DRONES ACCESSORIES

DJI Ronin M: A Powerful HandHeld& Mountable Gimbal

DJI Ronin M
Jack Brown
Written by Jack Brown

The DJI Company, renowned for its excellence in the drone industry, has launched the most sought-after and competitive camera stabilization technology known as the Ronin-M. This gimbal follows on the success of its predecessor, DJI Ronin gimbal, which has proven to be heavier in weight and more expensive.

Ronin-M comes with an incredibly light weight and a compact design made of magnesium to increase its stiffness, rigidity and reduce the overall weight. It is also versatile and portable to be transported to any place in your backpack. Photographers and videographers can comfortably travel with this light weight camera stabilization system to wherever they want to.

Optionally, you can purchase the Ronin-M Suitcase for ease of travel, or pack the gimbal in your ordinary backpack or bag. These professional photographers can attest to the importance of this gimbal for the advanced configurations and stabilizations of the cameras for shooting of an unmatched high quality video and images.

DJI Ronin M

For instance, in the absence of a gimbal, UAV pilots may not be able to eliminate the inevitable vibrations of motors that leads to poor quality aerial footage. Even the handheld cameras have no comparable quality to this gimbal. Let’s explore a broad range of features for this gimbal below.

 Product specifications:

  • Overall weight of 5.07 pounds (2.3kg)
  • Can support cameras to a maximum weight of 8 pounds (3.6kg)
  • Has a transmitter for tilt/pan movement controls
  • Compatible with iOS and windows software
  • Silent mode for silent operation
  • Precision of +/- 0.02 degrees
  • USB and Power Tap power outputs
  • Balance adjustment system without tools required

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Build specifications

Weight

The best selling point for this gimbal is its 2.3kg (5.07 lb) overall weight, which is capable of supporting cameras heavier than it is, at a maximum weight of 3.6kg (8 lb). It’s a small tool, but amazingly holds larger cameras, whether you use a DSLR camera, or the GoPro latest or oldest HERO models, you are in a good position to mount them on this gimbal.

Ronin-M is also lightweight to lift it up or tilt it to any desired position so you can maneuver your shooting angles. It is not a burden at all when traveling because it can fit well in its optional suitcase.

Fast Setup

Setting up Ronin-M is also an absolute breeze to go about. Just unpack it from your suitcase and do minor setups to start capturing a professional stabilized video in less than 5 minutes. What you need to do is to mount your desired camera to the Ronin-M, then balance it to start the duty.

DJI Ronin M

No need to use any other tool in configuring and balancing the camera because of the integrated ATS (Auto Tune Stability) technology which performs everything automatically. It is made to enhance the precision of your camera for about 0.02 degrees of precision control.

After setting up your DJI Ronin M, you can choose whether to capture images or record video using a handheld option or mounting it on your RC multirotor drone. The main function is to provide stabilized images and video without any vibration disruptions.

Capturing Images or Recording Video

There is an integrated SmoothTrack Control to provide stabilized and smooth movements of the camera angles. What it means is that, no matter how you move, speed or slow, your movements will be translated into smooth and stabilized camera angles. It won’t seem as if you have shot the footage unintentionally. The camera will face the direction that you want.

Ronin M Gimbal Shooting Video

You can also customize SmoothTrack control settings from speed to deadband and to acceleration. All these will enable you to take stabilized footage of high quality. There’s also a “single axis follow me” mode whereby the other 2 axes can be locked to allow the camera movement along the 1 axis only. That’s the excellence of the integrated SmoothTrack control in maneuvering the camera motions.

In addition to the SmoothTrack control, you can embrace the flexibility of shooting with Ronin-M by effortlessly switching to the 3 integrated shooting modes. You will be able to capture the footage that is impossible to capture with other setups. On top of that, there’s no need to adjust the settings or involve another operator.

These modes include the following:

  • Briefcase Shooting Mode – with this mode, you will be holding the gimbal similar to the way you would hold a briefcase in narrow pathways or exiting through the door. You can then continue capturing the elegant images or video while holding the Ronin-M next to your legs. No quality compromised.
  • Underslung Shooting Mode – with this shooting mode, you will be able to film conveniently and comfortably while the gimbal is placed at your chest level in front of you. This is the most common operation mode for handheld operations.
  • Upright Shooting Mode –As the name implies, you will be able to shoot upright with this mode. You can flip and lift your lightweight gimbal above your head or shoot at eye level. This mode may be preferred by those fond of shooting from the sunroof of their cars, through their household windows, or above a crowd.

DJI Ronin M

There is another mode, “silent mode”, which is rather functional on sound levels than position-based. The silent mode is more helpful when shooting footage in tight areas such as the indoors. In such areas, it is highly likely that the noise of the brushless motors of Ronin-M can become a nuisance. To calm that, the DJI has come up with the silent mode that silences the motors to an inaudible level for a silent operation.

The stabilization algorithms play an integral role in this silent mode by focusing on the strength for minute changes and stabilization. They ensure that the sound of these brushless motors is not being recorded by the microphones or any other sound recorder.

Battery for Ronin-M

Don’t be tempted to replace this gimbal’s battery with the original Ronin because they are not compatible. It comes with a smart battery that can be replaced in case it gets depleted, and you will be able to film for a maximum of 3 hours. The time can be extended by the extra battery of the same model while the depleted battery is being recharged.The charger will be included in your package.

DJI Ronin M Battery

When you charge the battery, it will be protected from overcharge and over-depletion by the built-in protector. The battery level can be seen via the clear LEDs and the Assistant Mobile App. This Assistant mobile app is made possible by Bluetooth connectivity to the Gimbal. Through the app, you can do the following:

  • Customize the SmoothTrack feature
  • Configure your favorite settings
  • Monitor the status of your gimbal including the battery as stated above
  • Auto tune
  • Change settings while busy capturing footage

Powering The Gimbal

There is a dedicated power distribution box that is aimed at minimizing wiring in your gimbal. It provides power to the important accessories of Ronin-M. With this distribution box comes the 2 regulated 12C tabs, 500 mAh, USB connector, and a Lightbridge connector for efficient connection and distribution of power.

DJI Ronin M Powering

Design of Ronin-M

The frame is made of the lightweight and stiff magnesium metal which is often hard to mold. This frame makes the gimbal more rigid, stiff, and light weight. If mounted on the drone, the frame will survive imminent and inevitable crashes due to its rigidity.

Furthermore, the solid support arm provides more rigidity to the Ronin-M. It is U-shaped and holds the camera securely more than the multi-piece components used in other products. With this rigid U-shaped solid arm, you will continue taking more stabilized footage. It is also made of the strong magnesium.

The powerful motors of this gimbal provide precision control and high performance. They are engineered to minimize the vibration that is a recurring problem of providing a compromised quality of video. They also increase torque. Furthermore, the accuracy is being enhanced with the Digital Absolute Positioning Encoders in each of the 3 axis.

Ronin M Gimbal Design

The Ronin-M gimbal also affords you a universal mounting where it mounts to a wide range of devices. For instance, you can detach it from its handle bars to mount it on, for example, tripods, cranes, drones, or any other mounting device. The handlebars can be removed when transporting the gimbal from one location to another or when packaging it.

Value for Money

For around $1000, you can get your powerful handheld camera stabilization system, Ronin-M. It is an inexpensive price tag compared to the Ronin’s almost $2000.

DJI Ronin M Filming

Other miscellaneous costs could include the Ronin-M suitcase valued at around $200 and the Thumb Controller at some $170. All these are optional, but worth having. If you are tied up in budget, you can decide to use your normal backpack or bag to pack this gimbal since it is lightweight and has removable handlebars for portability purposes and for a plethora of shooting configurations.

Operating the Ronin-M

To operate this gimbal is also a cinch when taking into account its auto configuration and dual-operator option. To start with, the integrated ATS technology will tune the gimbal in line with the mass and weight distribution for a stable position to produce stabilized footage. The important parameters shall be adjusted and configured accordingly.

There is also a Second Operator Control for a second person to help you in achieving incredible footage. As a solo photographer, there are other complex movements that you might not be able to achieve while at the same time controlling and configuring the camera parameters.

Now the Second Operator Control allows the second person to ace the most complex camera movements while you keep focused on controlling the Ronin-M.

The main aim is to achieve perfect framing of the camera with its movements independent from the gimbal holder. These settings are made possible by the 2.4GHz included transmitter that is optimized for pan/tilt movements.

It allows the other operator to manually control the camera movements remotely while the holder of the full assembly continues capturing footage in a predetermined position.

The Ronin-M gimbal system also has the optional wireless DJI Ronin-M Thumb Controller. It’s a portable device that is compatible with the built-in receiver to maximize the camera motions. For only $170, you can purchase this device from the manufacturer.

What it does is that it enables you to point the camera in any direction and safe the preset settings for easy operation. You will be able to control more tilt/pan movements of the camera.

Overview

Let’s see Pros and Cons of DJI Ronin M Gimbal.

PROS:

  • Light weight and compact
  • 5 pound device holding 8 pound cameras
  • Can be handheld or mounted

CONS:

  • It is highly priced
  • The addition of the optional thumb controller contributes to an expensive price

Let’s see a small review of DJI Ronin M Gimbal.

If you have a drone, the Ronin-M is a great tool to mount on your multirotor to eliminate the vibration that could jeopardize the quality of your aerial images. Even on your vehicle you can mount this gimbal if a handheld option isn’t viable. That’s how versatile the DJI Ronin M is.

About the author
Jack Brown
Jack Brown

Jack is the Chief Pilot at MyDroneLab.com bringing experience, expertise and knowledge in this quite new industry. He is a graduate of the Drone/UAV Pilot Training Certificate program and member of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. Besides having all the necessary technical knowledge when it comes to drones, Jack and his team love to spend the time outside by the ocean, working on new features and teaching others how to pilot these amazing and exciting new robots.

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