What is the DJI Ronin-S?
The Ronin-S is DJI's new single-grip stabilizer for DSLR and compact system cameras. It is designed to help videographers, YouTubers and filmmakers of all levels to capture smooth videos, track footage and moving platforms. You can also use it to move time lapse and pan videos, or panoramic pictures of multiple frames when placed on your own integrated tripod.
The standard tripod mount means that the 3-axis gimbal of the Ronin-S can accommodate almost all the cameras in the system up to a weight of 3.6 kg. It has built-in controls, allowing the user to focus and stop / start recording on a handful of compatible cameras. Your accessory mounts support optional add-ons, such as microphones, LED lights and external monitors as well.
A complementary mobile application also allows you to adjust the performance and speed of movement, creating up to three user presets that can be quickly passed by touching a button on the handle. Keeping the button pressed, meanwhile, activates a fast reaction sports mode.
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DJI Ronin-S – Design and features
The Ronin-S impressed us even before we saw it, come packaged in a sturdy and lightweight polystyrene transport case that provides ample protection for all its components. Closing through a twisted brooch is a nice touch of DJI which means that buyers will not have to immediately deposit more cash for an optional protective case.
The product itself comes in three main parts: the 3-axis gimbal, a handle / battery and a handle extension that unfolds to form a tripod. They adapt quickly and without tools, but once you have mounted the camera (after having adjusted it to a quick release plate by its tripod mount), you must make some adjustments to the gimbal to get the right balance through of several axes.
How to properly describe it in the included quick start guide, but beginners may find that viewing the online video tutorials from DJI helps them become familiar with the basic principles of faster balance.
We suspect that once you've owned and used the Ronin-S for a while, this rolling process (which should be done every time you change the camera or the camera lens) will become natural. However, we found it difficult to remember the correct order when we put the cardan back outside the house, without the guide at hand.
Again, you do not need tools for this: most cardan settings are secured with levers, while the mounting plate is connected to the camera by a screw that can be rotated with a small coin, if you do not have a flat head screwdriver at hand.
Being mainly of metal, the Ronin-S is robust and solid. The disadvantage of this is that it is heavy. A weight of 1.8 kg may not sound too much, but it will add at least the weight of a camera and lens, in addition to holding it at sometimes uncomfortable angles.
We found that supporting the extension of the handle on a thigh helped relieve tension during prolonged sessions, but we expect your arms to get a good free workout while shooting. If you are filming with heavier cameras, or are planning to mount accessories such as an external monitor in the gimbal, you could be better with a two-handed gimbal like DJI's own Ronin-M.
An intelligent point of The note on the cardan design is the angled swing motor, shifted to allow you to see the back screen of the camera, at least most of the time. Most carders place the spin motor just behind the camera, blocking their view.
The handle and extension are covered in a rubbery textured material for a better grip, and the outer parts of the product appear to be weather resistant. DJI promotions show that the Ronin-S is used in heavy snowfall, even if the company does not make any specific waterproof claims.
However, the ports are not waterproof or dust proof, so make sure that the rubber covers are in place when shooting in inclement conditions.
DJI Ronin-S – Manipulation and performance
With its powerful engines and DJI's always impressive stabilization algorithm, the Ronin-S does a fantastic job to keep its camera stable. The exact speed with which the gimbal changes the camera depends on your personal configuration (input through the application), but suffice it to say that you can move it to an almost comical level and still get a stable and smooth footage.
general use, the Ronin-S will move the camera to follow the movements of the cardan: point it up, to the left, to the right or down and the camera will continue without problems, which will allow you to continue and continue subject. You can increase your sensitivity and speed instantly by holding down the M button and activating the sport mode.
Alternatively, if you hold the trigger on the front, the camera points in its current direction, no matter where the cardan moves. When you touch it twice, the camera is centered again, and by touching the user three times (also known as "selfie mode"). A joystick can be used on the back of the handle to perform manual movements of the camera, if more precision is required.
Can hold the gimbal in three main ways: normal, flashlight and pendant. This provides excellent flexibility; it is easy to hold it high, at waist height or very close to the ground. The relatively small size increases further by allowing it to be placed in positions that two-handed gimbals could not handle.
We set up a Panasonic GH5S for the purpose of this review, and, at this time, this camera and the original GH5 are the most compatible with the Ronin-S.
With the included MCC cable, you can use Ronin-S's built-in controls to take pictures, start / stop video recording and extract manual focus (depending on the lens). For users of the Canon 5D Mark III, 5D Mark IV and 6D Mark II, Nikon D850 and Sony A7S II and Sony A6300, it only stops / starts recording and capturing photos is compatible, and for Sony cameras that require a clumsy blaster GO prepare. Other cameras are not officially supported, but it seems that firmware updates will increase the list in a short time. Look at this space.
Something that does not disappoint is the battery life, which DJI says lasts up to 12 hours per charge. That seems correct: in all our time with the Ronin-S, the battery never fell below two of its four bars. The battery is charged through the USB-C port of the handle, and it takes 2 hours and 15 minutes to complete.
DJI Ronin-S: complementary application
If you want to get the best out of the Ronin-S, then the application is an essential download. It is available for devices with Android 4.4 or iOS 9.0 and later versions (sorry, users of Windows phones).
Your main task is to help ensure that the cardan is properly configured before each use, with the auto-tuning feature on hand to check the balance when assembles a new camera or lens.
However, the app also helps you customize the performance of each of the three preset modes of the user, and opens a variety of creative shooting modes that allow you to shoot time-lapse, hyper -lapse and movement time lapse videos, in addition to panoramic photographs. You can also use it to remotely control the movements of the cardan, even when someone else holds the Ronin-S or is perched on its tripod.
It is a fairly simple application on the surface, although diving deeper into the configuration reveals a large number of options to determine the gimbal behavior. Adjust some settings and can even make the gimbal rotate without stopping while advancing. Take a look at our sample video to see it in action.
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Why buy the DJI Ronin-S?
its build quality performance and features, the Ronin-S is the best "affordable" 3-axis gimbal that we have tested for cameras of this size.
While £ 669 is not what most would consider cheap, it functions as a professional quality product and is full of design details and flexibility. It is a one-stop shop for shooting on foot, basically, even if it is not without some small problems.
It's a bit heavy and it's not (yet) fully compatible with enough cameras, which makes it sort of like buying a niche. It certainly is not a product that greatly benefits everyone who occasionally uses their video system camera, but enthusiasts will adore it, and rightly so.
An excellent gimbal, full of design details. 
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