DJI has done an amazing job of bringing its stabilization expertise, developed to keep cameras steady up in the air, to ground-based camerawork. The company's pace of innovation is so fast it's almost exhausting, with seemingly most major products updated in the last year or so, except the mid-range which just got a bump with the massively revamped Ronin S.
The high-end Ronin 2 is wonderful, but is frankly a rental item for most of us, and even that only occasionally. The DJI Osmo Mobile 2 (leaving Apple exclusivity and available wide soon) is fantastic for smartphone work and will likely make it to the scout bag of many filmmakers wanting to plan out more sophisticated shots. But it's the Ronin S that had most of us excited, and now it's available for pre-order at a price of only $699.
The Ronin S is designed to be the ultimate 3-axis stabilizer for the indie shooter, and packs in practically every feature a mirrorless or DSLR shooter could possibly want. While it's going to be a bit underpowered once you bump up to full-on digital cinema cameras, if you are shooting a lot on the X-H1, GH5, or A7SII, this stabilizer is well worth a look, especially considering the price makes it easier to consider just buying one and bringing it with you on all jobs, whether you are 100% sure it'll get used or not.
With a hard-mounted follow focus knob, power for an external focus motor, 12-hour battery life with the handle, and optional remote control modes, the Ronin S should integrate seamlessly with either one mule team productions on up to larger crews.
One fascinating detail that we can't wait to test is DJI's focus on integrating its technology with in-camera stabilization. This was first seen with the integration of the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 and the internal iPhone object tracking and stabilization tech. Now, the Ronin S is designed to integrate the image stabilization built into most modern cameras and lenses to create the smoothest shots possible using all tools available. This should mean that lens stabilization, in-body stabilization, and 3-Axis external stabilization all play together, instead of fighting each other or replicating for each other. This isn't the sort of thing that will make a night and day performance change, but it is the kind of refinement that will help make some particularly tricky long lens tracking shots easier than before, and it's those incremental improvements that are just as appreciated as the big revolutions.
Available for pre-order now for $699.
- 8 pound payload limit
- 4.1 lb / 1.86 kg (with Handlebar)
- 23.23 x 11.54 x 10.08" / 590 x 293 x 256 mm
- Range: Pan: 360°, Tilt: 280° (-95 to 185°), Roll: 360°
- Speed: Pan/tilt/roll: 360°/s
- 12 Hours runtime with 2400 mAh battery
- Three-Axis Motorized Gimbal Stabilizer
- Holds DSLR or Mirrorless Cameras
- Trigger and Mode Buttons for Control
- Offset Roll Motor for Screen Visibility
- One-Handed Operation
- Camera Control via Included Cables
- Includes Focus Wheel
- Additional Functions via Android/iOS App