It goes without saying, gimbals are ubiquitous these days. If you’ve been to any kind of tech convention or public event lately, odds are you’ve seen a multitude of videographers using small mirrorless cameras mounted on all types of stabilizers.
It’s surely normal for professional filmmaking but it’s getting common in many other genres of visual storytelling to see these appealing cinematic shots created by the camera gliding through space in a seamless manner. So then, it’s time to compare the new kid on the block, the Ronin-SC (the little brother of DJI’s flagship Ronin-S) to the highly demanded competitor – the Zhiyun WEEBILL LAB.
This comparison is made by Jake Sloan, a former Ronin-S user, who eventually opted for the smaller and more portable WEEBILL LAB. Getting the two gimbals one next to the other makes apparent the striking similarity in their weight. They both clock in at 1.25 kg more or less, with an almost un-relevant difference.
Furthermore, both rivals have quite different payloads on paper, but if on one side the 3kg of the WEEBILL LAB is almost the extreme maximum, the 2kg of the Ronin-SC is probably a quite conservative value, so it’s safe to say that the payload is after all quite similar, at about 2,5 kg. For a safer usage, it would be better to keep the weight of your camera setup below the 2kg mark on both devices.
Additionally, the Ronin-SC is a little bit bigger than the WEEBILL LAB, at least when they are locked down. You should keep in mind, though, that the Ronin can be taken down to pieces, so in the end, it’s easier to get it in a backpack, whereas the Zhiyun offering has a smaller footprint but it’s still tougher to fit in the same space due to its odd shape.
Particularly, the quick release plate on the WEEBILL sticks out in the side view, making it weird to place in a comfortable position with other gear. The Ronin, instead, relies on a standard Arca-swiss plate, so it’s much narrower and goes in most packs quite easily.
Now, let’s get to the feature differences between the two. The WEEBILL LAB offers image transmission, a bit laggy to be honest, but it could be a key option to someone. Other than that, the unit uses non-proprietary removable batteries. Here, even the quite common lithium 18650 batteries will do the trick, so you can get a few as spares in case you need them.
The Zhiyun gimbal is also very small, even too small on certain occasions, at the point that if you are not using the tripod base for further stability, you could accidentally press the buttons on the actual handle. Finally, the WEEBILL LAB has 1/4-20 screws to add on any accessories, whereas the Ronin-SC uses a proprietary connection.
It’s also worth noting that the Ronin-SC has a very functional joystick. DJI has learned from the past and has made a much better job with that compared to the Ronin-S. Not only that, but the ability to change pre-programmed modes on the Ronin-SC is awesome when compared to the WEEBILL LAB where you have to restart the motors each time.
On the other hand, you might miss the integrated focus wheel and image transmission available on the Ronin-SC, but in return, WEEBILL LAB provides the ability to charge your camera on the fly.
The real gem in this comparison seems to be the tracking system of the two rivals. The tracking on the DJI Ronin-SC is simply fantastic – not only does it never miss a beat, but if you’re going solo and need to film yourself, you can select the area where your face is going to be and the gimbal will follow you.
All in all, it’s an amazing tool for all those YouTubers that can’t afford to have a second person operating the camera all the time. This coupled with the motion controller inside the app that allows you to move it using your phone, makes it the perfect tool for solo shooters.
In conclusion, there seems to be a very little gap regarding the real-world performance of the two devices, the stabilizing is great on both. What makes the difference, though, is the added features like the tracking and the motion control as well as the build quality. Quoting Jake, the DJI feel like a “nice engineered car”, while the WEEBILL LAB feels like a “utility truck”. So, are you a sports car guy or a truck guy?