After a seemingly static period where most announcements in gimbal technology happened inside the realm of phone stabilizers, drone cameras and such, a new generation of handheld gimbals hit the market. Among the multitude of choices, though, there are two, in particular, which seem to catch most professionals’ attention lately.
The Zhiyun WEEBILL-S and Ronin-SC bring by default apps and smart features, thus paving the way to the next generation that undoubtedly will be even smarter than now. Jake Sloan puts both the Zhiyun WEEBILL-S and the Ronin-SC to the test while considering them as two of the best compact and travel gimbals on the market these days. So without further ado, let’s find out which one will be the better fit for your use case.
These two offerings may appear quite different but are actually much more alike than you’d expect. They both sport many similar functions: subject tracking, motion timelapse, selfie mode, locking arms to balance out the setup, identical battery life (if used just to power the gimbal and not anything else), and finally a companion app for both iOS and Android.
So, what’s different? The main answer is the design: The Ronin-SC has a much more “classical” look, with a huge central column, while the WEEBILL-S feels a lot smaller and portable. The choice of having detachable support which becomes a secondary handle is a nice touch on the WEEBILL as well. The Ronin-S sports the usual design with a proprietary battery, while the WEEBILL-S uses lithium 18650 standard ones.
Best of the Ronin-SC
The DJI Active Tracking 3.0 is great. All the smart features like tracking, timelapse and motion tracking are ahead of the competition and are a huge improvement, especially when compared to previous DJI’s gimbals.
Other than that, the build quality of the Ronin-S is top-notch with excellent ergonomics and no lag or uncertainty on the software side.
Best of the WEEBILL-S
The construction design on the WEEBILL-S feels smarter overall. The gimbal allows mounting larger and heavier rigs on top, thanks to the improved motors and the position of the main arm. Due to the latter, the camera rarely touches the gimbal itself when rolling backward.
Another nice feature on the WEEBILL-S is the possibility to power your camera through the gimbal itself. You’ll lose a little bit of battery life, but the power units are easily swappable, plus you can use the available screw mount point to attach accessories on the fly.
There are two other neat features in Zhiyun’s quiver: image transmission and customization. The image transmission system finally moved from the USB interface to a separate HDMI port which can be used independently.
And finally, the level of customization the WEEBILL-S provides through its menu without the need to use the phone’s app is amazing, which in stark contrast with DJI’s choice to put most of the configuration settings inside the app.
Boiling down the two gimbals, it seems that even with all the similarities, they respond to two different groups of video makers. The Zhiyun WEEBILL-S is aimed at professionals that need to stabilize heavier payloads, bigger rigs but also require the image transmission package to be added to the mix.
The Ronin-S, on the other hand, aims at professionals who can make use of smaller and more compact setups while getting the most out of the available smart features like tracking and such. Ultimately, both rivals have more than a decent feature set overall, so it’s up to you to analyze your workflow and choose the one that better fits your needs.