Taking smooth footage with precise movements and almost zero shake was previously only possible for professionals. Stabilization, as it is known in the industry, is now provided by a device called a gimbal. These counteract any movement, usually on 3-axis being tilt, pan, and roll. Brushless motors quickly kick into action, keeping the camera stabilized. This results in tripod-like footage that can be mobilized.
So we decided to do an in-depth DJI Ronin-SC Review review to see how it performs and if it is worth your hard-earned cash. Let’s get straight to it…
- 1 Build and design
- 2 Setting up the gimbal
- 3 Useful features
- 4 Our favorite features
- 5 DJI Ronin-SC Review – Pros and Cons
- 6 Got The Best Photography Gear For The Job?
- 7 DJI Ronin-SC Review – Final Thoughts
Build and design
If there is one thing that DJI does well, that is ensuring the build quality of their products is superb. It doesn’t matter whether you’re purchasing one of their drones or any of their camera accessories. You can be sure the materials and finish will be excellent.
It’s exciting when you first remove the Ronin-SC from its high-density foam carry case. All the parts you will need are carefully and strategically laid out inside. Setting up the gimbal for the first time should take around 10 minutes.
Easy to carry…
Compared to other professional-grade gimbals for DSLR cameras, this thing is light. Weighing in at a measly 2.4 lbs (1.09 kgs), it is constructed using a combination of magnesium, aluminum, steel, and composite plastic.
It feels incredibly sturdy and like it’s been built to last. The gimbal can support up to 4.4 lbs (1.99 kgs), courtesy of its powerful high-grade motors. Maximum weight support can vary depending on battery and lens combinations, which can affect balance.
Reliable battery performance…
A built-in rechargeable lithium-polymer battery provides the Ronin-SC with up to 11 hours of operation. That is more than enough to last an entire day filming, which means you’ll probably even need some extra batteries for your camera.
Charging the gimbal is completed using the included USB Type-C cable. It easily plugs into the base, which has a handy tripod attached. This allows you to place the base on a desk or table instead of laying it down somewhere.
Setting up the gimbal
For those that haven’t set up a gimbal before, there is a balancing process that is required before use. You first start by connecting the tripod to the base. Next, you connect the gimbal itself to the base, and the balancing process begins.
Each of the roll, tilt, and pan axis requires being individually balanced. This is done by making minor adjustments sliding each arm backward and forwards until the camera sits still without moving.
Lock it in…
Based on users’ feedback from their other gimbals, DJI has improved the locking mechanisms used to balance your camera. There are now three locks on all the pan, tilt, and toll axis points, meaning you can isolate each axis and lock it into place.
This is remarkably handy if you don’t want to have to dismantle the rig every time you are finished. It also makes it much easier to balance the camera while you’re setting things up by preventing the camera from flopping around.
Overall, the balancing system has been completely simplified. By using the smartphone app, the roll axis balances automatically. A sliding quick release camera plate makes it easy to mount or remove the camera when necessary.
There are plenty of online videos available on YouTube to assist you in setting up the gimbal correctly. The first time will definitely take you the longest, but with the camera plate and locking mechanisms, you can be ready to go in a jiffy once calibrated.
Once you have successfully completed setting up your gimbal, you probably can’t wait to get out filming. By combining the Ronin-SC with your smartphone or tablet that has the Ronin app installed, you can take advantage of some fantastic features.
Besides the obvious customizable roll, tilt, and pan functions controlled using the joystick, there are some other neat tricks. In fact, you can operate the Ronin-SC entirely remotely from your smartphone or tablet.
Get the perfect shots…
A virtual joystick can make adjustments to the gimbal while it sits on a tripod from your smart device. There is also the option for time-lapse and motion lapse, where you can set your own parameters for movement. Motion control allows setting the desired path for the camera to follow by selecting up to three points.
Panorama shots are also possible and are really cool to watch in action. You start by setting the start and finish points, then hit go. The gimbal then automatically moves between each necessary frame and takes a picture. The result is a perfectly stitched together panorama.
Clever new modes…
There are two brand new modes available with the Ronin-SC that are missing from the S model. The first one is Force Mobile. It lets users control the gimbal using their smart device from up to 82 feet (25 meters) away using only hand gestures.
The other new feature is Active Track. By tapping on a person or object on the smart device screen, the gimbal will then track and follow it. This is great for vloggers that are a single-person operation, offering more flexible creativity.
Our favorite features
We particularly liked the phone mount accessory. Similar to a phone holder you would use in your car, it connects to your camera’s hot shoe. This then facilitates easy access to all of the app features, as well as acting as a monitor.
The Ronin app, which is available for both Android and iOS, is very well designed. As we’ve now come to expect from DJI, the layout and menu system is easy to navigate and access. It also makes what should be complicated tasks easy for anybody to accomplish.
Keeps up with its bigger brother…
Being smaller, lighter, and more agile than the larger, heavier Ronin S makes using the SC a pleasure. It can be operated with one hand easily. Mind you, that’s also possible with the S, but you might need a physiotherapist afterward.
This, of course, is as long as your camera is light enough to be used. With today’s advancements in mirrorless cameras, it appears to be the way forward. Plus you not only retain nearly all the same features, you even gain some new ones too.
DJI Ronin-SC Review – Pros and Cons
- Lightweight and agile.
- Easy to transport.
- Axis locking mechanisms.
- Well designed app.
- Long battery life.
- Clever features.
- Not all cameras are supported.
- Lower weight limit.
- Slightly more expensive than its competitors.
- Cannot use additional batteries as it is built-in.
- Can be tricky to set up.
Got The Best Photography Gear For The Job?
If not, you may want to check out our in-depth Best Mirrorless Cameras Reviews, our Best DSLR Camera Reviews, our Best Cameras for Low Light Photography Reviews, our Best Compact Cameras Reviews, and our Best Waterproof Camera Reviews.
Or how about our Best Cameras for Beginners Reviews, our Best Canon Lenses Review, our Best Camera Backpack Reviews, our Best Memory Card for Camera Reviews, or even our Best Camera Drones Reviews for 2021?
Back to today’s review…
DJI Ronin-SC Review – Final Thoughts
If you already own a mirrorless camera and are looking at taking your footage to the next level, this is a no brainer. The Ronin-SC is a little more expensive than some other gimbals, but the price is easily justified.
The premium materials and build quality are worth it alone. You also get the benefit of the best app on the market, with features that work impressively well. Once you get over the learning curve of using a gimbal, your footage will improve dramatically.
Nothing gives a more cinematic feel than smooth, steady shots, and that’s exactly what the DJI Ronin-SC delivers.