Although the DJI Ronin-SC has just been upgraded, it is still an excellent choice for capturing smooth video footage with a mirrorless or tiny DSLR camera.
DJI has risen to become a key player in the drone and gimbal markets, having pioneered new technologies and made its products far more user-friendly than the great majority of its competitors. However, several of these competing firms have responded by producing less technologically advanced goods at lower price rates. As a result, DJI has responded by taking its famous DJI Ronin S gimbal and designing a smaller, lighter, and more affordable version that is better suited for smaller cameras. It is one of the greatest gimbal stabilizers available at a price that is competitive with no-name competitor models that can be purchased online.
The DJI Ronin-SC motorized gimbal stabilizer allows filmmakers who utilize mirrorless cameras weighing less than 2kg to capture smooth, handheld, cinematic images. The bigger Ronin S model can carry double the payload, but it weighs much more at 1860g and costs $629/£459, as opposed to the smaller Ronin SC variant, which weighs 1088g and costs $279/£325 less.
Due to the fact that the Ronin-SC is intended for smaller and lighter cameras, the balancing mechanism has been simplified. The roll axis is automatically balanced with the assistance of a smartphone application. Furthermore, the pan, tilt, and roll axes are all equipped with axis locks to keep objects secure while in transport. With a sliding rapid release camera plate, the system makes it very simple to install and balance the camera, allowing you to get to shooting quickly. Simply follow the directions or watch online training videos, and the task will become simple and quick to complete in no time.
- 3-axis gimbal
- Focus wheel
- Automated creative modes
- Supports cameras 3.6kg and under
- Up to 12 hours of battery life
- Modular design
- Weighs 1.8kg with grip attached
- Charging time: 2.5 hours
- Connections: 1/4in and 3/8in mounting sockets, camera control port, accessory port, USB-C
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C
- Dimension (LxHxD): 370x165x150mm
The Ronin-SC gimbal provides full control over pan, tilt, and roll, as well as 360-degree panning, allowing you to capture 360-degree motion pictures. Additionally, there are options for time-lapse and motion lapse photography.
Virtual Joystick, Timelapse, MotionLapse, Motion Control, and Panorama are all included in the SC model, as are all of the modes included in the S model.
In addition, there are two totally new modes. ActiveTrack is a feature that allows you to tap on a topic on the screen while using the app, and the gimbal will automatically track the subject. It is possible to operate the gimbal from your smartphone up to 25 meters away with only hand movements thanks to Force Mobile. These two modes are entertaining and functional, but for more precise control over your filmmaking, it is best to stick with the standard controls.
The SC, like the Ronin-S, has a long list of features that are useful for both video and still photography. Starting at the top, you’ll find a 1/4-inch or 3/8-inch mounting hole for your camera, as well as a camera control port, an accessories port, a USB Type-C connector, and an RSA port; this pretty much covers all of the essentials for a gimbal stabilizer of this size.
The Ronin-SC has a tested payload of 2kg, which is 1.6kg less than the Ronin-S, although this is due to the fact that it is a considerably smaller and lighter gadget.
The outfit is powered by a 2450mAH 7.2V LiPo battery, which has a battery life of up to 11 hours when fully charged. In the test, a single charge lasted for most of the time period without trouble and took around 2 and a half hours to fully charge the device.
In addition to the quick response times required for a stabilizer gimbal, the head may be controlled through the joystick on the handle or the accompanying software as well.
The pan, tilt, and roll speeds are all very respectable at 180 degrees per second.
Another important consideration is the mechanical endpoint range for all of the axes. There is 260o continuous rotation in this case, which is necessary for the roll function, as well as -202.5o to 112.5o on the tilt axis and -95 to 220o on the roll axis on the Ronin-SC.
Similar to the pan axis, the regulated endpoint range for the tilt axis is -90 to 145o, and the roll axis is 30 degrees. This allows for continuous rotation on the pan axis, as well as on the tilt axis.
The size and weight of the Ronin-S and the SC are the most significant differences between them. The Ronin-folded SC’s measurements are 220x200x75mm, and its unfolder dimensions are 370x165x150mm. This is in comparison to the Ronin-unfolder S’s dimensions of 202x185x486 mm and 370x165x150mm, respectively.
On the basis of weight, the SC weighs 1.24 kg, as opposed to the standard’s 3.2 kg.
Build and handling
The item does not have the feel of a lower-end gimbal because it is sturdy and well-constructed. It also comes packaged in a small, lightweight container that contains all of the necessary cords and attachments.
The handle is equipped with a record button as well as a joystick for manipulating the gimbal, as well as a button that returns the gimbal to its default positioning. In addition, there is a button to switch to Sport mode.
The Ronin-SC is powered by a 2450mAh battery that is integrated into its handle and can last up to 11 hours on a single charge when connected to a USB Type-C connector. Using one of the provided USB connections attached to a suitable camera, may also enable camera control features such as run/stop and focus pulling. Our tests on Sony A7 series cameras revealed that the software was error-free. In addition, there are 1/4″-20 and 3/8″-16 mounting threads on the handle for attaching additional equipment.
The Ronin-SC is equipped with an extended grip/tripod, a camera riser, lens support, an Allen key wrench, a fast release plate with a 1/4″-20 camera mounting screw, and a variety of USB control cords, among other things. Everything you’ll need to get started is included.
When in use, the reduced weight is a great match for smaller cameras, and the entire equipment can be carried in one hand without any difficulty. Unlike other competitors’ goods, the rear arm is slanted such that it does not obscure the view of your camera’s screen when in use.
It always seems like the time spent setting up for a shot is the most time-consuming part of the day. For whatever reason, the Ronin-SC seems to require two or three tries to achieve the proper balance when using a lens other than the 35mm for whatever reason.
DJI has long been recognized for the high level of craftsmanship that goes into its products. Starting with the original Phantom and on to the OSMO Action, the quality and combination of materials have always been exceptional. The Ronin-SC is no exception, with build quality and aesthetics that are close to the original Ronin-S.
The design of the gimbal, on the other hand, has undergone a few small revisions. Certain adjustments that were previously accessible on the Ronin-S have been eliminated from the SC.
Because the Roll arm has a constant length, there is one less point of adjustment to be concerned about when using the device. As soon as the Ronin-SC is taken out of the box, all of the pieces are meticulously put out within the box, and assembly takes around 10 minutes on the first pass.
First, the tripod is screwed into the base of the grip, and then the gimbal is secured to the top of the grip using the traditional sliding lever locking mechanism. Once the grip was halfway completed, I decided to hook it into a power source and let it charge for a solid three hours before completing the set-up.
The next step was to disengage the three-axis locks, which are each controlled by a little lock switch. Once all of the arms are in the right position, the locks are re-engaged.
Activating the Ronin-SC is the next step, and this is accomplished by powering on the gimbal without the camera attached, which is an unusual step but one that is required throughout the setup process before launching the Ronin App. As long as your phone is equipped with Bluetooth, the Ronin-SC should display, and you will be able to pick it up and input the required password.
In the event that you already have a DJI account, the Ronin-SC will be activated almost immediately; if you do not, you will need to register for one, which will only take a few minutes and is rather straightforward.
It’s time to attach the camera, in this case, a Sony A73 with a 35mm lens attached to it. Once the little riser plate and base plate have been linked, the camera may be slid into the Ronin-SC housing with ease. For longer or zoom lenses, there is tiny lens support that can be fastened in place to provide extra stability for the lens and the camera.
The next step is to double-check that everything you wish to attach to the camera is connected, or that everything you want to remove, such as the camera strap and lens cap, is completely removed. The mobile phone adaptor, which is housed in the camera’s hot shoe and must be connected before the balancing process can begin, is also included.
In addition, unlike the Ronin-S, which has the pure grunt of strong motors to compensate for any mistakes, the Ronin-SC is significantly less forgiving. In fact, the Ronin-SC is not recommended for beginners.
Beginning with the tilt axis balancing depth, it is necessary to disengage the tilt lock before releasing the tilt axis knob, which is then released before raising or lowering the camera to locate the point of balance.
Because of the smaller payload and less powerful gimbal motors, it’s more crucial than ever to get the balance of your camera and lens just right. It’s best utilized with a mirrorless camera and a compact prime lens for optimal results. If you wish to utilize a Panasonic S1H with a fast f/2.8 zoom lens, it’s best to upgrade to a larger version of that camera.
It is quite effective when used with the appropriate camera and lens combination. Even a complete novice may capture images that are exceptionally smooth while shooting handheld. In addition, with a little bit of experience, you will be able to get the professional Steadicam appearance that is seen in all Hollywood blockbusters.
It always seems like the time spent setting up for a shoot is the most time-consuming part of the day. For whatever reason, the Ronin-SC seems to require two or three tries to achieve the proper balance when using a lens other than the 35mm for whatever reason.
When shooting fast-moving subjects, the performance of the smaller lens was great and on par with that of the bigger Ronin-S model. However, when using the 24-70mm lens and setting the focal length to 50mm, the balance was inconsistent, sometimes being ideal and other times being poor.
The balance would finally be achieved by a process of elimination and modification, but even then, if the mobile phone adaptor was installed, the Ronin-SC would experience shaking and wobbles.
The Ronin-SC was my primary camera for a long time, but I eventually stopped using it with anything except fixed focal length lenses or zoom lenses with the mobile phone adapter connected.
It performed admirably with the 35mm lens attached, and the inclusion of capabilities such as ActiveTrack, accessible through the Ronin App, in conjunction with the Ronin’s lightweight and speed, making this a very simple and useful experience.
Because of the smaller and lighter frame of this new model, it was particularly well suited for video work, and the capabilities that have been introduced to the Ronin App since the debut of the first Ronin-S have significantly improved both models’ performance overall.
As with the Ronin-S, the Focus wheel is located on the side of the camera, and after the camera is fully attached and set up, this allows you to employ manual focusing in conjunction with the stabilization, which makes a significant difference to the footage’s professional appearance and style.
Smooth, stable shots are essential for creating a cinematic sense in your films, and the Ronin-SC is an excellent method to do this without breaking the budget. Not only is there a learning curve required in setting it up, but there is also a learning curve involved in efficiently using the different modes. It will not transform you into Quentin Tarantino overnight.
It is possible to shoot low-level action with an underslung gimbal, sideways slider shots for slow revelations, and many other types of shots with this style of camera. Walking with the camera while tracking a moving topic is one example. To keep things crisp, this is perfect if your camera has facial identification capabilities.
It’s an excellent addition if you have a tiny mirrorless camera and a prime lens combination. If you have a bigger camera and wish to utilize a zoom lens, it is advisable to purchase a larger camera model instead.