Mention DJI to most photographers or videographers, and you’ll instantly hear the words ‘camera drone.’ It’s what DJI is known for. Slick camera drones for aerial photography. It created and dominates the consumer and enterprise markets.
But, the company has always been more. You can trace that back to the original Osmo, which debuted in 2015. Skip forward to this year, and the product releases have been all about the Osmo (Pocket and Action). A decidedly non-drone product line. DJI keeps up its brisk pace of product launches with Ronin-SC.
DJI Ronin-SC Features
Take everything you love about the Ronin-S, chop the weight and size, and add a bevy of new features. Oh, and it costs less. It’s designed for mirrorless cameras with a 2kg payload max or 4.4 pounds for us Americans. That fits with the latest mirrorless cameras out from Sony, Canon, Nikon, and Panasonic (maybe).
DJI Ronin SC Specs:
- 2kg Payload
- 11-hour battery life
- Lightweight at 1.1kg
- Axis Locks: Tilt, Roll, and Pan
- Multiple Shot Modes – Panorama, Timelapse, Motionlapse, Motion Control
- ActiveTrack 3.0
- Ecosystem of Accessories
- $439 base price with $539 Pro Combo
It wouldn’t be a DJI launch without a slick marketing video.
Yeah, can you guys loan the marketing team out to camera companies? I love you Sony, but damn those press briefings manage to make the most exciting launches underwhelming.
Two features I want to point out. First, ActiveTrack 3.0. It looks amazing and paired with the Ronin App’s Force Mobile; it’s a game-changer in the world of gimbals. The ability to have someone focus on not walking off a cliff while filming is one hell of an addition.
Next, are the accessories. Do you think that’s a feature? With DJI, the answer is yes. How long were we waiting on the Osmo Pocket’s waterproof case? Exactly. Now, the whole slate is available at launch. Options include a cheese plate, lens support, tripod, camera riser, and focus wheel.
Mirrorless Camera Payloads?
Want to know what the payload can handle? We can use the latest Sony a7r IV as a guidepost thanks to its beefier grip. The camera weighs in at 1.4 pounds. Most use cases would have you using up to a 24-70mm GM weighing just under 2 pounds.
Camera and lens work out to a max of 3.36 pounds leaving room for additional accessories – mics, external monitors, etc. Primes, the 16-35mm are all well under the Sony example above. That holds for all the current full-frame and APS-C Sony mirrorless cameras.
The overall weight holds with Nikon and Canon mirrorless cameras paired with a 24-70mm lens. You’ll have a few variations here and there depending on the loadout, but it stays comfortably under DJI’s max.
One potential concern will be the Panasonic S1 line of mirrorless bodies. The S1R checks in at 2.24 pounds. Adding the Lumix S Pro 50mm lens adds 2.1 pounds. That’s a little too close for comfort, and it’s likely the S1H paired with certain lenses will breach the Ronin-SC payload. It’ll be an area to watch when the camera releases in the fall.
Camera Drones and the Ronin-SC
The Ronin-SC is giving us a glimpse of the future of the DJI drone ecosystem. ActiveTrack 3.0 is making its debut on the new gimbal, so we get a first look on what will undoubtedly come to future camera drone releases.
DJI’s 2019 has been radio silent on drone launches, but DJI is reminding the masses it was never just a drone company.