Gear Breakdown: DJI RS II & RSC II Gimbals
Here at Foundation Digital Media, we are constantly searching for the best technologies available and comparing gear breakdowns to deliver our customer’s the highest quality product for their budget. We’d like to begin passing these evaluations on to you, our customers, and to our colleagues in Washington D.C. video production and elsewhere. We’d love to help elevate your next project to a professional video standard, but we hope these breakdowns will provide you with the tools to get started today in developing your own incredible video content.
DJI RS II & RSC II Gimbals Gear Breakdown
Today we’re taking a look at a gear breakdown of the new Ronin-S II and Ronin-SC II 3-axis, handheld gimbals from industry powerhouse, DJI. The latest in the industry groundbreaking Ronin line has lived up to the hype, finding new ways to trim down weight while incorporating more functionality and portability in design. At a price point of only $499 for the RSC II and $849 for the RS II, we’re certain this one is an incredible value in the arsenal of any effective video production professional’s toolset.
How it’s built
We’re taking a glance at both the S and SC models to highlight the differences and benefits of the two sister devices and help you understand why you might benefit from using one or the other. Since form is a bit more relevant than function in this case, we’re again starting with the build before moving into some more technical details later.
According to the DJI official press release for both devices, the RS II “brings added strength and agility to creators using heavier camera systems such as DSLR and compact cinema cameras”, while the RSC II “was created to be more portable, meeting the needs of mirrorless and more compact camera operators.” This follows upon a familiar pattern from the original Ronin-S and Ronin-SC devices, improving upon each in their respective categories.
Each device begins with a carbon fiber build of all vital structural components in order to “reduce weight down to 1.3 kg (2.86 lbs) while remaining highly durable.” Pushing the “innovation of single-handed gimbal technology” even further, DJI RS 2 now supports a tested dynamic payload of 4.5 kg (10 lbs) in an effort to support heavier camera and lens combinations along with a fine-tune balancing knob for even more precise balancing of the payload. The RSII even sports “a built-in 1.4” color touchscreen can display camera data, gimbal settings, or a live feed from the camera.”
On the other hand, a completely new and portable folding design makes DJI RSC 2 easy for creators to carry everywhere without adding additional weight to the gear list. Additionally, the folding design provides creative ways to use the gimbal such as vertical filming without additional accessories, as well as a new Briefcase mode, where the main gimbal arm can be loosened and slung forward to provide unique shooting angles.
Unlike the RS II, the RSC II instead incorporates steel on vital and frequently used components, while “lightweight materials such as aluminum reduce overall weight.” The DJI RSC 2 weighs in at 1.2 kg (2.65 lbs), nearly “35% less than the original Ronin-S”, and has a folding footprint of 180×190 mm, the same size as a sheet of A5 paper. Despite this, the RSC 2 remains lightweight and portable, featuring stronger motors to support a tested payload of up to 3 kg (6.6 lbs). A smaller 1” built-in OLED screen displays camera data with the ability to adjust settings directly for this model.
Additionally, both devices share a few noteworthy features that put them both a cut above their predecessors. The built-in front dial above the trigger allows for precise focus control and complements a DJI Focus Wheel mounted on the RSA port to create two-channel focus and zoom. Two RSA ports double as NATO ports so that users can mount accessories and attachments such as grips and a remote controller. Axis locks enable easier transportation and balancing, while a dual-layer camera mounting plate is compatible with both the Arca-Swiss and Manfrotto standard.
As far as power goes, both devices achieve up to 12 hours of battery life. A new quick-charge function directly to the battery handle has been added for urgent situations, “providing an extra two hours of battery life with just a 15-minute charge.”
Let’s look at the specs
While the build for any 3-axis gimbal is of paramount importance, it’s worth spending some time talking about what’s going on under the hood too. At the forefront, a newly optimized Titan Stabilization Algorithm “reduces the need for manual user input while compensating for user movement and optimizing the gimbal tilt and angle.” Additionally, a new SuperSmooth mode provides another level of camera stability, especially for compensating longer focal length lenses of up to 100mm.
The DJI RS 2 and RSC 2 also expand on their predecessors’ suite of creative modes, movements, and features with tools to help capture content that stands out, including Time Tunnel (the system performs a 360-degree roll while capturing a hyper-lapse, adding a level of creativity to footage), Flashlight (the system tilts the camera all the way forward so users can grip the base like a flashlight), One-Tap Portrait Mode (the gimbal quickly orients the camera into vertical shooting for professional-level social media content). They both also offer more typical pre-sets like Roll-360, Panorama, and Timelapse.
Lastly, vital features and functions can now be controlled and adjusted over long distances with the Ronin smartphone app such as gimbal movement using the virtual joystick and Force Mobile, where the gimbal mimics the mobile device’s movement. For remote operation, both DJI RS 2 and DJI RSC 2 can use ActiveTrack 3.0 when the RavenEye Image Transmission System is connected, sending a 1080p/30fps low-latency feed to a mobile device using the Ronin app from up to 200 meters away.
All-in-all, there is a clear difference between DJI’s newest offerings within its flagship Ronin line. They’ve somehow managed to make their devices lighter, stronger, and smarter without drastically raising the initial price point, particularly on the RSC II. Nonetheless, there is also minimal competition in Ronin’s class, making these an easy choice for someone looking for a world class stabilizer at a fair price.
If this exciting product seems appealing for your next video content or digital media project, you can find them available for pre-order now on websites like Adorama. If it seems beyond your needs or budget right now to invest in something like this, there are still resources for you! Get in touch with us now to discuss what our years of video broadcasting experience and technological expertise have to offer your next campaign or project.