Mini Ronin S
I purchased my DJI Ronin SC the day it became available for shipping through B&H. I also recently purchased the Command Unit for reasons I will explain below.
What's to like about this Gimbal:
1. Pro-Level Performance in a smallish package
2. Moderately priced
3. Performs very well on all axis
4. Customization of Gimbal speeds to your requirements
5. Excellent battery life
6. Modular Compact Design, for quick tear down and storage
7. Several ¼ mounting areas for accessories
8. Ability to lock each axis - easy storage and simplifies balancing
What’s not to like about this Gimbal:
1. Payload capacity is limited to 4.4 pounds / 2.0 kg
2. Cramped Camera lens space
3. Does not accommodate longer lenses due to camera eyepiece striking the gimbal
4. DJI intrusive collection of location data during activation
5. Must Activate the Gimbal via Ronin App
Performance: You watched all the YouTube videos already, so by now you know this Gimbal performs very well when properly balanced. I had no issues acquiring very stable professional video footage using this gimbal with my Nikon Z6 and 35mm S f1/8 lens 20 minutes after activation and setup.
Accessories: DJI offers several optional accessories to add features for the videographers – like focus motors and wheels, Command Unit, Phone holder, Cheese Grate.
Balancing Act: DJI made balancing your camera and lens easier with the employment of the locking axis and the camera base with the “remember me” stop screw. Not too many of us enjoy the balancing procedure. DJI offers a balance test using the Ronin App, which will grade your skills on all axis. Fail - Fair - Good or Excellent
DJI and SmartPhone: Out in the field when you need to make adjustments to your gimbal, you will require one of the following. A SmartPhone with the Ronin app or the optional DJI Command Unit accessory. I choose the Command Unit since it does not track my location or need access to my smartphone data.
Two Biggest Pet Peeves: First is the rear Gimbal Arm does not allow enough clearance to support many zooms/lens combinations. I tried to mount my Nikon Z6 with the 24-70 S f/4 lens, but the camera would bump into the rear Gimbal arm – SAD. Not sure why DJI did not increase the clearance by 1 inch. If you are going to use this gimbal with a Mirrorless camera, be prepared to either take the camera’s eyecup off or use a lighter shorter lens combo.
Secondly, I do not appreciate the mandatory DJI activation process, and the DJI apps are always requiring access to my SmartPhone’s data and the heavy reliance on the Ronin App to make changes to the Gimbal unless you spring for the $129.00 Command Unit. My DJI OSMO Pocket allows touch configuration without the need for any additional accessories or smartphone - why not the Ronin SC?
Who Is This Gimbal Best Suited For Videographers who are seeking a lighter compact gimbal and understands the “size” limitations both in weight and camera lens combo? DJI made a smaller Gimbal but did not sacrifice performance.
Recommendation: If this is your first Mirrorless Gimbal, you should feel very comfortable when setting up and using it, but if accustomed to larger more roomy gimbals you will find yourself in a compromised situation when it comes to the camera/lens combo you can use – so keep that in mind when making your decision. It is not just about weight but also the size of the camera and lens combo.