April 29, 2015

DJI's Lightweight Ronin M Gimbal Is Way Less Expensive than Everyone Was Expecting

DJI Ronin M Gimbal Stabilizer
Two weeks back, DJI announced a new addition to their gimbal lineup, the lightweight Ronin M. The only thing that we didn't know was the price. Now we do, and it's quite a bit lower than most of us were expecting.

Just in case you need a refresher on the Ronin M gimbal stabilizer, it's the baby brother to DJI's flagship gimbal, the Ronin. Coming in at half the weight of the original, the Ronin M is built for smaller camera systems weighing up to 8 pounds, which makes it a perfect companion for the mirrorless and DSLR systems that are incredibly popular these days. Here's our coverage of the Ronin M (and DJI's Phantom 3 drone) from NAB:

DJI Ronin M Gimbal Stabilizer

And here are the basic features of the new stabilizer:

  • Supports Cameras up to 8 Pounds
  • Precision of Control: ±0.02°
  • Transmitter for Remote Pan/Tilt Control
  • Tool-Less Balance Adjustment System
  • Assistant Software for iOS and Windows
  • Bluetooth Wireless Interface for Setup
  • Silent Mode For Quiet Operation
  • USB and PowerTap Power Outputs
  • Weight: 5 Pounds
  • Price: $1399

DJI also released a promotional short film called Lifted that was shot with the Ronin M in a period of less than 7 hours. Here's the film and the BTS video:

At a price of $1399, the Ronin M comes in way below the $2000 price point that DJI was teasing at NAB, which is great news for filmmakers looking for a quality gimbal stabilizer at a more affordable price than most. The Ronin M is expected to begin shipping in the next few weeks, and is currently available for preorder from B&H    

Your Comment

39 Comments

1400 usd.....ok I guess they have to fight the ebay gimbals that sell for under 1k.

April 29, 2015 at 6:18PM, Edited April 29, 6:18PM

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You just hate Chinese companies don't you.

April 29, 2015 at 8:31PM

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George Du
Student, Filmmaker
251

wait, I thought DJI was Chinese company? =)

April 29, 2015 at 8:36PM

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Keith Kim
Photographer
1703

My friend bought a Chinese off-brand gimbal. He says it is shit and barely works better than a cheap glide-cam.

April 29, 2015 at 9:39PM

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Connor Day
Director of Photography
426

No, why do you think that? I love chinese companies, and I love the chinese. What makes you think that?

April 30, 2015 at 4:32PM

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Sorry, big misunderstanding.

May 3, 2015 at 10:13AM

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George Du
Student, Filmmaker
251

:)) Thanks bro.

May 5, 2015 at 8:28PM

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I apologies to any of you that may find this rather vulgar and inappropriate...

ORGASMS!

ORGASMS EVERYWHERE!

April 29, 2015 at 6:51PM, Edited April 29, 6:53PM

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Connor Day
Director of Photography
426

The short film footage shot on the M seems a bit less stable than the original Ronin. I would imagine that's due to it being half the weight. Anyone else agree/disagree?

April 29, 2015 at 7:41PM, Edited April 29, 7:41PM

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Derek Mindler
Cinematographer
246

can't compare with the OG Ronin, but that was the first thing I noticed when I first saw the video couple of weeks ago.

April 29, 2015 at 8:37PM

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Keith Kim
Photographer
1703

Keep in mind that the entire short was shot in 7 hours because of child labor laws, so they were most likely shooting at break-neck speed. I doubt that there is any stability difference between the full size Ronin and the M version, other than the camera size and weight capability that differs with these two gimbals.

April 29, 2015 at 8:46PM, Edited April 29, 8:46PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30423

Yea, considering the circumstances it had some nice footages for sure.
But it was still little unstable and OOF. Guess we have to wait and see for other reviews when people start to buy it.
But the price is awesome for sure!

April 30, 2015 at 1:14PM

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Keith Kim
Photographer
1703

Was no one pulling focus on this? I'm only about 45 seconds in and not a single shot in focus. Hey DJI if you need a focus puller. Hit me up.

April 29, 2015 at 10:07PM

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Jerome Stolly
1st. Assistant Camera
332

Yeah, I noticed that too. It looked like they didn't have a wireless focus rig set-up, and they shot with a Sony A7S which might have been in Full Frame mode.

April 29, 2015 at 10:59PM, Edited April 29, 11:02PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30423

Exactly! I know most old school guys don't want to hear this but this is why the development of a great AF for indie film cameras would not be a sin. A lot of micro productions could afford this product but not a remote focus rig and a dedicated focus puller. The next camera that Sony comes with that has something like the a7s sensor (but hopefully in a larger body) could really use a version of the dual AF found in some of the new Canons.

April 30, 2015 at 12:28AM

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J Robbins
516

Aputure has a new wireless aperture and focus control for Canon EF lenses that costs less than $400 and is very compact. It only works with mirrorless cameras like the Panasonic GH4 or Sony A7S, but it looks like it would have been perfect for this project.

NAB 2015: Aputure DEC Wireless Focus and Iris Control
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ij2JPCKSKY4

April 30, 2015 at 4:07AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30423

or the Lenzhound which i own myself. Aputure is great but limited to canon lens and it just goes from A to B.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9ISLQzqNcs

May 1, 2015 at 5:07PM

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Guillaume Leroux
One man crew
114

The BTS -- at 0:39 -- the crane shot... Way to market to the indie market! Their production value is already sky high! Seriously, did they need a gimbal for this?

Show me your typical student film -- you know, the kind people make on a weekend with two friends: wide-lens shots, poor framing, no lights, two "actors" arguing, and so on.

Level with us please! I mean -- if I have a crane in my production I can pretty much do away without a gimbal.

Also, there was another article about "gimbals" where the pitch was: "just put it into your backpack". Really??? Backpack?? Just??? What do you guys have in your backpacks?

Here is my deal... My #1 backpack: lenses and camera; my BP#2: 8x LED lights, BP#3: 5x light stands with 3x umbrellas with a reflector, BP#4: 30x light/camera batteries with 8x AC packs for the lights with 4 extension cords, BP#5: tripod with the head, BP#6: slider, BP#7: rig, BP#8: audio recorder with mics, BP#9: file folder-phone-wallet-other unmentionables.

I am starting to crave an image stab system for the rig. A gimbal starts looking like a situational tool that one can do away with.

April 29, 2015 at 10:53PM, Edited April 29, 10:54PM

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Alex Zakrividoroga
Director
4160

Yes the professional crane was overkill as they could have used anybody's crane, even the shaky dirt cheap ones because the gimbal would still stabilize the camera.

I think what they were demoing is that you can go from the crane, then hand-off to an operator who's running with the gimbal all in one shot. You've probably seen this type of shot where one operator hands the gimbal to somebody else and things keep rolling as one shot.

April 29, 2015 at 11:07PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30423

I am on the same page about what they wanted to show.

But lets think this thru -- whats the market for their gimbals? I doubt the market are the production companies who already have the toys to pull the moves they want. Now, I speculate here -- they want to upsell to the $1k rig crowd showing the moves the rig cant pull off.

And this is where the entire ad should be shot with the gimbal-only. And it should compare: "t2i + rig" vs "t2i + ronin". If I was the business owner I'd try to persuade every starting filmmaker that they need my gimbal way before they need the lights or the audio kit.

Instead they kinda same-sale and down-sale for production companies that already have the means of pulling the same shots but want faster setup/strike time. And hey, in another thread we got the makings of a holy-war of gimbal vs steady cam where gimbals' inferiority was argued for any kind of sizable production. Hope you did not miss it ^_^

April 30, 2015 at 12:31AM

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Alex Zakrividoroga
Director
4160

The short film looks bad.. I want these moves, but everything here looks sloppy and jittery. Presumably if this is their marquis film to showcase the device this is the best it can do? But for $1400 and at this weight, I guess who can complain?

Get ready for *wild and crazy long single take shots* to be the new timelapse or slo-mo.. tediously ubiquitous without any sort of rhyme or reason. I think like all tools this will best be exploited subtly, but I'm sure we'll mostly get all sorts of garish chase sequences.

April 30, 2015 at 12:27AM, Edited April 30, 12:27AM

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It is interesting how as soon as a technology becomes available to the masses, it just gets overdone. First with time lapse, then with drone shots and now with this, steady long shots.

But for all the people out there just doing it because they can, there are people doing it because it's part of the story. I don't do camera movement in my shots that much right now because I don't want it to be sloppy, but with something like this and a lot of practice, I could totally make this work for that price. But what I'd really like to see is more affordable lighting so I could afford to properly light that really long tracking shot, and then a lot of money to properly dress the set for that long shot.

This will be great for sports videos, but cinematic shots will still take effort just like they always have.

April 30, 2015 at 2:01AM

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Julian Faras
Editor, Cinematographer, Director
451

It is indeed very tempting to make long shots for the sake of long shots.
I noticed this the first week with my MoVI, but during the edit you should really quickly see that it often is too long anyway. At least I noticed most long takes didn't make the cut at all...
Nevertheless a good gimbal is a great tool. And like most tools you don't need to use it all the time :-p

April 30, 2015 at 9:34AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
8924

This is pretty epic. Just pre-order one. DJI is a serious competitor for all gimbal systems out there now. Can not wait to get my hands on the Ronin M!

April 30, 2015 at 1:01AM

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Fantastic price, but I wish they showed off the long takes more! In the behind-the-scenes, there's hand-offs from crane to operator, and from quadcopter to operator, but you don't actually see these in the final movie -- there's cuts instead of single takes.

April 30, 2015 at 5:39AM

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Adrian Tan
Videographer
1000

Is it just me or this short is horrible and very often out of focus ?

April 30, 2015 at 7:27AM

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Max
74

Am I right in thinking that the 8lbs limit should be plenty to fly a C100 MkI and a lens?
C100 body is 2.2lbs I believe.
Agree that the tendency is for these long stabilized shots to turn into the new timelapse, but used sparingly these things are really awesome.
WANT.

April 30, 2015 at 10:00AM, Edited April 30, 10:00AM

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Without tophandle and sidegrip the C100 body plus a 24-70mm 2.8L lens weighs a little less than 5 lbs.

April 30, 2015 at 11:14AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
8924

Technically, it should be able to carry a stripped back FS7 with a lightweight lens on (no cp.2s or anything).

But I don't think the mount would be big enough, especially since the full sized Ronin is a squeeze for the FS7.

April 30, 2015 at 7:02PM

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Ben Howling
Writer / Director
499

Next up the Ronin L?... for payloads up to 4 lbs, built for smaller mirrorless cams? Gremsy has one in the pipeline, the H3... weighs in at 770 w/o the handlebars... perfect for flying.

April 30, 2015 at 11:41AM

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Tom Holton
UAS Specialist
305

So many haters on here today!

It's an effective gimbal for $1400. At minimum it's a good product at a good price. We should all be applauding this announcement.

How much is a movi 5?

April 30, 2015 at 12:19PM

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seanmclennan
Story Teller
944

deleted

April 30, 2015 at 3:16PM, Edited April 30, 3:18PM

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Freefly just s**t themselves!! Dji is taking over the gimbal market fast and at this incredible price, it'll be the go-to gimbal. Don't forget, this gimbal will eventually drop to around $999.99 just like the Ronin has already dropped $500.00

April 30, 2015 at 2:28PM

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Kaster Troy
Director, DP, Editor
1113

And by that time all new gadgets are going to come out and everyone's going to be like Ronin M what? And that's when we will buy it! =)

April 30, 2015 at 7:00PM

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Keith Kim
Photographer
1703

Seems like a nice price...
The problem I have is the promotional short film
Intro crane shot is out of focus... can't believe they are showing this. @0,18sec
Almost all the movement aren't fluid as they should be... @1,07sec you can feel it stop.

April 30, 2015 at 3:12PM

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Danny T
Photographer
489

Intro shot is unusable.

April 30, 2015 at 4:39PM

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love how they messed up this short film. Out of focus and the movement is not stabilized enough. I don't need it anyway.

April 30, 2015 at 7:15PM

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The footage was noticeably jittery in my opinion. I feel like I remember a similar issue with the original Ronin one release, but it was fixed with updates? I'm guessing that would be the case here. I'm happy with the weight and capacity, but wish it had better dimensions for larger cameras like the FS7.

May 1, 2015 at 12:56AM

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Aaron George
Director | Photographer
85

If it's not too heavy it will be a good alternative to the more expensive Zenmuse line of gimbals. We plan to make adapters for our drone line of copters as well as for third party ones.

May 1, 2015 at 1:37AM, Edited May 1, 1:37AM

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J. Fandino
Drone sales at www.providentialsystems.com
210