DJI, the renowned drone maker, has long ago entered the filmmaking industry with some pretty enticing products, most notable of which being the offerings belonging to the Ronin series.
The latest addition to the lineup, the Ronin-SC is a compact single-handed gimbal packed with an abundance of features, design enhancements, and technology inside that definitely deserve a closer look. In the video below, Josh from Make.Art.Now. summarizes three key, yet a bit unconventional functionalities of the device every filmmaker should know.
The Ronin-SC inherits the design of the Ronin-S featuring a single handle with a joystick and a battery pack inside rather than the dual handle setup we’ve seen on the bigger counterparts such as the Ronin-M. At $439 for the basic package, this gimbal is rocking the market anyway, but with these three particular tricks, you can take your creative workflow to a whole new level.
#1 – Motion control
The opening sequence of Josh’s video hides a nice twist and clearly demonstrates the first and foremost of the features we have whit this gimbal – motion control. Through the dedicated app, you can set up to 10 tracking points giving the device instructions on how fast it has to move from one to the other as well as tweak the intervals between the spots.
This is indeed an extremely handy and powerful creative tool. Of course, it’s not an innovation per se, motion controllers have been around for ages, but in such a small integrated package and with this price point, this feature is a real no-brainer.
#2 -ND control
Just like some other gimbals, the Ronin SC can work seamlessly with its optional, fully integrated follow-focus system. A special trick you can do with this particular tool is to control your exposure by using an ND filter.
A variable ND large enough to accommodate a follow-focus ring will allow you to use it in conjunction with the Ronin-SC’s follow focus motor and wheel to fine-tune your exposure when shooting in variable lighting situations like entering a building from a bright exterior or vice-versa or in any other extreme lighting environment where you need a quick adjustment while keeping iris and shutter speed the same.
#3 – Power Zoom
The previous concept can be applied to zooming in and out as well. You’ll need to fiddle a little bit with the setup depending on the lens you have, especially if it’s on the bigger size, but once you nail it down, you’ll have a nice wheel to control the focal length of your lens.
So, now what? Well, you can use it to simulate a dolly shot, to adjust the frame while moving, or even pull some special effects like the vertigo effect, a combination of zooming in one direction while physically moving in the opposite one which makes it a powerful shot if used well.
Wrapping up, you can see how these features can be pretty useful especially the ability to have perfect repeatable movements or to shoot yourself programming the camera in advance. These are indeed excellent tricks that can be of great use to any filmmaker, so don’t hesitate to use them on any of your next projects.