DJI’s New Ronin 4D All-in-One Camera/Gimbal
Is the film and video world ready for a camera/gimbal? DJI introduces its new Ronin 4D all-in-one cinema camera and gimbal system.
It’s a question as old as digital film itself: What came first, the camera or the gimbal? Well, thanks to a new all-in-one camera plus gimbal system by DJI, that question can finally be thrown out the window because the newest DJI gimbal is the camera!
(Or, is it that the camera is the gimbal?)
Either way, the new DJI Ronin 4D is here and is sure to turn heads in the industry as DJI’s new flagship gimbal system capable of 8K video with RAW support and some sophisticated LiDAR focusing—plus tons of other cool bells and whistles, which film and video professionals should certainly take notice of.
Let’s take a look at this new camera/gimbal (or gimbal/camera, whatever) and explore how it might be right for your video projects.
The New DJI Ronin 4D
“The future is rolling,” is the tagline for DJI’s newest flagship offering and its safe to assume that the market (and filmmakers, in general) should absolutely take notice of this new hybrid system.
All jokes aside, the concept of merging our cameras and our camera rigs together has been building steam for years. Camera technology has allowed for smaller, more lightweight designs and our rigs are becoming more sophisticated, as a result. So, why not combine them?
The DJI Ronin 4D does just that and looks to do it spectacularly well. Its Zenmuse X9-8K camera is a full-frame video camera capable of capture rates up to 8K30p in ProRes HQ (and 8K75p in ProRes RAW). Its lens mount is designed for DJI’s DL and Leica’s M systems and includes nine built-in ND filters for shooting in a variety of situations.
Check out the full recording specs in these graphs below:
Stabilization and Focusing
So, the “4D” name comes from how the Ronin 4D is set to have some unparalleled stabilization along all four axes. It should be one of the most stable gimbal/camera systems out there, up against any of those puny 3-axis stabilization systems.
And, overall, it should indeed be even lighter, more aerodynamic, and compact as its fusion of camera and gimbal should eliminate any unnecessary latching mechanisms or locks while yanking it around on your shoots.
The Ronin 4D also boasts some new tracking and focusing technologies with its Activetrack Pro tech and its LiDAR autofocusing and range finder, with over 43,200 ranging points within a 33’ range. This should help improve focusing across the board in a variety of low-light environments and should benefit focus pullers and operators alike.
Monitor and Transmission System
Looking at some more of the bells and whistles for the Ronin 4D, we have to include the 1000nit high-bright monitor, which should be quite handy for working with the gimbal-camera. Combined with a wireless video receiver, this 7-inch monitor also turns into a motion controller for all your precise movement-based camera controls.
It also has several cool features itself by connecting with other DJI devices like the DJI Master Wheels, Force Pro, and Follow Focus. You can even use the built-in microSD card slot to record up to 1080p proxy footage and up to 60fps.
The built-in video transmitter is quite impressive with a range capable of almost 20,000 feet to help with your remote, and difficult shots and coverage. Everything is quite interconnected too. If you’re familiar with other DJI products, the Ronin 4D is really meant to fully sync up with a diverse and modular full production buildout.
Is the Ronin 4D Right for You?
That’s really the question here. This is understandably quite exciting news for many in the film and video industry—especially those who might have been users or fans of DJI’s gimbals or mount systems in the past. However, will this combo gimbal/camera offering actually replace your favorite cameras and gimbals?
A lot of it is going to come down to the look and feel of the gear and camera. Sure, the DJI Ronin 4D is going to shoot 8K (and we’ve covered the exciting possibilities of 8K before), but so can the Canon R5 and, most probably, so can several cameras in the future.
How is the footage actually going to look though? And, more importantly, how will you feel when shooting it on set?
Another big factor to consider is (of course) price. This Ronin 4D isn’t actually here to rival the Canon 5D outright per se. Instead, it’s meant to rival the combination of your favorite cinema camera and gimbal combo.
Specs and Pricing
At a retail price of $11,499, the flagship 8K version of the Ronin 4D is a bit pricey—but, overall, relative to what you might expect a high-end cinema camera/gimbal combo to cost you. There are also reports that the Ronin 4D will include an eventual 6K version, which would be quite cheaper with a price point around $7,199.
Both options are set to include all the main amenities you need—a monitor, hand grip/top handle, battery, and carrying case, as well as a 1TB SSD (with the 8K version, at least).
Here are the full specs:
- Zenmuse X9-8K camera gimbal combo
- Z-axis camera/3-axis gimbal stabilizing
- ProRes HQ to 8K30 & RAW video to 8K75
- Right focus/control, left pan/tilt grips
- 5.5″ 1000 cd/m² touchscreen display
- LiDAR range finder/focus module
- 1 x ProSSD 1TB media card
- TB50 intelligent battery, mount, & charger
- Carbon fiber, aluminum magnesium alloy
- Cables, tools, & carrying case
Price: $11,499 (8K version); $7,199 (6K version)
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Cover image via DJI.
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