There’s a new kid on the block ready to rock the boat. Leading gimbal maker DJI recently introduced the Ronin-SC, their latest offering in a market segment full of raging competitors. Moza, Zhiyun and an endless list of cheap Chinese knock-offs have made choosing a gimbal a tough choice, despite the fact that filmmakers now have more options than ever.
In essence, DJI Ronin-SC is a smaller gimbal aimed to lighter mirrorless cameras having a smaller footprint and payload compared to the bigger brother, the Ronin-S. Besides size and some minor details, however, the two counterparts have a lot in common. So, let’s take a look at this comparison made by MAKE. ART. NOW.
At first look, the two siblings seem quite similar, the SC looks like a shrunk version of the Ronin-S. An upgrade feature you’ll instantly notice while setting up the Ronin-SC is that it comes with locks on each axis which makes balancing much easier and quicker. The main lock under the baseplate is also upgraded, there is now one single-clicking screw to hold on everything.
Naturally, with the smaller size comes a payload reduction. DJI states that Ronin-SC payload is 4.4lbs, quite a jump from the 7.9lbs of the Ronin-S, almost a cut in half.
A couple of tests made with different combos of lenses and cameras covered in the video show results that were more or less expected. For example, a Sony A7RIII paired with a Sony FE G Master 135mm seem to be perfectly fine on the Ronin-SC, whereas the same setup with the 70-200mm turned out to be too heavy.
The BMPCC 4K, on the other hand, tends to be hard to balance on most gimbals, and the Ronin-SC is no exception. A viable workaround covered here suggests using some weights on the shorter side of the gimbal to balance it out, even though it may not be the best solution in the long run. Same goes with other bigger cameras like the Canon 1DX. The Ronin-SC is just meant for a whole different category of cameras.
Once you get your setup going, the stabilization between the two gimbals is almost identical. The differences refer to other aspects like battery life. The smaller handle of the Ronin-SC (not interchangeable with the Ronin-S), for instance, gives a couple of hours less of juice, plus you will lose the ability to power your camera.
Meanwhile, the remainder is almost identical. You get your 360° barrel roll, your sports mode and so on. There have been also some minor improvements on the Ronin-SC like the small joystick that does not unscrew and feels more natural while operating, which is another nice touch.
It’s also worth mentioning that the choice between the two available Ronin-SC kits, the Standard and the Pro, is a no-brainer. The Pro Combo Kit will set you back $539, that’s 100 bucks more than the standard version, but for the price, you get a follow focus motor and gear.
That means you can control all your lenses only by using the gimbal itself. This extra functionality is absolutely worth the $100 difference IMHO. There is no setup needed, you just attach the gear to your lens and the Ronin-SC is ready to go.
The redesigned Ronin app that currently is not supported by the older DJI gimbals, is another noteworthy upgrade coming with the Ronin-SC.One of the cool features it brings to the table is Force Mobile.
Basically, it synchronizes the movement of the connected mobile device with the gimbal itself. Another extra feature unique for the Ronin-SC is ActiveTrack 3.0 that allows the unit to accurately follow a given subject using a mobile device.
So, there you go! DJI has made the move to enter in the more and more evolving niche of single-handed gimbals, and surely other manufacturers will now have the urge to reply to this enticing offer. We’ll see what the next months will bring on, but be ready for some exciting announcements, especially with IBC 2019 just around the corner.