In the ever-increasing competition of the videography and vlogging spaces, we are seeing more and more people reaching out for advice on various handheld gimbal stabilizers. Due to the recent price reductions, we have noticed an increase in the number of people asking for a dedicated Zhiyun Crane 2 vs Weebill Lab comparison article. Due to this, we have decided to focus on these two solid Zhiyun gimbals for today’s article to try and help as many of our readers as possible. They are both very popular so we would imagine a number of our readers are interested in adding either of them to their collection of camera accessories.
Before going any further into our comparison between the Crane 2 and Weebill Lab, we just want to quickly mention that the newer Zhiyun Weebill S has now been released and is a better option than both of the featured gimbals. The Weebill S is the successor to the Weebill Lab and the Weebill Lab is, in turn, a sort of pseudo successor to the Crane 2. If you are a professional level videographer or an established vlogger then the Weebill S will make a better addition to your camera accessories than the two featured gimbals.
On the flip side of this though, although the Crane 2 has been kept with the same price tag, the Weebill Lab has received a price reduction from Zhiyun since the release of the Weebill S to keep it competitive. In our opinion, at the time of writing at least, this makes the Weebill Lab one of the best cheap handheld gimbal stabilizers available on the market right now by a long shot. Compeating units like the DJI Ronin SC are much more expensive and essentially left for dust due to the superior performance and much lower price tag of the Zhiyun Weebill Lab.
Now, our regular readers will know, we have our comparison table below that goes over the main features of each gimbal with a short break down just below for any of our readers who are short on time. After the comparison table, we will be taking a more in-depth look at both of the gimbals for those of our readers who prefer to know as much as possible about any new potential addition to their camera accessories. We feel that this is the best way to cover comparison content and help our readers who are short on time as well as those who have more free time and want to know as much as possible.
Last update on 2020-01-20 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Our comparison table above shows the key features that most people care about when looking at any new potential gimbal. As you can see, the Zhiyun Crane 2 does have a few advantages going for itself over the Zhiyun Weebill Lab but the Weebill Lab is our primary recommendation out of the two for our readers. In our opinion, its lower price tag, smaller size, and lighter weight beat out the slightly higher load capacity of the Crane 2.
Additionally, more and more videographers are adding USB power banks to their collections to recharge their devices while out and about. This negates the advantage of the Crane 2 having a longer battery life than the Weebill Lab. This is why, in our opinion, the Weebill Lab is a much better addition to your collection of camera accessories than the Crane 2 as both gimbals provide similar levels of image stabilization.
On top of this, the Weebill Lab is probably the fastest-growing gimbal stabilizer available at the time of writing with its customer base growing at an exponential rate compared to the other gimbals. Since its release, it has managed to earn itself an excellent reputation amongst the community that just keeps on getting better and better. That said though, the Crane 2 has also managed to earn a great reputation for itself amongst the community but it has been available much longer than the Weebill Lab to grow its customer base and build its reputation.
Throughout the rest of our article, we will be taking a more in-depth look at the various features of both the Weebill Lab and Crane 2 to try and explain why we feel that the Weebill Lab should be your primary consideration between the two featured gimbals. Again though, unless you are on a tight budget, you should seriously be considering the Weebill S over the two featured gimbal stabilizers.
Performance And Functionality
As we mentioned earlier in the article, the Crane 2 does have a slightly higher maximum load capacity coming in at around seven pounds of total payload weight to the Weebill Labs 6.6 pounds. In the grand scheme of things, the additional 0.4 pounds of camera rig payload that the Crane 2 can support is massively outweighed by the other advantages that the Weebill Lab provides you as well as its lower price tag saving you almost one hundred dollars.
Both of the featured gimbals have the maximum load capacity available to support everything from a point and shoot camera to the vast majority of mirrorless camera rigs as well as a number of popular light to mid-range DSLR camera setups too. With both gimbals coming from the world-renowned Zhiyun brand, one of the leading gimbal manufacturers going, it should be obvious that both gimbals also offer butter-smooth image stabilization all the way up to their maximum load capacities too.
Even in this day and age, with more recent gimbals than the Crane 2 and Weebill Lab, rival brands have issues with vibrations spoiling their gimbals. The latest AK range from Feiyutech, for example, is having an absolute ton of issues even though all of the technology in the gimbal is newer than what each of our featured gimbals has. It just goes to show how far excellent planning and the wealth of experience in the game space that Zhiyun has built up over the last decade can make for the end product.
Moving on to the maximum battery life of the gimbals and this is another area where, on paper at least, the Crane 2 has the Weebill Lab beaten with its eighteen hours of maximum battery life to the Weebill Labs ten hours. We would imagine that the vast majority of the people reading this and considering purchasing either of these articles will be able to capture all the video footage they need within ten hours before recharging their gimbal anyway.
In addition to this, as we touched on earlier in the article, if you are working in a niche where you may not be able to recharge your gear at the end of the day such as remote wildlife videography or travel vlogging, chances are that you will be using a high power USB power bank to recharge your devices anyway. This further reduces the actual usability of the massive maximum battery life of the Crane 2 allowing you to go with the smaller, cheaper, and lighter Weebill Lab instead.
The Zhiyun Weebill Lab takes just over four hours to recharge from an empty battery back to full while the Zhiyun Crane 2 takes just under four hours so they are relatively close to each other when it comes to recharging times. Just keep in mind that these times are for a regular, wall-based power socket and recharge times from a power bank will depend on the output levels of the USB power bank you invest in.
The clips are extremely smooth and professional looking with some of the best image quality that you are going to get from a gimbal in this price range with this level of image stabilization and general performance. In our opinion, this excellent performance at such a low price bracket is the main reason that the Weebill Lab is seeing so much exponential growth in its customer base while earning so many excellent reviews from the independent videographers and vloggers who are using it as their go to gimbal.
User Interface And Control System
The image above shows the control system for the Weebill Lab but the system on the Crane 2 is very similar other than the fact that the smartphone mount will not connect to the Crane 2. As you can see, the systems are based around the regular control interface of an LCD panel, a few buttons, and a joystick just like the vast majority of other popular moderns gimbals on the market right now.
The control systems on both of these featured gimbals are very easy to learn so if this will be your very first 3 axis gimbal stabilizer then there is no need to worry. We have seen countless videographers reaching out about how you actually use the gimbals but the whole process has come on a long way over the last three to five years and they are very user-friendly these days. This means that an entry-level videography can easily get to grips with any modern gimbal within minutes and get out and about capturing their video footage as they need without having to waste a whole bunch of time.
If you are an advanced videographer or vlogger with prior experience using a gimbal then the system on both the Crane 2 and the Weebill Lab will be familiar to you. In addition to being very user friendly for the entry-level videographer, the interface also offers a ton of advanced functionality to ensure an advanced user can get everything they need out of the gimbals too.
The joysticks on both of the gimbals are very responsive and offer the user excellent control over the gimbal head for manual control. This allows you to naturally pan your gimbal when capturing your video footage without having that slightly robotic feel that gimbals can have when compared to the manual Steadicam style stabilizers. This essentially brings modern gimbals up to par with the manual style stabilizers with their only remaining advantage, their natural-looking panning while also providing you with all of the benefits of a motorized gimbal at the same time.
Both gimbals support the wireless remote control setting on the app allowing you to control the head of the gimbal remotely via your phone when needed. This can be great for something like wedding videography if you want to place your gimbal near the alter then control it via your phone during the vows so you are not interrupting the ceremony. The remote control system is very simple to set up and the apps easy navigation allows you to do it within seconds too.
The other main feature that both of the featured gimbals also support on the app is the ability to quickly and easily tweak your settings to meet the needs of your session as required. Although the majority of videographers and vloggers will never need to tweak the settings on their Zhiyun Crane 2 or Zhiyun Weebill Lab, there are a small number of people who do like to do so and it is much quicker and easier to do it via the app.
Build Quality And Design
The actual build quality of both gimbals is very robust meaning that they are definatley tough enough to take a fair few bumps without showing the signs or lowering their performance. Another area where the Weebill Lab beats the Crane 2 is in its net weight with the Lab coming in at 2.14 pounds while the Crane 2 comes in at 2.76 pounds. Although this may not seem like much, if you are holding the weight of your gimbal plus your camera rig for a long period of time you will soon notice the difference. Additionally, if you are working in a niche where you will be traveling around on a plane on a regular basis the lightweight makes your life much easier.
Next up we have the actual dimensions of the gimbal and again, the Weebill Lab coming in at only 11.8 x 7.5 x 2.8 inches smashes the Crane 2 that is 23 x 12 x 6 inches. The small, compact design of the Weebill Lab scores it a ton of points in our opinion, especially if you do travel around on a plane on a regular basis as you can easily add it to your bag without it taking up much space at all.
That brings our article going over our ultimate Zhiyun Crane 2 vs Weebill Lab comparison to an end but just like we mentioned back at the start of the article, we would highly recommend that you seriously consider the new Zhiyun Weebill S over both of the featured gimbals. It offers the best performance out of a gimbal to date and builds on pretty much all areas of the original Weebill Lab too.
The Weebill S is going from strength to strength with each passing month and has managed to earn a large customer base and an absolute ton of glowing reviews from third party, independent videographers who use it. On top of this, we also have our own, dedicated Weebill S review that you can check out if you wish for more information.
Our of the two featured gimbals, we would highly recommend that you go with the Weebill Lab over the Crane 2 as it is just a much better gimbal in general in our opinion. Throughout the article, we have gone over the areas where each gimbal is stronger than the other and as we have explained, the advantages of the Crane 2 are not as useful as they appear on paper whereas the advantages of the Weebill Lab are much more practical and it also has the lower price tag too.
As we touched on above, the Weebill Lab has one of the fastest-growing customer bases at the time of writing due to it just having received a price reduction from Zhiyun due to the release of the Weebill S. Many of the people adding the Weebill Lab to their collection of camera accessories have chosen to post their own, independent reviews of them gimbal that offer some great insight into it too. On top of this, we also have our own, dedicated review of the Weebill Lab that might be helpful too.