A gimbal, like the DJI RSC 2, can perform functions that in-camera or in-lens stabilizers are unable to perform. When it comes to smoothing out ‘jitters’ in static handheld images, in-body stabilization is excellent, but it is inadequate when it comes to quick or erratic camera movements.
Gimbals are used by professional videographers because of this. These devices can smooth out panning motions, track subjects separately, smooth out the run-and-gun film (or even walk-and-gun footage), and even carry out preset movements smoothly.
In terms of gimbal-based video, the DJI RSC 2 is an excellent pick for those who are just getting started. It is intended to provide high-quality results, and it is capable of handling the types of cameras used by amateur and professional photographers alike. It also contains the controls and expandability necessary for very complex filmmaking methods.
The DJI RSC 2 utilizes a set of built-in accelerometers and gyros to evaluate the motions of the camera in real-time, similar to the camera stabilization systems featured in DJI’s drones. The system then employs a succession of fast-moving motors to counteract the motions and maintain the footage stable for the viewer.
This camera’s construction is intended to accept mirrorless camera rigs weighing up to 6.6 pounds, which is sufficient for a regular-sized mirrorless camera such as the Canon R5 or the Sony A1 with a standard lens to be used with the RSC 2. Putting an excessively large load on the RSC 2 will impose an excessive amount of pressure on the motors, causing them to fail.
In addition to stabilizing the camera when it’s being held by a hand, the gimbal offers built-in controls to help you get the shot. So, if you want to conduct a great, clean pan while the camera is resting on the little tripod legs that come with the camera, you may do so. In addition, if you look into the more complex capabilities, it may assist you with unique features such as time-lapse images that change over time.
The DJI RSC 2 isn’t a revolutionary gimbal in any way. In general, it’s a contoured grip that’s topped by a three-axis array of motorized arms that rotates. However, if you look closely, you’ll see some notable differences between the Ronin-SC and this model.
When folded to its lowest possible size, the gimbal takes up the same amount of space as a piece of A5 paper. That’s a good compact solution, but it does necessitate the release of all of the axes, which means you’ll have to rebalance the gimbal before you can use it again. Axis knobs have been redesigned to operate with the current locks to make the balancing process more efficient, but in fact, it is still faster to collapse the gimbal without having to reset the axis orientation. The folded RSC 2 will still fit into the splash-proof travel case, even though its footprint will not be nearly as tiny.
Because the hinge is employed for the new ‘Sling’ firing mode, it must be strong and secure, with no play when it is locked in place. That holds for the rest of the RSC 2, as well: the entire gimbal has a robust, premium feel to it, thanks to materials such as aluminum that contribute to a solid, premium finish.
It’s also worth noting that the rubber parts on the handle are more subdued than those found on the Ronin-SC, with a smoother texture that’s nicely incorporated while still providing adequate grip.
At 1.2kg, the RSC 2 is virtually the same weight as the Ronin-SC, but the new model has the capability of supporting cameras weighing up to 3kg. As a result of its more powerful axis motors, the RSC 2 is compatible with a wide range of digital SLR cameras. However, it’s important to note that, with a DSLR camera and lens connected, you’ll need strong wrists to operate the RSC 2 single-handedly for lengthy periods – especially if you’re using the camera with other attachments.
Other physical modifications include a trio of USB-C connectors beneath the camera mounting plate, which allow for simple, though crowded, connections between the camera, gimbal, and the optional RavenEye Image Transmitter, which may be purchased separately. Additionally, a re-shaped trigger can be seen on the front of the camera, just below a redesigned focus wheel. The joystick, mode dial, and camera control buttons have all been relocated to create room for a 1-inch OLED information display.
- Pan axis range: 360° continuous rotation
- Roll axis range: -240° to +95°
- Tilt axis range: -112° to +214°
- Battery life: 14 hours
- Charging time: 2 hours (with fast charging)
- Weight: 1.2kg
- Payload: 3kg
To be fair, for a camera of this size, the little motors kick in and reveal that they have well than enough speed and power to handle the Sony A7R II with 24-70mm f/4 lens installed, which is rather impressive.
In comparison to other compact lenses, the Sony 24-70mm is rather small, and while a small amount of rotational weight shift occurs when you zoom the lens, it’s not significant, and the RSC is able to handle the change without trouble. When using the DJI RSC for mild hallway glides, there isn’t anything to be concerned about. My wobble is corrected by the motors, and some careful footwork on my part helps to smooth out any bobs that occur as I walk.
If you’re looking for a gimbal for straightforward jobs, the RSC confirms that it has what it takes to be a good one. While my motions in the first test are pretty sluggish, this allows me time to acquire a feel for the layout and control.
Because the joystick is always located on the surface that is facing you, it is easily accessible for both left- and right-handed players. Similar to the record and mode buttons, the record and mode buttons are located to the right of the joystick, making it easier to use with one hand. It was discovered during testing that the location of the joystick is slightly more comfortable for right-handed users than for left-handed users, which is to be expected.
The little mono screen is useful for checking the various modes and choices, and while it is easy to navigate, it does take some time to find out where all of the controls are located. However, after you’ve figured out your preferred method of using a gimbal, I’ve found that switching between modes is only necessary when presenting the functionality to other people.
There are two characteristics that, in my opinion, distinguish the RSC from the majority of other gimbals now on the market. The first is the wheel, which can be controlled with your index finger. This device, which may be attached to the optional follow focus accessory, allows for complete manual control. Just by virtue of its precise positioning, this gimbal has won my approval. The hinge is the second component. Now, this comes into play when packing down the gimbal, but it may also be utilized to hinge the gimbal down for low-level shots if necessary. There is no need for balance, and this allows for more mobility. It’s a straightforward concept, but one that I find appealing.
Of course, when it comes to utilizing a gimbal, you have to keep in mind that there are a variety of scenarios and locales in which they will be employed, so plan accordingly. After a few minutes, there was little to no motion or movement at all, which was within the range that practically all gimbals should be able to tolerate. I increased my speed as I videotaped a cross-country runner through the New Forest environment in the second leg of the test, which took place on off-road terrain for much of the second half.
The weather conditions were generally favorable, and locating a dry spot of the level ground made it quite simple to set up the camera and get the gimbal balanced on the tripod. The DJI RSC 2 appeared to be able to locate the right level with ease, and any concerns that the somewhat rough terrain might cause the gimbal to jerk were quickly dispelled.
Picking up the gimbal, I note that it is noticeably lighter in weight than I am accustomed to, which is a positive thing. When I set out, the gimbal proves its usefulness once more, stabilizing the camera and allowing me to readjust without trouble as I modify the lens’s focal length to compensate for the shake.
DJI offers a little Y support to keep the lens securely in place, which is enough for the purpose, but I failed to use it on the second expedition. I was able to get away with using the little 24-70mm lens and the film turned out alright, but this Y bracket is absolutely necessary when using a bigger lens. To be really honest, it’s not something I’ll ever forget.
Like the Ronin-SC before it, the Ronin app serves as a thorough companion to the RSC 2. It enables you to set the operation of the three available mode slots on the RSC 2, including the ability to enable or disable particular axis motors as well as customize characteristics such as follow speed.
Also accessible from this menu are the numerous creative settings, which include timelapse and panoramic options.
When the RSC 2 is attached to a suitable camera, the gimbal will manage both the panning and the shutter release, resulting in results that are both effortless and stunning. Fans of these settings will be pleased to know that a new one, Time Tunnel, will be available shortly after the camera’s introduction. Time Tunnel will see the gimbal make a 360-degree roll while simultaneously filming a hyperlapse.
Beyond providing access to the Virtual Joystick and the ability to control the RSC 2 with a PlayStation 4 or Xbox 360 controller, the RavenEye Image Transmission System may also be accessed through this application. This Wi-Fi module, which is included as part of the Pro Combo, allows you to broadcast a 1080/30p low-latency live feed from your camera to your phone, as well as remotely operate both the gimbal and the camera through the accompanying application.
Simple, albeit awkward, setup is required: the transmitter attaches to the hot shoe of your camera or beneath the mounting plate, after which it connects to the camera’s HDMI port and the gimbal via USB-C. The resultant tangle of connections opens some of the RSC 2’s most interesting features: you’ll be able to change a variety of camera and gimbal settings, activate advanced shooting tools and control it all with a virtual joystick thanks to the RavenEye’s Wi-Fi network, which is built inside the camera.
It also grants access to the latest ActiveTrack 3.0 features through RavenEye. In the middle of a live video, you may draw a box around something on the screen, and the app will recognize it and automatically follow it thanks to deep-learning algorithms used by DJI’s drones. A clever approach that combines digital tracking with mechanical motions is used here. Though not perfect – it appears to suffer in backlit and low-contrast environments – the RSC 2 is an excellent tool for vloggers: mount the RSC 2 on a tripod base and it will pan, tilt, and record as you deliver a piece to the camera.
Despite its numerous advantages, the RavenEye Image Transmission System brings to light a crucial aspect of the RSC 2: many of its most useful capabilities are dependent on peripherals that must be purchased separately.
The ordinary model has the foldable tripod base as well as a complete complement of mounting accessories, but it is the more costly Pro Combo that includes the must-have extras such as the travel bag, and RavenEye transmitter, and Focus Motor. A Phone Holder, which allows you to side-mount your smartphone for convenient access to the app and live broadcast, is also included with the purchase.
This is why the Pro Combo will be the more enticing option for the vast majority of videographers in this situation. It is recommended that you double-check that your camera has a USB port that is compatible with the RSC 2. A variety of control cables, including Micro and Mini USB, as well as a USB-C connection, are included with the gimbal; but, if your camera does not have one of these, you’ll need to purchase a different RSS cable (also available separately) or you will simply be unable to connect to the RSC 2.
Even if your camera is compatible, the level of control that may be exercised differs from one camera type to the next. A contemporary mirrorless camera, such as the Fujifilm X-T4, will allow you to manage everything from shutter release to aperture and focus with the use of a gimbal. However, if you’re shooting with an older camera, your options are likely to be considerably more limited – and you’ll almost certainly require the focus motor in order to use the pull-focus feature.
The DJI RSC 2 is an excellent evolution of the Ronin-SC in all the right ways. Stable images and smooth controls were pretty much a given, but it’s the minor design tweaks that make the RSC 2 a far better stabilizing choice for vloggers and filmmakers than the previous model.
The folding neck makes it more portable and opens the door to new shooting options, while the greater payload means it can now be used with a wider variety of digital SLR cameras. The battery life is excellent, and the ability to charge quickly adds a welcome element of convenience. A new OLED information display, a revamped control arrangement – which now includes a front focus wheel within easy reach – and a strong, quality finish round out the RSC 2 is an enticing package for photographers.
Even the RSC 2’s attachments pose the only significant limits in terms of significance. If you want to make use of the gimbal’s full capability, you’ll need to get the Pro Combo, which will cost you substantially more money. Although the RavenEye module has a wide range of intelligent capabilities, the way it is installed and attached makes the gimbal more difficult to maneuver.
Nonetheless, if your camera is completely compatible, you will not find a gimbal as intelligent and powerful as the DJI RSC 2 – with the exception of the RS 2.