your Set-Up
Thankfully, everything that you need for your initial set up of your new Crane M2 is all included in the box with your actual purchase of the gimbal. All accessories included in the standard pack for the M2 are shown in the image above but some of them are not needed for the initial set up.
Anyway, you can make your life much easier by prepping an area for your set up before you get started. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just lay all of the items out in a clear area where you can clearly see them to recognize what’s what and pick it up when required.
Let’s Get Going
First things first, we like to hold the actual Crane M2 in our none dominant hand as this allows us to quickly and easily screw on the included mini tripod feet to the base of the gimbal with our dominant hand. The mounting thread on the gimbal is made from metal so it is easy for you to screw your feet to the gimbal handle without having to worry about you accidentally cross-threading the mounting screw.
Now that the tripod feet are mounted to the bottom of the gimbal handle, we like to open out the feet and stand the gimbal stabilizer upright as we feel it makes the process that little bit easier. If you are doing your setup on an uneven surface then it may be a better idea for just keep the gimbal laying down horizontally.
The next step is to mount the quick release plate of the M2 to your camera body of choice. This seems to be one of the areas that people don’t like if they are an entry-level photographer or videographer who haven’t had a chance to work with gimbals or tripods before but it really is very easy to do.
Again, we prefer to hold the camera body in our none dominant hand so we can use our dominant hand to hold, mount, and secure the quick release plate to the camera body. Simply line it up to the mounting thread on the base of your camera and screw it into place. Once the quick release plate is mounted give it is little share to ensure that it is actually mounted correctly and won’t fall off during use.
Once checked, slide your camera body onto the gimbal via the quick release plate ensuring that the plate is lined up with the receiver on the gimbal to ensure that it mounts correctly. One the camera body is in place, activate the locking system for the plate to ensure that it is securely held there. That completes the actual mounting of your camera and next up you have to balance your gimbal.
The balancing procedure for the M2 is the easiest of all of the Zhuyun gimbals released to date. Although there are a few ways you are able to do it, we usually go roll motor, up and down, front and back, and finally the pan motor. If you are new to using a gimbal that may sound a little intimidating but thankfully, there are a bunch of dedicated videos on sites like YouTube specifically going over how you are able to balance your Crane M2 that you can watch.
The final thing to do it to power the gimbal up and let the motors kick in to accept the weight of your camera body and start to provide you with the image stabilization that Zhuyun gimbals are famous for. Once the gimbal is powered up and supporting your camera weight, we would recommend that you do a few quick movements to ensure that the gimbal is working correctly and balancing your camera as expected.
Wrapping It All Up
We hope that you have found this article helpful and that we were able to help you get your Crane M2 balanced. The first few times that you go through this process it is natural to take a little extra time to ensure that you are doing all of the steps correctly. That said though after you have done it a few times the speed that you can do your initial setups will come down and you will be able to knock it out within a minute.