The gimbal and drone company doesn't seem to be slowing down with three new releases.
What better time to also release its first independent wireless video solution? Well, creatives are also getting the DJI Transmission. There’s a lot to unpack, so let’s dig in.
The DJI RS 3
The RS 3 is the next iteration of the DJI’s Ronin line. While not a full-fledged system like the Ronin 2, the RS line has evolved to be a robust workhorse for mirrorless and small form factor cameras like the RED Komodo.
One of the biggest quality-of-life updates with the RS 3 has been the redesigned axes-locking system, which has been automated. When turned off, the gimbal is automatically locked into a fixed position for travel or storage. But when turned on, the gimbal unlocks itself and moves back into a resting position.
Other additions include a brand-new 1.8-inch OLED full-color touchscreen so most gimbal setups can be completed without the need for a mobile app. The UI has also been redesigned for easier use. It also includes a physical gimbal mode switch which users can toggle to switch between pan follow, pan and tilt follow, and FPV modes.
The new DJI gimbal also boasts 12 hours of battery life with the brand-new battery grip. And if you’re pulling 16-hour days, the RS 3 also supports PD fast charging at 18W.
The RS 3 weighs just a bit less than the previous RS 2, coming in at just under 1.3 kg (or 2.8lbs), which is roughly half a pound lighter. This weight measurement includes the gimbal, battery grip, and quick-release plates.
Oddly enough, that’s not the only thing that’s been reduced. The tested payload has been reduced to 3 kg (6.6 lbs). Compared to the RS 2 with 4.5 kg (10.0 lbs), you’re losing about 3.5lbs of capacity.
However, DJI does claim that there is a 20% improvement in performance over RSC 2 thanks to the third-generation RS Stabilization Algorithm. How this is handled by the software vs. the reduced payload capacity remains to be seen, yet the RS 3 feels more like an update to the RSC 2 instead.
DJI does state this in its comparisons, but the nomenclature feels a bit off.
The Pro Version
This is where the DJI RS 3 Pro comes in, which definitely feels like the successor to the RS 2. While it has the same automated axes-locking system as the regular RS 3, the pro has options for locking the gimbal in ready position. This is a welcome addition to ACs who need to do a quick lens swap or adjust camera accessories.
Unlike the regular model, the Pro can also lock the same way in an inverted position.
Much like the Ronin 2, the RS 3 Pro is crafted from one uncut piece of carbon fiber. This not only helps in decreasing weight, but also increases the rigidity and payload.
The whole unit weighs 1.5 kg (or 3.3 lbs), which includes the weight of the gimbal, battery grip, and quick-release plate. The RS 3 Pro also has a payload capacity of 4.5kg (or 10lbs). This is roughly the same weight as the RS 2 and the same tested payload capacity.
Apart from that, the RS 3 Pro has the same 1.8-inch OLED touchscreen and gimbal mode switch as the regular RS 3.
DJI Transmission & LiDAR
Along with the two gimbals, DJI has released its first-ever video transmission system, the DJI Transmission, which when paired with the DJI LiDAR Rangefinder, gives users a robust focus solution for small teams or solo shooters.
Unfortunately, these two pieces of tech are only compatible with the RS 3 Pro.
By using the LiDAR focusing technology found in the Ronin 4D, shooters can easily rely on manual lenses. The system can project about 43,200 ranging points within a 14-meter indoor area, which powers a next-generation one-step mount focus motor with super pushy torque, giving users with manual cine glass that sweet, sweet autofocus.
How that will compare to the likes of dedicated AF Sony and Canon lenses remains to be seen, but it’s cool to see this tech coming to the masses.
The DJI Transmission, however, is a transmission and monitor/receiver unit that was developed on top of the experience gleaned from the Ronin 4D and its video transmission technology.
Based on O3 Pro transmission technology, DJI Transmission combines reception, monitoring, control, and recording into one unit. It is said to offer a 20,000ft on-ground transmission distance with end-to-end ultra-low latency. Transmitted video is limited to 1080p/60fps and provides live audio monitoring at 16-bit, 48 kHz. Tack on some Frame.io, and you got yourself some instant dailies!
With up to 23 channels and a built-in frequency sweeper, the DJI Transmission almost feels like plug and play. At least on paper.
The 7-inch Remote Monitor will come with a whopping 1500 nits and will include an integrated receiver. One transmitter will support multiple receivers and have two transmission modes. For smaller productions, you have Control Mode. This will allow monitoring from two receivers at the same time and give you remote control over the gimbal and camera.
For larger sets, creatives can enable Broadcast Mode on top of Control mode. This will allow an unlimited number of receivers so you can scale with your production needs.
Should You Get One?
That’s a big fat "maybe." Are you upgrading from a DJI RSC 2? You’ll probably be fine with the older generation unless you need the LiDAR and video transmission capabilities.
But if you’re in the market for a new gimbal, or are upgrading from an older model, then both the RS 3 and RS 3 Pro are very attractive solutions for all sorts of shooters. Both units are also under $1,000, which in my book is just theft.
DJI is the king of gimbals these days, that’s pretty clear. Thankfully, this means every new release will have something enticing for creatives. While this new release might not be the perfect fit for your project, it's definitely a piece of kit that someone desperately needs.