DJI Ronin 4D-8K first review is in
Great news! The DJI Ronin 4D 8k sensor ($12,838) is finally shipping. While it was announced two years ago alongside the 6k variant, it hasn’t been available until now, and no one was entirely sure how its footage would look either. But the wait is over, and we finally have a first review from Gerald Undone.
The new sensor comes as a part of the Zenmuse X9-8k camera, mounted in front of the Ronin 4D. It will allow recording of up to 8K75p or 4k120p in ProRes RAW or 8K30 in RAW HQ. Like the previous model, it will have an interchangeable DL lens mount, but it also brings a new feature to the Ronin 4D: Dynamic range expansion.
The Zenmuse X9-8k – the 8k sensor and gimbal
The 8k version of the Ronin 4D isn’t an entirely separate product from the 6k version. All that changes is the frontal part, which includes the 3-axis gimbal and the sensor. That part is called the Zenmuse X9-6k for the 6k version and, unsurprisingly, the Zenmuse X9-8k ($3599) for the 8k version. As this part is detachable, people have theorized since 2021 that you will be able to switch between the two. That ended up being correct.
Dynamic range expansion
Besides the ability to record 8k, the new Zenmuse X9-8k unlocks a new feature in the menus. That feature is called “Dynamic range expansion,” and it allows you to choose between a faster readout speed or a higher dynamic range.
During Gerald’s testing, he found the Ronin 4D to reach about 15 dynamic stops when DRE (Dynamic range expansion) is turned on and about 14.5 when the feature is turned off. It’s only half a stop better, so if you need to reduce the rolling shutter, just keep this off. Overall, the dynamic range of the Zenmuse X9-8k is pretty good one way or the other.
Rolling shutter On the Ronin 4D-8K
With DRE on, the Zenmuse X9-8k gave 29.9 ms of rolling shutter during Gerald’s testing. (8k, full frame mode). It’s not a small amount, but if you turn off DRE, you get about 16ms of rolling shutter. Impressively, this is actually faster than the 20ms result of the Zenmuse X9-6k.
Dual ISO performance of the Ronin 4D-8K
Like the Zenmuse X9-6k, the 8k version features dual ISO. Unlike the 800,5000 set of the 6k model, the 8k version alternates between 800 and 4000 for its dual ISO options. The noise levels, all across the board, are similar between the two versions, but the Zenmuse X9-8k is performing slightly better when DRE is turned on.
There is one additional difference with the 8k variant. The Zenmuse X9-6k can shoot up to 12,800 ISO, while the Zenmuse X9-8k cannot. If you care about low light shooting, do not worry, as pushing the exposure on the Zenmuse X9-8k one stop higher in the post from 6400 actually gives better results than directly shooting 12,800 on the Zenmuse X9-6k.
Price and availability
The Ronin 4D-8k bundle will include the following:
- Ronin 4D Main Body
- Zenmuse X9-8K Gimbal Camera
- DJI DL PZ 17-28 mm T3.0 ASPH Lens
- 4D Raw License Key Included
- Left and right control handgrips
- TB50 battery and charging adapter
- LiDAR range finder
- 1TB ProSSD
- Hard carrying case
There are also components that don’t come with the bundle, but they may help you as well:
- 7″ high-bright, touchscreen monitor
- Wireless video transmitter
- X9 focus motor
- 3-channel FIZ lens control unit
- Expansion plate with SDI, XLR, and timecode ports
- DJI Leica L and M lens mounts
- Third-party ARRI PL and Sony E lens mounts