Despite having only been available for a couple of months now, DJI Ronin-S has quickly become one of the most popular single-arm gimbals on the market, and for good reason. With ingenious hardware and software integration, the device has earned the praise of many professionals and enthusiasts alike who want to push past the hurdles and get smooth cinematic footage right off the bat.
So, if you’re someone who already owns a Ronin-S, there are several techniques that filmmakers have discovered to get more use out of the device that already has so much value once packed in your gear bag. In the next video, Arber Baqaj showcases five smart hacks you can use with your Ronin-S.
The first tip involves getting better crane shots using the gimbal by attaching a monopod to its bottom. By doing so, you can extend the overall length of the combo to get higher crane shots. Just don’t forget to use the Tilt Lock Mode on the Ronin-S when operating it as a crane to ensure proper operation with the motors.
If you don’t have a camera slider available on-hand, you can use your Ronin-S as an alternative option. Just keep in mind that the range of horizontal motion will be limited to the length of the gimbal. To apply this technique, you’ll need to attach the gimbal to a tripod and horizontally tilt it on its side. Then you’ll have to set the gimbal to All Lock mode and move the tripod head from left to ride to get your makeshift slider shots.
The third hack featured in the video helps eliminate the vertical jitter associated with gimbals, providing you with a more Steadicam-like aesthetic to your camera move. This trick can be achieved by attaching a light tripod to the bottom and spreading its legs open. The added weight of the accessory acts as a counterbalance to the top of the gimbal, thus helping you eliminate the mechanical-looking jitter from your footage.
For better pans and tilts while shooting, consider using your gimbal head rather than your tripod one when filming. Attach your Ronin-S to a tripod and instead of moving the tripod head, use the control stick on the gimbal for smooth pans and tilts. You can even adjust the speed and deadband of the motor movements using the Ronin-S app.
Speaking of the app, the last tip takes advantage of the Ronin-S’s remote control capabilities. If you’re planning to do some complex camera movements, consider dividing the camera operation workload by incorporating a co-pilot into your production.
The way this works is that one person will physically hold the gimbal and move the system around while another operator uses the Ronin-S app to control the gimbal head remotely. This is especially useful if the camera operator is walking through rough terrain or in other challenging conditions.
What are your favorite gimbal tricks? Let us know in the comments below.