We have seen a number of people who own various Zhiyun gimbals asking for help when dealing with various overheating issues in their gimbal. Thankfully, the three main reasons that the Zhiyun gimbal can overheat are down to user error and not the actual gimbal so they can quickly be fixed. In addition to these two main reasons, there are also two other reasons that are less likely to occur but will probably need professional help or assistance from Zhiyun to correct.
In this article, we will be going over all of the reasons that we are aware that you Zhiyun crane could end up overheating on you and how best to correct the issue. Hopefully, if you are having some overheating issues, implementing these steps will help to correct the problem and have you off recording some super smooth video footage in no time at all.
Before getting into the article, we just want to quickly say that the last thing you should be doing is stripping your gimbal down to take a look inside unless you are confident you are able to rebuild the gimbal and know what you are doing. Although there are some guides on sites like YouTube that show you how to do it, if you make a mistake or damage a part of the gimbal while stripping it then you will probably void your warranty while also causing long term damage to the gimbal.
The fixes we have below for the most common reasons the Zhiyun gimbal range tend to overhead are quick and easy and do not need you to strip the gimbal. We would always recommend that you try these steps first before trying anything else.
Reduce The Payload
This one may seem basic but it is without a doubt the leading cause for a gimbal to overheat in our experience. We have literally lost count of the number of reports that we have seen from people who have posted on forums or social media reporting issued with their Zhiyun overheating only for them to later report back that it was due to them putting too much weight on it.
The Zhiyun gimbal range is pretty large these days and easy gimbal has its own unique maximum load capacity that it has been designed to work around. Double-check the manual of your gimbal for its load capacity and then double-check the weight of your camera rig to ensure your gimbal is meant to be able to support it.
One common reason that we see people making this mistake is due to multiple gimbals in the Zhiyun range having similar names. The most common gimbals that are confused with each other is the Zhiyun Crane 2 and the Zhiyun Crane v2. Notice the only difference in the gimbals name is one has a V before the 2 and we have seen a number of people get the two confused but they are actually totally different models.
The actual Zhiyun Crane 2 can support a payload of up to 7 pounds without issue whereas the Zhiyun Crane v2 can only support 3.97 pounds. Many people quickly Google the payload of their gimbal and think that their v2 is able to support 7 pounds of payload weight when it cant and will quickly run into problems.
Make Sure You Are Balancing The Gimbal Correctly
We have seen reports from people who simply don’t balance their gimbal to people who balance their gimbal with their B-roll camera rig mounted on it but then switch it to their much heavier main DSLR camera later in the day. It is not surprising that this type of behavior will result in the gimbal overheating but thankfully, putting your gimbal through its balancing process will usually correct the issue.
Again, due to the Zhiyun gimbal range being so big these day, each gimbal has a slightly different process that you have to run it through to balance it. The YouTube video above covers the basics but we would recommend that you do a quick YouTube search for a balancing video for the specific gimbal that you own.
We know that the more recent gimbals like the Zhiyun Crane 3 do have technology in them to try and work out when a much heavier camera rig has been mounted on it and adjust accordingly. Although we feel that this is a step in the right direction, the tech is helpful but it is not quite there yet so, at the time of writing, we would recommend a full rebalance when switching between camera rigs.
Are You Using Third-Party Batteries
Another common reason that gimbals can overheat is due to people picking up third-party batteries for their gimbals that are often of a lower quality than the official Zhiyun batteries. In all fairness, there are a number of valid reasons to add some spare batteries to your gimbal accessories. These range from your original batteries being lost or broken to just wanting to have a spare set with you to help increase the battery life of your gimbal when away from a power outlet.
We would always recommend that you source official Zhiyun batteries for your gimbal if you do choose to pick up some spare batteries though. Although there are a few third-party battery gimbal brands on the market who offers some decent products, there are many more who offer low quality knock off gear that can cause overheating problems for you.
Clean Your Gimbal
The final reason that we see people reporting that their Zhiyun gimbal is overheating is due to a lack of cleaning and general maintenance on the owners part. Although your gimbal may look clean, dirt and dust can easily build-up in sensitive areas of the gimbal increase the workload of the motors to balance your camera rig.
Thankfully, this is a quick and easy fix and we have a dedicated article going over how you should clean your gimbal. That said, we know people are usually short on time so our advice would be to not use any form of air duster product and instead use a cheap anti-static brush set (Click here to check for product prices and availability) to manually brush off any dust or dirt that is in the joints of your gimbal.
It is surprising how much can build up in a short period of time that ends up putting additional strain on the motors and in turn, means that they need additional power that in turn generates more heat. We would recommend cleaning your gimbal becomes part of the monthly maintenance of your gear as it doesn’t take long but can make a world of difference.
Obviously, if you are using your gimbal outdoors in dirty or windy conditions on a regular basis, consider cleaning the gimbal more often to ensure it is as clean as possible.
Is The Gimbal Damaged
We are now moving onto the common causes of overheating in gimbals that will usually require a professional to correct. As careful as we are without gear and as robust as modern gimbals are built, they sometimes do take some damage from a fall or a knock. This can result in the sensors or motors not working optimally anymore that could lead to overheating problems.
As there are a whole bunch of faults that could occur after a gimbal takes damage, we are unable to offer any specific advice on how best to correct the fault. Our advice would be to try and take your gimbal to a local photography or videography store and see if they offer repairs for Zhiyun gimbals.
Sometimes a full assessment can correct the issue whereas other times the gimbal may be totally broken or damaged to a level where it is better to replace the gimbal. Only a full assessment of the condition of your gimbal by someone with the experience to make the call will determine the way to move forward.
The Gimbal May Have A Fault
The final problem that can cause overheating problems in your gimbal stabilizer is a fault that is no fault of your own. The major gimbal brands try to ensure that they do everything in their power to ensure they deliver the best possible product but sometimes some faults just manage to make it through.
Take the Feiyutech AK2000 for example. At the time of writing, it is the flagship of Feiyutech’s intermediate gimbal range but it was released with three known issues with two of them being pretty major. Although neither of the faults on the AK2000 causes overheating issues, this could be a reason that your gimbal is overheating.
A quick google search with your Zhiyun model and “known issues” should reveal if this could be the issue. If it is, chances are a firmware update will either have already been pushed out to correct it or update will be due. If the issue is hardware-based then it tends to be much harder for the manufacturer to correct and some brands may increase your warranty due to the fault or let you outright return it depending on how bad it is.
Wrapping It All Up
We hope that this article has helped you to correct any issues with your Zhiyun gimbal overheating. As we mentioned at the start of the article, there is rarely any reason to open the gimbal up and it usually causes more problems than if fixes. If your gimbal is still suffering from overheating issues after going through these steps, we would recommend that you contact Zhiyun directly and ask for assistance.