There is no doubt that Zhiyun’s gimbal range is probably the most popular set of 3 axis handheld gimbals on the market right now and although their range of gimbal stabilizers have rightfully earned an excellent reputation, every now and then we see someone reaching out about overheating issues. We have noticed a distinct lack of content on the topic so we have decided to publish our own guide to try and help any of our readers who are having problems with their Zhiyun crane overheating.
This is not specific to one single generation of the gimbal range but can broadly be applied to anything from the original Zhiyun Crane all the way up to the Zhiyun Crane 3 lab (Click here to check for product prices and availability) that is their latest gimbal at the time of writing. That said, we would imagine that these tips will still be actionable on any future Crane gimbal that is released onto the market in the coming years.
Make Sure You Are Balancing The Gimbal Correctly
Remember, that in an ideal world, you will be rebalancing the gimbal after changing the payload on it in any way. For example, say you want to capture some b-roll so you balance your gimbal mount your camera with a lens attached to it and capture the b-roll video footage that you need. Then later you decide to mount a heavier lens to the camera as well as a microphone but fail to rebalance the gimbal.
The gimbal is trying to balance a totally different payload than it actually has mounted on it and this results in additional, unexpected work for the motors resulting in heat quickly being generated. So, each time you change your payload weight, rebalance your gimbal for optimal performance and to try and reduce the chances of any overheating issues.
We know that some of the more modern gimbals in the Zhiyun range have various auto-adjust features that can correct for a changing payload on the gimbal. As we mentioned earlier though, this article is to cover the earlier gimbals in their range too that do not offer this tech and in our opinion, the latest gimbals with the auto-adjust tech are not quite there yet so a regular re-balance is usually easier.
Reduce The Payload
Now, with rebalancing out of the way, the next main issue that we see that can cause your gimbal to overheat is people exceeding the maximum load capacity of the gimbal. We know that there are various tricks and accessories out there that can allow the gimbal to stabilize correctly with a higher payload than it was designed to carry but this can lead to future problems. If you have done anything like this previously then there is a good chance that this is why the gimbal is overheating now due to potential damage to its stabilizing motors.
Double-check the listed maximum load capacity of the Zhiyun gimbal that you own and then check the weight of your camera rig. At the time of writing, the earlier generations of Zhiyun gimbal have just under a Four-pound maximum load capacity while the newer gimbals have around a Ten-pound maximum load capacity.
It is surprisingly common for people to upgrade the lens that they use to a heavier one without taking this into account when it comes to gimbal payload weight and end up accidentally exceeding what it can support. This required a ton of additional work from the motors to create the image stabilization need and can commonly lead to overheating.
Are You Using Third-Party Batteries?
Although rare compared to the two listed above, another potential issue that can end up causing overheating issues in your gimbal is the use of third-party batteries. We know that the official Zhiyun Crane batteries (Click here to check for product prices and availability) are a total nightmare to source these days but they have been designed to specifically work with the gimbals.
Third-party batteries can be attractive to owners of the Crane range as they are usually cheaper and easier to source than the official batteries. That said though, you never know the quality of the batteries or how reliable they are. As many people pick up spare sets of batteries for their gimbals to help increase their battery life, this may be why your gimbal is overheating.
A quick way to check is to use the official batteries that came with the gimbal and see if it overheats. If it does not, load it up with the third party batteries and use it for a while and if it ends up overheating, you may have found your issue.
The Gimbal May Have A Fault
All the above said and done, the gimbal stabilizer may actually have a fault in it. Although Zhiyun do everything in their power to reduce the chance of this happening, a very small percentage of the gimbals that they produce can have faults on them that can result in overheating. If you picked you Zhiyun gimbal up a second hand then the chances of this increase a fair bit as you have no idea what the previous owner use the gimbal for or how it was maintained.
If your gimbal is still within its warranty, you should be able to get a replacement, if not, contact Zhiyun official support to see if they are able to offer any better advice.
Wrapping It Up
That wraps up our article on Zhiyun crane overheating solutions and we hope that you have found it helpful. We are fully aware that it is frustrating when you are having problems with your new gadget but the suggestions above will hopefully correct the issue for you and have you out and about capturing some very smooth video footage soon!