Director of Photography / Lighting Cameraman

DJI Ronin my first thoughts following today’s shoot.

Having just shot my first day on a DJI Ronin I thought I’d share.
Setting up took only about 5 minutes. I was using my C300 with a 24mm Cine Prime lens. The most important thing to do is strip the C300 down to just the body. That means remove the grip, handle & top box and don’t forget to remove the viewfinder as it’ll knock on the back of the Ronin. If you need an audio guide track on the camera you can plug a microphone into the mini jack on the camera body or even a radio mic. Another suggestion here is to make sure the menu output is switched on on the SDI or hdmi output so you can make any adjustments you need to when the camera is mounted. But if you are recording to an external recorder make sure you switch the menu off so you don’t record the menu!
I mounted the Ronin base plate with the lens support making sure that the lens support fitted in in between the focus gear and the end of the lens, so the lens could rotate properly.
When mounting the camera onto the Ronin make sure you have everything on the camera that you want and remove the lens cap then get the camera as balanced as possible on the sliding plate before locking it into position.
Following that balance the roll axis by using the two red knobs under the base plate and get the camera looking as straight as possible. Then balance the tilt axis. To do this you need to point the camera skywards and then loosen the two side clips and raise or lower the camera until it stays looking skywards.
Finally the pan axis which you can adjust by moving the main mass of the camera under the line of the pan motor.
I adjusted all these parts fairly quickly and got the camera looking as steady and balanced as possible.
Then put the battery on the rig and switch it on by pushing battery power status check. The rig then comes to life!
Finally download the app here:

http://www.dji.com/product/ronin/download

The App speaks to the gimbal via Bluetooth and very quickly does the fine adjustments. You can adjust all the other settings and modes using the app including setting the speed of the pan and the tilt and also resetting the whole thing!

Now you can go and make some pretty amazing shots!

It’s a heavy rig so you may want to use an Easy rig system with it. I know that I’ll be considering it.
I think that this new DJI Ronin at it’s amazing price point is going to be used loads and will be very popular but I would suggest to you that it’s used in shots that you know what’s going on or scripted shots rather than just any “run and gun” situation. I’m really impressed with the build and the ease of set up and I think that it’ll be fantastic with the C300 or Red or similar sized cameras but I really wouldn’t want to use it with an F5, Alexa or Amira due to the weight of the camera. Also at the moment those cameras are a bit to long for the rig but I believe DJI are bringing out something to support those cameras later. I also don’t think it’ll take that long to become quite a proficient operator.
I’ll post more videos, photos and thoughts as my Ronin experiences progress. :-)

DAY 2 with the addition of an EasyRig

Today On the 2nd day of the shoot I decided to use an Easyrig with my Ronin. What a difference it makes. I was able to use the Ronin for much longer periods during the day. Here are a couple of images from the shoot.20140805-214729-78449906.jpg

20140805-214729-78449496.jpg

20140805-214729-78449253.jpg

20140805-214730-78450516.jpg

5 responses

  1. David Guest

    Which easyrig did you use? How did you attach it to the Ronin?

    August 29, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    • Hi David,
      The Easyrig I used on that shoot was one I borrowed from a friend and it was actually a Chinese copy of an Easyrig. He got it off EBay for about £500 & it was called a flowline. It attaches very easily to the top handle of the Ronin as it would any camera as at the end of the Easy rig line is a locking clamp. Hope that helps.

      August 30, 2014 at 7:29 am

  2. Ron

    Hi Mark

    Thanks for this post. I’ll get my Ronin this week and was looking for an easyrig but not as expensive. Was the “small” flowline enough with the C300? It says that it supports up to 5 kg? I just saw that they are bringin a new one out for up to 8kg so just wondering which one I should get.

    best,

    Ron

    September 8, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    • Hi Ron,
      I would buy the 8kg one if I where you. The 5kg is ok but the 8kg would be better. Actually can you send me a link to it as I may get an 8kg myself.
      Cheers
      Mark :-)

      September 8, 2014 at 5:29 pm

  3. Ron

    Hi Mark

    It is not out yet. I went to the “Cine City” homepage and started a live chat to ask if they have anything bigger and the customer service told me it will be released within the next few weeks. So I will check back again every week to see if they have it…:)

    http://www.thecinecity.com/eshop/FLYCAM-Flowline-Steady-Camera-Support.html

    have a good one!

    Ron

    September 9, 2014 at 8:53 am

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