In this article, we will be taking a look at a number of gimbals for Canon 80d cameras that our readers are able to utilize to get some super smooth gimbal footage with a little additional effort required as possible.
Over the last few years, the gimbal market has essentially exploded due to more and more people using them. This has lead to a direct increase in both the number of gimbals available as well as their quality. Thankfully, the influx of products has also helped to lower the price of gimbals meaning you are able to pick one up relatively cheap these days.
Due to seeing a number of people reaching out for advice on what gimbal they should be using for their Canon 80D we decided to research the products out there and publish this article to help any of our readers in this same situation. We have settled on three gimbals that all have excellent reputations within the photography community as well as have a payload capacity that can hold a Canon 80D (1.61 lb / 0.73 kg weight) and its lens without issue.
The Zhiyun Crane 2
Zhiyun have been one of the main brands in the gimbal niche for some time now managing to quickly establish their products and earn them a good reputation. The Zhiyun Crane 2 is no different either, it has an excellent reputation within the photography community that only shows signs of getting stronger as time goes on.
The Zhiyun Crane 2 has a max payload of 7 lb / 3.18 kg putting the Canon 80D’s 1.61 lb / 0.73 kg weight well within its capabilities while also leaving a fair allowance for your lens of choice too. Although rare with a gimbal, this allows you to use some pretty heavy lenses for your gimbal shot and still have plenty of payload weight spare. This is pretty rare for the top of the range gimbals on the market right now and we feel that this alone helps make the Zhiyun Crane 2 the ideal Canon 80d stabilizer for most types of recording.
The gimbal comes with three lithium-ion batteries included that are quick and easy to both fit and remove from the gimbal as shown in the image below. The three included batteries are able to power the gimbal for up to eighteen hours of run time but this will depend slightly on your settings. For the Canon 80D we would recommend that you select either medium or high motor power depending on your lens of choice.
We have seen a number of reports of people using third-party spare batteries with the Zhiyun Crane 2 and being able to extend this battery life to around the 24 hour period. An additional strategy that seems more popular due to its lower price tag is to stock up on a large number of batteries that will be able to power the gimbal for four to six hours and then swap them out as and when required.
The Zhiyun Crane 2 comes with a quick release plate to allow you to quickly and easily detach your camera from the gimbal and then re-attach it as and when required. The quick release plate is the same design that is used on some Manfrotto tripods allowing you to quickly switch between the Zhiyun Crane 2 and your tripod.
You are able to also pick up the Andoer Quick Release Clamp Adapter (Click here to check for product prices and availability) show in the image to the right to make the Zhiyun Crane 2’s quick release plate compatible with the Manfrotto 501, 500AH, 701HDV, 503HDV, and Q5 ranges too. There are already a number of Zhiyun users doing this and reporting good things.
Speaking of tripods, the gimbal does come with a very basic short and compact tripod included as standard that may help you if you are in a pinch but a full-size tripod will almost always be better.
The Zhiyun Crane 2 also comes with an OLED display screen as shown in the image to the left. This can be set to display a number of different data fields such as the selected mode of the gimbal, the remaining battery power as well as a number of other settings.
As you can see in the image, the control panel includes a joystick, the mode control buttons, various adjustment dials and has the follow focus wheel (current firmware only supports Canon cameras but more are being added) to the left of the panel.
The joystick allows you to quickly and easily tweak where you Canon 80D is pointing using just your thumb to get the perfect footage. The mode button allows you to quickly switch between the following modes:-
- Panlock Mode – Allows for pan but no tilt.
- Lock Mode – Locks the camera in one position without pan or tilt and will keep the camera level.
- Follow Mode – Offers both pan and tilt functionality.
- Selfie Mode – spins the camera through one hundred and eighty degrees to face you.
The control panel also allows you to change and tweak some of the settings on your camera too. Again though, at the time of writing, the current firmware only supports Canon cameras but there are updates planned to increase this to other cameras.
One of the main things that we like about the gimbal is its gradual shutdown process. Rather than losing all power when you turn it off and your camera and lens combo potentially tilting down and being damaged if not balanced correctly. The Zhiyun Crane 2 will slowly release the power from the gimbal motors allowing you additional time to grab your 80D if needed.
Another thing we like is the quality of the included hard case with the gimbal. It is robust and fit for purpose allowing you to quickly and easily store all of your gimbal accessories in one place knowing they are safe.
Finally, the Zhiyun Crane 2 is fully compatible with the Zhiyun smartphone app shown in the image below. It has just released a major update adding a ton of new functionality making it the best gimbal smartphone app out there.
Not only does the app allow you to connect to the gimbal and control it remotely offering full joystick control on your phone, it also allows you to update, tweak, and test various setting changes on the fly while out and about recording.
The video below shows some good examples of the type of footage that you are able to get with your Canon 80D when using the Zhiyun Crane 2 (Click here to check for product prices and availability).
The DJI Ronin-S
The build quality of this gimbal is excellent. It has a solid feel and a very nice finish although it does come in a little heavy at almost 4.5 lb / 2 kg without a camera or lens attached to is. That said, it has a tested payload of 7.94 lb / 3.6 kg meaning it can easily handle the weight of the Canon 80D that comes in at 1.61 lb / 0.73 kg.
While doing our research for this article, we were able to find multiple third-party reports from people who had used the DJI Ronin-S over its advised 7.94 lb / 3.6 kg max payload without issue. We would not recommend that you go out and purchase this gimbal if you think you will be going over this weight though as it can void your warranty due to the wear and tear on the motors.
The battery for the DJI Ronin-S is able to keep the gimbal powered for up to twelve hours of continual use without the need to be recharged. One potential drawback of this gimbal is the fact that it has to be charged via USB cable with the battery in the unit.
This can limit your ability to use the gimbal if you have to lay it down near a power outlet to charge it up. One workaround that the photography community has come up with is to take a portable USB power bank (Click here to check for product prices and availability) with you when out and about using the gimbal.
When the power indicator on the handle of the gimbal shown in the image to the right saws you need to charge the unit up simply plug the portable power bank in and charge the unit while using it. The DJI Ronin-S can be fully charged from empty in as little as only two hours fifteen minutes so you can also use the portable USB power bank to top up its charge between uses too.
Although the DJI Ronin-S is a little easier to build and debuild from scratch to allow for easier transportation, it can be a little tricker to rebalance depending on what lens you are using with your Canon 80D. In all honesty though, the tradeoff between being easier to build and rebuild and being slightly more difficult to balance kind of even each other out due to it both saving and then requiring almost the same amount of time anyway.
The joystick controls on the DJI Ronin-S are very responsive and have a much better feel to them than the Zhiyun Crane 2. You are also able to edit how responsive the joystick controls are in the gimbal settings to better customize its settings to your needs. The grip around the handle is also very comfortable, you will be able to use the DJI Ronin-S even with a heavier camera than the Canon 80D for extended periods of time without having any discomfort.
Without a doubt, one of the best features that the DJI Ronin-S has over the Zhiyun Crane 2 is the 45-degree angles rear motor arm as shown in the image to the left.
This allows you to easily see the screen of your camera while using the gimbal and ensure that you are recording the best possible footage rather than having to guess. The thing is, do you feel that this feature is worth the additional increase in price over the Zhiyun? Only you know your own personal circumstances and are able to make that decision but it is something to keep in mind.
Again, the DJI Ronin-S has both a tripod and a case included although in our opinion both are lower quality than the ones provided with the Zhiyun Crane 2. That said, in a pinch, they will still be able to help you out and get their jobs done.
Finally, the DJI app is fully compatible with the DJI Ronin-S offering you the ability to quickly and easily tweak any settings on the gimbal while out and about using it. You are also able to take remote control of the joystick functionality and aim your Canon 80D where you like without needing to be near it.
The video below offers some good example footage of what you are able to expect from your Canon 80D when using it with the DJI Ronin S (Click here to check for product prices and availability).
The FeiyuTech a1000
In our opinion, both the Zhiyun and DJI gimbals covered earlier in the article are better options than the FeiyuTech a1000 but the main thing the a1000 has going for it is its lower price point. This would make a better entry level or budget gimbal while offering similar functionality for your Canon 80D.
We would like to point out that the a1000s max payload is only 3.75 lb / 1.7 kg offering little left over after the 80D’s weight of 1.61 lb / 0.73 kg for your lens but the majority of common lenses should be ok.
Rather than go over all of the features of the a1000, we would bring your attention to our full review of the FeiyuTech a1000 that offers an in-depth look at the gimbal.