The original DJI Ronin was a bit of a game changer in the filmmaking scene, offering Steadicam-like camera stabilization without a six-figure price tag. DJI used its knowledge of gimbals from the drone world to democratize hand held camera stabilization the same way it did with aerial video. Three years on, handheld gimbal rigs are pretty much ubiquitous on film sets, from low-budget operations all the way to the top of the industry – and it's the higher end that DJI is targeting now with a ground-up redesign in the Ronin 2.
The new version is bigger, capable of handling loads up to 30 lb (13.6 kg), which takes you well into RED camera + cinema lens territory. Longer adjustable arms make it capable of handling bigger lenses, and while it still looks like a bit of a pain to calibrate, DJI has improved the setup process with new locking levers and fine tuning knobs it says shortens the process significantly.
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With dual batteries, it'll stabilize for up to eight hours, but those big 4,280-mAh batteries can now also be used to power the camera and accessories as well as the gimbal. And the batteries can be hot-swapped to keep the whole rig online at all times.
One chief goal of the Ronin 2 redesign was to make this thing more versatile, so the new version has a quick-release mount that lets you clip it on and off a ready rig, a cable cam, a vehicle or aerial rig, or even a big ol' vest that helps take some of the weight off the camera operator's arms.
The quick release system, along with the Ronin 2's stabilization, lets you switch between different modes mid-shot for seamless "how'd they do that?" single takes.
With more powerful motors than the previous version, the new Ronin can stabilize a camera against winds of up to 75 mph (121 km/h) before it starts losing accuracy, which will make it handy for car chase scenes and the like.
The Ronin 2 comes with a super-bright touch screen, and an optional joystick-style remote that allows fine control of the shooting, wherever the rig is mounted, from up to 0.9 mi (1.5 km) away. There's also some new panorama mode functionality that allows stills shooters to automate a stitch shooting sequence, taking account of sensor size, lens and the desired amount of overlap between shots.
There's no pricing information available yet, although the previous version started out at US$4,500 but has been selling for $1,999 lately. The Ronin 2 will be available within the next couple of months.
The rig can be seen in action in the promo video below.
Source: DJI Ronin 2