In this article, we will be taking a look at what we feel is by far the best gimbal for Sony a6500 cameras currently available on the market right now. With more and more people starting to invest in Gimbals for various reasons and with the A6500 being such a popular camera we always see people reaching out for advice on gimbals that they can use with their a6500.
With many cheap brands trying to swell the gimbal market with their low-quality products over the past few months finding a decent gimbal has become a minefield. Thankfully, the Zhiyun Crane 2 (Click here to check for product prices and availability) stands head and shoulders above the competition, has an excellent reputation, and works seamlessly with your Sony A6500.
The Zhiyun Crane 2
In our opinion, the Zhiyun Crane 2 is without a doubt the best gimbal for Sony a6500 cameras on the market right now. As far as gimbals go it is very budget friendly, offers tons of functionality, has a very high-build quality as well as one of the best reputations out there amongst the community.
It is based around the tried and tested 3-axis gimbal design that has proven very reliable and easy to use. The Zhiyun Crane 2 also comes with an innovative balancing procedure that is very easy to complete even if you have minimal or no gimbal experience at all. Simply put the batteries into the gimbal, mount your Sony A6500, and balance the gimbal as explained in the manual (takes as little as thirty seconds) and you are good to go!
If you are like many other photographers and own multiple Sony cameras, DSLR cameras or mirrorless cameras then the Zhiyun Crane 2 is also probably able to work with those too. The main limiting factor of the cameras you are able to use with this gimbal is its maximum payload weight of around seven pounds. Remember that this payload not only includes your camera of choice but also the lens you plan to use with it. As your Sony A6500 comes in at around one pound, you have six pounds of supported payload weight left to play with for a lens, microphone, flash or your accessories of choice.
The test footage below was recorded using a Zhiyun Crane with a Sony a6500 mounted on it and gives an excellent demonstration of how effective this handheld gimbal can be with your camera.
What About Battery Life
One of the main issues many of the cheap, low-quality gimbals on the market have is that their battery life just doesn’t allow you to use the gimbal for long enough to record anything of value to make the investment worth your while. Thankfully, the Zhiyun Crane 2 gimbal stabilizer is actually the third variant from Zhiyun after the original Zhiyun Crane, and then the Zhiyun Crane V2 (notices the V for version two) with the brand smashing the ball out of the park with this Zhiyun Crane 2 (notice the lack of V before the two as this is an actual a fully redesigned gimbal rather than a tweaked one like the V2).
Anyway, three 18650-type batteries are provided with the gimbal as standard with your purchase that can provide 6000mAh resulting in the gimbal being powered for up to eighteen hours straight without the need for a recharge! Now keep in mind, this maximum use time does depend on how much of the payload you are taking up but as the Sony A6500 is such a light camera taking up less than twenty percent of the gimbals payload, you should be able to get close to the maximum amount of battery life during use.
The Gimbal Handle
The image to the left shows the gimbal handle of the Zhiyun Crane 2 and as you can see, it is free from all of the excessive buttons, dials, and direction pads that some of the competing gimbals come with. The innovative, simple, easy to use control system for the gimbal allows anyone, even if you are not experienced with gimbals or technology to quickly use the gimbal as if it were second nature.
Although the included manual with the gimbal offers full instruction on how to tweak the various settings of the Zhiyun Crane 2 there are a ton of videos on YouTube from independent photographers and videographers also going over the subject. We just wanted to make our readers aware of this as some people tend to learn something easier when doing it alongside a video rather than reading it out of a manual.
One of the main improvements of the Zhiyun Crane 2 over some of its previous versions and many of the competing gimbals is that is used Zhiyun slow fall system when powering down the gimbal. Rather than instantly releasing power like some gimbals do leaving your camera and lens to drop up to ninety degrees and potentially hit the gimbal handle, the Zhiyun Crane 2 will slowly lower your Sony A6500 and lens of choice down safely.
The handle of the gimbal also comes with an intuitive OLED display as shown in the image to the right rather than a basic LED screen. This OLED display helps you quickly and easily identify essential information for the gimbal and your camera such as battery level, control mode, various parameters as well as the connection status.
This may not seem like much but if you are planning on recording with your Sony A6500 while mounting it on a gimbal in either low light or night time conditions, this OLED display is a godsend as it will still be very easy to see.
All in all, we feel that the Zhiyun Crane 2 is the best handheld gimbal on the market right now. Not only does it have an excellent reputation with both the photography and videography communities but it also retails at a very fair price for what it provides. Additionally, some of the functionality available on the gimbal is usually only seen on higher price point gimbals making your life easier without the need to spend the additional cash.