There are few, if any, design similarities between the new DJI RS 2 and the Ronin-S, which was released last year. Carbon Fiber monocoque design has taken the place of the metal arms, and every single component, from the joystick to mounting points and focus wheel to the grip has been updated and increased.
A comprehensive overhaul of the Ronin-S design is being undertaken, rather than simply an update with minor modifications.
Other than the radical redesign, the most important modification is an increase in payload from 3.6kg to 4.5kg, which is a major improvement. It’s also somewhat lighter than the Ronin-S, weighing in at 1kg, 0.81kg less than the previous model.
Not only that, but it is also smaller, which has been made possible by technological advancements. The new RS 2 is 410 x 260 x 195mm in size, including the grip, but without the extension and without the grip being added.
Another significant improvement is the addition of a 1.4-inch full-color LCD touchscreen, which allows you to navigate through choices and settings more quickly and easily. Significant improvement is the inclusion of professional RSA/NATO ports, which allow the new RS 2 to be integrated with bigger, more complicated rigs or control systems.
The fact that there are still more common ports and connectors, such as 1/4-inch mounting hold and cold shoe mount, is encouraging for those of us who are not involved in multi-million dollar projects.
Similar to the previous Ronin-S, wired connections are available through a variety of ports, including a Video transmission/follow focus motor port (USB-C), RSS camera control port (USB-C), and a Follow Focus motor port (USB-C) (USB-C). Due to the fact that all of these ports are USB-C, I was relieved to discover that DJI has clearly identified which port is which.
DJI RS 2 Combo - 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer for DSLR and Mirrorless Cameras, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic, Canon, Fuji, 10lbs Tested Payload, 1.4” Full-Color Touchscreen, Carbon Fiber Construction, Black
$884.00 in stock
15 used from $579.99
- 10lb Tested Payload – At a weight of 2.3 lbs and 10lb tested payload, DJI RS 2 offers the highest weight-to-payload ratio in the industry.
- Carbon Fiber Construction – Monocoque carbon fiber axis arms add incredible strength and unbelievable lightness to the gimbal.
- 1.4” Full-Color Touchscreen – An integrated LCD screen allows you to adjust parameters and use features of the Ronin app quickly. Access ActiveTrack 3.0 right from the touchscreen, freeing your creative control.
- Professional Mounting Options – While DJI RS 2 is also designed to be a professional filmmaking solution. Integrate RS 2 with a car, jib, or slider, and control from a distance.
- Efficient Balancing Between Payloads – A dual-layer camera mounting plate is compatible with Manfrotto and Arca-Swiss standards. A fine-tine balancing knob lets you achieve the perfect balance for your setup.
As previously stated, the running period under optimum conditions is 12 hours, and the RS 2 is powered by a BG30-1950mAh 15.4 LiPo 4S battery. The charging duration for this device is 1.5 hours, which isn’t too awful.
As with previous models, the RS 2 provides a Bluetooth connection between the gimbal and the Ronin App, which is available for both iOS and Android smartphones. This Bluetooth connection makes use of the most recent Bluetooth 5.0 technology available.
The maximum controlled rotation stays the same as the Ronin-S at 360o through all axes, as does the maximum controlled rotation. When it comes to the mechanical endpoints, there has been a shift with the tilt axis shifting from Ronin-S 205° to –115°, RS 2 -112° to +214°, and the roll axis shifting from Ronin-S 230° to–90°, RS 2 -95° to +240°.
Build and Handling
It’s impossible to describe the DJI RS 2 as anything other than a work of art when it comes to a piece of photographic/video equipment. It’s hard to believe that the metalwork, carbon fiber, and graphics are all handcrafted to such a high standard, but they are.
Putting everything together and everything fits snugly and without trouble, demonstrating the quality and correctness of the molding, machining, and design processes used.
Along with the improved degree of detail that becomes obvious when the camera is assembled, the micro-adjustment of the base plate to ensure that it is precisely balanced in conjunction with the new type axis locks, all of these features combine to create a really stunning piece of equipment.
Initial setup is straightforward and quick, similar to that of the Ronin-S and other gimbals, and takes no more than a few minutes. It’s a quick balancing game that takes a little practice to master, but once you understand how it works, it’s really simple to play. Because of the improved micro-adjustment, it is much simpler to achieve a precise balance, which is especially useful when switching lenses.
The only trouble I had was getting the starting placements of the arms accurate, which I eventually figured out. It was always a bit of a challenge to quietly alter the arms placements on the previous Ronin-S; this subtlety is considerably more difficult to achieve with the new carbon arms.
Carbon and metal appear to generate significantly more friction than metal against metal, and there were a few occasions when switching between Sony and Panasonic cameras that I felt genuine frustration at how sticky the adjustment was even with everything completely untightened and everything completely unfastened.
It’s possible that the RS is still in its infancy and that the pieces just need to break in a little more, but the usage of carbon fiber rather than a metal such as titanium doesn’t seem quite right any longer. It appears that the choice was taken mostly for aesthetic reasons rather than for functional reasons. As soon as the camera is turned on and balanced, you may begin connecting all of the wires that are required.
Here, I’ll be reviewing the more costly Combo Kit, which contains a number of additional features such as a focus motor, phone adaptor, RavenEye, and a variety of additional accessories. When it comes to combination packages, DJI knows how to add value, and for the £140 you pay, you receive an astounding amount of value.
It was simple to install the focus servo, which served as the primary focus for the bulk of the test results. Simply wrap the gear band around the lens, and all of the rods and attachments necessary to install the focus motor are included in the package.
It takes less than five minutes to install the motor, and after you’ve done it once, it’s quite simple to set up each time you use it. It’s a shame that, despite all of the wonderful design, DJI hasn’t come up with a simple folding arm solution for this part of the setup. Once the motor is in position, it may be linked to the RS 2 with the use of a USB Type-C connector connection.
When compared to the Ronin-S, which had a focus wheel that was connected to one side, the Focus RS 2 has a focus wheel that is built into the grip and can be controlled with your index finger.
It’s a pretty clever approach, and the placing is absolutely perfect. If you really want that side focus wheel, there is an optional device that you can purchase for a small additional fee. I was prepared to begin filming as soon as the entire set-up was completed.
For starters, the new Ronin RS 2 is smaller and lighter than its predecessor, the Ronin-S. This is a significant benefit over the previous model. The weight loss is very appreciated. The smaller and more compact dimensions, on the other hand, did not appeal to me.
In comparison to the Ronin-S, you immediately see that there is less room for maneuvering, and when you add in all of the cables, a display, and a focus handle, it all starts to feel a little claustrophobic.
Nonetheless, once you start using it, you will quickly become accustomed to the layout; however, we recommend adding an arm to assist with handling. It is at least once a week that I use the Ronin-S, and the additional side grip is the one attachment that I couldn’t live without anymore.
The new DJI RS 2 requires some time to connect and wire up, but the wait is well worth it when you see the incredible performance you will get in return. This controller has excellent control and smooth motion. The combination of the joystick and focus wheel allows it to be extremely flexible in use.
The reaction times are likewise comparable to, if not superior to, those of the preceding Ronin-S. As part of the test, the Sony Alpha 7 MKIII and A7S MKII cameras were employed. With both of these rather lightweight bodies, the RS 2 maintained motion and movement without any issues.
Another camera I used was a Canon 5D MKII with a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, and once again, those little but strong motors were able to sustain the camera without trouble. Larger cameras, such as the Canon C100 MKII, which is just too huge, as was the case with the Ronin-S, are the ones that reach their limit. The addition of the RavenEye is one element that distinguishes the combination kit from the competition. As a result of DJI’s extensive expertise with video transmission, you will be able to get a live feed from the camera back to the app, even if you are located a long distance away from the DJI RS 2.
What makes this feature so fantastic is that it allows you to manipulate the gimbal by simply moving your smartphone. ForceMobile is a feature of the Ronin App that allows you to do just that. In most cases, doing this freehand results in pandemonium, but once you have the Ronin RS 2 in position with the RavenEye perfectly slotted in place on its mount under the gimbal, you have an extraordinarily powerful tool on your hands.
With RavenEye, travel a safe distance away from the DJI RS 2, set your camera phone on a tripod head with the Ronin App open, and then pan, tilt, and adjust the tripod head with your camera phone. As you move, the Ronin RS 2 follows your every move. In other words, you can place the Ronin RC 2 on stage and monitor the action stage from a distance as if you were in front of the camera, which is exceptional.
While FoceMobile, Active Track and RavenEye are all accessible on the Ronin-S with the inclusion of RavenEye, the distance of transmission has been significantly enhanced, as has the rate of transmission. Another feature that sticks out is the ability to detach the power handle, which contains the battery and attach the gimbal to the camera via the RSA/NATO connections on the camera. The DJI RS 2 can be integrated into a much bigger apparatus thanks to these industry-standard connections. I was unable to test it because I did not have access to this sort of setup, but it appears to be rather effective.
When it comes to performance, the DJI RS 2 improves upon the Ronin-capabilities, S’s but it does not seem like a clear advance. In usage, the two feel extremely different, and for the job I do, I have to say that the Ronin-size S’s and usability are still preferable to the RS 2’s size and usefulness.
The main reason for this was that, while I liked the Carbon appearance, I didn’t think it was practical, and while I am extremely familiar with the Ronin-S, which may have swayed my opinion slightly, I thought the DJI RS 2 was just that little bit too tiny.
One aspect of the DJI RS 2 is that the technology blows the previous version out of the water. On the other hand, it is a mixed bag. It is exquisitely crafted, and the meticulous attention to detail is something to behold. When in use, the little motor’s power is astounding, and it makes it simple to catch the professional-looking, smooth fluid motion that these gadgets have been created to capture.
RavenEye is the standout feature of the Combo kit that I tried; it’s simply remarkable, and the signal is about as reliable as they get in terms of signal strength. The ability to configure the DJI RS 2 and control it with such speed and accuracy from a distance is a remarkable capability.
The extras are also appealing, and in addition to the notable video capabilities, there are several photo features, such as panoramic image capture, big-scale image capture, and a variety of others that I find appealing. However, while the design appears to be excellent, the friction generated by the carbon fiber when attempting to change the balance was more than a minor irritation.
It was also the size, which I found to be too tiny; with the Ronin-S, I was able to establish a good balance, but with the DJI RS 2, everything felt way too top-heavy. Although it was lighter, I was unable to maintain my strength with the lesser weight for as long as I was able to utilize the bigger weight Ronin-S. The DJI RS 2 is a fantastic motorized gimbal stabilizer, and I would strongly suggest it to everyone. The fact that it is not as pleasant to use as the Ronin-S and that the adjustment might be difficult is outweighed by the wonderful functionality that it offers. It’s a genuine all-rounder and a fantastic piece of equipment, albeit I would have liked the arms to be made of metal rather than carbon, and I would have preferred it to be a little bit larger.