The DJI Ronin-M camera stabiliser (£1,299) is designed for the professional film maker who isn't blessed with big biceps. It's a lightweight, state of the art, 3 brushless motor gimbal that opens up all sorts of possibilities for the camera person who wants to create effortless, gliding shots with a touch of class.
There's been high demand for this lighter, younger brother of the original DJI Ronin since it was unveiled at NAB 2015. Although it has been a big seller, the Ronin was too heavy for some operators, especially when larger camera set-ups were used. The Ronin-M is around half its weight at 2.3kg - that's just 5.07lbs.
The Ronin-M can handle a Panasonic GH4, a Canon 5D MkIII and a stripped down Red Epic to name but a few - basically anything up to 8lbs. It's wonderfully adaptable too. The stabiliser can work at head height, under-slung or in briefcase mode, which means an operator can carry it down by their side.
In the future it may be compatible with DJI's heavy-lift multi-rotors. In the DJI video later in this blog you'll see that it was flown indoors underneath one of the company's S1000 octocopters but a proper DJI mount for it isn't yet on the horizon. The top handle does detach so that the Ronin-M can connect to all sorts of universal mounts.
A Canon 5D MkIII on the DJI Ronin-M
The Ronin-M comes with a remote controller for use by a second operator and it's also compatible with the Lightbridge HD video transmission system. For one man operation DJI also make an optional wireless remote controller A custom-made pressure sensitive stick allows you to quickly change the settings, speed, and direction of your gimbal, all at the flick of your thumb. Control where your camera is facing and access advanced settings including calibration, channel settings, and pre-set profiles. These settings can also be changed with the DJI Ronin Assistant Bluetooth app.
The important thing to remember when first setting up the Ronin-M is that you need to allow about half an hour to get your camera balanced. It's worth taking the time at this stage in order to avoid unnecessary strain on the brushless motors, poor battery life and, of course, not very smooth shots.
Heliguy customers have been using their Ronin-Ms for all sorts of scenarios. They're not all moviemakers. One videographer is using his to get glossy shots of weddings, gliding around the guests and floating around the dancefloor at the reception.
Even clients who already own larger gimbals like the original Ronin or a Freefly Movi have bought Ronin-Ms because their lighter to use and transport and easier to manoeuvre in tight spots. They also offer redundancy in case of problems with the main rig.
If you really want to see how slick and versatile the DJI Ronin-M is then check out this behind the scenes video. The film was shot in 7 hours using the stabilised gimbal and the S1000 octocopter. To see the finished product go to the Ronin-M page on our website.
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