The days of hefty Steadicam and gimbal rigs are slowly fading. We take a look at some attractive lightweight camera options available to creatives to get them gimbal-ready.
Lighter gimbals are exploding in popularity to support the growing lineup of small form-factor cameras. The RED Komodo and Sony FX6 shook things up with their lightweight design and high-quality internal recording options.
Just recently, Canon made things interesting with the announcement of their new small form factor hybrid cinema camera, the Canon EOS R5 C.
But what other options do creatives and filmmakers have? We take a look at what the DJI RS 2 gimbal is capable of handling, with a little help from LensProToGo and Peter McKinnon.
RED Komodo vs. Sony FX6
The RED Komodo and Sony FX6 are individually robust cameras that offer rich features for operators, as well as high-resolution recording options for all sorts of content needs. The cameras come in at 2.10 lbs and 1.96 lbs respectively, and due to their small form factor design, are attractive options for the DJI RS 2 gimbal.
Sony also offers internal NDs in the FX6, and RED has options to use adapters with ND filters built-in. The included autofocus features from both cameras check another box for usability and efficiency. A must for productions of all sizes.
But there are some issues to consider when pairing these two cameras with the DJI gimbal. Let’s take a look at a breakdown from LensProToGo to get some details of what users will have to overcome.
While these camera options are great tools to get gorgeous cinematography, there is one more thing to consider. The cost of it all.
The DJI RS 2 comes in at $849, while the RED Komodo is a whopping $5,995 for the body only. The Sony FX6 sits right with the Komodo at $5,998 for the body, as well. Filmmakers and creatives will find the DJI RS 2 an attractive solution, but might see the RED and Sony cameras a bit out of their budget.
So what else is there that would work with the DJI RS 2 or similar gimbals?
Canon’s New Hybrid Cinema Camera
We can’t talk about small form-factor cinema cameras without mentioning Canon. The C70 introduced in 2020 would be a great fit for creatives using the DJI RS 2. It also has internal NDs, as well as robust features and autofocus. But how does it work on the DJI RS 2?
Let's go visit Peter McKinnon for some detailed insight.
However, at $5,499, the Canon C70 is only a few hundred dollars cheaper than the RED and Sony we mentioned. Sure, you can spend that extra few hundred bucks on lenses, but we can find something cheaper, right?
Well, Canon just announced the new EOS R5 C. At $4,499, you get basically get a Canon R5 and a Canon C70 all in one package. It weighs only 1.7 lbs with the batteries and recording media, giving you an extra weight for other accessories and lenses.
Check out our post on the Canon EOS R5 C for more info on this new piece of kit.
“But that’s still thousands of dollars more expensive than the DJI RS 2!” I hear you say.
Don’t fret. There are more cinema camera options for those on a budget.
Budget Options for Gimbal Use
Mirrorless and DSLR cameras with incredible recording options have flooded the market in the past few years. Just take a look at anything from Sony, Canon, and Panasonic. But we’re here to talk about cinema cameras, at least while there’s still some difference between cinema and hybrid cameras.
If you’re finding your wallet a little too slim for the RED Komodo, Sony FX6, and Canon EOS R5 C, you can always look at Blackmagic Design.
The BMPCC 4K, 6K, and 6K Pro from Blackmagic Design are less than half the price of the other cameras and offer competing recoding options. Some might say even better. But that’s not an argument we’re willing to have just yet.
While the sensor sizes are a bit smaller than the other options we looked at, the access to BRAW cannot be understated. Also, the active mounts on all three Blackmagic cameras also offer autofocus support, although it might not meet the standards of some Sony and Canon shooters.
Finally, if internal NDs are a must for your gimbal use, the BMPCC 6K Pro is going to be a perfect fit for you.
We also can’t help but mention the Sony FX3. At $3,898, this tiny camera packs a mighty punch and fits neatly between our high-end and budget options. While it has some issues to overcome, if you live in the Sony ecosystem, it’s a camera to consider for your DJI RS 2.
So What Should You Buy?
If budget is your concern, Blackmagic is a perfect solution for any gimbal needs. It’s an interesting body design that might take some getting used to, but the image quality is difficult to argue with.
However, if your name is Mr. Moneybags, then the world is your oyster. If you’re a documentary filmmaker, the RED Komodo might not be a good fit for your workflow, but Canon will definitely cover your needs. If you already have a collection of E mount lenses, the Sony FX6 will most likely already be on your shortlist.
In the end, all of these cameras are just tools, and you should always pick the one that best fits your production. But in today's camera market, one thing is certain, if you depend on a gimbal for your creative needs, there are more than enough options for you to choose from.