Ultimate Combo – Sony ZV-1 and Zhiyun Crane M3 | 2023

Zhiyun M3
Zhiyun M3 , Sony ZV-1 and Zhiyun Crane M3
Sony ZV-1 Recording Video

During my recent holiday trip to Cape Town in December 2022, I decided to travel light. Leaving behind the bulkier EOS-R and DJI RSC2, I chose the Sony ZV-1, Zhiyun Crane M3, Insta 360, and DJI Air 2 Drone. This decision led to several revelations about the importance of mastering your equipment and the advantages of a compact setup.

Sony Zv-1 vs Zhiyen Crane M3 : Master your Equipment...

Every photographer, whether amateur or professional, has faced moments of regret due to equipment unfamiliarity. On this trip, as the sun painted the sky with hues of orange and pink, I set up my Sony ZV-1 for a timelapse. To my dismay, the perfect moment slipped away because I wasn’t fully acquainted with the settings. This incident underscored two things:

  1. Know Your Gear Inside Out: Before embarking on any trip, spend time with your equipment. Understand its nuances, strengths, and limitations. This ensures you’re prepared for any photographic opportunity.

  2. Practice Makes Perfect: Try out different shots locally. Experiment with settings, angles, and techniques. By the time you travel, you’ll be equipped to capture every moment perfectly.

The Compact Marvels: Sony ZV-1 and Zhiyun Crane M3

The combination of the Sony ZV-1 and Zhiyun Crane M3 is nothing short of revolutionary for travel enthusiasts:

  • Size and Portability: Their compact nature means they can be easily stowed in a backpack, making them perfect for on-the-go photography.

  • Efficiency: Quick rebalancing, combined with the native Sony remote handle, ensures smooth shooting experiences. This setup provides the agility often needed during travel photography, from capturing bustling markets to serene landscapes.

  • Integration: While the Crane M3 doesn’t directly integrate with the Sony ZV-1, the native Sony remote handle bridges this gap seamlessly. This trio offers unparalleled shooting flexibility.

Battery Life: The Unsung Hero

While the features of a camera or gimbal are often discussed, battery life is the unsung hero. The M3’s battery life is commendable, lasting an entire day with smaller cameras. The Sony ZV-1, with its hour-long battery life, underscores the importance of carrying backup. A high-output power bank can be a lifesaver during extended shoots.

Final Thoughs

The Sony ZV-1 and Zhiyun Crane M3 are more than just pieces of equipment; they’re travel companions. They ensure that every moment, from the majestic to the mundane, is captured with precision and clarity. For those who prioritize quality, convenience, and efficiency, this duo is the ultimate travel photography solution.

Sony ZV-1 Specifications

  • 20.1 megapixel 1.0-type stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor
  • BIONZ X image processing engine
  • 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 zoom lens
  • Vari-angle LCD screen
  • Real-time Eye AF and Real-time Tracking autofocus
  • 4K video recording up to 30fps
  • 1080p video recording up to 120fps
  • S-Log2 and S-Log3 for increased dynamic range
  • Product Showcase Setting for quick focus on products
  • Directional 3-capsule mic for multi-directional sound recording
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • NP-BX1 rechargeable battery pack

Zhiyun Crane M3 – Specifications

  • Maximum payload: 650g
  • Weight: 740g (without battery)
  • Three-axis gimbal with 360-degree pan axis, 310-degree tilt axis, and 324-degree roll axis
  • Bluetooth connectivity for remote control with a smartphone app
  • Built-in battery with up to 7 hours of battery life
  • Multiple shooting modes, including Pan Following Mode, Lock Mode, and POV Mode
  • Compatible with smartphones, action cameras, and compact cameras
  • Quick-release plate for easy mounting and dismounting of devices
  • Maximum controlled rotation speed: 180 degrees/s
  • Supported mobile app: ZY Play
  • Time-lapse, panorama, and motion control features available through the ZY Play app.


Can the Sony ZV-1 shoot in slow motion?

Yes, the Sony ZV-1 can shoot in slow motion. It can record 1080p video at up to 120 frames per second (fps), which allows for slow-motion playback.

Does the Sony ZV-1 have a microphone input?

Yes, the Sony ZV-1 has a 3.5mm microphone input that allows you to connect an external microphone for improved audio quality. Additionally, the camera also features a Directional 3-capsule mic built-in to the camera which can pick up sound from different directions.

What devices are compatible with the Zhiyun Crane M3?

The Zhiyun Crane M3 is compatible with smartphones, action cameras, and compact cameras that weigh up to 650g. Some compatible devices include the iPhone series, Samsung Galaxy series, GoPro HERO series, Sony RX100 series, and more.

Can the Zhiyun Crane M3 be used for time-lapse photography?

Yes, the Zhiyun Crane M3 has a built-in time-lapse feature that allows you to create dynamic time-lapse videos with your camera or device. You can set the duration and interval for the time-lapse, and the gimbal will move your camera or device smoothly and steadily to create a seamless time-lapse sequence.
author avatar

Leave a Reply

Megren Naidoo
Megren Naidoo (Urbantroop)

Megren Naidoo – a Senior Technology Architect with a photographer’s eye and a writer’s soul. My blog offers insights, lessons learned, and a helping hand to new content creators. I draw from my experiences in technology and creative fields to provide a unique perspective.