Drone giant DJI have now launched the the Ronin-S, their first ‘one-handed’ gimbel produced for use with DSLR and mirrorless cameras. Even better is the price point in that it came in at 749 euros, after being mooted at ‘less than $1000’ at the last NAB.

Will the Chinese giant crush the competition as it usually does?

DJI now have a range of competitors within the marketplace. The Zhiyun Crane 2 (and V2), Moza Air and other Came TV or Pilotfly are all well-built and proven, as well as being cheaper.

So where does the Ronin S stand out? Our initial thoughts focus on its maximum payload of 3.6kg, making it possible to mount an EVA1 onto for example. Furthermore, its focus wheel is a great feature and can be used with both the GH5 and GH5S with Lumix 4/3-inch lenses. Whilst the Crane 2 has one, at the moment it is only compatible with Canon. The build quality is very good, whilst the axis roll at 45 degrees clears the view on the LCD screen of DSLRs and other mirrorless cameras – a feature first included on Pilotfly.

Another great feature of the Ronin S is its compatibility with a multitude of DJI ecosystem accessories. For example, the Follow Focus can be added to the Ronin S to control manual lenses or primes. Wireless video return, radio control and so on can also be added. In short, operation of a Ronin S can provide a greater array of both configuration and flexibility for camera work.

The real novelty – automatic and creative modes

Whilst you may argue that some of the points that we have suggested are also available from competitive products, or that they are not necessarily revolutionary. On the other hand, the main feature that is especially attractive to us are the modes introduced by DJI.

The first mode is PUSH Mode, which allows you to either orientate the camera to a precise angle whilst running with the camera, or it allows balance your camera with the help of the internal motors rather than spinning around before finding its centre of gravity.

We also really like the modes for panorama, time-lapse and motion-lapse, which allows you to memorise up to 10 positions and to go through this positions extremely smoothly. The below video comes these modes extremely well:

We believe that to stand out in the world of stabilisers, a dedicated mobile application for things such as focus control and modularity are a must. Whilst most specifications, such as battery life, stabilisation quality and so on, are fairly equal between most manufacturers. With the Ronin-S however, it can be mounted on a crane, controlled remotely, and equipped wirelessly. Despite this, what may prove difficult for end-users is its weight, coming in at 1.8kg. When added with its maximum payload of 3.6kg, it may be difficult to operate with for a full day of shooting.