DJI Announces New and Much Improved Osmo Mobile and Ronin-S Gimbals
DJI has heavily revised the Osmo Mobile 2 and Ronin-S gimbals.
With its large presence in on-the-ground stabilization and the stabilized camera drone market, DJI is one of the most dominant players in the camera stabilization field. At The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week, the company is rolling out two new units, the Osmo Mobile 2 and the Ronin S, demonstrating a continued investment in innovative engineering.
Osmo Mobile 2
First up is the Osmo Mobile 2. Designed for holding your smartphone (hence the "mobile" part of the name), the Mobile 2 has a few key innovations that make it a leap above the original Osmo Mobile. First is the decision to craft the entire unit out of nylon. That allows nearly 100 grams to be shaved off the original weight without sacrificing battery time. In fact, battery time has been extended to up to 15 hours. As is the case with all stabilizers, battery time is hard to predict. It depends not only on the weight of the camera (a heavier iPhone Plus will require more motor force, and then burn more battery power, when stabilized) but also if it's balanced properly (battery balance means a longer battery life). There should be some situations where 15 hours of battery life is possible.
Useful for users with phones that might not be delivering the battery life they hoped for, the new Osmo Mobile 2 can also be used as a charger. This is a key feature that should tremendously up the usability of the unit. Most phones won't give you a full 12 hours of use per day and you don't want to add the weight of a battery case to the stabilized unit. By powering your phone from the handle, you'll get a longer day of shooting and end up with more charge in your phone when you're done.
DJI has also worked closely with Apple to take advantage of advanced features like ActiveTrak. It tracks moving objects in a scene which should help ensure well framed and beautifully focused shots. The other key feature is the focus on being equally usable in both horizontal and verticle modes. While filmmakers prefer the horizontal option, vertical video is taking off on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat, so it's both useful and telling that there's now a focus on that mode of operation in the unit.
The other big news is the new Ronin-S. While the Ronin 2 is an amazing unit that really steps up the functionality over the original Ronin, it's both larger and more expensive than the original Ronin unit. If you are a DSLR or mirrorless user, you'll find the Ronin 2 to be overkill in most situations. It's too heavy, too expensive, and too large for what you need it for. This, of course, opens up a space for DJI to create targeted units. DSLR and mirrorless users will be happy to hear that the Ronin-S will be available in two strengths once it's released in the second quarter of 2018.
Some details are still sketchy, but the information already released, combined with the images and the video, are pretty impressive. The units are designed with an angled arm to the roll access, allowing for an easy viewing angle on the camera screen. It comes with a focus control unit that is designed to be reachable as a thumb unit. It also helps the process of working with focus for remote RC/jib/camera mount situations. There is a planned ecosystem of a whole host of accessories, including dual handle arms, swappable batteries, master wheels, and a remote control.
The camera stabilization algorithms of the Ronin-S are claimed to work with "in-camera and in-lens" stabilization. It's unclear at the moment if this simply means telling the Ronin which body/lens combo you wish to mount and stabilize, or if there's some sort of syncing going on between the stabilizer and the camera similar to what happens with an iPhone and the Osmo Mobile 2. Nonetheless, a stabilizer that takes advantage of all tools available to create smooth shots will definitely be useful.
No official word yet on Ronin-S pricing and finalized spec sheet, though rumors (and a quick browse of comparable units) indicate that we might see the unit come in under $1k, at least for the mirrorless version. For the DJI Osmo Mobile 2, the price comes in at an impressive $129.
Tech Specs - Osmo Mobile 2:
- Supports up to 3.3" Wide Smartphones
- Syncs up with Multi-Mode DJI GO App
- 15 Hour Run-Time
- Tracking Technology Built Into App, including ActiveTrak
- On the Move Time-Lapse Feature, Panorama Function
- 1/4"-20 Tripod Mount
- 2600 mAh battery
- 2 hour charge time, 15 hour well balance run time
- Bluetooth 4.0 LE
- 485grams (including battery)