This is pretty unexpected, but it looks like DJI is starting to expand its range of products. If you’ve seen previous articles I’ve written, you’ll know how much I geek out over the DJI Phantom line. The Phantoms are what the company is primarily known for: high-altitude camera drones. And now they’re announcing their newest addition to the company’s line of products: a handheld stabilizer called the Ronin.
Let’s take a look at the specs. The Ronin is a 3-axis stabilized gimbal system, which should perform excellently; if the stabilization DJI implements in its Phantom drones has anything to say about how well the company handles stability, then the Ronin will be just fine. As many a gimbals out there use the stabilization mechanism found on helicopters anyways, this moves makes perfect sense.
We’ll also have the freedom to implement almost whatever kind of camera we want. The product’s specs indicate that the Ronin will be able to take in anything from a Canon DSLR to a RED. Along with that freedom, the biggest thing the Ronin has to offer is its versatility. With the actual system completely tool-less, and with a five-minute setup time, DJI makes it clear that they want this stabilizer to be easy to use, and they want it to be just as efficient as anything else on the market.
Here the main control featured as outlined be DJI:
SmoothTrackTM gives the single gimbal operator the ability to translate their tilt and pan movements of the gimbal into smooth and stabilized movements of the camera’s angle. Framing of broad wide-angle scenes or even close quarters becomes much easier during single gimbal operator use.
After balancing the camera with a simple tap of the ATS (Auto Tune Stability) button, Ronin will be automatically tuned for your camera rig. The gimbal will intelligently adjust parameters based off the camera rigs weight and independently adjust each individual axis until an optimal setting is found.
UPRIGHT OPERATION MODE
Upright Mode allows the gimbal to be flipped over and operate the camera closer to eye level without straining to lift the gimbal. This can be used in various situations such mounting on the top of the vehicle. There are no limitations.
SUSPENDED OPERATION MODE
Standard gimbal operation is in Suspended Operation Mode. Low slung, close to the ground or simply holding the gimbal in front of you offers completely smooth and stabilized footage. This mode would also be used when mounted to a flying platform such as a multirotor.
2ND OPERATOR CONTROLLER
A 2nd operator transmitter is also included with the package. This allows for pan and tilt control as well user assignable speeds and operation modes with 2 custom toggle switches on the transmitter.
OPTIONAL JOYSTICK PAN/TILT
Single thumb control is available for the Ronin Handheld Gimbal System. Pan and Tilt movements can be controlled via the optional joystick attachment. SmoothTrackTM mode can be turned on or off via the optional joystick interface.
Filmmaker Magazine is reporting the price of this machine to be under $5,000, and it should be shipping in July. This is pretty impressive considering that the equivalent Movi system is about $15,000. (you can also check that link to see some of the more spectacular shot that can be achieved with a stabilized gimbal) So the bottom line comes down to waiting for it to be tested in real life. With the price set lower than its biggest competitor – the MōVI M5 – time will tell whether the performance will be set just as low as well, or whether the Ronin will give it a decent run for its money. As for me, I think it’ll perform excellently, as long as DJI gives its new product the same care in quality it gives the Phantom line.