With videography and vlogging constantly increasing in popularity with each passing month, we have seen more and more people reaching out for advice on various handheld gimbal stabilizers. Adding a gimbal to your collection of camera accessories can be a quick and easy way to ensure that you are capturing the best possible image quality while also increasing the versatility of your kit and the niches that you can work in.
Although both are old and definatley starting to show their age, due to their reductions in price, we have seen more and more people reaching out and asking for a dedicated Moza Aircross vs Zhiyun Crane v2 comparison article. Around five years ago both of these gimbals were in the top three gimbal stabilizers with the Zhiyun Crane v2 being the better option in our opinion due to the higher price point of the Moza Aircross as well as its lower level of performance over the v2.
Fast forward to today and we are in the exact same situation but with the most recent released for each of these gimbal brands. The Zhiyun Weebill S is one of the best gimbals that we have ever seen whereas the Moza Aircross 2 offers similar performance but comes in with a higher price point keeping the Zhiyun as the dominant option.
That said though, we would imagine that a large number of the people reaching out for advice on the Moza Aircross vs Zhiyun Crane v2 will be looking for a cheaper, more budget-friendly than the latest releases for each brand. Due to this, we are now going to be taking a more in-depth look at what both of the featured gimbals have to offer as well as why we feel that the Zhiyun Crane v2 is going to be your better option over the Aircross.
On top of this, the Crane v2 still has a solid user base that is slightly increasing with each passing month due to the gimbal offering solid levels of image stabilization while also being very budget-friendly. This means that the great reputation of the Crane v2 still keeps its unit sales up even though it is an old stabilizer from the Zhiyun range.
Performance Of The Gimbal
Now, when we cover the performance and functionality of these gimbals, you have to remember that they are both years old and have additional variants available that are drastically improved but do come with a higher price tag. Both the Crane v2 and the Aircross have a very similar maximum load capacity with the v2 coming in at 3.97 pounds of total payload weight and the Aircross coming in at 3.9 pounds.
Although the v2 is ever so slightly ahead, we feel that it is close enough to call it a draw between the two when it comes to their maximum load capacities. Both gimbals are more than capable of supporting all point and shoot camera rigs, the vast majority if not all of the mirrorless camera rigs, and a number of the lighter DSLR rigs with ease. That said though, if you are wanting to get into the mid to heavier DSLR rigs then the newer Weebill S is definatley the way to go with its 6.61-pound maximum load capacity.
One advantage that the Zhiyun Crane v2 does have over the Aircross is that it does handle longer and heavier camera lenses slightly better. Although both gimbals can have some slight issues with vibration if you are using a super heavy lens due to a shift in their center of gravity, the effect on the v2 is minimal. That said though, this is just a sign of the times of when both gimbals were made and this problem still persists even to this day. That said though, both the Weebill S and the Aircross 2 can stabilizer heavier, longer camera lenses with ease.
Another common issue with gimbals made back when the original Aircross and Crane v2 were released was their maximum battery lives. Rather than having a pretty solid battery life no matter what camera setup you were using, both of the featured gimbals have a battery that can vary quite heavily depending on what you are actually mounting on the gimbal and the amount of load capacity you are using.
The Crane v2 takes battery life as a clear win though due to it being able to provide you with power for up to twelve hours without issue. The Aircross usually supports around eight hours of battery per charge but again both gimbals can provide you with a few hours less than the listed life if you are using a rig closer to their maximum load capacities. One way around this is to add a high output USB power bank to your camera accessories to let you recharge your gimbal batteries as required while out and about recording your video footage.
Both of the gimbals take between three and four hours to fully recharge them too so we are going to call recharging a draw. That said though, this is when recharging the gimbals from a power outlet on a wall rather than a USB power bank. If you do choose to recharge them via a power bank then the recharging times of the gimbals is going to depend on the output level of the gimbals that you decide to use.
In our opinion, one of the main things that the Zhiyun Crane v2 has going for it over the Moza Aircross is its detection and correction system. Although it is dated when compared to the system used on the Zhiyun Weebill S or Moza Aircross 2, Zhiyun definatley have consistently dominated the gimbal space with their excellent detection and correction systems for over a decade.
The gimbal sensors in the Crane v2 not only have a higher sensitivity rating than the sensors in the Aircross but they are also quicker at processing the data for the detected movement in the gimbal too. This means that the Crane v2 has an advantage from the very start with it having more accurate data being fed into its system at a faster pace to allow it to work out how best to stabilize your camera rig.
The information from the gimbal sensors on the v2 is then fed straight into the Zhiyun balancing algorithm and although their latest range of gimbals uses a much better algorithm that is unfortunately not compatible with the v2, the one on the gimbal is outstanding for the time it was released. It outright destroys the Moza algorithm on the original Aircross with ease and it was not until recently that Moza managed to catch up with the algorithm on their Aircross 2.
The final part of the system is the gimbal motors and in all fairness, you can call it a draw between the Zhiyun and Moza motors on the featured gimbals. They are similar sizes and weights while also offering similar levels of torque and power efficiency too. That said though, due to the earlier parts of the Zhiyun detection and correction system being so much more efficient than the stuff on the Moza system, the Zhiyun motors have better information, faster to help them make better choices.
Although the considered standard for any modern gimbal, both the Crane v2 and the Aircross 2 fully support the pan, follow, lock, and manual gimbal modes too. Both gimbals have the gimbal modes implemented well allowing the user to quickly and easily work out how to use them to help improve the level of image quality that they are able to capture when using the gimbal.
It is easy to see how the Zhiyun Crane v2 managed to dominate its weight class for so many years before only being dethroned by another Zhiyun gimbal. It simply outperforms the compeating gimbals from its time and has some groundbreaking technology on it. Due to this, the Crane v2 has a massive core user base that is still steadily growing even today.
Many of these videographers and vloggers have chosen to publish their independent reviews of the Crane v2 that you can check out if you wish. In our opinion, they are well worth taking a few minutes to skim over as they offer some great insight into just how well the gimbal performs, especially for its current price point in the market.
User Interface And Control System
Both of the featured gimbals use an old school joystick interface that is actually surprisingly similar to what their newer variants use aesthetically although the technology under the hood is very different. Although the modern gimbals like the Zhiyun Weebill S use an omnidirectional joystick, they also have sixteen points of content that are highly sensitive offering superior manual mode control over these older gimbals.
That said though, for an entry-level or even intermediate level videographer, the joystick systems on both featured gimbals will easily meet your needs. Although both systems can have the slightest bit of hang and drag at times, this is due to the joysticks being one of the first to move away from the four way control system. This is totally expected at this price point in the market, especially for the age of the gimbals but both interfaces have definatley aged well.
Thankfully, both the Crane v2 and the Aircross were some of the first gimbals released to move away from the older, clunky balancing system that was riddled with problems to the newer system that we use today. Although the balancing procedure for both gimbals is an early variation, it is very straight forward and user-friendly. This should allow anyone, even a first-time gimbal user to balance their camera rig on either gimbal quickly without running into any problems.
Just like the other Zhiyun gimbals, the Crane v2 uses the Manfrotto design quick release plate that is compatible with the vast majority of other camera accessories on the market too. Although the Moza quick release plate is slightly different, it can still work with a large number of tripods and other camera accessories too.
This allows you to mount or unmount your camera rig from either gimbal within seconds and not have to waste valuable time on a recording session. Due to the popularity of the Manfrotto quick release plate system, the Crane v2 does have a slight advantage, especially if you are an entry level vlogger or videographer as there is a high chance that your Tripod uses the same system allowing you to switch between gimbal and tripod quickly too.
Build Quality And Design
When it comes to the design and build quality of both of the featured gimbals, you have to realize that they were both released in a time when the technology required to stabilize heavier camera loads were heavy and bulky. This is why both gimbals are large and heavy and far from travel-friendly and unfortunately, there is just no way to change that. If you are looking for a small, light, travel gimbal then the Zhiyun Weebill S is definatley the best option on the market by a long shot.
That said though, both the Crane v2 and the Aircross are solid gimbals that are extremely tough and robust and will easily take their fair share of bumps and knocks without breaking. Although a few other gimbal brands on the market still have a reputation for producing flimsy gimbals that break easily, both Zhiyun and Moza are known for making gimbals that last.
When it comes to the designs of the gimbals, they are both based on the standard handheld gimbal stabilizer design with a 3 axis gimbal stabilizer head. This is still the basis of the majority of handheld gimbals on the market today and has been for the last decade or so due to the design being so simple, easy to use, and effective. Although Zhiyun are playing with a slightly tweaked design in their new Weebill range of gimbals, it shares many similarities to the older Zhiyun gimbals.
Unfortunately, both of the featured gimbals have the old school plastic handle and if you are not planning on using your gimbal for longer sessions over an hour at once without a break, this should not be an issue. These old school plastic handle grips are notorious for being uncomfortable to hold for longer sessions but were the standard back when both gimbals were released. The newer gel set technology on the new gimbals was years off back when these were released but the plastic handle grip is still common on the more modern entry-level gimbals too.
That brings our ultimate Moza Aircross vs Zhiyun Crane v2 comparison article to an end. Although the Moza Aircross can be a decent gimbal, we feel that the Zhiyun Crane v2 is definatley the better option out of the two featured gimbals. Not only is it usually cheaper depending on the retailer but it also offers a better detection and correction system in our opinion. We feel that this is why the Crane v2 still has such a great reputation amongst videographers and vloggers with a steadily growing customer base.
As we mentioned back at the start of the article, both of the featured gimbals have their newer variants on the market too with both the Moza Aircross 2 and the Zhiyun Weebill S having only been available for a matter of months at the time of writing. Although they do have a higher price tag, either of them will blow the two featured gimbals out the water if you have the budget to spare. Additionally, we feel that the Weebill S is one of the best gimbals ever made and it is easy to see why it dominates the market and has the outstanding reputation that it enjoys amongst the community today.