DJI Ronin-S stabilizer

DJI said its new Ronin-S, a single-handed three-axis stabilizer for DSLR and mirrorless cameras, will ship late next month.

Built to support a payload of up to eight pounds and vehicle-mounted operation at up to 47mph. In tests, DJI said, the system stabilized a handheld Canon 5D Mark IV and EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM lens.

The Ronin-S gimbal uses a standard Manfrotto 501PL-compatible quick-release plate along with multiple accessory mounting points for broad compatibility and has a modular design meant to make it backpackable.

Many of the system’s functions are controlled by a front trigger, which allows the user to transition between Upright and Underslung modes without obstructing the camera’s view, and joystick, which controls tilt and pan.  DJI says the Ronin-S is designed with the camera above the roll axis, which helps keep the camera’s display in view rather than being blocked by stabilizer components. The Ronin-S also has Push Mode, allowing the gimbal to be repositioned along the pan, tilt and roll axes by hand.

DJI Ronin-S stabilizer

Control button and joystick layout on DJI Ronin-S stabilizer. Note: image differs slightly from diagram provided in Quick Start Guide [PDF].

The M Button, located above the joystick, allows quick switching between three user-customizable SmoothTrack profiles (set to slow, medium and high speed by default) as well as entry into the new Sport mode, designed for capturing fast action. Below the joystick is camera control for start/stop recording, still photo-taking, and, when depressed halfway, auto-focus. Auto and manual tuning functions are available through a new smartphone app (iOS 9.0+/Android 4.4+).

The Ronin-S offers direct camera control, including start and stop, for a list of compatible cameras and lenses. (Pro shooters will note that cinema cameras from the likes of Arri, Canon, Panasonic and Red are not supported.) An on-board focus wheel offers focus control, and the Ronin-S supports an external motor. It works with DJI’s range of control devices — including the Master Wheels and Force Pro hardware — and can also be used with third-party controllers. The Ronin-S also sports Bluetooth 4.0 and USB-C (used for charging the on-board battery) connectivity.

Ronin-S promo video from DJI

Properly balanced, DJI said, the gimbal should run for 12 hours continuously on a fully charged battery. An optional battery adapter will be available for charging the battery when it’s not attached to the gimbal.

The gimbal and battery/grip together weigh approximately 4.1 pounds. A collapsible tripod is provided, with legs that can be folded together for use as an extended grip.

The Ronin-S is priced at $699, which means it’s going head-to-head with similarly inexpensive systems like the Zhiyun Crane 2 and the Feiyu-Tech a2000. DJI said it will start shipping in late June, with an important firmware update supporting camera control due in early July.