The DJI Ronin S is the brand new model from DJI who have developed a number of amazing camera stabilization gimbal models like the Ronin, Ronin M and the Ronin 2 to help capture the best video content.
The Ronin S is one of DJI’s best camera stabilization systems yet. It compresses the technology of the more expensive Ronin M, a two-handed stabilization system, into a lightweight, single-grip model that makes usage more efficient.
You may have seen other less expensive similar devices however, the Ronin S takes a further leap with technology in the industry due to a number of functionalities and features. In our product review, we take you through all the different aspects of the DJI Ronin S and if we think it’s worth adding to your camera accessories.
The Ronin S has a super quick set-up, is more compact and with the offset roll axis motor being lowered behind the camera, you can clearly see the camera display when filming. What makes this model even more interesting and stand out from some of the other features, the Ronin S will connect to a popular range of cameras including brands like Panasonic, Sony, Canon and Nikon. This allows control over the built-in camera functionality, from remote focus and zoom to recording footage with the start and stop button.
The battery life lasts approximately 12-hours and connectivity with the smartphone app which allows you to configure custom controls that can change performance and motion speed. it has a 3.6kg load capacity and a 3-axis motorized gimbal head. Our video team have been testing out the Ronin S from the release date and find it so much easier to use than the Ronin M, besides the extra features.
It gives filmmakers the power during a video shoot to capture spontaneous moments with smoothness and clarity. With optimal torque control, the Ronin S can stabilize a shot when mounted to moving platforms at speeds of up to 75 kph.
Setup & Configuration of the DJI Ronin S
Setting up this device is pretty straight forward and similar to other DJI gimbals, although DJI have taken away some of the pain when balancing a device on the gimbal by adding on clear white position scales on each of the adjustable bars which saves time and hassle.
The setup and configuration process is mostly controlled through the smartphone application, connecting the gimbal via Bluetooth that allows you to take the balance test, help you to optimise the balance and reduce the amount of effort the device uses to keep the camera stabilized.
There is an auto-tune function with the Ronin S that constructs the motor behaviour. This is built into the app, however, you can also do this manually by holding the trigger and M button down together for around five seconds. This ultimately making recalibration a quicker and easier process.
Aesthetics & Components
The Ronin S comes in a grey lightweight polystyrene carry case that provides ample protection for all of the complementary components and is secured with a smart twist clasp.
Inside the case, the product itself is divided into three separate pieces;
- The three-axis gimbal head
- A handle that contains the battery
- A handle extension that opens to form a tripod.
These components join together rather quickly in a tool-free fashion. The head connects to the handle and is secured with a metal hold to keep it in place. The handle extension screws onto the base of the device.
The mini tripod extension enables a further reach for the camera which is great for overhead or low-to-the-ground filming and this also provides a more comfortable hold for the gimbal.
The gimbal itself is lightweight but when you attach a camera and add-on extras the weight can cause physical stress for even the most experienced gimbal operators and having the tripod extension to set the stabilizer down from time to time relieves stress.
The Ronin S is mostly made of metal which makes it durable and robust. The handle, which is also the battery, and extension are covered in a rubber-textured material for added grip, and some parts of the product like the rubber covers on the ports make the product more weatherproof.
There are a number of features of the Ronin S to allow you to create the best video content possible.
DJI Ronin S: Functionality
The functionality of the DJI Ronin S is better in our opinion when comparing it to other DJI gimbal models.
It should be said as that you shouldn’t turn the device on without a camera mounted as the device will vibrate and the motors will shut down. If this does occur just turn the gimbal off.
The Ronin S has unlimited movement on the pan axis and this allows the user to perform a continuous three hundred and sixty-degree rotation. This is accessed easily in the Ronin app.
The Flashlight mode is one of three different ways to use the Ronin S. It is accompanied by the default mode (normal) and the underslung mode.
DJI Ronin S: Control Through The Mobile App
Features of the Ronin S can be controlled through the official Ronin mobile app. When you open the Ronin app, by selecting the configuration option, you will have access to the Motor Parameters. It is recommended to use the autotune function but if you would like to fine-tune the gimbal, just select the advanced setting tap.
SmoothTrack will enable you to configure the Ronin S to react appropriately to your movement. There is a ‘Push Pan’ toggle that can be great for practical gimbal orientation adjustment.
In the control option, you can alter the responsiveness of the gimbal joystick both the physical and virtual version. In the settings tab you can change between the handheld and car mount mode, switch between the multiple user profiles you create, pause the motors, manually recenter the gimbal and much more.
One of the most useful features that the Ronin S provides as a state of the art camera stabilizer gimbal is the ‘remote camera control’. This can be done by connecting the device to the mounted camera through the MCC (multi camera control) or RSS (remote start/stop) cable, which are both included with the Ronin S.
Our overall perception of this stabilizer is just how easy it is for a mediocre operator to get familiar with the device in a small amount of time. If you can put thought into the type of shot you are looking for and think about the movement or motion you will need, press record and the Ronin S gimbal will take care of the rest.
Due to the thoughtful design touches and spectacular performance, the DJI Ronin S stands tall in its competitive niche. For those who are not accustomed to using stabilization systems just like this one, it can seem a little intimidating at first but this will enable you to create professional movement and steady footage with very little experience.
DJI have done an excellent job in balancing the complexity of the device for first time users with simplified, out of the box operations.