Price – $100/day
The Ronin 3-Axis Brushless Gimbal Stabilizer from DJI is a camera stabilization system designed to give the operator close to the freedom of unencumbered handheld shooting but without the hand-shake. Suitable for most camera types and configurations up to 16 pounds, Ronin uses brushless motors that work on three axes: one for side-to-side “roll” – keeping the horizon level – one for tilt, and one for pan. The system is computer-controlled and boasts a precision of control of ±0.02°. An IMU (inertial measurement movement) detects movement and engages the motors to react, using algorithms to differentiate between intentional movement such as pans and tracking shots from unwanted shake. In addition to handheld shooting, the gimbal can be used in vehicle mounting scenarios and other contexts where vibrations or other abrupt movements would make tripods and rigid camera support systems unsuitable.
The Ronin supports dual-operator shooting, much like working with a jib that has a motorized pan/tilt head. In this mode, a second operator would use the included transmitter (radio controller) to manually control camera pan and tilt independently of which way the Ronin moves. The included transmitter/receiver system operates on 2.4 GHz and is proprietary. If you prefer to use a third-party transmitter there is a D-Bus port on the Ronin to install your own receiver.
As with sled and vest style stabilizers, motorized gimbal systems require balancing before use. Once balanced, you can configure the Ronin for your particular camera arrangement using the Assistant Software for compatible iOS and Windows (Desktop) devices with Bluetooth. Because every camera and lens combination has a different mass and weight distribution, there is an ATS (Auto Tune Stability) procedure in which each axis will adjust individually, repeating the process until all three are aligned. A gimbal tuning stand is provided so you won’t have to hand-hold the rig during this process.
The included 4S lithium-ion polymer battery powers the Ronin for up to four hours. It is a “smart” battery, meaning power regulation and protection circuitry is built-in and there is no separate balancing lead, unlike many lithium-polymer batteries. A charger is also included, and it is important to always use chargers designed for the Ronin battery because of the smart circuitry. Two 12V DC PowerTaps and one USB power port on the camera base allow you to power on-camera accessories directly from the Ronin battery to simplify your charging regime and avoid unnecessary added weight.